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"Outdated" analyzes how different forms of media, cultural norms, family pressure, and even laws, are produced to scare women into believing that if they don t devote themselves to finding a man, they ll be doomed to a life of loneliness and shame. Using interviews with young women that are living around, between, within, and outside of the romantic industrial complex, Mukhopadhyay weaves a narrative of the alternative ways that women today have elected to live their lives, and in doing so offers a fresh, feminist look at an old topic: How do diverse, independent young women date happily and successfullyand outside of the box?
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-08-15
- Reviewer: Staff
In this accessible, thought-provoking book, journalist Mukhopadhyay (editor of the blog Feministing.com) examines the pitfalls of romantic relationships in a world dominated by sexism, gender essentialism, racism, and heteronormativity. She describes her project as "a feminist critique on how we understand dating and a road map to guide us through our feminist dating adventures." In doing so, she addresses the ways in which society pressures women to conform to antiquated stereotypes and stigmatizes anyone not actively trying to find a husband. She also calls out the sexist male writers of romantic self-help books aimed at women, including John Gray, Greg Behrendt, and Travis Stork, noting that "the self-help industry capitalizes on characterizing women as needy, wishy-washy, demanding too much, and being unstable." Ultimately, she asks: "how do we date as feminists in a world that is so structured around patriarchy, power, and privilege?" Mukhopadhyay provides many excellent suggestions, including a list of the ways that feminism makes a woman stronger, smarter, and happier in the dating world. Though the message may not be new, and for all practical purposes ignores the GLBT community, many young women will benefit from reading this book. (Oct.)