From the bestselling author of Nickel and Dimed, an explanation of recent sexual culture and the loosening of marriage bonds in recent history.
"Finally someone is offering a new, utterly plausible explanation...of loosening marriage bonds. According to Barbara Ehrenreich...it is men who started walking off, in search of freedom from their stifling role of breadwinner/success-machine. The shock--and exhilaration--of this book comes from the recognition that here is a woman who has dared to look beyond the everyday assumptions about love and commitment to examine which bonds between men and women can endure and which may last forever.”--Vogue
This women's history classic brilliantly exposed the constraints imposed on women in the name of science and exposes the myths used to control them. Since the the nineteenth century, professionals have been invoking scientific expertise to prescribe what women should do for their own good. Among the experts’ diagnoses and remedies: menstruation was an illness requiring seclusion; pregnancy, a disabling condition; and higher education, a threat to long-term health of the uterus. From clitoridectomies to tame women’s behavior in the nineteenth century to the censure of a generation of mothers as castrators in the 1950s, doctors have not hesitated to intervene in women’s sexual, emotional, and maternal lives. Even domesticity, the most popular prescription for a safe environment for woman, spawned legions of “scientific” experts.
Barbara Ehrenreich and Dierdre English has never lost faith in science itself, butinsist that we hold those who interpret it to higher standards. Women are entering the medical and scientific professions in greater numbers but as recent research shows, experts continue to use pseudoscience to tell women how to live. For Her Own Good provides today’s readers with an indispensable dose of informed skepticism.