Cover image for Undressing feminism : a philosophical expose
Undressing feminism : a philosophical expose
Klein, Ellen R.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
St. Paul, MN : Paragon House, [2002]

Physical Description:
xiv, 217 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


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HQ1421 .K54 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Undressing Feminism is an eminently readable work in which Klein argues that today's feminism is one of the leading causes of social and legal problems in contemporary American culture. Undressing Feminism traces the fight for equality for women from the 1700s until today and then makes dire predictions for feminism's future. Klein weaves an historical accounting of some of the most outrageous and interesting claims of "equality" made throughout the centuries. Although entirely committed to the spirit of first generation feminists, Klein shows that contemporary feminism(s), once "disrobed" from its rhetorical garb of equality with men, is laid bare as having a single-minded political agenda - the achievement of privilege over men. This goal, it is argued, is blatantly inconsistent with any reasonable notion of equality, and creates an insidious sexism apparent in the behavior of feminists themselves. In the final analysis, Klein urges readers to abandon feminism, in all its contemporary guises, in order to embrace a productive and healthy account of justice, merit, and overall human excellence.

Author Notes

Ellen R. Klein is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Flagler College in St. Augustine Florida.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Purporting to be a recapitulation of contemporary feminist thought, this disappointing book is part of a series of texts to introduce various areas of philosophy to undergraduates. Its subtitle, "A Philosophical Expose," warns readers of the book's strong antifeminism bias. In fact, the book is a pure polemic made worse by the author's claim that the book is not "fundamentally polemical." Klein (Flagler College) conflates feminism in its philosophical form with political feminism and fails to distinguish criticisms of the latter from criticisms of the former. Political feminism has many (inconsistent) voices. Philosophical feminism, however, raises serious and interesting puzzles that deserve serious philosophical reflection. Klein belittles the whole enterprise. The book's heavy footnoting is annoying but necessary under the circumstances. Dutiful readers will find that Klein often has used a secondary source (supporting her point of view) where one might expect a primary source. Undergraduate readers are not likely to make the effort. A text on contemporary feminist thought is much needed and could be very useful. Unfortunately, this is not it. ^BSumming Up: Not recommended. S. C. Schwarze Cabrini College

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xiii
Chapter 1 Whither Feminism?p. 1
The One and the Manyp. 3
Gender Feminismp. 9
The Equality Question in Feminismp. 20
Summaryp. 25
Chapter 2 The First Generationp. 29
In the Beginningp. 29
The Civil Warp. 36
The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendmentsp. 38
Toward the Twentieth Centuryp. 40
WWIp. 44
The Nineteenth Amendmentp. 45
Chapter 3 The Second Generation--Its "First Wave"p. 47
Sex, Prohibition, and the Charlestonp. 47
Depression Yearsp. 50
WWIIp. 52
Happy Daysp. 56
The Sixtiesp. 58
Chapter 4 The Second Generation--Its "Second Wave"p. 71
Sex, Politics and Sexual Politicsp. 73
The ERA Erap. 77
The Personal is the Politicalp. 83
Equality as Differencep. 88
The Patriarchy Inherent in Western Culturep. 98
Chapter 5 Third Generation--Looking "Back to the Future"p. 105
Women as Victimsp. 107
Paglia: Broad Social Criticismp. 112
Sommers: Debunking Educationp. 114
Klein: The "Date Rape" Question in Feminismp. 122
Masculismp. 130
Chapter 6 The Next Generationp. 137
Backlash and Separationp. 138
Sluts, Girlie Girls, Bitches and Cuntsp. 143
Feminism as PAC and Globalizationp. 153
Chapter 7 Is Feminism Dead?p. 163
Warrior Womenp. 165
The Mythp. 169
Feminism's Voicep. 178
The Un-Deadp. 181
Notesp. 182
Indexp. 209