Woman's Inhumanity to Woman
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Woman's Inhumanity to Woman

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  158 ratings  ·  25 reviews
“Man’s inhumanity to man”--the phrase is all too familiar. But until Phyllis Chesler's now-classic book, a profound silence prevailed about woman’s inhumanity to woman. Women's aggression may not take the same form as men's, but girls and women are indeed aggressive, often indirectly and mainly toward one another. They judge harshly, hold grudges, gossip, exclude, and disc...more
Paperback, 576 pages
Published May 1st 2009 by Chicago Review Press (first published January 31st 2002)
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Madeleine Goblin
Apr 25, 2007 Madeleine Goblin is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who love a good feminist rant
This is a feminist book that deals with tricky subject for most feminists: hostility between women. The more normal/acceptable topic is men's nastiness towards women, but then, it's too easy (I mean anybody can criticise men, they are asking for it, poor things! - only joking). Phyllis Chesler is no slacker and goest straight to the core:

- little girls bullying other girls
- female colleagues at work sticking to men in their attempt undermine other women
- mothers, out of best intentions and care,...more
May 17, 2008 Erin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to understand themselves
Parts of this book are heart breaking and parts are very lif-affirming. Chesler impartially outlines problems in women's relationships without condemming or sinking into mysoginistic language. She is merely describing what ocurrs everyday in Western society from what she has personally observed.

This book is one of the truest descriptions of the human condition that I have ever read.
I am forever changed by this book. I think this a book that every woman needs to read.
"Sexism is complicated." This book is a giant sociological study that took the author 21 years to complete. I spent about two hours with it.
I came to this book with one agenda: to find tools and answers to better my own close relationships with other women. I needed language for my confusing feelings.
We all know (or should know) what is normally considered "drama" among women is serious direct and indirect violence that crosses class, race, and gender lines. We're talking women throwing acid i...more
You have to give the author credit for her bravery in being one of the first to tackle an important but taboo subject. You can read throughout the book that she expects to be mercilessly attacked for writing it. Some parts of the book are stronger than others, but it is worth reading for those parts. I wish she gave more suggestions for dealing with the problems, but perhaps there aren't many solutions.
Vasil Kolev
This book a lot of effort to read, but it was worthy.

It shows a lot of the character of women that's usually hidden, almost taboo to talk about directly. It helps understand women a bit more, show some very bad stuff, some extremely weird, some eye-opening.

It's also a great book on group dynamics and somewhat on character assassination...
It really is a no-brainer: members of a social group with limited power will undermine and manipulate other members within that social group in order to achieve power, even if the power achieved is of no substance. This is achieved through preying upon weaknesses and manipulation and passive aggressive behavior.

Having been on the receiving end of predatory and passive aggressive female behavior in various contexts throughout my life I can most certainly identify with this. It's spot on. So are h...more
The need to succeed in a male dominated world has lead some women to view each other as threats and competitors. Therefore, instead of providing support and encouraging each other, some women sabotage, manipulate, and try to destroy others. This book should be read by all women; especially, young women as it is all learned behavior. One would hope that this text will provide enough of an insight to have women reconsider the concept of success. Life cannot be enjoyed as a competition. Yes, this i...more
I've had this book for a while and never really finished it. Recently, due to not understanding some of the 'women' in my life, I picked it up again hoping that it would give me some new insights about my female relationships. Boy did it ever. I think this is a must read for any woman and I would go as far as to say that it should be required reading for all females ESPECIALLY those who do not like other women, are cunt haters or do not have close female friends. If you are over women's hostilit...more
I liked the theme and her overall message, but I thought the style of writing was not that great. Also, I do not like how many personal anecdotes were shared; to me a scientific work should stay a bit more removed than that (although I know others may disagree). I was surprised that she also failed to acknowledge any similar 'feminine' failures on her part; instead Chesler seemed to 'apologize' for her bad reactions towards other women. In other words, she framed herself as a constant victim, wh...more
Yana Petrova
A must-read for every woman.
Петър Стойков
Phyllis Chesler е радикална феминистка от старата школа - активно участвала във втората вълна на движението през 60-те ин 70-те. След това обаче е отхвърлена от ръководните кръгове на феминистките организации заради изразяваните от нея мнения относно посоката, която поема феминизма, участието на мъжете в движението и резултатите от нейните изследвания на психологическата природа на жените.

"Женската безчовечност към жените" е втората й много противоречива във феминистките кръгове книга, след "Жен...more
Eneya Vorodecky
I have yet to see such a book aimed at men.
Double standard that women are expected to be better human beings or what?
This lady has already spoken about "women should stay at home and take care of their hubbies and children"... while on the road, leaving her own children (albeit all grown up) and husband on their own devices. Do-as-i-tell-you-not-as-i-do in its purest form.

Women can be assholes, jerks, sexist and misogynistic... well, duuh. Also, women are sexist against other women because the w...more
Sally Duros
Apr 25, 2013 Sally Duros rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: men, women, mothers, daughters, fathers, sons
Shelves: social-change
Published in Sally's World, August 2003


Leadership. We talk about it all the time. But what is it?

I've worked in places where leadership is measured by office configuration and size of paycheck, by number of phone calls placed and appointments made, by the urgency, authority and volume of voice with which one gives orders, by the minutes one arrives late at a meeting, or by the number of minutes of face time one has with the boss.

You know an...more
Brian Palmer
The first part of the book was fantastic. It surveyed female relationships in non-human primates, introduced a number of intriguing studies on humans, and covered a lot of female-female relationships in cultures around the world. It felt very broad and anthropological. Unfortunately, it was let down by the second half, which brought the topic home to the author's own life... suddenly it became almost exclusively driven by anecdote (amusingly when it wasn't an anecdote, it was using literature li...more
Beate Chelette
This book changed everything for me. It is the bible for anyone who wants to read the most fundamental and first, groundbreaking work on what women do to each other. It was part of my research for my own book, and nobody raised the issue like Phyllis Chesler did.
Sep 23, 2010 Stacy marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stopped-reading
Started reading it then shut it...then started reading it again. I'm still reading it, very open mindedly. I have been recommending it based on what I've read so far. It is very interesting and educational, very relatable learning a lot from it. I got it from the library but will purchase my own copy. Too bad it's not an Ebook!
Aug 01, 2010 kvon rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: non-sf
I read only some of this book hoping to learn how to deal with other women more effectively at work and at club. But it seems more just stories of women being mean to each other, I didn't see much on how to change attitudes. Sure, being aware is the first step, I'm ready for the next one.
The points made in this book definitely need to be made, but I wish some of it was backed up with more scientific data and less "I know a woman who" anecdotal evidence. Still, well worth reading.
Cami Savage
Very insightful look at how pervasive violence between women has been ingrained into our DNA as well as encouraged societally.
As a Woman, I highly recommend this book to all women, you become more self-aware of how you treat other women.
I've been taking a break from this one for a while, but I'd love to get back to it...
Very good points in this book.

This book read more like a textbook or composition.
women are gossiping bitches. :D
Kayla Rae Whitaker
Essential yet wholly depressing.
Ryan Immke
Ryan Immke marked it as to-read
Jul 07, 2014
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Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at City University of New York. She is a best- selling author, a legendary feminist leader, a psychotherapist and an expert courtroom witness. Dr. Chesler has published thousands of articles and, most recently, studies, about honor-related violence including honor killings. She has published many classic works such as Women...more
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“Before I began research for this book I was not consciously aware that women were aggressive in indirect ways, that they gossiped and ostracized each other incessantly, and did not acknowledge their own envious and competitive feelings. I now understand that, in order to survive as a woman, among women, one must speak carefully, cautiously, neutrally, indirectly; one must pay careful attention to what more socially powerful women have to say before one speaks; one must learn how to flatter, manipulate, aree with, and appease them. And, if one is hurt or offended by another woman, one does not say so outright; one expresses it indirectly, by turning others against her.
Of course, I refuse to learn these "girlish" lessons.”
“For most women, being seen, having others pay attention to you, is imagined and experienced as more desirable and more powerful than commanding an army or seizing control of the means of production and reproduction.” 9 likes
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