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The Privilege of Being a Woman

4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  269 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Women historically have been denigrated as lower than men or viewed as privileged. Dr. Alice von Hildebrand characterizes the difference between such views as based on whether man's vision is secularistic or steeped in the supernatural. She shows that feminism's attempts to gain equality with men by imitation of men is unnatural, foolish, destructive, and self-defeating.Th ...more
Paperback, 118 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Ignatius Press (first published March 21st 2002)
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Jan 02, 2016 Alexis rated it really liked it
Shelves: red-room, own
Take care before reading this, any of my liberal friends/relatives - it is very conservative - just remember I am a strong woman and feel equal in our society, because of what I bring to it. I am not trying to say that their isn't injustice or discrimination in the world, just that we should be careful how we 'generalize" anything...

This book was given to me by my CBS teacher, they are considering it for a school-wide read at her all-girl Catholic school.

I was very intrigued by the book and read
Oct 13, 2010 Robert rated it did not like it
A short book, a sad book, the sort of book one would give to a pubescent daughter in the forlorn hope that she would remain pure and saintly - this is the author's attempt to defend the Catholic church against the accusation that it is sexist, is condescending to women, patriarchal, that it devalues women. Von Hildebrand is a traditional Catholic, a very conservative one, almost reactionary -is still not reconciled with the changes of Vatican II - regrets that women are no longer required to cov ...more
May 26, 2015 Emily rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone, Catholics, Christians, Men, Women
Recommended to Emily by: Aidzior
I am only half way through this remarkable book but I know I will finish it soon. At first I felt very much like screaming until I realized that perhaps I have been a bit indoctrinated by "Liberal Feminists" and that my own feminist philosophy ought to be updated. The thing that I dislike about this book is her generalization that all women cry or that all women are "dainty" however, I do feel that structurally and biologically I can see why and how she is able to make these bold claims. I think ...more
Jul 14, 2013 Cris rated it liked it
Shelves: theology, feminism
It is a good book for popular consumption that will convey the general culture of the femenine in Catholicism in the aftermath of The New Femenists (Orthodox Catholic Theologians who reaffirm the basic tenets of femeninity while embracing society's new appreciation of womanhood). It is a good inspirational and summary book that is quick and easy to read. It is not however a work of deep theological insight or advancement. There is very little looking at the scriptures and almost no historical co ...more
Lacey Louwagie
Aug 25, 2013 Lacey Louwagie rated it did not like it
I feel really troubled that this book has received so much high praise (and average of 4.3 on Goodreads? Seriously?), and it confirms to me that the only people who pick this up are the ones who are already eager to swallow anything that gets the Vatican's approval, no matter how inane it is.

It is indeed a privilege to be a woman, but I wish that Alice von Hildebrand could have made that point without saying so many utterly stupid things. She essentially makes an argument that is in line with c
Nov 06, 2011 Angela9600 rated it it was amazing
Indeed, it is a priviledge to be a woman! The only reason this took so long to read is that I only read the book during part of Adoration once a week (books in the Adoration space are not to be removed). Many of the pages included great food for thought. It reminded me of a fruitful Lasallian class minus the inter-person dialogue. Father Cook actually recommended this book in his October Pro-life Mini-Series homily on Modesty (smiles- Kim & Lill would know why that amuses me)...and I was abo ...more
May 23, 2016 April rated it it was amazing
Shelves: catholic
I love this little book so much! It's full of wisdom and good sense. It's one to read more than once, because there are so many profound statements that just can't all be absorbed the first time through. This book should be read by men and women. It truly is a privilege to be a woman, and the greatest accomplishment is to be the woman that God created you to be, not the woman that society wants you to be.
Melissa Siik
May 17, 2011 Melissa Siik rated it it was amazing
Amazing little book! If your major issue with contemporary feminism is that there is nothing particularly "feminine" about it (that is, if you've recognized that most feminists adopt a masculinized view of gender differences), then you will love this book. Hildebrand, with a philosopher's eye, exalts and analyzes the unique benefits of being a woman -- of being essentially different than men.
Sarah O'connor
Jul 16, 2009 Sarah O'connor rated it it was amazing
A great book that every woman should read...and tell her husband/boyfriend about. It might seem counter to what "pop culture" tells us is good about being a woman but it definitely rings true with what your heart feels about being a woman.
May 28, 2008 Colleen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, non-fiction
I really enjoyed this book we are reading for our book club. The writing is clear and easy to understand, but the meaning is deep. I really needed to read this book at this time in my life. It's easy to feel unappreciated as a mother and teacher!
Jul 01, 2013 Brandi rated it it was amazing
If you are an adult able to read (obviously in English) then you should read this book. It is for you. It is for your spouse. It is for your priest, your siblings, your parents, your friends. Bottom line: Take a chance and read this book.
A supurb study and reflection on woman as a unique, mysterious creation of God and the blessings of traditional femininity. I highly recommend this to anyone who may need insights into the errors of modern, radical feminism.
Jun 22, 2016 Kori rated it it was amazing
Shelves: on-my-bookshelf
I'm reading it again. Especially in our culture today I need a regular reminder that it is okay to be a woman. I don't have to apologize for my emotions, inclinations, thought processes etc. This is how woman was made.
Jul 28, 2010 Janet rated it liked it
A few good points and quotations, but overall the book is written like a defense. And, until the 2nd chapter, you're not sure who the book is defending itself against. It's a quick read.
Jun 19, 2009 Dominik rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own
I read it in one sitting, it's that good. An amazing work. Though short, it's incredibly rich -- and the references cited provides a whole wealth of further reading to explore.
Clare Cannon
Sep 29, 2011 Clare Cannon rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Very good, but perhaps a little old fashioned or 'fundamentalist' in her view of womanhood, I couldn't agree with absolutely everything but many of her ideas were very good.
Aug 16, 2007 Maria rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Christians/Catholics regardless of gender
Short and to the point. Good read for both males and females. I liked the insights into what "weakness" is. I am really bad at writing reviews.
Tainara Campanini
Jan 10, 2016 Tainara Campanini rated it it was amazing
Ser mulher é um privilégio e portanto uma responsabilidade. Desse modo, Alice Von Hildebrand traça toda uma perspectiva contrapondo os fétidos e histéricos argumentos feministas que depreciam a real condição e beleza da mulher. Muito mais, Hildebrand lamenta como o caráter sobrenatural que a humanidade assumia com mais eloquência tem desaperecido, forçando um pensamento coletivista e reducionista ao limitar o ser humano ás suas condições anatômicas. Por fim, a autora lembra às mulheres que elas ...more
Jul 03, 2012 Alicia rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful little book filled with the argument against modern feminism and tells of the beauty of true womanhood.
Claire Gilligan
Jan 12, 2015 Claire Gilligan rated it really liked it
Good, but not necessarily for everyone.

A friend loaned me her copy and asked me to read it, and while many of her points resonated with me, as a woman who experiences my sexuality/femininity/etc in a fairly traditional way, I could also tell that the me of 10yrs ago would have taken umbrage at certain points.

Well-written, easy to read, and brief, but it brushes up against the same problem that afflicts every book about masculinity and/or femininity: What IS feminine? Very nearly any traits, char
Feb 26, 2008 Michele rated it it was amazing
Every women - Catholic or otherwise - needs to read this book!
Kim Luisi
Will have to re-read it to refresh my memory
Theresa Thomas
Feb 24, 2008 Theresa Thomas rated it it was amazing
Excellent, excellent little book. :)
Nykole Lee
May 15, 2013 Nykole Lee rated it it was amazing
Book that every woman should read!
May 13, 2009 Carollozano rated it it was amazing
Shelves: catholic
Must read for all women
Jan 26, 2016 Mjber rated it really liked it
What a wonderful book! it really is a privilege. It is so nice to hear someone defend feminity since all we hear in the media is how women are just the same as men... which corrupts the feminine virtues as much as the masculine ones.
Lydia Miccolupi
Jul 11, 2015 Lydia Miccolupi rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Denise M
May 16, 2014 Denise M rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed reading a book that was so edifying about women in a non-secular way. It shows the dignity that we are created with.
Katie Herring
Apr 04, 2014 Katie Herring rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
This was an interesting read.

There were a few sections were I nodded my head and agreed with the author, but there were other times where I rolled my eyes.

This gave me a new perspective on 'feminism,' and to be honest, I kind of like what she said about it. I think a true feminism doesn't say she is one.

Take this read as you will, it is definitely conservative, but man, I do feel like it is a privilege to be a woman.
Julie Klose
This protestant is now a fan of Van Hildebrand! I loved everything she stands for and will be reading more of her books. She defends her reasons for why she hates feminism yet defends the beauty of women. If you are a firm supporter of feminism then this book is not for you.
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Alice von Hildebrand DCSG (born Alice Jourdain; 11 March 1923 in Brussels, Belgium) is a Catholic philosopher and theologian and a former professor.

She came to the U.S. in 1940 and began teaching at Hunter College in New York City in 1947. She was married to the famous philosopher and theologian Dietrich von Hildebrand (1889–1977), meeting him at Fordham University in New York, where she was a stu
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“Unwittingly, the feminists acknowledge the superiority of the male sex by wishing to become like men.” 13 likes
“The world in which we now live is a world whose outlook is so distorted that we absolutize what is relative (money-making, power, success) and relativize what is absolute (truth, moral values, and God).” 13 likes
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