Ingrid's Reviews > A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue

A Return to Modesty by Wendy Shalit
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's review
Oct 04, 2011

it was ok
Read from August 31 to October 02, 2011

A like-minded individual would love this book and question none of it. But as one of those "feminists" Shalit refers to somewhat derisively in her book, I could not help but notice Shalit's casual tossing of completely unfounded statements into the core of her arguments. She has some interesting solutions to a problem that is in fact all-too real, but her solutions fail to take into consideration 1. historical fact (for example, her oft-repeated assertion that rape, sexual assault, and harassment did NOT happen prior to the Sexual Revolution....which is blatantly false), 2. a perspective other than East Coast white elitist (Shalit seems to not be aware that modest cultures do in fact exist in the United States today, in certain immigrant communities, in certain poor and/or rural communities, in certain places in the Deep South, etc., or for that matter, all around the world), and 3. the hypocrisy of what she proposes (if we were to catapult back to a modest society such as she proposes, Shalit may have been educated, but the likelihood that she would have been allowed to employ herself outside the home, to write and publish as a woman would be decidedly slim). Shalit likes to pick and choose the aspects of modesty that appeal to her: gentlemanly behavior, chastity, conservative dress....but fails to admit that the good also comes with the bad: inequal pay, lack of opportunity, inferiority, lack of rights.... I was intrigued, but ultimately disappointed. It saddens me how many people question absolutely none of her arguments, or the feasibility of her proposals.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by George (new)

George Ingrid,
Astute observations...I find it hard to believe that Shalit can actually make the claims you ascribe to her.
Your perspicacity suggests that you may have taken a Woman's Studies class back in high-school. Can you even remember to those long ago days of yore?

Ingrid Of course I do! Thank you for introducing me to the world of feminist thought!

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