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The Privilege of Being a Woman
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The Privilege of Being a Woman

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  319 Ratings  ·  36 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.   ...more
Paperback, 118 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Ignatius Press (first published March 21st 2002)
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Apr 21, 2010 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 09, 2010 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
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Emily Dobbs
May 18, 2008 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 28, 2010 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.
Lacey Louwagie
Aug 14, 2013 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
Dec 03, 2011 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
Oct 15, 2011 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
Dec 15, 2011 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 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.
Anna Little
Sep 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
I felt like this book didn't teach me anything new from beginning to end. It gave no difference between man and women besides character and personality traits which are not differences, because sensitivity, courage, strength, and weakness are not inherently masculine or feminine traits they are human ones.
Jan 01, 2013 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.
Sarah O'connor
Jul 16, 2009 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.
Joy Schultz
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is an odd read, in that I agree with all of AvH's conclusions, but am frustrated by the arguments she makes to arrive at them. It's beyond preaching-to-the-converted; it's an argument that only the converted can follow.
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.
Aug 04, 2012 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.
Apr 16, 2008 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 20, 2007 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.
Kim Luisi
Will have to re-read it to refresh my memory
Rebekah W.
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was largely responsible for my conversion from feminism.
It is small, but it is a masterpiece.
Jun 24, 2012 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.
Nykole Lee
May 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Book that every woman should read!
May 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: catholic
Must read for all women
Theresa Thomas
Feb 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, excellent little book. :)
Jan 27, 2009 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.
Feb 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Every women - Catholic or otherwise - needs to read this book!
Clare Cannon
Sep 29, 2011 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.
Amy Knack
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's a good book overall. I disagree with some of her theology (e.g. the soul and body being created separately), and I don't buy some of her arguments. Still she does a great job of discussing the sacramental nature of femininity and maternity. Would recommend.
Laura P.
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Many good and beautiful points were made in this book, but it wasn't as incredible as I thought it would be...
Tainara Campanini
Jan 10, 2016 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
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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
More about Alice von Hildebrand...

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“Unwittingly, the feminists acknowledge the superiority of the male sex by wishing to become like men.” 17 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).” 14 likes
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