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Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women
In the last two years, the United States—its history, assumptions, prejudices, and vocabulary—have all cracked open. A woman won a state presidential primary contest (quite a few of them, actually) for the first time in this country's history. Less than a year later, a vice-presidential candidate concluded her appearance in a national debate and immediately reached for her ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published September 22nd 2010 by Tantor Media
(first published September 14th 2010)
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Apr 27, 2011 Julie Ehlers rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
I read this book in its release year, 2011, for a book prize committee I was on here in Philadelphia. At the time, I felt like the last thing I wanted to do was relive the unpleasantness of the 2008 U.S. presidential primaries. Imagine my surprise that, in addition to being smart, insightful, and highly informative on both race and gender in electoral politics, this book was also an absolute joy to read--the writing was so wonderful that I didn't want to put it down. Incidentally, all of the oth ...more
Hmm. There is a wide-eyed, enthusiastic engagement here that would be appealing if it wasn't combined with an inclination toward comparing "the year that changed everything for American women" with the long and winding road of feminism and the fight for gender equality powered with a background white noise that smacks of the new girls critiquing the old broads. Maybe it's my greybeard status that has me feeling discomfited, and maybe I'm taking this tome personally, when it's just commentary. An ...more
Here’s the main thing: Rebecca Traister can write her ass off. If anyone was going to be up to the Herculean task of summarizing what went down in the 2008 elections with regard to gender, race, and class it was Traister. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, but I have already read a couple of the behind-the-scenes accounts of the election which were interesting, but ultimately forgettable. Reading Big Girls Don’t Cry brought back the most infuriating moments of the year leading up to the electio ...more
Sep 29, 2012 Kristina rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
“The campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, flawed and unsuccessful though they may have been, the arrival of Michelle Obama on Pennsylvania Avenue, the cultural shifts and uncomfortable exchanges these women prompted, the eye-opening revelations about the progress of women in early twenty-first-century America were in fact the most rejuvenating things to happen to the feminist conversation in many, many decades. They created and nourished a new generation of politically engaged Americans ...more
Apr 27, 2016 Barbara (The Bibliophage) rated it really liked it · review of another edition
Written about the 2008 U.S. elections, this book offers a feminist perspective along with keen political commentary. It's especially meaningful to read as background to the 2016 election so far.
I can't help comparing this to Gail Collins's When Everything Changed. Traister's book is much tighter (it has a narrower focus -- the 2008 presidential election and what it says about American attitudes toward gender and race), much less sprawling (Collins's book is this ungainly sweeping spew through American history since 1950) and much, much more pointed. I loved it and found myself doing the crazed nodding thing -- YES YES YES! OMG SO INSIGHTFUL! -- right to the edge of whiplash territory. ...more
Every presidential election year since I've been old enough enough to vote (absentee Florida ballot in 2000, represent!), I start out in pretty deep denial. An election again? No, it can't be time for that. There's not enough wine and Xanax in the world. If I have to listen to one more blustery, backwards, misogynistic, trigger-happy, etc., etc. But by, oh, September or so, I'll be a basket case, all frayed nerves and is-this-the-year-we'll-finally-flee-for-Canada. So reading Rebecca Traister's ...more
Rebecca Traister's father and I were friends and colleagues when she was a very small child. I have followed her writing in Salon with great eagerness. This book made me very very angry all over again. Hillary was my gal, my hero, my role model (and my age). To go through once again the extraordinary sexism of that presidential campaign was actually quite painful, even in Traister's energetic and vivid style. I don't think she was as good to my generation of feminists as we deserve, but she reco ...more
Jun 09, 2016 Melissa rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
The intersection of politics, media, & gender has never been so interesting! Critically looking at the role gender politics played in the 2008 race, with discussion about the effects on the future of feminism going forward. The author follows the 4 leading ladies of this story through the political storm & beyond, includes discussions with Gloria Steinem, Jessica Valenti, Melissa Harris-Lacewell (now -Perry), Rachel Maddow, Katie Couric, etc.
For the most part, I enjoyed listening to this book about women in the 2008 election. There were a few sections I personally didn't agree w/the author's take, but it gave me a lot of interesting insight. However, I would say I prefer Ms. Traitster's latest book, All The Single Ladies, to this one.
Rebecca Traister writes about politics and gender for Salon, and has contributed to the New York Observer, Elle, the New York Times, Vogue, the Nation and other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband.More about Rebecca Traister...
“What [Sarah] Palin so beguilingly represented ... was a form of female power that was utterly digestible to those who had no intellectual or political use for actual women: feminism without the feminists.”
“By 1996 Nora Ephron was telling a graduating class at Wellesley, “Don’t underestimate how much antagonism there is toward women and how many people wish we could turn the clock back.… Understand: every attack on Hillary Clinton for not knowing her place is an attack on you.”More quotes…