Tag Archives: Jane C. Woods

Dueling Reviews of No Excuses: Which Do You Think Has It Right?

Within hours of one another, two Google alerts bearing reviews of No Excuses hit my inbox. One reviewer lauded it, and the other skewered it.

“That’s what makes horse races,” I shrugged, recalling my father’s way of telling me differences of opinion are to be expected.

Then I reread both articles. And I realized that their diametrically different worldviews of women’s relationship with power reflect precisely the historic crossroads moment that had inspired me to write the book in the first place.

I was excited when asked to be interviewed for the Feminist Review, now known as Elevate Difference, by lawyer and global crusader to eliminate violence against women. Dianne Post and I originally met decades ago, because of our respective Arizona residency and involvement in women’s social justice issues. I recalled her as a bit of a contrarian but a passionate advocate for women. I was delighted to reconnect with her–so much so that after we spoke, I invited her to address my Arizona State University class on “Women, Power, and Leadership.”

During the interview, Post challenged my thesis that while some external structural barriers remain, women in the U. S. are at a moment in history where doors are open and it’s up to us to walk ourselves through them; that to embrace our power to do so, we must—and are able to–consciously overcome the remaining barriers, many of which are culturally learned, internalized ones.

So I wasn’t surprised when her acknowledged bias turned up in the review—understandably, seeing women as victims is an occupational hazard. And it’s a perspective that was accurate during the heady days of second wave feminist revolution, in which we both participated. Forty years ago, there were so many unjust laws to change and policy barriers to break.

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Copyright 2010 Gloria Feldt