Woman's Inhumanity to Woman by P-IndependentPublish


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									Woman's Inhumanity to Woman
Author: Phyllis Chesler
Table of Contents

Introduction to the 2009 Edition xi
Introduction 1
1. The Animal Within: The Female of the Species 35
2. Indirect Aggression Among Girls and Teenagers 78
3. Woman’s Sexism 124
4. The Mother-Daughter Relationship in Fairy Tale, Myth, and Greek Tragedy 167
5. Some Psychoanalytic Views of the Mother-Daughter Relationship 206
6. The “Good Enough” Mother and Her Persecution of the “Good Enough” Daughter 239
7. Sisters and the Search for Best Friends 288
8. Women in the Workplace 335
9. Women in Groups 390
10. Psychological Ethics 436
Endnotes 492
References 503
Index 537
About the Author 552

Drawing on the most important studies in psychology, human aggression, anthropology, and primatology,
and on hundreds of original interviews conducted over a period of more than 20 years, this groundbreaking
treatise urges women to look within and to consider other women realistically, ethically, and kindly and to
forge bold and compassionate alliances. Without this necessary next step, women will never be liberated.
Detailing how women's aggression may not take the same form as men's, this investigation reveals—
through myths, plays, memoir, theories of revolutionary liberation movements, evolution, psychoanalysis,
and childhood development—that girls and women are indeed aggressive, often indirectly and mainly
toward one another. This fascinating work concludes by showing that women depend upon one another
for emotional intimacy and bonding, and exclusionary and sexist behavior enforces female conformity and
discourages independence and psychological growth.

THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIESMost men are not physically violent. However, the deadliest killers of
other human beings on earth are men, not women. Male viol ence poses a serious threat to human
survival and stability. It is, therefore, the recurring, often glorified, subject of literature, cinema, and
learned treatises. Because male aggression is both so visible and so deadly, it tends to obscure our view
of female violence and aggression , which is more often subtle, less visible, but chronic. Female-female
violence has, erroneously, been deemed unimportant because it is unlikely to result in someone's
immediate death or serious physical injury.Male aggression is spectacular, terrifying. Male soldiers enter
a village and shoot everyone in sight. Male pilots bomb an entire city from a plane. Male soldiers torture,
massacre, and imprison enemy men and systematically rape and gang-rape the enemy's women and
children. Individual men dominate others by torce and through intimidation. Men, not women, are
responsible for ninety percent of the violent crimes in our society. Finally, no more than ten percent of all
living men own and control most of the world's resources, thereby condemning all others to lives of
poverty and struggle. In comparison, female aggression is barely visible. What can mere women do that
is as violent as this?Women ardently collaborate in the maintenance of this culture. They create homes
for such men and socialize children to become-or to marry-similarly successful men. Only the rare
woman resisb doing so.British evolutionary psychologist Anne Campbell, who is now affiliated with
Durham University, and University of Texas psychologists David H. Buss and Joshua Duntley agree that
women sustain and help to reproduce patriarchy, by systematically choosing men with more resources
and by "favor[ing] sons over daughters." Buss and Duntley argue that female "coinvolvement" was crucial
in the creation of patriarchy, since women's evolutionary "preferences [for 'Alpha' mates] thus established
an important set of ground rules for men's intrasexual competition." Buss and Duntley contend that
"neither men nor women are united with members of their own sex," but, rather, in the main compete with
others of their own sex.Indeed the primary targets of women's aggression, hostility, violence, and cruelty
are other women. As most women know, a woman can make life hell, on a moment-by-moment basis, for
any other woman whom she envies, fears, or with whom she must compete for resources. For example,
older women and all-female cliques tend to bully girls and women into submission; cliques shun any
woman whom they view as prettier, smarter, sexually freer, or "different."Female rivalries tend to support,
not disrupt, the status quo. Thus, in order to survive or to improve their own lot, most women, like men,
collude in the subordination of women as a class.In addition to exercising brute economic and physical
force, I believe that women psychologically tame girls and other women into conformity by threatening to
withdraw their considerable capacity for emotional intimacy from any girl or woman whose growth or
change of circumstance threatens the status quo. In a sense, women maternally enchant-then terrorize
or "turn" upon each other. Fairy tales are fraught with just such Fairy Godmothers and Evil Stepmothers,
and should be understood as a history of embattled female relationships and other sudden reversals of
blissful, dyadic fortune.Scientists have only...
Author Bio
Phyllis Chesler
Phyllis Chesler is a professor emerita of psychology and women's studies at City University of New York
and the author of Women and Madness. She lives in New York City.

"A staggeringly thorough study of the cruelties, conscious and unconscious, that females visit upon one

"Fascinating. . . Chesler takes on the sisterhood like Sherman took Atlanta. [Woman's Inhumanity to
Woman] is a provocative take on the nature and behavior of women."

"An important book . . . Woman's Inhumanity to Woman proves that Chesler still has a thing or two to
teach the kids after all."

"Chesler's credentials are impeccable, her explanations thorough, her research well documented. This is
not about men vs. women or women vs. women: lt's about people learning to be fair."

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