Beyond the Double Bind

Beyond the Double Bind : Women and Leadership

4.25 (28 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"I can remember, " says lawyer Flo Kennedy, "going to court in pants and the judge remarking that I wasn't properly dressed, that the next time I came to court I should be dressed like a lawyer." It was a moment painfully familiar to countless women: a demand that she conform to a stereotype of feminine dress and behavior - which would also mark her as an intruder, rising above her assigned station (as the saying goes, she dared to "wear the pants" in the courtroom). Kennedy took one look at the judge's robe - essentially "a long black dress gathered at the yoke" - and said, "Judge, if you won't talk about what I'm wearing, I won't talk about what you're wearing." In Beyond the Double Bind, Kathleen Hall Jamieson takes her cue from Kennedy's comeback to argue that the catch-22 that often blocks women from success can be overcome. Sparking her narrative with potent accounts of the many ways women have beaten the double bind that would seem to damn them no matter what they choose to do, Jamieson provides a rousing and emphatic denouncement of victim feminism and the acceptance of inevitable failure. As she explores society's interlaced traps and restrictions, she draws on hundreds of interviews with women from all walks of life to show the ways they cut through them. Kennedy, for example, faced the bind that insists that women cannot be both feminine and competent - and then demands that they be feminine first; she undermined that trap with wry wit. Ruth Bader Ginsberg attacked the same quandary head-on: when she heard that her law-school nickname was "bitch, " she replied, "Better bitch than mouse." Jamieson explores the full range of such double binds (the uterus-brain bind, for example "you can't conceive children and ideas at the same time"; or the assertion, "You are too special to be equal"), offering a roadmap for moving past these barricades to advancement. Unlike other breakthrough feminist writers, she finds grounds for optimism in areas ranging from slshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 283 pages
  • 149.1 x 227.3 x 22.4mm | 448.24g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195115724
  • 9780195115727

Review quote

"Shows up the tripwires in the paths of women leaders for what they are, double binds that can and must be challenged."--Right Honorable Kim Campbell, former Prime Minister of Canada"[Jamieson] makes you want to get in there, on either side of a big, interesting war with lots at stake--a war intelligent people should find worth fighting."--The New York Times Book Review"Lucid...entertaining, and at times shocking."--Kirkus Reviewsshow more

About Jamieson

Kathleen Hall Jamieson is Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Dirty Politics, Packaging the Presidency (winner of the Winans-Wichelns Book Award), and Eloquence in an Electronic Age which won the Speech Communication Association's Golden Anniversary Award.show more

Rating details

28 ratings
4.25 out of 5 stars
5 43% (12)
4 43% (12)
3 11% (3)
2 4% (1)
1 0% (0)
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