"As it turns out, social scientists have established only one fact about single women's mental health: employment improves it." -- Susan Faludi
Susan C. Faludi (born April 18, 1959) is an American journalist and author. She won a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism in 1991, for a report on the leveraged buy-out of Safeway Stores, Inc., a report that the Pulitzer Prize committee thought showed the "human costs of high finance".
"Divorced men are more likely to meet their car payments than their child support obligations.""Feminism's agenda is basic: It asks that women not be forced to choose between public justice and private happiness."
Faludi was born to a Jewish family in Queens, New York in 1959 and grew up in Yorktown Heights, New York. Her mother was a homemaker and journalist and is a long-time New York University student. Her father is a photographer who had emigrated from Hungary, a survivor of the Holocaust. She graduated from Harvard University in 1981, where she wrote for The Harvard Crimson, and became a journalist, writing for The New York Times, Miami Herald, Atlanta Journal Constitution, San Jose Mercury News, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. Throughout the eighties she wrote several articles on feminism and the apparent resistance to the movement. Seeing a pattern emerge, Faludi began to write Backlash, which was released in late 1991. She lives with fellow author Russ Rymer.
Faludi's 1991 book The Undeclared War Against American Women argued that the 1980s saw a backlash against feminism, especially due to the spread of negative stereotypes against career-minded women. Faludi asserted that many who argue "a woman's place is in the home, looking after the kids" are hypocrites, since they have wives who are working mothers or, as women, they are themselves working mothers. This work won her the National Book Critics Circle Award for general nonfiction in 1991.
In her 1999 book The Betrayal of the American Man Faludi analyzes the state of the American man. Faludi argues that while many of those in power are men, most individual men have little power. American men have been brought up to be strong, support their families and work hard. But many men who followed this now find themselves underpaid or unemployed, disillusioned and abandoned by their wives. Changes in American society have affected both men and women, Faludi concludes, and it is wrong to blame individual men for class differences, or for plain differences in individual luck and ability, that they did not cause and from which men and women suffer alike.
In The Terror Dream Faludi analyzes the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in light of prior American experience going back to insecurity on the historical American frontier such as in Metacom's Rebellion. Faludi argues that 9/11 reinvigorated in America a climate that is hostile to women. Women are viewed as weak and best suited to playing support roles for the men who protect them from attack. The book was called a "tendentious, self-important, sloppily reasoned work that gives feminism a bad name" by the New York Times principal book reviewer Michiko Kakutani. Sarah Churchwell in the Guardian says, "Ultimately Faludi is guilty of her own exaggerations and mythmaking, strong-arming her argument into submission."
Faludi has rejected the claim advanced by critics that there is a "rigid, monolithic feminist orthodoxy", noting in response that she has disagreed with Gloria Steinem about pornography and Naomi Wolf about abortion.
Like Gloria Steinem and Camille Paglia, Faludi has criticized the obscurantism prevalent in academic feminist theorizing, saying, "There's this sort of narrowing specialization and use of coded, elitist language of deconstruction or New Historicism or whatever they're calling it these days, which is to my mind impenetrable and not particularly useful." She has also characterized "academic feminism's love affair with deconstructionism" as "toothless", and warned that it "distract[s] from constructive engagement with the problems of the public world".