Summary of Good and Mad

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  • Controversial
  • Analytical
  • Eloquent


The anger of women has fueled the most radical social changes in American history – abolition, suffrage and the civil rights movement. Feminist author and journalist Rebecca Traister draws on that history as she depicts the coalescing anger of women in reaction to the election of Donald Trump and the ever-widening #MeToo campaign against sexual assault and harassment. Women are angry that they still must fight for social and economic parity. Far from fleeting, this anger has already fueled unprecedented political action by women determined to put their issues at the top of the agenda. Traister explains why anger is both a difficult and a powerful emotion for women, and how it fuels revolutionary change. She provides a fast history lesson, a political primer and a manifesto. The result is a quick, engaging manual for feminists and politics fans. But beware – Traister will leave you “good and mad.”

About the Author

Rebecca Traister, who wrote the bestsellers Big Girls Don’t Cry and All the Single Ladies, is a writer at large for New York Magazine and a National Magazine Award finalist. She’s also written for Elle, The New Republic and Salon.  



Feminist Waves and Antifeminist Backlash

A 1982 crusade by conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly scuttled the 24-word Equal Rights Amendment that would have given women equal protection in the Constitution. Schlafly snuffed out the rage-filled 1970s “second wave” of feminism, and heralded a new era of conservative reactionary politics under Ronald Reagan and the “religious right.” The conservatives sought to dismantle support for poor and middle-class women seeking independent lives, whether they were married or not. The right blamed “feminism” – which it saw as a bad word – for a shortage of marriageable men and for unstable homes.

Pockets of angry protest have erupted since the 1970s. Conservative women played a large part in “Tea Party” protests opposing President Barack Obama’s policies; the billionaire Koch brothers bankrolled much of their supposedly grass-roots activity. Tea Partiers, who advocated traditional gender roles, had nicknames like “patriotic moms on steroids,” while they painted feminists as shrill hysterics. In Congress, Tea Party members undid ...

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