Get to Work: A Manifesto for the Women of the World

By Linda Hirshman

I did read this whole book, but not extraordinarily closely because I was reviewing it for–guess what?–work. It’s definitely got a tone, and it definitely provides examples to support the claims, but you know what? It’s all anecdote and outrage. Far too many examples come from the blogosphere, and (frankly) the worst kind of group blogging sites there could possibly be. You know those sites that choose an experience a bunch of people have and invite all the yahoos in the world to blog there? Places along the lines of blog.sheltielovers.com? (I just made that up.) These are generic comments from generic people on generic topics. I don’t think that quoting people from “bloggingbaby.com” and “mothersmovement.org” counts as research. Nor does reading the engagement pages of the New York Times.

But hell. It’s a manifesto. Whatever. I guess the term manifesto means you get to set your own standards for making your own points. But it’s so not even relevant to the “women of the world” that it drops into the realm of silly. I mean, she mentions some women on welfare in England in 1979. Just about everyone else ruining their lives is some law-degree-holding once-up-and-coming female now reduced to fighting about the dishwasher.

It’s also silly to make up the word “workingwomen,” as if “working women” was somehow unclear or misrepresentative of women who work. Hirshman could really have made some interesting, substantial points but she wrote a fairly forgettable book instead.

So I formed enough of an opinion of the book to blog about, but I really don’t find any of its content worth discussing at length as presented. I mean, yeah, it’s an interesting topic and it may even be true, but how can you even use this book as a starting point? It is empty of content and full of complaint. Please note that I’m not criticizing the message, or the relevance, or the audience, or even the bloggers. I’m just ripping on the book.

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