Women and Competition
By Leora Tanenbaum
(Seven Stories Press, Hardcover, 9781583225202, 336pp.)
Publication Date: September 3, 2002
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Catfight: Women and Competition is Leora Tanenbaum's dissection of the gender war waged among women. Tanenbaum meticulously analyzes the roots of destructive competitiveness among women, asserting that "catfights" thrive because, despite women's many gains, American women are conditioned to regard each other as adversaries rather than allies. She investigates the arenas-from diets to dating, from the boardroom to the delivery room- in which American women are apt to compare their lives with the lives of others in a tacit contest over who is the "better" woman, a contest in which no one wins.
Throughout Catfight, Leora Tanenbaum puts her own life experiences under the lens of scrutiny. As a writer, a friend, a mother, a wife, and a daughter, she analyzes her own insecurities and background and how these influence her relations with other women. With the sociologist's perspective of a Barbara Ehrenreich and the feminist outrage of a Gloria Steinem, Tanenbaum demythologizes the age-old "catfight."
LEORA TANENBAUM writes about women and girls and the unique problems they face. She is the author of Slut! Growing Up Female with a Bad Reputation, Catfight: Rivalries Among Women—From Diets to Dating, From the Boardroom to the Delivery Room, Bad Shoes and the Women Who Love Them, and Taking Back God: American Women Rising Up for Religious Equality. She lives in New York City.