Fifty years after Betty Friedan unveiled The Feminine Mystique, relations between men and women in America have never been more dysfunctional. If women are more liberated than ever before, why aren't they happier? In this shocking, funny, and bluntly honest tour of today's gender discontents, Andrea Tantaros, one of Fox News' most popular and outspoken stars, exposes how the rightful feminist pursuit of equality went too far, and how the unintended pitfalls of that power trade have made women (and men!) miserable.
In a covetous quest to attain the power that men had, women were advised to work like men, talk like men, party like men, and have sex like men. There's just one problem: Women aren't men. Instead of feeling happy with their newfound freedoms, females today are tied up in knots, trying to strike a balance between their natural, feminine, and traditional desires and what modern society dictates - and demands - through the commandments of feminism.
Revealing the mass confusion this has caused among both sexes, Tantaros argues that decades of social and economic progress haven't brought women the peace and contentedness they were told they'd gain from their new opportunities. The pressure both to have it all and to put forth the perfectly post-worthy, filtered life for social media and society at large has left women feeling twisted. Meanwhile, in their rightful quest for equality, women have promoted themselves at the expense of their male counterparts, leaving both genders frayed and frustrated.
In this candid and humorous romp through the American cultural landscape, Tantaros reveals how gaining respect in the office - where women earned it - made them stop demanding it where they really wanted it: in their love lives. The impact of this power trade has been felt in every way, from sex to salaries, to dating and marriage, to fertility and female friendships, to the personal details they share with each other. As a result, we've lost the traditional virtues and values that we all want, regardless of our politics: intimacy, authenticity, kindness, respect, discretion, and above all, commitment.
With scathing wit - and insights born of personal experience - Tantaros explores how women have taken guys off the hook in dating (much to their own detriment) and exposes how we've become a nation averse to intimacy and preoccupied with porn, one that has traded kindness for control, intimacy for sexting, and monogamy for polygamy. Sorry romance. Sorry decency and manners. Long talks over the telephone have been supplanted by the "belfie". All this indicates a culture that's devolving, not evolving. And it's only getting worse.
Tied Up in Knots is a no-holds-barred gut check for the sexes and a wake-up call for a society that has decayed - faster than anyone thought possible. It's time to remember what we all really want out of work, love, and life. Only then can we finally begin untying those knots.
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Not What I Thought It Would Be
I thought that this book was going to be a meta-analysis of current research on the impact of feminism on modern women and society, and being a fan of Tantaros on television, I thought that this would be done with a fun twist. Unfortunately for me, the book is something completely different.
What the book is not:
Socially Conservative. Since Tantaros considers herself a conservative, and is on Foxnews, I thought that this would be a socially conservative book, and I think she might considerate it to be one. This is not a socially conservative book. If I did not know which television personality wrote this book while I read it, I would swear it came from an MSNBC liberal. It is definitely rated R and possibly NC17 for language and content. In the book she criticized modern women for their approach to dating and sex (a little to graphic for my taste). She then goes on to advocate for the dating practices of her day. She advocates for meeting guys in a bar, so at least he has to go to the trouble of picking you up before you sleep with him. This is as opposed to how Tinder is used for hookups now. She criticizes the promiscuity of modern women, while advocating for the level of promiscuity that she practiced before entering her current relationship. What about not being promiscuous at all? Do not listen to this book with your kids in the car. She made me blush repeatedly and I was not expecting that from this book.
Well researched. Nearly all of the research in the book is anecdotal from her own life, anecdotes from friends, tv and movie plot points, and pop culture references. There is no original research and very little legitimate secondary research. The book is made up of her opinions.
Well organized. The book feels like a bunch of stories and observations she wanted to share all thrown together without much rhyme or reason.
Original. I cannot think of any key points in this book that I have not heard or read previously.
What the book is:
A dating guide. Make no mistake about it, this is a dating "how to" book. The book is full of advice for women about in dating in today's world. She tells story after story about her own dating history, and takes the position that she used to make a lot of mistakes, but now she has it all figured out with her new guy. After doing 30 seconds of research, I found that her new guy is Dave Navarro, a stereotypical rocker bad boy. She believes she has it all figured out, and all of this wisdom on relationships has lead her to the perfect man in the perfect relationship. The reality is that she is with someone who has been married three times, has severe substance addiction issues, and a documented history of infidelity. Yep, this has happily ever after written all over it. She obviously has it all figured out.
Entertaining. While it was not at all what I expected, it was entertaining. I could not stop listening once I started but it was not because it was a great book. It was ear candy.
Simple. There is no high level thinking in this book. The most disappointing thing about the entire book was that this is a topic that has so much potential. There are questions that need to be answered. Has feminism hurt the family? What has been the impact of feminism on adults who were children when feminism began? What has been the impact of feminism on the workplace, on the economy, and on productivity? The question go on and on, but they are not addressed or answered in this book. However, if you want to know what she thinks about Tinder, don't worry, it seemed like she dedicated half the book to it.
Therapy. She is quite obviously working through some personal issues in her past through writing this book. She has a catchy title to pull in readers, but the bitterness that shines through as she talks about her dating past reveals that there is a lot of pain in her past and this was a vehicle to work through that pain.
- Emilien C. Davis