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Shmuley Boteach, the social commentator and outspoken relationship guru, shares his grave concerns about our society's growing contempt for women. Turn on the television: Reality TV shows such as The Bachelor, For Love or Money, and Average Joe boost their ratings by showing attractive women in competition for one man, one man's money, or both. On a "quest for true love," these women quickly devolve into a pit of vipers-and millions of Americans tune in each week for more. During commercial breaks, women are objectified to sell beer, cars, and every other product under the sun. Flip on the radio: Women are bitches, hos, and gold diggers, at least if you listen to the rap lyrics pumping out into our mass consciousness. And female pop stars like Britney and Madonna, says Boteach, have pushed the envelope past provocative and into the downright pornographic. 'Tween girls across the country follow their lead, and standards for how women should be treated plummet.
Perhaps one of the most troubling aspects of this trend, he says, is women's complicity in their own degradation. Either they've become resigned to base stereotypes, or worse, they've bought into these mass market values (hence the deluge of shows like The Swan and Extreme Makeover, on which female contestants insist they need a new nose, teeth, or boobs to feel a positive sense of self-esteem). "There are strong consequences," writes Boteach, "in a world where men have no respect forwomen and women have no respect for themselves."
Greedy gold diggers, brainless bimbos, publicity prostitutes, and backstabbing bitches-are these the stereotypes we want our sons and daughters bombarded by as they grow up? Hating Women offers a vision of how we can correct this downward spiral-along with a strong argument for why we absolutely must.
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