The Feminization of American Culture
by Ann Douglas
The Feminization of American Culture is a significant study of the domination of late nineteenth-century American culture by a feminine ethic and ... Show synopsis The Feminization of American Culture is a significant study of the domination of late nineteenth-century American culture by a feminine ethic and spirit. As religion lost its hold on the public mind, clergymen and educated women, powerless in the male-dominated industrial society, banded together to have a profound effect on the only areas still open to their influence - the arts and literature. Ann Douglas explores their impact on the best-selling novels and magazines of the day to show how women exploited their feminine image and idealized the very qualities that kept them powerless: timidity, piety, narcissism, and a disdain for competition. The result was a far-reaching social preoccupation with banal melodrama which failed to address the real issues of the day. This is a major, polemical rethinking of the American past which seeks to explain values prevalent in today's popular culture by tracing them back to their roots in Victorian times.