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Toward a New Psychology of Women

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In the twenty years since its publication, this best-selling classic (which has sold more than 200,000 copies) has become famous for its groundbreaking demonstration of how sexual stereotypes restrict men's and women's psychological development. Toward a New Psychology of Women revolutionized concepts of strength and weakness, dependency and autonomy, emotion, success, and In the twenty years since its publication, this best-selling classic (which has sold more than 200,000 copies) has become famous for its groundbreaking demonstration of how sexual stereotypes restrict men's and women's psychological development. Toward a New Psychology of Women revolutionized concepts of strength and weakness, dependency and autonomy, emotion, success, and power.


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In the twenty years since its publication, this best-selling classic (which has sold more than 200,000 copies) has become famous for its groundbreaking demonstration of how sexual stereotypes restrict men's and women's psychological development. Toward a New Psychology of Women revolutionized concepts of strength and weakness, dependency and autonomy, emotion, success, and In the twenty years since its publication, this best-selling classic (which has sold more than 200,000 copies) has become famous for its groundbreaking demonstration of how sexual stereotypes restrict men's and women's psychological development. Toward a New Psychology of Women revolutionized concepts of strength and weakness, dependency and autonomy, emotion, success, and power.

30 review for Toward a New Psychology of Women

  1. 5 out of 5

    Zsa Zsa

    This is my second book by Jean Baker Miller and I was gonna give it four because it seemed too short, I wanted her to talk more about everything. That's how selfish I am. She explains all with examples and suggests solutions when she can but apparently I can't have enough. I suggest this to all interested in other modes of life, one better than we are already suffering in because it's just too damn destructive, suppressive, inflexible, male dominant, inhumane and unwomanly. This is my second book by Jean Baker Miller and I was gonna give it four because it seemed too short, I wanted her to talk more about everything. That's how selfish I am. She explains all with examples and suggests solutions when she can but apparently I can't have enough. I suggest this to all interested in other modes of life, one better than we are already suffering in because it's just too damn destructive, suppressive, inflexible, male dominant, inhumane and unwomanly.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sally Duros

    This is a brilliant and ground-breaking book, with ideas that will always be fresh and true. It inspired me to write the following essay. Women whistle in conflict and cause growth Posted on January 23, 2003 By Sally Duros Originally published Sally’s World, January 10, 2003 http://www.sallyduros.com/women-whist... Did you see that TIME Magazine chose three women as their persons of the year? Sharing the honor are Cynthia Cooper of Worldcom, Coleen Rowley of the FBI and Sherron Watkins of Enron. On it This is a brilliant and ground-breaking book, with ideas that will always be fresh and true. It inspired me to write the following essay. Women whistle in conflict and cause growth Posted on January 23, 2003 By Sally Duros Originally published Sally’s World, January 10, 2003 http://www.sallyduros.com/women-whist... Did you see that TIME Magazine chose three women as their persons of the year? Sharing the honor are Cynthia Cooper of Worldcom, Coleen Rowley of the FBI and Sherron Watkins of Enron. On its cover TIME dubbed them “The Whitleblowers.” In the photo, the three women look at the camera straight on, stern-faced, arms crossed, silhouettes dramatically lit, their hair framing their faces like haloes. They look annoyed, a bit like moms who’ve caught their 10-year olds throwing firecrackers at each other in the basement. The photo portrait of this triumvirate doesn’t exactly fit the formula of what we think of as “out of the box” thinkers, but that is precisely what they are. To think out of the box is to be truly radical. It’s not simply to zig when you see a sign that says “zag,” but to blaze with a light that signals a whole new direction. It’s a risk and it’s a signal of what’s to come. And in stepping out of the box, what did these three expose? Conflict, pure and simple. The conflict between what their organizations said they were doing and what they were REALLY doing. I understand why TIME called them whistleblowers, but the term can be seen as, well, negative. It brings to mind other words like snitch and disgruntled. None of these women went to the press. The press went to them when their internal memos were leaked. None of them had an ax to grind. They all loved their jobs and believed in their organizations. As TIME says in its report, they are more like “the truest of the true believers.” If not whistleblowers, then what to call them? These three “Persons of the Year” wriggled just as uncomfortably with being called heroes or role models. Here’s a proposal: Let’s call them a harbinger. And here’s why. Like the first robins of spring, our “Persons of the Year” are a signal of new growth to come in the cultures of our organizations. If you read the TIME reports about what they did and why they did it, you will see that they were motivated by a desire to help their organizations to succeed and grow. If this succeed and grow motivation sounds like a “chick” thing to you, well it has for a long time considered to be so. But since these women are a harbinger, it won’t be a “chick” thing for long. The fact that they stood up could be a sign of an opening in our business organizations of benefit to all of us – men and women and future generations of employees. If we look beyond the headlines and read the subtext, this story is about how people – men and women alike – are driven to connect with each other in mutually enhancing relationships – inside and outside of organization. It’s an opening that’s been a long time coming and was effectively advanced by Jean Baker Miller in her book, Toward a New Psychology of Women. Penned in 1976 at a time of dramatic change for women, this work is, in my layperson’s opinion, a work of remarkable clarity and brilliance. Baker-Miller recognized that, socially, women through their activities carry human essentials that are not valued. Of these, the most important woman’s life activity is participating in growth fostering relationships – the process of acting in relationship with another person so that person can develop and grow. This is the everyday stuff of rising children, and it is often described as nurturing or mothering. But these are gender-based words that negate the fact that all people – men and women alike -want to participate in growth-fostering relationships. Baker-Miller and her colleagues call this mutual psychological development and they say that it is essential to all of life and functioning. So where do our whistleblowers/harbingers fit into this? These three were so driven to foster growth within their organizations that they risked the conflict to make the growth happen. Because women are usually subordinates, they do not actively engage in conflict with their dominants – their bosses. When the conflict is forced underground, it becomes covert, distorted and saturated with “destructive force.” But conflict doesn’t have to be that way, and by it’s nature it is not. Conflict is actually good for us. Entered into with integrity, respect, confidence and hope, conflict is the source of all growth. “The infant would never grow if it interacted with a mirror image of itself,” Baker-Miller writes. “Growth requires engagement with difference and with people embodying the difference.” 28 years ago in her book, Baker-Miller called on women to reclaim conflict. That is exactly what the ladies of the harbinger have done. Their actions show that we have learned at least that much – that some conflict is necessary if we are to grow. Twenty years ago, these three would have had neither the position nor the means to even ponder a conflict. The fact that they stepped forward is a very good sign. It’s not the end of the road but a beginning. For a long time, many of us have questioned the values of our institutions. We have looked for evolution to a more responsive organization that is more tolerant of authenticity. There’s been a lot of dissatisfaction but few guideposts to the next destination. Many of us have wondered how we have gotten into this mess and how we will get out of it. “One adopts measures in keeping with his past training–and the very soundness of this training may lead him to adopt the wrong measures. People may be unfitted by being fit in an unfit fitness,” said the noted theorist of rhetoric, Kenneth Burke, who Baker-Miller quotes in her book. That’s good for a giggle and it’s also true. Our three harbingers have pushed back against the “unfit fitness.” With a little luck, they have cleared a path and planted a tiny seed for a new type of organization, one that is geared toward engendering authenticity and relationships of mutual growth. And one that will allow us to have a good, clean fight when we need to. Toward a New Psychology of WomenJean Baker Miller

  3. 5 out of 5

    Laura-leigh

    Still a must-read in 2019.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chalice

    Eye-opening and not what I expected. I may be female, but before reading this book I never identified as feminist because it felt too aggressive and direct to me. But Jean Baker-Miller illustrated concepts and ideas that relate to all types of people. She writes with compassion to both genders. The book is a bit outdated and controversial, but taking into account the time period it was written, it's still extremely applicable in our everyday experiences today. This is an essential book for anyon Eye-opening and not what I expected. I may be female, but before reading this book I never identified as feminist because it felt too aggressive and direct to me. But Jean Baker-Miller illustrated concepts and ideas that relate to all types of people. She writes with compassion to both genders. The book is a bit outdated and controversial, but taking into account the time period it was written, it's still extremely applicable in our everyday experiences today. This is an essential book for anyone that wants to become more aware of the things we all see but don't notice. And definitely essential for mental health professionals.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    It's simplistic, problematic, heteronormative, dated--and absolutely necessary. I genuinely believe that this should be required reading in schools. No, it's not perfect. Be prepared for fallacious reasoning, nuances glossed over for the sake of brevity, unfortunate wordings of controversial ideas, disclaimers used too sparingly, and so on. But the book's logic is both intellectually gratifying and ethically sound. Miller inspires profound yet no-nonsense compassion toward men and women alike, a It's simplistic, problematic, heteronormative, dated--and absolutely necessary. I genuinely believe that this should be required reading in schools. No, it's not perfect. Be prepared for fallacious reasoning, nuances glossed over for the sake of brevity, unfortunate wordings of controversial ideas, disclaimers used too sparingly, and so on. But the book's logic is both intellectually gratifying and ethically sound. Miller inspires profound yet no-nonsense compassion toward men and women alike, and I can no longer imagine living without the insights she provides. Really.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    This is a basic, simply written text that explores the psychology of women from a feminist perspective. This book was revolutionary at the time it was written, undermining many of the assumptions held about women's psychology since the studies of Freud, and elucidating the factors that the oppression of women has had on women's behavior. This is a basic, simply written text that explores the psychology of women from a feminist perspective. This book was revolutionary at the time it was written, undermining many of the assumptions held about women's psychology since the studies of Freud, and elucidating the factors that the oppression of women has had on women's behavior.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    this book is about the psychology of the oppressed: it isn't 'only about women'. the author taught at Wellesley and Harvard, a brilliant woman. this book is about the psychology of the oppressed: it isn't 'only about women'. the author taught at Wellesley and Harvard, a brilliant woman.

  8. 5 out of 5

    mis

    Would like to see more race and class. Still an interesting book, especially the parts about ties to others and cooperation.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mary Lynne

    Short, simple, amazing and so important!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Holly Wood

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

  11. 5 out of 5

    April

    My 4-star review is based on the impact this book must have had in the 70's when it was first written. In today's times it feels jarring to read so many broad generalizations and blanket definitions about who is a woman, while remaining completely silent on race (Sojourner Truth asked 'ain't I a woman?' in 1851) or queerness. However, still powerful is the critical re-framing of freudian psychoanalysis as the psychology of patriarchy and perhaps of oppression itself. Whether or not collaboration My 4-star review is based on the impact this book must have had in the 70's when it was first written. In today's times it feels jarring to read so many broad generalizations and blanket definitions about who is a woman, while remaining completely silent on race (Sojourner Truth asked 'ain't I a woman?' in 1851) or queerness. However, still powerful is the critical re-framing of freudian psychoanalysis as the psychology of patriarchy and perhaps of oppression itself. Whether or not collaboration and the need for connection with others are "female" or "woman's" natural skills/strengths, it seems apparent today that these are the strengths of any oppressed group. All in all, I still found it helpful to read such generalizations about women, because they were and are still beliefs throughout the world, even in places that feel that women and men are equal.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Abdullah

    i think it's not the problem of women only , it's the problem of men as well ? actually , it's the problem of human being ? alot of people don't understand themselves , leave alone others ? ! therefore , we need a new book ' toward a new psychology of human ? i think it's not the problem of women only , it's the problem of men as well ? actually , it's the problem of human being ? alot of people don't understand themselves , leave alone others ? ! therefore , we need a new book ' toward a new psychology of human ?

  13. 5 out of 5

    Angel Gonzalez

    This is a well written essay full of wisdom. Jean Baker Miller was very perceptive. Baker Miller taught us that to be incarnated is to live in constant conflict. We are invited to make that inevitable conflict worthwhile.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    The most influential book I’ve read all year. No exceptions.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    Somewhat outdated in the way that Feminine Mystique is outdated, but sadly not outdated enough. Sigh. "Because our image of human possibilities is built on what men have done and what men have said is possible, we have not been able to conceive of more than "man" as so far defined. We are left believing that while many people [read: many women] have impulses that are generous, kind, and responsive to other human beings, at bottom, they are selfish, self-seeking, and out for themselves... We might Somewhat outdated in the way that Feminine Mystique is outdated, but sadly not outdated enough. Sigh. "Because our image of human possibilities is built on what men have done and what men have said is possible, we have not been able to conceive of more than "man" as so far defined. We are left believing that while many people [read: many women] have impulses that are generous, kind, and responsive to other human beings, at bottom, they are selfish, self-seeking, and out for themselves... We might say that one of the major issues before us as a human community is the question of how to create a way of life that includes serving others without being subservient... As suggested at the outset, women today have a highly developed basis for this social advance." (p. 71) Good stuff. The author articulates some major issues for female and male dissatisfaction with the dominant-passive structure that exists. She suggests that moving beyond it would not only extend the limits of social possibilities by including female strengths and creativity, but would also allow men to become more whole people, as they would incorporate these strengths into their psyches as well.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Geraldine

    Written in 1976 and updated in the 80s this book is still relevant for people wanting to address/change for the better expectations of gender roles individually and at a societal level. She argues for a new co-operative approach. I think many people today would find it a helpful book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carla

    ordering...thank you Randy

  18. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    Not only groundbreaking for its time, this groundbreaking meditation on women's self in society is a must read for anyone interested in working with girls and women. Not only groundbreaking for its time, this groundbreaking meditation on women's self in society is a must read for anyone interested in working with girls and women.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Willa

    Aaargh!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nameh dah

    Una exigencia de último minuto que se tornó necesidad.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Alicata

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Lockett

  23. 4 out of 5

    Letecia

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michele O'Brien

  25. 5 out of 5

    Loren

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shea

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eloy Bazile

  28. 4 out of 5

    Carole

  29. 5 out of 5

    Abigail Allison

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laurie MacK

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