Slaying the mermaid: women and the culture of sacrifice

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Why do so many women feel obliged to put other people's needs first, even when they don't want to? The self-sacrificing impulse comes from women's history, not their nature, says Stephanie Golden.

Drawing on interviews with experts and a diverse group of women, plus extensive scholarship, Golden traces the historical, cultural, and mythic factors that gave women the responsibility to sacrifice and suffer for the benefit of our entire society. "Slaying the Mermaid" (a title inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid, the ultimate self-sacrificing woman) illuminates common female experiences: the belief that being a "good mother" means endless self-sacrifice; romance, the surrender of a woman's very being to an ideal embodied in a powerful man; on-the-job "enabling" that makes the boss look good while undermining a woman's own career; the obsession with weight, which makes a virtue of self-denial.

Golden analyzes the psychological effects of the self-sacrifice mandate, then expands this theme beyond individual experience to its broader social meanings.

She helps women distinguish self-destructive from positive, constructive forms of sacrifice, so they can reclaim the original meaning of sacrifice as an act that both transforms and empowers.

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ISBN:
9780517708125
9781458149831
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID c3a7e09d-5539-5bfe-a53e-2df1a60322d0
Grouping Title slaying the mermaid women and the culture of sacrifice
Grouping Author golden stephanie
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-09-17 22:59:17PM
Last Indexed 2018-09-18 00:11:13AM

Solr Details

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author Golden, Stephanie.
author_display Golden, Stephanie
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collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog East - Adult Non-Fiction
display_description

Why do so many women feel obliged to put other people's needs first, even when they don't want to? The self-sacrificing impulse comes from women's history, not their nature, says Stephanie Golden.

Drawing on interviews with experts and a diverse group of women, plus extensive scholarship, Golden traces the historical, cultural, and mythic factors that gave women the responsibility to sacrifice and suffer for the benefit of our entire society. "Slaying the Mermaid" (a title inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid, the ultimate self-sacrificing woman) illuminates common female experiences: the belief that being a "good mother" means endless self-sacrifice; romance, the surrender of a woman's very being to an ideal embodied in a powerful man; on-the-job "enabling" that makes the boss look good while undermining a woman's own career; the obsession with weight, which makes a virtue of self-denial.

Golden analyzes the psychological effects of the self-sacrifice mandate, then expands this theme beyond individual experience to its broader social meanings.

She helps women distinguish self-destructive from positive, constructive forms of sacrifice, so they can reclaim the original meaning of sacrifice as an act that both transforms and empowers.

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literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog 155.633 G61s
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
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primary_isbn 9780517708125
publishDate 1998, 2011
record_details ils:CARL0000103664|Book|Books|1st ed.|English|Harmony Books,|c1998.|viii, 323 p. ; 25 cm., overdrive:a1c97bb5-7e28-4616-aa42-afd968afc520|eBook|eBook||English|Stephanie Golden|2011|
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subject_facet Self-sacrifice, Women -- Psychology, Women -- Religious life
title_display Slaying the mermaid : women and the culture of sacrifice
title_full Slaying the Mermaid Women and the Culture of Sacrifice, Slaying the mermaid : women and the culture of sacrifice / Stephanie Golden
title_short Slaying the mermaid :
title_sub women and the culture of sacrifice
topic_facet Family & Relationships, Nonfiction, Psychology, Religious life, Self-Improvement, Self-sacrifice, Women