Sacrificing Our Selves for Love: Why Women Compromise Health and Self-Esteem-- And How to Stop

Jane Wegscheider Hyman, Author, Esther R. Rome, With
Jane Wegscheider Hyman, Author, Esther R. Rome, With Crossing Press $18.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-89594-743-7
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
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Written in cooperation with the Boston Women's Health Book Collective (of The New Our Bodies, Ourselves fame), this treatment of issues such as body image (eating disorders, cosmetic surgery, breast implants), abusive relationships, rape and sexually transmitted diseases will seem unfortunately familiar to anyone who's perused women's magazines over the past decade. The premise is that ""understanding health risks does not mean that we will safeguard our health"" (i.e., women not only have to know how to take care of themselves, they must want to), but more solid advice would be of greater use. For example, rather than saying just that police usually can't intervene in domestic violence cases without evidence of harassment, intimidation or threats, explain what constitutes such evidence and how to go about collecting it. Instead, there is there is still too much emphasis on journal writing, support group-going, self-esteem building and counsel seeking along with self-evident filler (""abusers also lack empathy for their partners"" and ""we are at a disadvantage in heterosexual love relationships because of the long tradition of male dominance"") and unilluminating, if angering, anonymous quotes (one ""woman told of a judge laughing in response to her plea for protection from her batterer""). There's a big difference between women considering an eye lift and a woman in a dangerous, abusive relationship. Women in real trouble need more concrete help. (Mar.)
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