BIG SISTER: How Extreme Feminism Has Betrayed the Fight for Sexual Equality

Neil Boyd, Author, Neil Boyd, Author . Greystone $15 (224p) ISBN 978-1-55365-001-0

Boyd, a professor of criminology at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, claims that radical feminism—as championed by Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon—has a pervasive influence in legal rulings on sexual harassment, sexual assault and domestic violence in the United States and Canada. Opening with an attack on radical feminism's intolerance of pornography, Boyd emphasizes these feminists' purported hostility toward men and heterosexual sex. In a rhetorical fashion designed to highlight the large sums awarded to victims, Boyd catalogues a series of sexual harassment rulings, pointing out their dubious grounds. Because in civil suits sexual harassment doesn't have to be proven beyond reasonable doubt and because all forms of evidence can be used, including hearsay, Boyd believes that courts are rarely able to distinguish between what is merely "annoying" and what is "actionable." In further chapters on sexual assault and domestic violence, Boyd contends with Susan Faludi's statistical assertions about the victimization of women. But Boyd arguably exaggerates the influence of radical feminism and overlooks possible cultural reasons for some of the outcomes of the cases he cites. He also describes each case in a highly simplified fashion. For all its apparent clarity, this title is far from original and hardly thought provoking. Agent, Dean Cook. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/14/2004
Release date: 06/01/2004
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