Stephanie Vermeulen, best known for debunking myths about emotional intelligence, does it again in her new book Stitched-up, where she demystifies the complex issues facing women in modern life. In this meticulously researched work Vermeulen answers some important questions about the cause of today's most universal female complaint, exhaustion. Drawing upon a broad range of literature she delves into female self-sacrifice and finds that, although women hold their own in most fields, the idea that a woman's needs go unnoticed and unmet still persists.
According to Vermeulen female self-sacrifice is a scam; it is not behaviour that exists naturally in the make-up of women. She backs this controversial claim by gathering wisdom from the powerful goddesses of our past, inspiration from the early feminists and groundbreaking ideas from modern psychology. For her the reality adds up to generations of women being stitched-up by cultural myths and religious beliefs that span centuries. Today the same common thread underpins a woman's desire for breast implants or Botox, motivates the conservative drive for 'family-values' and creates stumbling blocks that prevent women from supporting one another's accomplishments.
Vermeulen shows how women have progressed in society to the point that we now live in a 'woman's world', but believes that real benefits will only be experienced once females replace self-sacrifice with self-development. By addressing the issues from an emotional, mental, social and spiritual perspective, she reviews the broad picture of women's lives and strides into the 21st century. Shunning the idea of mass bra-burnings, she argues that females collude with a system that causes their own demise and provides fresh viewpoints for women to make individual choices that lead to individual change.
Neither an anti-male tirade nor browbeating psychobabble, Stitched-up offers a balanced view that is equally likely to tread on the toes of both conservative and feminist thinkers. Although a profound work, Vermeulen writes in the chatty, informal style that we came to know in her previous book: EQ: Emotional Intelligence for Everyone. Unlike many other authors who can be rather sombre about the female question, Vermeulen's repartee is sometimes irreverent, sometimes sharply funny and she reinforces points made by interspersing four tongue-in-cheek 'fairer tales' throughout the work. These include Slow Wet and the Seven Dorks, Slenderella, Jane and the Brainstalk and Steeped in Duty.
In South Africa this book is the first non-fiction work on women's issues and is destined to replace international classics because, although comprehensive, it is more succinct and accessible than other academically inclined feminist books. It is a 'must read' for any woman who has ever wondered why her life is about giving – even if at times this means giving-up or giving-in.
About the Author
Stephanie Vermeulen is a graduate of the University of Cape Town and UNISA and while well schooled in formal psychology she acquired her expertise through the hard-knocks school of life. She runs her own business – The Effective Training Corporation – and has, over the past 12 years, become known as one of South Africa's most energetic presenters in training sessions, seminars and conferences. Passionate about this country, she also initiated and runs South Africa's annual National Be Positive Day (launched in 2001). Her website address: http://www.theeqsite.co.za
|Parameters of Book: Book|
|Sub-title:||Who fashions women's lives?|
|Colour:||Black & White|