The Social Sex: A History of Female Friendship
From historian and acclaimed feminist author of How the French Invented Love and A History of the Wife comes this rich, multifaceted history of the evolution of female friendship.
In today’s culture, the bonds of female friendship are taken as a given. But only a few centuries ago, the idea of female friendship was completely unacknowledged, even pooh-poohed. Only men, the reasoning went, had the emotional and intellectual depth to develop and sustain these meaningful relationships.
Surveying history, literature, philosophy, religion, and pop culture, acclaimed author and historian Marilyn Yalom and co-author Theresa Donovan Brown demonstrate how women were able to co-opt the public face of friendship throughout the years. Chronicling shifting attitudes toward friendship—both female and male—from the Bible and the Romans to the Enlightenment to the women’s rights movements of the ‘60s up to Sex and the City and Bridesmaids, they reveal how the concept of female friendship has been inextricably linked to the larger social and cultural movements that have defined human history.
Armed with Yalom and Brown as our guides, we delve into the fascinating historical episodes and trends that illuminate the story of friendship between women: the literary salon as the original book club, the emergence of female professions and the working girl, the phenomenon of gossip, the advent of women’s sports, and more.
Lively, informative, and richly detailed, The Social Sex is a revelatory cultural history.
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The Social Sex: A History of Female FriendshipUser Review - Publishers Weekly
Yalom (How the French Invented Love) and Brown digest impressive swaths of literature as they investigate the bonds between historical women, making the bulk of the book a showcase of exemplary pairs ... Read full review
The Social Sex: A History of Female FriendshipUser Review - Book Verdict
With this work, coauthors Yalom (A History of the Wife; A History of the Breast) and Brown (Summitville) promise a history of female friendship, an ambitious project that varies in depth and ... Read full review