What Women Want is a trenchant examination of the struggle for women's equality, and a prescription for what to focus on next in order to ensure maximum success. Feminism today is a movement that lacks leadership, unity, and definition, and it has gotten stuck in a boom and bust cycle when it comes to public opinion and action. Despite significant progress over the last fifty years, equality is still a distant goal in the political, social, and economic spheres. Only by identifying the barriers (both internal and external) that remain, Deborah Rhode argues, can we begin to identify solutions.
A rigorously researched and well-written answer to the glut of gender-related books that have come onto the market recently, What Women Want comprehensively analyzes the challenges the feminist movement faces today. Combining sharp academic analysis and interviews with notable figures such as Sheryl Sandberg, Rhode focuses on five main topics: employment issues such as pay discrimination, work-life balance and the government's pitiful response, the assault on women's reproductive rights and the limits it places on their economic mobility, sexual harassment and violence, and the detrimental effect that the unfashionable label "feminist" can have, especially in attracting young women to the movement. Despite these formidable obstacles, the goals and principles of feminism are widely accepted by the American mainstream, and Rhode, herself a pathbreaker in the fields of law and education, offers effective strategies for redefining and advancing the feminist agenda, thereby creating a movement that truly recognizes, and is responsive to, what all women want.