“Four stories, five generations of women from 1875 to the present, each a courageous pioneer in her way. Some laws and attitudes change, some don’t, and some have unintended consequences. Poignant stories. In each, women hamstrung by law and custom find allies and ways to work together, even when the only course available is distasteful. A set of clear, first-person accounts that show from the inside how men’s and women’s picture of marriage and relationship can differ. The author’s use of italics to reveal the woman’s inner (unspoken) thoughts is effective. A thought-provoking book.”
“In her novel, Perfect Clarity, Dr. Ruth Rymer shares vivid stories about brave women who refuse to be treated differently based on their sex. To this day, half the world continues to fight for the same rights and privileges that men have always enjoyed in some form. What makes this book so engaging is how the author weaves together women’s stories from a single family through four generations. The freedom to own a bank account, to travel unattended, to make decisions about one’s own body, to marry and divorce freely, to choose a career and expect equal treatment—we must not take these for granted even in the United States. While the legal and societal obstacles facing each generation change through time, and while we see some progress, unfortunately, we as a society have yet to achieve equality. Any woman or anyone who knows a woman will find inspiration in Perfect Clarity.”
In a world of technological advances and conflict, it seems that the only constant in the world is change. What has not changed since 1874, however, is the greatest challenge that women face: misogyny.
Perfect Clarity tells the stories of four generations of young women who dared to challenge the patriarchy. Anna, Gloria, Carin, and Kathleen fight different forms of misogyny as it adapts to different times.
Ruth Rymer presents the difficulties faced by women in a man’s world, generation after generation.
“I was brutally attacked and nearly killed. Your response is that I violated a promise to you?”
“Yes, you were unfaithful to me.”
My blood pressure peaked. I told him to get out of my life.
Then the same sense of freedom flooded me as it had when I left for college.
The divorce rate hovered in the neighborhood of 50 percent . . . I wasn’t willing to take the risk of sandpaper in my life every time my husband and I had an issue. Perhaps I could achieve as happy and marriage as my parents had but it felt like I would have to swim through shark-infested waters to reach that goal.
“How could he simply toss me into the garbage pail like he did?”
“I don’t know, he just did. Right now, it is most important for you to recognize that he and his goals are no more in your interest than yours are in his. It would be a tragedy for you to stay with him.”