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In a sea of pop culture, our value are sinking fast.

Book Review: Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World by Lisa Bloom

Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World is this year’s light bulb moment for women. At a time when “one in five Americans thinks the sun revolves around the earth, and the majority cannot name a single branch of government — but nearly everyone can name at least one Kardashian,” we are in serious trouble.

Lisa Bloom, an attorney and legal analyst on national TV news programs, offers Think as an invitation to recapture the time to imagine, ponder, and think, instead of running on empty, and getting nowhere.

Think takes a hard look at the myths of beauty and the time women waste on seeking perfection in the superficial. She offers current research and reflects on the growing evidence of decline in our values. It’s no wonder the gender gap keeps growing, with America ranked #31 in gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2009 Global Gender Gap Report. Ask yourself why Iceland ranks #1, and 30 other countries do better on this issue than we do.

We haven’t made much progress since the birth of feminism in the 1970s. Bloom says we’ve reached the point where women are getting smarter but, still, their “brains are devalued.”

Our indifference to matters of substance lead to insufficient attention focused on urgent cultural issues in human rights, politics, education, and climate change. These are the important issues in life, not the trivial and materialistic that distract us from critical social issues.

While much of the dumbing-down problem pertains to men as well as women in today’s over-hyped, unfocused time, Bloom’s solid research and statistics urge women to raise their awareness of the issue, and make an effort to change. There is an urgency in her tone as Bloom urges women not to wait until every other responsibility and distraction in life magically disappears before you allow yourself time to think.

Think’s chapter notes are useful for group discussion or for further research on the issues posed.

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