The episode: “Manhunt in Space,” ep. 413
The riff: Straight-facedly said by TV’s Frank as he explains the activities of the “weekly discussion salon” the mads have apparently been hosting.
The explanation: “Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women” was a 1991 non-fiction feminist treatise by Pulitzer Prize-winner Susan Faludi, who wrote for a number of prevalent newspapers, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. In the book, Faludi argued that women of the 1980s and early 1990s were experiencing a “backlash” against feminist gains of the 1970s. Centrally, she claimed the backlash was blaming women’s problems of the 1980s on the adverse effects of feminism itself. In general, it just seems like the kind of book a “weekly discussion salon” might, you know…discuss.
Novelty factor: I don’t think I need to tell you that I’ve never heard of this book before, or Faludi for that matter. In the years that have followed, she’s written several more books on the subject, including “The Terror Dream,” which posited that the 9/11 attacks “reinvigorated in America a climate that is hostile to women.”