RaveThe Rumpus... Doyle’s powerful work does more than celebrate female rage. Instead, it charts the history of how women have been depicted by American culture as victims, sluts, witches, femme fatales, shrew-like wives, and bad mothers. Doyle offers a cultural road map for the way that patriarchal forces have turned women into monsters in our cultural imagination...In doing so, Doyle creates a powerful argument that the only way for women to take back their power is to shatter the monstrous versions of themselves created to constrain women at every life stage, as daughters and wives and mothers ... By highlighting the dichotomy between our cultural fantasies of fear and the actual violence wrought upon women in retaliation, Doyle shows that an awareness of these origins can help women understand the dangers they face when operating outside of patriarchal norms ... Through an impeccably researched analysis of both the film and its cultural impact worldwide, Doyle shows us how a single movie depicting the monstrosity of an adolescent girl actually produced a notable rise in Catholic exorcisms ... In her section on motherhood, Doyle also employs a powerful mix of historical research, literary analysis, and gender criticism ... Ultimately, I felt that Doyle succeeded at creating a fine balance in her writing, walking the tightrope of female outrage, calling out the patriarchy at every turn, and exposing the mechanisms that have created monsters from women throughout the history of Western civilization. And yet, the tone of Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers is upbeat: by understanding the creation of these structures in art, cinema, literature, and cultural norms, the book argues, perhaps we can rise above them, change them, or at the very least, know what we are dealing with ... a triumphant book, one worthy of sitting on the shelf next to—and informing—the many empowering books championing women this year.