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The Female Eunuch (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) Paperback – 15 May 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; (Relaunch) edition (15 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007205015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007205011
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 5.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

‘A dazzling tract, erudite, outrageous, funny.’
Cosmopolitan

‘Brilliantly written, quirky and sensible, full of bile and insight…The best feminist book so far’
New York Times

‘A dazzling combination of erudition, eccentricity and eroticism.’
Newsweek

‘Intelligent, funny and beautifully written’
Vogue

‘Germaine Greer in THE FEMALE EUNUCH converted me to Women’s Lib, as much by her bawdy sense of humour as by the bite of her polemic’ Kenneth Tynan, Observer

‘A fine, continuous flow of angry power…terrific polemical force’ Listener

From the Back Cover

A worldwide bestseller, translated into over twelve languages, ' The Female Eunuch' is a landmark in the history of the women's movement. Drawing liberally from history, literature and popular culture, past and present, Germaine Greer's searing examination of women's oppression is at once an important social commentary and a passionately argued masterpiece of polemic.

"The best feminist book so far . . . a book that knows the distinction between the self and the other, a book that combines the best of masculinity and femininity."
' New York Times'

" The liveliest, most sensible and best book yet on Women's Lib. It has an impressive scholarly thread, but its polemical dash and lusty jokes are constantly entertaining. Required reading."
'Observer'

"An exhilarating, polemical, witty book."
'Guardian'

"A dazzling combination of erudition, eccentricity and eroticism"
'Newsweek'

"brilliantly written, quirky and sensible, full of bile and insight"
'New York Times Book Review'

"Intelligent, funny and beautifully written"
'Vogue'

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book needs to be read in the context of the time in which it was written - late 1960s - early 1970s. Were things different then? You could be forgiven for thinking that not much has changed today. Yes we have anti sex discrimination laws and equal pay laws but have things changed for the better? More married women work outside the home - some of them in better paid jobs than they did then. Married women are treated as individuals by the tax system - whereas their income was treated as belonging to their husbands back in the 1960s and taxed accordingly. In 1964 it was enshrined in law that married women were entitled to keep amounts left over from the housekeeping money. Divorce was easier than it had been and women were generally awarded custody of children - because they were the ones who brought them up anyway - not much has changed as far as that's concerned today.

Full of shrewd comments on life as lived by women, this is an invigorating read. Greer points out how many men hate women and would do without them if they could. She criticises patriarchal society which assumes men have a monopoly of knowledge and are the only people who have the right answer to every problem. But she does not spare women and there are many comments on how women see themselves as victims when some of the answers to their problems are in their own hands. She deplores the concentration by women on their appearance, clothes and make up and castigates the manufacturers who are peddling impossible dreams at extortionate prices. These chapters apply even more to today's woman with the accessibility of plastic surgery and the desire to resemble a Barbie doll. These themes are echoed even more strongly in Nina Power's book - `One Dimensional Woman' published recently.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pamyoola on 18 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
only reading this now and I am 60 - I recognize/remember a lot of what she discusses and boy, we have come a long way. I think all younger women should read it to get an understanding of lucky most of them now are and how much things have changed. Of course that is not to say all is perfect, but the world that faced me as a young woman is quite different from now. Also, it gave me an appreciation of the benefits I came to enjoy in terms of my own expectations that were hard fought for by women a decade older than me .
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48 of 56 people found the following review helpful By I. Losada on 23 July 2007
Format: Paperback
It's important to remember that this book was written in the 1970s when the workplace didn't look the way that it looks now. Women now may complain that they still don't have equal pay for doing equal jobs - but in the 1970s they didn't even expect equal pay. We didn't have girls doing better in schools than boys - it was a world where women genuinely saw themselves as second class citizens and many had a feeling of inferiority to men that was deeply ingrained. Young women leaving university in 2007 have very little trace of this and are aware that a woman's brain is in many ways and in many subjects better for many jobs than a man's is. It isn't that either is better - they are just different.

Germaine Greer wrote a book that influenced her generation and a stunningly written book it is too. She is erudite and full of passion and, much to my surprise - not really anti men at all. It was the status quo that Greer hated - the two up two down slavery that she saw enslaving women. (Wouldn't it be good to have someone whose job is to keep your house clean, bring up your children, have a meal ready when you get home and 'provide' sex whenever you want it. This book needs to be read in that context.. the alarming thing is that so much of what Greer attacks so brilliantly is still around us today. Despite her warnings - in some areas we have made very little progress.

This is a classic - read it. And you may need a dictionary. I did. :-)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jockanory on 19 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an historical document now and rather dated. All the same it should be read by anyone with an interest in feminism and the movement generally
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lees on 29 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've actually been reading this for the past week (a copy from the library) but decided, because it is such an excellent book, to buy my own copy. She wrote this when she was just 30 years old - I only wish that I could have had her insight so young - my whole life would have probably turned a lot easier insofaras as men are concerned. I did actually try and read this book in the 80's but unfortunately was too young to really grasp it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not just an historically significant document but also informative and surprising relevant to the millennial woman. Heartening too, to read something written last century and to realise the progress that has been made towards women's equality, and to see what still need to be accomplished.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Becca James on 10 Aug. 2010
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Although the world and feminism has moved on since 'The Female Eunuch' was first published there is such a wealth of knowledge, experience and information in this book that is timeless. Germaine Greer remains to this day one of the more exciting and interesting feminist writers if for no other reason than she has not chained herself to only being a 'type a' or 'type b' feminist but written in all her eras of writing as herself.

Her chapter in 'The Female Eunuch' on 'Sex' is a sheer joy and pleasure to read ... of course we do now know that female ejaculation is not a myth albeit this discovery is still even in the 21st century open to the odd modesty and curious schizophrenia society, even a hyper sexualised society, enforces, almost without thought, upon the female sexual experience.

A book any contemporary feminist or budding feminist should read with an open mind, critical thought and a sense of humour as Greer's infectious writing sweeps over the reader and fills them with joy, disgust, outrage and again with humour.
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