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The Equality Illusion: The Truth about Women and Men Today Paperback – 3 Mar 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (3 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571246273
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571246274
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'A dose of feminist commonsense.' --Guardian

'Banyard's focus on action is inspiring ... Read it. Share it. Give it to your mum, your daughter, your son, your brother, your sister, your dad.' --Irish Times

'I love this book! Name-calling, finger-pointing and factually fascinating, it seems set to throw a giant spanner into the plans of man-pleasers, woman-haters and other assorted sad-sack seat-sniffers who put around the lie that feminism is no longer needed.' --Julie Burchill

'Passionate, polemical, racy prose and a global perspective make the book useful as introductory reading to debates on gender inequality.' --Times Higher Education Supplement

'I love this book! Name-calling, finger-pointing and factually fascinating, it seems set to throw a giant spanner into the plans of man-pleasers, woman-haters and other assorted sad-sack seat-sniffers who put around the lie that feminism is no longer needed.' --Julie Burchill

Book Description

A passionate and urgent new voice that will reclaim feminism for a new generation.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arranged in the form of progress through a typical day - the book starts with appearance and eating disorders. Anorexia and Bulimia are primarily women's diseases and over 90% of sufferers are women. Even young girls are expected to go to school wearing makeup and with their hair done properly and to diet until their bodies conform to the generally accepted ideas of beauty. For women a great deal of time must be spent ensuring they are fit to face the world. Appearances are all important and women will be judged on them throughout the day. Unlike men they can't just shower and throw on a few garments.

The book highlights the way women are still regarded as bodies first and foremost rather than people. Women are judged on what they look like, what they wear and how they behave rather than being judged on their capabilities. The author raises some of the same questions as Natasha Walter in 'Living Dolls'. Is it really empowering to take up a career in the sex industry? The women the author talks to show clearly that being a lap dancer is not glamorous or even very well paid and that most women involved do it because they have been unable to find any other work which fits in with their other commitments.

At work or school women and girls run the risk of being harassed and criticised for their appearance. I was horrified to read about the schoolgirls who suffer sexual abuse - both physical and verbal. Even if they complain they are just told `Boys will be boys'; which is hardly a constructive attitude. At work similar things happen and women are rarely judged on their ability to get the job done. Women are still in a minority in Parliament and in the top 100 companies.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. R. Stanbridge on 25 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback
It is very difficult to enlarge or improve on the review of Damaskcat who provides a useful detail of the books contents. This book is very depressing, particularly as I realise that its synopsis of Women & Men today is shamefully true and while in some areas life is easier for women and their opportunities greater than earlier generations (women drivers, accountants, lawyers, trades women etc.) we are easily deluded into thinking that everything is OK now. But we need to think and act again and Kat Banyard and other authors like Natasha Walter have exposed a very ugly world and has put us back to the drawing board when it comes to working out anew how to respond. Part 2 of the book offers many ideas here, but I am not sure that activism alone is sufficient - there has to be major inner changes in peoples understanding and views of fellow human beings. This must be possible (I cannot hold the defeatist attitude of Ulrome in his comments on Damaskcat's review) and we owe a lot to those like Kat who are dedicated to this task.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Molly on 7 May 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is one of my favourite feminist publications. It has an interesting structure, and is so crammed full of arguments and statistics to back them up that it can be very hard to put it down.

For those who believe equality has been achieved, The Equality Illusion is a must. It exposes the myth that men and women are equal; that they have the same opportunities in the world, and that they are treated with the same amount of respect and consideration in all situations. Although sexism can be subtle now, it is most definitely still there, and Banyard opens the reader's eyes to it.

The chapter on the sex industry, too, is especially important, as it dismisses the nonsensical, 'freedom of expression and choice, man!' view of the issue and approaches it critically, providing lots of explicit examples proving that this is not an industry built upon women's right to freely express her sexual desires, but is in fact quite the opposite.

Although this book can be hard to read at times, the last chapter is dedicated to trying to come up with solutions to the problems, ending things on an optimistic and hopeful tone. If you don't already have this book in your possession, whether you consider yourself feminist or not, these are important issues that need to be discussed, and Banyard provides the perfect jumping-off point.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. Woznitza on 7 Jun 2010
Format: Paperback
I read this book in almost one sitting, and have now purchased multiple copies to lend out to my friends! Although I was aware of the latent sexist society I am part of, this book crystalized things for me and has really made me view the world differently. It makes good logical arguments and although is a little bit 'ranty' at times I had to keep reading. As it goes through many parts of our lives, there are so many different things I could relate to that were part of my upbringing as a girl in the UK that are just accepted as the norm, but in actual fact feed into the whole circus. Now I am on a mission to get all my girlfriends to read it and share the view. I highly recommend this book especially if you never thought you'd read a book on feminism!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By P. Courtney on 4 Oct 2010
Format: Paperback
As a young female who once worked in the chauvinistic financial district of London, I was inspired to read this book by an article about Kat Banyard and her impressive equality crusade in the UK.

This book will affect everything you see and do. Next time your boyfriend suggests a trip to the lap-dancing club, you'll think about the girls who pay to work there, often drinking themselves into a stupor in an effort to blot out the acts they're about to perform. When you look around the meeting room you will wonder why the male:female ratio is still so high. As you walk home at night, you will think about the shift-workers you see getting onto the bus, and why there are still so many women doing the poorest-paid jobs. I could go on.

The Equality Illusion spells out in powerful terms the sham that is our 'post feminist' society today, and what we can do to try and reverse some of the damage that continues to be done.
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