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3.9 out of 5 stars61
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 18 July 2014
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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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.

Greer's last chapter postulates a different way for organising society with women banding together to co-operate on sharing the chores they dislike with people who like doing them and points out that the nuclear family is a means to divide and rule. She also suggests that equality will never be achieved until men see the household chores as their responsibility as well as the child rearing. She paints a graphic picture of families - mother, father and children - living in their little boxes in suburbia and not mixing with the neighbours so that they are isolated in their own little world.

She suggests there are other ways of organising society which could be more beneficial to everyone - not just women. Some of the things she advocates do happen today - such as the alternative currency schemes which involve people swapping their skills - but they are the exception not the rule. She also suggests clubbing together to buy basic unbranded foodstuffs in bulk at discounted prices - which should appeal to today's credit crunch strapped families.

Above all this is a book about remaking society so that it is fair to everyone and to do that it may be necessary to think the unthinkable. Just because society has been set up by men to suit them does not mean it should continue in the same way. She urges women not to fight men but to work co-operatively to achieve a society which ensures everyone can lead a fulfilling life. This book is still an inspiring read for anyone who is interested in an age old problem
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on 23 July 2007
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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on 19 July 2014
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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on 29 January 2014
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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on 3 September 2015
Having just left a negative review for Greer's "The whole woman', i think it's only fair I leave my token of admiration for this life-changing book. Still very relevant, it should be mandatory reading for every woman. The depth of insight into the female condition and the adversarial relation with the male of the species is unsurpassed, and the dry wit mixed with erudition make this book a pleasure to read.
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on 1 May 2016
I am a woman and thought I would finally get round to reading this famous book that may have changed our lives for the better. However what I found was a pathetic tirade against men. Ms Greer sounded like a woman who had a very bad case of PMT at the time of writing. I did not finish the book, too much irrational ranting for my taste.
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on 10 August 2010
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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on 2 June 2015
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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on 7 January 2015
Had to buy as a real classic! Very interesting to read as I was not around during this period, however is dated and not relevant today.
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