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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it and Weep, 5 Mar. 2002
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This review is from: The Whole Woman (Paperback)
Book review: Gemaine Greer, The Whole Woman
"You've come a long way baby!" Remember the cigarette ad from the 70s? To hear Germaine Greer tell it we haven't, unless progress is having won the right to smoke thin cigarettes in public and take our chemotherapy like a man.
Since writing The Female Eunuch, Dr. Greer is still angry after these thirty-two years--with good reason. In The Whole Woman, Greer carefully and wittily lays out excruciating truths. Women still earn 60% of a man's salary and shoulder most of the household tasks including child rearing. When fathers abscond it's the single impoverished mothers who bear the blame for rearing the maladapted children that contribute to the ills of society.
Greer also states that the incidence of rape, sexual harassment and domestic violence is much higher than it was thirty years ago. In all cultures, women (especially when pregnant) continue to be insulted, threatened, molested, beaten, raped and murdered by men with impunity.
So just how far have we come? Are the starved, hobbled, high-heeled, battered celebrity babes with their lifted faces, tucked tummies and liposuctioned hips our new role models? Has boob inflation replaced bra burning as the symbol of liberation?
Erudite, witty and unapologetic The Whole Woman is better than a shot of HRT. Read it and weep.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Dec 2008 19:41:41 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Dec 2008 19:48:02 GMT
Ulrome says:
I know of no instance (and would be interested if someone could provide an example to the contrary) where a man and a woman doing the same work for the same number of hours get paid differently.
Of course if the woman is working part-time and the man full-time then he's bound to get paid more - but that's because he's working longer hours not because he's male.
If the man's an electrical engineer and the woman's making sandwiches then of course he'll get paid more - that's because being an electrical engineer is more difficult, therefore fewer people are capable of doing it, therefore there is scarcity and that pushes up the price you can charge.
It's disappointing to see this very familiar piece of fraudulent agitprop ("60% of male earnings") still circulating. But then I suppose that's because, to judge by many of these reviews, it still works and still creates 'politically useful' feelings of resentment and frustration.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jun 2009 20:44:10 BDT
a reader says:
There have been several well-publicised examples - the one that comes to mind was at a Newfoundland cannery.

In any case you are (deliberately I suspect) missing the point. That men are encouraged and rewarded for putting their careers first and women are pilloried for the same thing, that assumptions about men's and women's work and the value society puts on them reduce women's earnings overall, is the real point of the 60% comment.

Of course women have *nothing* to complain about really, how silly of us - it's all invented. Yeah, riiight. *eyeroll*.

Posted on 28 Jan 2011 19:28:14 GMT
Book Maven says:
An important point both Greer and the reviewer miss is that impoverishment at divorce is no longer the lot of women and children. Ever since the insitution of the CSA it is the ex-husband who is impoverished, often to the point of being unable to afford to remarry and have more children. This is the case irrespective of whether he was the one to initiate the divorce or earns less than his ex-wife or her new partner. The egalitarian cause is scarcely served by failing to acknowledge this species of reverse discrimination and its social effects.
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