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The Women's History of the World,
This review is from: The Women's History of the World (Paladin Books) (Paperback)
Have you ever wondered why so few women appear in history books? If you have this is the book for you. It starts with pre-history and shows how prior to monotheistic religions dominating the world, people worshipped goddesses and women played a large part in feeding the family. Hunting was done by the men but not in face to face combat with the woolly mammoth but in co-operative efforts with the rest of the tribe. Women were responsible for hunting small animals and for growing and gathering the rest of the food - essential when meat was in short supply. They would also have made clothes and utensils.
In many ancient civilisations women were powerful and held high office as well as fighting in the front lines of armies - either instead of or alongside their men-folk. In Egypt women were automatically awarded custody of their children in the event of a divorce. Breakdown of a marriage brought shame on men more than it did women. Elsewhere women could chose their own husbands - women did the wooing - or live on their own with or without children, own property and do all the things men did.
From the beginning of the Christian church women became second class citizens and ceased to be valued except as breeding machines. It has taken 2000 years to achieve some sort of equality in modern western society but even today women don't have the freedoms and opportunities that they enjoyed over 2000 years ago. This book is a real eye opener and is written in an easy approachable and humorous style. There is a comprehensive bibliography and notes to accompany every chapter. I recommend it to anyone who thinks the struggle for equality of opportunity is over.