Customer Review

18 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Redressing the balance, but needs to go further, 15 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The New Feminism (Paperback)
This is an interesting review of what feminists see as the gains women have made (or the gains feminists believe they have made on behalf of women). Its tone is conversational and not an aggressive rant designed to make women 'more self-aware' of their own 'victimhood'. Lots of interesting stats and facts about employment, types of relationship, etc. However, the book is still in a long tradition of middle-class feminism that gives the impression that women in the late 20th century have won a battle against men. History tells a different story. 1)Yes, women did gain the vote after WW1. However, until the late 19th century, most men could not vote either. 2)Universal, compulsory education was brought in for both girls and boys by the 1870 education act. So strictly speaking, it's not true that all girls were always disadvantaged because of all boys. It will not do for radical feminists to treat men and women as political classes. The main reason men and women gained late access to universal suffrage and education was because of the class system which spans both sexes. 3)Working-class women and women in rural areas have always worked. Feminism is a middle-class movement. All well and good. The problem is post-1960s feminists who have tried to redefine educational and professional achievements and participated in a dumbing-down process which brings far too many people to universities and provides silly degrees like Women's Studies which perpetuate the myth of female victimhood. Walter's book may go some of the way to turning the tide against this pointless mentality, but it still rests on the assumption that once upon a time, all women were victims of all men. Not true.
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A Customer