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The Equality Illusion: The Truth about Women and Men Today by [Banyard, Kat]
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The Equality Illusion: The Truth about Women and Men Today Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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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

Book Description

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


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 598 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0571246265
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (28 April 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003JMDUA8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #176,088 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 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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Format: Paperback
I don't think I've ever read a book that is quite so dangerously filled with misinformation. Just 3 random examples from the chapter on IPV:

"Approximately 40-50% of women who visit a hospital ER in the US do so because of injuries their intimate partner inflicted on them."

Given that women constitute a majority of ER patrons, that means on any given day, 1/4 patients would be there as a result of domestic violence. Just ask someone who works in a hospital if this sounds anywhere near correct.

"Domestic violence causes more death and disability amongst women aged between 16 and 44 than cancer or traffic accidents."

Even the author of the 1994 study this is taken from (not the 6th-hand source that is referenced) has stated that this is not true.

"Murder is the leading cause of death for pregnant women in the US"

Again untrue, actually 3rd behind birth complications and road traffic accidents. The fact that it is third is a credit to how safe child birth now is. Heart disease is 4th at only 1pc behind, and that isn't common in under-35 yo women. There is little research into whether pregnant women are killed at s higher rate than other women of the same age.

The entire book is filled with stuff like this. It is literally propaganda. Do read it, but be ready to scratch your head and follow every citation through to an inevitable dead end ("women do 2/3rds of the worlds work, yet receive 10% of the worlds income and own 1% of the means of production") or a long since discredited study.

Having said this, many of the stories are enlightening, particularly for a male reader such as myself. I feel that the subjects have been done a disservice by having their sometimes tragic stories interwoven into what can only be intentionally misinterpreted statistics.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Compared to the many 5-star reviews and the media hype appearing to surround Banyard's book, I found the contents of the book itself rather disappointing.

In truth, most of the official descriptions of the book ("Banyard reveals the uncomfortable truth about men and women ... ", "A dose of feminist common sense ... ", "A global perspective ... ", from the back cover and from reviews) do not say much about the actual contents of the book, so in that sense, it would be unfair to claim that the book is misrepresented by the media. It is, in fact, precisely what the media claims it to be: Polemical, name-calling and finger-pointing.

Banyard's book is about what she considers the unjust condition of women in modern society. She describes this condition across several chapters spanning the topics of body image, education, workplace conditions, domestic violence, the sex industry and reproductive rights. While all of these topics are certainly both interesting and relevant, I found that Banyard's treatment had several problems:

-First of all, Banyard comes off as constantly angry and finger-pointing, which makes the book feel lacking in objectivity.

-Banyard points out where men and women differ in society, but she takes very little time to reflect on the causes and reasons for such differences or what may be done to alleviate the inequality. For example, in the chapter on body image, she points out that many women suffer from low self-esteem as a cause of their perceived inadequate physical appearance, and she rages on about the unfairness and unacceptability of beauty norms and the fact that the same issues to not apply in the same degree to men, but does not reflect much about what could be done about it.
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