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A World According to Women: An End to Thinking Paperback – 16 Jul 2009

3.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Quartet Books (16 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0704371626
  • ISBN-13: 978-0704371620
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.6 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,362,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

`This book will change the way you think.' -- Fay Weldon

About the Author

As the former editor of Guardian Women, Jane McLoughlin was part of the generation of women that originally sought to build social justice through liberation politics. Since then she has seen how women themselves, through in-fighting, irrationality and refusal to abandon their victim status, have destroyed all hope of building that dream of liberation. She has worked on the Hexham Courant, Newcastle Journal, and the Daily Mirror. She was deputy women's editor of the Daily Telegraph, a feature writer for the Daily Mail, and the editor of Guardian Women, where she was also a columnist and the industrial editor. She worked for the Observer and was a leader writer for The Independent. She was a producer for Granada TV and has published 5 non-fiction books, including two published by Virago, and 7 novels. She knows whereof she speaks.

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
The cover of this book would suggest it has been written as a result of a great deal of research. It may have been but it is certainly not obvious from the text. There is no index or bibliography and conclusions are not backed up by reference to verifiable facts and figures. This in short is one journalist's view of popular culture - which appears according to her - to have started about 1970.

The author's theory is that popular culture is wholly aimed at controlling women for political reasons and that society, law and government have now been made over how women want them to be. As she also says that popular culture is controlled by commercial mainly male interests I find this difficult to comprehend. The suggestion that Margaret Thatcher's government marginalised men and made them unemployed and unemployable seems a little farfetched to me; especially as it is not backed up by facts and figures. 3 million unemployed in the 1980s apparently all men - though she quotes no figures and conveniently forgets to mention that many married women would not have been eligible to sign on for an assortment of reasons.

The author does not spare Tony Blair's government suggesting he manipulated the media to influence women into his way of thinking. I don't think anyone could argue that the Blair regime did not manipulate the media, but was this manipulation really aimed only at women? The author seems to suggest popular culture is not read, watched or listened to by men - is this really true? What facts and figures are there available to support the theory? Unfortunately this book obviously went to press just before the level of expenses claimed by MPs was published by The Telegraph as she suggests the media only publish what Government tells them to publish.
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Format: Paperback
'Joanna Lumley became a popular-culture icon in the mid-seventies as Purdey in The New Avengers because of her haircut.' If you find that in the least significant or illuminating, this may be for you. A take on how the media did for feminism (essentially veiled autobiography), it is tenuous in the extreme and doesn't even run to a bibliography. The author evidently grew up immersed in - cocooned by - the 'meeja', but this is no way to view reality; if we're not talking art (and she's not) the meeja have always been superficial, even - even! - in the glory days of Hollywood

For a media buff McLoughlin seems strangely detached. Her generalisations on TV (p43 et seq) are the purest hogwash. She writes 'older women wanted.. stars like Val Doonican and Max Bygraves' when it's simply that that was what was available! 'Films were not constantly available on TV in those days.' So, who's the target audience here - under-twelves? Television 'mind-changing' for women? Yes, it made them so bored or dissatisfied they drank themselves silly, with consequences we live with today

Camille 'media maven' Paglia would have McLoughlin on toast and someone with an outsider eye like Turkish-American Murat Nemet-Nejat manages to be far more suggestive when he writes 'The purpose of TV style is to diminish the resistance between the inside and the outside of the box.. TV language is minimalist.. The true language of America is not American English, but TV'

On matters non-mediatic, McLoughlin finds romantic fiction or the escapism of a Catherine Cookson empowering. I rest my case. She further writes 'the popularity of the genre shows that it provides something that the mass of women want'. That so, Sherlock? On page 36 we read 'formality is intimidating to friendships'.
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Format: Paperback
A brilliant and convincing book, based on several decades of the author's media work. The previous reviewer has commented on the lack of academic references which is rather missing the point. Provocative and thoroughly enjoyable - dare I say that if this was written by a man the reviews elsewhere would have been rather more negative. which sort of proves one of the several theses of the work.
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