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49 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passion, Brains and Brilliance..., 23 July 2007
This review is from: The Female Eunuch (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) (Paperback)
It's important to remember that this book was written in the 1970s when the workplace didn't look the way that it looks now. Women now may complain that they still don't have equal pay for doing equal jobs - but in the 1970s they didn't even expect equal pay. We didn't have girls doing better in schools than boys - it was a world where women genuinely saw themselves as second class citizens and many had a feeling of inferiority to men that was deeply ingrained. Young women leaving university in 2007 have very little trace of this and are aware that a woman's brain is in many ways and in many subjects better for many jobs than a man's is. It isn't that either is better - they are just different.

Germaine Greer wrote a book that influenced her generation and a stunningly written book it is too. She is erudite and full of passion and, much to my surprise - not really anti men at all. It was the status quo that Greer hated - the two up two down slavery that she saw enslaving women. (Wouldn't it be good to have someone whose job is to keep your house clean, bring up your children, have a meal ready when you get home and 'provide' sex whenever you want it. This book needs to be read in that context.. the alarming thing is that so much of what Greer attacks so brilliantly is still around us today. Despite her warnings - in some areas we have made very little progress.

This is a classic - read it. And you may need a dictionary. I did. :-)
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Aug 2008 22:37:19 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 11 Mar 2010 04:33:59 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Aug 2008 16:00:05 BDT
LaWiley says:
Are you suggesting that if the wife were the breadwinner, she would refuse to give a necessary proportion of her income to her spouse in order to support the family, if he were the one that did the cooking, food shopping etc? Why have a family that you weren't prepared to pay for?!

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Aug 2008 23:24:40 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 11 Mar 2010 04:34:09 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Oct 2008 23:23:59 BDT
Amber says:
My goodness, what breathtaking opinions. A man LOSES control of 85% of his income on marriage? At least 85% of my income goes on bills, food and essentials and I live alone. Just how much do you think a family costs? LaWiley said it right above 'Why have a family that you weren't prepared to pay for?!' I've recently begun working at a place where opinions like those of Ulrome are the norm; every day I'm shocked by what I hear. Today a man was talking about his wife as though all she did was cost him money, there was no acknowledgement that the marriage was a mutual decision, that they both wanted children and his agreed part in providing for them all is to go to work and earn the money they need and her agreed part is to look after the children and their household- how much money do you think it would cost to hire somebody to do all the work that his wife does? They would not come cheap. He could not manage their lifestyle on his own just as she couldn't on her own. It's a partnership of differing but equally important roles.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Dec 2008 13:05:27 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 11 Mar 2010 04:34:26 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2009 03:30:46 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 May 2009 03:43:06 BDT
R. Stephens says:
It is quite sad that you have such a low opinion of women in general (parasites) and the value of work within the home. However, I think it is good you are being honest about what you think. Though I do not think you are looking at the whole picture. In your analysis of domestic duties you have not mentioned looking after children a significant responsibility for stay at home parents. Or the fact that a partners staying at home will not just be doing their share of the house work (like a singleton) but the entire families. (Also if you do find housework so easy, ever considered being a stay at home Dad? Clearly you seem of being a stay at home parent as an easy option compared with going out to work. From what you are saying you would have it sussed!)

I would also like to add that I do not think starting a family and deciding to provide for them should be a decision made lightly or rashly. It should occur to almost anyone that starting a family costs ALOT; that is, if they think seriously about the decision as I believe they should do. (Though of course we all have the right to make lousy decisions; but they are our own decisions or mistakes). I am sure that many men do not decide lightly or rashly to start and provide for a family. Also, that many are very happy with the expensive yet expected outcome. After all I wonder whether you can put a price on being a husband, a Father or having a Family of ones own. Seriously `parasites' is this how you really see women; the women in your life? What about children? Parasites too? (I fear for a society that sees family esp children as parasites).

If women have always had it so good as housewives... why have so many women in recent decades, given the choice, opted for paid work outside the home? And why are not more men jumping at the chance to spurn their career and be stay at home Dads when given the opportunity.

Surely this shows women can be and feel just as trapped in traditional gender/work roles as men can. In alot of ways the partner who stays at home is more dependant, powerless and so more vulnerable or `trapped' than the person working outside the home. After all we should not forget that lacking the economic independence to provide for oneself or ones children can trap a person (more often than not a woman) in a bad/unhappy (sometimes even abusive) relationship.

Marriage. I would argue that women are really really trained and culturally pressured in away men simply are not, to value marriage and having a family above all else and to feel terrible about not doing so. (Think of how women who do not want to have children are so often condemned as selfish; 'pressure' ). Also lets not forget that as a cultural standard it is mostly men who do the proposing. Comparatively few women take it upon themselves to propose and even if they do you can say no. After all no means no. If a woman has the opportunity to get an education and a well paid job marriage becomes more of choice and less of a forced necessity. I am not sure I want to get married and I know many young women who feel the same. And I know many men who see marriage in their future. So when it comes to marriage I don't know.

But I do know there are more women working and deciding to be single mothers than ever before (despite the cultural scrutiny they get for this). Many women see not marrying as a more satisfying alternative. Especially, if the form of marriage on offer is one where women are underappreciated (aka regarded as parasites') and economically dependant on their spouse.

In my experience a man can be every bit as possessive as a women; wanting a partner all to themselves and in a serious relationship. Many men WANT a relationship with the woman they love. They might be shy in admitting it (when compared with women) but it is true. Men like women can get jealous, want children, gasp even fall in love and enjoy intimacy and so relationships. But you must know that.

It seems to me that what is hurting you and your male friends is as much about traditional gender roles as women. After all you seem to resent being expected/ assumed to be the sole financial provider for the family. This is fair enough. Perhaps you would be happier if you at least had the option to take on a more domestic role in family life (and having that role be social acceptable). However, perhaps in doing so you would see the harsh realities of that role, of being economically vulnerable, demeaned and considered a 'parasite' as you say. Many women face real resistance when they have tried to step outside this traditional role (i.e. think of the saying a 'woman place is in the home'). Despite what you say many men have been somewhat reluctant to take on domestic family chores; meaning married women still do most of the housework even when they work full time.

You should realise that gender expectations lie just as heavily on women as men. They really do. Men do and have had more POWER as a group than Women, politically, socially and economically. Women have had to fight hard to be viewed as people not personal property, for the vote and to enter the work place. To be viewed/treated as equal and not inferior. Gendered norms and expectations do not benefit women as a group over men. Women undeniably have suffered/ and do suffer due to sexism and gendered norms and expectations.

Though I think what you have said reflects the fact that men (not just women) suffer due to inflexible traditional gender roles (roles that say you provide and your wife stays at home). And in discussing this at least (despite anti-woman things you have said) you are more pro-feminist than you think you are; even if you may never realise it.

You are right that men are trapped by gendered norms and expectations too. Though perhaps differently. (But your analysis of the position of women is totally lacking).

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jan 2010 12:07:46 GMT
I. Thomas says:
I thought this post was interesting. I have a husband and a baby and my husband has decided to work freelance from home so takes on most of the baby responsibilities and cooking duties 4 days out of 7 while I go into the office to work 3 days in the week.

It's mostly out of financial expediency and to pay the mortgage which I think is the main reason for working women, not rampant feminism. You have to bring the money in and have a roof over your head.

Strangely enough we have had no negative comments about the situation and most people think we have it as equal as is possible. This could have changed if my husband wasn't earning money though.

I don't think the world and most people are as 'sexist' as is made out in reality, certainly in Western society. But that doesn't sell books does it?

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2010 15:05:22 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Feb 2010 15:34:03 GMT
Damaskcat says:
I Thomas - I thought your post was very interesting and I'm glad your life is working out for you and your husband.

As for people not being sexist - I think those who are probably shout the loudest at the moment and that is why it can seem so prevalent - or people think it is. A lot of people like you are just getting on with their lives in the way that suit them - but then as you say that doesn't sell books!

Ulrome - so women are self-absorbed parasites are they? Not sure how you work that out. Should I be referring to my male partner as a parasite as he doesn't work because of health problems? That would hardly be tactful would it?

I think you must be meeting the wrong women.

Posted on 15 Sep 2011 22:14:25 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 6 Oct 2011 21:56:44 BDT]

Posted on 6 Oct 2011 21:56:23 BDT
Buddy says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]
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