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Sex and Destiny: The Politics of Human Fertility Hardcover – March 1, 1984


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 541 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins; 1 edition (March 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060151404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060151409
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,853,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MS on June 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Germaine Greer takes no prisoners in this extensively researched, insighfully analytical account of human fertility - and the First World's influence upon fertility in the developing world. Unlike many progressive thinkers hesitant to criticize the family planning movement for fear of landing themselves in bed with the "radical religious right", Greer takes on Planned Parenthood founder, eugenicist Margaret Sanger; her cohort, Marie Stopes; UNFPA; USAID; and more. A caustically-written yet somber look at the harm incurred by both misguided and insidious meddling in foreign affairs.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth A. Root on April 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Greer worries at the beginning of this book that she may be overdoing it, and people may be alienated rather than persuaded. That's certainly true for me.

When people found this book to be an odd contrast to The Female Eunuch (which I also didn't like), Greer said that it is consistent, being taken from the bits of the earlier book that no-one liked. The parts where Greer, moved by loving close-knit Italian family life decides that it would be a great idea to buy an Italian farm and have her children raised by her tenants. Except for visits, she would continue her sophisticated life in decadent England. (She has denied this, but read the book.) The parts where she said she changed her style of dressing in order not to make a spectacle of herself in rural Italy, after urging the rest of us women in the Western-industrial cultures (WICs) to join her in making a spectacle of ourselves at home.

The greatest flaw in Greer's consideration of birth control is that she seemingly cannot see the difference between having two children, or twelve, or twenty-two. She argues as if one is for or against children, and cannot want a limited number of them. She is wildly indignant about the death of one woman from an IUD and oblivious to the much more common deaths of women from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. She incidentally defends selective female infanticide and argues that women may be responsible for rape, since men may need for us to appear to be afraid of them.

I can appreciate the need to accept other people's right to their own values, but why is Greer such a hypocrite about it? She is extremely intolerant towards anyone in WICs, even, or especially, if they seem to share the attitudes that she lauds here.
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