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44 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greer has style
I read Greer's The Whole Woman, her most recent endeavor, before reading The Female Eunuch--suddenly I understood why the reviews of the Whole Woman were so tepid-to-awful. I liked it, but reading Eunuch I realized that this woman had incredible style and swagger, but that she had written a much more delicious and fearless book back in 1970.
In the intervening years,...
Published on May 12, 2002 by Jennifer

versus
16 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars OK, so I'm 30+ years late...
As a second-wave feminist (that's what they tell me, anyway) who was about 10 when FE was published, I've always been curious about it, particularly the title. I finally found a copy and eagerly dove in. Big disappointment, for two reasons.

First, I couldn't wrap my head around that title. It drove me crazy: It should have been called Woman as Eunuch...
Published on June 25, 2007 by Miriam Erez


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44 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greer has style, May 12, 2002
By 
Jennifer (New York, New York United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Female Eunuch (Paperback)
I read Greer's The Whole Woman, her most recent endeavor, before reading The Female Eunuch--suddenly I understood why the reviews of the Whole Woman were so tepid-to-awful. I liked it, but reading Eunuch I realized that this woman had incredible style and swagger, but that she had written a much more delicious and fearless book back in 1970.
In the intervening years, so much has changed for women (because of feminism) that Greer's antics and ability to go head to head with macho rakes/serious artists (like she did with Norman Mailer in an infamous Town Hall meeting) is less notable. Still, Eunuch bristles with energy and youth and it makes me think, even though I was certainly not raised in the repressive forties and fifties.
I think that this book is definitely worth reading, especially to see how far we've come.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth It, November 8, 2011
This is an incredible and thought-provoking book. Written in, it seems, a blaze of fury,"The Female Eunuch," doesn't shy away from controversy.

To the reviewer who mentioned the style as inferior to more academic texts, I would agree - PROVIDED that you judge it on it's "sociological" merit as opposed to cultural. She doesn't support her claims with statistics or figures, and sometimes draws anecdotes that hardly seem to fit her premises from god-knows-where. No one but an egotistical, grandiose, self-important thinker would write in the style she writes in: namely the style most influential thinkers in history have used. If you see the truth in what she says, her ideas are great, poetic, motivational, etc. If you don't see the phenomena she describes in the book around you in your day-to-day life, then you are probably personally more liberated than the audience of "castrated women" she intended the book for. Either way, you'll definitely spot some glaring holes in her writing.

Reading this book as a kid (you heard me) shaped my philosophy of gender pretty powerfully. It's written in such a grabbing style, and it makes recommendations to the women of the world that are downright anarchistic, insubordinate, and earth-shaking. If you ever feel like your feminism is a little bit unambitious or tepid, this is the book to get you back on your feet, and really reanalyzing your place in the world as a feminist woman or man. Just read it. It will make you think important thoughts.
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96 of 132 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars shocking, May 12, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Female Eunuch (Paperback)
I began reading "The Female Eunuch" after I had read Natalies Angiers "Woman : An Intimate Geography". It caused a sensation in its time and is still capable of shocking. Ms Angiers may have borrowed from The "Female Eunuch" because she also divides her books in to chapters with simple headings like the "body" and "work" and this gives both books clarity and focus. Where they differ is that Ms Greer,s is on shakier ground with her scientific references which can be excused since the book was first published in 1970.
Her statements about clitoral orgasms being a "new scientific myth" makes very odious and irritating reading. Ms Greer tries to excuse herself by saying that focusing on clitoral arousal is just another limiting perspective on female sexuality. She is wrong. Clitoral arousal is still a mystery to many women. Who still expect to achieve vaginal orgasms and wonder why they do not. Which only proves that for all the scientific hoopla in the 1970s. Most women are still ignorant about how their genitalia function.
Ms Greer mentions hiding her soiled sanitary rag from her brother as a girl and is obviously indignant about it But still does not question why female reproductive organs are considered so objectionable that they and their issue should be hidden. I would have considered this oversight a direct result of her childhood in Australia which is basically a secular country. However Ms Greer attended a Roman Catholic girls school. Implying that she should know full well why women genitals and menstrual fluid are considered 'unclean' It is laid out quite clearly in Leviticus.
Ms Greer,s strength lies in her confrontational style and ability to elucidate how women are taught to be women by the cultural process of engendering them and rather than an evolutionary predisposition to domestic servitude.
At the time she made these statements there was little scientific data to support her assertions that far from women wanting to be frivolous domestic chattles and childbreeders. They actually were capable of pursuing any form of employment and having a womb in no way hampered this.
Ms Greer is ignorant of non western cultures and even pre christian cultures and so she assumes that woman have always been socially subordinate because she has a womb. This is unfortunate because the western image of womanhood is not a universal standard and is itself quite recent. She would have done well to read up on the European witchtrials in which millions of women especially midwives died. Because their professions were in direct competition with doctors and priests.
Ms Greer is at her best when she denounces. Female financial and emotional dependence on men as infantile and thus uninspiring for both men and woman. Contrary to many accusations of Ms Greer being a "man-hater" this book indicates that she is more likely to place women,s inferior social status squarely on the shoulders of women themselves.
Ms Greer exhibits a sneaky admiration for men and their "liberated" sexuality and obvious disdain for womens inability to relinquish dependency relationships built on emotional blackmail. Ms Greer beleives that women hold on to their men by forcing them into "addictions" which "only they the wife , lover will tolerate". Some people will find this analogy troubling and well they might. How many women hold onto thier men by getting into bondage ?
Ms Greer is troubled by the concept of love as it is filtered through the media and "trashy" romantic fiction. She believes that women are addicted to an illusion. She says this whilst ignoring the fact that people have been writing love letters to each other from the moment they invented writing. She should look at some of the ancient Egyptian love letters written 1,849 BC. Which prove that human beings have always been romantic and perhaps they always will be.
Ms Greer also expresses open disdain for that paragon of virtue Motherhood. The lofty pedestle of female worth that all women are supposed to want to climb. She notes how "over nurturing" also known as the "smothering mother" Can suppress her children,s identities especially female children by preventing them from exploring their external environment. Unlike their brothers who are encouraged to explore and investigate the world without fear. This Ms Greer concludes results in arrested development both academically and emotionally for girls. Because the child will cling to the mother. To parents who have been indoctrinated into beleiving that the mother,s perpetual presence is essential for an emotionally balanced and secure child this will sound outrageous and extreme.
Ms Greer is a head of her time by saying that women begin to falter educationally during adolescence and places this at the door of conflicts between parents that believe the socialization of a daughter involves suppressing her personality into compliant help-mate and schools which encourage girls to be ambitious and use their academic and athletic talents.
Most woman Ms Greer attests can not reconcile the need to be a "good daughter and wifely prospect" with their need for personal achievement. Ms Greer therefore concludes that they betray themselves and become fodder for the capitalist system. In which personal fulfillment is prosponed and subverted in to rabid consumer good consumption. What is also known as the "shopaholic" Ms Greer suggest in wiley humor that if women ceased to shop they could bargin for greater say in economic influence. Yes a shopping strike !
Ms Greer is instantly controversial when she states that the mother and daughter relationship is a problematic one. That the mother may see her role as one of suppression of her daughter s identity. This attitude may appear shocking to some who believe that a "girls best friend is her mom" Ms Greer was born in the 1930s and there is an obvious clash between her need to be freed from the conventional female expectations in life and her mother,s desire to straight-jacket her personality into feminine cliches. Ms Greer mentions how her grandmother and mother debated about whether she should wear a corset or not whilst women were still wearing girdles and other stomach shapers.
What makes this book a ground breaker is Ms Greer,s focus on sex and how women being de-sexed by society (she does not mention the role of religion in this madonna-whore dichotomy) Has created a society of women that are easily exploited both as teenagers when they simply give into sex with partners they don't know and later as spouses. Where sex is bartered for a roof over their heads
Ms Greer has been described a a faux feminists and a libertine. Her faux feminism attributed to her damning indictment of motherhood and the role that women play in their own suppression. Ms Greer expects opposition and in her book she courts it at every turn. Knowing that militant feminists will charge after her.
The other accusation against her of being a libertine is perhaps a more serious one. Because it is about gender betrayal. Ms Greer is often scathing about female sexuality which she considers subdugated into coyness. She is right about female sexuality being subdugated but rather than claiming that women want to be female eunuchs. She might be better served by looking at the religious restrictions on women being sexually liberated. In this instance Ms Angiers book is a step on by elucidating women's need for sex but the social curtailment of womens sexual exploration being the direct product of religious restraints enshrined in laws. If your being threatened with physical mutilations, rape, burning, stoning or social ostracism as a slut. It is likely that your libido might not be up to much !
Ms Greer book is still ground breaking and I recommend it on the basis of its criticism of how women are reared. Both men and woman should read it. Especially if they are parents with a daughter. Ms Greer though brash and angry still poses some very important questions about how training a girl into submission perpetuates womens lower status especially financially. She cites the nurses strikes in England where the nurses were compromised because their status as compassionate care givers prevented them from striking and securing a wage that they could live of. Other examples which are obviously more anecdotal references to Ms Greer's own youth include her accounts of how women are trained into a servile politeness. Which means that young women are forced to listen to "boring men" chatter on and on and never interject with their own comments.
This occurs because Ms Greer believes women are educated and nurtured into believing themselves intellectually and sexually inferior and incomplete.
I think for this reason alone her book is worth a second glance. Because it would be a lie to claim that these statements have become irrelevant with the passage of time. The process of womens liberation has still along way to go.
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19 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Germaine Greer...Not to be taken seriously., September 8, 2006
This review is from: The Female Eunuch. (Hardcover)
I have given this book five stars to try to raise the rating a bit. I read this book way back in the seventies, (before a lot of you were born). We knew then that Germaine Greer was a very clever satirist and managed to say and get things in print most of us would never even think about least of all discuss. We read this book and Helen Gurley Brown's "Sex and the Single Girl" with popping eyes. Not that I am comparing the two books except that they both dealt with women and sex, one book tells you how to go out and get your man and the other tells you to beware of being used by men. Both written by educated intelligent women and both very useful in that day and age. I have not reread The Female Eunuch, (although it is in my library somewhere) but I can imagine that the message is lost on this present much more enlightened and sexually active generation. Someone wrote that Germaine Greer is a lesbian, I don't know about that, it is something we never thought about. If it is true, lesbians have a right to their opinions too so that was a useless and bitter comment.

Germaine Greer is not to be taken seriously, she deliberately provokes thought, and the people who DO take her seriously become very agitated and upset. Believe me, it's not worth it, she would just laugh up her sleeve.

September 19th 2006
RE: SPOTLIGHT REVIEW. (My orginal review was written September 8th.)

I felt I had to come back to tell you that the Spotlight Review "Embittered Lesbian" is both discriminatory, (implying that it is only natural for a lesbian to be embittered) and incorrect. I have done some research out of curiosity, and to set the record straight, I found that Germaine Greer although being a lifelong feminist and might well be embittered, is NOT a lesbian. Feminist, contrary to the belief of "embittered" heterosexuals, is not necessarily synonymous with lesbian.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Educating the next Generation, February 11, 2011
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I ordered this and The Feminine Mistique for my daughter because she kept askig me what all the brouhaha was about - geesh! Like my example was not enough! So I decided she needed the contextual conversation - this was one of my favorite/hated books when it came out: I kept throwing it against the wall because what it said was true enough to infuriate me, then picking it up and reading more- repeat several times!! HA. Loved this edition because it was the original and she said part of the pleasure of receiving it was the "historical smell" of enduring truth! I did good - thanks to the Amazon merchant!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Female Eunuch, July 30, 2011
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This review is from: The Female Eunuch (Paperback)
Even though this book was written close to 40 yrs ago, it still describes the essence of how females are socialized in the US and Europe. A powerful book to read and relate to as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An old favourite, July 1, 2014
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This review is from: The Female Eunuch (Paperback)
Some books are never in or out of style,
I read this in my 20s and now my daughter is reading it.
Even after a reread I still enjoyed the concepts as the first day.
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4.0 out of 5 stars As described, April 22, 2014
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This review is from: The Female Eunuch (Paperback)
The seller described the item as it is. It's an older book so the dust jacket was not sold with the book, but it's in condition for being nearly twenty something years old.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest reads, March 25, 2014
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This review is from: The Female Eunuch. (Hardcover)
They must must read for everyone one of the greatest books I read in the past year. The author doesn't incredible job at her thesis although the storyline can have a little bit of fixing up to do.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Revelatory in the 1970"s, But Not Now, December 10, 2013
By 
Anne Mills (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Female Eunuch (Paperback)
Back in the day, this book was very important to me; it helped me think about what being female really meant, and about how it should affect my life. Skimming back through it now, it seems awfully simplistic, too facile, and rather a rant. But that's looking at the book through "presentist" glasses. A key feminist work, which affected lots of lives. The four stars is more for its past impact than for its present value.
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The Female Eunuch
The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer (Paperback - March 5, 2002)
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