For women born in the immediate postwar period, there were the years BG and AG--"before Greer" and "after Greer." It's all too easy to underestimate its influence, but the fact is that in 1970 every self-respecting woman on the Left owned a copy of The Female Eunuch
. Thirty years later, Germaine Greer is ready to get angry again. In The Whole Woman
, she analyzes, among other issues, the invasive ways in which the health industry persuades women to have their bodies and reproductive systems "managed." Greer lays out the facts about the high failure rate and devastating side effects of in vitro fertilization and the incongruence between the "success" of breast implants in achieving the "perfect" mammary to please men and the continuing failures in detecting and treating increasingly prevalent breast cancer.
Greer's polemic has the confident virtuosity of wit and maturity. Celebrating women's successes, The Whole Woman is a more positive book than The Female Eunuch. Her unique combination of outrageous humor and assertiveness continues to lead the way forward for women who want to take control of their lives. --Lisa Jardine, Amazon.co.uk
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From Publishers Weekly
The blithe spirit of The Female EunuchAa tart, irreverent feminist screed that crackled across the Western world in 1971Ahas given way to the surprisingly curmudgeonly temperament of Greer's latest effort, with its dim view of humanity and our capacity to change. After 30 years and many books, the Australian-born polemicist who lives and teaches in England has attempted to recreate and update the formula that brought her international acclaim. Like its predecessor, this new work is a loosely connected series of short, idiosyncratic, Menckenesque essays larded with statistics, slangy erudition and disembodied quotations set off in half-tones. This time around, the author gambols over such disparate subjects as female circumcision in Africa (Greer urges tolerance for cultural practices so different from our own) and transgendered people (she blazes with antagonism against sexual reassignments). In one of her pet peeves, she excoriates housewives who waste hours in shopping malls in search of the latest prepackaged foodstuffs while remaining immune to the joys of baking a cake from scratch. At her best, Greer argues passionately for the mystic virtues of ecofeminism and stirringly calls for a return to the values of a simpler life, minus its egregious sexist assaults. Occasionally an aphorism sparkles with the old wit and biteA"One wife is all any man deserves"; "The power of Hillary Clinton's well-trained brain is principally demonstrated to the American public in her spirited defenses of her husband against the charges that he has cuckolded and humiliated her"Abut too often the effect is labored and strained. Greer has grievances aplenty with present-day society, but she offers few prescriptives for improvement besides demonstrations of support for embattled Iraqi and Palestinian women. Agent, Gillon Aitken. 100,000 first printing; seven-city author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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