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Patriarchal Attitudes: Women in Society Reprint Edition
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By Rebecca West
(A review of "Patriarchal Attitudes: Women in Society", by Eva Figes, Faber, 1970.)
There is, of course, no reason for the existence of the male sex except that one sometimes needs help in moving the piano. How wrong males are, how unfit they are for any part in this universe (and possibly in any parallel universe either) was shown this summer in the South African cricket tour fuss.
Cricket is only a game. One set of males throw a ball about, others take turns in hitting it with a piece of wood, the males change roles, they slowly walk about. It cannot possibly matter, in any real sense, whether that ball is or is not hit by that piece of wood. Why insist on this non-event taking place if there was a possibility that it would cause any sort of trouble?
And why should it have caused any trouble? Only because there were more males about, pretending that if they stopped the game it would be a protest against the South African policy of apartheid. But from first to last no attempt was made to prove that any of the South African team supported apartheid, so harassment of them may have been as idiotic as beating a Tory M.P. for a misdeed committed by the Labour Government.
The incident was so gross a demonstration of male defect that the obvious thing, with the General Election looming up soon after, was to start an agitation to deprive men of the Parliamentary vote. But men do not excite censoriousness; and that is one of the most important differences between the sexes.
For women, as Eva Figes shows in "Patriarchal Attitudes," provoke censoriousness no end. Mrs.Read more ›