Thursday, May 9, 2013

Feminist Book Club - The Whole Woman.

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Well Germaine wasn’t kidding when she said “The time has come to get angry again!”, The Whole Woman is 330 pages of angry! I was really excited to read this book, I hadn’t heard of it before but I thought it was definitely time to read some Greer. I was bitterly disappointed. All I found in this book was rage, topics that were talked around in circles and prejudice, not only towards men but minority groups such as transsexuals as well. So here are a few examples of the topics that annoyed me the most (it was very difficult to only choose a couple of them as well).

“No one ever asked women if they recognised sex-change males as belonging to their sex or considered whether being obliged to accept MTF transsexuals as women was at all damaging to their identity or self esteem.” 

Well if being born a female in a female’s body gives me a VIP pass into the feminist club then I am happy to lend it to MTF transsexuals, if they want to join the lady party then they are very welcome! All the atrocities that happen to women all over the world and ink was wasted on these ignorant, hateful words. I would like to state right now that MTF transsexuals have never been ‘damaging’ to my identity or self esteem thank you very much.

Then there was the chapter on Daughters, wasn’t that a jamboree of sadistic stereotypes. Based on some very dated Freudian archetypes, Germaine decided that fathers harbour all these sick, sordid feelings towards their young daughters. My favourite bit of absolute craziness was where she said:

“Daddy may respond by bouncing her on his leg. It did not need Freud to point out the similarity between this activity and sexual intercourse.”

Germaine are you actually kidding!? I remember this being done to me when I was young by lovely, caring men who I adored. There are millions of wonderful dad’s out there who would move heaven and earth for their children. My dad is one of those wonderful people, so I do not appreciate this horrible, bleak, perverted look on one of the most amazing things that can happen on this planet, the father, daughter relationship.

Now there were some interesting, informative parts of this book, but for me it was like searching for diamonds in a stinky bog of man hate. Some of her views are absolutely shameful, especially in this day and age (and I know the book is a little dated, but it isn’t THAT old).  Germaine ends the book by saying:

“The second wave of feminism, rather than having crashed on the shore, is still far out to sea,”

I just don’t accept this statement, feminism is progressing every single day, it’s all those small things that we do as well as the large. Women have come such a long way and it will continue to get better if we just keep promoting, thinking and discussing. If feminism was ‘far out to sea’, surely we wouldn’t be in a Feminist Book Club, would we?

I just don’t believe that such anger driven, hateful elitism will progress us further as women. Germaine talks like we are about to go into battle and I just feel she is trying to use patriarchal devices to try and beat the men down. I think we will continue forward at a much greater pace if men and women work together. It isn’t about being the best sex or the most important sex, it is about utilising each other’s unique abilities to create a better world for everyone to live in.

The next book to read in the Feminist Book Club is Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn, I am really looking forward to getting my hands on this book, it can't be anywhere near as difficult to read as The Whole Woman. 

Much feministic love.

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