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The Female Eunuch

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  4,281 Ratings  ·  215 Reviews
The clarion call to change that galvanized a generation.When Germaine Greer's The Female Eunuch was first published it created a shock wave of recognition in women, one that could be felt around the world. It went on to become an international bestseller, translated into more than twelve languages, and a landmark in the history of the women's movement. Positing that sexual ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 14th 2008 by Harper Perennial Modern Classics (first published 1970)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Petra X
This review is about two issues that seem unrelated. Menstruation and Black women's hair. What links them is attitude.

"Women still buy sanitary towels with enormous discretion, and carry their handbags to the loo when they only need to carry a napkin. They still recoil at the idea of intercourse during menstruation, and feel that the blood they shed is of a special kind... If you think you are emancipated, you might consider the idea of tasting your menstrual blood--if it makes you sick, you've
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Barry Pierce
The Female Eunuch is one of the touchstone texts of second-wave feminism. I'll admit, I'm terrified of Germaine Greer. She's on telly quite often and my god she scares the shit out of me. However, through reading her most famous book I now see that she and I are quite similar. We're both very angry and hate a lot of things. I adore her humour and incredibly condescending prose, it's quite a refreshing read for a text that was written 45 years ago.

This book basically Everything You Always Wanted
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Nandakishore Varma
Luckily I read this book after I got married, otherwise I wouldn't have married at all. After reading it, I sat down to discuss it with my wife (it was immediately after marriage, and I had high hopes that we two could have long intellectual discussions in our life together). After I gave her a précis of the book, I suggested that she read it.

What she suggested I do with the book was not entirely polite.

However, I learnt one thing: women's freedom consists of NOT choosing to read feminist lite
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Praj
May 12, 2011 Praj rated it it was ok
I adore men, I love my cigarettes and scotch, take pleasure in my womanly curves; simultaneously I greatly want women to obtain their freedom of rights.

Feminism may be an archaic phenomenon in the urban world yet it is still in the nascent form in numerous authoritarian patriarchal configurations and societies plagued with female foeticide. This manuscript does justice to such dwellings where women irrespective to their economical standing bear subjugation to various norms of religion and cultu
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Linda
Dec 31, 2010 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was fascinating and made me rethink being a woman. It deals with the suppression of the female intellect, identity, and psychological development. My soon-to-be-husband was NOT happy I read this - I really reacted to what I was reading. I simmered down eventually.
Zanna
May 11, 2014 Zanna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism, history
Greer cuts through our absurdly patriarchal fantasies of romantic love, diagnosing the misery and anxiety they cause, and draws a picture of the female stereotype as castrated - a passive receptacle for male sexuality. She also implicates capitalism in shaping and reinforcing patriarchy, with some great passages on the history of women in work. The book is also highly readable, non-technical and funny.

I've recently found out that Greer's later work is explicitly cissexist and transphobic, so I'm
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John
Aug 05, 2008 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone should read it, i doubt everyone will like it though
Brilliant. This book should be required reading for everyone, not just women.
Emma Thompson
I picked up this book not only because of it's historical significance but because a friend mad a blog post about it while having not read it basically saying Greer was an self-important idiot and I really hate ignorance.

Reading this book as a feminist in 2010 there are things about it I don't agree with. I definetley have problems with the blatant transphobia which is a theme through Greer's writings, and she has a rather patchy idea about homosexuality. Some of the things she talks abuot are o
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Lisbeth
Nov 05, 2007 Lisbeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I picked this up out of the Women's Studies section this past January, I was really adrift in life. Greer's book caught me and refocused me, entire paragraphs eliciting a 'fuck yes' aloud.

Germaine underlines that uncomfortable feeling of what it means to be female in modern society, something I'd never noticed until falling into a heterosexual relationship. What does it mean to be expected to play traditional gender roles, to cater or ignore expectations?

A milestone.
abatage
Apr 12, 2009 abatage rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
When I started reading this book I was hoping that it would be an irrelevant, but interesting account of 70s feminism and that most of its messages could now be seen as history. Unfortunately, there's far too much about the concepts and obervations that Greer discusses in this book that are all too relevant to our current society.

While many of the statistics are outdated and even perhaps the intensity of the need for change, there is still a very strong message to be found within. I personally c
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Deirdre
Jul 09, 2009 Deirdre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Greer can be brilliant, can be infuriating. She can shine and she can let herself down horribly. This is a book of its time and I read it when it was first published. Back then, it blasted the cobwebs off a totally patriarchal society but did it in a witty and winning way. This is Greer at her best.

It is sad that whilst this book is now somewhat dated, the battle it engaged with has still not been won. Today's young women in the main think feminism is passé and are complaisant about the superfic
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J.
May 27, 2015 J. rated it really liked it
To try to review a book this monumental would be somewhat ridiculous, so instead I'll report on what it's like to encounter it for the first time so long after it created the ripples that it did with its impact. I'm blown away by how much late Second Wave feminism is already present in this book from 1970 (still somewhat early in that movement). I'm also blown away by how diverse her argument is, cogently handling psychology as well as biology as well as literature. Even the structure of the boo ...more
Leo Robertson
Jan 07, 2014 Leo Robertson rated it it was ok
If I met someone at a party who described herself as a speculative anthropologist (which Greer does not, btw), I'd be hard put not to snort in her face, let alone offer to read her unscientific speculatively anthropological text. So many paragraphs of ungrounded but somewhat believable "men act this way, women are made to act this way", it's tiring and not insightful enough for me to continue.

Which is disappointing, because if anyone was ready to feel ashamed of the antics of his own gender, it
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Sam
Forty five years ago, a softly spoken Australian published a delicate commentary on the position of women in the existing patriarchal society and how a small movement known as feminism has taken on a second attempt at evening things out a little. In reality this turned out to be a feisty, blunt and uncompromising assessment of where the first wave of feminism has gotten us (and yes I mean us, men as well as women) and where the second wave needs to focus and get changes made (basically everywher ...more
Madhulika Liddle
Feb 27, 2015 Madhulika Liddle rated it it was ok
When it was first published in 1970, Germaine Greer's The Female Eunuch drew flak, derision—and accolades for its bold stance on feminism. In her introduction to the 21st century edition of this best-selling book, Greer writes that she wondered back then whether the book would be outdated by the time the 21st century came round.

Not, sadly, to much of an extent. In some ways, women are better off than they were nearly half a century ago. In most ways, though, we seem to be stuck pretty much wher
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Vanessa
Germaine Greer is probably the first name that springs to mind when anyone brings up the subject of feminism, whether you know much about the movement or not. I'll admit that this was the case for me anyway, but I have to say that I did not know too much about her. In fact, I believed her to be one of the 'feminazis', man-hating and bra-burning amongst other things. I decided to pick up her seminal text The Female Eunuch because it came on my radar in the last month or so through YouTube, and I ...more
Charles
Aug 26, 2013 Charles rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The problem with reading a book like this decades after it was written is you aren't a part of that time, and the Female Eunuch was very much a part of that time. Some of it still stands up, but other parts are the statements of a youthful movement, confident in the absolute correctness of its untested positions. Since Greer wrote this, parents have attempted to raise children in a neutral way and seen boys blowing up dolls and nursing fire trucks, suggesting things are a bit more complex than o ...more
rach
May 12, 2016 rach rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminist-theory
I approached this book with an open mind. I'd previously admired Greer for her outspokeness and refusal to be silenced, I'm a radical feminist, I think gender is a construct designed to hurt women, I'm a firm believer in the personal as political, I've even tasted my own menstrual blood (Mooncup splattering incident) - and yet I hated this book with a passion. The chauvinism, the constant blaming of women for being subservient, passive, smothering, bad mothers, bad partners, with no context for ...more
Lea
Oct 26, 2015 Lea rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: terribad
I bought this book a long time ago, when I was living abroad and I had my first contact with feminism. I saw a "gender studies" shelf on a bookstore for the first time, and I went ahead and bought the works of the people I had heard of before. One of them was Germaine Greer.

Apparently she's always been a controversial figure, probably more so today that she can't get away with her raging transphobia. I did not know any of this when I bought The Female Eunuch.

As it happens, this book has been lan
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Siria
Jun 29, 2008 Siria rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, feminism
It's a classic, which is why it should still be required reading for any feminist trying to educate themselves. But it's very, very much of its time, very much the work of a second waver with all the problematic attitudes towards sexuality, homosexuality and race that that implies. Worth reading as an historical record, but not something that I base my own thought on, really.
Meghan
Apr 05, 2014 Meghan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Women and Men
Shelves: womanist
Amazing! All women should read this! Greer really explains how I have been feeling about life, the world, being married, suppressed, not listened to, dismissed, abused and so fourth. This is the first book I've read that says I'm not crazy! I have so much to say but I want to read this again, it was so life inspiring and opened my eyes!
Beth
Nov 01, 2011 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite the age of this book, I still think that most of the insights ring true even today. This book definitely stirred me to support the cause and I particularly admire the passionate way Greer writes. This book played on my mind for a long time after I read it, which I think shows its power even 40 years on
Laura Mosley
Germaine Greer has been in the news recently, claiming that transgender women “can’t be women” and that “just because you lop off your penis… it doesn’t make you a woman.” Evidently, these comments have evoked a variety of responses, with British writer Julian Barnes coming to Greer’s defence, stating that these comments are “perfectly legitimate”, whereas British actor Eddie Redmayne, who plays the transgender artist Lili Elbe in ‘The Danish Girl’ has vocally expressed his disagreement.

Natural
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Diana Gangan
Oct 20, 2015 Diana Gangan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A veridical point made from a sociological angle: trying to infiltrate a corrupt system will only increase the overall corruption and wickedness of it. Revolution, revolution! Reforms are retrograde, powerful women will call you into rebellion; what will you do?
Jessica
Nov 26, 2008 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's validating, this book, from the first sentence. Talk of women breaking through the glass ceiling only to settle. Fighting for equality only to go to college to STILL shop for husbands. Great book. Sad nothing's advanced since.
Straton
Dec 04, 2014 Straton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
...very compelling arguments on feminism, and a strong case the 'rational' of subjugation women.
I would recommend this book to every woman, but importantly, to men.
Gillian
May 13, 2009 Gillian rated it it was amazing
OK, I read this approximately 300 years ago but to this day parts of it still pop into my head. It either saved me or doomed me. I'm not sure which.
Kristina
Eyerolls for days at the transphobia and transmisogyny. Found some of it a bit hard to get through but I took my time and did it
Rob
Feb 16, 2015 Rob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a male in my late 50s this as a book of my time - yet I'd never read it - and felt it was high time I did. I found it fascinating but as another goodreads reviewer said it was a book that needed to be read in the context of the time in which it was written.
Clearly Germaine has a soaring intellect and the book is written as if she just needed to 'get it out' and she did! While I feel many of the assertions are 'a bit over the top', many are as valid today as they were then. I found a number o
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Alekz Hannah
Jun 02, 2016 Alekz Hannah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism
never read the last chapter. dunno why.
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All About Books: Week 13 (1970) - The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer 6 10 Apr 25, 2016 04:38PM  
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The Female Eunuch (Paperback) by Germaine Greer 2 27 Mar 08, 2008 08:16PM  
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Germaine Greer is an Australian born writer, journalist and scholar of early modern English literature, widely regarded as one of the most significant feminist voices of the later 20th century.

Greer's ideas have created controversy ever since her ground-breaking The Female Eunuch became an international best-seller in 1970, turning her overnight into a household name and bringing her both adulatio
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“Maybe I couldn’t make it. Maybe I don’t have a pretty smile, good teeth, nice tits, long legs, a cheeky arse, a sexy voice. Maybe I don’t know how to handle men and increase my market value, so that the rewards due to the feminine will accrue to me. Then again, maybe I’m sick of the masquerade. I’m sick of pretending eternal youth. I’m sick of belying my own intelligence, my own will, my own sex. I’m sick of peering at the world through false eyelashes, so everything I see is mixed with a shadow of bought hairs; I’m sick of weighting my head with a dead mane, unable to move my neck freely, terrified of rain, of wind, of dancing too vigorously in case I sweat into my lacquered curls. I’m sick of the Powder Room. I’m sick of pretending that some fatuous male’s self-important pronouncements are the objects of my undivided attention, I’m sick of going to films and plays when someone else wants to, and sick of having no opinions of my own about either. I’m sick of being a transvestite. I refuse to be a female impersonator. I am a woman, not a castrate.” 124 likes
“Security is the denial of life” 47 likes
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