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The Natural Superiority of Women

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  70 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Among the central issues of the modern feminist movement, the debate over biology and culture over sex and gender, over genetics and gender roles has certainly been one of the most passionately contested. Making revolutionary arguments upon its first publication in 1953, The Natural Superiority of Women stands as one of the original feminist arguments against biological de ...more
Paperback, Fifth Edition, 336 pages
Published January 28th 1999 by Altamira Press (first published September 1st 1979)
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So I was totally skeptical of this book. I mean the title is pretty in your face and the one I read (which my awesome husband bought me, I think partly as a joke) was super dated (it’s the second edition, so was published in 1953) but I LOVED it! It was really, really interesting and doesn’t argue that women don’t need men or anything extremely radical like that, in fact, it argues against women trying to be like men and notes that the greatest achievement and most creative endeavor is to bear a ...more
Jenna Bryce
Ashley Montague was a giant in his field. As a teacher, he discovered he could not teach in class what he teaches in this book. Both male and female students would not hear him. The females were made uncomfortable. The males were made angry and derisive. So he wrote the book. It's common knowledge among biologists that mammals are all female, becoming male by some sort of imperative as they develop in the womb. Males are an adaptation of the female. It ought to be common knowledge by simple obse ...more
I loved this book, because it said what I really needed to hear at that time and that was that Women are AMAZING just look at what they can do.
Courtesy of the FIB UI library, this book helped form the foundation of my feminist leanings. Oh by the way, the writer is a man.
Jan 12, 2015 Sean rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who still think males are better than females.
This book is understandably annoying.

I agree with female biological/genetic superiority.

What I find unseemly about it is the assumption of statism. Pick at my use of "unseemly" if you like; how is it any different from Ashley's title? I have had close ties with anarchism for many years now, only recently going slightly away from it. The predominant contention and reason for the provocative title, I imagine, is the historical subjugation of women. The origin of this subjugation is statism; it's p
Karen wako
I loved this book. The title speaks for itself.
I strongly urge all women to read this book, and men to. Do not let the title mislead you. It is not at all what you think. I found it very informative, empowering and gave me ammunition to deal with the stresses of life as a woman in this world. This would help men to correct how they see/treat women, and as a result save the people of this world from themselves. I am convinced; that should things remain as they are in our so called 'civilized societies', the people of this world shall never be ...more
Three stars is supposed to be "liked it". Actually, it pissed me off, but it is a classical read for students of women's history, and so it still graces my shelves.

Montagu essentially says that women are naturally better than men BECAUSE WE CAN HAVE BABIES. Everything good and decent about us comes from our hormones. It's a whole different way (somewhat) to stereotype women and make it sound like a compliment. He is scholarly in his approach, misusing science to make a case that actually falls a
I haven't seen this edition, and would like to, but I have an older edition.

A lot of people don't know that 'Ashley Montagu' was actually his surname. Not sure what the first names were--the initials were M F.

There's a concept of intellectual genaeology. Montagu was taught by people of Franz Boas' generation, and taught many in the generations after. In the acknowledgements to The Mismeasure of Man, Stephen Jay Gould comments that genes may be selfish, but there can be no gene for selfishness, a
A rather dry and obviously biased book, but I do love the subject matter.

Some basic ideas include that women recovery from illnesses better and live longer. Women use energy more efficiently, can withstand extreme conditions like cold and heat.
an old read- early impact on me
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a British-American anthropologist and humanist, of Jewish ancestry, who popularized topics such as race and gender and their relation to politics and development. He was the rapporteur (appointed investigator), in 1950, for the UNESCO statement The Race Question. As a young man he changed his name to "Montague Francis Ashley-Montagu". After relocating to the United States he used the name "Ashley ...more
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