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Damned Whores and God's Police

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  146 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Sexual harassment, domestic violence and date rape had not been named, although they certainly existed, when Damned Whores and God’s Police was first published in 1975. That was before the Sex Discrimination Act of 1984 and before large numbers of women became visible in employment, in politics and elsewhere across society. It’s hard to imagine an Australia where these abu ...more
Kindle Edition, 781 pages
Published March 28th 2017 by NewSouth (first published 1975)
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4.08  · 
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 ·  146 ratings  ·  12 reviews


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Susan
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Australian history and social culture
Shelves: feminism

When Damned Whores and God’s Police was first published in 1975, I was in my first year at university, and just about every young woman I knew raved about it. But it wasn’t until several years later, when Anne Summers’ groundbreaking work was prescribed reading for a post-graduate unit on Australian political culture, that I read the book and realised what all the fuss was about. Summers skillfully captured Australia’s unique and troubled attitude towards women, tracing it back to our colonial b

...more
Aphie
Aug 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has a middle-class white feminist problem. Ms Summers talked about how women 'don't have to be tied to child-rearing' but place the children in daycare centres... (WHO ARE APPARENTLY STAFFED BY UNGENDERED GHOSTS??!!)
Since having my son and then entering the profession I am always so utterly flabbergasted and enraged by MiddleClass White Mummies who seem to just overlook that the majority of people (STILL) who care for their children are women... and more often than not women who are n
...more
Jennifer
I’m a feminist. How can I have not read this seminal book until now!?! Yes, the world has changed much since it was written, and yes, the perspective is largely a middle-class one, but Summers’ arguments on the dualism of the stereotypes of women and her account of history of women in Australia should be read by all, especially young women who say they are not feminists.
Amanda
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every person who wants to understand why feminism is so important needs to read this. Examining the often dichotomous nature of women's lives and the damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't binary of choices for them, Anne Summers uses the so-called 'birth of a nation' to explore how this position turned women into their own worst enemies.

There is an obvious absence of native women's voices and those of minority migrant communities but as a historical understanding of the position of women who arri
...more
Karen Price
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
good book now a bit old but sadly STILL relevant regarding cultural stereotypes towards women in the West. Damned whores refer to those women who break stereotypes and dont play by the rules and Gods police refers to the more stereotypically programmed women who POLICE the infringements on the status quo. Whilst Feminism often recounts narratives of male originators of sexism, this book details some of the issues relating to female to female sexism. Its probably something every go getting woman ...more
Brad
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book comparing what Anne Summers believes to be Damned Whores and God's Police. Helpful in learning about feminist historians and what other peoples views are from the past. Sure you could read the intro, but puts the history of women in Australian history into perspective.
Stephanie
Feb 25, 2014 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Lest anyone fear for my moral decay, I'm interested in reading this because it was quoted in a Bruce C. Hafen speech to the world Congress on families. He cited it as an example of the moral force of women.
Kerry
Sep 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent essay on the roles assigned to early Australian female settlers and the social contradictions arising. Terrific.
ivana
Nov 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-school
Only read the introduction.

Interesting to provide a backdrop for culture and values.
Lisa
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've only reviewed the (quite long) introduction to the new edition. See https://anzlitlovers.com/2017/03/08/d...
Jennifer Rolfe
Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this when it first came out and it was such a relief at the time to have this. I didn't feel so alone in my appraisal of society at the time.
Nicola
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although outdated in some areas, still very pertinent to todays society.
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Professional

Dr Anne Summers AO is a best-selling author, journalist and thought-leader with a long career in politics, the media, business and the non-government sector in Australia, Europe and the United States.

She is author of eight books, including the classic Damned Whores and God’s Police, first published in 1975. This bestseller was updated in 1994 and, again, in 2002 and stayed continuously
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“If we constantly rewrite history to fit how we see things now, we forget how things used to be and, equally important to future scholars, how we used to see them.” 4 likes
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