Female Eunuch vs. Whole Woman

By Fields, Suzanne | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 24, 1999 | Go to article overview

Female Eunuch vs. Whole Woman


Fields, Suzanne, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Remember Germaine Greer, the fetching feminist photographed in the feather boa for the back of her book, "The Female Eunuch" in 1971? She looked like a modern Moll Flanders - and acted like one, too.

Germaine Greer was a pivotal figure in contemporary feminism, fusing women's liberation with sexual liberation. She's back with a new book, "The Whole Woman," and it's testimony to the failure of the fusion of those two liberation movements. Gone is the saucy, sexy, sassy, and witty feminist that men liked.

She has retreated from "femme fatale" to feminist fatality, from enjoying men to hating them, from sexual liberation to psychological imprisonment. "The Whole Woman" ought to be called "The Half-Baked Woman," so completely does she succumb to the worst of the mirror-image, male-chauvinist stereotypes of her sex. She rages as an overtly untamed, post-menopausal shrew who celebrates female genital mutilation as attesting to "cultural identity," comparing it positively to tattooing and body piercing. (Aren't the women who flee their country to escape genital mutilation asserting their cultural identity?) Her new book is a best seller in England.

This could be dismissed as a pitiful aberration if it were not being hailed by her prestigious New York publisher (Knopf) as a feminist's "call to arms." Young women who don't know Germaine Greer's personal history in contemporary feminism may misunderstand where she stands in relation to her sisters (and brothers) at the end of the century. Her new book reveals her to be an anachronistic crank. She ought to be in the Smithsonian.

What's fascinating though, is that a reread of "The Female Eunuch" shows a similar, ill-informed ignorance (albeit with a better sense of humor), which once passed for feminist intelligence. Samples:

cOn the mother-child relationship in the nuclear family: "During the day the child may be bullied as often as petted. What is certain is that he has too much attention from the one person who is entirely at his disposal. The intimacy between mother and child is not sustaining and healthy."

cOn marriage: "If women are to effect a significant amelioration in their condition it seems obvious that they must refuse to marry."

cOn true liberation: "Women's liberation if it abolishes the patriarchal family, will abolish a necessary substructure of the authoritarian state, and once that withers away Marx will have come true willy-nilly, so let's get on with it.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Female Eunuch vs. Whole Woman
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.