GERMAINE GREER FEMALE EUNUCH PDF

P erhaps politics is always to one extent or another autobiography, but in feminism the personal is a place of special potency. The Female Eunuch , like its antecedent and template The Second Sex , defined the female politics of its day by the use of what creative writing teachers call point of view: the author evolved a politicised narration out of her own experience of being a woman, and because feminism itself might be called an exercise in — or perhaps a tragedy of — point of view, she reflected exactly the individualism that both forms and obstructs the feminist agenda. A feminist is born out of her own sense of frustration and enclosure; she comes into existence in the same moment as — or for the very reason that — she realises she is trapped. It might be said that this is how people are very frequently politicised — they experience the colour of their skin, or their social class, or their religion as limitation — but the logic of the woman-trap and its interface with the world are uniquely complex.

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Pick up the key ideas in the book with this quick summary. Feminism made great strides in the twentieth century. But there is still a long way to go toward achieving true social equality between men and women. The fight to be respected goes on. Germaine Greer, a major voice of the feminist movement, addressed these issues in her seminal text,. The Female Eunuch. It was published in , but many of her ideas remain as relevant as ever. The qualities that society values in a woman match those of a eunuch — subservience and sexlessness.

Women are expected to be attentive, agreeable and patient. They should show mindless joy when given a gift, demonstrate unfailing devotion to their families and a passionless desire for their husbands. In pop culture, dominant women typically appear as one of two stereotypes — the cunning and sexy woman or the athletic and arrogant woman.

The true essence of the woman is lost as media and brands push women to change their appearances to fit this artificial norm. By requiring women to behave and appear as if they were castrated, societal norms also communicate the fact that women cannot and should not play a truly equal role in public — or in private. The way we talk about sex promotes the idea that women are passive receptacles. As a result, women have limited knowledge of their personal experience of orgasm.

The vaginal orgasm, however, is far more euphoric. But if society continues to portray sex as a purely physical act in which women must be obedient and generous and nothing more, women will struggle to experience the full potential of their sexuality.

They succeeded, and the subsequent generations of feminists secured many other victories. Despite this, girls today are still conditioned from a young age to live cautiously, not ambitiously. While young boys are given the freedom to run wild and grow strong, young girls are taught to play with dolls, sit still and stay close to their mothers. Indeed, girls grow up dependent on their mothers, which prepares them for dependency on their husbands in their adult life.

Girls who have been lucky enough to escape societal norms and run around with the boys will be looked down upon as unladylike or strange during puberty. As their bodies change, they are expected to start changing their behavior too.

In early adulthood, societal pressures are still shaping the opportunities open to young women. When they begin school, girls are often far ahead of boys academically. But as learning becomes increasingly driven by independent thought, boys take the lead. Girls fall behind because they are rarely encouraged to develop these skills themselves. Girls often make it to university with no clue what to do with the opportunities they receive there.

Men have long been the arbiters of femininity. It is up to women to reject these restrictive definitions of femininity and bring new ones into the world. Women must start by eliminating the stereotype of the eternal feminine. Poets and painters throughout history have depicted women as fragile and vulnerable, likening them to delicate flowers or capturing them in images of repose and various states of undress. The eternal feminine makes women nothing more than alluring objects that can be owned by men and aspired to as a model by other women.

Women are expected to demonstrate their morality through their benign outward appearance and a gentle, inoffensive demeanor. Women are, of course, powerful enough to bear a child for nine months and give birth. Women are told to feel shame about completely natural processes in their bodies, viewing them as something ugly that must be hidden at all costs.

The success of tampons hinges on their ability to keep the ugliness of menstrual blood contained. Many major religions still deem women unclean and unfit to sleep with their husbands while on their period. As a result, women know little about their own bodies and how to care for them. Rather than living in fear and shame, women must take ownership of their bodies and let their own gynecology empower them.

This is the first step toward a new definition of femininity that goes beyond the batting of eyelashes. Why do women find men in uniforms, from cops to military men, so alluring?

Women have learned to tacitly or explicitly condone violence. If women stopped thinking of violence as heroic, men would have far less incentive to risk their own lives and those of others in dangerous acts. Just as women are under pressure to play the damsel in distress, swept off their feet by male machismo, men are forced into the role of the brave and aggressive hero.

Women should instead only let themselves be impressed by intellectual bravery. Women must also rethink marriage. Many women live their lives with the goal of finding a man to depend on as fast as possible.

Even career-driven women find themselves pressured to quit their jobs once they get married and have kids, leaving them financially reliant on their husbands. By rejecting the dependency of marriage and taking ownership of their lives, women have a shot at achieving true independence. Through experimentation and trial and error, women can discover what it is they really want, both from their careers and from partners.

The task now is to create and normalize a new, liberated definition of a woman. Women must show the world that they have far more to offer than the castrated slaves that society pressures them to be. Societal pressures encourage women to behave as if they were eunuchs, to look entirely non-threatening and to view the natural processes of their bodies as shameful. By rejecting ideals of female dependence, women can create and demonstrate a new and empowering definition of femininity.

Germaine Greer, a major voice of the feminist movement, addressed these issues in her seminal text, The Female Eunuch. This book summary explain her theories. The Female Eunuch Key Idea 2: Our cultural definition of heterosexual sex limits the sexual potential of women. Instead, women are taught to treat sex as something to give in exchange for commitment. The Female Eunuch Key Idea 4: Women are required to hide their own bodies and perform the male conception of gentle femininity.

In Review: The Female Eunuch Book Summary The key message in this book: Societal pressures encourage women to behave as if they were eunuchs, to look entirely non-threatening and to view the natural processes of their bodies as shameful.

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Germaine Greer & The Female Eunuch

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What Germaine Greer and The Female Eunuch mean to me

I first heard about it last fall from a male magazine editor who had read the British edition and said it was the most brilliant piece of feminist writing he had ever read, and it has since been recommended to me by four different men, not to mention Norman Mailer, who plugged it in the course of his anti-feminist tirade in the February Harper's. It seemed to me that there must be something odd about a feminist book which gave pleasure to Norman Mailer, and when the prepublication publicity started -- the photographs of Germaine Greer buttressed with quotations and pieces of biography born in Australia, educated at Cambridge , headed off by some hopeful interviewer with the line, "At last, a feminist who doesn't hate men" -- began to be afraid that they were foisting upon us a ringer, appointing for us a spokesman whose only qualification for the post was her ability to traffic with the enemy. Germaine Greer seemed perfectly suited to that game: hip, handsome, conventionally shocking, she displayed the manner of a liberated woman in the old, acceptable sense of the word, a woman who enjoyed sex and treated her lovers like comrades and who, when she appeared on talk shows, could be relied upon to trade quips with the host like a professional. In fact, "The Female Eunuch" is a great pleasure to read. It is brilliantly written, quirky and sensible, full of bile and insight; if many of its insights are available to us in the work of other feminist writers that does not make the book less interesting. There is no analysis of woman's situation so definitive as Simone de Beauvoir's "The Second Sex"; no feminist after de Beauvoir can fairly claim originality except insofar as, like Kate Millett, she politicized her perceptions. Indeed it seems that what women need now is not further analyses but programs for revolutionary change, and of these Germaine Greer offers little.

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The Female Eunuch Summary and Review

In the early s, a woman's role in society was still set by male expectations. While women were expected to work and be educated, it was considered more important that they marry and become housewives. Women were also paid less than men for the same work, and denied many opportunities because they were women. In , Australian-born author Germaine Greer wrote The Female Eunuch , a book that challenged a woman's traditional role in society, and provided an important framework for the feminist movement of the s. The Female Eunuch called on women to reject their traditional roles in the home, and explore ways to break out of the mould that society had imposed on them. It also encouraged women to question the power of traditional authority figures — such as doctors, psychiatrists, priests and the police — who at the time were not used to being questioned, and to explore their own sexuality:.

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The Female Eunuch, 40 years on

The Female Eunuch is a book by Germaine Greer that became an international bestseller and an important text in the feminist movement. Greer's thesis is that the "traditional" suburban , consumerist , nuclear family represses women sexually, and that this devitalises them, rendering them eunuchs. The book was published in London in October It received a mixed reception, but by March , it had nearly sold out its second printing. It has been translated into eleven languages.

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