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Sexuality Theory

The Female Eunuch

The Female EunuchGermaine GreerBantam Books1971

From Wikipedia: The Female Eunuch is a 1970 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 1970. It received a mixed reception, but by March 1971, it had nearly sold out its second printing. It has been translated into eleven languages. A sequel to The Female Eunuch, entitled The Whole Woman, was published in 1999.

Greer argues that change had to come about via revolution, not evolution. Women should get to know and come to accept their own bodies, taste their own menstrual blood, and give up celibacy and monogamy. Yet they should not burn their bras. “Bras are a ludicrous invention,” she wrote, “but if you make bralessness a rule, you’re just subjecting yourself to yet another repression.”

In a foreword added to the 21st anniversary edition, Greer references the loss of women’s freedom with the “sudden death of communism” (1989) as catapult for women the world over for a sudden transition into consumer Western society wherein there is little to no protection for mothers and the disabled; here, there is no freedom to speak:

The freedom I pleaded for twenty years ago was freedom to be a person, with dignity, integrity, nobility, passion, pride that constitute personhood. Freedom to run, shout, talk loudly and sit with your knees apart. Freedom to know and love the earth and all that swims, lies, and crawls upon it…most of the women in the world are still afraid, still hungry, still mute and loaded by religion with all kinds of fetters, masked, muzzled, mutilated and beaten.

Greer, Germaine (1993). The Female Eunuch. London: Flamingo / page 11

Table of Contents

Body: Gender
… Bones
… Curves
… Hair
… Sex
… The Wicked Womb

Soul: The Stereotype
… Energy
… Baby
… Girl
… Puberty
… The Psychological Sell
… The Raw Material
… Womanpower
… Work

Love: The Ideal
… Altruism
… Egotism
… Obsession
… Romance
… The Object of Male Fantasy
… The Middle-Class Myth of Love and Marriage
… Family
… Security

Hate: Loathing and Disgust
… Abuse
… Misery
… Resentment
… Rebellion
… Revolution