Friday, 29 March 2013

The Female Man - Joanna Russ

“Underneath you keep saying pleasantly but firmly No no no no no no. But its necessary to my job and I like my job.”

The battle of the sexes becomes out and out warfare in The Female Man.  While the narrative drifts all over the place making the story a little hard to follow there are passages of this science fiction feminist piece which certainly still resonate today which is quite sad given the original publication date of 1975.

Perhaps working in male dominated industries for years confirms, for me at least, the notion that Joanna has of becoming a “female man” to get ahead in her career. To be considered on merit rather than for one’s expanse of chest. There are, however, other passages of the novel that seem quite dated.

In any case, it makes for an interesting read and something quite different from most science fiction I’ve read. Based on some key insights I’m giving this one 5 out of 5.

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