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United States: Essays 1952-1992 - Study Guide "Women's Liberation: Feminism and Its Discontents" (1971) Summary & Analysis

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Vidal believes the anger and outrage generated by the women's movement, particularly in its early days, is all the proof he needs that "the girls" (Germaine Greer, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem) are right on the mark. He thus welcomes publication of Patriarchal Attitudes by Eva Figes as "an elegant work" of literature comparable to the exalted work of philosopher John Stuart Mill.

Vidal notes that humans are the only mammalian species that must be taught how to mate, and in a post-Puritan society sex is something shameful and enshrouded in mystery and guilt. Nevertheless, society teaches male and female alike about their stereotyped roles, and if a girl should prefer a chemistry set to a doll there is instant neurosis. "This arbitrary and brutal shaping of...

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This section contains 208 words
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Buy the United States: Essays 1952-1992 Study Guide
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