Bestselling author and feminist scholar Marilyn French has written a shocking and fascinating analysis of the history of women's political, cultural, physical, and economic repression that is as controversial as it is utterly convincing. In this stunning work of resarch, Ms. French creates a devastating portrait of today's male-dominated global society, with its underlying aim of destroying, subjugating, or mutilating women. Here is a devastating indictment of our values and an important step toward an urgent public discussion of human morality. Ballantine Books (1993), English, Paperback: 224 pages.
From Publishers Weekly
Men's tendency to subjugate and abuse women operates on personal, institutional and cultural levels, notes novelist and feminist French ( Beyond Power ). Boys' desire to dominate girls is instilled in childhood, while grown men see women as mothers owing them caretaking services, she observes. In her sharp analysis a major goal of male-conceived religious movements like Christian fundamentalism and militant Islam is to keep women subservient. Other examples of institutional suppression of women explored by French are discrimination in the workplace, biased divorce judgments and widespread rape, wife beating and male incest, a systemic pattern tolerated by society. On the cultural front she examines male sadomasochism against women in the arts and advertising. A landmark in feminist analysis, this powerful indictment reveals the global extent of men's assault on women, drawing implicit connections between the drive to criminalize abortion, starvation wages paid to women by transnational corporations, genital mutilation in Africa, Third World brothel tours and sociobiology's characterization of male aggression as normal, female aggression as nonadaptive.