Thoughts on Marilyn French’s The Women’s Room

“The Women’s Room was in its time a modern allegorical novel that offered piercing insight into the social norms accepted so blindly and revered so completely.”

As I turned each page of this book, I could not help but curse this world for letting selfish,  egoistic men rule over women. Perhaps these creatures are just turning a blind eye toward the topic of sexism, but I guess it’s time they understand that the cultural accretions about men being superior to women are wrong on so many levels.

When I reached the ending, I was infuriated at the author for failing me because, I, from the very beginning, hoped that this book would prove that my understanding of men was wrong; that sexism can be defeated after all; that this world is not hopeless for a change; and that true equality can still be achieved. As much as I hate the author for being so casually cruel and honest at the same time, and despite the fact that this book was a work of fiction, I get it.

You see, this book gave me hope when I was reading it–hope that people, men and women alike, will one day realize that male domination is an insult to our gender. However, as I came across the ending, it slapped me hard in the face with the sad reality that what Marilyn French said in the preface of the book is true:

“The single belief that all world religions and nation-states share, whatever their deity or economic system, is male domination. To challenge the assumption that men are by nature or divinity entitled to superiority over women is to challenge the core of almost every society in existence.”

I don’t always want to lend my books to others, but this is the book that I’d like to share with all women, and apparently, with all men that I know.

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