4 out of 4 stars
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Woman – The Failed Male: The Missing Link in Theories of Male Superiority is a very informative and enlightening, albeit startling, book written by Dr. Geraldine Sharp.
The book has fourteen chapters with the last chapter titled ‘Discussion’ but more like a summary of the entire book. It is written with the purpose of discovering the ‘truths’ pertaining to the presumed superiority of men over women and to answer the question as to where this notion came from.
The author begins with a relatively long and quite thought-provoking introduction where she gives a very promising overview of the book. The succeeding chapters cover discussions on various topics including patriarchy, celibacy, the divine phallus and the divine liquid.
The book explains that men and women are stereotyped with men given all the positive characteristics like intelligent, strong and independent while women are given the opposite like simple, weak and need guidance and protection. These stereotypes are held and maintained by our patriarchal society which leads to the subordination of women. Moreover, the author explicates the role of the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, to the justification for this subordination. In addition, the book emphasizes the contribution of the Three Fathers of the Church: Augustine, Albert and Aquinas to re-enforce the negative view of women.
There are so many interesting parts in the book. One of my favorite is the biased view on the story of creation where Eve took all the blame in Adam’s and her being cast out of Paradise for offering him the forbidden fruit while Adam was vindicated for not dissuading Eve. Another interesting part is the explanation on why celibacy was enforced on priests but more so is the fate of the wives and children of priests when celibacy was codified.
The most interesting and important part of this book, for me, however, is the revelation of the missing link in the theories of male superiority. It is so basic and so obvious that it comes as a shock to know that that is the ultimate reason for all the discrimination, prejudice and abuse that women suffered all this time. The explanation is so simple that it is very easy to understand and acknowledge the veracity of the claim.
All in all, this is a very interesting, informative and enlightening book. It is scholarly written, well-researched and well-referenced. It contains startling revelations that will open up the minds of the readers and may change how they view men, women, the church and the entire society.
However, some readers may find the book repetitive and redundant. Though the repetition may be due to the need to emphasize very important points, it may be found vexing by some readers. Moreover, some male readers may not feel comfortable with the subject matter which might limit possible readership. Finally, I noticed typo errors in the book which are thankfully very few.
I, therefore, rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to female readers, feminists, religious leaders and world leaders.
Woman The Failed Male
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