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The Female Man by Joanna Russ

The Female Man

by Joanna Russ

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,671396,937 (3.54)1 / 123
Living in an altered past that never saw the end of the Great Depression, Jeannine, a librarian, is waiting to be married. Joanna lives in a different version of reality- she's a 1970s feminist trying to succeed in a man's world. Janet is from Whileaway, a utopian earth where only women exist. And Jael is a warrior with steel teeth and catlike retractable claws, from an earth with separate-and warring-female and male societies. When these four women meet, the results are startling, outrageous, and subversive.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
Russ is burning with white-hot feminist rage in this book, which is mostly great. It feels so of its time (1975) - the bad old days, when being a feminist was fighting a war, even more so than it is today. In parts near the end it gets weird and gender-essentialist and transphobic, and that's a problem. But I am mostly glad this book exists. It's very unconventional, makes a lot of really good points, and is unafraid of being radical. ( )
3 vote xiaomarlo | Apr 17, 2019 |
I've read a couple of Russ SF books and liked them. This was not SF and it was not worth my time. Not sure who was responsible for giving it an award but they were not judging it on it's contribution to SF.

The whole man hating thing is important to Russ but it does not a good book make.

Could not finish it. Life's too short for this noise. ( )
  ikeman100 | Jan 24, 2019 |
A classic of feminist science fiction that I put off for entirely too long. I loved it. Especially in this moment -- the #metoo, Trump presidency, #bluewave, #waveofwomen moment. That so much of this book is still so relatable is just disgusting. Four women from different moments in Earth's (alternate?) past/present/future and thus four different cultures, four different societal relations between men and women, are all brought together and their effects on each other and judgements of each other and their worlds are by turn spectacular/hilarious/tragic/questionable.

An intriguing, witty, surprisingly fresh take on humanity. Highly recommended. ( )
2 vote greeniezona | Jan 24, 2019 |
Much more Second Wave Feminism than I'm usually into, fascinating largely for the passage near the end portraying societies where women are entirely separated from men (due to a full-on, literal gender war) and each society has developed new genders. I've never seen a second-wave feminist do that. ( )
1 vote jen.e.moore | Jan 23, 2019 |
I found this hard to follow, and finally gave up. ( )
  MarthaJeanne | Nov 22, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joanna Russprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bontrup, HiltrudTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clute, JudithCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drews, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harman, DominicCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, GwynethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vasilakis, AnastasiaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to Anne, to Mary and to the other one and three-quarters billions of us.
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I was born on a farm on Whileaway.
“I didn’t and don’t want to be a ‘feminine’ version or a diluted version or a special version or a subsidiary version or an ancillary version, or an adapted version of the heroes I admire. I want to be the heroes themselves.”
As my mother once said: the boys throw stones at the frogs in jest.

But the frogs die in earnest.
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Four women living in parallel worlds, each with a different gender landscape. When they begin to travel to each other's worlds each woman's preconceptions on gender and what it means to be a woman are challenged. Acclaimed as one of the essential works of science fiction and an influence on William Gibson, THE FEMALE MAN takes a look at gender roles in society and remains a work of great power.
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Beacon Press

An edition of this book was published by Beacon Press.

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