This time Berger's hapless hero, Georgie Cornell, bucks sexist seas and the havoc wrought by the mad descent of egg and...

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REGIMENT OF WOMEN

This time Berger's hapless hero, Georgie Cornell, bucks sexist seas and the havoc wrought by the mad descent of egg and sperm through the eons. But in this cautionary burlesque, stereotypical Women's Lib readings of sexism (bolstered by relevant chapter pronouncements from the past), are applied to men -- like chastity belts or bound feet. In this (2000 plus) future men have been brainwashed into passivity and a decidedly secondary role, wearing silky things, siliconed, and fussing about ""relationships."" Men are conditioned to deal carefully with the opposite sex: ""Be hysterical -- that scares women. . . then. . . be all soft and unresisting. . . . Most of them find that sexy."" And women, who have wrapped up the reproproblem long ago, collect semen from eligible draftees in camps in surroundings efficient as a dairy (or labor rooms?). And of course the women psychiatrists do their part to help keep the weaker sex under: ""You're a normal, gentle man who's got side-tracked,"" intones one to poor Georgie Cornell, tortured by unworthy memories of wanting to slug someone, or the urge to wear a sports jacket. Throughout his identity crisis Georgie is jailed for possible subversion, thinks about Men's Lib, and there's trouble ahead for this psychic transvestite -- but then there's Harriet, also mixed-up, who chafes against women's responsibilities and wants to cry sometimes. The two escape to the Maine wilderness, both gradually shifting their sex identities into neutral. In that chilly Eden the whole superstructure of sex roles is demolished, but with old-fashioned intercourse and the natural life, another one is undoubtedly on the way: ""If he was going to be builder and killer, he could be boss (sic) once in a while. Also he was the one with the protuberant organ."" A lesser exercise for Berger, since the characters are dominated by the device, but amusing cosmic-comic moments.

Pub Date: May 1, 1973

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1973