WOMEN, MONEY AND POWER by Phyllis & Emily Jane Goodman Chesler


Email this review


Chesler's Women and Madness antagonized a good many people, even feminists--yet it has proved to be one of the more challenging works to come out of the women's movement. This new venture, co-authored by Goodman, should provoke another storm. Caustic, abrasive, extreme in both language and argument, it's uncomfortable to read. No matter. The authors take on the rude subject of women and the ""money culture."" Bluntly they state that ""there has been no economic liberation."" Or: ""every woman is just one man away from welfare."" The much-touted fact that women ""own"" most of the stocks in the US is, they claim, meaningless since women do not control or manage the assets registered in their name. Some few women do make good salaries (""for a woman"") but at a price. A woman who makes it in a male establishment has learned the body language of deference; she is motherly, daughterly or coquettish or better yet, asexual--above all she has learned not to threaten the male ego. The basic argument is that women accept no-status roles as housewives or low-paying jobs to avoid something ""worse"" (poverty, rape, social ostracism) not to achieve something ""better."" The posture is always defensive, fearful. Should women, as some feminists claim, give up alimony? Hell, no. Liberation doesn't begin with giving up the little one has. There's more: on the psychology of volunteerism, women and credit, women and the IRS--all leading to the conclusion that women are not only confused by the money culture but also ""physically and economically afraid of men."" The book will be attacked on many counts (despite impressive research)--not least by the dismayed women who will be unwilling to acknowledge that things are as bad as all that.

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 1975
Publisher: Morrow