PARTNERS: How to Have a Loving Relationship After Women's Liberation by Susan Washburn

PARTNERS: How to Have a Loving Relationship After Women's Liberation

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This sometimes-wise, sometimes-hackneyed exploration of couple relationships in the Eighties takes its departure from a workable premise one step beyond militant feminism: that although living independently can bring women an exhilarating ""sense of completion,"" living with a man who is ""complete within himself brings a greater joy, the expansion of self. . . ."" This positive note prevails throughout discussions of male misgivings, female ambivalence, work, money, and domestic arrangements--the most explosive issues in the gender-role conflict in toto, but also the most difficult to approach from a fresh perspective. In the so-what's-new department: ""Nowadays women have begun to worry about losing their femininity in the course of gaining their freedom."" Or: ""A woman who has a satisfying job can afford more emotional generosity in a relationship. . . ."" But, more insight-fully, changing a relationship is seen as a by-product of changing oneself; it is not achieved by demanding concessions from one's partner. The overall key: ""unilateral cessation of game playing."" This is mostly one woman's observations on the scene, aided by interviews with 16 couples headed toward liberation, and matched by an occasional dollop of self-help advice: not earth-shattering, certainly, but a pleasant enough wrap-up.

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 1980
Publisher: Atheneum