THE GUILT CAGE: Housewives and a Decade of Liberation by Suzanne Lowry

THE GUILT CAGE: Housewives and a Decade of Liberation

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KIRKUS REVIEW

There may be some who will be interested in this accounting of what feminists are doing and thinking on the other side of the Atlantic; others will find many of the references too culture-bound to penetrate. Curiously, Suzanne Lowry, a journalist first at The Guardian and then at The Observer, thinks her countrywomen lag behind the Americans in demanding their rights; but then she also thinks American women are ""all too ready to blame men in general, and the man sleeping next to them in particular, for their woes""--so we don't get unrelieved high marks. Lowry runs through some of the issues of feminism as it is perceived in Britain: advertising atrocities (which have given way to a new ""ambiguity"": the women mopping the floor could go to work as well); wife-battering (relief agencies noted); and the financial vulnerability of the ""just housewife"" (one proposal would give all housewives a ""flat stipend"" to free them from dependence on their husbands' paychecks). Lowry also notes an attitude of self-sufficiency among the advisory members of the women's movement: ""It's up to thinking women to do something with their lives."" Interviews with eight housewives--from the women who relinquished an accountant's career but ""rather hopes"" her daughter won't, to the dreamers about to embark on marriage and motherhood as a full-time career--round out the book. Marginal.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1980
Publisher: Hamish Hamilton (North Pomfret, Vt. 05053)