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

THE GUILT CAGE: Housewives and a Decade of Liberation

Email this 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)