January 31, 2009


This weekend I went to The Housing Works Bookstore Cafe's Basement Sale, where they sold records, comics, and old paperbacks at five for a dollar. Among the predictable Sci-Fi, western, crime, and romance potboiler paperbacks, only a few of them appealing in their cover art or titles (e.g Kiss My Firm But Pliant Lips), I found at least one interesting book - The Feminists by Parley J. Cooper. Written in 1971, it deals with a nightmarish future, in the distant year of 1992, when women would rule the world with an iron fist.

This certainly isn't Swift's Modest Proposal, there is no satirical undertone here - there's barely an undertone at all. The word "bitch" comes up more than a few times in the book, and it is peppered with misogynistic statements like this thought, coming from the male protagonist:
...he doubted that any woman, even a Feminist soldier, would brave following them into the sewage system. Their inherited fear of rats was evident even in Angela, who was, he thought, braver than most.

The plot is exactly what you would expect, with a heroic man taking on the the dreaded Feminocracy. I don't want to spoil the book for everyone, so stop reading now if you don't want to know what happens in the end. The last line of the book is:
The battle of the sexes was coming to an end.

Finally, I really think the title of the book should have been Feministas, but even so, it's still worth the 20 cent investment.

Postscript, 12 February 2009 - I should have pointed out the implications of the middle paragraph on the back cover:
Men must get permission to make love to any female - even if she is willing - or the penalty is death!
This means that there might be a situation where a man asks permission to make love to a woman, and perhaps receives this permission, even though she is not willing (I don't think that would still be considered "making love," I believe it's more like rape). Apparently, if you thought the objectification of women would end when they ruled the world you were sadly mistaken.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! So I have been looking everywhere for a copy of this book, is there any chance you would be willing to sell me yours? :)