Sunday, October 18, 2009

Egalia's Daughters

by Gerd Brantenberg

This was a book that I read for my book club. This feminist novel was originally published in 1977 in Norway and I must say that I found it a little dated and disappointing. I had high hopes for this novel in which the tables are turned and it is a woman’s world. Women hold the power, have careers and provide for their families while the men (or housebounds) stay at home and take care of the children. I thought it would be interesting to explore a society where the women were in control and was disappointed that the author simply flipped the roles of the sexes instead of really thinking about how a society run by women might be different. Of course by the time I got further into the book I understood that the author’s goal was to throw the spot light on our society, not theorize about a true women’s society. The men wear dresses, bows in their beards and fancy decorated “pehos” on their penises which stick through the skirts and hold the penis out straight. Every word with “man” in it has been changed to ‘wim” or “wom” for example seaman is seawim etc. The plot line is pretty thin and none of the characters are particularly engaging but then again, entertainment is not the point of this book. All in all I got the point early on and felt like I was being hit over the head with the authors point. Moreover, 32 years later, our society has changed immensely. Virtually all of the women in my book group are career women and while we can try and imagine what it was like for women in 1977, the issues presented didn’t really resonate with us. Interesting from a historical perspective but not great literature although it did engender a lively and interesting discussion.

1 comment:

Randie said...

As many Goodreads reviewers rightfully said,reading this book and seeing how many injust things have not changed made them angry.In a lot of ways things are worse,with typical sexist woman-hating,degrading,violent pornography unjustly,wrongly mainstreamed all over the internet,gender roles are also being reinforced and promoted even more falsely as natural and how it should be,with the disturbing popular trend of transgendering little children etc.