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Has anyone read The Women's Room by Marilyn French?

(19 Posts)
BellaBear Fri 15-Aug-08 19:38:16

I'm rereading it for about the tenth time, but the first since having a baby. Every time I read it I feel I get it on another level.

Anyone want to discuss it?

TantieTowie Fri 15-Aug-08 19:51:12

I remember thinking it was really relevant when I was 22 - the last time I read it (and 17 years ago). I've trying to find my copy again because it does seem to me it would be something else completely after a baby. One thing I remember really clearly was how one of the characters would sit in the dark with a glass of spirits and a cigarette of a late evening, because that was the only time they ever got to themselves.

BellaBear Sat 16-Aug-08 08:58:39

I was reading the suburban housewife bit thinking thank goodness I was born now rather than then and then later one of the younger characters says this and how things have changed and they have a discussion about how so many things are just the same.

But some things really resonated with me, such as the fact the DH just expects to help with nappies, feeding, nights etc, and how much things have changed since the 50s

moondog Sat 16-Aug-08 09:00:44

Yes, it's great!
I remember my mother giving it to a downtrodden friend circa 1979.

BellaBear Sat 16-Aug-08 16:45:22

I agree!
Did the downtrodden friend like it?

Cappuccino Sat 16-Aug-08 16:47:06

I did love it, utterly, but it is so trashy

it is like feminist chick-lit compared to The Golden Notebook grin

anorak Sat 16-Aug-08 17:00:27

I liked it a lot. It must have been a real eye-opener to some women in it's time. An important work for the women's movement.

BellaBear Sun 17-Aug-08 08:57:00

Why trashy?

ponyoni Sun 17-Aug-08 22:39:49

hhmmm. was about 15 years ago that i read it and sort of enjoyed it but didn't think it had terribly much to say either on a political/feminist or on a literary level but maybe i need to re-read it. i think thankfully, things have moved on a bit since then so hard fought battles seem less momentus then than now...not that there isn't still ground to cover...

ravenAK Sun 17-Aug-08 22:41:32

I like it a lot. She also did 'My Father' though. which is fun but quite trashy IIRC...

themoon66 Sun 17-Aug-08 23:48:29

I read it when a 6th former in late 70s. Loved it.

You've made me think it's about time I re-read it as a 40 something with teenagers smile

MrsJohnCusack Sun 17-Aug-08 23:50:27

I read this as a sixth former too - think I will dig it out and try it again after this thread

BellaBear Mon 18-Aug-08 09:16:45

I think I read it for the first time as a 6th former as well grin

I've just finished it, I was loving the bits where she gets to know her teenage sons properly

And I really like that there are so many individual stories in there.

I suppose what is missing is any discussion of non-white women in america as well as an update of stories from the seventies onwards

amateurmum Mon 18-Aug-08 09:24:43

It's a real period piece - very interesting from the perspective of early feminism.

Doesn't resonate with me as relevant to my life, though.

BellaBear Mon 18-Aug-08 09:26:21

it resonates with me as being very different to my life, if that means anything!

suzywong Mon 18-Aug-08 15:24:11

oooh I might give it another go
it turned me in to a tub thumping feminist in the late 80s
I would personally add an addendum or two. One of which would be: You shall know no satisfaction like the satisfaction of having emptied and processed every laundry basket in the house with everything away in the appropriate drawers. Not a thing, no nothing like it.

Because, let's face it, that is what life is really like and it ain't no bad thing, really . Is it? I mean it's a great feeling is it not?

MrsJohnCusack Mon 18-Aug-08 21:01:58

it's a bloody great feeling
I have just finally sorted out bedrooms/washing/clothes storage in this house and it feels FAB

nkf Mon 18-Aug-08 21:06:02

Read it years and years ago.It felt like a bit of a period piece even then.

suzywong Tue 19-Aug-08 01:05:41

Hi Five to my Sister across the Tasman Sea
<kisses husband as he goes out to work and conptemplates a day of self-fulfiling domesticity. Seriously>

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