The Female Eunuch

by Germaine Greer

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How did the publication of Germaine Greer's The Female Eunuch influence women across Australia to change the perspectives of young women on self-value during the second wave feminist movement?

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Germaine Greer's study of women in The Female Eunuch had an impact globally, not only on women in Australia. It's also important to note that Greer began work on the book while living in London. It originates from her PhD dissertation. Therefore, while memories of her mother and her upbringing in Australia were important influences, Greer's outlook was far from provincial.

When considering Greer's influence on helping women develop a sense of self-value, it is especially helpful to look at the final chapter of her book, in which she encourages women to understand how they are complicit in their own oppression. If women want to change the world so that it better serves them, they must learn to respect their insights and actions and demand little to nothing from men. Women, according to Greer, have to stop entering marriages with the hope that it will bring security. Instead, they should organize themselves socially around other women.

I would also argue that Greer's writing on women's attitudes toward their own bodies is especially pertinent. She tells women to learn to be so comfortable with themselves that they can taste their own menstrual blood. If they can't bring themselves to do this, that indicates that they've internalized the belief that the female body and its functions are repugnant. Learning to stop regarding oneself with distaste is key in developing self-value.

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