Books : reviews

Mary Evans.
The Woman Question: readings on the subordination of women.
Fontana. 1982

Why are women universally subordinate to men?

And what do the answers to that question tell us about women themselves, about society, and about men?

This collection of readings raises questions central to the woman’s movement and feminist debate. Each of the eight sections explores the material and ideological basis of sexual inequality, in the family, the labour market, politics, education, the media, literature and popular culture. Drawing on historical and cross-cultural perspectives as well as on contemporary writings, the sections illustrate the ways in which social processes and structures elaborate and legitimize the differences between men and women, while challenging the assumption that such differences are an innate and invariable condition of social life.

The book includes extracts from Mary Wollstonecraft, Sheila Rowbotham, Simone de Beauvoir, Adrienne Rich, Tillie Olsen, Barbara Taylor, Mary McIntosh and many others.

Mary Evans.
Killing Thinking: the death of the universities.
Continuum. 2004

We are told that this world represents our best hope for intellectual vitality and creativity. We are also told that we should pay more to enter it and experience its rich resources. Yet those rich resources are increasingly marginalized by cultures of assessment and regulation, the heavy costs of which (both financial and intellectual) are to be carried by students. Increasingly students are being asked to pay for the costs of the regulation of higher education rather than education itself. Access to Higher Education has become more widely available: the implications of that change are the concern of this book.