Taking ambivalent measure of the legacy of modern feminism
Dreamers of a New Day:
Women Who Invented the Twentieth Century
by Sheila Rowbotham
$29.95 List Price
In his new book, Paco Underhill, a longtime student of consumer behavior, evinces a particular aversion to the word woman. He prefers instead "the female of the species" or "the female of the household" or "the female of the house." The female of the species, we learn, behaves in a specific, predictable way in hotel lobbies. The female of the species feels about her kitchen the way the male feels about his car. The female of the species prefers certain species of things; for instance, she does not like cookie-cutter mansions, which, "as a species," convey "aesthetic bankruptcy."
These repeated references to taxonomy suggest Underhill believes himself a man of science, or at least an observer of human experience with some interest in the scientific method. They suggest he is a man of data. And this we would expect,
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