|Regiment of Women (1973) [Novel]|
by Thomas Berger
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Georgie Cornell, a 29-year-old secretary for a publishing house, lives the life of a typical working girl of the 1950's, ready for work in tailored blouse, pleated skirt, stockings and heels, dodging the advances of a lecherous senior executive, clandestinely reading outlawed "dirty books", visiting the analyst, repairing makeup. But this isn't the 50's, it's the 21st century, and Georgie is a male, in an ecologically traumatized future America in which the Female Establishment keeps men in their place, fashion-hobbled in pumps and matching purse. The timid but stubbornly independent Georgie ends up posing as a woman, in slacks and fedora, in an attempt to escape the confines of a female-dominated society, along with his fiercely feminist sweetheart. With this simplistic role reversal, the author seems to say "What if men were like women, and women were like men, how would you like it then, guys, huh?", but it's hard to tell sometimes if he is spoofing the patriarchy or the feminists; maybe both. Feminist critics who consider feminism itself beyond criticism have dismissed the novel as an attack on feminism, while others consider it thought-provoking, or just silly.
Original title: Regiment of Women
Genre: Fiction→ Science Fiction→ Sex & Gender Roles
- For the original jacket, Paul Bacon placed male faces on the figures in Ingres's "Turkish Bath".