Agnieszka Graff is a sleuth detecting feminine absence in public life and uncovering women's traces, and the niches into which they have been forced. "World without Women" is controversial and sure to provoke discussion - of which we can never have too much...
Agnieszka Graff is a sleuth detecting feminine absence in public life and uncovering women's traces, and the niches into which they have been forced. On the book's cover we see a man dressed in a suit with a paper bag (or maybe a ballot box?) over his head. This unpleasant situation seems not to bother the man (a politician? a TV announcer?) at all. He sits calmly, with his hands folded in a position that seems to say "Everything's under control. Everything's OK." This little scene offers a good illustration of the book's contents: in the 100-meter sprint, women in Poland first have to run several kilometers just to reach the starting block, after which they will still be asked with great concern before the race begins, do they really want to undertake such unfeminine exertions? Running might cause them to sweat, after all, and mess up their hairdo. Agnieszka Graff observes such social games, listens in on conversations and on the myriad messages directed at women, analyzes them and reveals the mechanisms hidden behind them. She does not, however, offer a ready recipe for happy social intercourse, and she manages to avoid becoming pedantic.
Students writing seminar papers on feminism-related topics will at last be able to explain, on the basis of abundant sources, where the myth of the bra-burning feminists originated. People irritated by the ways in which feminist arguments have been ignored, mocked, and written off will find a penetrating and pointed analysis of the strategies used to silence women in the chapter "Michalki, and Other Takes on Feminism" a penetrating and pointed analysis of the strategies used to silence women. World without Women is not a collection of dogmatic feminist arguments served up on a platter for the reader to accept, internalize, and use from then on in her personal or professional life. It is controversial and sure to provoke discussion - of which we can never have too much. (Beata Kozak)
Agnieszka Graff (b. 1970) translator and journalist, graduate of Amherst College and Oxford. She lectures in American Studies and Gender Studies at Warsaw University.
- Agnieszka Graff
World without Women / Świat bez kobiet
Wydawnictwo W.A.B., Warszawa 2001
© WAB, rights available
145 x 205, 288 pages, paperback