For women born in the immediate post-war period there were the years BG and AG--"before Greer" and "after Greer". It's all too easy to underestimate it's influence, but the fact is that in 1970 every self-respecting woman on the Left owned a copy of The Female Eunuch. Greer's book broke the ground that women of today stand on--her unique stance combined outrageous humour and assertiveness to lead the way forward for women who wanted to take control of their lives.
Thirty years later in The Whole Woman, Greer is ready to get angry again. Picking up where she left off, she analyses the invasive ways in which the health industry persuades women into having their bodies and reproductive systems "managed". Greer lays out the facts about the high failure rate and devastating side effects of in vitro fertilisation, and the incongruence between the "success" of breast implants in achieving the "perfect" mammary to please men and the continuing failures in detecting and treating increasingly prevalent breast cancer.
Greer's polemic has the confident virtuosity of wit and maturity. Celebrating women's successes, The Whole Woman is a more positive book than The Female Eunuch. Yet again, Greer has put her head above parapets others still fear to scale, and looked into the realities of the present as well as the possibilities for the future for the whole of women's lives. --Lisa Jardine