This collection of essays examines women-hating in politics, religion, literature, history, and popular culture. Using references to current events, best-selling novels, popular films, and historical texts, Smith explores the society that coerces men and women into stereotyped roles, separating them and creating a male-dominated power structure. Despite an apparent deadlock in the war between the sexes, Smith sees hope for the future. Unlike militant feminists such as Andrea Dworkin ( Letters from the War Zone, LJ 9/15/89), she feels that gender-specific behavior enforces unnatural separation of men and women. She wants to open a dialog that will result in healthy relationships between the sexes. By working together, they can create a new, egalitarian society. While much of her critique and exhortations for change have been heard before, her positive approach is refreshing. Recommended for most collections.--Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L., Cal.
``A deep-seated hatred of women'' has many manifestations in our society, according to British novelist-journalist Smith in this collection of hard-hitting essays. Covering the case of the Yorkshire Ripper in the 1970s, she had her views on abuse of women validated. She follows the misogynistic trail in England in the public attitudes toward Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher, and in the U.S. in the depiction of women in films and in popular novels such as Sophie's Choice and Presumed Innocent. In articles that perceptively delineate male biases regarding the role of women going back to antiquity, Smith brings a fresh viewpoint; however, her comments about the Virgin Mary, ``a pretty hopeless role model for other women,'' are gratuitously offensive. (Jan.)