Read The Natural Superiority of Women by Ashley Montagu Online


Among the central issues of the modern feminist movement, the debate over biology and culture over sex and gender, over genetics and gender roles has certainly been one of the most passionately contested. Making revolutionary arguments upon its first publication in 1953, The Natural Superiority of Women stands as one of the original feminist arguments against biological deAmong the central issues of the modern feminist movement, the debate over biology and culture over sex and gender, over genetics and gender roles has certainly been one of the most passionately contested. Making revolutionary arguments upon its first publication in 1953, The Natural Superiority of Women stands as one of the original feminist arguments against biological determinism. An iconoclast, Montagu wielded his encyclopedic knowledge of physical anthropology in critique of the conventional wisdom of women as the "weaker sex," showing how women's biological, genetic, and physical makeup made her not only man's equal, but his superior. Also a humanist, Montagu points to the emotional and social qualities typically ascribed to and devalued in women as being key to just social life and relationships. Subsequent editions of this book have provided additional support for Montagu's arguments, examining both biological and social scientific data of the late 20th century. One of the most broadly renowned and read scholars of our century, Montagu brings out this fifth edition with up-to-date statistics and references. A lengthy foreword by Susan Sperling contextualizes the book within the intellectual histories of feminism and anthropology, noting the huge social and intellectual changes that are spanned in Montagu's life and writing. Montagu's foundational book is an important addition to the library of all gender scholars....

Title : The Natural Superiority of Women
Author :
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ISBN : 9780761989820
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 336 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Natural Superiority of Women Reviews

  • Kelly
    2019-05-04 21:38

    So I was totally skeptical of this book. I mean the title is pretty in your face and the one I read (which my awesome husband bought me, I think partly as a joke) was super dated (it’s the second edition, so was published in 1953) but I LOVED it! It was really, really interesting and doesn’t argue that women don’t need men or anything extremely radical like that, in fact, it argues against women trying to be like men and notes that the greatest achievement and most creative endeavor is to bear and raise children, the first of which only women can do. It spent a lot of time dispelling common myths regarding feminine and masculine traits/characteristics and if you have ever wondered about differences between the sexes this book is for you. If you’re still not convinced, he starts the book by noting that the truly superior person doesn’t feel the need to lord it over anyone but that this is something only inferior people do in order to feel superior (see page 10). And although it may come off as cheesy and idealistic at the end he says: “The best way of remaking the world is not by changing the world but by changing the people who make the world the kind of place it is, by making human beings out of people” (page 189-190) and how women have constantly been involved in this task. If you've ever suffered from an inferiority complex and are a woman READ THIS BOOK!

  • Jenna Bryce
    2019-05-02 21:04

    Ashley Montague was a giant in his field. As a teacher, he discovered he could not teach in class what he teaches in this book. Both male and female students would not hear him. The females were made uncomfortable. The males were made angry and derisive. So he wrote the book. It's common knowledge among biologists that mammals are all female, becoming male by some sort of imperative as they develop in the womb. Males are an adaptation of the female. It ought to be common knowledge by simple observation. Why do males have nipples? Cats, dogs, pigs, choose your mammal. It's so obvious it's laughable. Montague argues that the female body is superior to the male's. He does NOT argue that that the female is superior to the male. In class, this went unheard. In the 1950s it became very apparent that Montague was right since there were females being trained for the space program at the same time males were. No publicity was given to the women for the obvious reasons. In every test, a woman's body proved superior to a male's for the task of space travel. Look it up. It's true.Montague's book is a classic, or should be. It's even-handed, sensible, honest and fair, even bending over backward so that males will not become defensive. Ashley was a male and he knew what he was talking about.

  • Dini
    2019-04-27 16:47

    Courtesy of the University of Indonesia's Faculty of Humanities' library, this book helped form the foundation of my interest in gender studies and feminist issues. Oh by the way, the writer is a man.

  • Cherry
    2019-05-06 18:54

    I loved this book, because it said what I really needed to hear at that time and that was that Women are AMAZING just look at what they can do.

  • Maelanie
    2019-05-20 17:03

    I strongly urge all women to read this book, and men to. Do not let the title mislead you. It is not at all what you think. I found it very informative, empowering and gave me ammunition to deal with the stresses of life as a woman in this world. This would help men to correct how they see/treat women, and as a result save the people of this world from themselves. I am convinced; that should things remain as they are in our so called 'civilized societies', the people of this world shall never become 'human', and thereby, inevitably doomed. Read this book with an open mind, and see for yourself. You will not be disappointed.

  • Karen wako
    2019-05-10 18:57

    I loved this book. The title speaks for itself.

  • Ki Longfellow
    2019-05-26 21:42

    This book, merely on content, deserves 5 stars. But Montagu's fairly constant apology to males got on my nerves. Whilst it's true, the mind of a man can easily be equal to a woman's, his body cannot. This drives men crazy, so much so Montagu couldn't teach the biological truths (known to most leading biologists) of this book in a classroom. Men would boo him silent. So he wrote a damn book. And a damn good and fascinating book it is. But he's obviously still ducking the anger of males who can't accept the design of their bodies is a modification of the primary design - the female body.

  • Donna Davis
    2019-05-20 17:48

    Three stars is supposed to be "liked it". Actually, it pissed me off, but it is a classical read for students of women's history, and so it still graces my shelves.Montagu essentially says that women are naturally better than men BECAUSE WE CAN HAVE BABIES. Everything good and decent about us comes from our hormones. It's a whole different way (somewhat) to stereotype women and make it sound like a compliment. He is scholarly in his approach, misusing science to make a case that actually falls apart pretty badly, but for any student of women's rights, it's a big step in the contemporary evolution of women's history, and so it's better to know what the man has to say, even though it tastes of gall.

  • Sean
    2019-05-23 20:59

    This book is understandably annoying.I agree with female biological/genetic superiority.What I find unseemly about it is the assumption of statism. Pick at my use of "unseemly" if you like; how is it any different from Ashley's title? I have had close ties with anarchism for many years now, only recently going slightly away from it. The predominant contention and reason for the provocative title, I imagine, is the historical subjugation of women. The origin of this subjugation is statism; it's partner is patriarchical thinking. Nonetheless, statism is statism, and without taxation there would be no state, male-dominated or not.

  • Valerie
    2019-05-06 19:57

    I haven't seen this edition, and would like to, but I have an older edition.A lot of people don't know that 'Ashley Montagu' was actually his surname. Not sure what the first names were--the initials were M F.There's a concept of intellectual genaeology. Montagu was taught by people of Franz Boas' generation, and taught many in the generations after. In the acknowledgements to The Mismeasure of Man, Stephen Jay Gould comments that genes may be selfish, but there can be no gene for selfishness, and specifically thanks Ashley Montagu for critiquing and correcting the manuscript.

  • Eliza
    2019-05-02 21:50

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, which is written by a MAN! And that too Ashley Montagu, who is an anthropologist as well as an expert in other fields (e.g. Psychology). He also wrote the UNESCO statement on Race. It addresses all the main capabilities of humans and shows a comparison between man and woman. He is not trying to pull down men, but wants them to realize that their insecurities is making them subjugate women. He puts forth, that love, kindness, gentleness, caring are more important than achievement and success to the human race.

  • Yvette Cole
    2019-05-21 19:53

    'Required' reading for feminists of the 70's. Good read from an academic,anthropological viewpoint.Need to re-read to see if it holds up today. When I would read it on the bus, men would be visibly and verbally shaken and upset......HA,HA,HA,.

  • Bridgid
    2019-05-13 21:35

    A rather dry and obviously biased book, but I do love the subject matter.Some basic ideas include that women recovery from illnesses better and live longer. Women use energy more efficiently, can withstand extreme conditions like cold and heat.