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Thursday 11 May 2017

In Theory

A third day in a row on the bike. So in theory I should be fighting fit and ready to blast out a good time at the Outlaw. In theory.

It’s tennis tonight, that is if I can summon the energy for it. L meanwhile hopes to be following doctor's orders and heading off to lie in the sauna to pretend it’s the Bahamas. Although the sauna might make her book go a bit soggy and I'm not sure they allow wine in there.

Then afterwards its drinks in the Victoria.

L has been listening to ‘The Power’ by Naomi Alderman which I have already listened to it but now it is on the list for the Bailey's (Women’s Only) Prize which spiked L’s interest. She appears to like it whereas, although I was intrigued by the concept if it, in the end I ended up loathing the book. So perhaps it's time for a rare book review.

It’s basically a work of speculative fiction where women have evolved genetically and suddenly they have become the more powerful sex. This results in uprisings in parts of the world where women are currently suppressed and other righting of wrongs such as the victims of sex trafficking turning on the traffickers themselves. So far so good.

Well, not quite. In Saudi Arabia, where women have been suppressed for the generations, they are suddenly throwing off their robes, rioting in the streets and indulging in casual sex. I think not.

While in the West, a new female religious leader rewrites the bible along with it's associated history and feminises religion. Really? Would anybody be that bothered?

Obviously, the world would change but the subsequent large scale changes are hugely oversimplified. Sadly, there is very little about what effects it would have had in the civilised Western world where equality is closest. That would have been interesting but was presumably too difficult for the author to get their head around.

The book could have explored so many more 'what ifs' but instead ducked most of the big issues and instead had the women mostly going on a power crazed rampage. In today's world, a man (or a woman) would be arrested for the crimes they commit but in the new world of ‘The Power’ no one ever is, not even for murder.

In the end rather than empowering women, the book sells women a bad deal. It suggests that if they did become the more powerful sex, then rather than build a better world, all they would do is demonstrate that they can be far more horrific and brutal than men currently are or possibly ever have been. It's a pretty miserable idea that sets history back thousands of years.

(Thursday 11th May)

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