Book Review: Are Women Human?, by Dorothy Sayers


This book is made up of two essays by Sayers, as well as a lengthy introduction by Mary McDermott Shideler (who apparently was an author and magazine contributor, according to my intense 30 seconds of research via Google). The basic point of these essays is, women should not be subjected to expectations and evaluations of how they should act “as women,” but should rather be seen as individual human beings with unique human characteristics: preferences, personality, opinions, strengths and weaknesses, etc.

Sayers makes her case for treating women as people without resorting to “slamming” or putting down men. In her words, “Indeed, it is my experience that both men and women are fundamentally human, and that there is very little mystery about either sex, except the exasperating mysteriousness of human beings in general.”

Prior to reading this book, what I knew of Sayers was that she was an Oxford scholar and a friend of C.S. Lewis, so I figured she was very intelligent and maybe a bit highbrow. I was pleased to find that (although yes, she is brilliant) her writing is more accessible and subtly humorous than I expected it to be. I am planning to search out more of her works.

I am marking Are Women Human? off as “a book with 100 pages or less” for the #VTReadingChallenge.


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