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The Futures of Women: Scenarios for the 21st Century by Pamel McCorduck

Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.,1996; 288 pp. $24.

Voices speak from scenes set in 2015, in the past tense. Characters from around the planet report on the state of their experience, depending on what events and technologies have come to pass. A science fiction novel? Not exactly. These are "scenarios," developed by shuffling present trends and hard numbers with potential changes in worldwide social, environmental, and economic policies. The authors assert that what most people think will happen won't. They must have had a hell of a time arranging the order of their possibilities: Do we entice the reader with the resurgence of the hidden Goddess or stun her (him) with misogynistic Purgatory?

Pamela McCurdock and Nancy Ramsey don't claim to be oracles — the accuracy of their scenarios will be determined by how much independence women claim or are denied. We're reminded that some women don't want change, others don't think there's imbalance, or feel helpless with regard to evolving the status quo. This book is Hello! for those who only look at the obvious (those damn men!) to answer Why is it like this? Certainly, elements of Futures are upsetting, but it all needs to be here, to sober, illuminate, and provoke. The book is great at teaching that comprehension, inclusiveness, and imagination will benefit women and men.


ISBN: 0446673374

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