Read Turning on the Girls by Cheryl Benard Online


In the wickedly amusing Turning on the Girls, Cheryl Benard proves herself to be truly an equal-opportunity satirizer.It's the year 2000-something. A decade ago, the world's power was seized by women, and since then things have been wonderful...or at least they will be -- just as soon as the new rulers finish fixing things. Meet Lisa, a dedicated young employee ready to doIn the wickedly amusing Turning on the Girls, Cheryl Benard proves herself to be truly an equal-opportunity satirizer.It's the year 2000-something. A decade ago, the world's power was seized by women, and since then things have been wonderful...or at least they will be -- just as soon as the new rulers finish fixing things. Meet Lisa, a dedicated young employee ready to do her part. Why does she have stacks of pornography and romance novels on her desk? It's her job: To come up with politically correct fantasies for women. No more lovesick simpering, no more masochistic daydreams! Women are going to learn to be turned on by healthier, more dignified fantasies -- as soon as Lisa can come up with some.Good thing she has her trusty assistant, Justin. About to graduate from the men's reeducation program, Justin's ready to do whatever it takes to make this project a success. But elsewhere, male discontent ferments: Harmony, a secret men's movement, is planning an uprising to reclaim world power. It's up to Lisa and Justin to infiltrate Harmony. Before long they find themselves in Zone Six -- where the unreformable men reside -- on the run, trying to save the world as they know it....

Title : Turning on the Girls
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780743442916
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Turning on the Girls Reviews

  • Joni
    2019-02-17 08:26

    In a futuristic world, a Feminist group has taken over the world in what they call, “The New Revolution.” The women have established a new government. They have put men through re-education programs to instruct them on the ways on becoming more sensitive to the new world order. Men that do not conform are sent to place called Zone Six away from the rest of society. A narrator takes the reader through the action of the plot while the main character, Lisa, a member of the Ministry of Thought attempts to complete her assignment of recreating and reprogramming more “appropriate” sexual fantasies for women that are devoid of patriarchal or anti-revolutionary material. While Lisa and her assistant, Justin attempt to work on their assignment, they are inadvertently drawn into a power struggle between the Radical feminists, the reigning Women’s government, and an Underground Men’s Group named Harmony that is trying to take back control of the world. I stumbled upon this novel completely by mistake—or shall we say it must have been a serendipitous library surprise. I was looking for something completely different and found this novel. I really didn’t know what to think after reading the blurb on the inside cover, but I decided to give the book a try. The novel is an interesting mix of science fiction, humor, and political incorrectness. It started off a bit slow for me. However, after I had read a few chapters, I started to get into the story. I thought it really was hilarious. Benard pulls no punches as she makes fun of basically everyone in this novel from feminists to macho men. I found the novel to be a funny, little read.

  • Sherwood Smith
    2019-02-20 02:34

    It's told in a delightful voice, very reminiscent of Thackeray's Vanity Fair. Women have taken over the world, which has correspondingly less violence, crime, and pollution. Lisa, a young woman, is assigned to reconstruct erotica so that enlightened women can enjoy it. She's given a nice young man named Justin as an assistant. But all is not well in Paradise: there are plots afoot to restore things to the bad old days, and not just men but women are involved. Everyone has an agenda. Lisa and Justin are chosen to infiltrate…but meanwhile they continue their research. Very funny riffs on the pompous twaddle of Anne Rice and Ayn Rand, the Marquis de Sade, and others of that ilk. Also an interesting look at romance novels—and how women are secretly reading them in this enlightened world. The ending is unexpected, unpredictable, and cinematic, and the prose refreshingly humorous, wise, and with a direct hit on social foolery quite worthy of Jane Austen at her best.

  • Kristen
    2019-02-06 00:40

    This was a fast read and the narrative voice was funny and entertaining. Basically there is a revolution and women run the world. There are radical and counterrevolutionary movements afoot. The main character Lisa finds herself in the middle of it all--and as a twenty-something she is rightfully a bit confused. The only problem is that the author seems to have a very shallow view of feminism. These are sort of academic/mainstream feminisms at play. The radicals are into violence, the mainstream is gullible and the counter-revs are rednecks. So the characters are interesting, the world is interesting, but the feminism is...well not that interesting. I didn't feel that any of the characters were actually feminist, they were just what the authors thinks feminists look like from the outside.

  • Liz
    2019-01-25 04:36

    A very enjoyable read. Really, candy! Guilty pleasure here, though, because the discussion of feminism Bernard is attempting to articulate here is very "either/or". A fun postfeminist romp, though problematized in terms of its central arguments and its definitions of feminism(s).

  • Miriam
    2019-02-17 03:24

    A fun read. I really liked the narrator's intrusions to address the reader directly. I liked the point that if you let Huxley or Orwell get away with their revolutions that made everything different, you have to let her have her say, too. Except that that's also lazy writing, not to come up with the actual starting scenario. But it's charming, too.OK. So, if I understand this book's arguments about men and women, we all suck because we're people. The genders may choose different paths to destroy themselves and others, but they still like those end results. Bureaucracy is absurd and soul-crushing, no matter who is in charge of it.I thought that there was some slippage between her "nature" and "nurture" categories, meaning she doesn't always decide what is genetically programmed or inherent and what is learned behavior. She gets away with it by setting her revolution in the transitional phase between people who were kids during the ancien regime and kids who are growing up with supposedly more gender-neutral education.She does a good job of creating a variety of men and women--men who hate the revolution, who exploit it for their own benefit, who go along with it, who are outside of it, and women who prefer the AR ways (LOVE the bit about the housewives who have been diagnosed with a disorder that makes them want to clean stuff and so must be dealt with kindly but who are to be pitied, while at the same time they make excellent spies because they become socially invisible but always have a ready excuse if caught snooping: "it's for your own good" or "What? I didn't know it was secret!"), who want a touchy-feely aroma-therapeutic revolution, who believe in re-education, who don't believe in it.As for the sex research. Hm. In the end, she dodges the question as to what an "appropriate" post-revolutionary sex fantasy would be. Lisa's research goes on. As I guess does all of our research. The idea that "it's all about power" is a good one, and very nearly answers the question, but still leaves something to be desired in a fleshed-out scenario (see what I did there?). The quarry thing was weird, as was the use of _The Fountainhead_ as a sexy book. But I'm fairly sure I read one of the other ones that she mentions but doesn't name: something about a forced marriage in a castle, with kilts and stuff. The variety of settings that disguise strong plot/archetype similarities is true in romance fiction (or maybe ALL fiction?), but that still doesn't answer the question. And I guess that could also be the point: we MAY be able to "re-civilize" ourselves and reconceptualize gender roles and relationships, but sex (and even love--she says that love is a constant that messes with EVERYTHING, even revolution) is hard to figure out and talk about. It's a doing thing (field research) more than a research thing (archives, documents). But, I sort of feel like I'm reading that in myself and giving her a little too much credit.It's been a rough week for sexual assault reports in San Diego. It's probably actually ALWAYS a rough week for sexual assault reports. So I find myself thinking that I would accept some of the contradictions of that new world for the safety of the streets for women. I can't conceive of how different the world would actually have to be for violence against women to be a thing of the past, and that lack of my own imagination makes me sad.

  • Kevin Connery
    2019-02-06 00:30

    I couldn't tell if it had pretentions of being 'literature', with the author stepping in on page 2 to point out that the premise is unusual, that the reader has to suspend disbelief in the setup, and that if they can accept talking pigs as a metaphor for political satire (cf Animal Farm), the setup she's presenting should be easy--or where this was just a draft, and the authorial notes to herself were just left in. Things like 'this needs a deux ex machina or two', or the 4th-wall breaking note "Yes, at this point in the story, I'm going to invent a theme restaurant....But this is a science fiction novel, so I'm allowed to come up with totally outlandish ideas like this". Either way, the story would have been far more effectively told without that technique.

  • Jennww2ns
    2019-01-26 04:35

    I've read books where the narrator interrupts and thought it interesting and novel (The Map of Time) but it's much different when it's the author doing the interrupting. Bernard spends a lot of time explaining why she's writing this book, why she should be allowed to write this book, what the back-story could possibly be and overall explaining her characters and her reasons for writing them as she has. Does this lady have a self-esteem issue?I like to immerse myself in my books and I can't do that when the author is constantly pulling me aside and giving me, what feels like, a guided tour.

  • Kay Baird
    2019-01-21 04:34

    After women take over the world, they still need to change reactionary thinking. Lisa's job is to reform ideas about sex. I was excited by this premise: "Just the book I'm looking for," I thought. Well, I was disappointed, because Lisa quickly gets caught up in other activities, and we never hear what she might have accomplished at work. I sent the book back to the library and then couldn't remember enough about it to comment here. So I had to read the book a second time -- and I'm glad I did, because without the expectations I'd brought with me before, now I had fun reading Benard's Orwellian irony. Not for feminists who are true believers.

  • carmie
    2019-01-27 04:28

    This book is both Margaret Atwood with a pixie-like sense of humor, and a little twee. It's a snapshot of the world after the Revolution which leaves women in charge. Frankly, it seems to reinforce the statement that feminism is for middle-class white women.UPDATE March 2014:Have apparently forgotten that I read this, and checked it out/read it again without remembering in the least my prior reading. Still twee. Still skips right over race relations and assumes dismantling patriarchy will magically dissolve the casually brutal racism so many powerful white feminists visit upon women of color.Also, I didn't know you could smoke catnip. There's a joke in there somewhere.

  • julia
    2019-02-16 05:33

    ok, this book wasn't a 5-star based on great writing (as per usual) but rather for being the exact book I needed at the exact right time. This is a sort-of sci-fi futuristic look at the world after the Feminist Revolution when women take over the world. the three factions operating are not entirely clearly written and the dialogue is har-har at times but all if you need a shot of completely feminist ballsy curled in bed by yourself fiction fluff, this is the book for you. Great Christmas Eve all alone read.

  • Tatiana
    2019-01-24 08:33

    i did a psych paper on a randomly chosen romance novel once. that's kinda what this book is like. a disguised romance novel poking fun at romance novels (and many many other things). it's funny. way more funny if you've taken women's studies classes.

  • Patricia L.
    2019-02-06 08:48

    If the heat gets to hot, go back into the kitchen! I enjoyed this feminist new world and yeah it is tres difficult to find more appropriate sexual fantasies for women. I love how the author injects herself into the story, if only she could have gone lighter with the exclamation marks.

  • Melinda Worfolk
    2019-01-21 07:21

    Enjoyed it--very entertaining utopian/dystopian comedy, and the author is a skillful, playful writer--but the author's concept of feminism is rather simplistic. She seems to belong to the "it's not that I want to go back to the bad old days, but we don't really need feminism anymore" camp. Mmmhmm.

  • Aurora Blind
    2019-02-15 02:23

    The opening premise of this book is that women stage a wold take-over not unlike the cultural revolution in mid 20th century China. I thought it was fun and hilarious. Great satire on 20th/21st century sexism and gender roles, somewhat weaker on actual feminism.

  • Sage Ardman
    2019-02-14 03:20

    Brilliant and witty. Not really a romance novel, but then again, perhaps it *is* a romance novel. Or perhaps a romance novel inside of a romance novel, with the author jumping in every once in a while to give us the truth and keep us laughing.

  • Nicole
    2019-02-01 00:46

    This is one of the few books I took back to the library without even reading a quarter of it. The plot could have been interesting, but I did not like the writing style and could not connect with the characters.

  • Beth
    2019-02-12 06:39

    I don't normally go for sci-fi type books, but this one was predicated on women running the world which caught my attention. Very imaginative.

  • Sara
    2019-02-14 03:31

    Hilarious! Highly recommended. :)

  • LaLa
    2019-02-16 06:36

    An incredibly facinating premise... What would the world look like if the women took over and re-educated society (Think cultural revolution in China....)

  • Julie
    2019-01-31 06:29

    Engaging tour through the many strains of feminist theories on sex, gender and power made palatable by large doses of humor.

  • Hirondelle
    2019-01-22 06:31

    A satirical take on future feminist ruled society. I remember that I enjoyed it very much. I wonder if it would survive a reread.

  • Abigail
    2019-02-16 04:29

    tongue-in-cheek and fourth-wall-breaking, and i am very fond of it.

  • Marya DeVoto
    2019-02-19 02:39

    Really funny setup, seemed to then need to have a reason to exist so there had to be a counter-revolution and then I got bored.

  • Kristen
    2019-02-15 08:27

    No one seems to know about this book, but I really enjoyed it. Nice commentary about gender politics, but it doesn't beat you over the head or get preachy.