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What women don’t want

Voluminous, sometimes silly, these books still show that the pursuit of power and happiness has not been futile

By Jane Shilling   November 2012

Betty Friedan, president of the National Organisation for Women, interviewed during a march in New York City, 1970

Vagina: A Biography

by Naomi Wolf (Virago, £12.99)

The End of Men

by Hanna Rosin (Riverhead, £12.99)

The ancient conundrum, “What do women want?”, has perplexed at least half of humanity for millennia; but Chaucer’s Wife of Bath proposed a pithy solution. In the Canterbury Tales she recounts the story of an unchivalrous Arthurian knight who was condemned to death for raping a maiden. He is saved by the Queen, who grants…

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