It's 2000 something, the world has just been taken over by women, and things are wonderful, or at least they will be just as soon as the new rulers finish fixing things. And here's Lisa, a dedicated young employee of the new government, ready to do her part. Why does she have stacks of pornography, love stories, and romance novels on her desk? Well, that's her job! To come up with politically correct sexual 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 -- just as soon as Lisa can come up with some. And if you think that sounds like a fun assignment, why don't you try it. Don't tell her boss, but Lisa's pretty much totally stuck!
Fortunately, she has her trusty assistant, Justin. He's about to graduate from the Revolution's men's reeducation program, and he's willing to do whatever it takes to make this project a success. Working in the Ministry for all of these very serious ladies can wear a guy out, but Justin keeps himself entertained with a private project of his own: to investigate whether, contrary to appearances, liberated women actually do have a sense of humor.
Meanwhile, not all men are pleased with this kinder, gentler world. Harmony, a secret men's movement, is planning a violent uprising to put women back in their place. Lisa and Justin are recruited by security forces to infiltrate Harmony. Before long they find themselves in Zone Six -- where the un-reformable men reside -- on the run, trying to save the world as they know it.
Cheryl Benard's deftly comic novel gives us a chance to envision a world designed by women and to reflect on how such a world would differ from our own.
Turning On The Girls
Lisa returns to her office, fifteen minutes late and not very happy. Pushing aside a stack of books and slumping into the chair, she locates her prompter. She stares at her compuscreen and at the paragraph she was working on before lunch; no, it has not miraculously turned brilliant during her absence. She picks up a book from the side table; it is a copy of Pauline Réage, Story of O. Lisa throws it hard, it flies forward and hits the door. Being a paperback, it fails to make the kind of satisfying thud that a hardback would, but even so it has made a noise, and the door opens. A young man sticks his head in, inquiringly. "Coffee?" he asks.
Okay, time out, I need an introduction and I might as well put it here. The first thing you have to know is that, in my story, women have just taken over the world.
My main character is going to be Lisa, whom you have just met, and she will work for the Ministry of Thought, Department of Values and ...
If you liked Turning On The Girls, try these:
Chronicles five women's attempts and failures to create a new life. A farcical story about women who - new politics aside - can't quite see past the allure of power and bad men.
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