Sex and the Office: A History of Gender, Power, and Desire (Society and the Sexes in the Modern World) is a dreary history of how women and men have cohabited in offices, from the early days of exploited, submissive secretaries to today’s more even opportunities. Dreary, you say? How about this, “Romance provided women with the linguistic means to tell their stories, but it also mediated what they could say and how they could say it”? The aforementioned romance novels are abundantly quoted as illustrations, together with the o-so-realistic other Sex and the Office of Helen Gurley Brown fame — which is a little surprising since one would think that it would be possible to find at least a few women who lived and worked in the 50’s and 60’s and interview them for a more realistic picture of working conditions back in the day.
More surprisingly for a supposedly learned tome, it contains a number of misused words as in “dispenses any man … to a branch office far away”. I wore out my thumb pushing the Kindle Next Page button to get to the end.