In this ground-breaking book, Anne Summers maintains that two ways of defining women quickly became entrenched in Australia. Women were perceived either as "damned whores" - the label given to convict women in the first years of white settlement - or "God's police", "respectable" women who from the early days of colonial Australia were assigned the role of moral guardians of the community. This persistent stereotyping has shaped what women have - and have not - been able to do in Australian society.
Anne Summers remains passionately engaged with the problem of whether women can break through the constraints of Australian society to lead independent and fulfilled lives.
In 1994 she updated this classic work to take stock of the two decades that followed the tumultuous changes of the early 1970s. Now she adds a clear-sighted assessment of where women stand in the new century, summarised in a comprehensive Time Line that will allow women to see just what has been accomplished - and how far there is still to go.