Books by Jack Kammer

Released: Feb. 14, 1994

An unsatisfying collection of interviews with 22 women about the men's side of the feminist revolution. There's no question that the movement for women's equality that began nearly 30 years ago has sometimes unjustly villainized men and sanctified women. Author Kammer (a Baltimore-based writer and radio commentator specializing in men's issues) attempts to redress the balance by questioning a series of noteworthy women about their views. Presented in a Q&A format, the interviews are interrupted frequently, and sometimes annoyingly, by presumably relevant quotations from other sources. Best-known among the women are anthropologist Helen Fisher and former NOW president Karen DeCrow; others include therapists, academics, attorneys, a sportscaster and a Navy officer. Important points are raised that indeed give men their innings as victims. Among them, according to Fisher, are the sacrifices (often unappreciated) that men make to support and protect their families and the new rituals of courtship. ``There's a great deal both sexes need to learn about [the mating game],'' says Fisher. ``But right now all the blame is on men.'' So terrifying has the charge of date rape become, says another subject, that some young men keep tape recorders under their beds to prove that their sex partners gave consent. Other issues Kammer elicits are painful questions of child custody, family violence, and moral superiority. Elizabeth Herron, a ``gender reconciliation'' specialist, sums it up: ``What we need to do in terms of our gender situation is acknowledge we have a mess here.'' These interviews, though, which skirt uncomfortably close to a flurry of feminist mea culpa, unfortunately do little either to illuminate or sort out that mess. Read full book review >