by Mark Baker ‧ RELEASE DATE: Feb. 1, 1992
One hundred men speak anonymously and candidly about their ""core issues."" Here, Baker continues his oral-report format of 'Nam (1981), Cops (1985), and Women (1989)--with mixed results. Leading off with a chapter entitled ""Women,"" a plethora of familiar complaints against feminism is unveiled: Women, Baker's interviewees say, are too governed by hormones to be responsible; women in corporations are butch; women are derailed by emotional issues. Most of these men seem to be still manning the bunkers after the war has long passed them by. In the chapter ""Men""--which Baker introduces by saying, ""men live in fear for much of their lives: fear of stepping out of narrow boundaries""--we hear that ""I'm envious of men who can touch each other""; ""men are raised to sacrifice""; and ""a lot of women don't understand that men have dreams."" These speakers sound middle-class, without exception. The book comes alive with the chapter on sex. Here, many stories of uncertainties and of experimentation at age 11 or 12 reveal much, and are most affecting. One man tells of a persistent tumescence in grade school: it was necessary to concentrate on Sister Mary Concepts so he could stand up from his desk. The next chapter, ""Love,"" is equally engrossing, tackling the issues of romance versus sex (""The big lie in romance is that there is only one person for you""); courtship (""I'd like to find a girl and fall in love, but...they're all shopping at the holistic market and pretend they want to be organic and spiritual, but they're really judgmental""); and disaster (""when I [woke up] the only thing in the apartment was the bed I was sleeping in. She'd taken everything""). Included also are excellent chapters on dads, homophobia, abortion, and physical education. Fun for men to check themselves out, and for curious women to have a look--and could soar high on the crest of the men's movement.
Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1992
Page Count: 240
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1991
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