WHY CAN'T A WOMAN BE MORE LIKE A MAN? by Celia Halas

WHY CAN'T A WOMAN BE MORE LIKE A MAN?

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An interesting format and a good handle on female psychology make this a worthy successor to psychotherapist Halas' 1978 I've Done So Well, Why Do I Feel So Bad? Taking the communications gap between the sexes for granted, and resting on a set of seven assumptions about the ways in which women differ from men (from ""powerlessness"" to ""fantasy orientation"" and ""ambivalence"" about sex), this attempts to answer 20 of the most common questions men ask Halas about their wives, mothers, or whoever. Halas uses cases to explain each seeming quirk: one woman suffers middle-age depression because she sacrificed all for home and child-rearing, only to be seemingly unvalued by husband and teenage children. ""Why does she act so helpless?"" some men ask, and a two-part answer is offered: because men continue to reward her for being that way, and because she has never mastered the art of self-reliance as her male counterparts have been taught to. Men are quickly apprised of the part they play in whatever problems they attribute primarily to their women: wives remind their husbands of their mothers because, to some extent, the wife is picked for her resemblance to mom, so naturally her actions will elicit long-buried annoyances. And so on. Of course, all this is more applicable to the traditional homemaker than to some of the newer models of women; and feminists may even find some of the explanations (or the need to explain at all) somewhat demeaning. But for men who are thoroughly bewildered by the needs and actions of women, a good, patient explanation.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1981
Publisher: Macmillan