THE INNER MALE: Overcoming Roadblocks to Intimacy by Herb Goldberg

THE INNER MALE: Overcoming Roadblocks to Intimacy

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Yet another reprise on the theme Goldberg has been promulgating from The Hazards of Being Male (1977) to The New Male-Female Relationship (1983): Men are ""gender-conditioned"" to be controlling and dominating; women to want commitment and closeness. This ""defensive polarization,"" argues Goldberg, produces more problems than beset Job. Men feel engulfed and manipulated; women feel shut out and used. The problem: both parties treat each other as ""objects."" Yet people want to be loved for what they are; they do not want to be a means for fulfilling someone else's gender-conditioned needs and fantasies. Male/female liberation--if it is just a veneer overlaying a ""traditional"" man or woman--complicates this witches' brew. ""Openness"" becomes complaints about the partner; some men feign ""liberation"" to exploit women. The permutations are seemingly endless, and so are the case histories. Goldberg calls for a ""middle zone"" wherein both sexes relate to each other as ""whole people"": a Herculean task that involves casting aside ""gender defenses"" and facing the reality of oneself. He claims that when people no longer look on careers, children, and each other as status symbols or objects of gratification, the world will be transformed--science will become ""tools to enhance life experience,"" nature will be protected as ""an optimal support system for the biological human animal,"" and so on. An oft-played theme, done well--but with few new variations.

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 1987
Publisher: New American Library