THE NEW MALE-FEMALE RELATIONSHIP by Herb Goldberg

THE NEW MALE-FEMALE RELATIONSHIP

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KIRKUS REVIEW

After The Hazards of Being Male (1977) and The New Male (1979), California psychologist Goldberg has little to add to his previous observations on liberated relationships. But what he has to say is OK, as far as it goes. Women have traditionally been limited to a helpless/dependent child role; men have been limited to the role of breadwinning, nonemotional, sexual-performance machine. Women have clenched their teeth and suppressed their aggressions (though they surfaced in certain anti-male behaviors); men have displayed a fear of intimacy. Love often turned to hate as the two polarized gender-roles attempted to first complement each other and then (obsessively) prevent each other's change, lest the other no longer fill the vacuum presented by one's own gender limitations. Then came the transition: women were confused (""Repulsed by the liberated male, she may find. . . that Mr. Macho begins to look good again""); men were confused (""As he struggles to change, he drives her crazy with his own contradictory messages""); and balance was lost as the two parties became up-tight and defensive. The prescription: be playful; treat each other less as symbols, more as individuals; etc. In other words, don't choose and groom a partner for a specific gender role, but treat him/her as an individual. Swell--if you haven't heard it 87 times before.

Pub Date: March 31st, 1983
Publisher: Morrow