WHY DO I THINK I AM NOTHING WITHOUT A MAN? by Penelope Russianoff

WHY DO I THINK I AM NOTHING WITHOUT A MAN?

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Remember the low-key therapist who advised Jill Clayburgh in An Unmarried Woman? Well, she's evidently a low-key therapist in real life, too; and in this modest effort she continues to speak to women's insecurities about men. What about the feminist movement, one wonders? Hogwash; despite some external differences, women today still carry the same ""inner chant"" as their Fifties sister: I feel ""empty"" when my man (or a man) is not around. For this, Russianoff blames the prevalence of ""The Noah's Ark Factor"" (we grew up thinking everyone was part of a couple)--along with the frequent messages that dependent behavior is what gets the man. We hover on their every word and gesture (one woman hounded her husband about not loving her if he didn't want sex nightly), and suffer from a lack of sexual definition: we don't know whether or not we really want sex on a date, we just know that we want to please (or not offend) him. So what to do? Needless to say, no one has come up with a foolproof plan; but Russianoff makes some tentative stabs. Become financially independent; find work that offers a creative outlet; appreciate women friends (and men as friends only); and if all else fails, ruminate on the advantages of aloneness: ""You can leave tomorrow for Paris without thinking twice. . . ."" Some decent insights on side issues--female vs. female competition, for example--but largely in the propping-up-your-backbone school of self-help.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1982
Publisher: Bantam