THE MYTH OF MALE POWER by Warren Farrell


Why Men Are the Disposable Sex
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 The War Between the Sexes escalates considerably with this broadside attack in which men's-movement leader Farrell (Why Men Are the Way They Are, 1986, etc.) contends that the more subjugated sex is...the male. Farrell was on the board of directors of NOW in N.Y.C. until he realized that he'd ``been listening to women but men.'' What he finally heard from men--and from his research into socioeconomic issues--is explosive. Through numerous short-take paragraphs, Farrell--armed with hundreds of thoroughly documented statistics and legal citings--argues that men are oppressed by several ``glass cellars,'' among them war (in which it's mainly men who die); suicide (``A husband whose wife dies is about ten times more likely to commit suicide than a wife whose husband dies''); and ``the death professions'' (``The Jobs Related Almanac...found that twenty-four of the twenty-five worst jobs were almost-all-male jobs''). He emphasizes that women live, on average, seven years longer than men, and that men's health issues, unlike women's, are basically ignored. He contends that women's net worth exceeds men's, and that economic power, if measured by spending rather than by earning, belongs primarily to women (``Both sexes buy more for women''). Farrell accuses government of becoming a ``substitute husband'' through welfare and through discriminating in favor of women in cases of murder, sexual harassment, and rape; castigates current laws regarding date rape and spousal rape; and claims that many accusations of rape are false. Finally, he predicts that the ``mythopoetic'' men's movement will become ``political and activist''--a prediction he seems to be trying to fulfill through this book. Farrell's claimed aim is to heal through rebalancing, not to wound. But as a veteran of confrontational TV (Oprah, Donahue, etc.) and other media, he must know that this work will cause far more dissension than dialogue--and that its very provocativeness may well make it the hottest men's book since Iron John. (Illustrations)

Pub Date: Aug. 4th, 1993
ISBN: 0-671-79349-7
Page count: 512pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1993


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