Good Will Toward Men: Women Talk Candidly About the Balance of Power Between the Sexes

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9780312104719: Good Will Toward Men: Women Talk Candidly About the Balance of Power Between the Sexes

Over the past thirty years, at women's urging, many men have made behavioral and attitudinal changes to improve women's lives. This book examines a basic question that should have been asked long ago: Are there any changes that women - in enlightened self-interest - could make to enhance the lives of men?
In Good Will Toward Men, Jack Kammer talks with twenty-two progressive women, including a former president of NOW, to show how that question opens a win-win opportunity for both sexes.
These are candid exchanges that inject new hope into efforts to ease old problems: How does it hurt male-female relationships to say and believe that "men have all the power"? Is asking a woman to acknowledge her part in a problem the same thing as "blaming the victim"? Why are some women afraid that men really might "express their feelings"? Do women harbor attitudes of superiority over men? What part does "the dark feminine" play in the problem we call "patriarchy"? How are prejudices against men connected to violence and unpaid child support? How deep is women's distrust of men, and what can be done to overcome it? What is the most comprehensive approach to ending sexual harassment?
After reading this book you'll see the age-old War Between the Sexes in a new and hopeful way - a way that makes it possible to end the blaming, to build intimacy, honesty, fairness and mutual respect between women and men, and to create a healthier society for us all.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

An unsatisfying collection of interviews with 22 women about the men's side of the feminist revolution. There's no question that the movement for women's equality that began nearly 30 years ago has sometimes unjustly villainized men and sanctified women. Author Kammer (a Baltimore-based writer and radio commentator specializing in men's issues) attempts to redress the balance by questioning a series of noteworthy women about their views. Presented in a Q&A format, the interviews are interrupted frequently, and sometimes annoyingly, by presumably relevant quotations from other sources. Best-known among the women are anthropologist Helen Fisher and former NOW president Karen DeCrow; others include therapists, academics, attorneys, a sportscaster and a Navy officer. Important points are raised that indeed give men their innings as victims. Among them, according to Fisher, are the sacrifices (often unappreciated) that men make to support and protect their families and the new rituals of courtship. ``There's a great deal both sexes need to learn about [the mating game],'' says Fisher. ``But right now all the blame is on men.'' So terrifying has the charge of date rape become, says another subject, that some young men keep tape recorders under their beds to prove that their sex partners gave consent. Other issues Kammer elicits are painful questions of child custody, family violence, and moral superiority. Elizabeth Herron, a ``gender reconciliation'' specialist, sums it up: ``What we need to do in terms of our gender situation is acknowledge we have a mess here.'' These interviews, though, which skirt uncomfortably close to a flurry of feminist mea culpa, unfortunately do little either to illuminate or sort out that mess. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Journalist and radio talk-show host Kammer here conducts 22 interviews with prominent women about how the battle of the sexes affects men and how rabid feminism, when used as a weapon against men, ultimately hurts everyone--including women. Kammer's questions are probing; the responses from women, among them writers, attorneys and academics, are more likely to stir greater controversy than to inspire a truce in the gender wars. "What do you think of the idea that Playboy magazine degrades women?" Kammer asks Barbara Dorrity, a leading anti-censorship feminist and occasional Playboy contributor, who answers, "I think it's ridiculous." Other topics discussed include male-bashing, reverse sexism, exclusion of men from the domestic front, husband abuse and the traditional male role as "success object." Kammer does not plead for a return to traditional sex roles but asks that women try to understand men as fellow human beings rather than enemies. Kammer and his interviewees, offering a valuable, undeniably slanted take on an ages-old topic, are not persuasive enough to change the mindset of many readers.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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