Top critical review
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Highlights Important Issues
on October 7, 2003
Warren Farrell does an excellent job in highlighting legitimate men's issues such as: domestic violence against men, Men's health ( it is MEN'S health that is underfunded ), Female chauvinism (belief that women are morally superior to men, as opposed to male chauvinism which is the belief that women are too irrational to fend for themselves), negative male stereotypes and violence againsst men in the media, the neglect paid to attrocities inflicted on non-combatant males (non-combatant men are civilians and deserve the same protection as women!) ...etc.
Farrell also exposes feminist duplicity on many issues such as making excuses for violent behavior (there is no excuse for violence against WOMEN but feminists come up with tones of excuses for violence committed BY women against men), the draft, and sexism and discrimination. Also worth reading is Farrell's debunking of the notion that war is all men's fault and that women are more peace loving. Although most combatants in war are male most WOMEN have supported the causes that thier countries were fighting for and encouraged the men to fight and shamed those that did not.
Where Farrell's book loses points however is that it advocates too much gender conformity. Farrell claims that traditional roles for Men and Women are destined to bring tham psychological harm and therefore must be socialized away from them. Thier is much evidence to refute those claims. That being said i believe that Men and Women have the right to be Feminine or Masculine and to seek partners with either one of those characteristics if they choose. Thier is nothing wrong with a man paying for a date... as long as the woman does something special to deserve it (like being sweet, gentle...etc). Farrell risks alienating many people who may be somewhat more conservative than him from the Men's movement.
Another weakness of the book is it's focus on trivial issues such as male circumcision, paying for dates...etc. and the comparison between a raped woman and a terminated man are ludicrous. Men's activists should stick to important issues.
Finally Warren Farrell is too soft on feminism. He claims that feminism started out as a benevolent movement of women who just want equality. If that were true then there would be no need for a men's movement as someone who really believes in "equality" would give equal consideration to issues where men are at a disadvantage. To date this simply has not happened. With honorable but few exceptions feminists tend to pound thier fists for women's issues but fence sit when it comes to men's issues. Thus they cannot claim to beleive in equality, the feminist movement represents selfish identity politics. Which is why in the 1960's they claimed that women were being oppressed because they had to make coffee a jobs no law required them to take while men were being drafted against thier will and sent to vietnam.
Buy the book read it, and absorb the material on the real important stuff, but ignore the rest.