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on May 29, 2017
A must read. People need to wake up and realize what type of values we're encouraging today. Farrell's perspective could not be more enlightening.
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on October 4, 2000
Quite simply what Warren Farrell is saying here is that, effectively speaking, men are slaves, have been slaves, and will continue to be slaves to feminine interests until they are disposed of (i.e., until they drop dead). He begins with the fact that our culture programs men to die to protect the interests of women (literally in wars and in high-risk jobs, and in dying younger than women) and ends with the fact that the rules of sexual politics allow women to pursue their interests unimpeded while men risk ending up in jail for sexual harassment or rape for pursuing theirs. He shows that a double standard of expectation exists throughout the society, a double standard that consistently protects women and puts men in harm's way. He demonstrates that this situation exists because women have cleverly hoodwinked men into doing their bidding while all the while crying that they are the ones being discriminated against.
Quite frankly, in reading this, one is led to believe that men are "the disposable sex" because women really are superior.
But wait. There is hope. What men really need to do is discard the macho notion they makes them put women on pedestals as innocent creatures who desperately need protection. Talk about being sold a bill of goods! Men need to realize that in the modern social and political environment they have no advantage over women. On the contrary. Their superior size and aggressiveness amounts to less than nothing. Because women are socially and politically more sophisticated than men, men are actually at a disadvantage and need to put more energy into protecting their right to life, liberty, health, love and happiness than women do. Men haven't, and that's why we have a smaller portion of the real goodies of life, goodies we have exchanged for a macho scroll or the tin badge of being The Protector and the One Who Takes the Risks. We need to realize that in order to survive in a post-war world, we need to work a lot harder than we have been working. We need to understand that male superiority really is an illusion, a kind of sly of hand women have put over on men to keep us subjugated. What this book is saying is that women have the real power and men are just self-deluded figureheads.
Thus spake Warren Farrell. Well, his book is a fine example to the contrary, proving (I hope) that men are not about to take all this lying down. Lot's daughters got us drunk and raped us? I don't think so.
I've always assumed that the sexes are equal. The real truth, though, is that the sexes may not be equal at all. It really depends on the environment. If women really are superior to men in terms of social and political skills, skills that are now, with the imminent death of the war system, very much in the ascendency, then men are in trouble. We need to use our brains instead of our brawn. In particular we need to realize that women are masters of manipulation because during the long millennia of the tribal wars, when physical strength held sway, they had to be to get their way. The savannah is long gone, and in the glass and concrete jungle that is our home, subtle manipulation counts for a lot more than physical force.
I missed this book when it came out in 1993. From the title, The Myth of Male Power, I thought it was another feminist put down of men, and I didn't feel like reading another one. I should have read the subtitle, Why Men Are the Disposable Sex. Now I just feel exhausted thinking about all the people who ought to read this refreshing polemic.
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on July 7, 1998
Dr. Farrell's book is well-reasoned and equally well-documented with copious examples of gender inequality. This book argues that men need to re-examine their behaviors and the rationalizations behind these behaviors, to change the tide of self-destructive, dysfunctional traditional masculinity. One might be tempted to think this is a simple minded atavistic treatise that begs for a return to patriarchy, but the approach is logical, pragmatic, and iconoclastic. True gender equality means men should change in reaction to women's needs and women should change in reaction to men's needs. This is one of the best books on gender I've ever read because it does not victimize men, but rather serves as a wake-up call for men (and women) to change cultural notions of manliness, notions that make men "the disposble sex", so that all of society can benefit from true equality and enlightenment. Not the easiest read, but the ideas in this book crackle with intelligence and will challenge most every idea of gender this society espouses. My choice for the most importnat and most under-read book of the decade.
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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.
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on April 30, 2000
If Farrell is (as he's been described) the Betty Friedan of the men's movement, this is his equivalent of the The Feminine Mystique. However, it's much better researched and far less polemical.
From on-the-job deaths, to violent crime, to suicide, to lower concern about their health and the subsequent lower life expectancy, the air-tight conclusion that it's MEN who are the disposable sex and the second-class citizens makes about 99% of feminist theory about what men do to women look like a huge projection of what women in actuality are doing to men. Even if the non-critical material on, say, Anita Hill is starting to look a bit dated, no one will come away from reading this book without a vastly changed outlook on society and the behaviors and motivations of the people around them. If you haven't read it, you don't know what the men's movement is about.
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on June 4, 2004
Being a former researcher, I was really pleased when I noted the profusely documented background, which supports every fact in the book.
It took me one day to read the book and another day to go through all the footnotes!! Consistently referred to updated statistical sources of recognised prestige, every single item mentioned is footnoted and factually accurate.
I am sadly surprised as some reviewers can dismiss this fine piece of research work just due a tactless comparison made by the author between rape and male unemployment.
If someone doesn't want to face the reality, I think that any silly excuse is good enough for him or her.
But if you dare, this book will reward you.
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on February 4, 2002
This book may have some factual distortions but then so would a book written by a woman about gender issues from a purely female perspective. The majority of what this book says however is true,disturbing and even down right scary and disheartening,for men anyway. Its important to note when Mr.Ferrell was on the board at N.O.W. and giving all his attention and support to women he was popular,but then he realized he was neglecting the mens perspective and became more involved in mens issues,as a result,he was cast out by women and most of his books on mens issues have been subsequently censored by women. I urge all men concerned with the future of men and any women with any compassion for men to read this book.
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on February 20, 2003
One of the most important books I've ever read. There are well-known feminists, esp. first-line feminists, who endorse it
as well. "Explodes the culture of victimhood," etc. I
think every *woman* needs to read it, esp. American
women. After I read the book, I was probably too
apoplectic to explain it to a woman, but Farrell has
done it, and calmy -- with every page filled with
facts and figures that turn much of modern-day
"women's studies" on its head. Tell your friends about this one!
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on November 18, 2002
I earlier read books that are on relationships between men and women. These books are almost always biased towards men (we call this "insight"). If a book is biased towards women, we call it "sexism".
The Myth of Male Power is a book that deals with men's issues such als early life expectance, male victims and the fact that many women live on men's cost (i.e. spending obligation in restaurants). It finally becomes clear what the exact male problems are and not it's time that men will realize that it's not only easy-going to be a man. However, well-thinking men already know of this problems.
This book is much better than books that deals with men-women issues (relationships etc.), because they emphasize the fact that "men don't listen" or "men are thinking simplistic". It explains a lot of male issues in more detail, including statistics (even with sources, because of the male-bashing culture many people are skeptical if they read that men are the victim, just to name something). This book is not only a must read for men, also women can learn that it isn't that "bad" to be a woman.
Now it's time for a book that explains what women really want (a user guide for men) or a book that critically looks at women, written by a man.
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on June 2, 2001
In 1963, an anthropologist named Jules Henry wrote "Culture Against Man," which, in the words of fellow anthropologist Ashley Montagu, was "one of the most telling and creative examinations of American culture and values written in this century." In this book, where "man" was used in a generic sense (to refer to both men and women), Henry described "a culture torn by conflicting values, a national character made ambiguous by a people leading isolated, fragmented lives. ... [T]his society, so vigorously engaged in surviving physically, may also be dying emotionally."
I have often wished that someone should write a sequel to Henry's book, and only recently discovered that psychologist Warren Farrell had written just such a book in 1993 (now available in a 2001 edition with an updated introduction). Entitled "The Myth of Male Power," Farrell's book shows how, in an effort to achieve equal opportunity for women, extreme feminism has torn apart major parts of our culture and created a situation in which men and women are placed in confusing and conflicting roles that lead to dangerous and often deadly consequences for the men.
In example after example, Farrell shows that men, who were once believed to have a preponderance of power in our society, are now very much at risk. Of the firefighters who are killed on the job, 99 percent are men. A similar situation exists with police officers and soldiers (99.99% of the names on the Vietnam Memorial are of men). There are three times as many homeless men living on the streets by themselves as there are homeless children, adolescents and women combined. Women are significantly more likely to attend college than men, and to obtain a degree. Also, women now live seven years longer than men (whereas in 1920, the life expectancy for men was a year longer than for women)--men die earlier than women from all fifteen of the leading causes of death!
Unlike many authors (who state a problem but offer no solutions), Farrell concludes his book with specific proposals for ending the "gender wars" and taking steps to improve the lots of men and women alike. His book is both comprehensive and readable, and I commend it to anyone who wants to obtain a balanced view of what has created the current state of conflict between men and women in our society, and what can be done to make things right.
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