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Are Men Necessary?: When Sexes Collide Paperback – October 3, 2006
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With hands on hips and eyes wide open, Dowd surveys gender relations in contemporary settings such as the workplace, the White House, the mall, and the media, comparing and contrasting as she goes. And while her secondary sources are endless--and, let's face it, the subject of gender inequality is not exactly new--Dowd manages to produce a fair share of bons mots. To wit, this pearl on the subject of plastic surgery and men: "I have yet to see a man come out of cosmetic surgery without looking transformed into some permanently astonished lesbian version of himself," Dowd quotes a source as saying. "It's terrifying. My friend's father had just his eyes done by the best, most highly sought-after cosmetic surgeon in New York City. And he doesn't look refreshed or well rested. He looks like he's being stabbed to death by invisible people." Dowd's generously dispersed anecdotes, though seldom as funny, are equally readable. In the end, though, one wishes Are Men Necessary? went beyond simply grocery listing examples of sexual disparity to offer concrete suggestions for change. Then again, maybe that's too great a task even for a woman like Dowd. --Kim Hughes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Well, this book in my opinion brings out the worst in her. She masses statistics about why so many talented women remain unattached, and makes an argument that it proves feminism has failed: because men basically want bimbos and women want to "trade up", the most interesting women (like, uh, her) get left without enduring relationships. Behind this funny and elegantly written argument, Dowd utterly fails to ask herself any of the harder questions that require introspection. Why can't she find a good relationship? Why do certain types of men approach her? Etc. It is not she who is deficient or somehow repellant to those who might love her, but men as a category and even society as a whole that come up short. This is OK for a pithy column, but in a book it wears awfully thin after the first chapter. Her lack of introspection is, well, depressingly relentless on such a personal subject. This is singularly unimpressive.
Moreover, what about all the talented women who DO find relationships that work? I am married to one of great talent and intelligence, who challenges me constantly and does not allow the marriage to stand still, even when it hurts. To have it any other way would be boring.Read more ›
The book primarily a collection of stereotypes. There is an element of truth in some of these, but some of it is just wrong.
For example, Dowd states she would have had a better chance at being married if she had chosen a career as a maid. That's possible, but most likely in that case she'd probably be married to a janitor, not one of the high status males she seems to feel she deserves.
Maureen Dowd is the female equivalent of all those angry men who complain they aren't getting any because women are too focused on men with money...It's always easier to blame the outside world for your failures then look in the mirror.
She does have a point that "society" still values women primarily as sex objects, but men are not the only ones to blame for this either. A much, much better book on that subject is "Female Chauvanist Pigs".
I admit this book is entertaining, but don't give Ms. Dowd your money - buy it used.
For anyone else who loves her column - rest assured that this book will not disappoint. Dowd is best when glib and entertaining, and most irritating when she affronts our closest held biases. Her critique of Bill Clinton's womanizing rankled my liberal prejudice, but eventually helped me realize how deeply it offended large segments of the public. This volume has large measures of that which will both amuse and challenge your sensibilities.
What has most perplexed me is how Dowd seems to fixate on the sexual aspects of our society, and in a way this book is her own exploration of that obsession. She admits in the very first line that she does not understand men - and even that she does not understand what she does not understand about them. While many might confess to this failing from either side of the sexual abyss, most would be content to live with their doubts and use ambiguity to cover up moments of uncertainty. Instead, Maureen Dowd attacks the eternal dance of equivocation head-on.
It is difficult to know exactly what playbook she is reading from when it comes to personal relationships.Read more ›
Now I wish I hadn't.
From its cover title to the last page, the book is at best, an exercise in showcasing the skill of an experienced and clever writer. At worst, it is an ill-disguised, venomous, man-hating diatribe at a time when the world doesn't need more reasons for division and hatred.
Both men AND women need to face reality and admit that each gender has strengths and weaknesses that the other lacks, then take that understanding and figure out how to work together for a better society and a more peaceful world.
People like Maureen Dowd and others who enjoy and endorse her work, however, don't want that. All the pretty words and high ideals they use basically boil down to one simple sentence: Men are pigs.
This point of view completely ignores the fact that women are human too, and make just as many mistakes as men by virtue of that common, wonderful humanity.
Ms. Dowd's uncompromisingly negative view of all men is just as wrong, discriminatory and sexist as the obviously erroneous stereotype of women being nothing but vain, gold-digging nags.
Maybe the feminists, scientists and science fiction writers are correct. Perhaps we will see a future where men have become extinct or obsolete. Let us only hope, for the sake of our race's future harmony, that writers and thinkers of Ms. Dowd's ilk will precede them.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wish I hadn't wasted the few hours I spent reading this.... Dowd's tone is acerbic (and not in an entertaining way) and I feel that i have gained nothing from reading this.Published 6 months ago by Shannon
This book is basically about what used to be called "the battle of the sexes." Dowd, calling herself a feminist, unsurprisingly takes the side of women. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Frank S. Robinson
Unfortunately politics rears its ugly head into every aspect of our lives every milli or nano-second of all the time of our lives. Read morePublished 10 months ago by lidz
The best. A real knee slapper. Makes you want to read every last word of what she writes.Published 10 months ago by Bunny Max
It's basically just a long, meandering, often pointless collection of useless observations, flippant remarks, snarky jabs, and inconsequential suggestions that are barely held... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Todd30
One of the libraries I frequently visit has a used-book shop in the corner. Outside the entrance to this shop, there is a bin containing free books. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Captain Sternn
Maureen Dowd provides an insightful look at the evolving relationship between men and women.Published 22 months ago by Linda T.