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Why Men Are the Way They Are Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1988

52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In a question-and-answer format, Farrell ( The Myth of Male Power , Audio Reviews, LJ 10/1/93) explains life from a man's perspective. If you've wondered why men find it hard to commit, why they provide solutions instead of empathy, why they can't just stop and ask directions, or why they spend so much time at work, this audiobook is for you. Farrell addresses the other side of sexism, asking why women, if they want equality, expect men to pick up the check at dinner. He explains the male experience of being a "success object" as well as explaining why men make women into "sex objects" to lessen the pain of rejection. The listener learns what men talk about with the "guys" and why vulnerability is so difficult for men to express. Farrell initiates a dialog that will contribute to an understanding and maybe even a truce between the sexes. Recommended for all contemporary collections.
- Nancy Paul, Brandon P.L., Wis.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


The most important book ever written about sex, love, and intimacy. --New York Post

This is one terrific book. --Oprah

Indispensable! --The New York Times Syndicate --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 411 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (September 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042511094X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425110942
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #349,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

109 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Skye Gray on August 8, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the 4th or 5th time I've had to order this book. I have loaned it out so many times, that I no longer purchase just one.

My husband and I read it when it first came out - and were both astonished. I'm still astonished that something so politically incorrect could have become a best-seller. Yet when I read it, I knew intuitively that Farrell was right; reverse sexism is rampant -and it's true - one can make a joke about a white male that would be considered racist, sexist,etc. were it made about anyone else. It's everywhere.

I loved the way Farrell illustrated his points - following advertising, television, popular reading. He pointed out how women have learned to demand more and more, while men are still baffled about what they thought women wanted in the first place.The tragedy is that women really believe that they MUST have a sensitive, caring man....who is also an Alpha male! The impossibility of meeting such contradictory demands confuses men AND women who do not see that their "needs" are really "wants" and are incredibly unrealistic - which sets them up for disappointment and pain in relationships.

I'm a therapist, and this book is required reading for anyone in couples counseling. I have also recommended it to countless newly divorced men still reeling with the injustice of it all. In addition, women often find the book freeing - for it gives them permission to love and accept their human husbands - and to re-examine their own often skewed values.

Nice job, Farrell - and you did it without mentioning drumming even once. Thanks.

Connie Brennen
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Paul Scott on December 6, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
An absolute must read, for both sexes: things you always suspected were true, but never, ever dared say out loud. Sanity in printed form. I have given 30 or so copies of this book to friends, and all have said it made blindingly clear the basic assumptions underlying what men and women do to each other. It WILL cure your love life. I have found that the book helps me see what is going on in social and business situations in a way so straightfoward and enlightening that I sometimes break out laughing from sheer astonishment. Best of all, the machinations of both female and male enforcers of certain societal obligations will seem just quaint. AND IT HAS CARTOONS!
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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Years ago, as a "male feminist," I was a contributing editor of a feminist newsletter. I wrote often about the oppressions of women. Then one day while in the throes of researching why women were paid (then) just 59 cents to men's dollar, I came across Warren Farrell's "Why Men Are the Way They Are." I could not put the book down. It was jarring. It turned upside down everything I'd learned about the sexes. Most jarring was that for the first time in my life I felt understood as a man. And I now truly understood women. I went from hating my own sex and trying to be women's savior, to caring deeply for both men and women. That's the power of understanding that this book creates. It's sad that ideological feminists still denounce and plot against it.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 3, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book, along with Farrell's companion 'The Myth of Male Power' is a revelation for any man who has not yet come to understand how the mating world works. I had already read a fair bit of this sort of thing (search the Net for the words Cash, Clothes, Confidence, Car, Castle, Credit, not as a phrase but include all six of the words), so I was not completely bowled over. But if you are new to this, wow. Eye-opening. Unfortunately, you will not improve your situation by discussing these insights, most especially with women. Farrell's courageous works (what middle-aged and older men know but have learned not to discuss) sold relatively well when published but the ideas have already faded from view for the most part. Feminists and politicians don't want to hear this sort of thing. If you're a man under thirty, you need to read this for self-protection if nothing else. If you're a woman, this book will help you to understand why the bachelor sector of Western nations is continually growing, and why those "commitmentphobes" are the way they are.
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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Marcos on September 23, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an insightful, excellent book. The comments about the outdated examples it uses (movie Flashdance) are not not relevant, since the idea is totally in line with current times. In fact, the media is even more sexist today and the fact that all girls want to be models now is a fact that reinforces the ideas of the book about the use of beauty by girls to have power.

Teenager boys in particular are in a position where they suffer a lot, since 13 year-old girls are now the idolization of beauty and of what is desirable in our culture. Teenage boys, on the other hand, are labeled as insensitive little jerks on the making. They don't have the power girls have and grow up confused and afraid. Sometimes they turn to be jerks because that's the only defense they have.

I want my boy to grow up as a sensitive, strong young man, but for this to happen he must understand the dynamics of boys-girls interactions and its traps. I will tell him to be sensitive to the power of beauty some girls have, and to focus on his qualities and his life until he finds a girl who loves him by who he is and not because he performs well and will make her life easier. Of course, another important thing is to tell him to look beyond beauty when relating to a girl.

Great, great book. Indispensable.
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