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Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say: Destroying Myths, Creating Love Hardcover – October 4, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Farrell's useful ideas for improving communication between the sexes may get lost in all the shouting incited by his provocative comments on the effects of the women's movement. As he often reminds his readers, Farrell was a three-time board member of the National Organization for WomenAand bestselling author of The Liberated MaleAbefore he shifted his attention to men's issues in Why Men Are the Way They Are and The Myth of Male Power. He interprets the lack of media interest in the latter two books as censorship by "the Lace Curtain" of feminists who influence media, education, pop culture, government and the helping professions. His latest effort ostensibly offers a structured approach to giving and receiving criticism in intimate partnerships that could also be effective for other kinds of communication. His suggestions include a weekly "sharing and caring evening," in which negative feelings can be constructively expressed, and techniques for focusing on each partner's "best intent." Most of this book, however, addresses male-bashing and man-hating, based on Farrell's analysis of how men are portrayed in cartoons, greeting cards, books, movies and even the New York Times. Taking issue with Arlie Russell Hochschild's findings in The Second Shift that working women still bear the major responsibility for housework, he offers a list of more than 50 kinds of "male housework," often involving danger or heavy lifting, that go unappreciated. While deploring the expression "feminazi," he offers reasons why others might find parallels between the women's movement and the Nazis. Ultimately, Farrell generates more heat than light this time out. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

What a beautiful place our world could be if women and men would really listen, hear, and empathize with each other's emotional perspectives. Expanding on his previous works, Farrell (The Myth of Male Power; Why Men Are the Way They Are) presents a new way of looking at the male/female roles and suggests that miscommunication sabotages relationships. His thought-provoking ideas (for instance, that the myths and stereotypes regarding male power may no longer be valid) will most likely antagonize radical feminists, but he presents convincing evidence to support his theories. The "relationship language" skills presented in Part 1 help to point the way to meaningful dialog between the sexes. An outstanding appendix includes domestic violence studies of both sexes and a summary of their findings. Highly recommended as a very readable and necessary addition to psychology collections in all academic and public libraries.AElizabeth Goeters, Georgia Perimeter Coll., Dunwoody
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; First Edition edition (October 4, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087477988X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874779882
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #469,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Warren Farrell began his research on gender issues in the '60s. His first book, The Liberated Man, was published in 1974. It was from the women's perspective and the feminist perspective. By the '80s, he began noticing that men were feeling misrepresented, and his award-winning national best-seller, Why Men Are The Way They Are, was written to answer women's questions about men in a way that rings true for men. The New York Post calls it "the most important book ever written about love, sex, and intimacy."

By the '90s, Dr. Farrell felt the misunderstandings about men had deepened and become dangerous to the survival of families and love. He confronted the misunderstandings head-on with the award-winning The Myth of Male Power, a book the The Library Journal ranked as "better than Robert Bly's Iron John or any of Betty Freidan's works." (His books are published in over 50 countries in 15 languages.)

By the turn of the century Dr. Farrell wanted to provide the sexes with the tools to communicate-- in particular to hear personal criticism from a loved one, especially when given badly. That was the take-off point for Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say, a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club. By 2001 Dr. Farrell completed research he had been working on for 13 years on the conditions under which children of divorce are most likely to be raised successfully. That book, Father and Child Reunion, has renewed the commitment of many dads to be with their children, and its research has helped judges understand the importance of dads.

Dr. Farrell's most recent research is published as Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap -- and What Women Can Do About It. It documents the 25 differences between men and women's work-life decisions. It was chosen by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top four "great career books to be read in 2006."

Warren has appeared on over 1000 TV and radio shows, and been interviewed frequently by Oprah and Barbara, and by Larry King and Peter Jennings. He has been featured repeatedly on 20/20 and in The New York Times, in People and on Real People, in men's journals and The Wall Street Journal, and on the Today Show, the Tomorrow Show, and even To Tell The Truth.

Warren Farrell's understanding of both sexes is symbolized by his being, on the one hand, on the boards of four national men's organizations, and on the other hand, being the only man in the US to be elected three times to the Board of Directors of the National Organization for Women in New York City. Similarly, he has started over 600 men's and women's groups, and over 200,000 women and men have attended his workshops worldwide. He is the only person chosen to speak at both of former California Governor Wilson's 1995 conferences - his Conference on Men and his Conference on Women.

President Johnson chose Dr. Farrell as one of the outstanding young educators in the United States. (The man's been around for awhile!) He has taught political science, psychology, women's studies and sociology, and most recently taught at the School of Medicine at the University of California at San Diego. Dr. Farrell has been chosen by the International Biographic Centre of London as one of the World's 2000 Outstanding Scholars of the 20th Century and, in quite a different take, chosen by the Financial Times as one of the worlds top 100 Thought Leaders. He has also been selected by the Center for World Spirituality as one of the world's spiritual leaders.

Dr. Farrell is in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World, but his best moments are at home. He has two daughters and lives with his wife in Mill Valley, California, and virtually at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 82 people found the following review helpful By J. Obeji on March 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I first read the title "women can't hear what men don't say," I thought to myself "yeah, I can't hear what my boyfriend won't say." I wish he would speak up. After I read this book, I realized that there are alot of men that are afraid to speak up because feminism has swung the pendulum too far. This book was so enlightning and truly opened my eyes. Go to a greeting card rack sometime and see for yourself how many man-bashing cards there are. Do you ever see any women-bashing cards? There was a chapter in this book that actually made me cry because I realized how badly men have been treated in the past few years. Dr. Farrell does a wonderful job expressing what is happening in our culture. Dr. Farrell uses many studies that have been done and uses many examples in the book to get the points across. WOMEN - YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK! As a woman, I ask you to please open your eyes to what is happening in our male-female relationships. Thank you Dr. Farrell for a great book.
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64 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Brown on October 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Those of us familiar with Farrell's work will agree--this was worth the wait! Those new to Farrell will wonder why they've never read him before! This book helps us clearly see how our gender opinions were formed and how inaccurate and contradictory they can be. Great suggestions for improved communication between the sexes in modern times. Dr. Farrell again uncovers little-known statistics that media and government don't necessarily want us to know which will proove surprising. He then offers us ways to interpret these statistics which have made me much more aware of how insensitive today's popular culture is toward men. Much of the 'male-bashing' humor in the mainstream would be completely unacceptable if directed at other minorities. This book (as all of Dr. Farrell's books) has given me an insight which, as a woman, I would never have been able to have otherwise. Reading it will make men feel better and women better partners. Men, if you read only one 'self help' book this year, make it this one. Then, share it with your signifcant other and watch your relationship improve. Bravo Dr. Farrell. You've done it again.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
"Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say" is Dr. Warren Farrell's best book yet. Few people are able to write about the masculist perspective and gender equity issues as well as Dr. Farrell. You have got to read this book! For you readers who are familiar with men's issues, you may be tempted, as I was, to read Part III first. Dr. Farrell continues to challenge us to see gender equity issues from a new and balanced perspective in the articulate and documented style that you will recognize. However, the content is updated with new data and relevance for the 90's and into the new millennium.
Don't skip Part I, the section on communication, and how to give and receive criticism. It is the foundation for Dr. Farrell's work, and sets up the reader to hear what is said in the rest of the book. His work in counseling, communication, and listening is what sets Dr. Farrell apart from the others. He offers a positive approach to greater understanding between men and women by insisting that both sides' perspectives be spoken and heard. He does this without sacrificing or compromising his dedication to exposing men's issues in a clear and balance fashion.
Dr. Farrell even expresses a part of his own "internal story" and struggle in writing from a man's perspective. I have often wondered why men's issues are so difficult to express, and how unreceptive people are to discussing them. It is as if we don't have the words to talk about it or people consider it a taboo subject for fear of retribution (loss of love, ridicule, ostracism).
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Martin Fiebert on November 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Warren Farrell's new book offers in part 1 an excellent analysis of gender communication and a practical guide to a deeper understanding between men and women. Part 2 presents a courageous and insightful examination of core political and social issues which many feminists have raised critical of men viz., the distribution of power in society, domestic violence, and housework. Farrell, as usual in his writings, carefully documents the case that men have been unfairly blamed by feminists and the media. This material can only help shift current cultural perspectives and create the climate for true empowerment of both sexes.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By J. Kammer on January 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Warren Farrell's leadership as the preeminent spokesman for the male predicament derives from his ability to say terribly difficult and emotional things that women would rather not hear in a way that makes those things constructive -- and, yes, joyful -- for women to listen to.
And to make matters even better for women who profess craving to hear what is really on their men's minds, Farrell packs Part I of this book with clear and detailed procedures for creating safety -- and even appreciation -- for both parties engaged in emotional discussions. Most significantly, he helps men understand how they can speak their true feelings to their mates without having to fear being banished to sleep on the sofa. He explains the necessity and wisdom of empathy not just for the person being criticized, but also for the person risking the perils of offering criticism.
Then in Parts II and III, in a deft depiction of the adage "the personal is political," Farrell shows how the Zeitgeist of male-bashing and victim feminism spawns the maddening Catch-22 of men's attempts to communicate from their hearts with women: if he says nothing about the supposed "facts" of men's lives, a man appears to be accepting the truth of women's allegation against men; if he speaks up, he is perceived to be a misogynist who "just doesn't get it." Through careful, methodical analysis Farrell debunks -- and thereby removes the poison from -- women's most common allegations against men, such as working less hard than women and being innately more violent.
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