- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: TarcherPerigee; Reprint edition (September 25, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1585420611
- ISBN-13: 978-1585420612
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 68 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #960,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say: Destroying Myths, Creating Love Paperback – September 25, 2000
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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. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top customer reviews
The rest of the book, while interesting, seemed to be more about how men are mistreated than about improving communication between the sexes. I did like the information on woman-on-man abuse (since this never seems to be discussed anywhere), and the little ways that we cut men down without even realizing it. It certainly made me more aware, especially when reading news stories. Dr. Farrell is right - we love stories where a woman is the victim and a big bad man can be blamed or be the rescuer.
While I appreciate the information on the treatment of men in society, I guess I'm still not seeing why men feel like they can't speak up, especially in very trusting relationships. I guess I like to think that men are able to break through the stereotypes. And I think this book would have been even better if Dr. Farrell had given more information on overcoming all of the issues that he feels are a block to men expressing their feelings. I'm not sure I would buy the book again, given the choice, but I think it's worth checking out of the library to get the information on communication in the beginning.
antiquated thinking about the sexes...roles and gender-based customs!!! His goals to propel relationships forward, out of the depths of misunderstanding, are lofty, and effectively demonstrated with yet another worthwhile book.
Highly recommend his others!
For years I was aware that there was a strong anti-male bias in the media and academia...this, I attributed to political correctness and angry women "feeling their oats," so to speak. Farrell explained the depth of this bias, reaching to the very roots of the studies on housework, domestic violence, and income that academics and feminists use to batter men every day.
A few of the main points: 1. Some feminist studies on housework rely upon ancient data; data that pre-exist the cultural revolution that made women first-class citizens. They refuse to recognize data that show men and women have changed in this country. Most feminist studies also commit a rather nasty error of omission: they ignore the types of work around the home that men do, such as cleaning the roof and gutters, mowing the lawn, fixing the cars, etc.--more-dangerous jobs that men do out of obligation, which are equally worthy of consideration, yet typically omitted by militant feminists attempting to portray men as lazy bums.
2. Femimist studies on domestic violence typically omit the fact that women are more likely to initiate violence. This violence is typically ignored due to mens' stoicism, shame, and the idea that women are too small to hurt men. The studies also typically ignore the ways that women murder their husbands, because, unlike men who murder wives openly and violently, women tend to murder in a less-obvious fashion (e.g., hiring a third party to murder the spouse, etc.).
3. Feminist-sponsored studies on income typically ignore the real causes of wage differences: men work longer hours, drive further, do more dangerous jobs, etc.; essentially, they contribute more to the business, and are paid accordingly. Feminist studies always portray wage differences as sexist, however. This is not to say that "good ol' boy" clubs do not still exist; everyone knows they do; but this raises another point: do they keep women out due purely to sexism (the only view ever offered in the media), or is it possible that they expect women to *earn* entrance and success, rather than be *given* it?
4. These feminist-driven studies also suffer from a communicative bias (more my point than Farrell's): the media unquestioningly accepts the feminist line on the studies, and, even worse, tends to generalize the results, so that any points the feminsts concede about males are lost in the process. (So, a tiny study that finds, through a biased methodology, that 51% of the men in New Hampshire don't do the dishes in their homes becomes "most men don't do any work around the home, and women are fed up with it!")
These biased studies--and their biased communication through the media, poison women against men, and divide us as a people. Women are taught to despise men, and consider them a necessary evil (or worse, unnecessary), and men are stoic; they refuse to speak in their own defense, lacking the communication-of-emotion skills women have acquired, and fearful of rejection and humiliation. As Farrell puts it, a woman who shows her feelings or weakness is protected by women and men; a man who shows his feelings or weakness elicits contempt and disgust by women and men. Where's the incentive for men to become more open?
Farrell includes, in the early portion of the text, a discussion of how women and men can communicate better--mostly by recognizing what men are trying to say, but can't. Since what he offers as evidence is pretty much exactly what I have felt, and what I see around me every day, I think his argument is right on the money.
Finally, much of the text surrounds other biases in the media and popular culture; from mysandry (hatred of men) in greeting cards, to statements from very influential people. He raises the question: why do we attack men who say something merely distasteful or questionable about women, but glorify women who use downright hateful, sexist language about men? Why is even the slightest display of violence against women in television or movies totally taboo (unless it is meant to show how disgusting men really are), but women severely beating or killing men is glorified?
For example, in one scene from "Ally Macbeal" in 2000, a woman severely beats a man for telling her that he doesn't really believe in the *sensitivity* classes he has been going to. Of course, he won't hit a female, so he is punched, kicked in the testicles, and beaten until nearly unconcious, and the show portrays this as humorous: an appropriate way for a woman to treat a man who has changed his mind about something she finds important. If the scene had showed a man beating the hell out of a woman in the same whimsical nature, do you think it would still be on the air? Why the double standard?
Overall, I found the book very imformative and insightful. Since I know several women who are married to reticent men, I have been giving this book as a gift to couples, in the hopes that *both* sides learn to understand the man, and *why* he is, the way he is. I look forward to future scholarly works on the subject, and hopefully, some form of dialogue between women and men on the concerns raised in the text. Currently, the only point of view offered on the matter is the feminist forces that dominate the government, academia, institutions, and media. Until there is true dialogue, relationships, and ultimately, love, will continue to degrade under the monotonous, fallacious onslaught of the establishment feminists.