cover image Women & Love: Cult Rev

Women & Love: Cult Rev

Shere Hite. Alfred A. Knopf, $24.95 (922pp) ISBN 978-0-394-53052-9

The culmination of the Hite Report trilogy, this massive, potentially controversial work is a zealous indictment of men's attitudes toward love and ""domination and condescension'' shown in their behavior toward women: ``Men need to create a new style of relationships with women. Right now, men's idea of the `male' way of life as heroic and courageous is in direct conflict with their treatment of women, their frequent lack of emotional development in personal relationships, disinterest in equal sharing with women, and the pain they often inflict on others and themselves.'' Much of the complaints (the bulk of the book includes overwhelmingly extensive quotes by women and statistics Hite compiled from 4500 responses to her questionnaire) aren't newbut women readers will empathize and feel validated. In this paean to womanhood, Hite dismisses Freudian and other psychological viewpoints that label women as masochistic or neurotic rather than acknowledging that they suffer from ``real problems created by a real social ideology.'' She is less than articulate (``Women are being `f----ed over' by a culture which is trying to persuade women to take on the `male' ideology'') and succumbs to offering tit for tat: ``On a personal level, if we find that men aren't treating us with much respect, we can stop treating them with so much respect, also.'' Literary Guild featured alternate. (October 26)