cover image Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say: Destroying Myths, Creating Love

Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say: Destroying Myths, Creating Love

Warren Farrell. Jeremy P. Tarcher, $24.95 (371pp) ISBN 978-0-87477-988-2

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 Women--and bestselling author of The Liberated Male--before 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.)