I read this book looking for self-help, but it soon became obvious that the author, Suzette Haden Elgin, hates me.
Personal experience gives me every reason to believe verbal abuse can happen to and be perpetrated by either men or women, but Elgin believes not only that a man is more likely than a woman to be a verbal abuser, but that furthermore if you are a man that very fact alone means that you indubitably are one. In chapter 16 of this book, 'For Men', she helpfully explains to any men reading that men fall into two types:
"It is my experience that only two types of men come to talk to me about verbal self-defense (usually after attending one of my workshops or seminars by mistake, under the impression that it was on some topic such as making a fortune in real estate.)"
If you are a man, according to Elgin, you are either a verbal bully and in denial, or a bully who has come to some measure of enlightenment as to his true nature and at least realises that he's a bully, though his ability to change may be dependent on such factors as his values and level of intelligence. (Of course, if all men without exception are intrinsically abusers, it seems reasonable to conclude that their abusiveness can therefore be only alleviated to some small extent.)
This is a hateful book. I suppose in principle one should be ready for verbal abuse at all times, and this book teaches that lesson very well: I bought it hoping for help as to how to deal with verbal abuse from people in my life, and ended up receiving instead a torrent of verbal abuse from the author.