Nancy Friday is a great writer, no doubt, but this book did not ring true for me. Yes, it was part memoir; but she makes assertions based on her experiences that are a bit of a stretch. She is Freudian, insisting that female and male rage at each other is a result of infantile powerlessness in the face of mother's omnipotence, which may or may not be true. But she insists that if more men got into the nursery it would relieve infantile rage by giving children more than one pair of eyes to "see" them and thus relieving dependence on mom (and women in general). She says that fathers are less squeamish about diapers and genitalia, and women are generally disapproving of masturbation and sex, and that our present gender inequities are the result of attitudes each of learns of our bodies in infancy from mom. The power of beauty is used by women to be seen, as we didn't as infants. This author grew up without a father, and it is apparent throughout the book that she idealizes men, and is over sympathetic to how feminism has affected them. Moreover, she asserts that women are barring the door for men to enter the nursery. This I find absurd. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but men don't enter the nursery because they don't WANT to enter the nursery. Anyone who has cared for an infant (and the author has not) knows that it is (rewarding, yes) but also exhausting, grueling, messy, and time consuming; and men gratefully leave it to women, preferring to work outside the home. If that isn't it, another likely reason is because of what other men (and perhaps women) would think of them for taking paternity leave; it is NOT women who are barring the door.
On the bright side, she has the ability to make me think about feminist issues from a whole different angle, which is always good for me, or anyone else.
It seems that beauty is peripheral to the main gist of this book, not the focus. It did not give me the information I was looking for. Alternatively, I recommend The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolfe.