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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sharp writing and interesting arguments
This book isn't simply about man bashing. Both genders get it in equal measures. Dowd is a perceptive observer and touches on a number of issues, including marriage, gender, appearance, biology and pharmacology. It may appeal more to an American audience, but it's worth a look all the same. Dowd has a great sense of humour which means the book isn't a mindless rant...
Published on 25 May 2007 by sainte-carmen

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars lacks introspection, but Dowd is a genius at flippancy
Dowd is a fabulously sarcastic writer. When my opinion synches with hers, I revel in the deliciously wicked way that she expresses herself. It is a good laugh and the writing is truly unique. But when I don't agree, I find her style and opinions irritating and superficial, that is, unwilling to look beneath the surface in either a constructive or a genuinely insightful...
Published on 15 Aug 2011 by rob crawford


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sharp writing and interesting arguments, 25 May 2007
This book isn't simply about man bashing. Both genders get it in equal measures. Dowd is a perceptive observer and touches on a number of issues, including marriage, gender, appearance, biology and pharmacology. It may appeal more to an American audience, but it's worth a look all the same. Dowd has a great sense of humour which means the book isn't a mindless rant. She gets it wrong sometimes, but I think that there is enough right in this book to recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars lacks introspection, but Dowd is a genius at flippancy, 15 Aug 2011
By 
rob crawford "Rob Crawford" (Balmette Talloires, France) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Are Men Necessary?: When Sexes Collide (Paperback)
Dowd is a fabulously sarcastic writer. When my opinion synches with hers, I revel in the deliciously wicked way that she expresses herself. It is a good laugh and the writing is truly unique. But when I don't agree, I find her style and opinions irritating and superficial, that is, unwilling to look beneath the surface in either a constructive or a genuinely insightful way. I suppose that is why she is a great columnist - you never have to get beyond about 800 words and you can forget her opinions as you step off the subway.

Well, this book in my opinion brings out the worst in her. She masses statistics about why so many talented women remain unattached, and makes an argument that it proves feminism has failed: because men basically want bimbos and women want to "trade up", the most interesting women (like, uh, her) get left without enduring relationships. Behind this funny and elegantly written argument, Dowd utterly fails to ask herself any of the harder questions that require introspection. Why can't she find a good relationship? Why do certain types of men approach her? Etc. It is not she who is deficient or somehow repellant to those who might love her, but men as a category and even society as a whole that come up short. This is OK for a pithy column, but in a book it wears awfully thin after the first chapter. Her lack of introspection is, well, depressingly relentless on such a personal subject. This is singularly unimpressive.

Moreover, what about all the talented women who DO find relationships that work? I am married to one of great talent and intelligence, who challenges me constantly and does not allow the marriage to stand still, even when it hurts. To have it any other way would be boring. My wife is, I think, an example of feminism as applied to married life and I dare not take anything for granted.

But my greatest disappointment in this book is that it posed no questions that got me to ask myself questions about who I am as a man and why I want what (or whom) I do. I learned nothing from this, even while I admired her writing style. There is more pose than substance and I don't believe this book is intended just for the humor.

Not recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pollitt-in-waiting - but get the US edition, 18 Feb 2013
By 
Simon Barrett "Il penseroso" (london, england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Are Men Necessary?: When Sexes Collide (Paperback)
I thought Katha Pollitt was a little hard on this gushy but sassy book in her Virginity or Death!; maybe it's a generational thing. But Headline never shoulda ditched the original Dowd-commissioned Owen Smith 'pulp' cover (see hardback); it tells you all you need to know
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good subject wasted, 14 Aug 2006
By 
Ian Nutshell "Ian" (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
I bought this after hearing the extremely eloquent author interviewed on Radio 4. As a man, I'm appalled by the way that women seem to be reversing away from all the gains they've made over the years, so I thought I would find much here to applaud, and I expected the book to be a fascinating read. Nicely started, Ms Dowd. Your points are valid, which is probably the reason you make them over and over and over.... Also, as a British reader, I was left totally confused by perpetual references to American TV stars, anchor men, journalists and politicians. I know nothing of these people, and therefore have no idea whether they illustrate the point. I forced myself through over two thirds of the book (and give it 2 stars because there are some good points well made), but I'm sorry, I had to give up.
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11 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars further pointless stereotyping in the guise oflight-heatedne, 10 Mar 2006
By A Customer
I work in a bookshop and receive many sexist comments from women about my general male inferiority (women buy tonnes more books than men). I personally think women are being had. I full respect women and see them as being equal, but I get offended by the amount of women who intimate to me that because I'm a man I'm less of a person. Wrong, If I'm less of a person it is because of my general character or personality rather than because I have something dangling from between my legs. I don't recall ever causing a great amount of pain to women. In fact, when it comes to relationships I think both sexes are as bad as each other (my mother abondoned my sister, my brother and myself to run after another man). I know that men are responsible for massive historical bludgeoning of women but from the things that women say to me, it seems more of a case that men are being blamed not for what they've done but in order for some women to avoid taking responsibility, in order to have an excuse for being a victim.I don't blame my mother for leaving. Why would I: I don't want to be a victim. All books like this do, is soften up people's (in this case womens) minds to make them more pliable to consumer culture, to soften them up to put them in a better buying mood. If you look carefully,you will realise that modern empowerment for women always seems to involve them spending their money in some way. Afterall women hold the buying power in this country. In order to be a high-flying women who is in control then you have to have things which you have to buy. Just look at the images of female empowerment. For example, a woman in an EXPENSIVE DESIGNER suit walking assertively with handbags and carrying lots of SHOPPING bags etc. But it's not empowerment really it's just empowerment to consume. This is why I believe women are being conned. All a book like this does is to encourage both sexes to see each other through redundant stereotypes, stereotypes which only serve to maintain sexist attitudes on both sides rather than undo them. If there is a difference between men and women it is more to do with conditioning than genitalia. I have female friends with whom I have more to talk about with, and with whom Ihave more in common with, and a closer bond with, than a lot of men who I have no connection with.
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Are Men Necessary?: When Sexes Collide
Are Men Necessary?: When Sexes Collide by Maureen Dowd (Paperback - 5 Feb 2007)
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