Top positive review
10 people found this helpful
Important, though not completely convincing.
on 6 October 2013
Some people will hate this book. Consider one of the reviewers here at Amazon. Self-proclaimed "British Expert" Kevin Smith had this to say:
"This book is telling actually just 2 clear things, underlined and repeated over and over again:
EVERYTHING that a women does is RIGHT. No matter what.
EVERYTHING that a masculine man does is WRONG and he is GUILTY for being born a man.
Things are simple, without any other shades of grey, for her"
The reviewer continues to furnish us with some colourful examples to illustrate his case. Unfortunately, none of them has anything whatsoever to do with the book he's reviewing. Bit of a missed opportunity there. Still, it's not as though Mr. Smith ever claimed to be a "book review" expert, so perhaps we shouldn't judge him too harshly.
So why all the anger and the one-star ratings? Is the book really as bad as all that? I suspect that much of the problem stems from the bombastic assertions on the back cover of the book. It's there that we're told that "by almost every measure, [women] are outperforming [men]". If the book stands or falls by this claim then I would have to concur with the other reviewers. It's true - despite providing us with an abundance of interesting and unexpected facts and arguments- Rosin nonetheless fails to make a watertight case for the bold conclusion promised by the back cover (this failure becomes most apparent when the author dedicates a later chapter to dealing with the difficulties many women have with getting fair pay and promotions - which rather undermines her case.)
Might there be more to a book than just one argument though..? Can't we find value in the many details, statistics and anecdotes that the author presents us with (even if they are partial)..? Isn't there something to be said for a book that helps the reader to look at a situation afresh, as if for the first time? I think that if the reader approaches the book with modest hopes and intentions then he or she will be pleasantly surprised. I was. Rosin's book might not be the final word on the subject (see Kat Banyard's "The Equality Illusion" for a compelling counterpoint), but it is instructive and thought-provoking nonetheless.
Contrary to what some will say, this book is important and well worth a read, despite its flaws.