Re: Power- The Myth of Male Power

Lief Hendrickson (hendrick.mbr@ASME.ORG)
Wed, 6 Mar 1996 16:51:00 EST

On Mar 6, Richley Crapo wrote:

>Warren Farrell's book has some interesting and
>useful information in it. However, it does not, as
>Paglia has (so predictably) said "examine the
>assumptions of feminist discourse." It does adopt
>an anti-feminist rhetoric as the vehicle for
>presenting those facts. It is definitely not the
>antifeminist spin that Farrell gives those facts that
>makes his book valuable. That aspect of the book
>is pure politics, not good social science. The data
>on men ARE interesting and useful. The book's
>attack on feminist thought is gratuitous.

Whether the book (_The Myth of Male Power_) is or is not anti-feminist
and whether or not it attacks feminist thought are matters of opinion.
In the opinion of many, the book is not anti-feminist- that is not the
issue of the book (gratuitous or otherwise). Many reviewers give high
recommendations in terms that do not address feminism. The author is
not anti-feminist. On the contrary, he is the only male elected three
times for yearly terms on NOW's board of directors. He has spent a
decade fighting for legitimate issues of the women's movement. I hope
we recognize that not being part of feminism dogma does not
automatically imply an attack on feminism. Furthermore, power related to a
person's sex does not have to be viewed only in terms of a linearly confined
feminism/anti-feminism axis.

Likewise, whether the book is or is not good social science is a
matter of opinion, but that is not a good measure of the book's worth
either. The book does not purport to be an elite scholarly discourse.
It is a comprehensive discussion of an important contemporary social
issue, and it is well-supported with facts and references. As such,
it offers valuable material to ponder in considering the concept of
power- as in the context of the discussion here.