Monday, March 16, 2015

Review: Women After All by Melvin Konner, M.D.

A lively, richly informed argument for the natural superiority of women from the acclaimed author of The Tangled Wing.There is a human genetic fluke that is surprisingly common, due to a change in a key pair of chromosomes. In the normal condition the two look the same, but in this disorder one is malformed and shrunken beyond recognition. The result is a shortened life span, higher mortality at all ages, an inability to reproduce, premature hair loss, and brain defects variously resulting in attention deficit, hyperactivity, conduct disorder, hypersexuality, and an enormous excess of both outward and self-directed aggression.It is called maleness.In Women After All, Melvin Konner traces the arc of evolution to explain the relationships between women and men. With patience and wit he explores the knotty question of whether men are necessary in the biological destiny of the human race. He draws on multiple, colorful examples from the natural world—such as the mating habits of the octopus, black widow, angler fish, and jacana—and argues that maleness in humans is hardly necessary to the survival of the species.In characteristically humorous and engaging prose, Konner sheds light on our biologically different identities, while noting the poignant exceptions that challenge the male/female divide. We meet hunter-gatherers such as those in Botswana, whose culture gave women a prominent place, invented the working mother, and respected women’s voices around the fire. Recent human history has upset this balance, as a dense world of war fostered extreme male dominance. But our species has been recovering over the past two centuries, and an unstoppable move toward equality is afoot. It will not be the end of men, but it will be the end of male supremacy and a better, wiser world for women and men alike. Provocative and richly informed, Women After All is bound to be controversial across the sexes.

Received for review.

I wanted to like this, I really did, but I just couldn't.  I know I'll get all sorts of horrible messages about how I'm betraying my sex by not being all "rah-rah this book is awesome because women are better than men" but that's just too bad.  I was not impressed.

This is about females being biologically superior to men and how women are better all around than men which is especially odd since the book is written by a man.  What really grated on my nerves was that it wasn't about gender equality but how women are actually better than men.  It's a giant book of feminist propaganda that felt like nails on a chalkboard while reading it.

Granted the author does support his theories with scientific evidence but it's the way he presents them that bothers me.  It's all "down with men, women are better".  It just felt so Animal Farm to me - men and women are equal but women are more equal.  It's just annoying beyond belief.

This is well written and the author clearly put a lot of work into it but I just can't recommend it unless you're a member of the "women need men like fish need bicycles" crowd.

★★☆☆☆ = Just Okay

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