Chris Aylott's Reviews > What Women Want: The Global Market Turns Female Friendly

What Women Want by Paco Underhill
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Jul 15, 11

Read in July, 2011

Let's talk about the little women, shall we? That's the vibe that comes off this book, as Paco Underhill tells men (the audience is clearly men, almost certainly executive men about his age) about what women REALLY want. Curvy things mostly. And hand-holding, and clean stuff.

He went to Vassar in the seventies, so you know he has bona fides as a sensitive guy. (He reminds you of this fact a couple of times in the book.) So hopefully you'll smile and nod as he shares a series of fatuous over-generalizations and poorly thought-out statements:

* The modern kitchen is full of gadgets to make life easier for women. Funny, I thought it had something to do with more guys mucking about in the home kitchen.

* Houses built in the 1880s have small bathrooms due to old-fashioned taboos, and bathrooms grew to become palaces of femininity. Sure, or maybe it was because indoor plumbing wasn't all that common for another decade or two, and bathrooms grew when houses did.

* And my absolute favorite line in the book, "Many women are known to cut their hair short after becoming mothers, as if to emphasize the no-fuss practicality of nourishing new life." Or maybe it's because BABIES. GRAB. HAIR.

Underhill is on firmer ground when he talks about the topic he's famous for, which is the way people move and interact in retail spaces. That part seems based on actual knowledge and research. The rest of the book reads like one of the more painful scenes from Mad Men.

Hey, I'm a guy. I don't know crap about women. But at least I have the sense not to write a book about what I think I know.
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