Michele's Reviews > Are Men Necessary?: When Sexes Collide

Are Men Necessary? by Maureen Dowd
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Jun 27, 07

really liked it
Read in April, 2006

HILLARY! For President

I'm a fan of Maureen Dowd, primarily because she's a good writer and she's not afraid to speak her mind. In fact, that's her job . . . as a columnist for The New York Times . . . And that's what this book was to me: One long--338 page--column. That said, it's still a swift read, and essentially stays on subject; however, I didn't find the title to convey the true topic sentence of the book. "Are Men Necessary?" This is more of an attention grabbing, headline-like title, which I must admit, got me to buy the book. The question is rhetorical. These pages contain not so much a study of male/female relationships as they put forth a study of today's politics in general. Further, I found it to be primarily an expose on the state of feminism in the post-Anita Hill and Monica Lewinsky United States.

Are Men Necessary, is a cross between Naomi Wolf's "The Beauty Myth," Susan Faludi's "Backlash," and is sprinkled with a little bit of "Prozac Nation" by Elizabeth Wurtzel. In the end, it reads like a pre-campaign assessment of Hillary Rodham Clinton's chances of being the next President of the United States.

The most provocative aspect of the book was when Dowd indicated that during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, there were other witnesses available to corroborate Anita Hill's allegations, and had they actually come forth, and if Biden and Kennedy hadn't "folded," he most likely would have been rejected for the Supreme Court. This would have had a domino effect on the state of American politics. Specifically, in the case of Bush v. Gore in the 2000 election, which resulted in a 5 to 4 vote in favor "of stopping the vote and handing over the White House to the son of the president who appointed Thomas." She cites a whole string of current events that may have turned out differently if Thomas had not made it to the Supreme Court.

This is a good book to open up discussion on the growing pains of the women's movement in this country. History is, after all, "shaped by sex."
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