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

Are Men Necessary? by Maureen Dowd
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Mar 08, 12

bookshelves: non-fiction

Maureen Dowd has been a columnist for the N.Y. Times for many years, and is the author of an earlier book entitled “Bushworld: Enter at Your Own Risk.”

She’s good at writing snazzy titles, and this one, “Are Men Necessary?” caught my interest.

There is no real answer to this question. And Dowd doesn’t give a lot of answers. What she does give is a book full of witty essays about the sexes. She’s extremely intelligent, flippant and funny. Her essays are entertaining and very up-to-date.

I liked the book, but by the end I felt rather creeped out. The essays vary widely in subject matter. She talks about women and men in journalism; Barbie versus Bratz; women and men at the Whitehouse; women’s pill-popping; the normalizing of plastic surgery, and the new post-feminist era..

I’ll start with the post-feminism. Feminism is really out, she says. Women don’t object to objectification. They seek it. Seriously? In the 70's the “bunny” was out, reviled, despised. Now, a lot of women will do anything to become bunnies of one kind or another.

And, according to Dowd, they will do any of the following:

a) botox their faces until they have little ability to show expression (even some male poker plays are getting into the Botox action!.... you’d better get in line now, guys...)

b) fill their bodies with all kinds of “cow” products. You got it, real cow stuff, like bovine collostrum, creams filled with cow material, etc... and they wear lots of leather, drink loads of estrogen-filled milk etc.... women are gradually likening themselves to the bovine species.

c) getting breast implants that are size f and up. In fact, many women’s breasts are so big now, that manikins in stores are being remodeled with larger breast sizes. Size “i” anyone? Some men confide that they think anything bigger than double d is gross. Is it?

d) take an inordinate number of pills so that they can continue this charade of emptiness. How many women are on Prozac or its sister “dolls?”

Is the book eerie, or are the facts eerie?

Too bad for feminism.

Or is this worship of the bunny a new feminism? If the y chromosome is on the way out (we’re talking a while from now), then women might be able to have a go on their own.....
Who needs men, anyway?


As I said, the book is entertaining, but eerie. Read it, and enjoy a glimpse into the strange new world of gender relations. I can’t even begin to cover all the material Dowd writes about. Take a peek....
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