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352 pages, ebook
First published May 7, 2019
I called Coleman because I knew he’d given co-parenting a book’s worth of thought, and I hoped that he’d be willing to speak freely. He was. Men’s resistance would be an abject failure if there were more men who spoke like he did (to be clear, he was not condoning his own behavior). Imagine if your children’s father said these things to you, directly and out loud: Women are easy to take advantage of, your efforts are ultimately unnecessary, the needs of our family are not worth my attention, and I’ll choose the more selfish thing. Fathers are implying every last bit of this with their resistance [to shared labor] all the time. You are easy to manipulate. These things aren’t worth my attention. I’ll choose the more selfish thing. (240)
This is a book about female anger at the patriarchy, but without the bitter blame of men's character. Lockman acknowledges that men these days, at least some men, really do strive for equity. And they are doing more than their fathers and their fathers' fathers every did. But have we toppled the patriarchy, with equitable child-rearing and homemaking for all? No. And it's just as much women's "faults" as men's.
The reality is our society and culture have created a system that is very, very hard to break free from, especially since even trying to speak of it raises people's hackles. This is the gendered equivalent of telling a white person they are racist, not because they are overtly and intentionally hurting minorities, but because they simply don't know any better. Calling that person racist will make them defensive, because they don't see themselves that way and are possibly even trying not to be "that way." And yet if we don't point it out, we can't solve for it. This book Points It Out.
Quick note: I listened to this as an audiobook, so the reading of it on paper may be different. However, the messages are the same, and as such, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.