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What Do We Need Men For?: A Modest Proposal
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What Do We Need Men For?: A Modest Proposal

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  928 ratings  ·  183 reviews
When E. Jean Carroll, author of Ask E. Jean in Elle Magazine, realized that her eight million readers and question-writers all seemed to have one thing in common—problems caused by men—she hit the road. Criss-crossing the country with her blue-haired poodle Lewis Carroll, E. Jean stopped in every town named after a woman between Eden, Vermont and Tallulah, Louisiana to ask ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published July 2nd 2019 by St. Martin's Press
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Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  928 ratings  ·  183 reviews

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Jul 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
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Jul 08, 2019 rated it liked it
I've never read anything written by E. Jean Carroll before. I didn't even know she was a long-time advice columnist for Elle, or that she had written an article long ago for Outside magazine about one of my favorites, Fran Lebowitz (excerpting one of my favorite Lebowitz quotes for WDWNMF: "To me the outdoors is what you must pass through to get from your apartment into a taxi"). However, after reading the recent article about her in New York Magazine, largely centered around her rape by Donald ...more
Aug 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
I am not sure what I just read, but I know that I hated it. I expected something ironic and funny, but all I got was awkward rambling with unique storytelling (also not a positive trait).
Yana   (Ms. Yana reads)
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
Update: OK, I finished the book. My first impression has not changed. A book about nothing....

OK, This is my first impression. It's cute. Way too much of man-bashing even for my taste and I am a single (by choice, after three marriages) very independent, self-sufficient woman, but, what do I know, I am just at the beginning of the book. Also, I would not recommend an audiobook. E. Jean Carroll narrates it herself and I don't like it. She is hard to listen too. I think it was a mistake to self na
Jeanette (Again)
In which E. Jean Carroll tells the story of how Toadstool Tallywhacker Trump raped her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman back in the 1990s.
Most of this book was just so-so. I had expected it to be a lot more entertaining, but sometimes it seemed like she was trying too hard to be humorous.
Jul 04, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book quite a bit to begin with, but it was a bit of a rollercoaster ride. This review is going to pertain towards the writing rather than the content (Carroll has dealt with a lot of bs and it isn't my intention to review that piece).

I liked the humour at first, but it felt a bit... tiring as it went on. Carroll often went on tangents, which made it a bit difficult to get through. She would start a story, go on about something else and then would finish the story pages and pages l
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
A celebration of womanhood in all its glory. Also, very funny. E. Jean is a national treasure. Pre-publication coverage has been all about the Trump incident, but that's about 1 percent of the book, and it comes at the end. Read it for the humor, the insight, and for Lewis Carroll and Miss Bingley. ...more
You know Moira Rose from Schitts Creek? The way she's always namedropping? The way she considers much of her surroundings beneath her but pluckily ventures forth anyway? The way she looks down on people from rural communities while trying to convince herself they're too dumb to notice her contempt? Imagine that she's not an actress but a writer; imagine that instead of trying to convey glamour and elegance through many affections of speaking and dress she often tries to be yuk-it-up, slapstick h ...more
Melanie Page
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sjcpl
Like many Goodread reviewers confess, I had never heard of E. Jean Carroll before picking up What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal, but turns out she’s famous. She’s been a “somebody” in one fashion or another since college. Most famously, she is the advice columnist at Elle magazine and has been since 1993. In her feminist take on Jonathan Swift’s satire A Modest Proposal, Carroll produces the most straight-shooting yet lost-in-the-woods book I’ve ever read.

With a Prius full of organic bea
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Just began the journey and loving it.
This profile of the author set me off to buy the book.
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is more than just a fun read. E. Jean Carroll is witty and provocative. When she travels across the US interviewing women, they usually hesitate before answering the title question. One says she needs a man to take out the garbage, another says they are needed for sex, but overall the effect of these interviews is to give pause. Why do women believe they need men? One thing is clear, women need to step up to the plate and stop relying so heavily on men.

Some think we need men to protect
Lorri Steinbacher
Jul 10, 2019 rated it liked it
If you like E. Jean Carroll's column and her style you will likely enjoy this book. She manages to convey the reality of the sexual harrassment, diminishment, and abuse that many (most?) women experience in their lifetime while at the same time showing how strong and vital women are. Carroll's style is breezy, sarcastic, a little off-center (which sometimes veers off into making no sense) but there is one line in there that broke my heart and added gravity to an otherwise "light" take [spoiler]S ...more
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
A humorous look at some very upsetting experiences. (I think some reviewers are missing that this is in large part a humor-oriented book.) And I do always enjoy a fun road trip book! This book wasn't really for me; but as always, it's good to see things from some different perspectives.

And, as an old person who is tired of decades spent listening to rationalizations and putting up with shit: I am going to start screaming the next time I hear/see some self-righteous man saying an equivalent of "
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, memoir
residue from the back cover of this book has embedded itself lightly in my fingerprints due to the resulting hand sweat of reading this so prolongedly in the sun. it’s as good a metaphor as any i could have thought up for what it’s like finishing this book. and i mean that in a good sort of way. or in a “gut and soul -wrenching, speaks to my heart” sort of way. i can’t quite decide how to name it. but i do know i will be talking about e. jean carroll for a long long time.
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Okay, bear with me, I'm new to writing reviews. I read a couple books a week but rarely take the time to write a review. THIS BOOK IS INCREDIBLE! I laughed so hard at times and cried at others and all the while felt my own demons losing power. WOW! I've sent copies to the women in my life most in need of personal strength (E. Jean has that in spades). Read this book, you will love it and you will feel better and then let's all take a road trip together. GIRL POWER!!! ...more
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
E. Jean is hilarious and I love her because she loves all women unconditionally. The horrific and criminal act perpetrated on her by the current occupant of the White House is a minor episode in this book so don't let that dissuade you from reading it. Her modest proposal is sublime. Terrific summer read, funny and you'll love Lewis Carroll! ...more
May 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-nf
Part memoir, part satire (I think?), part epic cross country truth-seeking road trip - E. Jean Caroll takes a hard look at whether men being "in charge" benefits the U.S. or serves as a detriment. Given who is currently in charge I think you can guess what side of the line she comes down on.

The audio book is also narrated by E. Jean which was a real comedic treat!
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Former Miss Indiana University, Miss Cheerleader USA, Elle columnist, TV host and SNL writer, current national treasure E. Jean Carroll races around the country in a pimped-out prius named Miss Bingley with her standard poodle asking women why we need men, what else do you need to know.
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
The author's whimsical effervescence prevails even while she covers a lifetime of misuse at the hands of men. Her stories are remarkable in that they are NOT unique. We should all be as courageous and irrepressible. ...more
May 14, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
TW: sexual assault, domestic violence

This is the HIRE MORE WOMEN PRISON GUARDS tweet in book form. Once you get used to the cutesy style, you have to deal with the liberal american feminism. I don't know why I kept reading after she defended Al Franken, shared a bewilderingly racist anecdote about Papua New Guinea, and called her black husband an ape (who then physically assaulted and tried to strangle her horrifyingly), but I made it to the end somehow to tell you that this could have been a lo
Phyllis Goode
Nov 01, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars! It’s funny
Janet Savill
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
The #metoo shitstorm has influenced my reading in several stages: pain (all the reporting/revelations/allegations since 2016) moved into anger (Good & Mad by Rebecca Traister), which opened up to calls for action (Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez) and I finally landed at satire with this book. What a relief, we can laugh again.

And I did laugh because this septuagenarian took to the road with her dog, Lewis Carroll, to ask women a simple question inspired by Jonathan Swift. This is a roa
Kirsten Hessler
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
"The ten-thousand–year-old damsel-in-distress story is dead. Bad things still happen to women, yes; but women are no longer damsels. Women are sweaty. Women are scalding. Women are strong. Women are tender. Women are fierce. Women are fighters!"

E. Jean is a force of nature, a woman who has endured countless harassments and assaults over the decades but maintained her laughter, conversationalism, and habit of calling other women (strangers) things like "Magnificent! Spectacular! Super duper!" Imm
I realize i'm not quite the target audience for this book.

This is a light reading, somewhat frivolous read. There's no definitive conclusion to the question posed in the title. It's a little bit funny at times but i guess i might have missed quite a bit as i don't get a lot of the references.

Still, it was kinda entertaining and a quick enough read for me to see it all through. Despite me being white male from Europe, hardly the audience the author would have had in mind. :-)
Aug 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I picked up this book after listening to a podcast featuring the author (With Friends Like These). I’ve never, to the best of my knowledge, read the authors column in ELLE, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I equally laughed, clutched my pearls and wanted to rage while reading this book. The concept is interesting but some of the details were incredibly difficult to read. TBH I’m not sure how to rate this book, it jumps around quite a bit and breaks my heart as often as I chuckle.
Cary Zahaby
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a funny, rolicking, sharp account of a road trip across America interwoven with memories of the author's very many sexual assaults throughout her life. Despite the tough content, it is funny, inspirational, spirited, and hopeful. I fell in love with her. ...more
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love her wit. A very good read and sad, but in a comical way, or tragic. Depends on how sensible you are to women's issues. I think I am all for her plan. Let women lead, men go to camp. ...more
Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I underestimated this book. E. Jean Carroll does a hilarious job not only recounting her own dumpster fire experiences with the opposite sex (Donald Trump included), but she drives around the country asking women what we actually need men for. As you can imagine, Carroll's opinion may be a bit biased and outside of some of the more rural women who believe men are the true leaders and women are here to serve them (ick), most women had very weak platforms for needing men: taking trash out, compani ...more
Jan 16, 2021 marked it as wish-list

The Dworkin Account: Scott speaks with E. Jean Carroll, whose Elle Magazine column “Ask E. Jean” is the longest-running magazine column in America. She told us about the events in her new book “What do we need men for? A modest proposal” without any limits or boundaries, and recounted the details of two terrible encounters with powerful men, including a real estate developer who would go on to leave the Democratic Party and run for president, Donald J. Trump. This unfiltered, barely edited forty
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, memoir-2019
E. Jean Carroll is like your eccentric aunt, or your mom's single friend. When I started the audio, it was A LOT. "Ladies!! What do we need men for?" And then lists, so many lists!

But ultimately there is a method to her madness. As she goes on a road trip state to state staying in Hardwick Inns in towns named after women, she has a simple question: What do we need men for? Some women say, "to take out the trash" and some say, "we don't". And interspersed with that is a list of Most Hideous Men,
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