Are Men Necessary?: When Sexes Collide

Are Men Necessary?: When Sexes Collide

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by Maureen Dowd

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Four decades after the sexual revolution, nothing has worked out the way it was supposed to. The sexes are circling each other as uneasily and cimically as ever, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist digs into the Y and X files, exploring the myths and muddles of sexual combat in the modern world.


Four decades after the sexual revolution, nothing has worked out the way it was supposed to. The sexes are circling each other as uneasily and cimically as ever, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist digs into the Y and X files, exploring the myths and muddles of sexual combat in the modern world.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hearing Dowd purr through her own book provides an entirely new, unexpected dimension to her writing. As with her op-ed columns for the New York Times, her book on the travails of the modern woman clothes alarming conclusions in fizzy, irony-drenched writing. For her reading of her book on the return of femininity as a man-catching technique, Dowd turns on her own feminine wiles, often beginning new paragraphs by breathing seductively into the microphone before settling back and adopting a more ordinary-sounding tone. To Dowd, the act of reading is a form of seduction, a notion reflected in the audiobook's packaging, whose cover features a painting of a glam redhead reading on the subway. Dowd's sensual reading is a clever gambit, luring listeners in before clobbering them with the sad truth of the backlash to feminism. If her Times gig ever falls through, she can always fall back on a second career as an audiobook reader. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 26). (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Dowd (Bushworld: Enter at Your Own Risk) presents her funny, biting, and incisive take on women's place in American society today. In the style of her columns, Dowd's writing races along as she presents academic studies on the Y chromosome and on the relationship between a woman's IQ and the odds she will marry, alongside essays on popular culture where she considers, for example, how society moved from Gloria Steinem and "no-makeup" feminism to Desperate Housewives and Botox injections. Dowd ponders why girls dominate in high school but women fail to dominate in the adult world; why the three network news anchor jobs were again filled by white men; and why Hillary Rodham Clinton had to be a victim to become a senator. Her long journalism career and her Washington connections allow Dowd to give the reader an inside glimpse of influential figures. Readable, provocative, and entertaining, this is recommended for public libraries.-Debra Moore, Cerritos Coll., Norwalk, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
CD 0-143-05828-2After sticking it to the administration in Bushworld (2004), New York Times Pulitzer-winner Dowd takes on the battle of the sexes. Like most columnists, the author is easier to take in small daily doses. Full-length exposure to the rarified world she moves in prompts the uneasy feeling that Dowd doesn't know much about ordinary folks. Joking that nowadays women check out their prospective partners on the Internet, she seems not to realize that most people are unlikely to find mentions of their blind date on Google. "Whence the Wince?" and "How Green Is My Valley of the Dolls," which extensively anatomize the cult of bodily perfection and chemical-induced placidity, will certainly be of interest to those whose peers can afford plastic surgery, frequent Botox injections and abundant prescriptions of Paxil, perhaps not so much to women holding down jobs and raising their kids without the benefit of full-time nannies or CEO husbands. Dowd's habit of quoting friends and colleagues-who all seem to be media executives, political operatives or other Times writers-reinforces the perception of her blinkered perspective. Granted, she delivers her basic message strongly: "Feminism lasted for a nanosecond, but the backlash has lasted forty years." And she's often very funny to a serious purpose, as in her skewering of "Saturday Morning Bill" Clinton who "would mess around with women with big-cut hair and low-cut dresses," while "Sunday Morning Bill would run and hide behind the sedate skirts of the high-toned feminists he surrounded himself with." (Her most stinging passages skewer the hypocrisy of feminists who decried the smear tactics used against Anita Hill, then used the sametactics against Monica Lewinsky.) Still, a staunch liberal and feminist like Dowd, who proudly declares that she comes "from a family of Irish maids," could profitably spend more time writing about the impact of the antifeminist backlash on people who are still cleaning houses. Her heart's in the right place, but she really should get out more. Agent: Esther Newberg/ICM
From the Publisher
"A blistering critique of modern gender relations." - Salon
"Fun...plenty of style and wit." - Baltimore Sun
"[A] funny, biting, and incisive take on women's place in American society today. Readable, provocative, and entertaining." - Library Journal

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.22(w) x 5.72(h) x 1.05(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Meet the Author

Maureen Dowd was born in Washington, D.C., received a BA in English from Catholic University in 1973, then began her career at the Washington Star. From there she went to Time magazine, then moved to The New York Times in 1986 as a Washington correspondent. She has covered four presidential campaigns and served as a White House correspondent. In 1995 she became a columnist for The New York Times's Op-Ed page and in 1999 won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary.

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Are Men Necessary?: When Sexes Collide 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Maureen Dowd is an witty, urbane writer with nothing nice to say. There is just a general cynicism and meaness in her point of view.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mindless dribble and ramblings. Insane namedropping of male personalities centered along the Washington - N.Y. corridor.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
She's been called acerbic and acid-tongued. She's been called witty and on-target. One thing Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has not been called is dull. Her word play is rib tickling and she says it as she sees it, whether one agrees with her or not she is highly readable. It was some years ago that I first read her in The Wall Street Journal. Then as now, trenchant phrases that stick in my mind seem to pour from her pen. Mellow with the years? Avoid hot-button topics? Not Maureen Dowd. She courts controversy again as she culls from her New York Times columns to ask 'Are Men Necessary?' Listen as she takes on a subject fascinating to all - men and women or, as she frequently finds them, men vs. women and, of course, sex. She roadmaps the decline of feminism and explains why men are not biologically suited to hold higher office. Botox and breast implants take hits for turning women into Barbies, while men are seen as having to make themselves feminine in order to come out ahead in love, work, and war. Cosmo girls better take cover when Dowd's on the prowl, but they'll need to make room for Hillary Clinton, too. Whether you love her or demonize her, the pleasure for me was hearing her read the audio version. Of course, her voice is not stage trained, but it is definitely Dowd - sounding a bit 'scratchy' at times as if she'd pulled too many all-nighters yet always placing the emphasis exactly where she wants it to be. You wouldn't think she would and she doesn't resort to employing a 'little girl' voice when asking questions. She seems to be standing there firing them at you then, not missing a beat she responds. (She knew the answer all along). Such is the dilemma - is the highly intelligent Dowd a darling or a devil? Whatever the case, this audio edition is well worth a listen. - Gail Cooke
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was intrigued from this book which tends to be oriented towards relationships. I didn¿t know what to expect at first but let me tell you this book is wonderful and will make you laugh a lot. I agree that the title sounds quite feministic. Dowd has shown the good, the bad and the ugly of both sexes however, which makes it more or less objective. It is really thought provoking and it made me think: ¿are they¿. Then I looked at my hubby and realized that ¿they are¿. Sometimes it may be a little bit difficult but at the end it is worth it. Another ¿man¿, who set our bed on fire several weeks ago is Alan Ritz with his bestseller. Dowd also agrees that eventually ¿they are¿ and I am thankful to God for that.