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With piercing wit and perceptive analysis, Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Kathleen Parker explores how men, maleness, and fatherhood have been under siege in American culture for decades. She argues that the feminist movement veered off course from its original aim of helping women achieve equality and ended up making enemies of men. The pendulum has swung from the reasonable middle to a place where men have been ridiculed in the public square and the importance of fatherhood has been diminished—all to the detriment of women and children, who ultimately suffer most. Exploring our burgeoning culture of permissiveness and the impact of anti-male attitudes on families and relationships, Kathleen Parker tackles some of the more taboo subjects in today’s sexual politics and culture wars that will have America talking about saving the males.
According to columnist Parker, men are an endangered species struggling against everything from mere hostility to literal emasculation. Starting in elementary school, where a teacher most likely a feminist will demand that boys sit still and listen and continuing through college, where freshmen must endure rape awareness workshops, men are besieged by disrespect. Belittled by bumbling portrayals in sitcoms, their importance as fathers is so devalued that they are perceived as little more than sperm and a wallet. Parker trots out the usual suspects " mass culture, unspecified feminists, The Vagina Monologues, Murphy Brown, metrosexuals and girlymen "to propose that a feminist campaign is afoot and eager to effeminize, denigrate and destroy American men. Although Parker's deliberate provocations make for lively reading, the majority of her claims are too fanciful and unsubstantiated to be genuinely thought provoking or even interesting (erectile dysfunction is caused by young, sexually aggressive women ; women serving in the army put the nation at risk). Parker makes a poor conspiracy theorist, and her statistics and unverifiable theories are unable to make her case, however vehement or entertaining their presentation.