By Margot Mifflin
August 27, 1993 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Myth of Male Power

Tricked into fatherhood, cheated by custody laws, battered by their wives, the oppressed sex is really the hairy sex, according to two new reports from the Twilight Zone of the men’s movement.

Written by a former NOW board member who jumped ship, The Myth of Male Power is a masterpiece of specious reasoning. Warren Farrell charges that men have never been dominant — they’ve been too busy supporting their money-grubbing wives. He illustrates his point with a shockingly crude conceit: Men are like slaves; the latter risked their lives in the fields, the former, on the battlefield. In a leap of logic and geography he elaborates, ”Apartheid forced blacks to mine diamonds for whites; socialization expected men to…pay for diamonds for women.”

By comparison, David Thomas is an evenhanded masculinist who worries that our ”increasingly feminized society” is feminizing men. In Not Guilty he refutes the notion that men are ”simply born bad.” Both authors offer important statistics on domestic violence committed by women, and each rightly asserts that sexism hurts men as well as women. Unfortunately, most of Farrell’s tit-for-tat theories about man’s greater societal burden are slanted, self-serving, and absurdly simplistic. D

The Myth of Male Power

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