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Save the Males: Why Men Matter, Why Women Should Care

Publisher: Random House • 2008 • 242 pages

For the past 30 years or so, American culture has embraced — and acted upon—the notion that men are to blame for all of life’s ills. But it’s not just men who are suffering as a result, argues conservative columnist Kathleen Parker—women and children are too. Now, in “Save the Males: Why Men Matter, Why Women Should Care,” Parker takes a hard look at how men, boys, manliness and fatherhood have been under siege in recent decades—and the corrosive effects this has had on families and society.

“Men have been ridiculed in the public square and the importance of fatherhood has been diminished,” writes Parker. “The exemplar of the modern male is the hairless, metrosexualized male and decorator boys who turn heterosexual slobs into perfumed ponies. All of which is fine as long as we can dwell happily in the Kingdom of Starbucks, munching our biscotti and debating whether nature or nurture determines gender identity. But in the dangerous world in which we really live, it might be nice to have a few guys around who aren’t trying to juggle pedicures and highlights.”

Some highlight’s of Kathleen Parker’s analysis:

  • Women Good, Men Bad: How, in the process of fashioning a more female-friendly world, we’ve created a culture that is contemptuous of masculinity, and cynical about the differences that make men indispensable
  • How, in popular culture, men are almost always portrayed as dolts, brutes, deadbeats, sexual predators and wife beaters — and almost never as wise, strong and noble
  • How the feminist, anti-patriarchal attitude that permeates public education is driving boys’ academic performance down — and many boys to drop out altogether
  • How the value of fatherhood has been diminished, along with other traditionally male roles of provider and protector, which are increasingly viewed as regressive manifestations of an outmoded patriarchy
  • How men have been domesticated to within an inch of their lives when it comes to childbirth and infant care — attending Lamaze classes, counting contractions, bottling expressed breast milk for HisTurn midnight feedings — yet have no right to protect their offspring from abortion
  • Where Did Daddy Go? — how divorce, unwed motherhood, and policies that unfairly penalize and marginalize fathers are eradicating men from children’s lives (30 to 40 percent of American children don’t have a father at home)
  • How growing up without a father is the most reliable predictor of poverty, drug abuse, truancy, delinquency, promiscuity, and other social pathologies
  • Single Moms, Sperm Donor Dads: How, by elevating single motherhood to a sophisticated act of self-fulfillment, we’re making fathers not just scarce, but superfluous

“Save the Males is witty and it’s going to make you laugh, but it is also serious, thoughtful, brilliantly observed, and dead on. I’m giving it to my son as a show of solidarity, and to let him know that men, and manhood, have a great friend and defender named Kathleen Parker.” —Peggy Noonan

“So, the ‘war between the sexes’ has found its Ernie Pyle. As a correspondent reporting from the front lines, Kathleen Parker writes with an appropriate mixture of amusement and amazement about the galloping nonsense currently said about the subject of sex. Her judgments are irresistible, as when she says of pornography: ‘What little I’ve seen reminds me mostly of a construction site in Dubai — lots of big cranes and loud pounding, but not much to warm the human heart.’ ” —George F. Will

“A morally, socially, and culturally compelling book. . . Kathleen Parker is just what our modern age, and its men and women, need.” —William J. Bennett

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