Dr. Warren FarrellWomen Can't Hear What Men Don't Say

Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say

Excerpts From

Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say
by Warren Farrell

Introduction
     
• This book provides the knowledge to care about the myths which are the insecticides that poison our love for men. P.8
     
• Women can’t hear what men don’t say partly because of the way men say it, and partly because it’s difficult to listen to anything we don’t really want to hear. P.3
     
• This book has to be about process---the process of communicating difficult feelings; the process of listening to difficult feelings. P.3
     
• Big feminism, like big labor started by correcting an imbalance; both became so preoccupied with getting protection that soon everyone near them needed protection from them. P.2
     
• As women spoke up and men didn’t, men and masculinity were becoming demonized. P.2
     
• Though men, like women, received love by solving problems for others, the process for men involved a more complete repression of their own problems. P.6
     
• For women, expressing weakness and fear attracted a savior; for men, expressing weakness and fear attracted contempt. P.6
     
• Ultimately this book is about both sexes speaking and both sexes listening in a radically different way. P.6
     
• I put more emphasis on hearing personal criticism well because therapists spend less time helping people handle badly given criticism. P.9
     
• What we need to ask to determine whether we are being told the full truth in the news. P.11
     
• Part III explores women’s anger in the form of man-bashing and “The Lace Curtain.” P.11
     
• By making the environment safe for men to speak up, men will get in touch with their feelings, do their homework, learn to speak with love, and speak. P.12


Chapter 1. The Most Important Thing to Understand About Men... p.15

     
• …..is their desire to be understood. p.15
     
• While it’s “natural” for men to emotionally withdraw into their “caves,” it’s not functional. p. 16
     
• A man fears that conflict with his wife will lead to less intimacy, not more intimacy. p.17
     
• Our choice of partners is perhaps the clearest single statement of our choice of values. P.17
     
• Both sexes fall in love with the members of the other sex who are the least capable of loving. p.17
     
• In Stage I, survival was more dependent on combat than on compassion. P.18
     
• People who cannot offer understanding will find themselves paying for more and receiving less. P.19


Chapter 2. How to Give Criticism so It Can Easily Be Heard p.20

     
• Studies of happy marriages find anger and criticism expressed, not repressed, and the way they are expressed counts. P.20
     
• Men are socialized to argue outside the home (with men), not inside the home (with women). P.21
     
• Overall, women are more willing to initiate conflict, escalate conflict, able to handle it, and, when they initiate it, quicker to get over it. P.21
     
• We often hear we have a battle of the sexes when, in fact, we have a war in which only one side has shown up. P.21
     
• We tend to interpret “anger” in a man what we call “fear” in a woman. P.22
     
• When a man criticizes a woman, it makes us fear for her; when a woman criticizes a man, it makes us cheer for her. P.22
     
• Historically, criticism could lead to ostracism which could lead to death. P.23
     
• Our genetic heritage made it functional to kill the criticizer before the criticizer killed us. P.23
     
• To provide a safe environment for complaints use The Five “Rules of the Game”:
     
• 1. Tone of voice is more crucial than words
     
• 2. Don’t complain too often.
     
• 3. Never criticize someone who has just criticized you.
     
• 4. Ask the listener to just “play listener.”
     
• 5. Try not to cross-examine the listener with questions. P.24-25
     
• The “Plan Ahead Method” of Giving Criticism
     
• Step 1: Write down your negative feelings.
     
• Step 2: Create a predictable time to share negative feelings – once every week or two.
     
• Step 3: Share four positive feelings with each negative.
     
• Step 4: Incorporate humor and romance into the “feelings” evening. P.25-28
     
• The “Spontaneous Method” Of Giving Criticism So It Can Be Easily Heard
     
• Step 1: Identify your loved one’s best intent.
     
• Step 2: Identify your partner’s dilemma or struggle.
     
• Step 3: Identify the feeling behind your partner’s dilemma.
     
• Step 4: Identify the positive character traits your partner exhibited in her or his handling of this situation.
     
• Step 5: Recall relevant past conversations and use them to make your partner feel more understood. p.29-34


Chapter 3. How to Hear Criticism So It Can Easily Be Given p.38

     
• Evaluate whether or not you provide a supportive and safe environment for RECEIVING criticism. p.38
     
• Listening to criticism mandates a shift that marks the most important evolutionary shift humans can make. P.41
     
• We must teach children to experience criticism as a growth opportunity. P.42
     
• The Four Constants to be kept in mind when listening to criticism or anger.
     
• The “Cinematic” Approach as Insurance Policy
     
• Keeping the Energy on Our Partner’s Story rather than on our defenses.
     
• Search Out Your Partner’s Best Intent
     
• Be Absolutely Certain Your Partner Cares p.43-46
     
• 8 Steps Toward Providing A Safe Environment For Your Partner’s Criticism And Anger
     
• Supportive eye contact.
     
• Verbal support.
     
• Share your understanding of what she or he said.
     
• Expand on your partner’s best intent by sharing insights you believe would increase your partner’s feelings of being understood.
     
• Ask your partner to clarify anything you may have misinterpreted or omitted.
     
• Take a Brief Break
     
• Respond by reversing roles
     
• Give the person who did not bring up a complaint an opportunity to do so. P.46-52


Chapter 4. How to Help Men Express Feelings

     
• The belief that men don’t need help is part of the problem. P.58
     
• We give lip service to wanting men to express feelings and reward men for repressing feelings. P.58
     
• The “Father’s Catch-22”: to love his family by being away from the love of his family. P.61
     
• Women’s four options for emotional support: husbands; womenfriends; children; parents. P.61
     
• With only one option (wives or womenfriends), men fear to communicate feelings for fear of her withdrawal. P.61
     
• In divorce women fear economic deprivation; men emotional deprivation. P.62
     
• After divorce boys lose male role models: brought up by moms; 90%-female child-care environments and 85%-female elementary school systems. P.62
     
• In the workplace, the price of revealing his vulnerability is greater vulnerability. P.64
     
• In church, Christ’s modeling created:
     
• Men’s Religious Catch-22: ask for help vs. be a savior.
     
• The most respected men are giving help, not asking for help.
     
• Women come to see the problem-solvers, not the men asking for help. P.65
     
• Government legislates protection for women more than for men. P. 66
     
• In college, men are expected to treat women as equals unless something they might say or feel will offend them. P.67
     
• There are more than twenty women’s organizations and clubs for each one of men’s.p.68
     
• Traditional men’s organizations serve the same functions for traditional men that church provides for the traditional women. P.69
     
• Non-traditional men’s groups, encourage men to share their fears with those who share their fears. P.70


PART II: IN THE HOME P.83


Chapter 5. What A Man Doesn’t Say When He Hears “I Work Full-Time And Take Care Of The Kids, But You Won’t Even Do The Dishes.” P.85

     
• The core of the UN’s Human Development Report 1995 saying women work more worldwide was a lie. P.88
     
• It was built on a foundation of undeserved credibility already been by The Second Shift. P91
     
• The Second Shift’s publicity made husband bashing de rigueur in the media. P.91
     
• Hochschild used 1960s data in a 1989 book to generate her myths. P.95
     
• The 54 item “Male Housework List” and the myths it destroys. P.100-106
     
• Fact, part I: Both Sexes Do Housework For Which They Are Unpaid, And Both Sexes’ Housework “Pays” Their Partner. P.107
     
• Fact, part II: “Women’s Work” Is Paid – In At Least Six Ways p.116
     
• Turning anger into understanding involves more than changing the biases of housework studies; start with the media’s process of selecting which studies become the headlines. P.120


CHAPTER 6. IF YOUR MAN KNEW YOU FEARED HIS POTENTIAL FOR VIOLENCE... P.123

     
• Nowhere is “Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say” more relevant than to boys’ and men’s silence about domestic violence. p.127
     
• The slide into violence is quickened by assumptions about domestic violence:
     
• Men batter women, rarely the other way around;
     
• Women hit men only in self-defense;
     
• Women can’t walk out; enraged men will more likely harm them;
     
• This emanates from men’s feelings of women-as-property and of male power and privilege. P.124
     
• When women batter, men’s first priority is to support the women and help them change; when men batter, women’s first priority is to escape the men and put them in prison. P.126
     
• American culture supports the battering of males: in 100% of advertisements in which only one sex is hitting or beating the other, it’s the woman beating the man. P.126
     
• Men learn to call pain “glory”; women learn to call the police. P.127
     
• Since 1975 every domestic violence survey found women and men batter each other about equally, or women batter men more; however:
     
• women more likely to initiate violence
     
• more likely to inflict severe violence.
     
• more likely to engage in severe violence that was not reciprocated. P.129
     
• Men are battered more but report it less because they’ve learned to associate being abused with being loved. p.135
     
• The Male “Learned Helplessness Syndrome”: the weakness of men is their façade of strength; the strength f women is their façade of weakness. P.135
     
• Men neither expect life nor wife to protect them. P.135
     
• Men expect to be “Timex Tough”; to “take a licking and keep on ticking.” P.136
     
• A battered man knows there are no shelters for battered men because no one really believes he exists. P.136
     
• Leaving a battering wife means:
     
• leaving children unprotected from her abuse;
     
• losing his home;
     
• losing the love of his children p.137
     
• Myth: Women are injured more than men. P.138
     
• Myth: Women are injured more than men. P.138
     
• Cross culturally women remain equally or more than equally violent to men. P.145
     
• Lesbian violence shatters the myth that patriarchy causes abuse.p.147
     
• It bothers me to have to document that the sexes kill their spouses about equally. P.150
     
• Until government collects data about the three female methods of killing, we don’t know if one sex kills the other more. P.151
     
• The three female methods of killing are designed not to be detected. P.151
     
• 13% of female defendants in spousal murder cases result in acquittal, vs. 1% with men defendants. P.152
     
• The average prison sentence for spousal murder (excluding life sentences and the death penalty) is 17.5 years for men vs. 6.2 years for women. P152

     
• Domestic violence female style:
     
• "Reputation Ruining" via False Accusations of Abuse
     
• Property Abuse and Career Destruction
     
• Psychological Abuse p.152
     
• Studies of lesbian abuse recognize psychological abuse as important as physical abuse. P. 153
     
• Assumption in studies of heterosexual abuse: “when women abuse men physically it’s because men have abused women psychologically first.” P.154
     
• When we fail to believe men who report abuse, we jeopardize children and the community. P.156
     
• The “Battered Woman Syndrome” is only one of eight legal defenses women can use to kill that cannot be used by men. P.156
     
The Five Catalysts to Violence-After-Leaving:
     
(1) Deplete the bank account
     
(2) Leave a vitriolic, rejecting note;
     
(3) Take the kids;
     
(4) Have the spouse arrested.
     
(5) Have a lover and go to her or his house
     
• We have developed a new industry of competition to be the biggest victim. P.160
     
• Lawyers and therapists are paid to find victims; when the supply runs short, they create them. P.160
     
• Women’s misuse of relationship power is legal; men’s misuse of physical power is illegal. P.161
     
• Federal and state governments give tax exemptions to organizations like the United Way which fund this feminist blame-the-male approach. P.161


Part III: Outside The Home p.163


Chapter 7. What Men Would Say When Male-Bashing Is Called “Funny,” But Female-Bashing Is Called “Sexist.” P.165

     
• Man-bashers focus on the problems with men and ignore the problems of men. P.165
     
• Misandry---or man hating---is the equivalent of misogyny. P.165
     
• I’ve never seen a greeting card thanking mentors or volunteer firemen. P.166
     
• Public woman bashing is illegal; public man bashing is institutionalized. P.166
     
• Yesterday’s joke can become tomorrow’s lawsuit, an end to HIS career, his marriage and jail for his children’s father. p.166
     
• Misandry’s double standard is in our language:
     
• Chairman is now chairperson, but gunman isn’t gunperson.
     
• The older man marries a younger woman: “He’s robbing the cradle”, not “She’s robbing the bank.”
     
• Women with many partners are seen as “liberated”; such men as “womanizers”. P.167
     
• Men are jerks more often because they take risks more often. P.169
     
• A jerk is a potential hero who messes it up along the way. P. 169
     
• Almost every woman who marries still believes her future husband will earn equal to or more than she. P.170
     
• Social permission to divorce led to women’s dream of being swept away getting swept away. P.171
     
• Women’s overt hatred of men emanates in part from the self hatred of unrealistic expectations unrealized. P.171
     
• The slogan of the greeting card industry should be, “No Good Men, Many Good Cards.” P.175
     
• Hallmark, Maine Line, and American Greetings are the Holy Trinity of misandry. P.175
     
• Motivation? Profit from women’s need for assurance that rejection from a man is his fault. P.175
     
• Hatred toward men has insinuated itself into the fabric of the country. P.178
     
• Men are the only group that would endure misandry for thirty years and not have a word for it. P.177
     
• Dozens of mainstream films had a common theme: The only way to change men is to kill them. p.180
     
• The First Wives' Club’s alternative ways of killing men – killing them financially, alienating their children from them, ruining their reputations, destroying their careers. P.182
     
• Thelma and Louise: Praised as the female journey of liberation, but was actually a line-up of excuses for women to kill, maim, or wreak havoc on men. P.181
     
• We are taught that sex is dirty and teach our sons that they’re the ones expected to initiate the dirt. P.185
     
• Our sons then internalize moral inferiority, shame, guilt, and feelings that women are better, purer, and more innocent than they. P.185
     
• There is no man-bashing more vicious than expanding the definition of rape so virtually every heterosexual man is a rapist. P.189
     
• The Bridges of Madison County: moral and sexual double standards never existed to such a degree that we cried for the betrayer. P.194
     
• In male pornography, women are sex objects; in female pornography, men are success objects. P.194
     
• Men aren’t success object just because they need money to obtain love, but also because the novel ignores the pressures men endure to create that wealth. P.194
     
• Not asking for directions is the shadow side of four socialized male strengths:
     
• self-reliance,
     
• problem solving,
     
• risk taking,
     
• less afraid of making mistakes. P.197
     
• We teach both our sons and daughters to be confused; but only our daughters to be both entitled and angry. P.206
     
• Men’s sexual addiction is partly hormonal; if men could divorce post menopausal women for not being sexual enough, we’d see how we unfairly impose one sex’s standards on another. P.208
     
• Magazines targeting single women treat male sexuality cynically – as a vulnerability able to be exploited, and therefore subject to ridicule; give sex, get commitment. p.208
     
• Women will bash men who fail to provide until we help our daughters care about men who care more than about men who provide. P.217
     
• Any solution requires replacing the perpetrator-victim paradigm with understanding that men are not the enemy; that the option of divorce comes with a price of everyone feeling rejected. P.217
     
• We expanded women’s options, retained men’s obligations, then complain men haven’t changed. That must change. P.217


8. What a Man Might Say When He Hears, “It’s Men In The News, Men in Government, Men at the Top – Where Are the Women?”
p.219
     
• Love between men & women is being contaminated by the “Lace Curtain” – the tendency of major institutions to interpret gender issues from only a feminist/female perspective. P.220
     
• The Paradox of the Visible Invisible Man: a man’s external story is visible; his internal story invisible. P.221
     
• Hearing women’s internal stories – without hearing men’s – made the world seem unfair to women. P.223
     
• Men make the front pages either when they protect and save us – or threaten our safety. P.221
     
• The Iron Curtain shut out opinions considered a threat to Communism. The Lace Curtain shuts out opinions considered a threat to feminism. P. 223
     
• Once Communism and feminism successfully defined themselves as progressive and morally superior, censoring criticism could be rationalized as progressive and morally necessary. P.224
     
• Feminism has made women-as-victim so credible we would sooner think of saving whales than saving males. P.224
     
• If I don’t practice what I preach – that women can’t hear what men don’t say – then I have no right to ask other men to take risks I am myself unwilling to take. P.224
     
• When writing from a feminist perspective, The New York Times published everything I wrote. Once I began questioning the feminist perspective, it published nothing– not one of over twenty articles I submitted to them in two decades. P.226
     
• I had to face a deeper fear: that some feminist colleagues have an emotional investment in women’s victimhood so deep as to prevent discussion of women’s victim status. P.227
     
• Why won’t feminists debate? The unwillingness to debate is part of the corruption of power. P.228
     
• I have been told I was too politically incorrect to be on Politically Incorrect! P.229
     
• The Lace Curtain works by...
     
• training feminists in women’s studies’ programs who become the only experts on gender in all institutions working on gender questions.
     
• awarding feminists with honors, scholarships and careers.
     
• defining two-sex issues from only the woman’s perspective.
     
• creating victim data to catalyze “Victim Power.”
     
• making illegal the problems growing out of the traditional male role and ignoring the problems growing out of the traditional female role.
     
• neglecting to define men’s issues.
     
• labeling people who disagree with victim feminism as “sexist,” and if they persist, putting their careers at risk.
     
• men’s silence: without it the lace curtain would not exist. P. 230-233
     
• Studies are done when studies are funded. If the area is gender, the funding is feminist. P.234
     
• The Department of Labor has only a Women’s Bureau, no Men’s Bureau. P.235
     
• The Women’s Bureau ignores the 25 ways men behave that explain why men earn more. P.236
     
• No misuse of the lace curtain kills our fathers and their sons more than in the area of men’s and women’s health. P.236
     
• 10% of all health research funding goes to women, 5% to men, the other 85% is for non gender-specific research. P.236
     
• Dying of prostate cancer is now about 20% greater than the chance of a woman dying of breast cancer.
     
• The government spends almost four times as much money on breast cancer as it does on prostate cancer.
     
• “Government” commissions to study gender bias are not really government commissions – they are feminist commissions. P.241
     
• Data: For the same crime, women are more likely to go free on probation; men are more likely to get prison sentences. Conclusion: Women are victims of discrimination because women receive longer periods of probation! P.241
     
• 27% of Air Force women who claimed they had been raped later admitted making false accusations of rape. P.241
     
• Under a later study, the total of false allegations became 60%. P.241
     
• Gender studies’ function is to question roles so our children have options. P.244
     
• Women’s studies’ original purpose was to do this for women, but history courses do the opposite for men. P.244
     
• Traditional history courses are the history of both sexes’ traditional roles – roles without options. P.244
     
• History is not men’s studies because traditional history courses reinforce the traditional male role of performer. P.244
     
• History books trap men into stereotyped roles even more than they trap women because when we celebrate and appreciate someone for playing a role, we are really bribing them to keep playing that role. P.245
     
• Men’s studies is currently needed more than women’s studies exactly because men’s role has been less-questioned. P.245
     
• More than 200 universities currently have “speech codes” which prohibit speech women or minorities consider offensive, but not speech men might consider offensive. P.245
     
• By stifling men’s feelings about women, but not women’s about men, the codes become divorce training. P246
     
• Men’s and women’s studies should ultimately be leading to Gender Transition Studies. P.248
     
• Though use of public institutions to subsidize sex discrimination is unconstitutional, no college student has sued under Title IX for not having a genuine men’s studies department. p.248
     
• Positive images like God-as-He have been changed in books as traditional as the Bible; negative images, like the Devil-as-He, have not been changed. P.249
     
• If our sons don’t adopt the feminist version, they are labeled and ostracized – aliens in their chosen profession; if they do adopt it, they are aliens to themselves. P.249
     
• If schools and society prepare girls to have their choice more than boys, is it really the girls who are being shortchanged? P.254
     
• “When it comes to gender issues, journalists generally have suspended all their usual skepticism…. We accept at face value whatever women’s groups say.” Bernard Goldberg, CBS News correspondent p.256
     
• Opinion polls consistently over sample women. P. 257
     
• Five methods pollsters use to ignore what men might say if we asked, or what they do say when we ask. P.258
     
• Under sampling of men: provides data on men, feelings on women.
     
• Using only women’s perspectives to create the headlines.
     
• Funding: Feminine based businesses sponsor polls on gender.
     
• Attitude: Disparaging characterizations of women never used to headline polls, but of men regularly.
     
• Press releases: The most positive traits of women are featured against the most negative traits of men.
     
• Example: Disenfranchised male voters characterized as “Angry White Men”; female voters acknowledged as “Worried” or “Concerned Women.” P.260
     
• The impact? Men want to listen to a worried woman; no one wants to listen to an angry man. P.262
     
• In war reporting, watch how carefully, men’s deaths are treated as women’s victimization... P.263
     
• Women not sacrificing their lives in war is never discussed as female privilege, as matriarchy. P.264
     
• Female victimhood is dependent on keeping men’s contributions invisible. P. 265
     
• Overt censorship scares me less than covert censorship; almost every book on men’s issues is neglected by most every paper. P.266
     
• Women’s magazines promise the world and deliver male dependency; men’s magazines promise little and deliver female avoidance. P. 281
     
• Men, and men’s magazines, keep men pleasing women by buying women things rather than psychologically connecting with women. P.281
     
• Feminist therapy is increasingly powerful in the professions of social work and psychology and is even now built into the law. P.305
     
• The term feminist therapist, like feminist scholar, is an oxymoron. P.307
     
• For a bias against one sex to be built into a profession whose ethic is helping both sexes is unethical. P.307
     
• To use that bias to prevent introspection in a profession whose practice is introspection is malpractice. P.307
     
• To use public funds to pay for malpractice is corruption. P.307
     
• Feminist political strategy works because men’s egos are wrapped up in competing to be a recognized savior. P. 307
     
• No solution will address more underlying problems than a willingness to confront our instinct to protect women more than men. P308


Conclusions/Solutions p.311

     
• Nothing is more important than the four “relationship language” skills:
     
• experiencing empathy (“walking a mile in each other’s moccasins”),
     
• communicating empathy;
     
• giving criticism so it can be easily heard;
     
• hearing criticism so it can be easily given. P.311
     
• A downside of relationship language as a pathway to understanding is that it requires practice. P.312
     
• Getting men to express feelings requires an evolutionary in how we view the sexes’ historic and genetic role of men protecting women. P.313
     
• There was little anger at men for earning more than women in the workplace until men stopped providing that income to their families. P.313
     
• Feminism became some women’s substitute man, many women’s union and many secular women’s religion. P.314
     
• The three faces of feminism – “Empowerment Feminism,” “Victim Feminism,” and “Competitive Feminism” – have, politically, come in the same package. P.315
     
• Feminism’s unspoken “holy trinity”:
     
• Always open options for women;
     
• never close options for women;
     
• when something is wrong in the society, never hold women responsible. P.315
     
• Men are confused because “I am woman; I am strong” does not compute with “I am woman; I am victim.” P.315
     
• The conservative expects women to receive special protection via social custom. The liberal via government programs. P.316
     
• Special protection with real equality is oxymoronic. P.316
     
• On a societal level, the issue is not what the sexes choose to do, but that they have equal opportunity to make all choices. P.319
     
• I favor a generation or two of affirmative action incentives for both sexes, but only in those areas where gender socialization has effectively discouraged a sex. P.319
     
• For the first time in history, the sexes have an opportunity to redefine love, to create not a woman’s movement blaming men, or a men’s movement blaming women, but a gender transition movement. P.322
 
 

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