Carol Tavris’s The Mismeasure of Women offers the reader insight into the inequality and problems women face in society. I approached this book with the assumption that it would glorify women and belittle men. I figured that the author would blame all the problems women face on men. After completing the book I had a very different opinion. The author looked to society for the actual source of women’s inequality and never placed the blame on any one group of people. The book explains that although there are differences in the behavior of men and women in certain situations both types of behavior are equal and for the most part influenced by society. It is for that reason I recommend The Mismeasure of Women for both male and female readers. It offers a wealth of information and insight that would benefit society as a whole, as well as, the relationships between men and women.
To help explain my recommendation and reasoning it is necessary to take a short look at what the book is saying. The book starts off by talking about the various reasons society feels women to be inferior to men. It seems to be built into our modern society to view men as the norm. Tavris explains early in the book about the experiments that were set up to study the male and female brain. The scientist’s were trying to prove that the male brain is superior to the female brain. The results were usually not what the scientist expected and were often never published. It was found in the study of the brain and almost all other areas where men and women are thought to differ that the male and female are alike in more ways that they are different. Tavris’s The Mismeasure of Women shows that point very clearly, “Thus, one must not overlook perhaps the most obvious conclusion, which is that basic patterns of male and female brain asymmetry seem to be more similar than they are different'; (Tavris 55).
The book points out that many of the stereotypes about women’s behavior are untrue. One of the most important examples of this is the notion of PMS and other so-called women’s disorders. Tavris points out that many of the normal body workings of women are now looked at as disorders needing treatment. The author feels that this further makes the male the norm of society because society fails to turn male behavior and body functi...
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... feminine behaviors are influenced and created by society can also be backed up from sociology lectures I have attended. Overall the books arguments are consistent with many other arguments on the same general subject.
I spent a great deal of time looking for any point or idea the author left out that could be of vital importance for this book. I came up with nothing. The book presents all the information needed to effectively portray and defend the arguments. I found no area of the book that needed added support and/or thought. I found the areas dealing with women in the military and the workplace to be very well supported. I have known women in the military and they were very pro-war contrary to belief.
Carol Tavris’s The Mismeasure of Women offers the reader insight in to the true cause of so-called women’s problems. It provides both men and women with the information to improve relationships between lovers, co-workers, friends and family members of the opposite sex. It increases the awareness of societies influence of the behaviors of men and women without putting the entire blame on any one group of people. In general I recommend this book for all people.
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