In Defence of Men

The fragile dynamic between the sexes has always been somewhat fraught. Thirty years ago, American relationship counsellor John Gray seemed to hit both a nerve and a gold mine when he managed to shift more than 15 million copies of his bestseller, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.

Since then, things appear to have got even more complicated, with incels (involuntary celibates), #MeToo, easy-access pornography and revenge politics prompting some to question the gravitational forces driving the entire solar system. What on earth is going on? English writer and philosopher Nina Power thinks she knows. Chasms have opened up in society because the battle between the sexes has become a zero-sum game, she maintains.

In What Do Men Want? Masculinity and its discontents, Power, 43, attempts to paper over the cracks and engineer bridges over the canyons. The book is practically guaranteed to make everyone uncomfortable.

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