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One of the most talked-about and widely praised articles of 2018, expanded into the water-cooler book of the #MeToo era. In February 2018, the Good Weekend cover story by David Leser - 'Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing' - had an unprecedented response from readers both in Australia and around the world. The public reaction to the article was extraordinary and included hu One of the most talked-about and widely praised articles of 2018, expanded into the water-cooler book of the #MeToo era. In February 2018, the Good Weekend cover story by David Leser - 'Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing' - had an unprecedented response from readers both in Australia and around the world. The public reaction to the article was extraordinary and included hundreds of personal messages urging David to expand his story. David Leser explores his own psyche and role in the patriarchy, and how history has brought us to the #Metoo movement, and its eruptions of female anger worldwide. Where did we go wrong? How do we navigate relationships now? And where to from here? 'An important read for anybody interested in a real dialogue and a real engagement on how to move forward in a #MeToo era. The fact that it is written by a man who is aware of his privileges and led by his curiosity for a genuine understanding makes it all the more important.' Zainab Salbi, author of Between Two Worlds and executive editor and host of #MeToo, Now What? 'David Leser has written the book a man needed to write. He has a deep ethical understanding of discrimination against women. He cares about that injustice. But he also cares about how men themselves can be part of the solution. Compassionate, incisive and beautifully written.' Professor Catharine Lumby, academic, author and journalist 'A brave plunge into deep waters: a tough, thorough, tender-even loving-book.' Robert Drewe, author of The Shark Net


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One of the most talked-about and widely praised articles of 2018, expanded into the water-cooler book of the #MeToo era. In February 2018, the Good Weekend cover story by David Leser - 'Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing' - had an unprecedented response from readers both in Australia and around the world. The public reaction to the article was extraordinary and included hu One of the most talked-about and widely praised articles of 2018, expanded into the water-cooler book of the #MeToo era. In February 2018, the Good Weekend cover story by David Leser - 'Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing' - had an unprecedented response from readers both in Australia and around the world. The public reaction to the article was extraordinary and included hundreds of personal messages urging David to expand his story. David Leser explores his own psyche and role in the patriarchy, and how history has brought us to the #Metoo movement, and its eruptions of female anger worldwide. Where did we go wrong? How do we navigate relationships now? And where to from here? 'An important read for anybody interested in a real dialogue and a real engagement on how to move forward in a #MeToo era. The fact that it is written by a man who is aware of his privileges and led by his curiosity for a genuine understanding makes it all the more important.' Zainab Salbi, author of Between Two Worlds and executive editor and host of #MeToo, Now What? 'David Leser has written the book a man needed to write. He has a deep ethical understanding of discrimination against women. He cares about that injustice. But he also cares about how men themselves can be part of the solution. Compassionate, incisive and beautifully written.' Professor Catharine Lumby, academic, author and journalist 'A brave plunge into deep waters: a tough, thorough, tender-even loving-book.' Robert Drewe, author of The Shark Net

30 review for Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing

  1. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    Praise be! A male writer who's steering the conversation in the right direction. Unflinching, incisive and thoughtfully written. Highly recommend. Praise be! A male writer who's steering the conversation in the right direction. Unflinching, incisive and thoughtfully written. Highly recommend.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Derry Talvainn

    No. Just no. A failure of a second wave feminist guy who finds third wave feminism not to his taste. He does cover many of the movements, incidents and people involved in modern feminism, which has some merit, however, this guy says maybe he wasn't that good a husband to his wife when he was absolutely awful, the typical 'I and my work is more important than you and yours - you can flounder with the housework, your career and the children, I don't care - no wonder his marriage broke up. However, No. Just no. A failure of a second wave feminist guy who finds third wave feminism not to his taste. He does cover many of the movements, incidents and people involved in modern feminism, which has some merit, however, this guy says maybe he wasn't that good a husband to his wife when he was absolutely awful, the typical 'I and my work is more important than you and yours - you can flounder with the housework, your career and the children, I don't care - no wonder his marriage broke up. However, his treatment of third wave feminism in their fight to change the culture of male entitlement to their bodies is abysmal. He states it is just male clumsiness that men grab breasts and other women's private parts and then physically and verbally push for sex even though they are getting both physical and verbal signals that it is not wanted. No. It is not. Just gross. From his coverage of the Aziz Ansari Affair then the Chapter 'The Grey Zone' through to the emotively and inappropriately titled chapter called 'Vigilante Justice' (referring to women being vigilantes after poor innocent males who were just being clumsy), he makes it clear that he doesn't understand anything about what it is like to be constantly grabbed and pressured to have sex - excusing it is just male 'clumsiness'. Despite example after example where the women is much younger and less powerful than the man and where the man is carrying out sexual assault and incredibly pushy callous behviour, he not only belittles the women who complains publicly, but also backs himself up with a swathe of second wave feminists. He talks about these women causing these poor men unnecessary pain and public humiliation and ruining men's careers (surprise, surprise, he then states that the men's careers are not ruined). I think that is the most depressing part of the book to me - to see so many women in the feminist movement attack young women who stand up and say that grabbing her private parts and physically pushing for sex when asked to stop is not okay - saying that if the women doesn't like it she should have just left because this is normal/acceptable behaviour from men. Disgusting.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Susan Biggs

    I just finished reading this remarkable book. After 35 years of fighting for women’s equality (known as women’s liberation back then), I had kind of resigned myself to the fact that men just don’t get it, even good men who care deeply about issues, how could they, they didn’t experience what we did on a daily basis. They didn’t ‘see’ it and ‘feel’ it. They didn’t look at every film, or art work, or advertisement through the lens of sexism. Every time I might casually mention ‘yeah great film but I just finished reading this remarkable book. After 35 years of fighting for women’s equality (known as women’s liberation back then), I had kind of resigned myself to the fact that men just don’t get it, even good men who care deeply about issues, how could they, they didn’t experience what we did on a daily basis. They didn’t ‘see’ it and ‘feel’ it. They didn’t look at every film, or art work, or advertisement through the lens of sexism. Every time I might casually mention ‘yeah great film but did you notice how all the action was around men, the women were just props, there’d be a collective sigh of ‘hear she goes again’! David Leser, thank you for not only getting it, but for your brilliant research and your concisely worded prose. You have nailed it. I love the theme that it is the feminine inside men that is being suppressed. Having two boys (now in their 20’s), I see this very sharply and I despair. I have sent them passages of your book. I agree 100% with your view that it is now time for all of us to unite against this hatred and fear of the feminine. This is the only way forward and out of this mire of sexism that we live in. Congratulations on this book, for an inspiring read, and for restoring my faith and my enthusiasm for change. This book should be on the school curriculum for girls and boys alike.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ms Warner

    Ah man, it had to happen didn’t it? I feel like this book is less about the #metoo movement but more about the #butwhataboutme movement. Leser, as a white, male, middle class and educated man attempts to unravel the whole damn mess of where we are now and how we got here. I have a lot of thoughts about this and I don’t know if I can articulate them properly. I get that men need to speak out about this and educate themselves and really think about behaviours that are misogynistic and damaging and Ah man, it had to happen didn’t it? I feel like this book is less about the #metoo movement but more about the #butwhataboutme movement. Leser, as a white, male, middle class and educated man attempts to unravel the whole damn mess of where we are now and how we got here. I have a lot of thoughts about this and I don’t know if I can articulate them properly. I get that men need to speak out about this and educate themselves and really think about behaviours that are misogynistic and damaging and illegal but it feels too soon and it feels like any attempt at self-analysis is cursory. Leser is always one of the good guys- checking in with his daughters and going to a women’s orgasm workshop (#soopenminded). It’s a hat tip, a cursory glance but the publicity around this and the praise he’s receiving for this is just part of the problem. Isn’t it? Or is it a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jayne Mahoney

    Despite being written by a man, l don't think this book adds much to the conversation on gender inequality and the #MeToo movement. It's a pretty shallow dive into the subject matter (which l guess is understandable given its enormity) and doesn't really present any new ideas or opinions. Perhaps if l were a man or l hadn't read much on the topic previously l would have got more out of it. Despite being written by a man, l don't think this book adds much to the conversation on gender inequality and the #MeToo movement. It's a pretty shallow dive into the subject matter (which l guess is understandable given its enormity) and doesn't really present any new ideas or opinions. Perhaps if l were a man or l hadn't read much on the topic previously l would have got more out of it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Robert Baker

    Review of “women, men and the whole damn thing”, by David Leser Published by Allen & Unwin “The next part of the women’s movement is a men’s movement that rejects so many of the old definitions of masculinity.” This is one of the key conclusions from David Leser’s new book: “women, men and the whole damn thing”, an absolutely invaluable contribution to the discussion on how men can understand and be part of advancing a movement to gender equality which truly liberates men, as well as women. Davi Review of “women, men and the whole damn thing”, by David Leser Published by Allen & Unwin “The next part of the women’s movement is a men’s movement that rejects so many of the old definitions of masculinity.” This is one of the key conclusions from David Leser’s new book: “women, men and the whole damn thing”, an absolutely invaluable contribution to the discussion on how men can understand and be part of advancing a movement to gender equality which truly liberates men, as well as women. David is an Australian journalist who was drawn to write this book after receiving astonishing reaction to an earlier piece on the subject. While there is a focus in places on the issues in Australia, David researched the story around the world and ensures it deals with the events and reactions globally. In full disclosure, I was interviewed by David and am referenced in the book about the work that I have done to get men engaged in gender equality with PWN Global (a leading global women’s network) and at Mercer (the global consulting company where I work as Leader of Diversity & Inclusion Consulting for the International Region). Having “devoured” the book myself, I can share that it is a “must read” for any man who wants to understand the history and impact of male power and privilege on women, but also its effect on men and on the price we have all paid as a result. It explores the development of misogyny, patriarchy and the attitudes and behaviours of men towards women, in many societies over time. It shows how these have resulted ultimately in the backlash we now see in the #metoo movement. The book references how dominant male attitudes have also exacerbated the challenges faced in many cultures by transgender people and “any one different”. To tackle these challenges, David looks at how men can understand these forces, learn and change their attitudes and behaviours. He highlights how some men are now working to play an important part in striving for gender balance. David is remarkably open and honest about his own struggles and shortcomings with this subject and how some very smart and compassionate women (including his daughters) have helped him learn and develop his thinking. His story will resonate with many of us men who have tried to confront our own lack of knowledge and indeed empathy with the challenges women face in society and the workplace. The book ends with a call to action: for men to “rouse from their slumber” to engage urgently with this issue, challenge themselves and help raise a new generation of boys who embrace their “masculine and feminine” qualities. And a call to women to recognise that many men want to change and need their help and support in doing this. David quotes Jacinda Ardern, the amazing Prime Minister of New Zealand who states that we desperately need a #Wetoo movement – because we are all in this together! I’m sure David’s book will play a major part in encouraging all of us to help bring this about. Robert Baker

  7. 5 out of 5

    Trisha

    "It’s a humbling and terrifying thing to try to bear witness to what feels like the collective wound on the world" I found this to be an amazing audio book, one I plan on buying in hardcover, highlighting and marking pages. This is a book with a lot of words from a lot of people - moving testimonies that brought tears to my eyes, some that raised my heartrate and the hairs on my neck, some that made me so mad with rage I had to shut the audiobook off. I know this book has made many mad - How can "It’s a humbling and terrifying thing to try to bear witness to what feels like the collective wound on the world" I found this to be an amazing audio book, one I plan on buying in hardcover, highlighting and marking pages. This is a book with a lot of words from a lot of people - moving testimonies that brought tears to my eyes, some that raised my heartrate and the hairs on my neck, some that made me so mad with rage I had to shut the audiobook off. I know this book has made many mad - How can a man write what women should do? But I don't take David Leser's words as that. He's exploring the topic from a male perspective: white, privileged and powerful. He's exploring his bias, his mistakes and his own garbage. It's amazing to go through the process with him and I think this book will speak to a lot of people the #metoo movement didn't quite reach. I'm so glad I got the chance to listen to it and I look forward to reading it again. A huge thank you to the author and publisher for providing an audio-ARC via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gloria Arthur (Ms. G's Bookshelf)

    Well researched and informative and surprisingly the subject matter is not written by a female, Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing is an inspiring and well informed read in a time for much needed change. In February 2018 David Leser wrote a widely talked about cover story of the same title in Good Weekend Magazine and the response for his article was so phenomenal that it was the inspiration for the book. David Leser sets out to understand the complexities of female fury that is the #metoo moveme Well researched and informative and surprisingly the subject matter is not written by a female, Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing is an inspiring and well informed read in a time for much needed change. In February 2018 David Leser wrote a widely talked about cover story of the same title in Good Weekend Magazine and the response for his article was so phenomenal that it was the inspiration for the book. David Leser sets out to understand the complexities of female fury that is the #metoo movement. He looks at relationships between the sexes, the horrific history of centuries of violence to women and girls around the globe and then looks at the present in the light of the then very new #metoo movement. The #metoo movement is a movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault that began to spread virally in October 2017 as a hashtag on social media in an attempt to demonstrate the widespread prevalence, especially in the workplace. David brings us to rethink relationships and to hopefully plant a seed of hope for the future to end sexual violence and abusive behaviour against women. Thank you to A&U for the ARC in return for an honest review

  9. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Morelli

    Brilliant. I see so much of what I have lived through. The changed in both me and my husband. It totally resonates. A huge effort to gather so much information and churn it out in a manageable and very readable size. I feel like I understand so much more of what has occurred and have discussed it with my husband. He is also now reading this book. Cannot recommend it more for a very balanced exposition of where we are, how we got there and the introduction of steps to a more equal world for both Brilliant. I see so much of what I have lived through. The changed in both me and my husband. It totally resonates. A huge effort to gather so much information and churn it out in a manageable and very readable size. I feel like I understand so much more of what has occurred and have discussed it with my husband. He is also now reading this book. Cannot recommend it more for a very balanced exposition of where we are, how we got there and the introduction of steps to a more equal world for both men and women. No part of you should ever be left behind - masculine or feminine. Each of us has and should think and act in both to be a rounded human race. Go read it!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Ray

    This is an important book which I will commend to my colleagues - particularly for the way in which Leser captures what it’s like to be a guy trying to understand and come to terms with the #MeToo movement and all it entails. That said, some of his characterisations of religious texts and religion are simplistic and therefore skip over an area of nuance that warrant a more thorough and thoughtful treatment. If it wasn’t for that, it would have been five stars.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kym

    This was a magnificently well rounded, well researched discussion on the big gender issues of our times. Full of further reading & references to last a long time. The author presents all sides of a difficult topic in a time when it is most certainly one of the most important topics of the day. When we learn to encourage and support each other and stop the fighting and hurting we will move forward together in ways we never thought possible.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Penelope

    A great read, an important entry into the world of the patriarchy; including a historical and cultural exploration and covering of crucial modern day cases illuminating the great big mess of an issue that is gender inequality in our society. - I think it’s particularly useful for men as a way of unveiling the many layers of privilege that blind us all to the extent of violence against women, and how toxic masculinity backfires and gravely injures men themselves. I would definitely recommend it f A great read, an important entry into the world of the patriarchy; including a historical and cultural exploration and covering of crucial modern day cases illuminating the great big mess of an issue that is gender inequality in our society. - I think it’s particularly useful for men as a way of unveiling the many layers of privilege that blind us all to the extent of violence against women, and how toxic masculinity backfires and gravely injures men themselves. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who is dipping their toe into the world of feminism and is ready to learn what the whole “me too” movement is really about.

  13. 4 out of 5

    David Mcnair

    As International Womens Day 2020 is this Sunday 8th of March www.internationalwomensday.com I decided to read, “Women, Men & the Whole Damn Thing” by David Lesser. It’s a great read, a book that I couldn’t put down. With so much scope, depth and complexity involved in this important subject matter I believe that David Lesser has done well to capture this. I believe that “Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing” is one of the most important books of the decade. Just the caliber of people who have reco As International Womens Day 2020 is this Sunday 8th of March www.internationalwomensday.com I decided to read, “Women, Men & the Whole Damn Thing” by David Lesser. It’s a great read, a book that I couldn’t put down. With so much scope, depth and complexity involved in this important subject matter I believe that David Lesser has done well to capture this. I believe that “Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing” is one of the most important books of the decade. Just the caliber of people who have recommended this book speaks for itself. This book provides a way forward to the “Me Too” movement which must become the “We Too” movement because we are all in this together. “Women, Men & the Whole Damn Thing” was written after David Lesser wrote the cover story in the ‘Good Weekend” of the same title in February 2018. This book is written from the extraordinary response he received from his cover story. David Lesser explains why he wrote this landmark book “How to find the right word to frame this horror? How to understand why men do what they do to women? How to comprehend this malign force that seems to seep from the male psyche and infect us all? . . . That is the central hope, the appeal, embedded in this book: that men might join me in this investigation and ruthless self-interrogation and in doing so, become part of the change that is so urgently required” David Lesser is aware that he writes from the position from a history of white male privilege. He is also self examines himself in relation to this. “Everything we’ve ever assumed, the values and tastes we’ve acquired, the beliefs and standards we’ve adopted, the lens through which we’ve viewed the world . . . so much of it is manufactured by men, for men and about men . . . Little wonder, too, the temptation for some women to direct their fury at all men, to lump them into one toxic bundle, rather than deconstruct the suffocating modes of masculinity that have wrought damage in the first place, models which, at their deepest level, have disconnected men from their hearts, stripped language of its full range of emotions, and prevented men from expressing their terror, grief or sadness, let alone allowed them to see women in all their humanity” - David Lesser “Where is Men’s Roar?” - Jeremy Meltzer TEDx Melbourne December 2012 https://youtu.be/ivvU6_aaIrY International Women’s Day 2020 theme is “An Equal World is an Enabled World” www.internationalwomensday.com Let’s all be #EachforEqual “So in order for me to see you as an equal, I need to be taught various values, competencies and skills. I need to be able to see things from your point of view, and empathy the glue that sticks it together. So I need to practice empathy. I need to be inclusive. I need to be able to problem-solve because I need to be able to see the differences between us and not see these as a problem. It’s the right for every child to have this foundation, this nurturing, this learning” - Lees Udwin Founder - Think Equal www.thinkequal.org

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chai Shean

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Key takeaways 1. Sexual harassment is more rampant than we think, affecting both genders 2. Historically, women held equal power to men; Recently, most cultures imply and uphold that men have more value than women 3. In recent times, the rise of 'feminism' has threatened the power / privilege of men, resulting in violent 'take back what's theirs', driven by the 'man box' 4. It is a grey area of what might be defined as 'assault', and it is no light matter to accuse someone (ruining their reputation, Key takeaways 1. Sexual harassment is more rampant than we think, affecting both genders 2. Historically, women held equal power to men; Recently, most cultures imply and uphold that men have more value than women 3. In recent times, the rise of 'feminism' has threatened the power / privilege of men, resulting in violent 'take back what's theirs', driven by the 'man box' 4. It is a grey area of what might be defined as 'assault', and it is no light matter to accuse someone (ruining their reputation, careers, etc.) of this 5. We need to be teaching boys that being sensitive is strong, a healthy view of sex apart from pornography, consent and boundaries and a underlying driver of respect for women to own / shoulder those responsibilities 6. We need to teach girls about how to have the confidence to say no, to define their boundaries and stick to it, and how to make consent clear

  15. 5 out of 5

    Adam Courtenay

    What I like about this book is the nuances. It's about abuse in heavy and lite form and it shows that it comes in many different shades, conditions and apparel. Leser is broad-minded enough to look at each situation on its merits. It has the Weinstein mogul-style power abuse story alongside the far more ambiguous Aziz Ansari story - one which staunch feminist Helen Garner partially blames on the female victim. In other words, Leser shows the full gamut of abuses real or imagined and handles them What I like about this book is the nuances. It's about abuse in heavy and lite form and it shows that it comes in many different shades, conditions and apparel. Leser is broad-minded enough to look at each situation on its merits. It has the Weinstein mogul-style power abuse story alongside the far more ambiguous Aziz Ansari story - one which staunch feminist Helen Garner partially blames on the female victim. In other words, Leser shows the full gamut of abuses real or imagined and handles them all deftly and carefully. There is nothing, however, to counter his assertion of the power, ubiquity and longevity of the patriarchy - this thing we just live in and breath as normal, like a fish which doesn't notice its water. Leser quite rightly says it has to change. This is a very important book for men and I encourage everyone to delve into its informative pages.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    'So what I discovered - and this is my call out to women - is that we need to be aware that we don't, in this moment of rage and anger, lose sight and become the oppressors. We've got to stay core to our values. We might have the right to be angry, but how do we manage this anger and communicate this anger and process this anger to change the narrative and change the culture around us?' - Zainab Salbi This is just my favourite one, but there are several perspectives presented to us by David (incl 'So what I discovered - and this is my call out to women - is that we need to be aware that we don't, in this moment of rage and anger, lose sight and become the oppressors. We've got to stay core to our values. We might have the right to be angry, but how do we manage this anger and communicate this anger and process this anger to change the narrative and change the culture around us?' - Zainab Salbi This is just my favourite one, but there are several perspectives presented to us by David (including his own) and I appreciated this the most. Having a broad understanding of how feminism works for more than just those who are firm in their support of it is important, because empathy is the key to moving forward. This book is David showing us his empathy, his understanding and most importantly - his support, in addition to recognising the disparity in power, privilege and culture. Highly recommend!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy Greco

    Fascinating read. My first thought was if a man is writing about misogyny, he damn well better be calling out his fellow mates. And Lesser does. Leser’s work explores the overlap between patriarchy, misogyny, and violence against women. He honestly admission of the ways that maleness has benefited him is notable and rare. Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing makes many important connections between the everyday lives of men around the world and the systemic oppression of women. Leser also notes t Fascinating read. My first thought was if a man is writing about misogyny, he damn well better be calling out his fellow mates. And Lesser does. Leser’s work explores the overlap between patriarchy, misogyny, and violence against women. He honestly admission of the ways that maleness has benefited him is notable and rare. Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing makes many important connections between the everyday lives of men around the world and the systemic oppression of women. Leser also notes the complexity of how male-female relationships will be forever changed if men actually decide to take women seriously and repent of misogyny. As with many #MeToo era books, the telling of misogynistic exploits (violence and sexual in nature) gets way too detailed for me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Haider

    An analysis of the #metoo movement from a feminist man's perspective. David Leser is an Australian journalist who turned his attention to the #metoo moment and its aftermath. Leser is clearly aiming to be in support of feminism and #metoo. He talks about everything from the Harvey Weinstein case to the Aziz Ansari affair. He talks about the differing reactions to some events from 2nd wave and 3rd wave feminists. There were a few parts of the book that made me cringe a little due to the author's An analysis of the #metoo movement from a feminist man's perspective. David Leser is an Australian journalist who turned his attention to the #metoo moment and its aftermath. Leser is clearly aiming to be in support of feminism and #metoo. He talks about everything from the Harvey Weinstein case to the Aziz Ansari affair. He talks about the differing reactions to some events from 2nd wave and 3rd wave feminists. There were a few parts of the book that made me cringe a little due to the author's perspective and a level of mansplaining. Perhaps the target audience is men and those "mansplaining" parts might not come off as mansplaining to them. I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by the author and his delivery was good and easy to listen to. 3.5 stars Thank you to the publisher for the audiobook!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kaileigh Wenglikowski

    I was truly not anticipating very much from this book because the thought of a feminist book written by a white mail truly does not appeal to me most of the time. However, I had heard great things so I knew I wanted to give it a shot. I was pleasantly suprised in one aspect as I felt like Leser was able to appropriately create meaningful discourse in a way that better represents women compared to similar books I have read. That being said, it was fairly shallow and I believe there is only so muc I was truly not anticipating very much from this book because the thought of a feminist book written by a white mail truly does not appeal to me most of the time. However, I had heard great things so I knew I wanted to give it a shot. I was pleasantly suprised in one aspect as I felt like Leser was able to appropriately create meaningful discourse in a way that better represents women compared to similar books I have read. That being said, it was fairly shallow and I believe there is only so much a man can write about a situation that is about women.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mollie

    This book should be read by everyone. It highlights all the important aspects of the society that we are living in today. The fact that it is written by a man works in this case as the author is willing to pull apart his own behaviour and actions - he does not say that he is innocent. Overall, it was a highly engaging read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    Centred around the #MeToo movement, and the history/lead up/context. Wades into murky waters and makes some sense of it. Obviously well researched and personal - a baby boomer dad of two millenial daughters trying to understand. Tough at times, but a worthy read. *note, thank you to Allen and Unwin for my copy in exchange for an honest review

  22. 5 out of 5

    Robyn Fallshaw

    An excellent book. I met David Leser at a workshop last year, where he briefly mentioned that he was writing this book, because he was concerned about the current divide that was apparent between men and women and the need for men to speak up in a way that was helpful in closing this divide. In this book he has sensitively broached all the troubling aspects of the difficulties in men and women communicating to solve these critical issues, that must be resolved for society to continue and for fam An excellent book. I met David Leser at a workshop last year, where he briefly mentioned that he was writing this book, because he was concerned about the current divide that was apparent between men and women and the need for men to speak up in a way that was helpful in closing this divide. In this book he has sensitively broached all the troubling aspects of the difficulties in men and women communicating to solve these critical issues, that must be resolved for society to continue and for families to flourish. Men and women need each other - David’s book is a great way to start the necessary conversations between women and men that will take us to a place of much needed mutual understanding, respect, care and kindness. I have memorised the last sentence of the book ‘We need new conversations and role models to light the way, we need each other now more than ever’. Being the mother of three kind, gentle caring strong men and knowing some wonderful men as well as having experiences with some not so wonderful men, I have great hope that we, women and men can work this out together for a better future.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sinbad

    As someone who’s avoided reading feminist literature, I found “straight, white, middle-class male” David Leser’s investigation into my gender’s attitudes to women both fascinating and unsettling. In one eminently-readable book he has assembled the various strands of historical injustice up to the today’s #MeToo fury, while also wondering how he (and by extension you and I) might respond. It’s a timely challenge and a fair and honest attempt to show how much better the world might be if men under As someone who’s avoided reading feminist literature, I found “straight, white, middle-class male” David Leser’s investigation into my gender’s attitudes to women both fascinating and unsettling. In one eminently-readable book he has assembled the various strands of historical injustice up to the today’s #MeToo fury, while also wondering how he (and by extension you and I) might respond. It’s a timely challenge and a fair and honest attempt to show how much better the world might be if men understood the difficulties our mothers, wives and daughters endure – and better understood themselves. Leser has been criticised as a male writing about women’s perceptions, but that misses the essential point: that he’s writing so thoughtfully about men. I’d urge every father, brother or son to take this on…to not to be frightened by Leser’s insights. Read it, fellas it’s illuminating.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    David Leser’s latest book 'women, men & the whole damn thing' is a must-read for anyone interested in improving themselves, their relationships and working towards a more egalitarian and compassionate world. It explains why women fight so hard - and will continue to fight - for their human rights and equality; and how men are also adversely affected by a patriarchal system that limits their emotional development and prevents them from reaching their full potential. Set within the current controve David Leser’s latest book 'women, men & the whole damn thing' is a must-read for anyone interested in improving themselves, their relationships and working towards a more egalitarian and compassionate world. It explains why women fight so hard - and will continue to fight - for their human rights and equality; and how men are also adversely affected by a patriarchal system that limits their emotional development and prevents them from reaching their full potential. Set within the current controversy of the #MeToo movement, the veteran journalist explores the bio-psychosocial and historical factors that have landed us where we are today. Leser’s entertaining writing and relentless self-reflection illuminate many of the grey areas of the current debate, while also offering us a path along which we might navigate these complex issues.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lyn Ryan

    I think I only got partially through the first chapter or so via audiobook. This book seemed to have very positive reviews and I thought a male perspective might be interesting, but listening to Leser mansplaining feminism to me was so infuriating that I flung my headphones across the room. The moment of earphone ejection was the point in the narration where he was relating, in morbid detail, the terrible murder of a young woman, apparently trying to convince the listener that hey, this misogyny I think I only got partially through the first chapter or so via audiobook. This book seemed to have very positive reviews and I thought a male perspective might be interesting, but listening to Leser mansplaining feminism to me was so infuriating that I flung my headphones across the room. The moment of earphone ejection was the point in the narration where he was relating, in morbid detail, the terrible murder of a young woman, apparently trying to convince the listener that hey, this misogyny problem was serious. No shit, Sherlock. Get with the program or get out of the way.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Risson

    I would struggle to articulate a full review of this book. So much to consider and distil into my own life as well as how I engage with others and the reality of life for men and women. Powerful read offered by Leser. Sometimes gut-wrenchingly honest, other times poignant with detail and insight, the reader is left with more questions than answers. Perhaps this is a good thing with a book such as this.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    A good overview, lots of interesting historical quotes. I am not sure that much is added to the debate but I applaud any attempt to understand and educate each other. The patriarchy is often this over arching term many people take to mean all men, but I would say the patriarchy is also damaging to men, and the sooner all men realise this the better for everyone. One of the best things is the index which cites a current list of resources to read on the topic.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Poole

    This is difficult to summarize in my usual short review, however a lot less difficult than writing this book and giving "the whole damn thing" a fair hearing! So much info, so many ideas, so many opinions, so much to think about....WOW! The most powerful page for me was from Germaine Greer and making a cup of tea. I will think back to so much in this book over and over again. This is difficult to summarize in my usual short review, however a lot less difficult than writing this book and giving "the whole damn thing" a fair hearing! So much info, so many ideas, so many opinions, so much to think about....WOW! The most powerful page for me was from Germaine Greer and making a cup of tea. I will think back to so much in this book over and over again.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Sheppard

    David Leser writes with knowledge, respect and personal insight about the eroding relationships between men and women. I found myself holding my breath in parts and with tears in others as he explains why we are now faced with this monumental disconnect between the genders. I take this book with me everywhere I go.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tabitha Roberts

    I really enjoyed this book, it has not only opened my eyes, but has completely shifted my view on what i already knew. In the last few pages of the book i almost forgot that it was written by a man, instead from just a human discussing the issues we have around the topic and addressing what needs to be done.

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