Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing by David Leser

Reviewed by
September 2019, no. 414
Paul Dalgarno reviews 'Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing' by David Leser

Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing

by David Leser

Allen & Unwin, $29.99 pb, 336 pp, 9781925266108

Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing by David Leser

Reviewed by
September 2019, no. 414

Australian journalist and author David Leser’s 2018 Good Weekend article, ‘Women, men and the whole damn thing’, sparked a wildfire of commentary, confession, and praise. Written in the early white heat of the #MeToo movement, the Harvey Weinstein exposé, and Oprah Winfrey’s 2018 Golden Globes speech in which she spoke out on behalf of the Time’s Up campaign, it crackled with questions that were age-old yet suddenly pressing: ‘Why is it that men have killed, enslaved, scarred, diminished and silenced women of every age, race and class, on every continent, for so long?’; ‘What is it we have so deeply normalised that we are blind to?’ And most pertinently, or practically, in the midst of this cultural reckoning: what happens next?

Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing expands on those themes and features well-crafted interviews with activists, intellectuals, campaigners, authors, and family members, and also selected correspondence the author has received from victims of abuse.

As a ‘straight, white, middle-class male who has breathed the untroubled air of privilege’ all his life, Leser is at pains to point out that he isn’t a spokesperson for women and can’t ever know their lived experience. Rather, as a father of two daughters, he wants to show ‘there were men prepared to listen and learn’ – men who might ‘become part of the change that is so urgently required’.

Paul Dalgarno reviews 'Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing' by David Leser

Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing

by David Leser

Allen & Unwin, $29.99 pb, 336 pp, 9781925266108

From the New Issue

comment (1)

  • 'Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing' by David Lesser, reviewed by Paul Dalgarno

    David Lesser is quoted as saying that misogyny 'is inherited from the world's main religions'. All of those religions have strayed a long way from the Bible's unchanging principles. Ephesians 5:28 states, "Husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself, for no man ever hated his own body; but he feeds and cherishes it..." At 1st Peter 3:7, the writer counsels husbands to continue "...assigning them honour...in order for your prayers not to be hindered." Although not apparent to the casual reader this verse also reminds men that women will be among the number that will one day rule over the earth with Christ. Can there be any greater honour?
    Posted by Robyn Walton
    Friday, 16 August 2019 20:44

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