What Do We Need Men For?: A Modest Proposal

What Do We Need Men For?: A Modest Proposal

A darkly funny and very personal attempt to answer the question by America's longest running advice columnistWhen E. Jean Carroll—possibly the liveliest woman in the world and author of Ask E. Jean in Elle Magazine — realized that her eight million readers and question-writers all seemed to have one thing in common—problems caused by men—she hit the road. Criss-crossing th...

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Title:What Do We Need Men For?: A Modest Proposal
Author:E. Jean Carroll
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What Do We Need Men For?: A Modest Proposal Reviews

  • Georgev

    Just began the journey and loving it.

    This profile of the author set me off to buy the book.

  • Campbell Disbrow

    Former Miss Indiana University, Miss Cheerleader USA, Elle columnist, TV host and SNL writer, current national treasure E. Jean Carroll races around the country in a pimped-out prius named Miss Bingley with her standard poodle asking women why we need men, what else do you need to know.

  • Angel

    A celebration of womanhood in all its glory. Also, very funny. E. Jean is a national treasure. Pre-publication coverage has been all about the Trump incident, but that's about 1 percent of the book, and it comes at the end. Read it for the humor, the insight, and for Lewis Carroll and Miss Bingley.

  • Frances

    The author's whimsical effervescence prevails even while she covers a lifetime of misuse at the hands of men. Her stories are remarkable in that they are NOT unique. We should all be as courageous and irrepressible.

  • Yana  Gifford (Ms.Yana Reads)

    OK, This is my first impression. It's cute. Way too much of man-bashing even for my taste and I am a single (by choice, after three marriages) very independent, self-sufficient woman, but, what do I know, I am just at the beginning of the book. Also, I would not recommend an audiobook. E. Jean Carroll narrates it herself and I don't like it. She is hard to listen too. I think it was a mistake to self narrate it. I think I will put it aside, for now, and will get back to this book a bit later. I

    OK, This is my first impression. It's cute. Way too much of man-bashing even for my taste and I am a single (by choice, after three marriages) very independent, self-sufficient woman, but, what do I know, I am just at the beginning of the book. Also, I would not recommend an audiobook. E. Jean Carroll narrates it herself and I don't like it. She is hard to listen too. I think it was a mistake to self narrate it. I think I will put it aside, for now, and will get back to this book a bit later. I will not give up on it. Maybe I am just not in the right state of mind.

  • Christine

    I enjoyed this book quite a bit to begin with, but it was a bit of a rollercoaster ride. This review is going to pertain towards the writing rather than the content (Carroll has dealt with a lot of bs and it isn't my intention to review that piece).

    I liked the humour at first, but it felt a bit... tiring as it went on. Carroll often went on tangents, which made it a bit difficult to get through. She would start a story, go on about something else and then would finish the story pages and pages l

    I enjoyed this book quite a bit to begin with, but it was a bit of a rollercoaster ride. This review is going to pertain towards the writing rather than the content (Carroll has dealt with a lot of bs and it isn't my intention to review that piece).

    I liked the humour at first, but it felt a bit... tiring as it went on. Carroll often went on tangents, which made it a bit difficult to get through. She would start a story, go on about something else and then would finish the story pages and pages later- there were times where I went "oh yeah, that's what she was talking about in the first place!" after some brief confusion.

    On the flip side, there were a

    times where it felt a bit repetitive, especially when she would talk about certain people by reintroducing them with their title or whatnot just a couple of pages later.

    All-in-all a fine read. Quite a number of powerful men (Les Moonves, Trump, etc.) are (rightfully) put on blast and Carroll discusses at length the horrible men who have plagued their lives. I imagine almost every woman will relate to at least one of her stories.

    P.S this book is not written FOR MEN, for any out there who want to read it with the sole purpose of being offended. Go read 12 Rules for Life instead.

  • Carolyn

    I've never read anything written by E. Jean Carroll before. I didn't even know she was a long-time advice columnist for Elle, or that she had written an article long ago for Outside magazine about one of my favorites, Fran Lebowitz (excerpting one of my favorite Lebowitz quotes for WDWNMF: "To me the outdoors is what you must pass through to get from your apartment into a taxi"). However, after reading the recent article about her in New York Magazine, largely centered around her rape by Donald

    I've never read anything written by E. Jean Carroll before. I didn't even know she was a long-time advice columnist for Elle, or that she had written an article long ago for Outside magazine about one of my favorites, Fran Lebowitz (excerpting one of my favorite Lebowitz quotes for WDWNMF: "To me the outdoors is what you must pass through to get from your apartment into a taxi"). However, after reading the recent article about her in New York Magazine, largely centered around her rape by Donald Trump in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room, she seemed to me a very different sort of person. She was not outraged. She actually had a fairly low-key media presence, considering the subject matter, related to the article/book. Was she odd or eccentric? Manipulative or naive? I was intrigued and decided to buy her book if for no other reason to monetarily reward someone for standing up to Trump.

    Anyway, the book turns out to be a road trip of sorts (devoid of scenery descriptions, which E. Jean promises to provide via email for those who must have them) through various towns named after women, speaking with women about "What do we need men for?" The premise, after the Alexander Pope classic "A Modest Proposal," is silly, sprung from Carroll's observation that most of her readers' questions center around men problems. Along the way, there are regrettably few enlightening encounters, though many delightful women make appearances. However, I found E. Jean such an earnest, funny, exuberant lover of womanhood and animals and life -- in a setting that cried out for cynicism -- that I did enjoy going along for the ride. It's a breezy read that despite being dotted with some of E. Jean's horrific encounters with men left me feeling upbeat at its end. She's nobody's victim.

  • Lorri Steinbacher

    If you like E. Jean Carroll's column and her style you will likely enjoy this book. She manages to convey the reality of the sexual harrassment, diminishment, and abuse that many (most?) women experience in their lifetime while at the same time showing how strong and vital women are. Carroll's style is breezy, sarcastic, a little off-center (which sometimes veers off into making no sense) but there is one line in there that broke my heart and added gravity to an otherwise "light" take [spoiler]S

    If you like E. Jean Carroll's column and her style you will likely enjoy this book. She manages to convey the reality of the sexual harrassment, diminishment, and abuse that many (most?) women experience in their lifetime while at the same time showing how strong and vital women are. Carroll's style is breezy, sarcastic, a little off-center (which sometimes veers off into making no sense) but there is one line in there that broke my heart and added gravity to an otherwise "light" take [spoiler]She writes that after Tr**p attacked her: "I haven't had sex since." (paraphrasing I don't have book in front of me) One sentence and then she moved on, but that one sentence reveals all we need to know. [/spoiler]

    Recommended for readers who like sassy quirky takes on serious themes. Don't read it if you're just responding to the recent hype.

  • Kirsten Hessler

    "The ten-thousand–year-old damsel-in-distress story is dead. Bad things still happen to women, yes; but women are no longer damsels. Women are sweaty. Women are scalding. Women are strong. Women are tender. Women are fierce. Women are fighters!"

    E. Jean is a force of nature, a woman who has endured countless harassments and assaults over the decades but maintained her laughter, conversationalism, and habit of calling other women (strangers) things like "Magnificent! Spectacular! Super duper!" Imm

    "The ten-thousand–year-old damsel-in-distress story is dead. Bad things still happen to women, yes; but women are no longer damsels. Women are sweaty. Women are scalding. Women are strong. Women are tender. Women are fierce. Women are fighters!"

    E. Jean is a force of nature, a woman who has endured countless harassments and assaults over the decades but maintained her laughter, conversationalism, and habit of calling other women (strangers) things like "Magnificent! Spectacular! Super duper!" Immensely relatable, sometimes shockingly optimistic.

  • Shannon

    In all honesty, I couldn’t finish it. I kept pushing myself to get further, but it was just unmanageable. Surprised I made it 2/3 of the way until I couldn’t stop cringing.

    I wish that the author could have just told a/her story without all of the ridiculous crap in the book-

    By the “Now LADIES” @ me the 100th time, I was cringing. I also could not handle any more of the whose name was what number on the popularity list (really, who cares?!?) and so much discussion of Amy’s burritos and canned b

    In all honesty, I couldn’t finish it. I kept pushing myself to get further, but it was just unmanageable. Surprised I made it 2/3 of the way until I couldn’t stop cringing.

    I wish that the author could have just told a/her story without all of the ridiculous crap in the book-

    By the “Now LADIES” @ me the 100th time, I was cringing. I also could not handle any more of the whose name was what number on the popularity list (really, who cares?!?) and so much discussion of Amy’s burritos and canned beans. And the Prius. And the dog. And lists all over the place for no reason that were not supporting the narrative.

    Bad writing, and an author that is so unaware of her own crap that I just got nauseous.

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