Should a Man Write About Feminism?

Should a man write a book about women’s liberation? Does it matter that I’ve written books about baseball and gangsters prior to telling the story of the invention of the birth-control pill?

I suspect I’ll be asked these questions often in the months ahead. I’m fine with that.

I think men should be encouraged to write about issues that affect women, just as women should encouraged to write about issues that affect men, and just as Red Sox rooters should be encouraged to write about the Yankees. It’s the execution that matter, not the biography of the author. It helps if the writer is passionate about his subject, too, but beyond that I don’t think there should be too many prerequisites.

With that in mind, take a look at the review below from Donna Seaman at Booklist. It’s a wonderful review. I couldn’t be more pleased with it. And the sentence that pleases me most is this one:

Eig’s previous books are about baseball and gangsters, and he brings his keen understanding of competition and outlawry, his affinity for rebels, and vigorous and vivid writing style to this dramatic tale of strong personalities, radical convictions, and world-altering scientific and social breakthroughs.

Here’s the full review:

Margaret Sanger, the tireless crusader for reproductive freedom when contraception was inadequate and illegal, dreamed of a safe, effective, easy-to-use, and affordable pill to prevent unplanned pregnancies and the resulting hardships and suffering. The scientists she approached were scornful until 1950, when she met George Pincus, a renegade scientist with “the IQ of an Einstein and the nerves of a card shark.” After getting tossed out of Harvard as too controversial, Pincus set up an independent research lab, where he took on Sanger’s project, which consumed a decade of hurried innovation and rogue strategies. Eig’s previous books are about baseball and gangsters, and he brings his keen understanding of competition and outlawry, his affinity for rebels, and vigorous and vivid writing style to this dramatic tale of strong personalities, radical convictions, and world-altering scientific and social breakthroughs. As he tracks maverick Pincus’ audacious course of action, including his dubious field trials in Puerto Rico, Eig recounts the history of contraception and the tragedies caused by its unavailability, and illuminates the crucial roles played in the development of the pill by the wealthy activist, Katherine Dexter McCormick, and the compassionate Catholic physician, John Rock. So great was the need, more than a million women were taking the pill two years after its 1960 FDA approval. An engrossing and paramount chronicle.

 

 

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