Should Women Rule?

Sandra Tsing Loh in The Atlantic Monthly:

Imagedb_4 I have accorded former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers the apparently unusual honor of actually reading her book, Why Women Should Rule the World, and I will now discuss it, whether you want me to or not.

By “you,” I mean the surly female ur-reader who long ago elected to ignore the encroaching continent of women’s- studies tomes. Forget the male ur-reader. At this point, I doubt a man exists who would dive eagerly into a book about women’s superior leadership qualities. As to which men should, well, if there remains even one male executive in Canton, Ohio, unaware that hiring a qualified, well-liked, profit-driven female is a good thing, I say let him slump gloomily in business class with his Chivas and Clive Cussler, because his skyrocketing cholesterol (“Cholesterol? What’s cholesterol?”) will soon fell him anyway.

To be gender-neutral where one can, it is fair to note that the genre of Important Unread Books — by authors with weighty resumes who seem to be on every TV talk show, and in every Barnes & Noble window display, gazing boldly, hands on hips — is apparently not limited to women. In response to my puzzled query as to why I’d seen Myers’s book mentioned everywhere but read almost nowhere, a (male) friend of mine in publishing wrote:

I’d say the Myers book sounds like the female equivalent of what we in the bookstore business (my former occupation) used to call Father’s Day Books, e.g. anything by David Halberstam and/or about a Founding Father. Do people buy these books? Sure — they make great, heavy Father’s Day gifts. Do people read them? Er — I don’t have any exact figures, but I imagine more than a few of them are holding up wobbly Black & Decker work benches right now.

More here.