What Do We Need Men For?
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 the country with her blue-haired poodle Lewis Carroll, E. Jean stopped in every town named after a woman between Eden, Vermont and Tallulah, Louisiana to ask women the crucial question: What Do We Need Men For?E. Jean gave her rollicking road trip a sly, stylish turn when she deepened the story, creating a list called “The Most Hideous Men of My Life,” and began to reflect on her own sometimes very dark history with the opposite sex. What advice would she have given to her past selves—as Miss Cheerleader USA and Miss Indiana University? Or as the fearless journalist, television host and eventual advice columnist she became? E. Jean intertwines the stories of the outspoken people she meets on her road trip with her own history of bad behavior (from mafia bosses, media titans, boyfriends, husbands, a serial killer, and others) creating a decidedly dark yet hopeful, hilarious and thrilling narrative. Her answer to the question What Do We Need Men For? will shock men and delight women.

What Do We Need Men For? Details

TitleWhat Do We Need Men For?
Author
ReleaseJul 2nd, 2019
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
ISBN-139781250215437
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Feminism, Autobiography, Memoir, Literature, 21st Century

What Do We Need Men For? Review

  • Angel
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Georgev
    January 1, 1970
    Just began the journey and loving it. This profile of the author set me off to buy the book.https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2...
  • Shannon
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Yana Gifford (Ms.Yana Reads)
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Lorri Steinbacher
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Campbell Disbrow
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Christine
    January 1, 1970
    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 few 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.
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  • Frances
    January 1, 1970
    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.
  • Kirsten Hessler
    January 1, 1970
    "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.
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  • Koen
    January 1, 1970
    I realize i'm not quite the target audience for this book.This is a light reading, somewhat frivolous read. There's no definitive conclusion to the question posed in the title. It's a little bit funny at times but i guess i might have missed quite a bit as i don't get a lot of the references.Still, it was kinda entertaining and a quick enough read for me to see it all through. Despite me being white male from Europe, hardly the audience the author would have had in mind. :-)
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  • Cassidy
    January 1, 1970
    residue from the back cover of this book has embedded itself lightly in my fingerprints due to the resulting hand sweat of reading this so prolongedly in the sun. it’s as good a metaphor as any i could have thought up for what it’s like finishing this book. and i mean that in a good sort of way. or in a “gut and soul -wrenching, speaks to my heart” sort of way. i can’t quite decide how to name it. but i do know i will be talking about e. jean carroll for a long long time.
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  • Jane Casey
    January 1, 1970
    Auntie E has written my favorite advice column in Elle Magazine for years, and this book did not disappoint. I highly recommend listening to the audio book, which she narrates. She had me laughing out loud about all her eccentricities and those of whom she interviewed, fuming about the lack of balance in power between genders, and fired up about voting bad men out and awesome women in. Her life is fascinating and I'll eat up any insight she gives into it.
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  • Hklbrries
    January 1, 1970
    Some rather traumatic things apparently happened to her throughout her life but she never even thought to mention - let alone deal with them - until she could use it against trumpski? I am NOT victim blaming. I believe her. I just wonder at her desired outcome. And was it necessary to sprinkle the narrative with details of her childhood sexual experiences? I thought it rather weird and only slightly humorous. We’re from decidedly different worlds. And I’m glad.
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  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    Okay, bear with me, I'm new to writing reviews. I read a couple books a week but rarely take the time to write a review. THIS BOOK IS INCREDIBLE! I laughed so hard at times and cried at others and all the while felt my own demons losing power. WOW! I've sent copies to the women in my life most in need of personal strength (E. Jean has that in spades). Read this book, you will love it and you will feel better and then let's all take a road trip together. GIRL POWER!!!
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    E. Jean is hilarious and I love her because she loves all women unconditionally. The horrific and criminal act perpetrated on her by the current occupant of the White House is a minor episode in this book so don't let that dissuade you from reading it. Her modest proposal is sublime. Terrific summer read, funny and you'll love Lewis Carroll!
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  • Sergio
    January 1, 1970
    I was not familiar with E. Jean Carroll until New York magazine published an excerpt from this book. It was the excerpt that made me want to read the full work. Having now done so, I can say that my initial impression of Carroll's writing had more to do with the skill of the magazine's editors than with her style.
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  • Maureen
    January 1, 1970
    E. Jean is brilliant, funny and fearless. Her experiences with love, sex and discrimination from long before “Me too” are a valuable cautionary tale about the perils faced by women in the good old days. She manages to enlighten, entertain and even amuse us while shining a light on some painful experiences. I loved that she sees herself as a survivor, a winner not a victim.
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  • Anta Mireille
    January 1, 1970
    Hard to describeFascinating look into the psychology of the women of middle America through the eyes of E. Jean but also quite a look into E. Jean's own psyche, all under the guise of what to do about men.
  • Kasia
    January 1, 1970
    This one just didn't work for me. The tone was odd and the writing just grated on me.
  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    Donald Trump raped E. Jean Carroll. Absolutely. No question.
  • Alex Meeks
    January 1, 1970
    I expected to enjoy this book far more than I did. I have a sneaking suspicion I would have liked it more if I'd read it rather than listening to the audiobook.
  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    “Or, if I don’t come up with an answer, we can simply vote all the chumps out of office, vote women into office, and completely take over.”
  • Alison
    January 1, 1970
    A book written by the aunt you wish you had. She is honest and her stories are tragic, and she is FUNNY.
  • Devo
    January 1, 1970
    brutal, funny, brave.
  • patsy A. Glass
    January 1, 1970
    Entertaining and thoughtful contentThis woman has an amazing mind and creative writing style. Love the book. Hope many will read it. It was entertaining too.
  • Catherine
    January 1, 1970
    I happened upon her interview on NPR ( WNYC). She was smart, witty and delightful. This was a delicious read!
  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    Hysterical!
  • E
    January 1, 1970
    Terrible. I wanted to like this so much. Could not get through. Not funny at all despite her tone and attempts (and even worse because of the serious allegations that she makes).I am embarrassed for her - she is going to get flack from people (like myself) who used to back her with her Trump stories after this book. Poorly written.
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