Gender Wars: A Novel and Some Conversation About Sex and Gender
Lawrence Barichello is a Toronto-based ESL teacher.
This book has an unusual layout. The “novel,” which centres around
the protagonist, his sex life, and his partners, is in black type; the
“conversation,” which focuses on the novel’s action, the political
and social environment, and the author’s political views, is in red
type; comments by the author appear in grey boxes; and historical facts
are presented in little boxes. Unfortunately, this format doesn’t
work; it is jarring and makes the book difficult to read.
The format, however, isn’t the only jarring aspect of Gender Wars.
Fawcett portrays men as “domineering jerks” who are not only
“stupid, gross, and silly” but also “dangerous” and the cause of
the world’s collective troubles. He suggests that men are genetically
programmed to kill and rape, and that testosterone has no redeeming
qualities and something (possibly horrible) should be done to young men
so that they produce less of it. He also advises men on how they should
perform sexually. At one point Fawcett asks, “Am I being silly
here?” While the subject matter of Gender Wars may appeal to some, its
weak characters, poor organization, and arrhythmic format likely will