The Unmade Bed by Stephen Marche
The Messy Truth about Men and Women in the 21st Century

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Putting this book down because its premise feels too privileged would be a mistake, especially for anyone trying to navigate the moment’s very public gender politics in the private intimacy of her interpersonal relationships
-National Post arts

Synopsis

In response to books such as Anne-Marie Slaughter’s Unfinished Business, cultural commentator Stephen Marche examines the status of male-female relations in the twenty-first century—with the help of his wife, the writer and editor Sarah Fulford.

One warm spring morning in New York City, Stephen Marche, then a new father and tenure-track professor, got the call: his wife had been offered her dream job…in Canada. Their mutual decision to prioritize her career over his and move home to Toronto shed new light on the gender roles in their marriage and in the world they saw around them. As Marche provocatively argues, we are no longer engaged in a war of the sexes, but rather stuck together in a labyrinth of contradictions. And that these contradictions are keeping women from power and confounding male identity.

The Unmade Bed is a deeply researched, deeply personal exploration into the moments in everyday life where women and men meet. After all, within offices and homes, on the street, online, and in bed, we constantly ask ourselves: Who has the power? How much can we say? What are we expected to sacrifice? Is it possible to be equal? As he attempts to answer these questions, Marche explores the phenomena that have come to define our modern conversations on gender, from mansplaining and sexual morality to parenthood and divisions of the domestic sphere. In the process, he discovers that amid all this chatter, we are not actually facing the real issues—that true power remains shockingly elusive for women while the idea of masculinity, trapped between iconographies of power and powerlessness, struggles in a state of uncertainty to the point where manliness and crudity are almost synonymous. The only way out of these mutual struggles is together.

With footnote commentary throughout the book from Marche’s wife, The Unmade Bed is a uniquely balanced and honest approach to the revolution going on in our everyday lives, a thought-provoking work of social science that is sure to be a conversation starter.
 

About Stephen Marche

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STEPHEN MARCHE is a novelist who also writes for newspapers and magazines. He currently writes a monthly column for Esquire magazine about culture. Ten years ago, he chose Shakespeare as the subject of his Ph.D. because, he believed, Shakespeare would never bore him. He was correct. The best gig he ever had was as a professor of Renaissance drama at The City College of New York, which he quit in 2007 to write full time. He lives in Toronto. Visit him online at www.stephenmarche.com.
 
Published March 7, 2017 by Simon & Schuster. 256 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Ashley Csanady on Mar 13 2017

Putting this book down because its premise feels too privileged would be a mistake, especially for anyone trying to navigate the moment’s very public gender politics in the private intimacy of her interpersonal relationships

Read Full Review of The Unmade Bed: The Messy Tru... | See more reviews from National Post arts

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