Summary of The Unmade Bed

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  • Analytical
  • Applicable
  • Engaging


Stephen Marche engagingly highlights the friction at the intersection of everyday life and gender politics. He gave up his tenure-track teaching position so his family could move to Canada where his wife had been offered a great job. She became the primary breadwinner, and Marche stayed home to raise their children. His intellectual musings, political soliloquys, personal disclosures and occasional speeches make his essays as challenging as they are endearing. Happily, commentary by Marche’s wife, magazine editor Sarah Fulford, anchors the conversation. getAbstract finds that their fresh perspective is a treat for those navigating the evolving domestic and professional landscape and a boost for proponents of gender equality.

About the Author

Stephen Marche contributes to Esquire, The Atlantic and The New York Times and has written three novels and the nonfiction work, How Shakespeare Changed Everything. Sarah Fulford, editor in chief of Toronto Life, won two Canadian National Magazine Awards.



You’ve Got Some “Mansplaining” to Do

Essayist Rebecca Solnit coined the word “mansplaining” after an interaction with a man at a party. When she told him she wrote a book about film pioneer Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904), the man attempted to impress her with his knowledge of Muybridge by lecturing her about her own area of expertise. Many women have been subjected to mansplaining, and the word quickly became part of everyday parlance. Identifying who talks more, men or women, is an ongoing issue in gender discussions. Research produces no clear answer. Early in the feminist movement, male silence was an issue. Society expected a “real” man to be the “strong, silent type.” Men showed power by speaking rarely and keeping their opinions and emotions to themselves.

The communication gap between men and women is just a symptom of their failure to understand each other. Books on the subject – John Gray’s Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, and Deborah Tannen’s That’s Not What I Meant and You Just Don’t Understand – reflect this frustration. Using metaphors for the power balance or imbalance between men and women – such as “the gender wars...

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    S. K. 4 years ago
    It's 2017. In my view, unless the discussion on such topics is solutions driven, it's not useful to dwell in the laggards of societal weaknesses at a time when humans are attempting enormous feats such as inter planetary habitation and travel, and to unravel the human genome to cure diseases. Yes, the realities of gender and race bias exist. And, yes, these limiting beliefs would, I believe, most certainly keep those who practice such beliefs, separated from the benefits of such accomplishments and the R&D around them. I have experienced gender bias, in pockets of society in just about every country I've ever visited. It's my belief, in modern economies at least, such pockets of bias exist not because of culture or national identity, but personal choices.
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    J. L. 4 years ago
    I have experienced this relationship in the life of one of my children. The transition is difficult. My son feels he must contribute, vocally at least, and continues to give his companion advice. She willingly listens, but I suspect she does her own thing. Their relationship has continued for 18 years, so it must be working.
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    M. d. 4 years ago
    Not sure what to make about the book.