SEX-Ploytation, How Women Use Their Bodies To Extort Money From Men
by Matthew Fitzgerald
April House Publishing
Web site link
This review was re-printed from the March/April 2000 issue of Transitions: The Journal of Men's Perspectives, a publication of the National Coalition of Free Men. Copyrights are held by National Coalition of Free Men as the publisher - http://www.ncfm.org. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.
In Sex-Ploytation, Matt Fitzgerald continues where Esther Vilar left off with The Manipulated Man. While he doesn't develop as rich and detailed a painting of modern life as Vilar did, he offers something that Vilar did not: hope for change. After reading The Manipulated Man, I just felt depressed. After reading Sex-Ploytation, I felt stirred up. This book is a tool of great importance to the men's movement.
The book is divided into seven chapters, and three sections of anecdotes called "Man on the Street." The first two chapters were an overview of women's sexual power, and how they use it to coldly manipulate men. This is a worthwhile message, and one which every male should read. The younger they are when they read it, the better. Like Vilar, however, Fitzgerald does not quantify the word "women" in his statements. All women are stereotyped as prostitutes, who extort money from men by careful use of their bodies. This will work well on men who have been used by women. It won't work on men who have sisters they respect. So, in a way, the book is a gamble. Some men will be hooked, others alienated. That said, the material is good to know - things to watch for in dealing with women, and ammunition in no-holds barred arguments with feminists.
It's in the chapters on feminist history that Sex-Ploytation really begins to shine. Human relationships are complex, and when someone gives a lucid insight into social construct like feminism, it's refreshing. With the first chapters as a backdrop, Fitzgerald describes how feminism began, with the idealism of young liberals in the 60's. When these people graduated and got out into the real world, however, they soon reverted back into their usual roles. True equality without paying for it. They wanted to have their cake and eat it, too.
Chapters five and six contain straight-talking to-do lists for men and women. This is where Fitzgerald leaves Vilar behind. There's hope! For men and women to change! The recommendations boil down to: Stop the money-for-sex business! To suggest such a drastic changes in men's behavior towards women may seem unrealistic, but no matter how much a reader decides to act upon suggestions here, he will be changed for the better.
And in his closing chapter, Fitzgerald puts responsibility for this change where it belongs: on men. This is why men have to wake up.
Sex-Ploytation took me on a journey from anger to hope, from bashing women for what they have done, to being informed and taking responsibility for relationships with women in the future. Though this isn't the sort of book that a politician can quote in a speech, it's a great tool for the message out on a individual basis. Use this book by handing out copies to your friends-especially those you know who are pissed off at women. After they read this and get hooked into men's issues, reel them in with one of Warren Farrell's works.
Since the book has potential for growing the men's movement, I think it should have contained contact information for some men's groups. It doesn't, but a few are listed by name. Unfortunately, the list is in the "Female To Do List" section.
Sex-Ploytation is 120 pages, and a pretty easy read. You can purchase it at Amazon or www.sexploy.com where you can read some excerpts.