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June 12, 1971 - Image 5

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Michigan Daily, 1971-06-12

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Saturday, June 12, 1971


Page. Five

Bardwi'ck s Psychology Shores of Lig~ht

Judith Rardwick, PSYCHOLO-
GY OF WOMEN, Harper & Row,
Judith Bardwick, a University
psychology professor, is in no
way a polemicist for the Wom-
an's Movement, though she be-
4 lieves that traditional sex roles
have been too narrowly defined
for contemporary needs. While
emerging from a milieu of. scien-
tific psychology, Dr. Bardwick
is not intimidated by its weighty
tradition. The book is written in
the first person, abounds in per-
- sonal references, and much of
it, as she says in the Introduction,
"represents only my )pinions."
Bardwick makes several im-
portant points which are not com-
monly understood and which,
nonetheless, appear to be well
supported by available evidence.
1) Sex is a stronger motivation
for males than for females, and
this difference may be present in
children as well. 2) Psychological
differences between the sexes are
the result of the interpenetration
of innate and environmental fac-
tors. 3) There are discernible
emotional changes accompanying
the menstrual cycle. 4) Both
sexes identify with parents of
both sexes, though Bardwick does
not develop important implica-
tions of this fact.
The book, however, does not
4. present sufficient evidence to con-
vince a skeptical reader of the
validity of these points. Bard-
wick's credibility is also di-
minished by the fact that at times
she writes in a loose and exag-
gerated fashion. For example,
she refers to cyclic personality
changes as "enormous." Overall
evidence does not indicate "enor-
mous" cyclic changes in the av-
erage woman. In another chap-
ter she summarizes her opinion
by saying . . . "far more than
for men, the mature woman is
Birth of
K. Ross Toole, THE TIME HAS
COME, Wm. Morrow, $5.95.
How do you review a book
inspired by the author's previous
success in the Reader's Digest?
K. Ross Toole, a professor at
the University of Montana,
never dreamed that a letter he
wrote his brother concerning
"the things that need to be said.
about c a m p u s violence, the
tyranny of the minority, and the
crusade of the spoiled children"
Would be Xeroxed, picked up by
the Boston Globe, Omaha Her-.
ald, and San Francisco Chron-
icle, and finally reach 50 million
Americans through the Reader's
Digest. How this success spoiled
Professor Toole is exposed by
The Time Has Come.
The reprinted letter rained a
deluge of mail on Dr. Toole and,
as he puts it, "smething began.
to jell .. . in mt viscera," From
this something, his book was
The introductory chapter, 'To
Whom It Ought To Concern,"
states that the book is about th
"plder generation (0 to 70, n-.
tagonizing me immediately), the,
younger generation (15 to 24),
and about hippies, yippies, vio-
lent campus rebel .' . . gurus,
right - wingers, and silent ma-
orities. His subject is everyone
from his brother the insurance
lean to selfish full-professors to
bearded, firebrand, untenured
faculty to the whole 120 million
voters in the UR.A. His under-

her body . . ." This statement is
simplistic and easily lends itself
to interpretations for which there
are no evidence. For example, is
there any evidence that men are
less influenced by their bodies
and bodily needs than are wom-
en? Do they not have hormones
in their blood and brain even as
do women? At a point in time
when thousands of American
women are attempting to free
themselves from prescriptions of
their sexual role which they per-
ceive as confining, such a state-
ment is peculiarly insensitive.
Moreover, the "woman is
body" theme betrays a lack of
acquaintance with recent theo-
retical developments in psycholo-
gy which increasingly recognize
that bodily needs are only part
of hcman motivation. The moti-
vation to competence, which ap-
pears to be precisely what is
frustrated in the educated wom-
an at home, is ignored by Bard-
wick. Instead she hypothesizes
a biological maternal need. There
is virtually no evidence for such
a need among human females. It
may be that biological facilitat-
ing factors for some nurturant
and maternal behavior may
eventually be found in human fe-
males, but the evidence from ani-
mal and human studies strongly
Today's Writers ...
Julia Sherman, a Wisconsin
psychologist, wrote the recent
book On The Psychology of
Women: A Survey of Empirical
Studies (1971).
Martha Mehta received her
degree in journalism from the
University and now lives in
Oberlin, Ohio.
Jeanne Halpern is a staff
member of Research News at
the University and an occasional
book reviewer for the Detroit

suggests that if such factors are
found, they will be facilitating
and not determining.
Other examples of inaccuracies
appear in statements that during
prepuberty girls "rarely" mas-
turbate and it is doubtful that
they experience vaginal sensa-
tions. Bardwick also states that,
"Although the experimental lit-
erature in psychology avers that
the female is very passive and
nonaggressive, I know in my
soul that it isn't true." The evi-
dence, however, does not indicate
that females are "very passive
and nonaggressive," but only
that they are more passive and
not so aggressive as males. In
fact, the experimental evidence
suggests that under proper con-
ditions females are just as ag-
gressive as males particularly
when the aggression is more in-
direct and/or less dependent on
actions involving large muscle
movements. In discussing intel-
lectual development, Bardwick
neglects the vital question of sex
difference in maturational rate.
She characterizes girls as achiev-
ing for affiliative reasons while
boys do not. In a recent empiri-
cal study, however, achievement
in boys was just as dependent on
external praise as for girls.
Bardwick's view of the normal
female is too narrow. Thus she
states, "I regard women who are
not motivated to achieve the af-
filiative role with husband and
children as not normal." With-
out objective evidence of abnor-
mality, it seems both unscientific
and unfair to stigmatize large
groups of women in this manner.
Bardwick's book can be rec-
mended for anyone deeply in-
terested in the psychology of
women. It has a tendency, how-
ever, to fall between two stools.
It is too personalistic to recom-
mend as a scholarly treatment
and it is too dull and technical
to recommend as a popular


ARTS, State University of New
York Press, $10.00.
This book serves as the official
record of a conference at the
S t a t e University College in
Brockport, New York in 1967-61.
The "landmark" to which
philosopher Sidney Hook refers
on the dust jacket is certainly
not the printing of these essays,
but more probably the Interna-
tional Philosophy Year itself (to
which the conference was dedi-
cated) and the spirited discussion
which surrounded the presenta-
tion of these ideas.
The essays discussed below are
not superior to the nineteen other
essays in the volume but rather
they are discussed because they
seem to offer the most cogent
reasoning and speculation com-
bined with incisive language and
clear inferences. It becomes a
distinct boon when the average
reader finds himself on the shore
of a good essay where he can ex-
pect some partial resusitation of
spirit from the surrounding mur-
ky waters.
William K. Frankena, in his
essay "Educating for the Good
Life" argues that the good life
requires "two overlapping ele-
ments: activities and experi-
ences that are enjoyable (plea-
sure, beatitudes, and content-
ment) and activities and experi-
ences that involve the achieve-
ment of excellence (as judged
by standards intrinsic to the ac-
tivity.) I happen to agree with
this point of view, since excel-
lence is currently under attack
as "irrelevant."
Another very cohesive essay is
by Winfield Nagley, entitled
"K i e r k e g a a r d ' s Archi-
medean Point." Viewed as the
seed of a consistent intellectual
growth and flowering, Nagley

traces Kierkegaard's involvement
with the Archimedean point from
his earliest notebooks through
his mature works to a three-fold
concept of reason.
At a somewhat later point in
his essay, Nagley comments that
"the intuitive reason of Ion pro-
vides the framework with which
one gets to the core of Kierke-
gaard's account of the Archime-
dean point" and "that both Pla-
to and Ulysses need Ion to for-
ever remind them that their
clear, light - filled intellectual
cities are surrounded by a jungle
that on one hand is a constant
threat, and yet, on the other
hand, that the jungle surround-
ing their intellectual cities is the
locus of ultimate meaning." Mr.
Nagley then continues beyond
Kierkegaard to his own structur-
ing of the cult of Ion.
Another excellent essay, which
suffers nevertheless frem the
philosopher - speaking - to philos-
opher - disease, is Monroe Beard-
sey's "The Aesthetic Point of
View". After reading that "to
adopt the aesthetic point of view
with-regard to X is to take an in-
terest in whatever aesthetic
value X may have", and on the
next page "to adopt an aesthetic
point of view with regard to X
is to take an interest in whatever
aesthetic value X may possess
or that is obtainable by means of
X." I began to worry about read-
ing further. With X foremost in
the reader's mind, Beardsley
continues on the next eight pages
to unload seven further qualifica-
tions by which one can under-
stand X.
Presuming that the reader has
got his X's straight, which in my
case is debatable, the following
discourse touches on the Hud-
son's scenic beauty, hearing
Beethoven, using LSD, clarifying
Meyer Shapiro, undermining
Susan Sontag, putting Lenin and
St. Bernard on the same moral
pedestal, and casting a whiplash
or two at Henry James and Hen-
rik Ibsen. How this array of peo-
ple and ideas leads to the "aes-
thetic view as a source of value"
is fascinating to discover.
Standing out like a shark's fin
in the surrounding sea is the es-
say by Clifton Fadiman entitled
"Communication and the Arts:
A Practitioner's Notes." Dis-
claiming any qualifications as a
philosopher, and confessing his
outlook to be that of a practi-
tioner in the field of communica-
tion, Fadiman ranges broadly
and cleanly, without the use of
X's and Y's or laborious defini-
tions of terms, to discuss what
happens to mass-messages in the
Xerox age. His most important
point is his theory of creative os-
mosis. He argues that
the total' value of a work of lit-
erature (art) is perceived more
precisely when the work has to
pass with a certain difficulty
through obstacles of time,
place and misunderstanding.
Multiplicity and diffusion (Xer-
oxing) eliminate many of these
obstacles in such a way that
much of the perceived value
of a work of art may be lost in
the course of immediate, easy
This essay alone sows the
seed of future philosophic argu-
ment. One can imagine, with no
little consternation, the large va-
riety of X, Y, and Z's being
summoned to a future book.
If there were any doubt left
that most philosophers are not
poets, seldom writers, and only
occasionally communicators, the
bulk of essays in Perspectives in
Education, Religion and the
Arts puts that doubt firmly to


taking boggles the imagination:
he attempts to explain youth
to their parents, the older gen-
eration to the younger, and the
universities, American history,
and himself - "a conservative
with a radical heart" - to all
comers. This lack of focus dis-
tressed me because when Dr.
Toole writes about what he
knows, he's good.
In Chapter 7, for example,
"The Historian and the Crystal
Ball," his historical review and
analysis of the gradual improve-
.ment of the lot of the common
American glitters with a clarity'
and design otherwise lacking in
the book. In a dozen pages, he
summarizes opinions of respect-
ed historians on crises in Ameri-
can history, stressing that the
present younger generation is
myopic about its future because
it knows so little about its past.
He touches on longer, more di-
visive wars in American history
than Vietnam, more horrifying:
threats from the Right than the
present one, and times of deeper
turmoil, despair, and fear.' This
chapter as well as his autobio-
graphical account-touching in.
its naivete compared, for exam-
ple, with Willie Morris' North
Toward Home-makes the rest
of the book seem especially
Part of the responsibility, for
failure nust rest with the editors
at William Morrow and Com-
pany, who could have shrunk
this poor $5.95 hardback to a
good $2.50 paperback by clarify-

ing the focus and cutting the
verbiage by half. The book is
riddled with "the fact that," at
least ten sentences containing
two "thats" next to each other;
continual rhetorical repetitions
and questions; introductory
statements followed by unparal-
lel constructions; repeated frag-
ments about casting lamps in
darkcorners; italics galore; and.
cliches. I recommend Strunk
and White's Elements of Style
'to the editors, and send my con-
gratulations to the proofreaders
,who let no typo pass their en-
viable eyes.
Nitpiclking of this kind is
'really no fun, especially when
reviewing a book as sincere and
thoughtful as The Time Has
Come. Dr. Toole has made the
effdrt to think through the ex-
ceedingly serious situation -of
universities and y o u t h in
America today. He has consider-
ed the problems of government
research contracts ("The worth-

iness of the cause has no bear-
ing on the necessity for pre-
venting the institution itself
from becoming instrumentalized
in any c a u s e."); the violent
death of Allison Krause at Kent
State ("She was killed precisely
by those who incited to riot and
by those who participated in
it"); the professional self-in-
terest among tenured faculty
("Unless he comes. to see that
the student stands first in the.
order of things, there is very
little chance that unrest on
campuses will abate.");' and so-
lutions for politically active
students ("Compromise is an
essential ingredient of the po-
litical process."). Again and
again, To ole encourages stu-
dents to pick a star to steer by,
to substitute hard work and
tenacity for rhetoric and gener-
ality. His publishe- would have
done him, and his readers, a
service by editing and shaping
the book.

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