Book Review: The Male Factor

Shaunti Feldhahn has done it again. In her new book, The Male Factor, she takes her surveying skills to the workplace, to see what working men think of their working women counterparts. As she’s done for couples in her For Women Only and For Men Only, she does for men and women in the workplace.  I was tremendously pleased by this new approach to gender differences, and I found it to be a highly practical and informative book.

Feldhahn uses a very similar approach to presenting her material as she did in her other books.  I was impressed at how all the information was organized, with excellent sub headings and helpful quotes highlighted.  I found it was a book that was easy to read without getting too bogged down in details and statistics.

Basically, the book relies on the premise that men and women operate differently.  And by interviewing many men in the work world, Feldhahn presents how a large percentage of men view women in the workplace.  She focuses on ways that women can improve their working relationships with the opposite sex, as there are many pitfalls women fall into when relating to men.  For example, my favorite chapter was on “men’s inner insecurity” and “the confidence game.”  Feldhahn explains men’s struggles to receive respect in the workplace, and she outlines seven unintentional ways women disrespect men at work. When our attitude is “brusque” and too direct, we can be too confrontational and throw men off balance.  And when we ask too many questions about their actions, we doubt their logical process at arriving at certain conclusions.

Feldhahn touches on such issues as women’s sexuality in the workplace, how our dress can be downright distracting to our co-workers.  And she addresses that familiar “it’s not personal; it’s business” mantra that we often hear from men, something very unfamiliar to women. Another important issue the book touches on is how women’s emotions can be perceived by men, how crying might not fit in the workplace.  And while some of these issues might seem obvious, a surprising amount of women, in practice, choose to ignore these relational guidelines.

I read the Christian edition of the text, as Feldhahn has released two different versions, one for the mainstream and one for Christians.  I honestly didn’t find a ton of extra material helpful for Christ followers, but there was one chapter at the end that attempted to fill this gap.  The non-Christian version would certainly be a sufficient book to read.  And I’m glad to see that Feldhahn is bringing her gender discussion to the mainstream, a place that seems hesitant, in light of current politically correct movements, to acknowledge the inherent differences between mens and women’s minds.

Thanks to Multnomah Publishers for providing me with a review copy of this book. Click here to visit the publisher’s website.

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  1. I am reading this book from the hear of Africa and as a woman activist and a mother of 5girls who are ending up in the corporate world, I have to make sure they read it and i have to recommend it to all corporate women that I know. The reason is that I have read a bit about gender and the work place and I have undertaken some related courses but I have not seen this angle brought out as articulately as this! Thank you Shaunti.


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