What I Meant To Say
A Collective Critique of the Controversial Book

by the Wondering Women


What I Meant to Say…
vs. What you Actually Said

What I Meant to Say…
… vs. What you Actually Said

Last year, Thomas Allen Publishers printed What I Meant to Say – the Private Lives of Men, a collection of stories about "manhood" written by Canadian "intellectuals" and intended to be controversial. As per the introduction, women were chosen early as the targeted readers. Men, the editor and publisher reasoned, would not be interested in reading about other men's lives as much as women would. Indeed, daughters of Eve would certainly appreciate some insight into the "private lives" of those creatures they can't live with but can't live without either.

The book's editor, Ian Brown, "an award-winning journalist and broadcaster," writes in his introduction to the book that What I Meant to Say differs from most books written on manhood, for it is written by "storytellers" rather than "ideologues," as if the autobiographical style excused the often arrogant, misogynistic, outmoded, and shocking messages the book contains.

This is why we, the Wondering Women, a group of students and "intellectuals" in Toronto, have decided to create this website, which features critiques of some of the "stories" contained in What I Meant to Say. All of them offer different points of view on womanhood. They raise questions about the meaning of womanhood, about relationships between men and women in the early 21st century, and about the cultural assumptions made by authors of the collective edited by Brown.

Please read on through the critiques written by us, Wondering Women. See the Abstract page for a quick review of our essays.
And make sure to let us know what you think.

Annette, Elise, Estee, Jennifer, Patricia and Sadler