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Beyond the Blame Game:

Creating Compassion and Ending the Sex War in Your Life
by Dmitri Bilgere

Book review Copyright © 1999 by Bert H. Hoff


Dmitri Bilgere, Beyond the Blame Game: Creating Compassion and Ending the Sex War in Your Life (Madison, WI: MPC Press, 1997). Order on-line

book cover
Beyond the Blame Game: Creating Compassion and Ending the Sex War in Your Life
by Dmitri Bilgere
Order on-line

This is a fascinating book on relationships, the only one I know of that comes from the "men's rights" perspective. Dmitri follows the lead of people like Roy U. Schenk, author of The Other Side of the Coin and Warren Farrell, author of The Myth of Male Power. He assumes you've already heard the "woman's point of view," so makes no attempt to bring gender balance to the book. For example, there's a great section on the impact of "male shame," the shame of male for being male. But it is by no means a "woman-bashing" book. What he does is to try and find ways to take women and men alike beyond "victim" and beyond blame.

Like Jim Sniechowski and Jude Sherven in The New Intimacy: Discovering the Magic at the Heart of Your Differences, he focuses on each person taking responsibility for his or her own life and being accepting the other person as they are. He needs, he says, to "fix the problem, not the blame." But we seem fixated on pinning the blame on someone--someone other than ourselves. He does a good job of bringing in the best knowledge of "family systems," in particular the work of Wegscheider-Cruse about family rules, which, she says,"determine the functions of each person, the relationship between the persons, the goals towards which they are heading, how they intend to get there, and what will be required or forbidden along the way." She's the one who developed the family-as-a-mobile metaphor that John Bradshaw used so effectively in his PBS TV series On the Family.

To me the major strength of this book, aside from its male-positive approach, is it's clear and lucid explanation of the "rescue triangle" and how it applies to our relationships. It's the best discussion of this important topic that I've seen. Inevitably, the v"victim" turns into the "oppressor," and the "rescuer" into the "victim," and the dance goes on. He illustrates this very effectively with personal-case examples. More than once, I've seen how I've too-eagerly stepped into the "rescuer" role and flipped into resentment as the "victim" does nothing to change his or her own life, but puts increasingly heavy demands on my own life to "fix it." Even if the book didn't close with a strong section on moving beyond the "blame game," the insights I got about the "victim role" and "rescue triangle" make this a valuable resource.

Related Books:

See our extensive catalog of gender justice books available on-line, including books by Warren Farrell and Roy U. Schenk.

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