|The REUNION Place|
31, 32. CLASSMATES ON THIS PAGE ARE: Irene Farnkoff and Warren Farrell
31. FARNKOFF, Irene
32. FARRELL, Warren
Warren and his wife, Liz, are now living in Mill Valley, CA (underneath the big Redwood Trees, just north of San Francisco)
An INTRODUCTION (as written by the skinny guy above) --
Following Dave Kay's evocation to show the evolution of our appearance from Midland Park High School in 1961 to present (something it's easy for Dave to ask for, since he and Dan have only gotten better looking with the years), here we go..... In my case this "evolution" might be more objectively revealed by my books' jackets. So, with a nod to Dave, here's the deterioration of my body, as revealed by the photos on my books' jackets; and the evolution of my mind, for better and worse, as revealed by the content between the covers. :)
1974 From flattop at Midland Park High, to -- 13 years later -- my quasi-liberated hair and "successful hippie" dress, manifested on the jacket of my new book: "The Liberated Man"...... the beginning of the lifelong ambivalence as to what being liberated really means.................. !!
1986 -- After publication of my book : "Why Men Are the Way They Are", and not really knowing why men are the way they are, I used a white sweater to cover up what might give me the answer. I have this book (and Oprah) to thank for taking me around the world at a time that I was old enough to appreciate it and young enough to use the frequent flyer miles.
1993 -- This picture, on the jacket of "The Myth of Male Power" in 1993, is my favorite picture, on my favorite book (the picture is taken at enough distance to cover up the flaws)....
2002 (August) -- Liz Dowling and I culminate an eight-year courtship with the best day of my life: our wedding day.
2004 (left), 2005 (right): Here is the gray hair that some publishers had kept off of my earlier books, but by 2005, I guess the new publishers felt it to be compatible with the title of the book it illustrated: "Why Men Earn More--and What Women Can Do About It". The book, well, earned less.
2010 After a lifetime of thinking that cruises were for old fogies, it seems that maybe WE have become the old fogies (OK, OK, I became the old fogie...)
2010 One of the joys of my life has been helping to parent Alex and Erin from girls to women (ages 6 and 7 to their mid-20's); and from Liz's daughters to our daughters. Here we share a moment together in the front yard of our home in Mill Valley, California. (Mill Valley is quasi-infamous for hot tubs, and yes, that's a hot tub you see; and no, we're not going to all fit in it!)
2010 -- left: with step-daughterAlex; Right: Liz with daughter Erin.
Here, in 2011, in Death Valley, Liz took a picture of me getting a live glimpse of death's valley. Walking in the valley of the shadow of death inspires me to both savor the memories of our classmates who have joined the rocks of ages, and rejoice at the anticipation of being with each of us who are fortunate enough to reunite.
2011 (May) -- The Three Musketeers --- at the IZOD Center in New Jersey, with Denis Nadas (left) and Dave Kay (right). I'd just been awared an Honorary Doctorate by Montclair State University, my Alma Mater. However, I was more honored to be joined by Denis and David of MPHS fame...!
At MPHS, Ron Haas' pedagogic brilliance inspired me to become an English teacher instead of an attorney. So I went to Montclair State. I soon realized that I had politics and the social sciences too deep in my psyche -- and changed majors. With barely repressed thoughts about going into politics, I decided to major in political science for my M.A. at UCLA. That gave me the West Coast bug, but Ursie, a woman I fell in love with while I was at Montclair State, had gone to Harvard and got a fabulous opportunity in NYC. So, she and I married, and I did my Ph.D. in political science at NYU. However, my opposition to the Vietnam war convinced me that politics would be a lifetime of masochism. End of that ambition.
While completing my Ph.D., the women's movement surfaced. It energized me, and I changed my dissertation to a forecast of its political implications. That led to my election to the Board of the National Organization for Women in NYC, which in turn led to my speaking around the world on why women's issues were important to men. It also led to my writing for The New York Times, doing lots of Phil Donahue and Today shows, and running around the world on multiple tracks. Meantime, Ursie became a White House Fellow and we moved to D.C. where I became "the wife of a Fellow." :) Soon articles on men and women's politics turned into books--and a career.
Ursie and I supported each other to grow in two opposite directions: corporate type and author type. We divorced. I moved to San Diego. For twenty years of adventuresome single-hood, I searched for "the right fit." Eventually, some 17 years ago, I was introduced to Liz -- and after an eight-year courtship, we married.
Professionally, as the women's movement helped the women of industrialized nations expand their options, I increasingly noted that men and boys were falling behind psychologically and academically. So I turned my focus to helping boys and men make their transition in what I felt should ideally be a gender transition movement. I felt that if only one sex wins, both sexes lose. That transition on my part cost me dearly as a professional, but it feels like an increasingly needed balance.
My current professional passions are writing a book with John Gray to be called Boys to Men; being an expert witness for children to have both parents' involvement; and conducting couples' communication workshops. I've come to feel that the Achilles' heel of all humans is our inability to handle personal criticism, so my workshops train couples how to emotionally associate personal criticism with love rather than feel destroyed by it.
My current personal joy is deepening my relationship with Liz and watching our daughters become unique women who are in touch with who they wish to become.
I am looking forward to hearing about how a half century has molded your life and passion.
Here's what Warren WOULD have said at the 50-yr Reunion in Midland Park, had there been
(1) enough time; and (2) a good, loud microphone..... !! :=)