Special on Best Seller `Men Who Hate Women'

Article excerpt

PSYCHOLOGIST and author Susan Forward joins Lindsay Wagner for a two-hour NBC special (8 tonight on Channel 5) called "Best-Sellers: Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them: The Relationship."

Forward said she believes the show to be the first in a series featuring authors of non-fiction best sellers. "This was made six or seven months ago," she said. "They didn't just rush it onto the air because of the O.J. Simpson case."

In 1992, Forward was a counselor for Simpson's late wife, Nicole, who had read Forward's 1986 book, "Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them."

"The timing was pretty fortuitous," agreed Forward. "What is doubly interesting is that the reason Nicole was referred to me by her attorney was that both he and she had read the book, and she said, `This is the story of my life.' But she only saw me twice and wouldn't come back. She wasn't ready to hear what I had to say."

On the special, Forward discusses the elements involved in abusive relationships, and talks about the batterer's psychological make-up and why some women are potential victims.

There's a visit to Forward's therapy clinic in Los Angeles, where real couples deal with their problems; a segment on pop culture; talk-show footage from "Sally Jessy Raphael"; a soap-opera portion; a segment in which viewers can test their relationships; and a vignette with actors Finola Hughes, Mary Catherine Crosby and Brian Cranston.

"We take her (the character) to an anger workshop, and I think that's dynamite," Forward said. "I'm thrilled with that portion."

She was also pleased with an interview segment involving Wagner. "Lindsay is so credible in terms of women's issues. She's done her movies so carefully, too, on these subjects."

The program concludes with Forward's look at why women become trapped in destructive relationships and her suggestions for ways to change the dynamics of those pairings. Forward offers a quiz for women to address, then ends her presentation with an evaluation of potential answers and suggestions of constructive ways to deal with abusive partners. …