Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Is this what women think?

Ladies, please, don't listen to this crap.

I took a stroll through Borders at lunch because it's actually hot and I didn't want to melt in my shirt and tie. I found this on the paperback best seller table.

Given that I am, last time I checked, a man, yet I do not seek to marry a "bitch", I was intrigued. I decided to flip through the book, particularly to gain a sense of her perspective on how men really work.

She's right that we (or at least I) don't want someone who's a total doormat with no ideas, personality or interests of her own. She's right that beauty pageant chicks don't ring our bell. Yeah, we'd all do them. But we'd probably not get serious. Too artificial.

Where she goes terribly, horribly wrong is in the tactics she endorses and proposes. Be snarky. Act indifferent. Disguise your true feelings. Employ reward and punishment frameworks suitable for housebreaking dogs. Play on his insecurities.

And some of it just makes no damn sense. To wit:

"Not only this, bitches have more fun. My friend Angela had a date with a guy on a Friday and they went out for Chinese food. They tried several dishes and had plenty of leftovers, so Angela took home all the doggie bags. The following evening, she had A date with a different guy and decided to be the 'hostess with the mostest.' She reheated the Chinese leftovers, 'reorganized' a medley on a pretty plate, and served it to her guest of honor. The fortune cookie said: 'The catered din-din was a smashing success...'"

"Notice what Kara and Angela had in common: Neither one of them felt the need to overcompensate. This earned the man's respect..."

Serving me leftovers from your date with another guy earns my respect? I think I missed a few steps in there. Just seems really deceitful, not respectable. Are we supposed to respect the lack of effort she put into the date? Just sends the signal of "You're not important to me". Which, these days, would just get a "Fine. Later." from me.

Her premise is that men will chase. We will chase what we perceive to be "quality" and we gauge her quality by her level of indifference. Maybe this is true. I, however, am not chasing jack shit. She advises her female readership that chasing makes them look foolish. Chasing doesn't make fools of men?

I think what pisses me off is the misanthropic contempt for men her book displays. There's no love in it, just calculated man swindling. Husband wrangling. If I flipped the genders and wrote a "How to Nail Chicks by Being a Dick" book, I'd be pilloried. Can you imagine?

"Women won't do you until they feel like there's some emotional intimacy. They'll mistake a contrived private display of vulnerability for intimacy. Take her out some place where you could pretend to be uncomfortable. A restaurant with lots of forks, for example. Make it a dinner with some other people, so there's an audience, too, and the need for a 'public face'. Be quiet before the date. Right before you go in, whisper that places like that make you nervous. Then straighten yourself up, put on your 'public face' and ace the date like it's no big thing. She'll think she's on the inside, emotionally, that she has access to parts of you no one else does, and will let you bone her."

I should write that book.