Sunday, February 19, 2006

I love the Rules!

Have you ever heard of "The Rules"? These two women, Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, wrote a book of dating do's and don't's for women, known as "The Rules." I'd heard of the book, but not until I paged through it at a bookstore did I realize the treasure trove of fun it truly is. Here's a few of the rules from "The Rules" for your amusement, along with my commentary.

Show up to parties, dances and social events even if you do not feel like it. This is so women can meet as many men as possible, and on the surface it sounds like good advice. Until, that is, you realize that when you attend a party when you'd rather be somewhere else you're not showing yourself at your best. Men will pick up on this, and the good ones will stay away while the bad ones swarm right in.

If you are in a long-distance relationship, he must visit you at least three times before you visit him. I'm not sure why it's three and not thirty, but Ellen and Sherrie wouldn't steer you wrong.

Close the deal; Rules women do not date men for more than two years.
You see, women really just want to get married, so dating and relationships aren't about forming deep emotional bonds or getting to know yourself and someone else alot better. Women date to marry, and thus the walk down the aisle is just like signing the contract.

There are many other rules, of which I can paraphrase a few:

  • You only call him once for ever three calls he makes.
  • You never ask a man out on a date.
  • Never accept a date for Saturday after Wednesday, even if it means sitting home alone.
  • If a woman uses a dating service, she must place the ad and let men respond to her, not the other way around.
It goes on and on, but you get the drift. Essentially, "The Rules" supports a very archaic, sexist notion of male and female relationship roles, summed up as follows. Men pursue women. Women do not pursue men. If a woman pursues a man, he will quickly lose interest and wander. The only reliable way for a woman to bag a man is to pretend to be a mystery and to act like he needs her more than she needs him. Men are not really shy, so if there's one you fancy who seems reticent around you, it's not because he might be intimidated by your wit and charm, but because he's just not very interested. If you ask him out first, you are guaranteeing that your relationship will not work out. Sorry, gals.

Sheesh...isn't dating tough enough without dealing with playing games? Although I come at things from a different angle than women, I too have dated men (have I!) and I know well the challenges involved. Trust my younger days I accepted treatment that, to think about it now, gets me scratching my head and saying, "Wha fuck?" No matter how bad things got I never resorted to game-playing, believing that being honest about myself, with myself, and with others was the best policy. Once I combined that policy with a measure of self-confidence, I found myself dating men whose memory doesn't give me any "Wha fuck?" moments. And I didn't need that crazy book to do it.

By the way, go to "The Rules" Web site and check out the celebrity testimonials. Yeah, right...when you have to get Destiny's Child to talk up your work, you know you're in trouble.


Anonymous babs said...

The part that upsets me is that some women really will buy into this crap.

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh god. I remember seeing or hearing an interview with one of the authors after the first book came out, I think (or maybe it was the second). I was thoroughly appalled.

I'd love to see a The Rules vs ERA cage match, though. :)


12:35 AM  

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