Wednesday, August 06, 2008

So, THIS is what men want?

Okay...let's talk about "Why Men Love Bitches." And let us note that the author points out that she uses the term "bitch" in an affectionate way. "Bitch" is a good thing. Alrighty then.

It all boils down to this, so far as I can see: men love the chase, and only the chase. They are also basically emotionally stunted little boys who are apparently unwilling and/or unable to make the slightest concession in a relationship, so if you want a relationship with one, you'll have to do the conceding. (She disguises that as saying that you need to be independent to keep him interested, but we'll get to that in a bit.) They are also easily emasculated, and we can't have that!

I hardly know where to start.

Okay, the chase. Yeah, yeah...men are predators, they enjoy the pursuit, blah, blah, blah. But seriously--we have to play into that forever? There never comes a time when a man can sit back and say "yeah, this is a pretty good thing, and I think I'll take it"? How exhausting. I don't have the energy to keep running that long.

Let's talk emasculation. Now, I'm not looking to emasculate anyone. I like it when a guy opens doors for me, pays for dates, etc. I'll let him be a guy. But this author claims that men are so fragile in their masculinity (and their perception of our femininity, I suppose) that merely opening a jar in their presence could ruin things. Now, I have pretty wimpy hands, and I've been known to ask total strangers at parties to twist open my beer, but seriously...we are advised to simper and flutter our eyelashes and then proclaim loudly how impressed we are that they can open that big ol' jar just like that? And heaven forbid we should MOW, or put oil in the car, or anything else that is obviously "man's work." (In retrospect, I guess things didn't work out with New Guy because I was so obviously proud of the fact that I managed to take apart my garage door opener when the power went out last winter. My bad.)

Excuse me...I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

And bugs? Oh boy, we MUST be shriekingly frightened of all things pesty. We must hide our eyes, and whimper, and omigod won't some big, strong MAN please take care of that creepy crawly thing for us before we faint? And, of course, once the threat has been dealt with, we must again make with the simpering and fluttering. She even relates the tale of a woman who gleefully recounted to her boyfriend how she had...dispatched a snake in her garden, and the boyfriend became impotent as a result. I'm not kidding. The thought of a woman who didn't cower in fear at the mere thought of a reptile took away the man's boner. Is that a man YOU want? 'Cause I'll pass.

And then, of course, we are told that we must always seem completely independent--don't call him, don't return his phone calls or emails too quickly. Make him wonder where you are and what you're doing. He will delight in being required to pursue you some more. (And you, meanwhile, must try not to wonder how the heck he thinks your jars are being opened while you're off being independent.) If he is 15 minutes late for a date--go on by yourself. Don't call him to find out where he is, or if he has a legitimate reason for being late. Just be gone when he gets there.

Don't cook for him. Don't drive to his house EVER. Always make him come to you. Otherwise he'll label you a doormat, and use you as such. And don't be "nurturing." Don't express interest in his health or well-being. Never, never, never say "call me when you get there" if he's making a long trip. He will equate you with his mother, and he doesn't want to have sex with his mother. (But...but...I AM a kind of nurturing person. I take care of stray cats, for pete's sake. I have to completely suppress this side of myself when I'm with a guy? Gah.)

Okay...I can actually see that I have some doormat tendencies when I really like a guy. Now, I know that this is because I a) it happens so seldom, and is so novel, that I tend to get really caught up in it, and b) I have lived alone for so many years that I pretty much have a surfeit of accumulated "me" time. I'm ready for some "us" time. (And, cynically, I tend to assume it won't be lasting forever, and "my" interests will be there waiting when we're done.) But I can see how a guy might think I'm abandoning my own life in the interest of being with him. I vow right now to keep an eye on this tendency. BUT...

BUT...it's one thing to have so many of your own interests that you don't have a lot of time for a guy, and it's another thing to PRETEND you have your own interests, just to keep HIM interested. Isn't it? At some point, my problem is this: if I feign disinterest long enough, I am going to be disinterested. Ah, the old Catch-22.

I'm not completely sure this method works with all men, anyway. I mean...if appearing somewhat disinterested, not calling, not immediately returning phone calls is supposed to enflame him to the point that he MUST HAVE ME, then Mr. Ordinary should be absolutely SWARMING around me, shouldn't he? And he's not. (Although he did call last night. But that was the first time since Thursday--hardly a swarm.)

There are 100 little principles listed and discussed in the book, but I think I'll stop here. You can read it yourself if you're interested. But it mostly seems like a bunch of game-playing bullshit to me. If that's what it takes to get and keep a man, well...crazy cat lady, here I come!

I welcome your thoughts and insights. Heh.

11 comments:

Stefanie said...

I think maybe the guys that crap works on are not the guys I want anyway. There may be smidges of validity to little bits and pieces of that advice, but on the whole, I think if any woman were to follow ALL of it, she would end up unhappy and insane and very likely still single anyway. No thanks.

Also, I'm suddenly reminded of the episode of Ally McBeal when she bought her own house, and what's-his-name at the firm was all disgusted and up in arms about it because no man is going to want her if she show him that she doesn't NEED him, that she can take care of herself. Um, what? So THAT'S why I'm single: I had the audacity to buy a house! Ah, it all makes sense now.

nancypearlwannabe said...

I call bullshit on that book. Yes, independence is great, but so is being a caring human being. Why do people keep insisting on the head games?!

Melliferous Pants said...

I dated two guys who were desperately afraid of bugs: one of spiders, the other of ants. (I know, weird!) Their fears left me to take care of yucky critters. The ant guy had impotency issues, but I'm guessing it wasn't due to me killing ants while he cowered in the corner like a 250 pound power lifter baby head.

This book sounds totally annoying. I choose my cat over the guy who I have to "play the game" with FOREVER.

-R- said...

I followed all the advice given in this book, and that is how I landed H.

Just kidding. Obviously.

I agree that you shouldn't be a doormat, but you shouldn't FAKE independence either. Just be a normal human being. Geez.

Stinkypaw said...

I don't agree with the "pretend" aspect at all. We should be real and the man should be man enough to not feel emasculated. If the fact that we do things without their help scares them, then I want them to scare away!

I agree with the "doormat" aspect and nurturing. He doesn't want his mother, but maybe just someone who does care, without doing his laundry, etc...

If I was to be with a man who looses his boner because I'm not scared of creepy crawlies, than that's not a man for me, nor you!

I love the fact that my husband thinks its funny that I can physically get into a bout with any man, but will sqeek like a pig and do a funky dance when I squoosh a bug (yes, I do that!)... I just hate the sound it makes (I have goose bumps just writing it!).

Don't give up, and don't read too many of those books...

flurrious said...

I am opposed to game-playing in relationships, but I don't know if it's because I am a person of great moral character or if it's because I'm completely inept at them. Let's go with the moral character option.

I changed the fill valve in my toilet recently. No man will ever marry me now!

Knot said...

I think your book exaggerated. It sounded like there were some bits of truth in it, but ... just melodramatic. If you really want to know how men work, as well as women, I suggest a book called "His Needs, Her Needs" by Willard F. Harley. Probably one of the most monumental books on relationships that no one has heard of. It's still in hardback even after 15-20 years on the shelf. To me that says a lot.

As far as men go, yes, we are ego driven, just as women are emotionally driven. We need to be needed and wanted. What's the point if no one needs us around? As far as the chase. That's the art every relationship struggles with. Women are fascinating and discovering EVERYTHING about them is nearly impossible and thus the never ending chase.

I tell women all the time, learning to keep him interested is a key point. Learning how he works - obviously from a reputable sourse - is THE key.

I would also suggest "The Five Love Languages" by Chapman. These two books will equip you for any relationship not just one person.

Overall, the most important point in any relationship is looking at yourself and seeing what needs to be changed/improved/emphasized. Relationships are work and to think that any of us won't need to change dooms any relationship.

Knot

lizgwiz said...

stef, I think there are studies proving no female homeowner has EVER gotten married. Hee.

npw, I'd like the games to stop, too. Unless it's Boggle. Why can't I boggle myself into a relationship?

pants, I've known men who freaked out at the thought of snakes. Pussies! (Hee.)

-r-, yeah, it was the faking it part that bothered me the most, too. I'm all for having your own interests, but only if they're legitimate interests.

stinky, yeah...I don't generally do too much of the "self-help" reading, and I remember why!

flurrious, I'll second your moral character! Toilet repair? Yeah, you're sunk. The only thing a woman should do to a toilet is wipe off the constant pee stains her man leaves! ;)

knot, I hope it was just a ploy to sell books, not legitimate advice. Thanks for your insights! (You're actually the second man to suggest "His Needs, Her Needs" to me. Hmmm...)

Sauntering Soul said...

I mentioned to you in a recent comment that I had read this book several years ago and couldn't remember a lot of the details. Now I remember why I cringed the entire way through and I'm thankful the book wasn't taking up too much of my memory.

I am a very independent person. The only part of my independent personality that seems to bug Hot Brazilian is financially. He offers to help me out with different financial areas and I always refuse his help and it hurts his feelings. My opinion about it is, we are not married (yet) and when we do get married, I'll probably be less independent in this particular area since our resources will be pooled. Right now, I live alone and feel that my expenses are my own and not his responsibility in the least.

Other than that, he respects how independent I am. He travels a lot and he likes that I don't sit at home alone and whine about him being gone. He likes that I have my own life and I go out and live it.

Mary said...

Liz, I just read this post aloud to Tim. Oh, how we laughed! Not at you, though, but at the ridiculous assumptions made in that book.

I call bullshit on Knot's line about men needing to feel wanted and needed. I mean, of course they feel that way, but you know what? Women feel that way, too! Seriously!

The big key to our relationship's success: no head games. That means no assumptions, but plenty of open communication. Put it all out on the table. Don't automatically assume that either of you knows what the other one is thinking or feeling because a lot of the time you will be dead wrong. Basically, I don't treat Tim like a stereotypical Man. I treat him like a human being. It's working pretty well for us so far.

Many of the guys out there are just as sick of these head games as you are. Trust me. So follow the ol' cliche & just be yourself.

L Sass said...

Ugh, I hate this crap.

I do think that, as a general rule, most women I know (myself included) would do well to be reminded not to get too involved in relationships too fast - but as a self-protection measure. Nothing whatsoever to do with the guy!

What about the men? They don't have to change their attitudes or behaviors AT ALL to meet women halfway?