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.