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Dec 11 2009

Spinster aunt emerges from self-help section with inferior selection

It is considered “self-improvement” to “uncover the truth about men.” I know this because I have just read a paperback purporting to enlarge on this “men, revealed at last!” theme, and the words “self-improvement” are printed right on the jacket.

I have to confess that, in reading this book, Little White Whys: A Woman’s Guide through the Lies Men Tell and Why by I.P. Freely MD, my self has not been improved in any way whatsoever. Unless it can be construed as a sort of character-building exercise to endure a lot of very bad writing on the tedious What Makes Dudes Tick theme.

Here is an example of the enlightenment the book offers women: that when a straight dude puts you “on the back burner,” it means you are “fuckable,” although not to the degree of his “1st string” hotties. Apparently I.P. Freely MD and his publisher feel that a grasp of this vital information about men will improve the heck out of you.

I.P. Freely MD isn’t really the author’s name, incidentally; as a humane gesture, I thought I would spare him the embarrassment of reproducing his name in conjunction with this awful book, as he obviously dashed the thing off as a parody in about eleven minutes because he lost a bet, and it was sent to the publisher without his knowledge. I mean, look at the title. No editor ever laid eyes on it. The only thing even remotely writerly about it is that it contains words.

Also, I.P. Freely MD writes, horribly, in the second person plural, addressing the reader as “ladies.” As you know, the only persons qualified to address a person as “ladies” are lesbian gym teachers. I.P. Freely MD inserts the word into nearly every sentence, as though he were giving the keynote speech at the Clueless Ladies in Need of Dudely Advice Symposium. As in

“Ladies, the key here for you is patience. You have to handle us no differently than you would a toddler approaching the terrible twos.”

See what I mean about parody? Hey, I.P. Freely MD! 1972 called and they want their Care and Feeding of the Man-Child crap back, right?

However, if we were to play along and assume that I.P. Freely MD is in earnest, we might best paraphrase his thesis as “all men are liars and that’s the truth.” Avers IPF MD in the riveting introduction to his oeuvre,

“This is a precise reference book of men’s lies [...] Ladies, what I will attempt to do is give you an intimate tour of the workings of the male mind. Ladies, prepare; this may ‘sting a little’ … (sorry, it’s the MD in me) [...] Ladies, if I offend you, I do apologize beforehand.”

Freely’s deepest wish — aside from banking the spare change he’s picking up from sales of this crappy book — is to spare women everywhere the anguish they will suffer as a result of believing a single word that comes out of any dude’s mouth. How will he do this? By revealing all the lies men tell women, and recommending what course of action women should take.

I will spare you the anguish of spending $14.95 to find out. Freely’s recommendation, based on his professional medical knowledge of the inherent foulness of masculine behavior, is a universal “suck it up, babe.”

The approach is twofold. After asserting what a lot of degenerate louses men are, I.P Freely MD suggests that lovelorn babes should ask their prospects a lot of questions to determine the extent of their degenerate lousiness, e.g. has he ever been married? Does he have any kids? Has he ever had legal problems? Does he own that car? Has he ever had sex with a man?

However, once a woman has found a dude who isn’t an unemployed crackhead jailbird homo pedestrian, I.P. Freely MD explains how she should navigate his web of lies in order to have a “loving, lasting relationship” with him.

How should she do this? By not asking questions. Seriously. After you’ve hooked him, questions merely irk a degenerate louse, for he cannot reasonably be expected to answer truthfully. Questions such as how many girlfriends he has had, whether he loves you, whether he slept with your best friend, and — seriously — whether these jeans make your ass look fat: cut this shit the fuck out, ladies. Men would rather watch ESPN than deal with your whiney insecurities.

Also, ladies, “be really careful here of what you demand that he do with you or for you on Saturday mornings.” If you dare to exist on Saturday mornings, ladies, do it somewhere far away from him. Go to a white sale or something.

Also, do everything it says in this book, otherwise your man will leave you for someone hotter and downgrade you to the booty call list.

It’s 2009, and medical men are still giving ladies the same moth-eaten pointers on how to more perfectly suck up to them. Here’s the self-improvement book I wanna see: Fuck the Dominant Paradigm: Stop Viewing Yourself in Terms of Dudes, Politics, Religion, Culture, Celebrities, Porn, and Internet Feminists, and Just Do Whatever Funky Shit You Like.

68 comments

1 ping

  1. Notorious Ph.D.

    Self-improvement books such as the one you describe above do serve at least one valuable purpose: they make me less upset about being an unattached het chick. Seriously, this is what we’re supposed to be driving ourselves crazy to get one of? Even the excitement about getting one of those mechanical hamsters makes more sense than this.

  2. buttercup

    Jill, when you write that book, I’ll be first in line to read it.

    Also, “I P Freely”. HA!

  3. dillene

    Someday I’ll have to tell you about the time that I read “Fascinating Womanhood” and “Why Men Love Bitches” concurrently.

  4. PhysioProf

    This motherfucker has some kind of severe problem with prepositions:

    A Woman’s Guide through the Lies Men Tell

    This is a precise reference book of men’s lies

  5. feral

    That book sounds about as lousy as the “what women really want from men but will never say” lists which never require much more than not being an absolute prick. It seems that treating a woman as an equal human being, however, requires tremendous effort.

    Ha, I actually refer to all to women in the plural as “ladies.” It cracks me up.

    I will ditch my general disgust for self-improvement books of any nature when you publish yours, Jill.

  6. simone

    Now I’m _really_ depressed.

  7. wiggles

    This kind of thing is why, as a heterosexual woman, I’ve lost all interest in romantic entanglements. Who has time for this crap?

  8. Casey

    Fuck the Dominant Paradigm: Stop Viewing Yourself in Terms of Dudes, Politics, Religion, Culture, Celebrities, Porn, and Internet Feminists, and Just Do Whatever Funky Shit You Like

    I would buy a copy of that for myself and every woman I know.

  9. Quisp

    Jill, I was going to beg you write this book: Fuck the Dominant Paradigm: Stop Viewing Yourself in Terms of Dudes, Politics, Religion, Culture, Celebrities, Porn, and Internet Feminists, and Just Do Whatever Funky Shit You Like. But I guess the title is enough.

  10. Dawn Coyote

    Write the damn book, already.

  11. rowmyboat

    As you know, the only persons qualified to address a person as “ladies” are lesbian gym teachers.

    It’s funny because it’s true. I recall fondly the bellow of, “Ladies!” whenever we athletes were goofing off just a little more than appropriate.

  12. j

    Dear Jill, I’m going to echo the others and say that this “Fuck the Dominant Paradigm” book is sorely needed. Please consider writing it…for real.

  13. La Chica Lucy

    Jill, you are one hilarious Spinster Aunt. Your excellent writing never fails to make me laugh when I should be weeping. You almost make this patriarchal shit bearable – for if it didn’t exist, we would not be treated to your mocking diatribes of truth.

  14. Capt. Trollyblanket

    The probs with Fuck the Dominant Paradigm: Stop Viewing Yourself in Terms of Dudes, Politics, Religion, Culture, Celebrities, Porn, and Internet Feminists, and Just Do Whatever Funky Shit You Like is that someone will just make a wiki out of it and then the battle station will be fully operational with, what may be judged as unfortunate in Blame country, chapters on BDSM etc. So, sadly, I think the masses will cry out for a standard definition of funky shit. This is perhaps the number one thing in favor of the IBTP revolutionary view of pro-human extinction.

  15. Brian Mitchell

    Long time dude listener, first time dude caller.
    This all reminds me of the “Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars” bullshit from the ’90′s.
    As in, “The Death Star is, well, you know, the Death Star, and Alderaan is screwed; sorry Leia”. This of course requires an inversion of the dipshit PHuD’s title, but in order to be “polite” to women in the style of the Antebellum South (i.e. “Can I hold the door for you, so I can scope your ass despite the hoop skirt, and also demand you make me lemonaide”?), I will leave the title of Dipshit’s book unmolested, so to speak.
    John Gray is a fucking turd, and Columbia Pacific University should be ashamed of awarding him his PHuD.
    p.s. Sorry I am in and of the Dude Nation.
    I heart Twisty.
    The end.

  16. Beth

    That this truly scary sounding book actually exists is not really that amazing to me–but what is amazing is that somehow I thought it would have been older, like from the 1970s? But no–it’s a 2009 book! Unbelievable, but true–I just looked it up an Amazon.

    And Dillene, have you truly read Fascinating Womanhood? Whenever I feel blue, I pick up FW and read a few pages, that’s what I do, and it perks me right up! “Ladies,” if you haven’t yet read this marvelous tome you must get it and read. In fact it may be the funniest book since Little White Whys!

  17. A

    Hehe. Thanks for brightening my evening.

  18. feral

    I just checked out _Fascinating Womanhood_ on Amazon and followed the tags. In the first page of search results is a book called _God’s Little Princess Devotional Bible_. Shudders…

  19. PandanCat

    What? How can you say those things? I.P. Freely is my favorite author! By the way, Amanda Hugginkiss deals with the same topics from a woman’s perspective. She’s pretty caught up in the patriarchy, but her stuff has some good insights.

    Regarding the whole pants and booty thing, Hugh Jass wrote a hilarious editorial about that. I don’t remember what magazine it was in, butt it’s worth tracking down.

  20. Frumious B.

    Fuck the Dominant Paradigm: Stop Viewing Yourself in Terms of Dudes, Politics, Religion, Culture, Celebrities, Porn, and Internet Feminists, and Just Do Whatever Funky Shit You Like.

    Just so long as I don’t have to stop and analyze whether the funky shit I like supports the dominant paradigm, b/c I have a sinking feeling that it does.

  21. Ron Sullivan

    What a surprise that it’s Mister Doctor IP Freely MD, OMG, FFS. I looked at that title and reflexively thought “Anita Vacation.”

  22. Rice

    Working at a bookstore, I see women buying these books day in, day out. “The Game” by Neil Strauss has to be one of the worst (directed at both men and women), not to mention “Men are from Mars, etc”, or “Think Like a Lady, Act Like a Man”. They lap these books up. Every time this happens I just want to drag them out of the “Relationships” section (can you believe it’s called that?) and recommend them some Greer or even Levy, but I know they’d never listen.

  23. otoc

    It won’t be long before he’s on Oprah.

  24. Azundris

    So, shorter IPF: “For dog’s sake get an education and a decent job so you can opt out of this shite? Be a happy spinster aunt, be a lesbian, be, if all else fails, in a hetero-relationship as long as you can walk out of it any time?” Because he probably, like, totally wanted to write THAT, only no-one would publish a book that only has two lines in it.

    Also, “Write that damn book already.” Even if it’s “just” a samizdat of selected articles from the weblog.

  25. therantingteenager

    Aunt Twisty, if you don’t write the book I’m going to write it myself. Seriously. Please inform me.

  26. Finisterre

    Ha! And there was I thinking that ‘Please, please, PLEASE write that book, Jill’ would be an original comment. One of the almost infinite reasons why I couldn’t write it myself.

    The book sounds wonderful because it’d be like a starting point. For me, it’s easy to recognise the bollocks that is the patriarchy when you call it out, and the more I read of feminist blogs, the easier it is for me to do it myself (much to my Nigel’s joy, not). But I feel like I’m always reacting to bad stuff. It’s hard to imagine starting from a point from which I didn’t view and judge myself from the male, patriarchal POV. It’s hard to develop values and standards which are free from and unaffected by the shitty rules and principles that pervade the world, and therefore my life.

    This is sounding whiny, for which I apologise. It’s not your responsibility to hand out some kind of radfem bible which will answer all our questions. But it’s a nice thought. :-D

  27. slade

    I’m with you wiggles….dudes take too much time, effort and work. Plus they take your money. They’re worse than having a crappy job.

    Yet some of my girlfriends are devoutly seeking a male. They can never come up with a good answer to my ‘What for?’

    I call it Women’s Disease….and I’ve seen it kill.

  28. Jan

    Joking aside, the disinformation purpose of the book’s title (a half truth) is the false mental suggestion to women that men tell “little white lies” when in fact — as Jill’s blog proves over and over — men tell both little white lies and whopping huge lies about everything all the time and especially to women who trust and forgive. From Dave Letterman and Governor Sanford of South Carolina to the fun Chris Rock might have (“because it needs to be said”) with Tiger Woods: “Tiger Woods? Ti-ger Wooods!!! Who knew (!) he had morning wooood … an-y (!) place (!) but his golf (!) bag (!).”

    No, it’s not really funny.

  29. Bizzie Lizzie

    > > “For dog’s sake get an education and a decent job so you can opt out of this shite?”

    I’m all for education but most ‘decent jobs’ I’ve had involve wading through patriarchal shite up to your eyeballs while trying to keep a clear head and further the greater good.

    > > Fuck the Dominant Paradigm: Stop Viewing Yourself in Terms of Dudes, Politics, Religion, Culture, Celebrities, Porn, and Internet Feminists, and Just Do Whatever Funky Shit You Like.

    I’m going to interpret this as meaning “it’s okay to survive by weaving baskets and stealing crates of Coca Cola out the back of lorries whilst simultaneously contemplating the human condition”. Great; I feel better already.

    > > “…a dude who isn’t an unemployed crackhead jailbird homo pedestrian…”

    He’s lost my interest already. What a fabulous turn of phrase. Just because I’m a little reserved in my verbal expression of adulation doesn’t mean I’m not impressed, perhaps even quietly chuckling. Incidentally, if you have a better convention than those three little dots for fulfilling that purpose please let me know; I have know wish to incur the wrath of the punctuation and grammar faeries.

    > > Here is an example of the enlightenment the book offers women: that when a straight dude puts you “on the back burner,” it means you are “fuckable,” although not to the degree of his “1st string” hotties.

    What a lot of bollocks. No wonder men have a hard time behaving like human beings if they’re being fed this shit wholesale. Since when did ‘fuckability’ have anything at all to do with respect merited in anyone’s book? Not even unreconstructed fuckers make this mistake. This is not a human behavioural pattern that I recognise. This guy seems completely divorced from reality, even lacking insight to dude thought processes.

  30. Jezebella

    That book is full of some serious man-hating. Thanks for taking a hit for the team, Jill, and subjecting yourself to such blinding quantities of mean and stupid.

  31. Jonathan

    There’s a better title for these books:

    “Don’t punch me for being an asshole.”

    It Pretty much sums up the entire women’s help self-genre.

  32. Jonathan

    @dillene:

    Someday I’ll have to tell you about the time that I read “Fascinating Womanhood” and “Why Men Love Bitches” concurrently.

    Holy crap. I just read the terrifying 1-star reviews for “Fascinating Womanhood”. At least Amazon isn’t stopping women from0 saying publicly how this shit ruined their lives.

  33. Andrea

    In Fayetteville’s local used bookstore, Self Help is tucked back in a room with Women’s Health, Pregnancy, and Alcoholism. Yikes. Before I had time to ponder such grouping or why I was in there, I found myself staring at a copy of the SCUM Manifesto. How’s that for a self-help book?

    Second comment. An anecdote. Fuck. I’m fired.

  34. figleaf

    “That book is full of some serious man-hating.”

    What Jezebella said! My my, all the talk about feminists being man haters and look a Dr. Freely’s steaming pile of prime example? Feminists get aggravated a lot, yes. Exasperated and despairing often too. But for sheer, pure, hateful scorn, contempt, and wariness you gotta go to nice “mainstream” anti-feminists.

    You know that dominant paradigm? Men have to stop arguing about who’s hurt more by it. And not just because it’s a foregone conclusion. And stop arguing about who perpetuates it more even though that’s not always as obvious. What we have to do instead is get over comparisons and start thinking about what we might to instead.

    And dear sweet mother of pearl talk about reinforcing the dominant paradigm!?!? Setting expectations for women is also giving permission to men never to rise above those expectations. And since people tend to be very good at meeting expectations but a lot spottier at exceeding them, this Doctor dude, for whatever reason, and whether he’s dead serious or thinks its all for laughs, is basically writing this week’s instruction manual on a) how men should act and b) how women should expect men to act.

    Bottom line, though, is guys who think anti-feminism doesn’t affect them, that anti-feminists are on their side, or that feminism is the problem and not a map to the solution needs to wake up and smell the feces we roll ourselves in and call it honey.

    Thanks for the head’s up, Jill.

    figleaf

  35. Bruce

    Bravo.

    I want “Fuck the Dominant Paradigm” for my awesome sister.

  36. figleaf

    Doh! And not to put too fine a point on it, but just the conceit that he’s offering instructions to women so they can do the work of filtering through… exactly the kind of men he wants us all to be and evidently thinks we are is just more of the same patriarchy-stuffing that’s been done to women since the Puritans foisted all responsibility for moral virtue on them back in the 1600s.

    Last I heard women didn’t need much help noticing men can be liars, frauds, or flakes. But by piling responsibility for “lofty” expectations for men, and saying “they’re out there you just have to search really, really hard” he’s instructing women to have no affirmative expectation of men except those set by women. A situation that, by locating responsibility outside of men benefits no one except maybe the poor souls who can’t be happy unless they’re being co-dependent.

    Anti-feminism’s just such a great little institution: women are supposed to be movable property and men unmanagable animals and nobody’s a human being. Gee, what’s not to like about a little system like that?

    figleaf

  37. Cactus Sally

    This is why I don’t go to the book store during margarita night intermission, unless of course I’m looking for a reason to drink even more.

  38. nails

    “The Dance of Anger” isn’t a bad women’s self help book. It is all about not keeping anger in, learning to be assertive, realizing that anger is a reaction to situations rather than a character flaw, etc.

    http://www.amazon.com/Dance-Anger-Changing-Patterns-Relationships/product-reviews/006091565X/ref=cm_cr_pr_hist_5?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&filterBy=addFiveStar

    Most are totally shitty and worthless. Why Men Love Bitches comes to mind. I remember reading some book about how traditionally feminine characteristics are “goddess powers” and how women are naturally superior to dudes. That was fucking horrible.

  39. Citizen Jane

    Why is it that every time a man is complete and utter absolute prick, he feels it necessary to adopt an authoritative tone, and “inform” women that he has no actual responsibility for his absolute prickiness, because all men are pricks just like him. Think you know men who are not equally pricky? It’s because they have been deceiving you and you’re so cute and naive that you don’t know it! And all your male friends only hang out with you because they hope you’ll have sex with them.

    I don’t even get how it would be a justification even if it were true. It’s okay that you’re a prick because 49% of the population is just as pricky? How is that an acceptable excuse in anyone’s head?

  40. niki

    Aren’t all men unemployed crackhead jailbird homo pedestrians?

  41. Laughingrat

    Alas, Citizen Jane, in the Patriarchy we’re expected to check our logic at the door. Not that I don’t agree with you.

    The more I encounter Red-Blooded Patriarchal Dudes, the more I like rats. At least rats are clean, civil, charming, intelligent, and don’t shit all over you.

  42. nobody's darling

    “It’s hard to imagine starting from a point from which I didn’t view and judge myself from the male, patriarchal POV.”

    May I suggest the excellent book, “How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World” by Harry Browne? It was written in the 70s, but is just as, for lack of a better cliche, paradigm-shifting today. You can buy it as an e-book, and it is well worth the money. As a general rule, radical feminists would do well to add more titles from the libertarian section of the book store to their reading lists. Wade through the political rhetoric, and there are lots of practical ideas about living an independent, self-reliant, fairly autonomous life – regardless of what system or faction is in charge. There is no need to wait for “society” to see the light. Each individual feminist can choose to start today – to create her own value system, to create feminist relationships for herself, to do only those things that will bring her happiness (as she defines it) and nothing else. The Harry Browne book provides a nice plan for figuring out how to do just that.

  43. Miriam

    Why don’t we write Jill’s proposed new self-help book together? It could be a collection of essays by blamers. I’ll edit it. I’m serious. Does anyone else think this is a great idea?

  44. Elizabeth

    Twisty, I just hope you read that book in a comfy chair in the local bookstore and then put it back on the shelf. What a tired piece of crap. Even worse is knowing that such crap is still a surefire way to make a buck. I’d say something insightful like “plus ca change,” but nothing changes enough to warrant it. (Sorry no diacritical.)

  45. Elizabeth

    Twisty, I just hope you read that book in a comfy chair in the local bookstore and then put it back on the shelf. What a tired piece of crap. Even worse is knowing that such crap is still a surefire way to make a buck. I’d say something insightful like “plus ca change,” but nothing changes enough to warrant it. (Sorry no diacritical.)

  46. Shelby

    Another pearl of wisdom from Dr. Ben Dover, oops I mean, I. P. Freely:-

    “Watch Successful Couples:
    Have you ever noticed how when asked how they make it work, people in loving stable relationships say, “I don’t know…it just always felt right”.

    Bollocks! And in fact what you often hear is that it is only made successful by hard work and compromise (and maybe a little bit of fear of being alone). Not that I would know. Mine last on average 2 years before I end up hating them physically and emotionally.

  47. Jonathan

    @La Chica Lucy:

    You almost make this patriarchal shit bearable – for if it didn’t exist, we would not be treated to your mocking diatribes of truth.

    If the P didn’t exist, we’d still be treated to Jill mocking diatribes of truth. The catalog post gave many a sit down comedian a run for their money.

  48. Tigs

    @ Miriam – Ever since the Yes Means Yes call for contributions went out (and turned into crazy war), I’ve been vaguely watching for interesting calls. I haven’t seen any that have been remotely exciting thus far, but a blamer commentariat edited volume would be great fun to work on.
    I can’t imagine who would publish it, but someone around here’s got to know how to put a decent proposal together.

  49. nails

    Miriam- I am interested. I have some time between semesters to attempt essaying. Where would I send stuff to?

  50. Sophie

    @Jonathan Those reviews are glorious! ‘I therefore do not think you can generalise that snake-killing women are necessarily undesirable to all men’ will still be making me chuckle this time next week I think.

  51. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    “Watch Successful Couples:

    One works days; the other works nights.”

    The Self-Help aisle at the bookstore causes my obsteperal lobe to throb, turning a venomous shade of purple. Why do people spend money on this dreck? The wisdom being dispensed is invariably obvious, condescending dogshit or arty-farty nebulous bullshit.

    My preference is for a book of margarita and sangria recipes, interspersed with photographs of decadent foodstuffs and cute puppies, to be perused while lolling on the sofa, filing one’s nails and eating bon-bons.

  52. Miriam

    Tigs & Nails,
    Well, I don’t have any idea (yet) who would publish it either, but I’ll bet there’s a home for it somewhere. We could continue discussing this via email. You can reach me at scumbalina777@hotmail.com.

  53. Caitlin

    The real problem with capitalism is that it allows people to self-publish. Obviously a guy who describes himself thus:

    “Major always excelled academically and noticed early on that people seemed drawn to him and eager to share the intimate details of their lives, which led him in part to choose a specialty of psychiatry in medical school… Major believes there is no truer representation of a person than to see them smile, and no more noble a goal than to help someone feel happiness. Major is a young eligible bachelor with boyish good looks and disarming charm who leads an active lifestyle and thoroughly enjoys the social/dating scene”,

    is bound to have a few vanity titles under his belt.

    I’m smiling SO HARD right now! Thanks, Major!

  54. M the Pedagogue

    This is totally off topic, and I apologize, but I just dropped a Shulamith Firestone reference into a paper.

    God, when I put it that way, it doesn’t sound nearly as fuck-yeah radical as it feels, but just trust me: nobody ’round my parts these days has even heard of Firestone.

    Thanks Twisty, thanks blametariat.

  55. dillene

    @Beth:

    Yes, I really read both of them. The funny thing about “Fascinating Womanhood” and “Why Men Love Bitches” is that they’re not two roads diverging in a yellow wood. They’re two roads starting from different points and converging on the same spot. Both books encourage you to enhance certain parts of your personality and suppress other parts (different parts depending on the book, but neither one encourages you to just be who you are). I’m not a doormat, but I don’t have enough energy to be a snarling alpha-bitch all of the time. There’s nothing wrong with common courtesy and polite conversation about the weather.

    Many hoops to jump through just to git yerself a man. Both books have matrimony/monogamous het relationships as their end goal. Not world domination.

  56. wiggles

    That Why Men Love Bitches one mentuioned upthread looked promisingly sane. Then I flipped through the TOC to find the “Dumb Like a Fox” section, in which we learn to “Convince him he’s in controle while you run the show.” Fuck that. If I’m running the show, people better recognize.

  57. Jezebella

    Good job, M. We’ll have the marketing bonus committee ship your toaster within 6-8 years.

  58. Jonathan

    Indeed Sophie, the one star reviewers are the only good authors in the self-help section.

  59. Kelsey

    On the topic of shitty self help: my friend Kara and I got fed up with Cosmo and Men’s Health kind of advice and made this:

    http://vimeo.com/7907557

    “SEX HACKS: We teach you how to HACK THE FUCK”…

  60. nails

    A comment of mine has been stuck in moderation que forever, so I am going to condense it. I think its because of my amazon link; I was saying that The Dance of Anger was a good self help book for women. So it isn’t all crap.

  61. Jill

    “As a general rule, radical feminists would do well to add more titles from the libertarian section of the book store to their reading lists.”

    As a general rule, libertarians would do well to shut the fuck up about what radical feminists would do well to do.

  62. Roving Thundercloud

    I second that recommendation for The Dance of Anger, but not only for women (it does not only apply to couple relationships). My spouse used it to modify some really dysfunctional family dynamics.

  63. Jezebella

    Which reminds me: Fuck, I hate the smug “I got mine so screw the rest of you” libertarian attitude. Sure I can create my own value system, but that doesn’t change everybody else’s, now does it?

  64. glorious_spoon

    “Watch Successful Couples:
    Have you ever noticed how when asked how they make it work, people in loving stable relationships say, “I don’t know…it just always felt right”.

    Funny. My husband and I get along because we spend lots of time apart, don’t step on each others’ toes, share responsibilities, fight without being cruel, and don’t have kids.

    Most of the time it feels right. But I get along with him because I like him, and I like him because we understand each other, and one of the things we understand about each other is that either one of us could walk away at any minute and the other would be okay, financially and emotionally.

    Oh, and because he’s smart enough not to lie to me.

  65. nobody's darling

    I am not a libertarian, nor do I embrace their philosophy of complete and utter selfishness. I was merely suggesting that there is some good, practical information buried in some of the crazy titles – information that could be useful to someone who is trying to figure out what her own values, philosophies, and morals are and how to live according to those regardless of what mainstream society is selling. I agree that the author of the particular book that I recommended refused to acknowledge the existence of systemic oppression, but that does not mean that there is not a lot of good information there. Certainly, we continue to work for change on a societal level, but we still have to live our individual lives right now, and there is no reason why we can’t try to live them with as much integrity and make them as satisfying as we can.

  66. nails

    There are a few nuggets in libertarian opinion that are good; the bits about questioning authority and the horrible power of the government, the importance of personal liberty, etc. However, anarchist writings seem to include those themes but in general are much more comprehensive and include important critiques of corporate power and social systems of authority. So I would recommend that over mainstream libertarian opinion any day.

  67. Hedgepig

    And in so many cases the libertarian idea of personal liberty applies to the person who is the head of the family i.e. men. That’s why libertarians like to complain about government interference in the family group, because part of their idea of personal liberty is the right of a man to control and treat his possessions as he sees fit without having to answer to any authority.

  68. Embee

    Wiggles:

    “Fuck that. If I’m running the show, people better recognize.”

    I (heart) you.

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