It may be that these retrograde fantasies still exist because the women's movement hasn't cleared them away; or it may be that they will always exist. The Rules and its updated version hovers insidiously between reasonable advice and manipulative nonsense. Is the idea of a man paying for dinner so appealing because we know we can take care of ourselves?
Feminist values, they point out, do not preclude reacting with temperance and emotional independence to an initial attraction on the part of a woman. A woman who follows The Rules is called a Rules Girl. One horrible anecdote tells how Zoey made Andy jealous by going to a wedding without him: The Rules and its updated version hovers insidiously between reasonable advice and manipulative nonsense. Because this silly paper-back, with pink ribbons all over its cover, obviously captured the imagination of millions of women all over the world. Starting a romance with mind games and half-truths sets a terrible pattern, but Fein and Schneider have no truck with naturalness or spontaneity. I have heard educated, liberal women talking about how long to wait before calling a man back, or whether the date should be in her neighbourhood, or how long to wait until sleeping with him, as if there is some secret formula, some mathematical principle to romantic happiness that she has yet to divine. Her argument was that after having written a best seller and raising two children, she and her husband discovered they were two different people from the young couple that fell in love. It's too easy to dismiss The Rules, to mock them for their earnestness and deplore them for their sexist, condescending attitude towards women. With all of its absurd rigidity, its humourless desperation, The Rules offers women old-fashioned roles to play with. It has become socially acceptable and entirely common for a woman to spend her 20s focusing on her career and hanging around with her friends and running around with different men. The journalist who calls strangers all day long for a living may wait for a man to call her for dinner. Fein made the announcement on the eve of publication of her latest book, which claims that "it is easier to stay married than get married". The premise is that men are hunters; if you pursue one, he will lose interest. Five years after it first came out, I have noticed The Rules on all sorts of intelligent people's bookshelves, tucked away between The Brothers Karamazov and Zadie Smith. For women, I think it is not so much about "capturing Mr Right" as about capturing an image of ourselves that we find appealing. To let him choose the place. The year-old had been married to pharmacist Paul Feingertz for 16 years and, along with Schneider, constantly referred to her own marital success when promoting her books. And one can't help feeling a certain satisfaction that someone who told millions of women the best way to marital bliss is not to talk much on dates may be reconsidering her position. Buried in The Rules is the faintest hint of a Jane Austen plot: All the freedom and feminism and sweet drinks and promotions don't hold the answer. Did Fein fail to read between her own lines? It is better not to be overweight, not to be a weird internet stalker or to bombard people with inane chit-chat. In The Rules II: They know all men are the same because of their bank of case studies. Maybe we shouldn't find it appealing, in this new millennium, but we do.
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Not Your Mother's Rules 2016 NYC Seminar
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