Review: "Why Men Love Bitches" by Sherry Argov

Thursday, September 06, 2012

source: Amazon.com
It's a good question, really. It's one I first asked myself as I watched oodles of guys trip over their own feet when it came to one of my best friends from junior high school. And one Alex H. inadvertently asked Kristin Cavallari on season two of "Laguna Beach: The Real O.C." (I know, I never fail to make you question my level of maturity). Anyway, the reason I reached for the book was not to fulfill an unsatisfied itch from my adolescence, but because I wanted to learn to be a more assertive me. Did Sherry Argov deliver on that? Not really. Did she answer the question she set out to answer? Sort of.

Argov makes very clear from the outset that when she claims that men love bitches, she doesn't mean the kind of bitch that you hate, the one who might pour a drink on your dress and not even acknowledge her "mistake." She means an unapologetic go-getter who knows what she wants and how far (or not) she's willing to go. Because a "bitch" is a "mental challenge" and keeps the guy on his toes. In that sense, this book has value. I don't really want to say that the book doesn't have much value otherwise, but to someone like me who considers herself a least a bit of a feminist, this book might as well be toilet paper.

Oddly enough, as I began the book, I realized that I wasn't the "nice girl" Sherry Argov described, the one that is the polar opposite of the "bitch," at least not when it comes to guys. For reasons apart from the ones Argov thinks every bitch should operate under, I have apparently operated like a bitch towards guys since I began garnering any male attention, because I simply don't care and not because I know what I want.

In some cases, Argov wants you to utilize what she calls "The Dumb Fox Credo," in which the woman dumbs herself down to manipulate (my words, not hers) the guy into doing what she wants him to do. One memorable example includes tossing a red garment in with the whites just before washing, so he'll believe that you are mentally incapable of washing clothes, thus setting the future standard of who does the wash. Another similar example is inviting him over for a delightful meal of boiled hot dogs. It's what Don Draper would call, I suppose, "managing expectations." Much of the book is full of gender stereotyping and how to use it to your (the woman)'s advantage.

I have to believe that the underlying principle of this babble is the idea that the woman should not lose herself or sacrifice any part of herself to accommodate her male partner. Sherry Argov takes a really long time getting to that point, and she doesn't dwell upon it. I personally find it incredibly hypocritical to say that you need to expend energy and effort to not expend energy in the future, and to be able to "be yourself," but I'm not really sure there is any other way (or if her way even really works without backfiring). But I wouldn't recommend wasting $16, or your time, finding out ... unless you enjoy a nice dose of sexism! What this book ultimately makes me think is that behind every great man is a great woman ... one who will never be able to step out from behind his shadow.

Some quotes ... the good and the bad:


The Good

"It's your atitude about yourself that a man will adopt."

"But when it comes to a man, the nice girl abandons all sense of balance and immediately makes the man the whole pie. But with a bitch, he is just a piece of it. She keeps the other pieces intact."

"Show him that you'll be an equal partner, which means that you also have something to contribute. He must feel that you choose to be with him, not that you need to be with him."

"The bitch is not governed by fear of losing a man, because she knows the real price to pay is when she loses herself."

"... the bitch wins him over by acting as though she could take him or leave him."


The Bad

"When a woman chases a man, it has the same effect as if she were to deliver a dead moose to his front door. The objective while dating is not to be mean. It's to give him the thrill of the chase by taking it slowly and letting him be a man."

"When you act too much like Tarzan, he feels too much like Jane. Don't even kill a bug when he's around. Don't change a tire. In fact, don't even change a light bulb ... For any red-blooded male, the feeling that he is the 'man' is the ticket."

"Don't complain that he doesn't take you out enough. Instead, every restaurant he takes you to is 'unbelievable' or 'amazing.'"

"It doesn't matter if the shelf hangs at a 45-degree angle and the stuff keeps sliding off the other end. Clap like the happiest seal at the zoo, and then have a handyman come over to fix it when he isn't around."

"For all 'egointensive' purposes, help him look manly in front of other people."

"Men love to feel that they are 'in charge' and that their opinion really counts. (At the very least, pretend.)"

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