October 30, 2018
When I first started reading this book, it annoyed me. Yeah, yeah, okay: Better not wear this hairstyle because men find it threatening! And better not talk too loudly because men find that threatening, too! Etc., etc. It was all stuff I’d heard a million times before. Boring.
But as I kept reading, it really started to dawn on me that I do a lot of the “passive female” mannerisms shown in the book. That overly-fake-excited tone in emails? Yep, I do that. Letting men (and sometimes women) talk over me and even explain my own ideas to me? Yeah, I’ve done that, too. Allowing a man to make me feel physically uncomfortable but feeling powerless to do anything about it simply because he ended that douchey comment with a smiley emoticon or that suggestive touch with a “we’re cool, right!” smile? I have. I’ve allowed that.
Honestly, the more I read this book, the worse it made me feel. I consider myself pretty self-aware and progressive. I know how to be a strong woman. I’m woke, kids! But with every tongue-in-cheek cartoon, I couldn’t help but realize how many tiny grievances I let slip by. Not that I’m looking to become petty, overly-sensitive, hurtful, or rude toward other people. (I’ve worked hard to become a more confident advocate for myself, while still embracing the power of grace and forgiveness.) But wouldn’t it be nice to be able to communicate honestly every once in a while without fake smiles and the excessive use of exclamation points—all without worrying about who I’m offending in the process? Is that a world I ever get to live in?
Some of the examples in here are dated, and I would argue that many of the situations shown are no longer specifically “men vs. women.” (Shoot, I’ve learned that female bosses and coworkers can be brutal, too…) But there is still no denying the truth of what author Sarah Cooper writes.
Ultimately, this book isn’t going to be for everyone, but it’s definitely an interesting and eye-opening read. It sure made me think.
Big thank you to Andrews McMeel and Amazon Vine for the Advanced Reader Copy!