Rewriting 'The Rules'...for Lesbians

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feminists are gloating. Riding the coattails of the left's Long
March Through the Institutions, they now have a sizable chunk of
taxpayer dollars at their disposal through the pretense of "women's
studies" departments. This is in addition to already controlling
entire institutions such as Wellesley, Smith, and Mills colleges
and the double-standard storming of the barricades at Citadel and
VMI. And now Soul Sister Hillary has landed a perch in the US Senate,
bathing us hopelessly benighted peasants in the sunlight of her
peerless wisdom.

there have been plenty of setbacks. The ERA. Clarence Thomas. The
whole Lewinsky matter where feminists were put in the most uncomfortable
situation of defending a sociopathic sexual predator. And now Shrub
in the White House, whose wife Laura was just named by People
magazine as one of the most beautiful people in the world – a distinction,
it's no surprise, that hasn't been earned by many feminists.

setbacks aside, there's nothing more aggravating to establishment
feminists than a popular book or personality that successfully convinces
women that traditional, heterosexual relationships are not only
desirable but reinforces the notion that they are the only path
to true happiness and fulfillment for most women. The most flagrant
violators of this procrustean feminist imprimatur are books
such as The
and The
Surrendered Wife

old news by now that Ellen Fein – a co-author of The Rules
along with Sherrie Schneider – is divorcing her husband. But you'd
never know that by a recent, self-admittedly gloating column written
by Claire Dederer on MSN's Women Central. According to Dederer,
The Rules was "notoriously retrograde" and "degrading."
Ironically revealing her own wealth of ignorance of what constitutes
a viable relationship (and committing more than one logical fallacy
to boot), Dederer declares Fein's divorce "proof" of The
Rules's "obsolescence," and sets out to re-write The
Rules in order to help Fein acquire a new husband.

the process Dederer comes up with some real male-catching dandies
such as:

  • Stop
    self-improvement in favor of a "a strict no-ornamentation,
    no-make-up policy." Wow, that's a winner. But it gets even
  • Stop
    wearing deodorant. According to Dederer, when Mr. Right "comes
    along, you will know he really loves you for yourself."
    Really. Of course Dederer has more gems where that one came
  • To
    The Rules's admonition that women not ask men to dance,
    Dederer recommends that women dance with themselves. To The
    Rules' advice to show sexual restraint Lederer's answer
    is quick and concise:
  • Be
    a slut. "Shag like a minx, baby…lay big fat tongue kisses
    on your man any old time you want."

the interests of full disclosure, let me say that I was never in
favor of the strict and literal application of every rule in Fein
and Schneider's book. The proscription against accepting Saturday
night dates after Wednesday was a bit silly. Accepting a date on
Thursday is not necessarily a sign of desperation. Busy careers
and business trips can easily fill up a week.

hard to get can easily go too far as well, but to the extent that
Fein and Schneider were championing modesty, femininity, and traditional
male-female roles, then their book was a positive contribution.

no-makeup, no-deodorant, stop-shaving-your-armpits re-writing of
The Rules is a good recipe for attracting motorcycle dikes
rather than decent, respectable men. But this is no accident. Although
I'm not a fan of Phyllis Schlafly, her observation made in the early
1970s, that the ineluctable logical outcome of espousing the tenets
of feminism was lesbianism, was right on the money. Witness a letter
written to Ms. magazine a few years ago by a young teen girl
saying she supported feminism despite not being a lesbian. Apparently
the correlation between feminism and the lesbian movement – mendaciously
downplayed by feminist proponents – was too blatant for even a young
teen girl to ignore.

days on campus armpit-hair feminists are not so much interested
in "overthrowing patriarchy" as they are in recruiting
young, attractive, impressionable women into the lesbian camp. This
is evident from the many posters, signs, and rallies around campuses
urging women to "Come Out!" of the closet. Many women
who are sexually confused or have been badly burned by self-absorbed
hunks become unfortunate prey in these pitches to make a full conversion
to the lesbian lifestyle. The long-term results are predictably

self-serving recruitment nature of these lesbian "come-out"
campaigns is one of the great taboo subjects of campus life. The
mainstream media are quick to cover straight-male-on-straight-female
sexual harassment on campus or in the workplace. What they will
never cover is the rampant lesbian harassment on campus in English,
Women's Studies, Art, and Drama departments in which lesbian professors
flagrantly sexually harass female students in a way that would never
be tolerated from heterosexual males.

the other side of the fence it would be nice to say that the dating
and marriage picture looked healthier among at least ostensibly
conservative women, but sadly they're not doing well either. This
leads me to suspect that women – conservative and liberal – share an
intriguing sisterhood in terms of the mistakes they commit choosing
mates. (More on that later.)

Surrendered Wife's author Laura Doyle recently walked into a
viciously-catty buzzsaw on Fox News' Judith Regan Tonight.
Regan is an attractive, successful, and wealthy career woman. She
is also a divorcee who could hardly be an expert on keeping a marriage
together, but that didn't stop her from trying to claw the happily-married
Doyle to pieces throughout the entire "interview."

it wasn't an interview at all. Regan pitted a feminist and herself
against Doyle throughout the segment. When Regan has an author guest
on her show, the contents of the author's book are usually discussed
in a polite, respectful way. Not so with Doyle.

the segment the contents of The Surrendered Wife were straw-woman
caricatured by Regan and her feminist guest with Doyle having to
take on the unenviable dual task of stating what she actually wrote
and then defending it. Time constraints alone made such a task impossible,
but for good measure Regan and her feminist guest made sure to constantly
interrupt and hysterically shout down Doyle every time she started
to make a good point.

the Doyle segment, Regan's venomous, deep-seated hatred of men couldn't
help bubbling out and must have been a real surprise to her male
viewers (mostly smitten with her good looks and superficial amiability,
which likely don't hold up much longer than once a week for an hour
on Fox). I don't suspect the very bitter Judy will be getting married
again any time soon.

real problem with contemporary male-female relationships that the
Judith Regan's of the world will never understand is not so much
men but the unrealistic expectations of women. Women constantly
pursue male paragons of narcissism and irresponsibility with a pathological
My Fair Lady fantasy of remaking them into civilized, caring,
responsible men.

futile endeavor is nowhere more visible than on the popular show
The Sopranos in the character of Carmela Soprano. A doormat
for a lying, cheating husband, she uses the standard threadbare
excuses for not divorcing Anthony; she'll have to find a lawyer,
move her belongings out of her current residence, get an apartment,
go through a custody fight for the children, and on and on. She
prefers the security of living with an unfaithful murderer to walking
the tough road to true independence and fulfillment recommended
by her therapist. Very plausible.

fact, a psychologist friend of mine told me he could make a bundle
of money seeing only what he called "the almost endless hordes"
of Carmela Sopranos of the world. Instead, he's banned them from
his office until they become truly serious about changing.)

unrealistic Sopranos contrast is found in Carmela's daughter
Meadow. Meadow dated the stupid, lying, cheating, but gorgeously-handsome
Jackie Aprile, Jr. Meadow caught Jackie cheating on her one night
and ended their relationship for good. Quite farfetched by the standards
of today's women.

women (I would say a clear majority) seem to have no problem with
cheating if the man, like young Jackie Aprile, is handsome and hunky
enough. The perennial fantasy – more seductive to collective Woman
since time immemorial than all the young Jackie Apriles – is "I
Will Change Him Through…(are you ready for this?!)…Marriage!!"

the female mind could conceive such a jaw-dropping insanity. But
utterly undaunted, our female Pygmalions don blinders, marry the
hunk, have one or two children with him (like Carmela), and then
sometime in their mid 30s (if that early) finally give up the ghost.

to some New Age mystic feminist nonsense, women have no collective
historical consciousness, otherwise they would have learned something
by now. They haven't and instead go on to, again and again, repeat
the same foolishness. Witness the spectacle of Pamela Anderson thinking
she could instantly do what Heather Locklear couldn't do for years:
re-make the criminal wife beater Tommy Lee into a civilized man.
And that case is realistically one among literally hundreds of millions
given the current divorce rate.

men are on their best behavior when they date us. If his habits
and affectations annoy you while you're dating, it's only going
to get worse as time goes on. If his dirty finger nails and farting
at the dinner table drive you up a wall, think of the habits he's
ashamed for you to see now but will undoubtedly unveil after marriage.

have always held far greater potential power in relationships than
men because it is women who give the ultimate "Yes" or
"No" and control the timing of every critical juncture
of a developing relationship, from acceptance of a first date to
the date of the wedding day. All women know this yet we have the
nerve to cry, complain, and sulk when we don't exercise this power
wisely and responsibly. Sadly, it seems to be a rare exception when
we exercise it in our favor.

reliable, well-mannered, intelligent men who make a decent living
(not necessarily rich, but not living at mommy and daddy's house
either) may rate only a six, seven, or eight on the hunk or excitement
scale but are a much better long-run bet than the Jackie Apriles.
The almost ineluctable fate of contemporary women is to fail to
understand this until they're in their mid thirties to forties,
twice-divorced with children, and with half their looks gone.

many decent, single, professional men I know who have pined away
for a wife for decades are not attracted to these used-up women
and they shouldn't be. The "empathetic" sex ironically
has a hard time understanding this point, so let's put the shoe
on the other foot: How would the average single woman react if a
strange man approached her on a Friday night wanting to dump his
kids off at her house to be fed and babysat while he drove around
cruising for women?

guess is she wouldn't react too kindly. Yet is it really that much
different when women spend the youth, beauty, slim waistlines, and
virginity of their teens and twenties chasing after handsome jerks
and then, after decades of getting burned, hit up "the nerds"
for college tuition for two or three of another man's children?
In other words, we had a great party, didn't invite you, but we'd
like you to pick up the tab.

I know so many attractive yet bitter, cynical women (fiercely angry
over their string of Pygmalion failures) in their 30s with kids
(male-hating Judith Regans all) who believe that since they're now
willing to go out with the guys who wear glasses, these never-been-married
men their age should be forming lines to date them. Of course these
programmers, engineers, accountants, and even MDs – men who spent
their 20s working hard in college and graduate school instead of
partying and "shagging" surfers, lifeguards, and other
sundry misfits with no futures – aren't stupid. Many of them have
chosen to remain single and who can blame them. It sure beats dealing
with O.J. ex-husbands and other men's snotty kids who view you as
nothing more than a piggy bank.

lesbian feminists would love nothing more than for young, impressionable
women to become convinced that the antidote to the abusive hunk
is the "empathetic" dike. It is a lie from the pit of
Hell. Stable, good men are out there. (My father, brothers, and
their friends are excellent examples.) There are, however, two surefire
ways of never meeting good men: one, imitate the Judith Regans and
two, follow dating rules for lesbians.

17, 2001

Fiori [send her mail]
is a contributor to the Web's hottest investment letter,

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