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Saturday, September 27, 2008

On my reading list: The Get-Your-Man-to-Marry-You Plan: Buying the Cow in the Age of Free Milk





I just got this book in the mail. The original title (with corresponding URL) was Buying The Cow in the Age of Free Milk, so even though the author on her blog rushes to defend that title, I think it’s interesting that in the final print version, the title is The Get-You-Man-to-Marry-You Plan: Buying the Cow in the Age of Free Milk.

I’ve actually been wanting to read it for a while, and maybe because I blogged about it, or just the magic of being a former sex columnist, it came to my p.o. box today. I will, indeed, withhold judgment until I read it, also keeping in mind that I’m not the target audience. I don’t want to get married (not that I would totally rule it out, I never say never) and am way more interested in buidling a stable home for my future children than anything else. In my ideal world, I’ll be in a happy relationship when I do so, but the truth is, the most likely scenario is me going the Rachel Sarah single mom route. But I don’t know. I do want to see what this author has to say, but think it’s interesting that still, the majority of dating and marriage books are geared towards women, in a very specific way, with the assumption that we want to get married, sooner rather than later. That we are the ones pushing for it, rather than the reverse, which I don’t always think is true.

Here's what Lori Uscher-Pines says on her site:

Second, the title is funny…meant to hark back to a time when your your grandmother- who fears the computer and thinks that you should wear a girdle- was young. When she was dating there were Jim Crow laws and a federal ban on birth control for God’s sake! The fact that some people take the title of the book so seriously and allow it to offend means that on some level they believe it is true. I chose this particular title for its old school ridiculousness and in fact, once you read the book you will see that I totally reinvent the expression “Why buy the cow…”and explain how it (in its modern interpretation) applies to life today. Anyway, why shouldn’t we have a bit of fun? A woman struggling to get a man to commit is in a very serious and heart-breaking situation that I understand and commiserate with. In this situation, it can’t hurt to laugh at the world. Also, although “feminism” can mean many different things, I actually think of the book as a feminist text that that someone like Betty Friedan would select for a nice, leisurely read on the can. I have a hyphenated name for God’s sake. How annoying is that? How dare you say I’m not a feminist!

Some of you have commented that any book that advocates tactics and games is horrible and you shouldn’t have to trick a man. What do you call putting on make-up, ladies? Life is all about tactics. When you put on lipstick in the morning you are in reality misrepresenting yourself. You are misleading the world into thinking that you are more attractive and younger than you really are- to get respect, to get laid, whatever. We use
tactics all the time to get what we want, and you are getting hung up on semantics. Also, I’m not suggesting that you trick a guy into anything. If you read the book you would see that it is all about getting a guy who would propose any way to just move a bit faster. The book isn’t about changing anyone’s mind; it is about getting your life moving on your own timetable. This is why reading a book prior to criticizing it is so useful.

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