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That has to be one of the most stupid books I've heard of in a long time! The cat-thing jumped out at me before I started to read, just by looking at the cover. There's a cute picture of a guy cuddling a cat, and that's suppose to be something that women don't like? O_o

Yeah, I am definitely not the target audience for this book either!

Great review!


I would totally read "How To Get Nerdy, Kinky, Non-Monogamously Married Bi-Dyke Sex Freaks To Date You." It sounds so much better than the book you read. I like guys who play D&D, it gives me an extra person for my party :)


Awesome rant piece, Greta!

I play plenty of videogames, preferably violent and/or geeky; I love nerdy stuff like sci-fi and fantasy; I listen to heavy metal, including the brutal, growly sort; I have no patience and taste for typical 'fashion' : I normally wear loose old jeans and printed T-shirts; I barely exercise at all (although I'm not fat); I never trim my body hair; I'm a proud nose-picker and farter (although I try to avoid being noticed doing it); I expect to have bills split unless I'm feeling generous or have an obvious economic advantage (and since it's often the opposite, I have no qualms about letting the woman pay).

I also remark on men's attractiveness; have my own personal vibrator; I'm not afraid of publicly kissing men on the cheek (or elsewhere, if they let me!); I plan on shaving my legs and cross-dressing for the next party opportunity and would even dare to say that if a genie came and asked me if I would like to be magically turned into a woman I would be very very tempted to accept, and with no hesitation it were only temporary.

Aaand... I'm single, wishing I wouldn't be, hehe! Maybe they are on to something after all! But I don't care. I like my own brand of "masculinity", or rather strange mash-up of masculinity and feminity. For better or worse, can't imagine myself in a serious relationship with anyone who wouldn't accept that as part of me. I'm pretty sure the right person is out there somewhere. The problem is finding zem.

Jon Macy

Greta, you are the coolest.

Alyson Miers

The "advice" from that book reminds me of what you said about mainstream porn; like the authors are concerned with telling men, rather than to try to turn some women on, to do everything in their power not to turn any women off.

The result, therefore, is: BORING.

I happen to like body piercings, hairiness, and goofy Hawaiian shirts on guys. Other women have completely opposite preferences. Why should any guy try to please us all? Why should any guy try to meet the arbitrary, unpredictable standards of any particular woman? It's impossible, and it shouldn't be expected of him. You can't please everyone. It's an insult to the individuals contained in "everyone" to presume you can please them all.


Oh dear. So for all these decades, it's been the socks that ruined my life???

Socks with sandals are the optimal combination of cozy warmth and good ventilation, though. But I guess it's unmanly to care more about such trifling matters than about the possibility of getting laid.


Since I like to play "devil's advocate" I'd like to mention the aspect of natural selection called koinophilia in defense of books like this one. Koinophilia is an evolutionary stabilizing process that makes us tend to choose a partner that not only is most fit, but at also is the most average with the most common features. It's basically a counter-mutation (counter-revolution?) mechanism.

For those struggling to find a mate, it's good to have advice what to aim for to maximize their chances. Of course it shouldn't be pictured in a negative way - i.e. if you don't follow these rules you'll never get laid, but it might help some people find their biggest flaws. As long as they can filter out the reasonable advice (don't be fat, don't be a jerk) from the less reasonable stuff (don't own a cat, don't use coupons).


Michael, to snarkily pick on one particular aspect of your comment: Of course being fat is a "flaw", and if we just told people that even more often than we do already, a lightbulb would appear above their heads as they shouted to the world "Eureka! I've just got to stop being fat! I can't believe I never thought of that before!"

And then they'll proceed to do so by reaching around to the small of their back and flipping the switch from "pudgy" to "skinny". Voila!

</end snark>

Bruce Gorton

"Nerdy, Kinky, Non-Monogamously Married Bi-Dyke Sex Freaks" sound infinitely more interesting and fun than "prissy snots who look down their noses at guys who have cats."

Greta Christina

Michael, I'm sorry, but I'm not buying it. We're not talking about being genetically average here -- we're talking about being culturally average. Not the same thing.

As to your other point: In fact, one of my main problems with this book is that it lumps together genuine character flaws (like road rage or being rude to waitstaff) with narrow and rigid gender- normative aesthetics. And while it supposedly ranks its Don'ts from the relatively mild Red Flag to the flatly unacceptable Kiss of Death... well, given that they put "cat owenership" in the second to worst category -- Not Getting Any, right below Kiss of Death -- any claims they might have to "we;re just trying to maximize your chances" reasonableness is totally out the window.


Excellent post, Greta. The fact is that there is a subtle, socially-acceptable form of sexism and gender-stereotyping where men are concerned - not that I'd claim that it compares to the sexism and gender-stereotyping that women far too often have to deal with - but it does exist. How often do you hear people being told to "man up" or "be a man"? There are plenty of social conventions that assume men ought to act in a certain way, and aren't "real" men if they don't. Thanks for acknowledging that this sort of thing does happen. Your awesomeness quotient has risen even further in mine eyes


"So why the hell did they write this book?"

My theory: there's a market for the book, and the website, because recent changes in male-female relations have been big enough to cause a lot of anxiety and distress for men. Things like this book, TV shows (some I've seen, some I haven't) or the recent movie "She's Out of My League" are reactions to this phenomenon.

To be clear, I'm not a misogynist. I understand that being male has been an unfair advantage in Western society for a long time. I understand that we're still not where we should be, what with differences in pay, glass ceilings, rape, murder, etc.

That said, I think things are becoming more difficult for men. There's a fine line between flirting and sexual harassment, for example. Economics are such that abnormal men can't "buy" love as they might have in the past. (I mean no judgment in the use of 'abnormal' - I just can't think of a better word.) "Geek" culture has taken root as something of a sub-culture or even counter-culture, with all of the baggage that entails. And despite what another recent film, "He's Just Not That Into You" (ugh) might have you think, men are often not the determining factor in whether or not a relationship is established. "Oh, no! He didn't call me!" has, to some degree, given way to "Ugh, that goofball called me AGAIN. Why can't he take a hint?"

I don't know what the answer is...I just sense that things are shifting and that there's a lot of lonely, confused, and frightened men out there.

See also a recent NPR program from "On Point" titled "Male Decline in the 21st Century?"


There is a lot wrong with this. The most important being that pretending to be something you aren’t in order to shove yourself into the thin crevice of “dateable” manhood is a terrible way to begin a relationship. You should always be who you are if you expect to find someone to love you for you you are (Caveat: if you are a basement-dwelling, WOW-playing, comic-reading nerd, there is still someone out there for you, but you WILL have to leave the basement to find him/her… go to a con). I love geeks (just ask my cat-owning, video-game-playing boyfriend who has never even owned a pair of jeans). Some women find the guys from Jersey Shore hot. I find them rather repulsive. It would be pretty absurd for me to write a book telling men they have to own a complete set if Garbage Pail Kids trading cards, have every achievement in Halo and own a Monty Python t shirt if they ever expect to date. This book is just absurd.

And to me, feminism isn’t about turning the tables on men, or seizing control for the sake of having control. For me I am a feminist because I am a skeptic. Skepticism teaches you to think through things critically, question things and call bullshit when necessary. In the same way that atheism is skepticism applied to religion, I see feminism as skepticism applied to gender roles. And from that perspective, “Undateable” is fucking bullshit.


Read this after reading your article and thought yep REAL MEN don't have cats... /sarcasm


Greta, we can't change ourselves to genetically average, but we can make choices that make us more culturally average (which doesn't mean we shouldn't try to question what that cultural average is and attempt to change/broaden the strict norms). Koinophilia works in cultural aspects as well. It's one of the mechanisms that allows an altruistic group to suppress "selfish mutants" (which would theoretically otherwise live of the group and outbreed the altruists).

As to the book, it makes me feel a bit guilty, but I still find over-the-top sexism funny and nothing to get preachy about, especially that it's gender reversed. I haven't read it so I can't judge how jokingly the book approaches the subject, but I've seen other reviews that comment on its humor. I really doubt the cat ownership chapter is really meant to be taken seriously. Though I am a dog-person and I prefer to have an animal that worships me :)

DSimon, if I could edit my comment to say 'unfit' instead of 'fat' I would, no need to be snarky. I have nothing against fit and healthy overweight persons (in fact they are sexier and live longer than skinny nonfit persons.. also I'm one of them). I do dislike fat unhealthy persons who claim there's nothing wrong with them. I've known too many people who started to care for their weight only after their health deteriorated or for whom eating was like an addiction. Having a few beers (or pieces of cake) at a party is ok, but having a few beers (or pieces of cake) every evening is a problem, or at the least a flaw.


Over-the-top sexism is funny when it's done with the intent of being funny. Frankly, misogyny and misandry feed and fuel each other. Women are treated like sex objects because all men think about is sex because women are just sex objects.

First, who would want to be a faceless, nameless blob of an amalgamation of pop culture and nothing else, let alone be friends or romantically involved? It boggles the mind. People are usually interesting, not in spite of their flaws and quirks, but because of them.

The worst part is that this book is exploitive. It's not going to help any of the people who would be inclined to purchase this nonsense. The "undateable" are not like this because they own a cat, play games, or anything other trivial thing. Most who fall into this category do so because they have failed to develop the advanced social skills they require. Books like this only put more pressure on by piling nonsense on top of real problems, which only further ensures future failure.

Now, perhaps if you were merely normal, (instead of the full-on 'undateable' this book says it's for) you might be able to put some of these book recommendations to use and get more dates, but even then, at what cost?


"Most who fall into this category do so because they have failed to develop the advanced social skills they require."

...that, or their social skills are inhibited for reasons beyond their control....



I just glanced down, and noticed that my long-term male partner’s cat is sleeping on his “man-purse”. Next to one of the shelves of roleplaying books. And the video game system. Said partner is also lactose intolerant. Someone should tell him he’s clearly doing it wrong.

absent sway

Way to stick up for the guys, too, Greta. As a woman who has always preferred her men to be a little eccentric, not into football, and cat-loving (it's called compatibility), I salute men everywhere who reject that narrow window.

I Love Everyone!

What really bothered me about this show was the clips they showed of people who displayed various "undateable traits", such as "Bobby" (who talked in 3rd person) and the sci-fi enthusiasts (who attended sci-fi conventions). It made me wonder; did VH1 tell these people that they were going to be labeled as undateable? How must that feel? Seeing yourself mocked by people who have never met you and know little, if anything, about you?
I want to clarify for those individuals; that show was shallow and utterly biased. There are women out there (myself included) who actually don't give a damn about stuff like that.
Now, I will acknowledge that a few of the things on that list are unattractive to me personally (ex: juiceheads, chewing tobacco, road rage), but that doesn't mean that I'm going to tell every guy in the world to change himself to fit my personal preferences. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but no one is entitled to impose their opinions on anyone else.

Evan Michaels

It never ceases to amaze me how often men sell to men ...but it will always be like this.

IF a guy is successful (aka - good with women, financially, etc) then his 'credibility' is through the roof in the eyes of other men, who can then be sold too.

I always love this kind of information and realism, nice work.


I love how when something bad is happening to men, it's "The System"s fault. Always, 100% without fail. It's never women. It's never the soul searching questions like "Gee, does the fact that I, and everyone I know, only date "bad boys" have anything to do with the fact that there's no "nice guys" left out there?"

I mean, at SOME point you women really have to stop letting yourselves off the hook like that. Who knows, we may even get you to progress to the point where you can admit that on some pretty major issues the Feminist (and by extension 'female') viewpoint is wr....wr....wr...wrong.

The fact is, the men that are out there ARE left without any hope of knowing what to do. In sexual relations, everything has a negative possible outcome.

Meeting (Sexual Harrassment)
Sex (Rape Accusation/unwanted pregnancy)
Commitment (DV accusation/Divorce)
Children (Custody Issues/punitive Child Support)

In literally every way possible women have made themselves as risky of a proposition as may have noticed that each and every one of those accusations depends 100% entirely on the viewpoint of the woman.

Chatting up becomes "harrassment' if the woman doesn't reciprocate.

Sex becomes 'date rape' if the woman regrets it later.

Commitment is a word most women understand to mean "When I trade up, I get to keep most of his stuff". Women have repeatedly shown, on a cultural level, that you are by and large remorseless opportunists.

And children? Well, I think they're great. Sure wish I got to see mine. Like most other fathers I know. Actually, of the fathers I know personally, only one gets to see his kid with any regularity.

And the very 'best' part? While you were, as a sex, 'pricing yourselves out of the market', you were also, as a sex, devaluing yourselves to little more than sextoys.

But don't take my word for it. ask around. Talk to men while trying to not influence their answer (do it anonymously if you can). Ask them to list the benefits they see to marriage. If you REALLY want to open your eyes, make up your own list first, then compare his to yours.

It's a fun game anyone can play at home, I suggest you all give it a try.

Then, when you're suitably aware of the situation, consider this.

It's not "the system" that did this.

It's you, personally and collectively as a sex, that did this.

Your unrestrained sexual indulgences have proven the ultimately fickle nature of female affection FAR better than any textbook laden academic course ever could.

The ass-raping men take in Family Court is so common as to be a tired and worn out stereotype. Problem is, it's still true.

And this incredible sense of self-worth seemingly pounded into every little girl, coupled with the multitudes of 'helping hands' women get, have created fantastically inflated expectations of men, precisely as their future was taken away from them.

These are the facts on the ground. These are the frames through which men, in general, view the world. It's easily demonstrable that men have almost no legal recourse to nearly any injustice visited on them, as long as that injustice is "PC".

No amount of "but it's really not true" (the original feminist counter-claim), or "But it's not that big of a deal" (most popular feminist claim), or even "MY kind of Feminism cares about that issue too!" will suffice.

It's high time you women owned up to some pretty shitty behaviour. Surprise, you're human beings too. Now stand up and apologize like an adult for once, would you?

After you do that, and start working for actual change instead of policing MRA boards looking for something to get offended at...and for that matter stop trying to tell men what 'hurts' them and what doesn't (or conversely, allow MRAs to come here and define womanhood for you all)...then, and really ONLY then, will your movement BEGIN to make up for the harm it has inflicted on society, and three generations of males.

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