By: Zsófi Benyi

“Why do men love bitches?” – wondered Sherry Argov in 2002. With the promise to transform any woman from “doormat to dream girl,” she put all her answers in a self-help dating manual: would You take advice from a dating manual? It was the first to land in my lap, so I was skeptical but intrigued: in the end, I bought the other classic on dating, the highly controversial Rule Book too. Back in 1995, when times appeared to be more dramatic when every 90s woman was trying to add up how ambition and career could go hand-in-hand with a happy marriage, and before any of them rocking the Rachel haircut even asked: Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider launched “The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right”. All of us empowered women occasionally find ourselves perplexed: we strive for independence, it is now okay to ask the guy out (though the books suggest otherwise), and the debate is on who should pay for a date. I did not expect much of these scripts, but if you have similar doubts, read along, and I will give you the juicy parts.

According to the rules: you must never chase men (men are hunters, so make them quest you), be busy, mysterious, focusing on you only (men love the chase, you be the one thing they cannot have). The book shatters some of our feminist visions claiming that though society may change and most of us get to vote, men will stay what they always were: hunters. Sherry, with her book title screaming: “Treat them mean, keep them keen” tells you to do the same: be independent (he will be more interested), do not try to impress, be unavailable, show you are not afraid to be without him, do not try to change or control him etc. The unarguable point? Put yourself first because you deserve it, do not wait around for anyone, make yourself happy, be independent, and have high self-respect! The rest? You do you: who am I, or any of these authors, to tell you? You must trust yourself to know best what is right for you.