Since Ross Douthat failed to entertain me as much as he normally does, I turned to the magazine that some people hail as a new feminist vision of a woman: the Cosmopolitan magazine. I expected something bad, of course, but I had no idea just how idiotic it would be. The article that attracted my attention was called "What Makes Men Fall in Love." The advice dished out by some purported "specialists" (MDs, PhDs, and what not) in the field of human relationships is beyond hilarious. Here are the things women need to do to get men to fall in love with them:
1. "The Desire: To Protect. Believe it or not, the so-called stoic sex is hardwired to nurture. Sheltering you from harm makes him feel studly, which makes him feel good. . . So give him chances to take charge, and thank him after he does. " Of course, the second I hear this old rubbish about people being "hardwired", I know that some patriarchal crap is being offered to me under the guise of science. Still, I tried to imagine how I would go about getting a man to shelter me from harm: "Oooh, honey, see this big guy walking on the other side of the street," I would say gaspingly. "I feel so threatened by him, please, make him go away."
2. "Give him a job. Ask him to fix or build you something. Performing concrete tasks is a way of bonding that enhances his sense of success." That is, of course, if he is into building or fixing things. The expectation here is obviously that any "real" man whould be super psyched to start building stuff as soon as the little lady needs it. I suggest taking this advice even further. Why not trash your apartment completely, break furniture, tear out the light fixtures, etc.? This will give him a chance to build and fix for months and will bring you the added bonus of letting out the pent-up energy you'll accumulate by pretending to be a helpless little flower.
3. "Ask his opinion. Whether it’s about your 401(k) options or the best travel sites, it telegraphs that you value his brain as much as you do his brawn." So after the poor man beats up the menacing guy in the street, builds and fixes your stuff, the moment comes to make him solve your financial problems and make your travel arrangements. That is, if he still has energy to do that.
4. "Wear soft materials. Delicate textures like rayon, silk, and fur trigger an intense response in men. These fabrics accentuate your softer, feminine nature, which heightens his amorous instincts." Something leads me to believe, however, that after all the efforts he expends in beating up menacing men, sheltering me from danger, building, fixing, and looking for travel sites, I'll need much more (or much less) than fur to heighten his amorous instincts.
5. "Don his clothes. It shows that you’ve chosen him over other guys — sexy." The question here is, of course, whether he will do something like that for me. I imagine coming home from work one day and finding my boyfriend wearing my summer dress and murmuring "Sweetheart, I just wanted to show that I chose you over all other women. Now you build something and I'll go put on some furs."
The rest of advice includes such gems as turning him down every once in a while to make yourself look more interesting, do "goddesslike" things like apply lipstick in front of him, cook food in his presence to raise his oxytocin levels (I kid you not), and get him to stand between you and a menacing guy in a bar.
Now, after all this effort, he still might want to pull back if he "finds himself on the brink of falling in love" (whatever that means). One of the things that can cause this is the lack of fighting because: "A guy will worry that (a) you’re going to lash out later, (b) you’re a doormat, or (c) you’re not into him enough to care. Any of these will make him rethink your budding relationship."
I like (b) the most. Imagine, after all of this effort the ingrate might think you are a doormat. I wonder what could give him that idea.