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Lindsey Kuper

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Be A Creature Unlike Any Other by joining our cult of women who all follow the same instructions. [Aug. 11th, 2005|12:16 am]
Lindsey Kuper

A well-meaning friend of mine suggested that I read The Rules. I had heard of the book and was pretty sure it wasn't my thing, but since I value her opinion, I went to have a look at the website anyway.

Whaaaaaaaaaat?!

It's awful. Even a Rules mantra as superficially "empowering" as "I am a creature unlike any other" is harmful in both (a) its presupposition that I need any assurance of my own uniqueness, and (b) its sexist implication that men, on the other hand, are all alike. In fact, that's what the Rules amount to, in my mind: Here is how all men are -- yep, all of 'em -- and here is how you exploit it.

Um, I think they forgot a really important rule. It's called "do unto others". If I ever found out someone was basing their interactions with me on some set of bogus, arbitrary, and sexist "rules", I'd be gone so fast, my feet wouldn't touch the floor.

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: cerulicante
2005-08-11 06:01 am (UTC)
I believe the Rules is the equivalent of the dive bar for women. It's a place where all blame can be shifted to the other side, regardless of the "victim"'s own shortcomings and unadulterated support can be found. Men have done the same thing for years, but usually in their own groups or as a one-on-one sort of thing. All us guys know we can go to a bar where the guys brood over whiskeys and say "The old woman left me, the bitch, 'cause she thinks she's too good for me" and always get a sympathetic murmur of approval.


It seems like the Rules is just another way for people to shift blame and oversimplify things in order to avoid the ultimate responsibility of introspective personality reassessment. It's offensive to me, not on a gender level, but on an adult level.


Adults are supposed to deal with problems, not avoid them by cliquing together into boohoo groups, right?
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[User Picture]From: jwithington
2005-08-11 04:36 pm (UTC)
It seems like the Rules is just another way for people to shift blame and oversimplify things in order to avoid the ultimate responsibility of introspective personality reassessment. It's offensive to me, not on a gender level, but on an adult level.


Adults are supposed to deal with problems, not avoid them by cliquing together into boohoo groups, right?


um.

"boo-hoo groups?"

so you're pro-inttrospection, but anti therapy (at least on a group level?).

an interesting stance, to be sure.
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[User Picture]From: cerulicante
2005-08-12 06:08 am (UTC)
I'm actually a hypocrite, so most of what I say is contradictory.



What I meant to say, though, was that introspection and therapy are laudable (as is any true improvement), but that banding together for the express purpose of bitching and moaning (as these Rules people are doing) and blameshifting is puerile.
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[User Picture]From: leadsynth
2005-08-11 02:08 pm (UTC)

Um.

The "show up to parties, dances, and social events even if you do not feel like it" rule actually makes a lot of sense to me. That's what we introverts have to do if we ever plan on leaving the house.
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[User Picture]From: cerulicante
2005-08-11 02:52 pm (UTC)

Re: Um.

What about us paranoid maniacs? WHAT ABOUT US? IS THAT WHAT THE FBI MIND CONTROL MACHINES ARE MAKING YOU SAY?


AAAAAAAAAH, WHERE'S MY TINFOIL UNDERWEAR?
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[User Picture]From: jwithington
2005-08-11 04:34 pm (UTC)

Re: Um.

actually, if going to something is making you feel THAT lousy, it's better for EVERYONE that you stay home.

(this is based on personal experience, as well as on the interactions i have had with very introverted--for various reasons--individuals)

you can't WILL AWAY true social anxiety--in yourself, or other people--much as you might want to, is all i am saying.

p.s. you're an introvert? i am starting to agree with what a professional therapist friend of mine once told me: introvert and extrovertare used so many different wasys that they are just a mish mosh these days.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2005-08-11 04:50 pm (UTC)

Re: Um.

actually, if going to something is making you feel THAT lousy, it's better for EVERYONE that you stay home.

Agreed.
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[User Picture]From: leadsynth
2005-08-12 02:53 pm (UTC)

Re: Um.

I never said anything about feeling lousy. I'm also not talking about social anxiety.

I'm talking about when you don't feel like going to something because you don't feel like you have the energy for it, and you'd rather be lazy and sit around and read/watch TV/go online. But then someone, or yourself, tries to convince you otherwise, and you just go, even though you don't really feel like it, and you end up having a great time. And everyone who didn't expect you to show up is happy that you showed up. Although, you may be exhausted at the end of the night.
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From: hiamanda
2005-08-12 04:39 am (UTC)
The RULES, if I remember correctly, does nothing but support pre-existing gender stereotypes. If I remember correctly, they assume that women want love 'n' companionship(TM), and men want multicrazynakedsexykinkythrustingorgyfucking. I am of the opinion that both sexes enjoy both phenomena quite nicely. So, the RULES? Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em in the ear.
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[User Picture]From: cerulicante
2005-08-12 06:15 am (UTC)
Orgyfucking doesn't make any sense for males in the evolutionary sense...humans gestate so slowly that a male that doesn't stick around to make sure his kid comes to term ends up losing the kid because the female becomes helpless and addicted to pickles and peanut butter. It's more of an advantage for the male to stick around and help raise the child so it can successfully breed and the father's genes get passed along. The entire point of living is to make babies that also live.


Screwing a hundred different females makes more sense for critters with shorter gestation periods.
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[User Picture]From: leadsynth
2005-08-12 03:03 pm (UTC)
This is my standard argument for pair bonding. I think there's a biological imperative for it just as much as there's a biological imperative for having a lot of sex.
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From: (Anonymous)
2006-07-20 03:49 am (UTC)

Former "CUAO"

To some extent I agree with you, even though I don't necessarily have a problem with being CUAO. I tried the Rules for a long time (because I had gotten terribly hurt and was looking for a way to avoid it). What I found was is that the way I started to view and treat men changed for the worse. I started thinking negatively about them and seemed find myself in a constant state of punishing them when they were absolutely clueless about what they were doing wrong. Oh, and they got punished if I broke a rule too. Punishing as in making things extremely difficult for them such as not returning calls or never letting them nail me down for a date or being "aloof" when they tried to talk to me and not treating them as a person. Before I did the rules, I did enjoy men a lot more and also had a lot more success with them. Once I realized that they weren't helping me, I ditched them.

However, there are some women out there who desperately need the rules. The clingy, my world revolves around a man in my life type. The ones that chase after men and repeatedly get hurt. This is a sad thing to watch. I've witnessed it. The Rules can be kindof like bootcamp in personal boundary setting. "Hey, he treated me this way and I didn't like it (as in...he had sex with me, he's rude to me in public and won't return my calls)...so I'm going to disappear off the face of the earth. The worst thing I could to myself is find out why he does that."
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2006-07-31 12:38 am (UTC)

Re: Former "CUAO"

Okay, I see what you mean about "boot camp". If I were a world-revolves-around-a-man type, then it might be really good for me.

I guess most of us are trying for the same thing -- the ability to treat each other as equals -- but we all have to get there in different ways.
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