"How To Satisfy Your Woman Every Time: The Straight Guy's Guide To Housework and Good Grooming"
By Jane Moseley and Nigel Browning (Betterway Books, 144 pages
The latest strategy in the war between the sexes is the pop-culture humiliation of the male. Poor Straight Man, unable to feed, dress or groom himself! Reality television chuckles indulgently and sets about schoolin' him, and America gets to watch and laugh. The reductive gender categorization reflected on TV (Boys: "Junkyard Wars;" girls: "A Wedding Story") is not only divisive, but as often as not, just plain wrong. Who would you rather have as your housekeeper: Kevin Spacey or Courtney Love?
At first glance, one might assume "How to Satisfy Your Woman Every Time" is another "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," another stick poked through the bars to taunt our little caveman. Note, however, that the title is universally belittling, implying that a) most men can't take care of themselves, and b) mad skills with the sponge mop will drive your woman wild. Further perusal reveals an uneven batch of advice, veering wildly between insulting ("Empty the trash regularly, particularly in the summer," p. 23) and borderline-absurd ("Put a mint leaf or a raspberry in each compartment of the ice tray before filling with water. Drop nonchalantly into a cocktail glass," p. 24). Dare I theorize that the schizoid tone is due to the fact that it was co-authored by a man and a woman? It could be the case -- just don't be too hasty in assuming which tips were contributed by which writer.
Bottom line: If you think a book telling you how to scrub a toilet will solve your relationship troubles, you've got bigger problems than your stinky toilet.