There's no story recycled by mainstream rom-coms and commercial literature more frequently than that of the uppity, cerebral woman being put in her place (and happily!) by a dude who can't spell. Case in point: The Ugly Truth was on about three times in a row last night! Thank you, but I would rather drink battery acid.
You might remember Alisa Valdes as the author of the bestselling novel The Dirty Girls Social Club, which was bastardized into an offensive-sounding TV pilot by George Lopez's soon-to-be-ex-wife Ann. Valdes protested the sexist, racist changes made for the sake of network appeal, and was hit with a cease-and-desist letter. (The option was eventually dropped.) Valdes was once blurbed by Gloria Steinem and self-described as a hardcore feminist: "I was one of the demanding ones, combating injustice and inequality on the front lines." She was raised by progressive feminist parents, and at twenty-two, Ms. Magazine recognized her as one of the top feminist scribes under 30.
Now Valdes comes back, dishearteningly, with her first memoir, entitled The Feminist and the Cowboy: An Unlikely Love Story. (The original title was—gah—Learning to Submit.) In case you haven't guessed, it is "an engrossing memoir about how falling in love with a sexy cowboy turned her feminist beliefs upside down." Putting the "gross" in "engrossing." How's that for a blurb?
The memoir follows single mom Valdes' adventure on a dating site as she attempts to find a guy who "belonged to a food co-op yet understood snark and appreciated sushi... a man with a flurry of liberal bumper stickers on his Subaru."
Instead, predictably, she finds "a never-been-married 52-year-old conservative actor-rancher named Steve Lane, who collects guns, buys only American cars and watches Fox News." Our man Steve was able to talk Valdes out of all that crazy feminist jibberjabber, and—with the newfound, giddy feather-lightness that comes from completely giving up any of your personal values because your boyfriend doesn't agree with you, and therefore you have no responsibility to anything but him anymore, ever!—she found that:
"when men… act like men rather than like emasculated boys, you as a woman will find not only great pleasure in submitting to them but also great growth as a person."
And if you like that, the newly reformed Valdes has some rules for wrassling and branding your own man/steer that sound simply charming:
* When talking to a man, don't digress. "Keep it clear and direct . . . their brain processes language differently than ours do."
* Never expect anything; instead win him over "by giving and giving and giving until it hurt."
* If an alpha male cheats, let him. "I would share him if I had to."
* Spiffy up: "Men want women to look like women, in dresses and skirts."
The Postspeculates that Valdes' hook-y memoir is a simple attempt to save herself from bankruptcy. Look, as long as she's giving up feminism, how about he gets rid of one of his fucking guns? Just saying.
What a mess. You're more than welcome to give up your ideals for a penis-shaped Patriarchy Sticker of Approval, but don't sell me this BS.