All Men Are Jerks — Until Proven Otherwise: A Woman’s Guide to Understanding Men by Daylle Deanna Schwartz
I was put off by the title of this book, just as I had been with Why Men Love Bitches. It turns out both books are full of sound advice, but their publishers must have decided inflammatory titles would get more buzz.
I abhor the title as I don’t think all men are jerks, and hate the idea of encouraging women in perpetuating this man-bashing concept. The author explains that both genders can be jerks, but I’m sure “Everyone Is a Jerk” would not have sold many copies.
Schwartz’s premise is that we should assume all men are jerks until they prove themselves otherwise. She quotes men in her classes who lie to women to get what they want, saying they are single when they are not, or disease free, or looking for a long-term relationship. Or offering excuses like working late when really they are seeing another woman. The men say women are easy to fool and their forgiveness is easy to buy.
The author says most women will forgive her man for nearly anything if he brings her flowers, says he’s sorry, tells her he loves her, or buys her something. She says we create the jerks we complain about by putting up with disrespect and dishonesty. So we are jerks as well.
While most of the advice is common sense, I admit I’ve fallen for some of the jerk-like behavior. I’ve given grace for disrespectful behavior. I’ve forgiven acts from a man I liked that I should have dumped him for. So while one would think “I’d never fall for that,” if you haven’t been smitten by someone who knew how to get what he wanted, you don’t really understand how easy it is to tolerate jerky behaviors. She encourages readers to not be gullible and not allow inexcusable behavior. Good advice.
The book has several extraneous chapters which I’m finding is common with books that would really be long articles without the padding. A strong theme is to love yourself, not put up with a man’s BS, and create a great life so you don’t succumb to a jerk’s wiles. This is sound advice no matter what the book is titled.