Thursday, 25 December 2014

#20 - "Maybe He's Just an Asshole" by Halle Kaye & Sophie Stone

The Penis Perspective (2.173/10)

By  Beau Dashington

(chosen by HotBot)

Editor's Note: About a month and a half back, we reviewed an author-submitted book, Pickles and Ponies by Laura May. In return, we asked her to read and review some dinosaur erotica. The thing is, her book was actually pretty good, and anachronistic dinophilia isn't, so we gave her the chance to get some revenge on us. She chose this book, and chose Beau Dashington to read it since she sensed he needs to learn more about women. Also, Beau Dashington is a fucking asshole who won't answer my texts. 

You might think that if a guy wants to meet a girl, it might be helpful to read a book about pulling women. But instead I’ve been assigned a book for women on the subject of how to find Mr. Perfect. The simple lesson of the book is as follows: don’t date assholes. In addition, we’re going to get lots of tips on everything from sexting, to anal sex, to sexting.

Before I go on, I want to make a few things clear. Firstly, I’m not some sort of Neolithic knuckle-dragger that thinks women should be confined to the bedroom and the kitchen. I’m totally down with women voting and driving cars and whatnot, and I'm against people calling women things like “Jugs” and “Sugar-Tits.” However, a man commenting on a book like Maybe He’s Just an Asshole  would likely be, for the authors, part of the problem.  They note that most of the rules of romance are written “from the perspective of the penis.” I have to say that the Penis Perspective sounds like a great name for a noise rock band (a really shitty one), or some sort of undergraduate art major's sophomoric attempts at creating art.

To challenge the Penis Perspective, the book contains a list of different types of men (or "Assholes") alongside an "Asshole Rating" which also has an explanation IN A LARGER FONT, CAPS LOCK AND BOLD TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU CAN SEE IT. Here's an example:

One of our first in the parade of assholes is the guy who is slow at sending texts, who gets a rating of 7. Sounds pretty harmless, really. A more worrying example is the guy who drinks too much. The alcoholic gets an asshole rating of 6. The authors suggest you kick this guy to the curb since “this sauce-soaked asshole will be fine. After all, he’s got Johnny Walker and Jim Beam to commiserate with.” Talk about tough love.  Just in case you didn’t catch that; the guy who is an alcoholic is preferable to the guy who is bad at texting.

In addition, the authors warn religiously against sticking by someone going through a rough patch. The man who is having a tough time and is depressed gets an Asshole Rating of 7. The authors advise: “Don’t get sucked into the vortex of someone else’s misery.” This is a strange suggestion from two women offering advice on finding a long-lasting and sustainable emotional relationship.

Chapter Five deals with “The Guy who isn’t trustworthy.” A man who chats openly with other women and is generally social gets an asshole rating of 8. Just as a reminder; that’s two worse than the alcoholic.

Now, I know what your tiny female brain is thinking: all of these numbers are confusing. These ratings are fine and dandy, but how is a girl to know what to do? When is enough enough? Well, for the girl on the go who doesn’t have time to sit around and think about simple things like “Should I break up with the alcoholic who doesn’t text me?” the authors have a simple 'Five Strikes and You’re Out’ rule. Five strikes. Five. I don’t want to rely on age old stereotypes about women knowing nothing about sports, but come on. Five strikes? FIVE!?!?

Moving on, the guy who cheats on you (including with your friends) gets an asshole rating of 9. Bet you are wondering what gets a 10, aren’t you? Well, it’s the guy who is jealous. He might be faithful, he might not be fucking your friends in front of you, but if he gets jealous when you get your flirt on with other dudes? That’s a dealbreaker, ladies.

Also a 10 is the guy who takes cheap shots during fights. One of the authors speaks from experience:

“[H]e said that I don’t understand logic and called me a stupid idiot who can’t even spell (I’m dyslexic). In other fights, he’s said that I come from trash, that I suck in bed, that I’m fat.”

I don’t want to pick on the author, but let’s look a little more closely at that statement. Contained within it are the premises that the author (1) is illogical; (2) lacks intelligence; (3) has a learning disability; (4) comes from low quality stock; (5) is bad in bed; and (6) is obese. If even 50% of those accusations hit the mark, then I feel that it explains a lot about why the author struggles so much both with men and with writing.

The last chapter is on the guy with an unhealthy view of sex. The guy who “won’t stop when it hurts” gets an 8. The same rating goes to the guy who wants anal, won’t take no for an answer, and slips in it anyway then claims it was an accident . It’s pretty much impossible for me to talk about this chapter without sounding misogynistic, so I’m not going to. It sounds mostly legit. Except, I would say that the guy who jams it up your tailpipe even when you ask him not to probably deserves a worse score than an 8, which is the same rating given to the guy who chats to women in a social way at parties. There is a clear lack of thought in the rating system. Take the following ratings from the book:

Asshole Rating of 5 – The guy who is too Christian
Asshole Rating of 6 – The alcoholic
Asshole Rating of 7 – The slow texter
Asshole Rating of 8 – The guy who calls you fat
Asshole Rating of 9 – The guy who bangs your friends
Asshole Rating of 10 – The guy who calls you stupid

Germaine Greer once said “"Until women themselves reject stigma and refuse to feel shame for the way others treat them, they have no hope of achieving full human stature.” I think maybe she is right. While this book claims to be about strengthening women, and stresses not defining femininity based on male reactions to women, all this book does is to focus on ways not to feel fat and stupid while suggesting that the true sign of a good mate is someone who pays the tab after lunch.

If you really do date people who insult you to your face, or cheat on you openly, then you have very real problems that this book isn’t going to solve. And if you are the kind of person that thinks a relationship should be over because you didn’t receive a response to your text for a couple hours, then you probably should just chill the fuck out and phone the person instead of texting them.

On a side note, I paid $3 for this book, representing the first time a member of the PSBC has had to pay for the book they read. And I’m not happy about it. I could have bought chicken fingers for that. Not the good kind, obviously, but maybe the budget brand ones. Not cool.

Beau Dashington



  1. 1. I'm not sure how I feel about the fact I just watched a 'moving penis wall', 'flaccid' puns or no. I'm in some uncomfortable zone between hysteria and despair, with a bit of bewilderment to boot.
    2. That is a beautiful goddamn conclusion.
    3. Do you guys just like rating things 2.173/10??

    1. Shit. The rating was my fault. I meant to give 'You and Your Retarded Child' a 3.4. I have edited it now.

    2. get your shit together, Peartree.

      - Beau Dashington

  2. PC chicken fingers ARE the good kind, so you can just go ahead and shut your whore mouth.