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Outdated: Why Dating Is Ruining Your Love Life Paperback – September 27, 2011
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This books has helped me look at dating as a more fluid, less restrictive process. I really appreciate it.
The author's starting point is very personal, which one of the other reviewers, for some reason, takes as a weakness. For me, however, this is really helpful and honest. By laying out her perspective and making it clear that relationships are not one-size-fits-all, she really leaves a lot up to the reader in terms of where to go with the information and ideas presented in the book. Further, between the references and endnotes, there are a great many directions to go in terms of further reading. At first, it struck me as a little too academic how many citations there were, but, as I moved forward, I realized it was a way to give the reader the freedom to explore all the sources of the author's analysis and draw her or his own conclusions.
And that's one thing that really impressed me about the book, and sets it apart from other dating books: there's no "answer," strictly speaking. There is a lot of really solid criticism of the sorts of patters we're all trained to follow and how these can stand in the way of authentic relationships, but the reader's intelligence is respected enough to not offer a simple, pat alternative.
On top of it all, I couldn't help but bust out laughing in just about every chapter or subsection. The sarcasm and comedy flowing through what is a really heartfelt and smart book makes some of the hard truths in it (like that there's no easy solution) a little easier to stomach. Even the section titles are great (like "Hopeless Romantic or Glutton for Punishment," which is one of my favorites). That said, I think one of the other reviewers probably took a lot of the humor too seriously, though it's hard to tell since of lot of that reviewer's sentences are hard to decipher.
Finally, as someone who, like most people, hasn't lived a fairy tale, this book actually made me feel a bit hopeful and less alone in my struggle to find and build lasting and loving relationships. Between the humor and insight, there's a lot to gather and I left it feeling refreshed and excited to continue building meaningful relationships with friends and lovers.
At the same time, Samhita manages to balance this with an approachable and candid style that I felt I could relate to well. This is not a simple-to-follow dating self-help book with a formula or a specific end-goal. Rather, it is a look at the way oppression, particularly sexism and heteronomativism shape today's dating landscape that feels conversational and realistic. The book does not end with advice, or a path to follow. Rather, it is a critical look at our world that can inform many different, equally valid, decisions about what is right for each person.
While I found it extremely useful and relatable as a fellow single and dating feminist, I think many young feminists in relationships may also find it worthwhile. Outdated's analysis focuses not only on barriers for single feminists but on the role of oppression within personal relationships and how we can work to have meaningful relationships and communities on our terms. I will definitely be recommending this book to MANY many others! Thank you so much for the wonderful book!
This book is a great read for anyone interested in feminism, pop culture criticism, gender and sexual politics, and social change. It would make a great gift for any single friend (male or female), but I also think that people in relationships can gain a lot from reading this book, or to help your mom/dad/grandmother understand more about why you aren't bringing over anyone for Thanksgiving dinner, though you might have to slip out early to meet that anyone at the bar.
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The first chapter is about the assertion in many dating books that...Read more