Tucker Max, Neil Strauss and the Evolution of Frat-Lit

Tucker Max, Neil Strauss and the Evolution of Frat-Lit

I’ve read The Game by Neil Strauss. I’ve read some of Tucker Max’s short stories. I found both to be equally misogynist, funny, and entertaining – written as if only to show how deeply depraved men can be in the pursuit of sex. Both are objectively intelligent and charming guys who used their gifts for evil and made a boatload bragging about it.

Not surprisingly, both have grown up and written their own respective books about how they’ve matured into respectful relationship partners. I’ve read neither of their books, but Amber A’lee Frost does a great job reviewing both of them with a good measure of objectivity.

I particularly like her conclusion about what these books represent about our society – that if even men like these are evolving, perhaps men on the whole are, too.

It’s clear that Frost doesn’t want to like either of these men or their attempts at monetizing their personal growth. Yet, she finds redeeming value in both of them.

On Strauss’s new book she writes, “In no way would I defend The Truth as either a piece of journalism or a memoir. However, as he gradually approaches his appointed life lesson, Strauss develops as a person. He’s pleasantly vulnerable, as honest as a wallowing neurotic man can be, fairly bald in describing his own shortcomings, and-at times-even a bit endearing. There is nothing worth hating about Strauss. A bit sleazy? Yes. Mommy issues, sure, but nothing too far outside the realm of day-to-day gender anxieties. His foray into the world of pick-up artistry did not leave him a misogynist, or even particularly sexist-he’s mostly just anxious about women. In the end, he manages (spoiler alert!) to reunite with his ex-girlfriend, and not only does he seem to really love her, but he also shows genuine contrition and-yes-some emotional growth. To be frank, it was a little disappointingly well adjusted.”

On Max’s latest tome, she says, “The advice in Mate-despite its completely ridiculous premise that we’re all helplessly at the mercy of evolutionary psychology-isn’t just good, it’s shockingly good. Minus the tangents explaining how we’re all little more than idiot baboons subconsciously bent on the continuation of our idiot baboon lines, I would be perfectly comfortable distributing at least 95 percent of the material to young hetero men for their edification, mostly for the benefit of the women they would be pursuing.”

I particularly like her conclusion about what these books represent about our society – that if even men like these are evolving, perhaps men on the whole are, too.

It’s a completely different ballgame than 30 years ago – whether you want to admit it or not.

“The change in tone-in ideology, really-doesn’t mean that there’s no longer a robust market for manchild books. But it does mean that former self-advertised men on the prowl such as Strauss and Max now seem able to treat women as people, not as prey. This leads me to my theory on the great shift in bro books: maybe men are just getting better.

I can’t prove it, of course. Nor can I prove that these two famous authors are really indicative of a certain class of modern men. But I do think it’s entirely possible that they’re genuinely disgusted with their own brands. Strauss’s new book is ultimately a repudiation of his own selfishness and poor treatment of his girlfriend (now wife) and a testament to mutual romantic devotion; that’s quite a departure from his previous fuck-deride-discard body of work. For his part, Tucker Max seems to hate his fans, once referring to them in a New Yorker profile as “dudes who can’t spell ‘dude.’” Like Strauss, he got very deep into therapy and very consciously tried to reinvent himself. In the beginning of Mate, he is horrified to learn that young men have been using his humor books as guides to women. Strauss and Max are men who have not only moved on, but also partially renounced their ways; could it be that masculinity itself is adjusting to a more humane perspective on women?”

I’ll say so. Sure, you can find tons of evidence of selfish douches, irresponsible fuckwads, and narcissistic playboys. But now, more than ever, you will find men who listen to women, respect women, want intelligent women, and help out with housework and childrearing. It’s a completely different ballgame than 30 years ago – whether you want to admit it or not.

To read this interesting piece in full, click here. Your thoughts, below, are appreciated.

The post Tucker Max, Neil Strauss and the Evolution of Frat-Lit appeared first on Dating Coach – Evan Marc Katz | Understand Men. Find Love..

     

 

 

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