Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth
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Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth

Oh Great, 'The Rules' Is Back With a Whole New Bunch of Sexist Garbage

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Remember back in the '90s when everyone went all kookaburra for The Rules? You know, it's basically the girl-version of The Game—teaching women how to entrap idiot men into "loving" them by acting like aloof, vacant pieces of shit? Well, feminist brain trust Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider are coming out with yet another new version of The Rules, called Not Your Mother's Rules (working title: It's Been a While Since You've Given Us Your Money, Sad People!).

I'm not really sure how a sequel to The Rules is even possible, since the original book obviously cured singleness forever. But that didn't stop Fein and Schneider from releasing The Rules II, The Rules for Marriage, The Rules for Online Dating, and the misleadingly titled All the Rules (which, logically, should have been their last book). In this newest installment, the ladies turn their attention to newfangled romantic arenas like "cybering in the onlines" and "sextual messaging." And oh, man! There is so much you don't know! (Mostly it's about how you should be more of an entitled princess.)

In case you're not familiar with the intricacies of The Rules, he's a primer. Step One: Don't talk. Don't look men in the eye. Don't return men's phone calls. Don't express interest in men in any way. Don't tell men what to do. Don't give up your precious flower. Don't pay for anything. Don't expect men to change or accomodate your needs in any way. Don't reveal anything about yourself because nobody cares. Demand expensive gifts. Don't ever stop doing The Rules. Step Two: ETERNAL HAPPINESS.


That's why subservient housewives the world over have historically been the happiest people on earth. For that matter, you know what else sucks? The right to vote. Could we please roll that back so that I can finally get some free diamonds!?!?

In an interview with, Fein and Schneider offer a preview of some of their latest advice.

Avi: In your book The Rules for Online Dating, you make it clear that under all circumstances, the man should contact the woman first. Are there any exceptions?

E&S: No exceptions. A woman cannot email, or even wink at a guy's profile, without becoming the aggressor and possibly getting hurt down the line when the guy dumps her for the woman whose profile he really likes. The only way to be sure that a guy is interested is to let him make the first move. If you have something exceptional in common, he has to notice that, and contact you first. The rare exception we have found is when a woman "beats a guy to the punch" by answering his ad first and later finds out that he was about to answer hers, but hadn't gotten around to it. This is very rare and nothing we recommend.


So, essentially, online dating is a forum where you put yourself up for auction and then passively watch while men compete for your silent company by bidding varying amounts of pork tenderloins and tennis bracelets. Whatever you do, don't express an interest in or attraction to anything. The worst thing you can do for your romantic life is to play an active role in your romantic life. Also, Fein and Schneider say, once a man does contact you, under no circumstances should you let him know that you've looked at anything on his profile. Keep yourself vague. Because there's nothing hotter than a woman-shaped blob of nothingness.

Or you could ignore all this speculative, baroque, antifeminist bullshit and just be a fucking human being.


The writers of The Rules are charlatans attempting to con women into believing that it's empowering to give up all their power. Dear everyone: You understand that if there was a book that taught people how to not be single there would be no more single people, right? (Involuntarily single people, anyway.) People are not monolithic. You cannot trick people into loving you by treating them like math equations waiting to be solved. It's dehumanizing. If you want to date a human being you have to treat other human beings like human beings. It's not that complicated.

Here are the only actual "rules":

1. Be a person with a life.

2. Respect other people and their lives.

3. Be patient.

4. Don't be desperate.

That's really all you can do. And there's still no guarantee that it'll work. But at least you won't be trapped in some loveless marriage, bartering passivity for diamonds for the rest of your life. Okay? Now SEND ME A MILLION DOLLARS, SINGLE PEOPLE.