I typically read novels that deal with hard science or applied technology. But I also dip into some of the more “soft” sciences: economics, psychology, and other social-based works of literature. It helps give me a better perspective of the working dynamics of our cultures and socio-economics at play. And this book……kind of fits into this category.
Note: This review contains some adult themes and language not necessarily suited for kids…..
The Rational Male, written by Rollo Tomassi, is a compilation of blog posts that he has written online. Of course the majority of the literature is free online, this books picks some of his main themes and organizes his posts accordingly. And for $10, I’m not complaining for a hard copy to read. Even though it’s ~275 pages, the font is really small (which means there’s a lot of “information”) that I would probably dread reading all of on an LCD screen.
Note: The font was so small, I had to stop reading the book for almost a month after I got corrective eye surgery. The slight blurry after-affect from the surgery was enough to barely make out what I was reading.
So what is this book about? And why am I writing about it? Technically, it’s about a book on inter-gender dynamics. Attraction, gender roles, inherent expectations. It attempts to tackle the biological and social driving conditions behind many relationship trends. Examples include (but are not limited to) : “Did you get lucky?” “Let’s just be friends.” It’s interesting how many of these scenarios I have experienced, but have overlooked without grasping any reasoning behind them. And after going through an undesired divorce at the age of 27, the causation behind this event has evaded myself and many of those close to me. So I have a personal investment to make sure I don’t get dragged through that version of mental hell once more.
Inter-gender dynamics is deeply dependent on how males and females are different. It is a fact that one has to believe before the rest of the book can make sense. Biologically, males want to mate and breed as much as possible. In contrast, women need to selectively breed with the most attractive mates they can attract and raise their offspring in the most beneficial environment for them.
The main theme that Rollo tries to enlighten its readers is “the feminine imperative.” Society has constructed intrinsic social rules that drastically benefit the female’s biological drive. And it is a system that everyone is taught soon after birth. A common example is “you should never hit a women.” But it’s also more assumed truths in society. Females should be “taken care of” beyond basic needs. Men should meet her “wants” during friendships, dates, and marriage. Due to these standards, males are never truly appreciated for their sacrifices: massive monetary loss, restricted sex to one partner, and the risks they take (mentally and legally) if it fails. As stated in this book, a women only loves if she can take you for granted in her life.
Ironically, attraction is dependent on the male’ resistance to many of these rules. Passionate intercourse is brewed over hormonal stress and emotional tension. When a couple moves in together, they will typically see a decline in attraction due to the overabundance of stability and predictability in their lives. Additionally, once the two move in together, there’s no need for the female to biologically keep the male sexually satisfied. To a certain extent, she finally has him now for stability and protection. [That’s the real reason why you don’t move in with your partner until you are married!]
Women have a consistency to “shit test” their partner, even when they don’t realize this. This urge is how she can test his partner’s confidence and mental security and resistance. You know, for finding a partner fit enough to take care of her as she gets older and “hits the wall.” It sounds odd, but it’s an uncomfortable truth that men have to realize. Resisting shit tests, turns out, is the most attractive move a man can do. When they give in, apologize, or even try to meet their partner half-way, it does the opposite.
This can be termed being “the white knight,” sacrificing himself for a women. However, males are unconsciously labeled “disposable” in our minds. Rollo has a famous blog/chapter called “War Brides,” that biologically pictures a possible reasoning behind this theory. With primates being hunter and gatherer groups with clashing clans for food/water/shelter, the typical trend for a conquered tribe is that the men are killed/abandoned and the women were kept for breeding. Those women that could handle the shift in partners were the best to carry and raise offspring in these conditions. This can explain why women are biologically prepared to transition faster mentally between relationships, which also leads into the lack of appreciation for the martyrs of men. Women will take their beneficial sacrifice and unconsciously search for the next form of security.
There are many other trends that are discussed and repeated through the book, including:
- The consistent struggle for the women to control the relationship to her advantage
- The “biological clock” that dictates a women’s value and standards for an attractive male
- Multiple social trends and myths that benefit the feminine social convention
- How difficult these truths are to appreciate which keep “average frustrated chumps” (AFCs) from “unplugging from the matrix” of feminine dominance.
The topics in this book are only theories. This book is not a hard science book. This book wouldn’t be considered a hard soft-science book. There’s minimal reference to scientific articles and studies. Most of the work is based off of the experiences of many individuals which have been blogged, compiled, and summarized through multiple users online. And it’s probably the only way this could be done in our society. Since we want to believe we can “work out our relationships through communication and sacrifice” (including myself), these contrasting types of studies are hard to fund, conduct, and professionally “publish.”
Nonetheless, the book has a lot of passion behind it. Built upon the millions of people which have struggled in their relationship experiences, ethos is a major selling point. Some nights I stayed up late reading. Multiple times have I wanted to put the book down and walk away from it entirely. While a few topics felt way-out-there, so many more rang so true due to my personal experiences. While I’ve learned to always question everything, I have a strong urge to take into account many of the theories presented in the book to help build a better perspective on my life and the others around me.
Personal moment time…..
Last year, I developed an extremely passionate relationship with a wonderful women right out of college. We maintained a strong attraction for each other as we traveled for months around the US on what could possibly be the greatest excursion in my lifetime. However, after the vacation, I started sacrificing my life, my career, my personal choices in the name of love. Unfortunately, the more I gave, the more that was expected me. I did not learn my lesson from my prior failed marriage, and the relationship was at a loss, deep in shit tests. I failed at maintaining attraction, fell into stress, and ended the relationship. While I consider the break-up an “alpha male move,” it was still the one of the hardest things I have ever done.
Personally, my main goal is to hopefully achieve a relationship that has a high level of “unconditional passion and compassion.” However, I am a unconsciously afraid that this may not even be achievable…….so I’ll try to learn the truth the hard way. That’s all that us “hopelessly romantic” males can do, right?
Back to the book……
The Rational Male may cause you to revolt in disgust. OR it may sound like angels singing from heaven. For me, it was a bit of both. For most people, I believe the audience’s response will strongly dependent on your experiences, your openness, and your personal desires/fantasies in life. But I guess that can be related to any topic. Hence the term: ethos.
One final note: The book has a lot of large, convoluted words that I’ve never heard of before. Nothing scientific, just advanced literature speak.