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on February 22, 2002
I bought my book second hand and it was not worth the $4.50. If you were to take the content to heart, you might believe the only way for men and women to get along would be to not talk to each other at all. According to Gray, women should not ever correct a man, give him advice, her opinion, or make unreasonable requests - such as taking out the garbage. Are you kiddding me? If I didn't know it was written during my lifetime, I would assume it was a 1950s home economics primer on how to be a good housewife. If these ridiculous stereotypical statements were true, then I'd actually be a man (which I'm not). As others have said, the author is irritatingly repetitive. Perhaps he was trying to fulfill a publisher's word count requirement, but it makes it difficult to get through - I found myself reading the first paragraph and skipping ahead to the next section. I kept hoping I'd find something better in the next chapter--no such luck. It could have been a very funny book based on the underlying premise that men and women behave, react and communicate differently. It was not at all enjoyable.
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on February 4, 2002
Lots of the negative reviews on this site are by women who feel patronized by Grey's superficial and insulting claptrap.
However the book is just as insulting to men. It's core message to men is: you can fix your relationship by not acting like a complete jerk every time you're with your partner, even if it's only once a week, and even if you aren't sincere.
For example, Grey thinks you'll be the world's #1 chick-magnet if you show appreciation for the fact that your partner does all the cooking, cleaning, garbage duties etc. Never mind offering to actually contribute to the relationship, just nod when your partner complains about doing all the work. Many of the anecdotes come from John Grey's own experiences. From what the man describes of his own shallow and cavemanlike behaviour, it's no wonder that all the women he knows complain a lot!
If my brain ever fell out and I started to take any of Grey's advice, I reckon my now happy and fulfilling marriage would be over in a year (just like John Grey's).
How anyone can read this book and rave is beyond me - dreadful beyond words, and dangerous to boot. I'm so glad I read a borrowed copy - if I'd helped John Grey get rich(er) I'd be ashamed. Worth WAY less than one star.
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on January 21, 2002
Poor, poor John Gray! It is not his fault that the types whom he dealt with and whose problems were mentioned in this book - especially the female parties - are (pardon my expression) - if not fools - next to fools. Plus my rating does not apply to the authour's writing skills, or degrees, or advices (how else could
he have dealt with problems of such creatures) etc etc.... Somehow, although I am very, very woman and that prefer a better world for women, this book has caused me to take men's side in some respects. One star applies to the types. What is wrong with the husband's getting stuck to his chair in front of TV? What is wrong if he wants to relax by starting reading a daily paper very shortly after he comes home from work? What is wrong if he tries to offer solutions to problems the wife is conplaining about? What is wrong if he does not listen much - or as deeply as the wife (J.G. puts) wants him to- to the 'mostly' unnecessary details? I can blame or accuse men in some respects but let's (we, women) realise their basic rights!!!! Human being - man or woman - does not like to listen to matters that are not interest to him or her. And of God , those 101 rules to win your wife's heart!!! Many of them made me wonder whether women expecting those rules to be complied really need husbands or slaves?! The guys certainly have to be interested in family matters and help the wives whenever possible. But I think that
if woman respects his simple pleasures instead of being too sensitive about 'his listening to things that are not really of interest to him' , she will have chance to enjoy 'her own pleasures' , instead of having a 'nervous breakdown'.
Well there is an advice that worth to pay attention to : It is not important what you say , it is important how you say it. However , that applies to any relationship , and not only to relationship between married parties.
Another thing, this book cannot speak for every society or
culture in the world and that women need to have a lot of things 'BEFORE' what this book claims women should have .
Plus it repeats things too many times. My last word about this book , yeah read the title.
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on November 13, 2001
If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, why does my birth certificate say "Detroit?"
I am a woman in my mid-50's and I am a person, not a stereotype. Some things I do may seem "stereotypically" feminine. I love babies, I think about relationships, and even though I am an adult, I like cute, cuddly, stuffed toys . . . especially dogs and teddy bears. And I have a two year old Chihuahuah mix puppydog whom I have lavishly spoiled.
But I don't always talk about what bothers me, and while I appreciate a person's caring, I value my privacy -- in other words, I have a cave as deep as any man's, and I don't talk about my problems until I am good and ready to. Did I also mention that I have a dragon at the mouth of my cave, too?
I care about my friends, but I don't always take an active interest in what they are doing because I am busy frying my own fish. Weddings bore the living daylights out of me -- unless, of course, as an organist, I can make some extra money playing for them. And as for being "romantic. . . " well, I am kind hearted and affectionate, but I've had several relationships with men go right down the drain because the one who has been unromantic was ME! At the moment I am contemplating getting married, but my idea of a perfect wedding is the Justice Of The Peace office with the secretary and maintenance man as witnesses!
Men and women are different; of course! It wouldn't be fun if they weren't. But I don't think the line is as sharply drawn as Dr. Gray says it is. I'll admit that when a smart cookie like Dr. Gray makes his statements, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that something is wrong with me. But when it comes to a choice between self-acceptance and Dr. Gray acceptance, I'll take my own, thank you.
I am wondering what kind of effect his book has had on men. Stereotypes are as unfair to men as to women.
If a man has a dragon by his cave, that's OK. However, he had better keep his dragon tamed, just as I have to keep mine tamed. The second that I get bitten by someone's dragon, I confront the owner. We adults need to keep our pets under control, don't we?
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on May 7, 2001
This is a book that heavily emphasizes the traditional male and female roles in romantic relationships. Gray's writing is easy to read. He uses many good metaphors to describe the romantic relationship, such as men are like rubber bands and women are like waves. John Gray thinks that men and women are inherently different in every aspect: men like to fix problems and women like to change men; men need to be alone sometimes and women love to talk about their problems; men need to get away from the romantic relationships before they can get close; women's moods naturally change up and down quickly. The author takes the stand of an expert and tells the readers to do what he believes an ideal romantic relationship should be like. It seems to me that John Gray is telling people that they should never try to challenge the traditional male and female roles. In fact, he thinks that problems in relationships occur because men and women don't understand the opposite sex's traditional gender roles enough. His way of curing relationship problems is to encourage the couple to nurture and fortify the partners' traditional gender roles. I have a problem with his overgeneralization about men and women's gender roles. Not all women and men behave and think the way he described. Gray pathologizes those people who don't fit into his ideal gender roles, "Sometimes in my seminar couples and individuals will share that they relate to the examples of men and women but in an opposite way. The man relates to my descriptions of women and the woman relates to my descriptions of men. I call this role reversal.... Many men have denied some of their masculine attributes in order to become more loving and nurturing. Likewise many women have denied some of their feminine attributes in order to earn a living in a work force that rewards masculine attributes. If this is the case, then by applying the suggestions, strategies, and techniques in his book you not only will create more passion in your relationships but also will increasingly balance your masculine and feminine characteristics" (p. 6). If a man is loving and nurturing and a woman is tough, Gray would say that they are not in their correct gender roles. Why does Gray get to define what are the correct gender roles? I think a better way to present his ideas is to list his own biases, state the limitations of his theory, and avoid supporting stereotypes. This book is all about what Gray's ideal romantic relationship is like. It doesn't give the couple the space to define what their ideal romantic relationship should be like. I personally think Gray does a good job helping couples to understand the opposite sex's traditional gender roles, however, this book also supports sexism. In addition, if men and women are inherently different, how could the author explain romantic relationships between homosexuals or bisexuals? Because Gray (1) overlooks the reader's own strengths and competencies, (2) supports sexism, (3) focus on deficits (emphasizes finding out what is not working instead of what is working), (4) does not acknowledge his own biases and/or the limitations of his theory, I wouldn't recommend people to read it. However, there is one exception. If both of the partners think that the traditional gender roles work well in their relationship, I might suggest they read this book.
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on July 16, 2000
If you and your spouse aren't getting along before reading the book, look out - the sparks may just start flying faster after reading it! It is filled with bad advice. As a woman, I found it insulting that my husband just has to pretend that he is listening. Greys basic advice to men - make her believe she is being heard - it doesn't matter if you are thinking about the football game etc., just nod, grunt and say uh-huh - that's all she requires. Even if you make the effort to hear (I won't even mention the word listen) it doesn't matter, she's just babbling on and on anyway. And, that's all the communication the relationship requires, because as a male you don't really have any thoughts or feelings to share yourself. If you can even talk. Hello - Real communication comes from the mutual desire of both parties to understand each other- which requires active, HONEST listening and verbalizing by both parties. Secondly, he believes that all men must retreat into their caves and must NOT be disturbed - especially by a bimbo - or look out the caveman might just come out with his club. He is very unfair in dealing with both genders' capacity to communicate with each other. I think the information in this book has the potential of making a strained relationship worse. We stopped reading it. We were beginning to argue about the things in the book - thinking the other person was possibly doing the stereotyped activity - i.e going to the cave - not wanting to be disturbed, not listening, etc., when it wasn't the case at all. It literally provided more argumentative material for our "discussions". Obviously, I don't recommend this book. We have done much better without it.
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on August 4, 1999
Let's give Dr. Grey credit for at least one thing. Feminists have told us for 30 years that men and women are the same; now Dr. Grey assures us that men and women are actually different or from Mars and Venus respectively. He certainly deserves much credit for this amazing one man counter-revolution. He has said that the huge success of his book is in large part due to the pent up demand for the truth that feminists have denied us during a very important period of rapid social change. But, from there Dr. Grey gets very very simplistic and repetitive. For example, his most famous example of what to do to make a relationship work is for the woman to let the man go in his cave(TV room) and not nag him to come out. Gray claims this is natural behavior for men who need to rest and brood and plan after a day of hunting or working. Similarly men should understand that it is natural for a woman to seek out contact, affiliation, and affection after her day. But, there is no solution here. Men are more likely to feel reinforced about going into their caves even longer and women are likely to be even more demanding about their needs. "The 91% Factor" goes way beyond this simplicity by suggesting specific ways men and women can trade behaviors so each gets what he wants. Further, it deals mostly with the way each approaches sex which after all is far and away the most significant difference between men and women that must be taken into account if a heterosexual relationship is to succeed.
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on April 6, 1999
I bought the book because a lot of my friends had been raving about it for a very long time and I was curious of what I might contain. They said that this book answered their questions about love and that this was their "manual" for relationships. They raved about it so much that I wanted to have a copy on my own. It was pretty hard getting a copy since at that time, it was constantly out of stock. But imagine my disappointment when I read the first few chapters of the book! It was totally disappointing. The author talked as if he really knew about these stuff but all I read was a lot of words that kept on repeating over and over! I don't think it would relate to any relationships I've ever seen. The author John Grey, addressed the readers as if he is giving step by step instructions! Impossible. Every relationship is different of it's own. Man or woman is not a mechanical beast where they say the exact things everytime. Each relationship ahs its own story and we can't assume that what the contents of Grey's book would really happen to us. It is really a disappointment and a waste of my time. I've read better books on relationships and at least, they relate to me in some way. In addition, it is quite expensive. I should've saved my money and invested it on a better book...
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on March 25, 1999
The "Men are from Mars", "Women are from Venus" thing got a little old after the first five or six sentences. It got really annoying by the middle of the book. And nauseating by the end. Would it have been so hard to include at least an occassional sentence that didn't refer to that assimilation please?? John Grey thinks himself an expert, so much so he wrote 286 pages of the same thing - repetition after repetition that men should at least act interested and women should stop nagging - as though his every word was so profound he assumed the commoners wouldn't be able to understand them the first time. Get over yourself, John Grey!! Write a book that actually helps people, maybe go out on a limb and include actual research findings, instead of creating a pathetic display of how smart you think you are. What scares me more is the amount of people on his band-wagon. Yikes! This book might be good for teens, or newly weds, but people married for years have already gone through these immature stages and are, or should be, way beyond any situation this book references.
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on October 6, 1998
The entire contents of John Gray's books repeat the same tired old anecdotes and dogmas. In his view, men are mute, dumb, inarticulate cave-men who can only comprehend mindless action-activities as a form of bonding, i.e., sports, butting heads, hanging out with 'buddies' over a beer, etc. In the bedroom, they are rapacious savages-- demanding and poor at satisfying their partner's needs. Men put out love in relationships only to get sex. Women, in his view, are on the other hand moronic complainers, seeking a warm body to shelter them. Women put out sex in relationships only to get platonic love and protection. Women, in his view, far from being intellectual, want to pour out their feelings endlessly; we just want to talk, not act, according to Gray's quackery. The solution, he holds, that will enable these two inadequate and polarized psychopaths to survive in a marriage, is MUTUAL SELF-SACRIFICE. Men, be patient if she is a frigid, passive complainer who leans on your protection in return for love. That is simply the nature of women. Women, tolerate his ape-ish habits, patiently sitting through a football game, or washing dishes while he retreats mutely into his anti-social "cave." As you can see, John Gray's... ideas do not represent serious phychology or serious research. His ideas do not promote mental health and self-improvement, only mistaken characatures of men and women. His feel-good psychology, which evades personality problems and psychotic behaviors, under the guise that they are merely "masculinity" or "femininitiy" is pathetic and dumbed-down. Don't buy his books. Instead, check out Dr. Ellen Kenner, Dr. Nathaniel Branden, or Dr. Edith Packer. They offer solutions, not self-sacrifice.
His book should be renamed "Psychopathic Women Are From Venus and Inadequate, Stupid Men Are from Mars." Don't buy the book if you have an above-average I.Q. or an effective, normal personality.
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