cover image Outdated: Why Dating is Ruining Your Love Life

Outdated: Why Dating is Ruining Your Love Life

Samhita Mukhopadhyay. Seal, $17 trade paper (280p) ISBN 978-1-58005-332-7

In this accessible, thought-provoking book, journalist Mukhopadhyay (editor of the blog examines the pitfalls of romantic relationships in a world dominated by sexism, gender essentialism, racism, and heteronormativity. She describes her project as "a feminist critique on how we understand dating and a road map to guide us through our feminist dating adventures." In doing so, she addresses the ways in which society pressures women to conform to antiquated stereotypes and stigmatizes anyone not actively trying to find a husband. She also calls out the sexist male writers of romantic self-help books aimed at women, including John Gray, Greg Behrendt, and Travis Stork, noting that "the self-help industry capitalizes on characterizing women as needy, wishy-washy, demanding too much, and being unstable." Ultimately, she asks: "how do we date as feminists in a world that is so structured around patriarchy, power, and privilege?" Mukhopadhyay provides many excellent suggestions, including a list of the ways that feminism makes a woman stronger, smarter, and happier in the dating world. Though the message may not be new, and for all practical purposes ignores the GLBT community, many young women will benefit from reading this book. (Oct.)