Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit
R. M. Johnson. Karen Hunter, $24 (256pp) ISBN 978-1-4391-0149-0
Attempting to replicate the success of Steve Harvey's Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, this dubious self-help from novelist Johnson (The Million Dollar Divorce) might as well be called Act like a Doormat, Think Like a Cavewoman. Johnson derives numerous dos and don'ts from retread stereotypes regarding men's notorious fear of commitment and tendency to wander, pinning the blame on a vague sense of helplessness and the legacy of deadbeat dads. As if pandering to women's worst suspicions weren't enough, Johnson advises them to by all means pander to his hurtful behavior, double standards and childish demands: ""never deny your boyfriend of... sex. Men simply think there is just no reason to do that."" He also addresses heavier women, discussing whether a woman who hasn't lost all her pregnancy weight is worthy of sex, and emphasizes the importance of keeping house and cooking. Chapter nine, ""Ten Steps to Make Him Ask 'Will You Marry Me?'"" is comparatively more helpful, and could have made a decent pamphlet-the full-length treatment only serves to clarify why Johnson, at 40, is still single.
Reviewed on: 07/27/2009