"Men are also fed very antiquated notions of what dating should look like, so it becomes a signaling system where women being forward is somehow a sign that they are desperate, because they're breaking the mold of what it means to date as straight people."It's the enduring strength of that age-old system that's kept so many people playing by The Rules for so long. For Schneider and Fein, who've devoted their careers to this program, the answer is an unequivocal "nope! "Both Ellen and Sherrie claim to be feminists, and they shrug off any claims to the contrary.
" To them, is not about manipulation; it's about preventing women from making avoidable dating mistakes and getting hurt because of them. In their opinion, "feminism is about equal pay for equal work, owning a condo, or running a marathon," says Sherrie.
"It feeds into a nostalgia around romance, and that can be very provocative." Mukhopadhyay, a leading voice on feminist issues, is the author of which analyzes the ramifications of ingrained societal influences on modern dating practices."A lot of what is talked about in books like this is the same advice your grandma might give you," Mukhopadhyay explains, pointing out that this can make advice feel more resonant and true to readers — even if, in reality, it's merely old-fashioned.
"That said, I think the advice works sometimes," she adds.
All told, it encouraged women to be a bit more cynical about their happily-ever- afters. When I ring them for our interview, both Fein and Schneider's phones refuse to accept my call because my number comes up as blocked.
As the gurus who invented call screening, curtailing any contact that isn't face-to-face as quickly as possible, and good old-fashioned ignoring, this strikes me as particularly apt.
Fein and Schneider also suggest various techniques for leaving an online chat or email chain as quickly as possible, to retain your mystique.
And it's an important subject to address, given the de-mystification of internet dating and the rise of outlandish digital phenomena such as "sexting". In February 1995, a new dating book hit shelves, claiming to offer "time-tested secrets for capturing the heart of Mr.Right." It became a national best seller, teaching women all over the world how to snag a man, keep him on the line, and reel that sucker all the way to the altar.Fein and Schneider have even enlisted the help of their teenage daughters, to add their own take on romance in an over-connected era."These days, it doesn't matter whether a guy calls, texts or emails to ask you out," goes one of their hymeneal homilies, "as long as he asks you right." "Technology is great," continues Schneider. But it's the overuse of technology that is the problem. They're addicted to answering guys back in nanoseconds and they're not getting dates.They're getting more texts and Facebook messages and no dates.""They're writing on guys' walls, friending their cousins and scaring them away," adds Fein.S., and was soon reprinted in 18 different languages." relies on a very traditional sense of what love and courtship are," says writer, speaker, and technologist Samhita Mukhopadhyay.Plenty of us have been waiting to find that out for years.The New Rules might not explain the great mystery, but they offer certain coping strategies in the meantime."That is not repressive: that is called self-control and smart, effective behaviour.""We are feminists," adds Fein. We say go ahead and run a marathon and buy a condo and start a new business, just don't chase guys.It's not good or bad, it just doesn't work."Such is the crisis that constant contact has caused in our consciousness that Fein and Schneider have also created a chart in the new book that will tell you how long to wait before you text a man back (hint: the lag period increases, the older and supposedly wiser you are, and leave at least four hours before replying to man's initial text, whatever your age)."Don't text him back immediately… Never double text," they suggest."If you want more from a guy, give less."It's good advice, written in the vein of now-famous post-Rules guides Why Men Love Bitches and He's Just Not That Into You; each is predicated on creating an epiphany moment in women, when they suddenly understand what it is that men want or need from them.