Take Pride and Prejudice (one), a monotheistic god (obviously one), a barmy bestseller author* (one will do; but you can add more if you like**), spit three times on unpainted wood, jump five times on your left leg, shout “I’M STUPID LOL”, stir the ingredients, and wait for profit!
Short version of this post: If you need relationship advice, you’ll be better off with Dan Savage.
Any girl who has seen Pride and Prejudice or read the Jane Austen novel knows that the much misunderstood Mr. Darcy is the ideal gentleman. But is it possible to find your own Mr. Darcy in today’s world of geeks and goons? With smart tips, spiritual insights, and discussions of Jane Austen’s popular stories and movies, best-selling author Sarah Arthur equips young women to gauge a guy’s Darcy Potential (DP) according to his relationships with family, friends, and God (emphasis mine). (Dating Mr. Darcy: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Sensible Romance).
It’s been some time since I read Pride and Prejudice, and admittedly, I didn’t like it very much***, however, I somehow don’t think there was a lot of god talk in it. It would seem that god is like cheese, in a way; you can put it anywhere, and it always sort of magically fits, somehow.
Apparently, Sarah Arthur has a knack for ripping off of other famous authors, too, on her website, she’s got two other self-help books ripped off of the LOTR.
Before anybody tries saying something like “but waaait! it’s just a Xian self-help book! Xians need resources that tell them how to be happy, according to their freaky, convoluted Xian ways, too!”, I’d like to point out that the first chapter of Dating Mr. Darcy is titled: PRESSURE AND PROMISCUITY.
GUYS, OBVIOUSLY, WOMEN DON’T EVER WANT TO HAVE SEX, AND IT”S THE AWFUL GODLESS GUYS WHO TOTALLY PRESSURE THEM INTO HAVING SEX WITH THEM, BECAUSE BOYS WILL BE BOYS OR SOMETHING LOL. OTHERWISE ALL WOMEN WOULD NEVER HAVE SEX AT ALL (UNLESS THEY’RE GODLESS WHORES OR SOMETHING)
It must be hard to be a Xian woman: first they tell you not to be promiscuous, then you have to marry and keep faking orgasms for the rest of your sex life. Tough, huh? But then, as a woman you’re not meant to enjoy it, anyway.
Not to mention that that sort of thinking this book exemplifies? It hurts men, too.
Not to mention how it fosters a culture in which all a woman should care about is a. getting married, b. getting married asap, c. getting married to a guy, d. not staying single, e. not have any, you know, hobbies or something, apart from reading self-help books on how to get married (asap, to a guy, etc).
There’s a lot of gushing reviews, too, on Amazon, which sort of gave me morning sickness**** today, and it’s not like I hadn’t been terribly hangover to start with (emphasis mine):
First off, it’s a universal truth that Mr. Darcy is the perfect man. This book shows us why, what kind of characteristics make a guy worth dating, and how to listen to those little red flags that make Wickham look so good. This is a very fun read, even if you are married! But I will be keeping it for my daughter to study as she gets older.
Yeah, finally a guy who looks great in red flags! JUST WHAT WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR. AND DON’T BE SO NEGATIVE IT’S HAUTE COUTURE ALL RIGHT?
Also, note how she’s absolutely certain that her daughter will marry, and not stay single, or choose not to marry at all, or will not want to marry a man, or become a nun, or (insert 1000 other possibilities).
It is universally known that a single young woman is secretly in want of a Mr. Darcy. Sarah Arthur is no exception; she herself confesses to having a crush on Jane Austen’s tall, dark and handsome hero from “Pride and Prejudice.” She devotes an entire book to highlighting Mr. Darcy’s best qualities, comparing him with Mr. Wickham, Mr. Collins and with most of the single men out there in the world today.
*GROAN* Oh, she had a crush on Mr. Darcy, too? HOW ADORABLE (not so). And how does she accomplish the feat of comparing him with MOST of the single men in the world today? Are there any statistics? Or it there just a disgruntled Xian author frothing at the mouth and shouting “YOU WHOOOOORES!1!1!!!!!”?
I think that anyone reading these reviews shouldn’t be set off by some of the lower ratings. It’s understandable if you don’t like her writing style, but not liking the book because it talks about faith is just silly. She wrote it to be a dating guide for christian teenage girls. That is her target audience (though others can still get something from it), and the idea that the way she presents it is silly and childish, is just ridiculous.
Oh, the NO CRITICISE MAH FAAAAAAAAITH D: fallacy again, how droll. So, criticising stuff that talks about faith is exactly silly how? And just because she targets poor, innocent Xian teenage girls, and I’m safe, ’cause I’m not Xian, not teenage, and not very innocent, I should refrain from criticising others, who force them into an oppressive, harmful, potentially very unhappy lifestyle? Yeah, right.
And the sweet sweet voice of reason:
My mom gave me this book and asked me to read it and give her my opinion of it. Next time I spoke to her I had to tell her, “I’m sorry, I just couldn’t get through it.” I slogged through the first chapter, but I grew increasingly fed up with Arthur’s vapid writing style (to me, the book reads like the diary of a thirteen-year-old girl, and not a particularly clever thirteen-year-old girl at that). I also couldn’t stomach her constant use of the editorial “we” in a decidedly non-scholarly work. She constantly talks about how “we feel” or what “we think” about Austen’s characters, attempting to stamp me, the reader, with her own attitudes and beliefs in a way I found insulting. I wanted to shout, “Don’t tell me what I think! Talk about what *you* think, if you think anyone cares, but don’t insist that I follow sheeplike in your path and subordinate my own ideas to yours!” The final straw was her moralistic attitude. While it’s only natural for the author’s religious beliefs to inform her attitudes toward dating and relationships, I found her constant references to God and faith and moral character and God’s plan for humanity to be oppressive. I might have been able to tolerate either the giggly schoolgirl style or the sententious moralism by itself, but the combination defeated me.
(Also, her disgustingly giggly fangirl-baiting on her own website is SUCH A PATHETIC marketing strategy that, seriously, I COULD ONLY LOL*****)
* This is the first time I’ve heard about her, though. I might be a bit biased against self-help books; I doubt I’ve ever read one.
** They tend to be a bit sour, though. I’d rather recommend fresh Xian baby meat eye balls.
*** Blah blah blah, romance, romance, romance, blah, blah, blah, talking, talking, talking, blah, blah, blah, booooring!
**** I’m not pregnant, of course, but if there’s a word suitable for WHEN YOU REALLY WANT TO VOMIT THAT MUCH, it’s morning sickness. I think I might have picked it up from La Erv or something.
***** I think La Erv is influencing my speech pattern *facepalm*