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03 July, 2008

A STRAIGHT, NO-CHASER DIALOGUE WITH MARC RUDOV, AUTHOR OF "THE MAN'S NO NONSENSE GUIDE TO WOMEN: HOW TO SUCCEED IN ROMANCE ON PLANET EARTH (TM)"

Is there a marriage strike? Are men being bombarded with and confused by the mixed signals they receive about the rules of engagement concerning courtship and marriage? And who is confusing men with these mixed signals? Is it the media? Society? Women? And what key pieces of information should we share with our children about the rules of engagement concerning courtship and marriage in connection with their future roles as spouses and parents which will allow them to develop and maintain loving and stable marriages and relationships? These are just a few of the questions that I had an opportunity to ask the author of a provocative and groundbreaking book on male-female relationships entitled, "The Man's No-Nonsense Guide To Women: How To Succeed In Romance On Planet Earth (TM)". It was truly a straight no-chaser dialogue!

D.A. Sears, Managing Editor - IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD(R)

He is an investment banker and a business consultant. He possesses a formal education in engineering and business. He is the author of a provocatively groundbreaking book, The Man’s No-Nonsense Guide To Women: How To Succeed In Romance On Planet Earth(TM). He is MARC H. RUDOV. After reading and reviewing, The Man’s No-Nonsense Guide To Women: How To Succeed Romance On Planet EarthTM, I simply had to learn more about the man who is helping men deal with the covert and overt mixed signals that bombard them concerning the rules of engagement for courtship and marriage.

So, who were Mr. Rudov’s role models as he made the journey from childhood to manhood?

“Role models are arranged like planets orbiting the sun, which is akin to the childhood home. Naturally, my parents were my first and primary role models. As I traveled through my galaxy of life, however, away from the light, heat, and vicissitudes of my familiar surroundings, numerous others—teachers, coaches, clergy, friends, parents of friends, lovers, managers, colleagues, athletes, authors, corporate chieftains, world leaders, and entertainers—inspired and affected my evolving behavior and thinking. I came of age in the 1960s, thinking of women as inferior, eventually realized they are equals, and now tolerate only those who act like equals,” he responded.

I wanted to know what prompted Mr. Rudov to write The Man’s No-Nonsense Guide To Women: How To Succeed In Romance On Planet EarthTM. What reactions has he received from men about his book? What reactions has he received from women about his book?

“I re-entered the dating world in 1992 after my thirteen-year marriage ended. I discovered that, despite their constant fighting for equality and the incredible advances they had made in politics, sports, education, entertainment, and business, women still had a double standard of wanting to be taken care of. This made zero sense to me. Always a bit of an iconoclast with a rebellious streak, I found that, as I navigated singledom once again, I didn’t want to relate to women in the antiquated style of the 1950s—simply because it was the ‘thing to do.’ So, why not lead the charge to change society? I bucked many trends, to the dismay of numerous women, and noted mentally the ways in which my new practices played out. Over time, I kept telling myself that, some day, I would write a book about what I had experienced. It was painful to live through a divorce and be ripped apart from my children by an anti-male court, and I also saw a lot of people suffering as I had. I believed that stupid, illogical courting protocols lay at the root of discord between men and women. So, I decided I could help them update the protocols of social intercourse to match the metamorphosis of the professional world, with the aim of reducing the divorce rate. Interestingly, there are men and women who welcome my book and are absolutely grateful for my rationale and ‘permission’ for them to discard worn out, illogical dating habits. Yet, there are members of both sexes who find it necessary to cling to old traditions, which they believe give them power over each other,” Rudov remarked.

Are men being bombarded with mixed signals about the rules of engagement concerning courtship and marriage by the media? By society? By women? Rudov offered the following:

“Men are always receiving mixed messages from the media, society, and women in particular. Be tough, but not too tough. Be sensitive, but not too sensitive. You’re not very emotional. You’re too emotional. You never cry. I hate it when you cry. Let women achieve what they want, even take your job, but still take care of them. Get her something nice for Valentine’s Day but don’t expect anything for yourself. Women can walk around practically nude, especially in the workplace, and then complain when men objectify them. Abortion is a woman’s choice—it’s her body, her life, her choice—and man has no place in her decision. But, if she decides to have the child, the man has to pay child support—which is not his choice. Need I go on?” .

Have the rules of engagement concerning courtship and marriage changed? When? How? Why?

“Very little, I’m afraid,” says Rudov. “A few of us have changed, but most people are too afraid to change. When women making big bucks can look me in the eye and demand wining, dining, and pedestals, I know we are light-years away from wholesale change. But, I am proud that my book and articles have inspired people all over the globe to chuck old habits and alter their lives. It’s a start. All epidemics start that way, as Malcolm Gladwell points out in his fascinating book, The Tipping Point.”

Men worldwide seem to be adopting an “I’m fired up and I’m not taking it any more!” What are men fired up about? What’s going on?

“Men are tired of relationships with women: they are burdensome, tiresome, and expensive. Men are getting hosed in divorce courts all over this country. Women brag about getting plastic surgery, courtesy of their ex-husbands’ alimony. Georgia Witkin, Ph.D., who touts herself as a foremost authority on women’s stress, just published a book entitled It’s Not You; It’s Him. The outrageous title of this book makes me want to puke. Women’s stress? Teaching females to blame their problems on men, as if they need any encouragement? Give me a break. Yet, people are taking Witkin seriously. TV sitcoms and beer commercials continue to portray men as morons. Enough already. Frankly, we’ve had it,” Rudov declared.

Is there a marriage strike? Yes, according to Rudov.

“More and more men are saying no to marriage. A guy from the Midwest wrote to me recently, summing up the situation in the United States perfectly: ‘Until the legal landscape changes dramatically, which I see as overwhelmingly unlikely, I can't see myself ever living with another woman again’.”

Is there a gender war? How does it impact upon male-female relationships? How do we go about arranging a cease-fire?

“Yes, there is a gender war. To learn more about it, look at Maureen Dowd, the liberal New York Times columnist who penned the book, 'Are Men Necessary?' Can you imagine what would happen to a man writing such a book about women? Look at what happened to Larry Summers when he questioned the competence of women in the sciences? He was forced to resign the presidency of Harvard University. Double standard? You bet. Cease-fire? A good start is finding Maureen Dowd a boyfriend, so she can stop whining. Get women’s magazines to advocate taking responsibility for actions and inactions. Women, and only women, can end the gender war,” Rudov responds with unapologetic honesty.

What key pieces of information should we share with our children about the rules of engagement concerning courtship and marriage, in connection with their future roles as spouses and parents, which will allow them to develop and maintain loving and stable marriages and households?

“It’s very simple and contained in everything I have written and will continue to write: Men and women are equal and should expect no special, gender-based privileges from each other. Every girl must understand this axiom: Until you can take care of yourself, you have nothing to offer a man. Every boy, especially, must understand this axiom: Nobility leads to poverty. Don’t settle for a girl who needs rescuing. Find a peer, or keep moving. Finally, I believe the current generation of children is the softest, most-spoiled, most-coddled, most-entitled, most-immature, least-respectful bunch of human beings ever produced on this planet. They have no concept of how the real world works and no understanding of responsibility or emotional connection. They know about cellphones, PCs, X-Boxes, and iPods. They know about IMs, e-mails, and text messages. They recognize Snoop Dog but not George Washington. They know how to talk back to their parents and teachers but not how to talk to each other or care about each other. They know how to have sex but have their parents buy their condoms and birth-control pills. Bottom line: Either these kids won’t get married at all or will experience a ninety-nine percent divorce rate. Unless we start expecting more from kids, and give them solid examples to follow, this discussion is moot.”

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