Trigger Warning: This novel and review discuss the following: really bad relationship advice.
Goodreads Rating: 1 Star
Ah, the 90’s classic relationship and communication guide… how cute.
I listened to the audiobook, and I was very surprised to learn that the 368 pages of the book translated to only an hour and a half on audio. The presentation of this “understanding the opposite sex” information is absolutely ridiculous. In a game of Let’s Pretend, Gray starts off his readers explaining that men are from Mars, women are from Venus, and they were put together on Earth with some serious miscommunication problems. Then he proceeds to write that basically, men are prone to wanting simple, easy fix solutions and women are prone to emotional communication. From there, he’s full of suggestions about what the women and men need to do to clearly communicate- but what bothered me was there seemed to be a lot of facetious information that generally learned towards how to understand the man, and what women do wrong in their communication.
“Men need to remember that women talk about problems to get close and not necessarily to get solutions.”
Silly women, communication is for kids!
While listening to the audio, I couldn’t help but wish Gray had more supporting evidence for his sexist theories. From what I’ve gathered in my interest in the supernatural, Mars really does rule men as a planet of masculinity, etc, and Venus rules women as the planet of femininity. However, Gray makes it sound like he thought that up himself, and gives no reasoning behind his decision on these specific planets. If I chose to ignore that, I’d also choose to ignore his idea that fixing things, problem solving, and sports/competition are male characteristics, and neediness, emotions, and shopping are inherently female attributes. Now, maybe because I grew up on Earth, I’ve experienced that fluidity between male and female traits that can be expressed by either gender… What do you think about that, Mr. Gray?
But as a man, I didn’t know that touching, holding, and listening were so important to her. By recognizing these differences I began to learn a new way of relating to my wife. I would have never believed we could resolve conflict so easily.”
*Facepalm* I digress.
Published: April 3, 1992
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
TL/DR: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray is an antiquated relationship guide to communication within a relationship.
Read it? No. Do yourself the favor and let this one die in the 1990s.
Recommend it? Definitely not.
Buy it? Don’t even bother!
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