June 2 2010 12:00 AM

Alkon a sexist

Your publication is fantastic, and I wish there were more like it.

My one complaint is with your use of "Ask the Advice Goddess," by Amy Alkon. For the tone of the rest of the paper, this column seems bizarre and out of place. Alkon’s advice is often unnecessarily rude and condescending — and not in a funny or edgy way. What I find even more disconcerting, however, is her adherence to strict gender code norms for men and women. For example, in the issue that I read this morning, she states that "women confuse ’equal’ with ’the same,’" and that in the Tarzan-Jane approach to dating (awkward), someone "has to be Jane." What I took from the rest of her long-winded response was that women should not approach men and ask them on dates, because the result will be a single date, after which the man will be so emasculated that he will never again seek to contact the woman for a second date. She then went on to speak of the complete lack of "manliness" in today’s society and how most men you meet are actually effeminate man-children who need your cues to stick to ridiculous double standards such as being the ones to initiate romance. This is such an archaic notion and speaks only to the embarrassing degree of embedded sexism still present in our society today. This is not an isolated example, either.

Here’s one more gem of hers, in regards to the stereotype of women who are attracted to "bad boys" because they want to clean them up. She suggests that women take on an arts and crafts project instead, because "Whatever you come up with, it’ll at least be distracting, and definitely less miseryinducing than that fun game you project daters like to play, ’Spot the tall, dark, handsome captain of industry in the chronically unemployed drug user with the personality disorder.’" Beneath her "edgy, tough-love" tone, all I can hear is one woman casting judgment on so many others, without offering real advice, and making sure that she still appeals to the good ol’ boys rhetoric.

Don’t get me wrong, my boyfriend and I do get a certain degree of enjoyment out of laughing at her ridiculous attempts at "advice" for couples, which often sounds like it’s straight out of a 1950s sex ed filmstrip with just a little more sass. I’m really just curious if you do have readers who write in to your publication stating that they enjoy her column, or if there are those like me who find Ms. Alkon to be an outdated sexist still clinging to the old laws of attraction. In either case, thank you again for keeping up such great work on the rest of the City Pulse.

— Katelyn Dinkgrave Detroit