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AztecLady speaks–a helping of WTF?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

The idea for this post comes from a thread at The Book Binge a week or so ago. I have been steaming ever since, and didn’t want to take over their blog with it, so I am dragging it over here.

Lori Uscher-Pines, PhD (in what? I don’t know and don’t feel like looking) has penned a guide to “empower” women—by teaching them how to squeeze a proposal out of the men in their lives.

Here’s the title and blurb from amazon:

The Get-Your-Man-to-Marry-You Plan: Buying the Cow in the Age of Free Milk

What’s a gal to do when her man’s giving her everything she wants except a ring? This irreverent guide will help the marriage-ready woman evaluate the severity of her not-so-ready man’s excuses for delaying marriage and sharpen her abilities to dismantle them. With a funny but firm hand, Lori Uscher-Pines, who herself maneuvered for a ring from her now-husband, offers the reader serious tips for securing a marriage proposal from the excuse-ridden, free-milk-gulping man she loves.
Buying the Cow in the Age of Free Milk includes:

*How to know if it’s really time to push for a ring
*The difference between me excuses, you excuses and institution of marriage excuses
*The “severity” scale of common male excuses, and the associated tactics for changing his mind
*Behavior fouls not to make on the quest for a proposalPushing for a proposal is about female empowerment, and this must-have guide will help the reader take control of her personal life without giving up the romantic, “then-he-got-down-on-one-knee” moment she’s always imagined.

The author showed up a couple of hours after Holly’s post (Google, anyone?) with this pearl of wisdom:

Hey ladies,

My name is Lori Uscher-Pines and I am the author of “Buying the Cow.” I saw your comments about the book and I just wanted to clarify a couple of points. I appreciate your interest in the topic.
The reason that the book is about “female empowerment” is the timing of an engagement shouldn’t be totally up to men. After all, if a marriage is really a partnership, it is unfair that a woman has no control whatsoever about when a marriage will start. The book is only for people in serious, committed relationships so it isn’t about forcing a guy, but about having a timeline that works for both of you. Also, the title is meant to be tongue-in- cheek. The question “why buy the cow…” is absurd and something my crazy grandma would say. It is meant to be funny but also to refer to a truth in human nature- that people are unlikely to make a long term investment if they can get the benefits without the investment. This is true in all aspects of life, including relationships. I hope that you will read the book to see that I am truly a feminist who believes that women should get whatever they want in life- whether that be a husband or not. I’m not here to question your desires or choices (i.e. to marry or not to marry), I am just here to help you get what you (the strong female) want.

Perhaps I’m not smart enough but what’s wrong with a strong woman being direct instead of manipulative? I mean, a strong woman could, oh I don’t know, do the asking herself?


  • Seriously, I proposed to my now-husband. Granted, it was more along the lines of “So, how do you feel about getting married?” than anything overly romantic…… 😛


  • Perhaps not romantic in the fairy tale sense, but frankly, much more sensible from where I sit! 😉


  • Sparky
    September 10
    2:06 pm

    What what WHAT? Just NO!

    “Female empowerment because the timing of the engagmenet shouldn’t be just up to the man”

    No, it should be up to the COUPLE and if one side is NOT ready then using manipulative tactics to make it happens are just wrong on so many levels. And how is it empowering to encourage the idea that if a woman wants something she has to resort to deviously manipulating a man?

    “it is unfair that a woman has no control whatsoever about when a marriage will start.”

    How about acknowledging that a woman has power and ability BEYOND her skill to influence and manipulate men?


  • That is the most *insert word here* idea I’ve ever heard! What about manipulating a man into marrying you gives you the idea that it’s going to be a happy, equal marriage? If you have to manipulate him into that, what else will you have to manipulate him into until you’re the mom and he’s the little boy?

    Good Lord, what the h*** happened to ‘Will you marry me?’ from either partner?


    Besides that, the woman traditionally (though not always of course) sets the date or says ‘yes’ or ‘no’ so who says she has no control???


  • It’s all part of the ‘good old days’ that certain elements of the US population are trying to bring back to us.

    Vote, vote right, vote often.


  • Jess
    September 10
    3:15 pm

    When I read the blurb my first thought was why in the hell would you want to marry someone who makes up so many excuses not to be with you?

    If I’m going to read anti-feminist lit on how to be a good, lil lady, I’ll go classic and read The Rules. At least then I can enjoy the irony of knowing that the authors have since divorced. 🙂


  • Didn’t follow it before, not going to hunt for it now. I asked him. Like Nonny, it was oh-so-romantic.

    “Wanna get married?” I asked him on my birthday. It’s the only reason I know the exact day. 😀


  • Well, from my experience most of my relationships started because I looked at the other side of the bed and discussed the fact he had been sleeping here 5 out of 7 days in the last three weeks so when was he gonna move in.

    I mean really, what is the point when you are already doing his and your laundry together?


  • Honestly, her comment really struck me speechless. I had no idea what to say after she visited. Still don’t…


  • I know, Holly! That’s why I had to post–it’s been bugging me to the point of screeches!


  • MB (Leah)
    September 10
    4:47 pm

    Her whole premise seems to be based on the idea that women are still leaving the asking up to men, which I think is pretty much obsolete these days.

    I’m sure it’s still very romantic when a man asks a woman, and maybe somewhere deep inside many women still desire that. But now-a-days, so many people are co-habitating already and women don’t have to feel shy about asking the guy for what they want, including marriage. And I think guys have come to expect a more forward thinking woman and might be leaving the asking to her.

    She seemed to want to clarify that this book is not about manipulation, but it comes across as such in the blurb. Any book that even hints at women having to be manipulative in order to get what they want just sets women back and perpetuates old stereotypes.


  • …a truth in human nature- that people are unlikely to make a long term investment if they can get the benefits without the investment.

    God, this is such a stereotype painting all men as commitment-shy. If a woman in a serious relationship really values marriage but her partner doesn’t, this is obviously an issue that the couple needs to communicate about. I know my father, for one, and all of my uncles and grandfathers valued marriage over simply cohabitating and I’m certain there are many, many more men out there who feel that marriage is very important indeed.



  • Kay Webb Harrison
    September 10
    4:53 pm

    I mean, a strong woman could, oh I don’t know, do the asking herself?


    That was my thought when I first read the blurb for the book. I have never been shy about asking for what I want, and I realize that the answer might not be affirmative. As a “strong woman,” I know how to accept disappointment, pick up the pieces, and get on with life.



  • Exactly, Kay!

    Strong human being in a free society shouldn’t need to engage in subterfuge and manipulation to get what they want, as far as it is only dependent on their will. Once the needs and wants of another person are part of the equation, then it should be up to both to make the best decision for both–as Sparky said much earlier.

    Yes, strong women in restrictive societies probably had to engage in all sorts of schemes to get what they wanted and needed, but aren’t we–at least in most Western societies, a bit past that?


  • Eh, I think if I’d THAT ready to get married and he isn’t proposing, I’d do it.

    Of course, I love the romantic idea of the man going down on bended knee (*G* and mine did, no manipulation needed) it may not happen that way for all women.

    If ya wanna be married that bad, ask… if you’re craving the ring and him down on bended knee, wel, my personal opinion is that those are trappings, how far on the scale of importance depends on each different person. But the commitment is what really counts in the long run and I’d say a really empowered woman could take the first step just fine. Again, my two cents, your mileage may vary.

    My eyebrows just go up at the thought of ‘manipulating’ my guy into marriage.


  • I think you said it perfectly, Kay. Generally a woman in a free society should have more options open to her than simply finagling (too lazy to look up the spelling) a husband into providing her financial and emotional security and well-being. It’s possible to accept disappointment and move on. Women used to have to be more manipulative because there were less options open to them therefore making them more desperate and almost making subterfuge necessary sometimes (or more often than sometimes).

    I definitely agree with your ‘Wtf?’ moment, Azteclady. It really makes you wonder what time period this woman thinks she’s living in.


  • Shiloh, if I want him down on bended knee….. well, there’s other ways to achieve that! >: )


  • Emmy
    September 10
    7:21 pm

    The title of the book is hilarious, even if the content is highly suspect.

    If either side has to manipulate, nag, or otherwise blackmail their partner into marriage, how happy could they possibly be together? If one person is hell bent on getting married and the other has severe excuses on why it ain’t happening, your relationship is already deeply fucked. Move on. There’s more than one cow out there disseminating milk.


  • Dear Lord! People, grab onto something–I actually agree with every word Emmy has said!




  • sallahdog
    September 10
    8:10 pm

    heh… I proposed to my now hubby(of 17 years)… Of course I said” So are we getting married or are we going to continue to live together in sin, torturing my (holy roller) father?”

    I am such a romantic…. He told me later that it was nice to take the pressure off.. He is the shyer of the two of us…


  • Sallah, that is very much how it happened with my husband and myself (although we’ve not been together as long as you and yours :). He is very shy, and some time after I asked him, found out he had been trying to figure out a way to broach the subject himself! Sometimes it helps to be straightforward! LOL.


  • Obviously, I’m lots less liberated than you all… he he. My husband did not do the bended knee, does in the hot tub 2 days after we met in person for the first time count? 😉


  • sallahdog
    September 10
    9:36 pm

    Nonny, I firmly believe that we look for people who will understand and ‘get’ us… Before my hubby, I dated guys that I always had to twist myself into knots to please…

    I finally realized that if he was the right guy, he would accept me for who I was.. and he did, and he appreciates me, even if I am a ball buster (he has been known to call me to call some contractor and bust their balls for him)… Its nice to be appreciated for your unique talents..


  • Dear Lord! People, grab onto something–I actually agree with every word Emmy has said!


    on occasion, Emmy actually make a lot of sense. 😉 I agreed with her, too.

    Shiloh, if I want him down on bended knee….. well, there’s other ways to achieve that! >: )

    Well, yeah, and I imagine it’s a lot of fun. 😉


  • Emmy
    September 11
    2:04 am

    Awww..you really do luv me, Shi??? all this time you had me on moderation because you want to keep my comments all to yourself *g*

    Dear Lord! People, grab onto something–I actually agree with every word Emmy has said!

    Oh noes! Look out, people. The balance of the universe has been…unbalanced. Powerful hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis are coming in the next day.


  • No, I kept you moderated in the group because I know how you just love to cause trouble.

    Normally… I’d admire that and it would amuse me. But since my summer was wwwwwwaaaayyyyyyy too chaotic to handle trouble, I decided to take the EZ way out.

    If you want an alphabetical list of how chaotic, I’d be happy to give ya one. But trust me, you don’t, don’t DON’T wannna hear me whine now that I’m almost recovered.



  • I like my husband so much I don’t bust his balls like I do other people *heh*. That’s true love!


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