Forgive the flagrant reappropriation of a tired phrase in our headline... but, uh, does Tucker Max finally respect women?
Max, made famous for his lewd stories and responsible one of the worst movies of 2009, recently resurfaced for an essay entitled "Guys, Here’s What It’s Actually Like to Be a Woman" for The New York Observer. The essay, an excerpt from his book, Mate: Become the Man Women Want, shows men how to pretty much be the opposite of Tucker Max fans from the early 2000s.
The long-winded, heavily detailed article, addresses body issues, slut-shaming, the societal pressures men and women put on themselves, and how to handle sex. It starts off with a quote from To Kill a Mockingbird, incorporates vital data about sex and dating, and bolds the shit out of phrases like "mating success requires cross-sex insight" and "she is afraid of being physically harmed or sexually assaulted." It's the kind of piece a guy would write if he said the word "bitch" in front of Beyoncé.
Surprisingly enough, it's all pretty useful for dudes who are stuck in the high school state-of-mind where you could call a girl "crazy" and all your bros would high-five you to death. Heck, who better to mansplain women than Tucker Friggin' Max?
The essay was, naturally, immediately syndicated on professional navel-gazers, ThoughtCatalog, and gives advice to wayward men about how to treat women, while heavily lobbying for a change in the way we treat women as a society.
It seems Max had put his extreme idiocy behind him, as detailed by Maxim's piece "The Reinvention of Tucker Max" in which the 40-year-old writer confidently defines himself as a feminist: "If you define feminist as a person who believes that women and men should be treated equally, then of course I’m a feminist." Quite the change of pace from this gem from his 2012 book, Hilarity Ensues: “I never understand why women think drama and bullshit are attractive to guys. They’re not. I’m going to be real clear about this, ladies, so pay attention: Prince Charming doesn’t come to rescue cunty lunatics.”
Look, the guy's married and happy and admits he "had to fail thousands of times" before he realized what he was doing wrong. Do we attribute his attitude adjustment to his wife, the social atmosphere, or simply the act of growing older? Speaking as a man who regularly used to call women "bitches" or "crazy," I can't stress enough how important it is to get called out for being a dick.
Still... how useful is this information for women? Imagine being told that, one day, Tucker Max would give you helpful sex advice and help you peek into the brain of a woman: "If she’s with you, it’s because she wants more than just an orgasm. She wants a sexual connection. She wants to feel sexually desired. And she wants you to have a great time so you’ll call her again." Has Tucker Max pulled a Mel Gibson?
So, is Tucker Max truly a feminist? Has he turned over a new leaf? Who knows if this change is permanent, or if we're just waiting for a follow-up article in which he tells us to disregard everything he's just said. Tell us how you feel, ladies. Does Tucker Max respect women, or is it all temporary?
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Jeremy Glass is a writer for Thrillist and will accept all thoughts, feelings, and queries via Twitter: @CandyandPizza