Cows.

The thrift store near my apartment was about to renovate. Their solution for getting rid of old merchandise was to hand every customer a big plastic bag and tell them to fill it up as much as they wanted for $5.00. I ended up with a few pieces of clothing that didn't really fit and a giant pile of books. This is the story of one of those books.

Not a story, a rant. Because it was awful. So. Awful.

Initially I stopped reading it after 2 chapters. I eventually picked it up again convinced that it HAD to get better and that it COULDN'T possibly be that a book like this existed. I'm going to spoil the story now in hopes that it will make you not want to read it.

The story goes like this: A woman starts seeing a man who is engaged to another woman. After he convinces her to move in with him, he gets cold feet and stops talking to her. Eventually she finds out that he is still with his fiancee, and also seeing another-other woman. We, as women readers, are meant to feel bad and ignore the terrible, stupid decisions made so far. Our heroine then becomes embarrassingly obsessed with figuring out why men leave women for newer women and decides that she is a scientist and collects facts on animals and their mating habits and/or pairing. Facts which she assembles by Xeroxing encyclopedias and clipping articles out of newspapers and magazines. Eventually she gets over it.

Every chapter starts with a quote. I hated that too.

So the theory she focuses on is called New-Cow Old-Cow. The lesson learned from this book was that because bulls do their best not to mate with the same cow twice, and because a whack of other species, randomly distributed throughout the animal kingdom, have males who do crazy things to attract a female and then does the same to attract another female, human males are assholes and so are bulls.

The book ends with a subtle "I was probably wrong and boy was I being a bit crazy! I'm better now, thanks".

Our make-believe-self-proclaimed-biologist/anthropologist/psychologist/sociologist's commitment to her own theories ends abruptly. Was this a story about healing? Was I, as a woman who has been abandoned by a man in the past, meant to relate? Was I expected to ignore the sexism towards both men and women, ignore the over-simplified garbage about relationships, and embrace the "lessons" learned by this character?

If intuition hasn't yet convinced you of all that is awful with this book, I won't be able to convince you either. I'm not very good at expressing myself in writing. If you would like to explore further, someone made a movie about it.

This is the part where I should tell you what the book is or at least reference the author. But just in case you are tempted to make the same mistake as I did by actually reading it, I won't. You're welcome.