Boy vey the shiksa s guide to dating jewish men

Today, dating books (some of which, to be fair, offer smart, realistic advice) replicate like, well, diet books.

boy vey the shiksa s guide to dating jewish men-29

“Throughout recent history, the sexual heroes have been the Clark Gables, Humphrey Bogarts, Gregory Pecks, Robert Redfords,” reads the foreword of the book, which I have on loan from a friend’s personal irony library. It’s divided into subsections (“The Jewish Man and Things,” “When He Takes You Home for Dinner”), each of which contains a list of observations on the topic, usually starting with “he” (“He folds, never crumples, the paper”).

“Now, today, the Elliot Goulds, George Segals, Dustin Hoffmans herald the beginning of a new super sex star: the Jewish man.” It’s basically a humor book (we’ll get to that), but the core premise—we heart Jewish men, warts and all—is not winking or sarcastic; it’s entirely serious. Some are straightforward (“He uses hand lotion”); some have embellishments that make them less unfunny than they could be (“He has never washed his own clothes [even in the Army]”); some achieve the spare, abstruse genius of a Zen koan (“He is aged 30 to 55 whether he is or he isn’t”).

Repeat the phrase “Jewish man” instead of replacing it with “Hebrew honey,” “love mensch,” or, God help us, “Mr.

Tall, Dark, and Circumcised.” Even the flattering stereotypes in this book are annoying.

Jews have a long and not-so-flattering history of discomfort with interreligious romance, especially when it’s the woman who’s the “outsider.” (Perhaps needless to say, both dating books treat this often fraught matter as an “aw, his mom will learn to love you” joke.) For one thing, I’ve let the word “shiksa” sit around in this article like a big offensive rhino in the room.

“Though shiksa—meaning simply ‘gentile woman,’ but trailing a stream of complex connotations—is often tossed off casually and with humor, it’s about as noxious an insult as any racial epithet could hope to be,” writes Christine Benvenuto in her cultural history , which means “to loathe or abominate an unclean thing”) that came to bear the weight of Biblical admonitions and cautionary tales (“don’t you dare date a Canaanite”) that posited consorting with a non-Jewish woman as a threat to Jewish identity and homogeneity.Still, it would be nice if the cheekier books would at least nod toward the notion that being involved with a Jew is more than a matter of learning to tell salmon from sable.Because what real life reminds us is this: often, people who fall in love with Jews also fall in love with Judaism.Sandor Gardos, who are willing to put their full names next to statements like, “Jewish men are always more attentive,” give the book the veneer of actual self-help, and several Amazon reviewers indicate that they bought it for advice when dating someone Jewish. Sadder still, makes a decidedly more rigorous attempt at wit, but the stereotypes are still the same: Jewish men as metrosexual mama’s boys who are neurotic yet giving in the sack.The books also share an exhausted yet apparently unshakable meta-premise: “the Jews, they’re all the more grating is the publishing environment that spawned it.Instead, I’d rather spend my time picking apart the stereotypes in last year’s , which is not a book to be cast aside lightly.

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