"He's Just Not That Into You" -- Postmodern Secular Romance
- Monday, December 20, 2004
Sex and romance remain big issues in popular culture -- and for good reason. In a fallen world, issues of sexuality and romantic love are prime candidates for corruption and confusion. HBO's Emmy-winning Sex and the City may serve as the most potent symbol of the secular distortion of romance and the postmodern confusion of sexuality that is now taken for granted in many sectors of American society.
The latest evidence of this tragic confusion is found in the book He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys--the best-selling nonfiction book according to recent reports. Written by two authors connected with Sex and the City, the book is the perfect introduction to the sad, empty, highly-sexualized, and amoral world of modern romance.
Authors Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccilo pack quite a punch in this little book. As the authors explain, the book grew out of an accidental conversation in the writers' room of Sex and the City. As Liz Tuccilo explains, the female writers were "talking, pitching ideas, our personal love lives weaving in and out of the fictional lives we were creating in the room. And just like on any other day, one of the women on staff asked for feedback on the behavior of a man whom she liked. He was giving her mixed messages--she was confused. We were happy to pitch in and pick apart all the signs and signals of his actions. And just like on any other day, after much analysis and debate, we concluded that she was fabulous, he must be scared, he's never met a woman as great as her, he is intimidated, and she should just give him time."
But, that female conversation was interrupted by a male consultant for the program who walked into the room, Greg Behrendt. "On this day," Liz reports, "Greg listened intently to the story and our reactions, and then said to the woman in question, 'Listen, it sounds like he's just not that into you.'"
This simple observation dawned as a great metaphysical discovery on the part of the female writers. "We were shocked, appalled, amused, horrified, and above all, intrigued," Tuccilo reports. "We sensed immediately that this man might be speaking the truth. A truth that we, in our combined hundred years of dating experience, had never considered, and definitely never considered saying out loud."
Greg Behrendt also provides his side of the story, explaining that he had the "good fortune to be the only straight male on the predominantly female writing staff" of Sex and the City. He confirms Tuccilo's version of the story. "When a guy is into you, he lets you know it," Behrendt instructs. "He calls, he shows up, he wants to meet your friends, he can't keep his eyes or hands off of you, and when it's time to have sex, he's more than overjoyed to oblige." According to Behrendt, "Men are not complicated, although we'd like you to think we are."
The strategic conversation in the Sex and the City writers' room became the catalyst for He's Just Not That Into You as Behrendt and Tuccilo combined their talents and insights to write the book from a combined male and female perspective. The end result is something like a primer for romance according to the worldview of Sex and the City--but this time corrected by a male influence. The fact that this male influence has to be identified as heterosexual tells you a great deal about how postmodern this worldview really is.
The book is divided into sixteen chapters, most offering what is intended to be a significant lesson for women as they try to understand the men in their lives. According to Behrendt and Tuccilo, a woman should understand that a man is "not that into you" if he is not calling her, is not dating her, is not having sex with her, is having sex with someone else, only wants to see her when he's drunk, doesn't want to marry her, is breaking up with her, has disappeared on her, is married, is a selfish jerk, a bully, or is "a really big freak."
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