You know how I (according to one obsessed commenter) think gentile women are superior to Jewish women?
Well, apparently so does “Avi Roseman,” the pen name of a 26-year-old single woman who has written and self-published “Secrets of Shiksa Appeal: 8 Steps to Attract Your Shul Mate (iUniverse).
The gist of her missive (which opens with “I once drove a boyfriend into the arms of a shiksa”) is that gentile women know better than Jewesses how to entice male members of the Tribe — and instead of complaining about “shiksas stealing our men,” Jewish women can “learn from them and prevent them from doing that in the first place.”
In a nutshell, here’s what shiksas, according to Roseman, who also refers to herself as “Ms. Avi,” know and Jewesses must learn: dress sexy but don’t be a slut; take care of your looks; don’t be clingy or JAP-py; do play hard to get and don’t waste your time with commitment-phobes. In short, follow “The Rules,” the 1995 best-selling dating manual written by, ahem, two Jewish women!
In fact, “Rules” authors Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, who I actually saw debate Rabbi Shmuley Boteach many years ago, in a veritable orgy of self-promotion, have bestowed a blurb upon Ms. Avi, writing, “Every Jewish woman should read this book.”
Leaving aside my bristling at her liberal use of the term “shiksa,” (will her next book be “Secrets To Playing Basketball Like a Schvartze”?) and her overindulgence in stereotyping, I found Ms. Avi an engaging writer and oddly entertaining, albeit in the horrified watching-a-train-wreck kind of way I watched some Oberlin classmates earnestly say something stupid and insensitive only to set themselves up for a thorough dressing down by the school’s arbiters of political correctness.
Now contrary to the stereotype you might conjure up from looking at the book’s cartoon cover illustration and its somewhat old-fashioned approach both to gender and intermarriage, Ms. Avi, who lives in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., is neither a bimbo nor a women-belong-in-the-kitchen type: a Johns Hopkins University engineering grad (and grad of New York’s elite Fieldston School), she is a former consultant for a major auditing firm.
I’ll be curious to see if the book, out in September, will sell well. It seems to rely on the assumption that (outside the Orthodox community at least) Jewish women are desperate to marry Jewish men, whereas Jewish men have no particular loyalty to their heritage.
I’m not sure if that (or the allusions to shopping at Loehmann’s) will resonate with young Jewish women, many of whom seem quite content to date and marry gentile men.
And I am skeptical that Ms. Avi will convince inter-dating women to change their ways, particularly because the reasons she gives for marrying in seem rather superficial, more about pleasing everyone’s grandparents, keeping the chain going and making Borscht Belt/Woody Allen jokes (think mayonnaise on corned beef) than about appreciating Judaism’s rich history, culture and teachings. In fact, she doesn’t even make Jewish men sound particularly appealing, referring to them frequently as nerds and at one point declaring that “usually the more successful, good-looking” Jewish men do not go to temple on Shabbat.
In a rare allusion to Jewish texts, Ms. Avi does cite the Talmud’s oft-repeated saying about when you save a life, you save an entire world, before saying: “Should I be held responsible for the destruction of the Jewish tradition because I treated an ex-boyfriend poorly and drove a former Hebrew School all-star into the arms of a Catholic girl?”
Despite her general opposition to dating gentiles, Ms. Avi does make an exception for women over 35, who she believes should date anyone able to provide them with some viable sperm and companionship. “Your children will be Jewish because you’re Jewish,” she notes and “A Gentile man is better than no man at all.”
Ouch. I can see why Ms. Avi is relying on a pen name, because I can’t imagine too many gentile men will be lining up to date her in nine years after stumbling upon that ringing endorsement.
More importantly, if “your children will be Jewish because you’re Jewish,” then why go through the whole ordeal of snagging a David or Daniel or Joshua who may be no more enthusiastic about Jewish living than a Christopher or Luke? Is it simply that Jewish women have a duty to save their former Hebrew school classmates from the throes of assimilation?
In any event, Ms. Avi is currently sticking to her Rules and dating only Jews: in an e-mail exchange, she told me that her current beau is a Jewish patent lawyer.
When I asked her if she has dated non-Jews, she wrote:
I want to marry someone Jewish, so that I can eventually have a Jewish family … I’ve noticed among half-Jews, even the ones who had b’nei-mitzvot, they tend to care less about religion and are less likely to date Jews (even if they claimed they were raised "Jewish") …
Care less about religion and are less likely to date Jews? Sounds like the (presumably 100 percent) Jewish men she describes who need a nice Jewess in shiksa clothing to rescue them. Dear readers, what do you think? Will you be rushing to Amazon and Barnes and Noble to buy this book?