Rating: 4 out of 5
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a smartphone will send dick pics to women on Tinder.
I kid, but only slightly. It's safe to say that online dating is pretty much the worst for the straight female population: men who ignore age preferences, messages that have been clearly copy-and-pasted, and sexual harassment at every turn. And don't even get me started on all the spelling and grammar errors!
Women commiserate with each other all the time over these awful experiences, but it's nice to see sympathy from the few good men left. Comedian Aziz Ansari is one of those guys who just gets it--thanks to his awesome feminist girlfriend, Courtney McBroom.
My book club selected Ansari's Modern Romance to read in October, and I anticipate it inciting a lively discussion about how dating has changed from generation to generation and how it has fared for the better and worse in the digital age.
Ansari teams up with sociologists, psychologists, and other researchers to analyze historical trends in love and marriage, as well as compares dating in the U.S. to the scenes in international metros like Paris and Tokyo.
There are a ton of interesting statistics, so here's a sample:
“Between 2005 and 2012 more than one third of couples who got married in the United States met through an online dating site. Online dating was the single biggest way people met their spouses. Bigger than work, friends, and school combined."
“Another poll, from Gallup, found that infidelity is more universally disapproved of than polygamy, animal cloning, and suicide. So if there were two guys at a bar, one cheating on his wife and another with a cloned pig named Bootsie, it would be the cheater, not Bootsie the pig, getting more disapproving looks.”
“The most popular time to sext is Tuesday between 10:00 A.M. and noon. Yes, we looked this up twice. Strange!”
At first I thought that this would be a memoir primarily based on Ansari's dating life, but it's actually more of a research study on dating with some comedy thrown in. His material plays off many of the jokes in his standup, like why you shouldn't look for your soulmate at a bar.
I love Aziz Ansari's humor and found this book insightful and entertaining. It's obvious that he's been influenced by wonderful women, and listening to his jokes gives me hope that more men can become feminist allies--and thus, better romantic partners. Let's keep our fingers crossed, ladies! At the very least, may all your messages be dick pic-free!