From New Yorker and Onion writer and comedian Blythe Roberson, How to Date Men When You Hate Men is a comedy philosophy book aimed at interrogating what it means to date men within the trappings of modern society.
It’s written in a slightly hyperventilating style, full of all-caps emphasis and exclamation marks. In that sense it’s a contribution to the genre of satirical feminist prose ... Roberson writes with scathing self-deprecation and ambitious analytical flair ... The book proposes to advise a young reader how to navigate the political and practical problems of female heterosexuality, but ends up eviscerating Roberson’s own difficult romantic experiences and celebrating the sense of self she has won while on that journey ... How to Date Men When You Hate Men is extremely funny but also a document of timeless agony ... it’s akin to watching a young woman coming to political consciousness in her personal relationships ... Roberson’s achievement in remaining funny while excavating her pain is just straightforwardly heroic ... In the end, Roberson’s insistence on feeling her pain and keeping it makes How to Date Men When You Hate Men a more radical text than it claims to be.
In this collection of musings, quips and reflections, Roberson invites readers into an inner monologue, much of which could pull double duty as a stand-up routine ... it's hilarious ... it's not surprising that How to Date Men When You Hate Men is both funny and smart ... Roberson offers more of her original takes on love and her own forays into it than actual instructions for a successful dating life--but the instructions that she does sprinkle throughout make for great fun ... Ultimately, it might not make readers more equipped for dating, but Roberson will certainly make them laugh—and think.
The humor here mainly consists of overusing 'like,' offering am-I-right-ladies style laments about modern men, recycling Twitter jokes about the author’s love of music made for teenagers (she is twenty-seven), and expressing disdain for great works of literature by men that she hasn’t read ... The product of an online culture that prizes saying anything over having something to say, Roberson’s bland mix of bratty overconfidence, insincere misandry, and not quite believable self-deprecation would be at home on the kind of women’s website that is run by a man recently made hip to the click-ability of feminist catchphrasing ... potentially illuminating passages...are undermined by the fact that Roberson does not have much sustained experience with men and seems to be getting her information from a combination of romantic comedies, friends’ anecdotes, and ambient women’s-magazine wisdom ... Knowing Roberson has little understanding of the practicalities of heterosexuality renders the political ambitions of the book...vaguely outrageous, and a little sad ... Roberson’s unwillingness to entertain the possibility that you can be a feminist writer without giving in to your Dunham-esque 'compulsion' to overshare is characteristic of what might be called, to use an internet term, 'self-own feminism' ... the memeification of feminism has made it unclear what that cause is, exactly ... Roberson doesn’t seem to realize that attempting to harmonize her heterosexuality with her feminist-writerly impulses could improve both her love life and her work.