Are women difficult to read? Where does this idea—that women are an unknowable mystery—come from?
When a woman isn’t open to discussing her thoughts or desires, it is hard to figure out what she really wants. In his book The Rational Male, Rollo Tomassi says that women purposefully do this to manipulate men.
Here’s why Tomassi rebukes the idea that women are a mystery and how to tell what a woman is really thinking.
Are Women an Unknowable Mystery?
Tomassi says that the idea women are a mystery is a fallacy. Women perpetuate the lie of the unknowable female by saying one thing and doing another—their default mode of communication. Furthermore, Tomassi argues that whereas men clearly say what they mean, women don’t. They allow emotions to dictate their reactions, which keeps men constantly guessing about women’s true intentions.
The only way to accurately determine a woman’s intentions, Tomassi advises, is to observe her actions. He contends that women’s behaviors provide the only evidence of their motivations—and that their true motivations often lie beneath their conscious awareness, so men are wise to never trust the justifications women give for their behaviors.
(Shortform note: Tomassi insists that women communicate in a manner that is consistently and often intentionally misleading and that men should therefore trust only women’s actions. However, he provides no supporting evidence for this claim. Research on this topic is mixed. According to one poll, women are twice as likely to lie as men, which researchers attribute to women having more empathy and being “nicer” than men. By this logic, women lie because they want to shield people from unpleasant truths. Other research shows that men are more deceptive than women, consider themselves better liars than women, and get away with lies twice as much as women. That said, all of these generalized findings obscure nuances of communication and don’t lead to clear conclusions about any one gender writ large.)
Men Can Understand Women
Tomassi argues that the lie that women are a mystery serves to discourage men from attempting to understand women. If men understood women, they would be able to see through and resist women’s control and manipulations.
(Shortform note: Tomassi says that women’s manipulations undermine men’s power. So, how can you tell if someone is manipulating you? Here are some concrete warning signs to look out for, according to experts: A manipulative person may point out your flaws in front of others, change their requests and desires often, use guilt against you by reminding you of past wrongdoings, violate your boundaries, ignore your opinions, and give you the silent treatment.)
In truth, Tomassi asserts, women are not mysterious and unknowable. On the contrary, men can understand women by tapping into the collective knowledge that men have accumulated about women—particularly over the past 20 years—in books, online forums, and virtual communities. Men around the world can easily access powerful truths about women that guide them on how to understand women’s motivations and subvert female dominance.
Tomassi’s Work and the “Manosphere”
Tomassi could well be referring to his own work as self-help sources for men trying to understand mysterious women, as he has many different platforms where he discusses the issues he explores in The Rational Male. These include his popular blog and YouTube channel, the latter of which has over 150,000 subscribers.
However, readers should be careful when Tomassi references his own work in the online community. Tomassi is also part of the “manosphere” community, a loosely connected online network of blogs, forums, YouTube channels, and subreddits aimed at men. Many people involved in the manosphere say the advice they’ve received from other men has helped them avoid the pitfalls of dating and relationships and become the best version of themselves. Critics say the manosphere is dangerous, leading men to express hatred toward women and girls —even prompting acts of extreme violence.
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Here's what you'll find in our full The Rational Male summary :
- How women use a feminine agenda to manipulate men
- Why sex should never be a transactional arrangement
- Why men don't need long-term relationships