Title: Bitch? Please!: How Nice Girls Can Succeed in a Bitch’s World
Author: Megan Munroe
Synopsis (Courtesy of Powell’s Books):
“Megan Munroe’s Bitch? Please! delivers a saucy communique empowering nice girls to kick passivity to the curb and instead use the strength of inward kindness to shake the foundation of the bitch’s empire. Bitch? Please! provides compelling answers to questions that nice girls often ask, like:
- How do I handle confrontation with the bitch in the next cubicle?
- Why does the bitch always seem to get what she wants?
- If being nice is a good thing, why do I feel like a doormat?
From practical how-to-succeed scenarios to laugh-out-loud lessons, this humorous yet poignant dialogue has something for every woman. A unique mix of rhetoric, real-life revelations, kitschy quizzes, and food for thought, this is the perfect road map for your journey to create a successful life in a nice-girl fashion.”
Thoughts: Bitch? Please! is a self-help book designed to help the nice girls beat out the nasty girls in life’s adventures. Broken into sections designed to focus the reader’s attention on one area of improvement, each section is replete with a snappy vignette designed to be remembered when life gets tough. Unfortunately, I found the message rather mixed, as Ms. Munroe often ends up quite snippy and provides a better example of how not to act than how to act when faced with a bitch. In other words, she needs to heed her own advice.
In Ms. Munroe’s world, a bitch is any woman who will do just about anything to get her way and does not care about the consequences. Her goals are transitory and often materialistic. She wants to be the center of attention at all times. She is Scarlett to Melanie’s nice girl. Ms. Munroe’s whole purpose is to try to explain how a nice girl does have a spine and can be sweet and devoted but has to stick up for herself when the going gets tough. However, her examples and suggestions blur the line between her definition of a bitch’s behavior and what she wants nice girls to avoid. It makes for some very confusing advice.
In describing a bitch’s behavior, Ms. Munroe simply gets quite catty, as she has nothing redeeming to say about this “faction” of women. In fact, if one were to believe Ms. Munroe, it is an us-versus-them mentality. I personally struggle with this idea. Why do we have to be broken into factions? Doesn’t it fly in the face of feminism to be divided like that rather than united? More importantly, how can she profess to be an expert on being a nice girl when she is so mean and snippy about anyone who is not a nice girl? It is not very nice-girl-like behavior, and it tends to diminish her overall message.
There are some redeeming ideas that make up her advice. Women should always stand up for themselves, should be willing to take risks, and should understand that having the latest designer purse or clothes fresh off the runway is not the goal of life. Gossiping is not a good trait and neither is backstabbing or walking over someone else. These are good messages but one can find them in any good leadership guide or self-help novel that is successful; it doesn’t make Bitch? Please! unique in any way. Ultimately, this is what I was hoping to find while reading Ms. Munroe’s advice. I wanted something different that would help me understand why women are so mean-spirited towards one another. Rather, I found a book that inadvertently confirmed the paradigm.
Thank you to Turner Publishing for my review copy!
Lisa, that is truly the worst part. The potential is there. Maybe I had too high of expectations because of the potential? It's possible, but I think she just failed to execute.
I am glad that I am not the only one who had issues with Ms. Munroe's handling of certain topics or her generalities. It is such a great concept, but the execution is poor.
Thanks, Amy. I just never bought into her nice girl v. bitch generalities and found that she was not able to distinguish between the two very well. I definitely had high expectations for this concept and am disappointed that it didn't live up to them.
What a disappointment; the idea has so much potential.
When I saw this book I also thought it was an interesting concept. Another reviewer had many of the same observations that you did so I declined the offer to review. I'd love to see something along this premise that doesn't resort to the very tactics it is discussing.
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Hmmm this sounded like an interesting concept but doesn't sound like it was very good overall. You are right she doesn't sound like much of a nice girl at all and I definitely don't think an us vs them attitude is necessary at all. Thanks for the review.
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