The book is based on the blog "1001 Rules for my Unborn Son," and is just one more attempt to shore up the author's own masculinity while making sure his kid also adheres to his version of what it is to be man. Nevermind that his kid might be gay, or trans, or born a girl.
Moreover, this poor kid is going to have to memorize 1,001 rules to be the right kind of man his dad want's him to be?!? I feel sorry for the kid. But, I also feel bad for the guy who wrote this, since he too feels his identity is based on a masculinity that can be broken down into a set of stringent rules - and on his youth and cool factor.
Lets move on to the advice, that Mark characterizes as "specific tips for living a life of kindness, politeness, and preparedness," shall we? Yes there are some nice general tips for, oh...I don't know not being an asshole, like thanking your bus driver. But, then we get into the "men must be strong and fight" ones: "Aim for the nose," "A man's luggage doesn't roll." Oh right, because being a man means unnecessarily lugging a duffel bag, causing your shoulder and back to be sore for the rest of trip and your clothes to be wrinkled, instead of using a convenient roller? Tell that to pilots (who of course are all manly men, unlike the flight attendants who are all ladies or pansies).
But, here is the real winner:
"Remember, the girl you're with is somebody's sister. And she's perfectly capable of kicking your ass."While it's nice to know he thinks women are as physically capable as the Paul Bunyan/Don Draper prototype he has raised, there is a whole heap of crap wrong with this:
1. The girl you are dating is only of value because she is defined by her relationship to a man (we assume the threat is from her unidentified brother, and not her sister).I can only hope that when I have a son I will have taught him about respecting all people and provided him with the tools to create his own healthy sexuality, so that I don't have to remind him to not beat or rape his dates - whoever they may be.
2. You will only ever date young women, god forbid she have other relationships, like oh...being someone's mother.
3. The author feels that he has to put in a very specific rule that breaks down to simply "DON'T BE A RAPIST" or any form of abuser, but really, this rule is all about not committing date rape.
Image via 1001 Rules for My Unborn Son blog.