Monday, January 8, 2007

Women Who ( ) Too Much

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingWhile working at the bookstore the other day I was intrigued by a book in the Women's Health section titled Eating, Drinking, Overthinking because it summed up my life so perfectly. However, it occurred to me to wonder why this book is aimed at women, since, actually, the men I know indulge in all three just as heartily as them women, if not more so. More men are overweight, more men are alcoholics, and while I'm not sure exactly what "overthinking" is, certainly men do it too, if the statistics on stalking reflect men's tendency to have obsessive thoughts.

But even if there were a Men's Health section (perhaps with a slim book on prostate cancer and another on bodybuilding) you would be unlikely to find a book talking about the way men are sucked into a "toxic triangle" of unhealthy behaviors -- because the assumption is that men are perfectly fine with their eating, their drinking, and even their overthinking. And, well, hmm, maybe they are, but maybe that's because no one's writing books scolding them about it.

If you do a Google search for "men who" and "too much" you find the classic book Men Who Love Too Much and a parody article "Men Who Love Hummels Too Much." But if you do the same search with "women," you find that women also love too much, but in addition they think too much, date too much, exercise too much, and plain old DO too much.

Of course the reason is not that women are more flawed than men -- and no one really thinks that -- but that women are more likely to buy self-help books. And Eating, Drinking, Overthinking will probably help a lot of women who will be, as I was, intrigued by the linking of these behaviors.

Nevertheless, it's awfully cynical to market a book to women because they're more likely to buy it if it's exclusively about them, when in fact the book describes universal problems.

Oh, well, maybe I'm overthinking.

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