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Bitch? Please! How Nice Girls Can Succeed in…

Bitch? Please! How Nice Girls Can Succeed in a Bitch's World

by Megan Munroe

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
As an early reviewer this book was something I would never consider buying. Very juvenile and condescending.
  CeeDeeGee | Dec 24, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I always try to finish ER books before reviewing them, but I honestly do not think I can bear to finish this one. Ms. Munroe seems to define a bitch as any self-confident woman, and most of her advice for how to deal with bitches in the real world is to act like one yourself. She alternates between label dropping in an attempt to "connect" with her audience, and calling women who wear designer labels bitches. The book is littered with quotes taken from other sources without citation, with a few randomly selected ones getting citations (all of which were just urls). The most egregious of these is the url to a website that talks about a quote by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, rather than citing the scholar's original work.

What most bothered me, even more than the bad advice and uninspired writing, was Ms. Munroe's need to attack other women. In particular, calling all women who work in the porn industry bitches who try to tempt our men away from us. Seeing as I'm pretty sure she has never met any of the women who work in this industry, I think it is a far cry for her to label all of them as bitches. This is not the only group where she does so; the same label is given to women who spend money on clothing, women who work hard to achieve things in the workplace, women who are outspoken, etc. By being so liberal in calling all of these women bitches, I found that Ms. Munroe was, in fact, kind of acting like one herself. One of the most self-righteous books I have ever tried to read. ( )
  collsers | Jul 8, 2011 |
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!
  jmchshannon | Jun 2, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I wanted to like this book. I've had good luck with Early Reviewer books, and usually if the algorithm chooses me, it's for a reason. Also, I like the general premise of the book, that it's possible to get ahead in life without being a bitch. I feel like this sentiment is frequently overlooked in modern society, and as a mother raising a young daughter, I was looking forward to some positivity.

The positivity is there, sort of. Megan Munroe does a decent job of talking up "niceness" and providing useful hints on how to work around the bitches you will encounter in life. The book is accessibly written with attractive pull quotes and somewhat entertaining quizzes throughout.

However, I found the tone of Munroe's writing so annoying that each page was a struggle. It is both too conversational and too "rah rah" -- it sounds like a transcript of a speech from a rally. This might be OK in very small doses, but page after page it becomes irritating. Munroe's language and arguments are often so simplistic that it is hard not to feel a bit patronized.

This may be just my own weird hang up, but I got so sick of seeing the word "bitch" in print throughout the book. Yes, it's the title of the book, and yes, it's relevant to her argument. And I'm not one who inherently finds the word demeaning or offensive. But after dozens, hundreds of times, I just want to buy her a thesaurus. Bitch is a complex term and describes some complex women. Using only the one word is emblematic of the simplistic moralizing that I found so off-putting. ( )
  verbafacio | Apr 24, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
In this quick read, Munroe offers advice to nice women living in a bitch's world. According to Munroe, women are either nice or bitches - there is no in-between ground. Through practical living, nice girls can continue being nice and not give in to their inner meanness. Munroe's book is peppered with straightforward advice (labeled as Nice Girl Know Hows), as well as a few uplifting passages that promote inner beauty and self-confidence. Quizzes that appear at the end of each chapter rehash the chapter's main themes.

Overall, I thought this was an okay book. The writing style flowed smoothly. There were some pieces of advice I did not necessarily agree with, but there were a few positive passages that reflected personally for me. I also don't agree that there are only two types of women: I've known some women that I wouldn't consider a nice girl but are far from my definition of a bitch. However, this book caused me to think about my own actions and treatment towards others...sometimes self-reflection is good for the soul! ( )
  librarybelle | Apr 20, 2011 |
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I don't cuss a lot.

Nice is napalm in a society dedicated to making 'mean' queen. It's unexpected, countercultural, and devastatingly refreshing. (12)

Prepare yourself to be a stranger in this culture. (155)
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