Jewish Journal


January 13, 2012

‘Jewish and non-Jewish women make the same dating mistakes’



Avi Roseman is the author of the popular and controversial Jewish dating guide Secrets of Shiksa Appeal.  A 2007 graduate of The Johns Hopkins University School of Engineering, Ms. Avi spent three years in IT Consulting, and is a matchmaker, JMag columnist (JDate Magazine), and is currently a graduate student in New York City.
Reading your book I was wondering who’s the bigger idiot - the lady needing to be told to “only bother with men who are into you”, or the guy needing the boost of
dates that “make him look like a stud muffin!”?

You’d think women would automatically know to let men come after them, but unfortunately, they don’t. The roles of women and men in today’s society are blurred. Women are brought up to “go for it” and to be aggressive in their educational and work lives. I should know, I’m the daughter of a feminist-activist woman raised in the 1950’s who got a PhD in Math and was a Senior Managing Director at JP Morgan.  What parents don’t tell their daughters is that love is different than business.  In love, you don’t chase after men to pursue them. Those women who do so are the ones who are 40, single, and wondering why!  Either a guy is attracted to you or he isn’t, and working harder to get him will just make you act more desperate.  
To answer the other part of the question, the whole shtick about letting the Jewish man shine on a date is just allowing the Jewish man to reclaim his masculine role in the relationship. To clarify, this means if he’s a master bowler, then a great date would be letting him teach you to bowl. If he’s a European art connoisseur, let him show off his knowledge at the Met. On the flip side, if you’re a great tennis player, then just wait a few dates (or months) before you smash his ego to pieces on the tennis court. Let him show off first.

One critic (Renee Ghert-Zand of the Forward) wrote that you “freely call these non-Jewish women ‘shiksas,’ with apparently no concern that she might come off
sounding like a huge bigot.” Are you a bigot?

How does using the word shiksa make me a bigot? I don’t recall anyone claiming that Seinfeld is racist for saying Elaine has Shiksappeal?  I wouldn’t take anything Renee says too seriously because she clearly missed the boat on this book. She neglected that this is first and foremost, a fun dating guide, and was not meant to be social commentary.  To understand, read on:
The story behind the book is that it began as just a Jewish dating guide on tactics to attract Jewish men.  But no one would have cared (and you probably wouldn’t be interviewing me) if I’d called it"The Jewish Dating Guide.”  The shiksa aspect was added to the title for spice.  But unfortunately, some critics fail to see past the title and miss the solid advice in the book (advice on how Jewish women can lure Jewish men).
Please explain in two or three paragraphs, what does it mean for a Jewish woman to adopt “shiksa” tactics?
This perfect shiksa I speak of in the book is a non-existent mythical creature. Jewish and non-Jewish women make the same dating mistakes, nothing to do with religion. The main difference I highlight with regards to shiksas is that Jewish men view them as a challenge.  The non-Jewish woman is less likely to be impressed (or act differently) just because a man is Jewish. The other difference is that a man will often-times feel less pressure with a shiksa because he assumes the relationship cannot go anywhere.  A phone number leads to a date, which leads to a relationship.  The key for Jewish women is to minimize talk of marriage and the future in the beginning of the relationship to alleviate pressure on the man.
As far as dating advice, here’s some topics covered in the book to attract Jewish men:
- Dressing for men, not women and staying in shape.
- Being a confident woman and leaving the entitled JAP attitude at home
- Challenging Jewish men and treating them no different because they are Jewish
- Allowing men to pursue 
- Attending both Jewish and non-specifically Jewish events to meet men
- Using all the resources available today including online, speed-dating, and set-ups
- Not moving in before 100% positive he is planning to propose
Details magazine explained just recently that “ladies of the tribe. It seems that America can’t get enough smoking-hot Semitic tush lately” - if Jewish women are so hot, why would they even need advice on getting men?
Well, that’s one article.  Ask around, the stereotype of the overbearing, overweight, nagging, Jappy, annoying, loud Jewish girl still is the predominant stereotype on the street. In the off-Broadway hit Jewtopia, the lead desires to marry a Jewish girl so he’ll “never have to make another decision in his life.”  Also, just because someone is “smoking hot,” doesn’t mean they can attract a high quality man to start a relationship.  Even though looks are the first thing that will attract a man, personality and how you act during the courtship period are just as vital. 
On the flip side, when a non-Jewish guy on JDate was asked, “why in the world are you on JDate?” he responded “Jewish women tend to be large on top, easy to get with, are giving sexually, and pretty smart.” Jewish women are so diverse in looks/personality, that no one stereotype can be completely accurate.
If every young Jewish woman reads your book, how many more in-marriages should we expect?
Whether Jewish men choose to seek out Jewish women has very little to do with me or my book.  If we really want to effect change in keeping more Jews marrying Jews it begins with strong and loving Jewish families, encouraging young people to explore their Jewish identity through their communities, and keeping teens involved in Jewish life after the age of 13.

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