Here’s the deal- I’m a girl (woman/female/lady/bitch please feel free to use whichever, because I basically don’t care) and I am a listener of The Jason Ellis Show. I also write for the wonderful fansite, No You Are, which is where you’re reading this now- in case you got lost. I’ve been pretty excited for The Awesome Guide to Life to be released and I finished it in one sitting because I’m weird like that. I loved it. Straight up loved it- especially the end. If you haven’t gotten there yet, I don’t intend to spoil it for you, but I found it so uplifting. So motivating. But…I have a problem.
The problem I’m having is with the slew of negative reviews coming from my fellow females (and I’m personally cringing as I label them ‘fellows’ but genetics are what they are) which are centered solely around one chapter, “How To Be A Chick”. The derision is aimed at his referencing females as ‘girls’ as opposed to ‘women’, his opinion on how girls talk, how girls dress, how girls handle themselves, how girls handle dicks, you know…anything that he says about women in the space of 13 pages. I could quip, I could make fun of these reviewers for their bad jokes or misplaced defensiveness, or hate on them for the underhanded stabs they take at Ellis’ character without knowing a thing about him, but I’m trying to be the better person here, and I’m just going to give you my honest opinion instead.
First off- I’m not sure if any of these lady reviewers got the memo…but this book isn’t exactly supposed to be taken seriously. Or maybe I was the only one who got the memo and it was a prank to make me look bad, but…I laughed a lot reading this. I mean, yeah, I found this in the ‘Self-Improvement’ section of the bookstore, but everyone knows this is rather satirical, right? Yeah, the bare bones of the text are meant as a loose guide on how to live a better life, but it is not a literal suggestion of everything that you should do in life. Yes, there is a chapter on picking up strippers and prostitutes, but that chapter also says that it isn’t for everyone. Yes, there is a chapter on how to party which talks about taking drugs, but that chapter tells you that drugs are bad and dangerous and aren’t for everyone. Do I need to go on, or are you catching what I’m throwing?
Secondly- Jason Ellis is not hating on…anyone. Ugh…lie…he’s hating on people who are choosing to not live their life to the fullest. Yes, he makes comments about fat people being stupid, because it disappoints him that people become sedentary, become comfortable, and give up. No one’s yelling at the man for calling smokers disgusting. Why? Because smoking fucking kills you. Guess what? So does being obese. Ellis is urging readers to take better care of themselves, take responsibility for their health, and informing them that there is hope and a way to change. Don’t be a pile of shit- start jogging now. That reaction from the Houston Press Blogger really got me- she made a big deal of mentioning that she shouldn’t jog for cardiovascular health or for it feeling good but so she doesn’t turn into a bag of shit. And I’m over here like, “Yeah, well, jogging is good for your heart, good for stress, and all that…so it definitely sounds like it helps you to not be a bag of shit, now doesn’t it?”
Third- I’m sure that these reviews have been done with reactionary purposes in mind (to get people talking about their blog/website/etc) as they blatantly ignore or gloss over any of the irrefutable positive aspects of the book. But Jenni, how can there possibly be something positive in a book written by a chauvinist, ego-maniacal, homophobe? I hate you, if you really think that, but those are some of the words being used to describe the author, so I thought I’d throw them out there. This book spends a lot of time telling guys to not be dicks to ladies, to take responsibility for themselves, their relationships, to be good fathers and partners (even after a divorce, if it happens), and that you are in control of your life so you better do something good with it. He tells the readers that they can accomplish great things by putting in the time and effort, because he came from nothing. Nothing. He lived through terrible shit and didn’t throw himself a pity party…he made something out of himself, and he wants to tell people that if he can do it, so can they. Yeah, he’s a dick.
Now…How To Be A Chick. It’s the big hot button right now…and I don’t know what to really say about it. How about, you’re welcome ladies, for getting pure, unfiltered insight into the male mind? I don’t know if it’s because I love someone who expresses himself just as bluntly as Ellis tends to and I’m used to it, or if it’s because I am familiar with the concept of subtext, but I wasn’t offended in the least by this chapter. Again, it probably helps that I read the rest of the book where he talks about always being nice to women, leaving them love notes, buying them flowers because you love them and not because it’s Valentine’s day, and always being a gentleman, but I see no harm in him expressing to women that yeah, sex sells, but a guy would rather have a hint of cleavage then a full on nip-slip waiting to happen, that guys will notice your feet so keep that in mind around pedicure time, and yeah, you should probably take care of yourself if you want to live for a long time. He wrote one chapter on how to be a chick…he wrote the rest of the goddamn book about how not to be a shitbag, loser, guy who will never have sex. Ladies, we kind of got off easy here. And so far as him being a chauvinist, or a pig, or anti-feminist or whatever…how about this to think about- he said the same shit to us that he said to the men, treated us no different, and didn’t sugar coat it because we have boobies. He treated us equally. So stop bitching about it.
I listen to The Jason Ellis Show damn near every day. The show has helped me through some of the worst times in my adult life. I talk to hundreds, if not thousands, of fellow fans. He has helped people with drug addictions, with depression, with their weight- he genuinely wants people to be healthy and happy. He is a supporter of gay rights, a friend to many classes of people that most people of any notoriety tend to treat with kid gloves if not outright ignore them, and he thinks women are awesome, beautiful, and should be treated with the utmost respect. Okay, he is really rough around the edges- but, as he said himself- he was born with a kind heart. If you’re not in on the joke, take some time and listen to his radio show on SiriusXM. There’s a 30 day free trial on the website…you can listen to him for a month for free. Maybe actually go back and read the book, and the first one for that matter, and come back here and tell me your mind hasn’t been changed.
Hate me for my opinion? Feel free to tweet me @jennimazky on twitter.