July 25, 2012 | relationships

Men Love Abuse – Oh Really?

So, I’m browsing Kitty Bradshaw’s lovely blog the other day and come across her post about Tionna Smalls’ new book ‘Men Love Abuse.’ Rather baffled by the title to begin with, I read on and concluded I will not be purchasing this fine piece of literature. In a time where so much energy is devoted to finding a significant other, I really can’t get on board with the age old theory of ‘just be f*cking awful to each other and you’ll get married.’ Surely we should’ve come up with some more advanced schools of thought by now.

Let’s get one thing straight right from the get go here; no I am not hating on Tionna Smalls. Quite the contrary. When I first started this blog, Ms Smalls’ blog was just taking off and I was inspired by her drive and vision. I followed her rise from blogger, to columnist on Gawker, to author and TV star. As the blogging journey goes, she’s pretty much living the dream. I have nothing but admiration for that. Seriously. But I just can’t get behind the message of this book.

Firstly, the title offends me. Men Love Abuse? No they don’t. No one does. Frankly, this old ‘treat ’em mean to keep ’em keen’ adage that has been bandied around seemingly since the dawn of time is quite possibly, the biggest load of bollocks ever sold. Was Mary a complete biyatch to Joseph to get him interested? I think not. (Mary had mad game though, getting Joseph to stick around even though he wasn’t the baby daddy). And on a more serious note, that attitude has most likely been the reason why many stay in abusive relationships, because stupid phrases like that make them believe that being hurt is actually validation and love. If a friend is a complete twat to you repeatedly, you cross them off the Christmas list and X them out of your life. They don’t get special privileges. Apparently, Tionna’s philosophy is ‘be a bitch and you’ll get hitched’, for which, I actually have no words.

There are elements of her stance I agree with, such as not making your man your complete centre of your universe (you’ve gotta have some other stuff going on ladies). While Tionna says men appreciate a woman who doesn’t play games, that seems to be exactly what she’s advocating – playing the game of being nasty to keep him interested. What if by nature, you’re actually a very nice person? What if all this acting aloof, disinterested and mean is just not in you, then aren’t you just playing games anyway? Furthermore, I’d say adjusting any part of your character to bag a man would be the ultimate sucker move.

Sheesh, what ever happened to just being yourself? If you can’t just be who you are around someone you like, then that person really isn’t for you anyway. But the notion that ‘Men Love Abuse’? Ummm, just no.

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Naomi Liddell

I actually had a conversation with my brother in law about this topic at the weekend.
He admitted that the only way he’s guaranteed to sleep with a girl on a night out is to “act like a dick”. But complained that he could never find the right girl for him.
My response was something along the lines of “Surely you can see that if a girl is willing to be treated like that and give up sex for it, she’s not the kind of girl you want to be with”.
I then asked “What if a girl treats you like shit?”
He admitted that he’s find her attractive, pursues her and once he’d slept with her lose all interest and walk away.

So apparently in today’s world if you’re looking to get laid, meanness works… if on the other hand you want an honest and real relationship with another human being. It’s only going to breed dysfunction and contempt.


I coudln’t agree more with this post. I will never understand why it’s cool to behave like an arse. A colleague of mine is constantly dating and complaining that she can’t find a decent guy.. well that’s because she’s only dating “exciting” bad boys. Jeez..
Anyway, on a different note I was actually randomly thinking about the Mary/Joseph thing this morning on the tube (seriously.. which guy believes the “I did not cheat on you but am pregnant anyway!!”??). I thought that was the most random thing and then I saw your post. Weird. 😉

Sabrina Johnson

I completely agree with you. I don’t want to be walked all over by a man, and I don’t want to be walking all over a man myself either. It just demonstrates a lack of respect for your partner and your relationship.

Also have to say that I love the pink tights. Looks fantastic on you. It’s inspired me to go and buy some great patterned tights too.x


Yep. I agree with all of this. Some people are clearly desperate for that book advance cash.

On a totally different note – your arms look ripped in that dress!

The Jaded NYer

I have to say, though, that I’m the Queen of Mean, leaving a trail of sad and broken-hearted men in my wake, and the more aloof and mean I was, the more they chalked it up to me being the stereotypical “Spicy Latina” and became MORE into me.

Men may not like abuse but they sure do pursue the hell out of it!


Um…so you’ve not read the book, aren’t a dating expert, no degree in psychology and yet your opinions are based on?? Not a lot it seems.
This just looks like the kind of blog post designed to get a reaction with very little substance, sorry.
Perhaps consider reading it, forming an informed opinion and then perhaps share those valid views. I however have not seen the new batman film and so won’t be posting a rant to the world on its virtues and pitfalls. Just my 2p

Angel Dee

The mantra of being disrespectful/rude/abusive etc. seems to be a growing and now acceptable trend with some folk and I am totally against the whole thing.

Since when was having less respect for the person you claim to want to spend your life with ookay? Maybe I can’t speak on this too much as I am single, but sh*t man I would rather be single and known for being mindful of others than in a relationship where he or I did not have mutual respect and love for each other.

Each to their own, I guess …


I don’t think anyone disputes the sentiment, just that I don’t think you can launch into a rant about a book you havent read…

Co Co

I don’t know if men love abuse, but I know the craziest women stay “booed up”! I know many men who are in relationships with women who are aggressive, unreasonable and crazy. I genuinely think some men don’t think a woman is really down for them unless she flips out on him on several occasions. There are also a lot of men who put up with that foolishness because they think all women are crazy, and they’re going to have to put up with it no matter who they choose.

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