Women On Both Sides of the Pond Crack Can of Whoopass

Bitchery reader Caroline sent me this link to a jaw-dropping column about how American women measure up to British women, written by some guy I’ve never heard of named Tad Safran.

I would like to place my crisp, waxed, manicured, and very attractive dollar, which is worth jackass shit compared to the UK Pound, on a bet that Mr. Safran will have a HELL of a time getting laid in the future.

Mr. Safran thinks American girls pay more attention to our appearances, and we look after ourselves with what we consider obligatory beauty maintenance that includes, “haircut, highlights, manicure, pedicure, waxing, tanning, make-up, facials, teeth whitening etc. They will spend a further $1,000 (£500) a month on physical conditioning such as military fitness, spinning sessions, vikram [sic] yoga, Pilates, deep-tissue sports massage, personal training etc. On top of that, add the occasional spa day, a week-long “bikini boot camp” in Mexico at the start of every summer and seasonal splurges on personal shoppers and clothing. I’m not sure any of my British female friends spends £700 during an entire year on her appearance.”

Ouch. Well, ok, he’s entitled to his opinion. But then he breaks out the nasty and layers it on with a very thick hand:

“At dinner, I found myself sitting opposite something that surely would have been happier hunting for truffles in the forests of France or grazing on the grassy marshlands of Canada. My friend’s wife had told me that Sophie still had the body of a 20-year-old. Maybe she did . . . dismembered in her freezer at home. She certainly didn’t have it on her skeleton.”

Oh, dude. No, you didn’t.

So based on his experience with one blind date and his observations of women in the US – specifically New York City and LA, two cities wherein the female inhabitants are certainly more self-aware in terms of beauty regimen than other parts of the country – he arrives at his question: “Why is it the case (and I’m generalising here) that British women spend so little time and effort on looking after them-selves…. For some reason, being seen to make an effort with one’s appearance is regarded as shameful among British women.”

What?! He thinks Brit ladies are fugtastic because of a twisted beauty-based version of tall-poppy syndrome?

Fear not, British women. He gives us forward American women a mannerly shakedown as well: “The irony is that, as obsessed as American women are with their looks, they totally ignore their social skills. Within 10 minutes of meeting an American woman, I guarantee you will know her salary and most recent medical/ dental procedure. They all but turn up with their CV printed out…. American women also take themselves too seriously and are annoyingly confrontational.”

In the end, Mr. Safran’s observation is that American women are gorgeous but without social grace; British women are fug-buttly but a great person to have a pint with.

Oh my dear sweet baby Moses watching Baby Einstein DVDs. And to think, so many of the chick-lit books I read a few years ago featured British protagonists getting makeovers, losing weight, reinventing themselves physically, and winning a guy in the end for their efforts when he realized that the stellar character within was finally matched by a Hawtty McBod without.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why this guy felt the need to pen this missive of manfoolishness unless he’s trying to embark on a vow of celibacy, and wanted to make sure no nubile young women from either country tried to tempt him out of his sexless mission. Holy cow.

So – can there be a happy ending for this dude? Or shall we devise new methods of torture to pay him back for his careful and careless analysis of American and British ladies?

My personal fantasy: this man meets a Southern belle and has his ass handed to him in the most politely cutting manner possible by someone who is breathtakingly polished and utterly uninterested in him. Bless his heart.

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  1. 1
    Ciar Cullen says:

    I think he’s been watching too much Dr. 90210 or something. He’s an idiot. Ignore him. Or send him a GC for a makeover.

  2. 2
    rebyj says:

    If a lack of social grace protects me from men like him, I’m glad I’m an American girl!

    where does he get his idea of how American women spend their time and money anyway? Desperate Housewives? 90210?

    Here in REAL LIFE I’m trying to juggle buying cheaper toilet paper because potatos are now 6 bux for 10 pounds and milk is kissing 5 dollars a gallon. And no! I will not get rid of the internet to save 30 bux a month!!

    Anyway, his opinion and the opinion of men like him are a good laugh but are more shallow than his description of American women. 

    Remember Julia from “Designing Women”? She could give him the southern smack down with such grace that he’d never recover!

  3. 3
    Eunice says:

    *agape*
    *astonied*

    “American women also take themselves too seriously”

    Hawha?! WFT?!
    And most of the English ladies I’ve known take very good care of themselves. Where’d he get this?

    What an ignorant jack-ass. I’d like to see what he looks like, because he’s already failed on class or personality. Bet he takes himself too seriously too.

  4. 4
    Rosemary says:

    Jezebel’s talked about this AND his response.  Just to fan the flames and all.

    http://jezebel.com/gossip/broad-generalizations/sexist-of-the-year-tad-safran-has-no-shame-334676.php

  5. 5
    Jane says:

    I thought this guy was deliberately being provocative for the sake of the column and the (hopefully for him) attendant publicity.

  6. 6
    SB Sarah says:

    I thought so too, as I was reading the article, waiting for the explanation or the reason he’d gone off on the two populations he’s presumably trying to get with. But there wasn’t really any reason behind the sneering criticism -it just ended. True, any publicity is good publicity, but if you’re a single guy, do you want to shoot yourself in the dickens just to be that much more famous? I still can’t figure out the reason for it.

  7. 7
    SB Sarah says:

    Another thought – I hit “Submit” too soon and am too lazy to edit my own comments from the back end (another strike against American women! We be laaaazy bitches!).

    What dropped my jaw the most was the fact that his criticism of the women around him is something I’m used to hear from women about other women. I’ve not heard that kind of harshness from a guy in a long time – not since high school or earlier.

  8. 8
    Bailey says:

    He knows more about beauty regimens than I do… Maybe that says something bad about me, but it say something equally awful about him.

    Word: best26

    Maybe it’s best to 26 this whole article, Mr. Safran.

  9. 9
    Sarah says:

    “Annoyingly confrontational”?

    Does that mean we get angry when he tries to slap our butt or call us “sweetheart”?

  10. 10
    Cat Marsters says:

    A Southern belle put-down?  Please, us Brits invented the icy thing.  I’d like to see him against the likes of Kristin Scott-Thomas.

    He wrote a follow-up the next week…saying he stood by his opinions.  Fine, mate, but you’re so not getting laid either side of the Pond.

    The Times also recently had a feature written by a Frenchwoman living in London, telling us Brits how boring, ugly, and generally disgusting we are.  British women, she said, are generally unattractive and have no sense of style, or even any great fashion houses, like for instance Chanel.  Apparently she’d neglected to notice that the face of Chanel is, currently, Keira Knightley.

    I can’t help but feel the Times is trying to tell us incredibly ugly British women something…

  11. 11
    Gwen says:

    Perhaps he’s gay.  That would explain the apparent disintrest in getting into either an American’s or Brit’s panties.  And his knowledge of personal care regimes and costs.

    I’d like to see him take my mother on.  Sixth generation Texan, raised by a woman who had nine kids and never had to raise her voice to be obeyed.  Just that good at using her words and commanding respect very gently but very distinctly.

    What a dick-for-brains moron.  (a phrase my mother would never use, by the way)

  12. 12
    Charlene says:

    I think it amusing that a guy who looks like Mr. Bean and has an ego the size of Chartres Cathedral (and a personality like one of its gargoyles) is just so superior to all of us that he has to make absolutely sure we know that we just don’t measure up to his oh-so-reasonable expectations.

    We’re not fifteen thousand times better than he is, so we’re just not good enough.

    I have to say, my heart is broken. What will I do without him?

  13. 13

    Sweet mother of the gods, if I had the time and money to do those things, I think I’d still rather put it to other uses.  But then I’m a heathen and don’t shave my legs.  Still, I’ve managed to have sex with men in both countries, so not everyone is so stupid as him.

  14. 14
    Eunice says:

    Not only does he start with insulting American and English women he goes on to objectify and generalize Italians, Spaniards, French, and Scandinavians:

    “don’t have the curves of the Italians, the simmering sexuality of the Spanish, the sophistication of the French or the openness of the Scandinavians.”

    I don’t care if he’s trying to say it as a compliment you shouldn’t just sum up people like that. I’m insulted as a woman and a human being! (So much so I, erm, commented twice…)

  15. 15
    MplsGirl says:

    Doesn’t taking care of oneself physically usually go hand-in-hand with social graces?  That’s a bit of a disconnect for me. That is, if one is spending that much time to look perfect, wouldn’t one also spend the time to sound and act perfectly?

    I’m just asking.

    The guy is either gay or wants to be famous. Though why someone would want to be famous for being an a-hole is beyond me. . . .

    P.S. And I’ll admit it: I get my eyebrows waxed every six weeks.

  16. 16
    Carrie Lofty says:

    Wasn’t there a guy a couple years ago who used the ACLU to get “ladies night” ended in his town? Said it discriminated against men by offering women free or discounted drinks. You know, because you wouldn’t want to offer women free drinks when you’re trying to hook up…. This dude reminds me of him. Dumb.

    But on the flip side, two of my best friends in Madison, WI were from Slovakia and Turkey. They said they loved being in the US because they could wear sweats and leave their hair down and skip the make-up. Both were students and mothers, and they didn’t like the pressure of having to look nice when doing something as mundane as shopping or heading to the library. But both admitted the first thing they do when they get home for a visit is hit the beauty salon, because the women in their countries just do not go around town wihtout looking top notch. They’d be ridiculed by the male members of their families, and their moms would give them shash about not taking care of themselves. So yeah, their take on US beauty rituals is a bit different, and certainly farther away from the “Desperate Housewives” backlot this guy seems to have wondered out of. Asshat.

  17. 17
  18. 18
    Teddy Pig says:

    manfool! We have manfool sighting!

  19. 19
    quizzabella says:

    What an idiot.
    I love the fact that he lambasts us Brits for not spending every waking hour at a beauty salon but then promptly criticizes American chicks for doing it:
    “Their obsession with their looks, however, can be unattractive and can even turn unpleasant”
    What a lovely way of stereotyping women on both sides of the pond.  I hope that he has a decent stack of porno mags; there can’t be many women who are able to live up to his bonkers expectations.

  20. 20
    Lorelie says:

    Holy Christ do I wish that Russia was still the USSR so I could make a joke about how he doesn’t need women from either side of the pond because he was running away to a place where beauty products are distributed equally, etc.  Damn that country.

    As the article states he’s a screenwriter, I went to IMDB.com.  Doogal and The Long Weekend?  That’s his entire resume?  I supposed it would be seriously petty of me if I now say “Oh I get it.”

    Oh.  I get it.

  21. 21
    Julie Leto says:

    I don’t know…but this sounds like a great plot for a book.  Not sure what kind of book or what this man’s motivation is…but what a fascinating read it could make!  Especially for the woman who teaches him his place.

  22. 22
    Lorelie says:

    BTW, I’m an American.  And my last haircut was seven months ago, at Walmart for god’s sake.

  23. 23

    I hate to go against prevailing wisdom, but unfortunately my feel is that the guy would get both American and British women, at least for a while.

    Remember the Worst Husband in History, Andrea Yates’ guy?  There were women interested in him.  Live in a converted bus and be barefoot and pregnant—dreamy.

    So this stupid man would plausibly get both British women who want to prove that Posh Beckham is not an anomaly and there are other Brits hell-bent on appearance, and American women who want to show him that they could be coy and mysterious and better than Her Majesty in their manners and breeding.

    I hope not but…  ::shrugs::

  24. 24
    jessica says:

    What an idiot. I’m American, and I don’t go to the gym, have a personal trainer, or get a mani/pedi every week. I know many Brits who do. No wonder why this guy is single-no one can live with him and his massive, overblown ego. Idiot.

  25. 25
    quizzabella says:

    “I can’t help but feel the Times is trying to tell us incredibly ugly British women something… “
    :) I hope that you read the responses to that article, Cat. It was published in the Review section of the Sunday Times.  The woman in question was so cut down to size that I expect to find her under my eggcup anytime soon.

  26. 26
    Teddy Pig says:

    Is there any universal cross cultural way to mark a guy “Not Allowed To Breed” ?

  27. 27
    Jill Monroe says:

    Apparently he’s never heard of the American Women Suck website.

    Glad you looked up the movies.  Was wondering if they were romantic comedies…

  28. 28
    Cat Marsters says:

    Is there any universal cross cultural way to mark a guy “Not Allowed To Breed” ?

    Yes.  Publish an article like that.

  29. 29
    shay says:

    Clueless.  Completely clueless.

    “An informal poll of my US female friends…”

    Read one, and she hangs out with Paris Hilton.

    “…revealed that they spend roughly $700 (£350) a month on what they consider standard obligatory beauty maintenance. That covers haircut, highlights, manicure, pedicure, waxing, tanning, make-up, facials, teeth whitening etc. They will spend a further $1,000 (£500) a month on physical conditioning such as military fitness, spinning sessions, vikram yoga, Pilates, deep-tissue sports massage, personal training etc. On top of that, add the occasional spa day, a week-long “bikini boot camp” in Mexico at the start of every summer and seasonal splurges on personal shoppers and clothing”.

    Oh, please.  Show of hands how many American women are spending $1,700. a month on beauty/physical conditioning/brazilian waxes?

    “American women see these costs as a simple and sensible investment in their future.”

    The man is a genius!  Who needs to spend money on education when you can create a brilliant future for yourself with standard obligatory beauty practices instead.

    Step away from your mani-pedi pedestal,  and take a walk outside your narrow-minded, mean-spirited, and ignorant view of women, Mr. Safran!

  30. 30
    Angelina says:

    This fool does not deserve to lick the pedicured or non-pedicured toes of women on either side of the pond!

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