The Donald Trump Syndrome: Why women want to date men like the president

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On Saturday Sept. 23 at 8 p.m., single women will gather at the Monroe Night Club in San Francisco to meet the polar opposites of Donald Trump.

The event is based on the new book, The Donald Trump Syndrome: Why Women Choose the Wrong Men to Love, by Rich Gosse.

According to Gosse, “most single women would react with horror if they were told they desire a Trump-like husband, but that’s what millions secretly want.” He says Trump possesses five qualities that many women look for in a romantic partner: Older (he is 71), taller (he is 6’3”), wealthier (he is a billionaire), well-educated (he “went to the finest schools”), and dominant alpha male.

But as Gosse reminds us, Donald Trump also has many qualities that women find abhorrent such as rampant narcissism, womanizing and a “flexible” approach to the truth – all things that would make marrying this kind of man an unmitigated disaster. Instead, Gosse says his book provides a step-by-step blueprint for how to identify a good man, where to find him and how to forge a lasting bond.

Which is why on Sept. 23 women will have a chance to mingle with single men who are the polar opposites of the five above mentioned qualities: bachelors who are younger, shorter, poorer, less-educated, and shy.

But is simply looking for the opposite of a terrible man the secret to finding a good one?

There are some things that Gosse gets right in The Donald Trump Syndrome. For starters, he says the appeal of Trump-a-likes is their charisma. “Millions of women allow themselves to be seduced by flawed men who present a flashy package, rather than go with a less flamboyant men of substance who don’t know how to manipulate souls to their advantage,” says Gosse.

I’ve definitely been drawn in by a few lotharios in the past, but I’d argue that flashy playboys aren’t the only ones to watch out for. Just ask any woman who’s fallen for a “hobosexual” – a freeloading, “housing challenged” romeo easily identifiable by the small rolling suitcase he brings to the fourth date and the fact that he keeps eating all of your frozen ravioli. They’d probably agree that manipulative narcissists come in all different kinds of packages: rich, poor, average looking and ruggedly handsome.

With that said, Gosse is optimistic that “once women overcome The Donald Trump Syndrome they will discover there is no shortage of men out there who would make good husbands.” But it’s Gosse’s strategies for meeting these “good men” that makes my blood boil.

According to Gosse, to meet these younger, shorter, poorer, less-educated, “good” men, women need to improve their appearance. This includes losing weight, slapping on some makeup and high heels, covering any grey hair and doing whatever they can to look younger. He even suggests women sit in front of a mirror during meals (so they eat smaller portions) and get contact lenses because most men don’t like glasses (clearly Gosse is unaware of the legion of Zooey Deschanel fan boys).

When asked to comment on this section of the book Gosse says, “I understand that some women will find the “improving your appearance” chapter to be unsettling, particularly since the advice is coming from a man,” adding, “the sad reality is that men are visual. It’s okay to complain about it, but it doesn’t change anything.”

True, but continuing to say that “boys will be boys” isn’t going to change anything either. Yes, men are visual creatures. But so are women. Continuing the old, tired narrative that women need to change themselves in order to accommodate male desire doesn’t do anything to move us forward as a species. In fact, it’s kind of a Trump move.

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