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So You Wanna Date an Activist? by Barbara Payne is an essay about the social life and foibles of a GenX (socially liberal) activist. Ms. Payne writes about the way an activist’s mind works, the way she seeks and selects dates and mates, and the avoidable pitfalls that a prospective date/mate might run into that could ruin all chances for a relationship. Her comments range in topic from sexual orientation, the temptation to become sexually involved with close colleagues, feminism, consumerism, and drug culture.
In style, the book is very conversational. Grammar rules are thrown out the window for a more speech-friendly method of communication. There is also an abundance of slang and profanity, which may confuse or alienate readers. But whereas this style may be frustrating to some, to others, it will seem more honest and humorously blunt. That distinction will be entirely dependent on reader’s preference.
Speaking of bluntness, Ms. Payne is clearly a very driven individual who constantly associates, by her own admission, with other similarly driven individuals, albeit sometimes for different causes. That means that some of her remarks may come off as grating or offensive to some readers. As with real persons with whom you may have face-to-face conversations, remember that blanket statements can become habit, decline to take offense, and move on. Ms. Payne is not acknowledging exceptions because that is not her business. Her opinions in this book represent a lifestyle built on the idea that, after examining a situation, you decide what is right, and then you struggle to the limit of your ability (and maybe beyond) to convince everyone else to agree with you and join your fight. If that kind of bluntness does not appeal to you, reader, don’t read this book.
I’m giving this book 3 out of 4 stars. I found it to be engaging and interesting overall. It is a short read that might be best compared to standing outside and being suddenly buffeted by a gust of wind. Too much could cause some problems, but just one little gust will make you smile and feel a little more alive.
Buy So You Wanna Date an Activist? by Barbara Payne