Excerpt from Female Intelligence by Jane Heller, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Female Intelligence

By Jane Heller

Female Intelligence
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Apr 2001,
    336 pages.
    Paperback: Feb 2002,
    336 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


In a nutshell, the Wyman Method was my therapy for guys who go mute at the dinner table and guys who interrupt in business meetings and guys who tell entirely too many jokes concerning women's breasts. It was my cure for the common cad.

And it made me famous -- truly famous -- for a time. On the heels of the book followed the radio show and the newspaper column and the monthly appearances on "Good Morning America," plus the very lucrative private practice. I was an important person doing important work until my life took a dramatic dive -- a plunge that was breathtaking in its downward trajectory.

But there will be more about my reversal of fortune soon enough, much more. In the meantime, think of me as I was before the fall -- a newfangled Pygmalian ("Femalian," as David Letterman dubbed me). Or think of me as Rex Harrison in the movie My Fair Lady). Rex was a linguist who taught Audrey Hepburn how to communicate like a lady. I was a linguist who taught men how to communicate with ladies. As a matter of fact, think of the story I'm about to tell you as a sort of "My Fair Man."

It's a story about language, obviously, and about love, as you've probably guessed, as well as a story about having it all and losing it all and figuring out how to get it all back. And, because it's a cautionary tale, it comes with a warning label: Beware of smart women with a score to settle.


CHAPTER ONE

"PLEASE TRY THE dinner table script again, Ron. From the top. And this time, speak directly into the microphone."

"Okay, Dr. Wyman."

"I also want you to linger for half a beat on the word 'your.' As in: 'So, Marybeth, how was your day?' It's the emphasis on the 'your' that will make your wife feel as if she's the focus of your attention, as if she's getting her turn with you after a long day, busy day. Do you understand?"

"Sure, Dr. Wyman. Whatever."

" 'Whatever' is no longer in your vocabulary, Ron. Not when you're talking to women. It sends us an I-don't-care message."

"No 'whatever.' Ever."

"Right. Now, let's hear the line again."

Ron leaned closer to the microphone. " 'So, Marybeth, how was your day?' "

"Ron. Ron. You lingered over the wrong word. Listen to how hostile that daaaay made you sound." I shook my head disapprovingly as I rewound the tape and played it back to my client. "You gave the impression that you'd rather die than have Marybeth tell you about her day."

"That's because I would rather die." His expression was pained. "I have zero interest in hearing about how some secretary in her office lost thirty pounds on the Slim Fast diet. I mean, am I really supposed to give a crap about that, let alone ask my wife to tell me about it over dinner?"

"Calm down, Ron. You're the one who came here for help."

"Yeah, because Marybeth threatened to divorce me if I didn't. I don't want her to leave me. I just want her to leave me alone when I'm eating."

"Ron. You've got to keep in mind that Marybeth's chatter is merely an attempt to establish a connection with you. As I told you during your evaluation, communication is crucially important to women. We use words to achieve a sense of intimacy with others. It makes us feel insecure and unloved when men give us back nonresponsive answers or ignore us altogether. If you were to listen attentively to what Marybeth reports about her day and ask pertinent follow-up questions, you would be demonstrating that you care about her and she would respond in kind, and your relationship would improve dramatically. You can trust me on this."

"Oh, I trust you, Dr. Wyman. You wouldn't be so successful if you didn't know what you were talking about."

Copyright Jane Heller, 2001. All rights reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...
  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  254Cartwheel:
    Jennifer duBois
  2.  143Happier at Home:
    Gretchen Rubin

All Discussions

Who Said...

The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.