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Behind the Bestsellers : So What Are Those 10 Stupid Things?

March 13, 1994

TEN STUPID THINGS WOMEN DO TO MESS UP THEIR LIVES by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. (Villard: $19.95; 232 pp.) And here they are, in all their glory: Stupid Attachment, Stupid Courtship, Stupid Devotion, Stupid Passion, Stupid Cohabitation, Stupid Expectations, Stupid Conception, Stupid Subjugation, Stupid Helplessness, and Stupid Forgiving. Remove the word stupid and you have some pretty nice things: passion, courtship, devotion, forgiving, but Dr. Schlessinger drives a hard bargain: "If you want a higher self-esteem, there's only one, admittedly old-fashioned way to get it: Earn it!" She smiles sweetly on the cover, but Dr. Schlessinger has a black belt in karate, a Ph.D., and a "license to practice therapy" (is that like a license for a gun?). As radio talk show host on Los Angeles' KFI-AM, Schlessinger noticed that women were blaming too much on other people and doing too little "to get out of their no-win relationships, personal or professional." "They act stupid," she says. A brief Epilogue, "The Birth of the Smarts," explains that Schlessinger is hoping to make us mad, to "jump-start our courage." The first step on the path to recovery, it seems, is the realization that you are truly, truly stupid.

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