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Christian Carter’s Products Are Sexist

Christian Carter’s Products Are Sexist

Recently, I was watching a video on YouTube and, when the video ended, an ad popped up that said, “Why Men Pull Away: 10 Ugly Mistakes that Ruin Any Chance of a Relationship – CatchHimandKeepHim.com.” I was so offended by the ad’s attempts to exploit both women’s fears and the stereotypes perpetuated about them that, with righteous indignation and morbid curiosity, I clicked.

Catch Him and Keep Him is the website of Christian Carter, a self-proclaimed expert on the inner workings of men’s minds and the ways in which women push them away. On the website’s homepage is a video explaining the kernels of wisdom customers receive when they purchase his book and DVDs. In the video, Carter explains that, in his conversations with women, he discovered that, “…while lots of women have the best intentions of being a great partner and being in love, they were making mistakes that turned men off or pushed men away.” As if the man’s emotional hang-ups have nothing to do with a break-up.

Clicking through the website (yes, I actually devoted some of my valuable time to this – that’s how outraged I was), I found a page with yet more videos detailing the specific benefits of each product. Here are a few of the bits of advice Carter claims to teach women:

“Why a man will withdraw after a few great dates or especially when you’ve finally gotten close, and what to do about it.”

“The two types of attraction that men feel, and how you need to trigger both types of attraction in your man if you want to make him want a lasting relationship with you.”

“The critical mistakes that literally kill a man’s interest in attraction… and what you can do to avoid accidentally killing a man’s interest in you.”

Needless to say, I was appalled. So I read the website’s “About Christian Carter” page to find out what kind of professional credentials this man has and, not surprisingly, I found out he has absolutely none – or if he does, they are not listed on his website. Of course, having letters behind one’s name is not necessarily a guarantee that one’s knowledge and opinions are valid. There are many practitioners – from nutrition counselors to life coaches – who hold certificates rather than degrees, and some who have no professional credentials at all, yet their life’s experience has given them insights they can utilize to help others. But when one is proposing a philosophy as potentially incendiary as Carter’s, I for one would like to know that such a person has some degree of expertise to back up his claims.

To be sure, genuine relationship counseling can be invaluable. And I believe that men and women sometimes communicate differently and, in a relationship, it is important to understand that. But Carter is not promoting authentic dialogue between partners. Rather, he is playing on the insecurities of women. For example, the wording of the ad, “10 Ugly Mistakes…” subtly calls to mind the horribly misogynistic practice of judging women based on their appearances.

In addition, Carter preys upon women who perhaps have low self-esteem or feel inadequate when it comes to their love lives. For women who want to find a partner but feel helpless because they have been unable to do so, changing themselves to attract a mate may sound appealing because such a solution is within their control. These women might feel disempowered in certain areas of their lives, but at least they know they can change their own behavior. Of course, Carter’s promise is a false one, because truly supportive relationships require both partners to accept one another. If a woman has to change herself to attract a man, that man is not likely to be a good match for her.

Yes, many people – both men and women – harbor destructive emotional patterns that can be detrimental to their attempts to find love. In those cases, it is often beneficial to try to move beyond negative emotions and ideas and perhaps work with a therapist. But Carter is not talking about those individual cases – he is making assumptions about the way most women behave. And that, of course, is nothing more than a stereotype. Indeed, the quotes above evoke myths we’ve all heard before – that women or clingy and that they often do or say things that men deem unattractive. Furthermore, the idea that to find a mate, a woman has to “catch” a man reinforces the notion of a woman being a ball and chain, tying her man down and preventing him from sowing his wild oats. Of course, by stereotyping women, Carter is also stereotyping men, assuming that the majority of men respond to women in the same way.

What’s more, Carter implies that it is up to the woman to make sure she never makes a wrong step, that she must always be on guard or she will drive her man away. Furthermore, Carter seems to believe that, if the woman does something “wrong” and the man bolts, he will be justified in doing so and the break-up will be her fault. That belief is insulting both to women and men. It suggests that a man’s emotions are more important than a woman’s, and women must be careful not to offend the delicate and fickle sensibilities of their men. And it paints men as emotional infants incapable of examining their feelings and discussing them rationally with their partners. Though Carter asserts in one of his videos that his customers will “finally know how to have a great relationship without being the one who has to do all the work and hold it together,” that assertion seems like an afterthought. The nature of Carter’s products places the onus on women when it comes to maintaining a relationship.

Why am I so angry about one website? I don’t know how many page views Catch Him and Keep Him has received, but I imagine it is not overwhelmingly popular, so maybe I shouldn’t get so worked up about it. But I think this website is worthy of my anger for two reasons. First, it is advertised on YouTube with a potential audience of millions, so it may not languish in obscurity much longer. Next, this website is just one example of the endless stream of messages we receive from the media reinforcing bogus myths about women and relationships. These messages are sexist and they plant ideas that make it more difficult for many women and men to find and maintain romantic relationships that are truly supportive and nurturing.

 

 

Related:
Ask the Loveologist: How Can We Keep From Growing Apart?
5 Self Esteem “Quick Fixes”
Boycott Reebok: Sexist Company

Read more: Dating, Life, Love, Relationships, , , , ,

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Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke is a writer living in California. She is interested in organic food and green living. Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University, an M.A. in Humanities from NYU, and a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University. She has written for a number of publications, and she studied Pastry Arts at the Institute for Culinary Education. Her interests include running, yoga, baking, and poetry. Read more on her blog.

29 comments

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2:27PM PDT on Jun 26, 2014

I agree, while men Bd women do have different relationship needs and views tge right man accepts tgecwoman for who she is, not that some people dont need to chanfe their ways. I read his video accidently in an adverticement and found it offensive and condescending.

2:26PM PDT on Jun 26, 2014

I agree, while men Bd women do have different relationship needs and views tge right man accepts tgecwoman for who she is, not that some people dont need to chanfe their ways. I read his video accidently in an adverticement and found it offensive and condescending.

2:26PM PDT on Jun 26, 2014

I agree, while men Bd women do have different relationship needs and views tge right man accepts tgecwoman for who she is, not that some people dont need to chanfe their ways. I read his video accidently in an adverticement and found it offensive and condescending.

2:26PM PDT on Jun 26, 2014

I agree, while men Bd women do have different relationship needs and views tge right man accepts tgecwoman for who she is, not that some people dont need to chanfe their ways. I read his video accidently in an adverticement and found it offensive and condescending.

8:58AM PST on Dec 23, 2013

Thanks Sarah.

8:47AM PST on Dec 23, 2013

I have received a lot of his work over email for a long time-but there are so many emails I simply cannot read all of em'. yikes.
Some of his suggestions are coming from a healthy point of view and can be very good suggestions. I read some of them and I am fine with learning about a new perspective on something.
However, there are parts that get me too. And the largest flaw is just what the author of this article said: putting too much emphasis on what women are doing wrong. If I have to worry that much before even getting serious about a relationship, it makes me wonder when I will be able to relax and show the fact that I do need re-assurance and time to show weakness (being insecure and weak is normal sometimes). I think it's fine if a guy needs some space, (But some women like space too, and I'm one of them) but to be looked at as inconvenient (when you are looking for some attention when you maybe actually need it) is wrong. I am not nailing men. This is intentionally not directed toward anyone (except Carter-mostly certain ideas). All women are different. All men are different. Some men have similarities to some women. It is so mixed, yet a lot is probably unacknowledged.
I am more old-fashioned in some ways, yet I am also very different in how I view the whole "getting to know each other" thing. I like to be open, have fun, but I certainly don't like to pretend I am more self-sufficient or secure than I really am. That actually makes things more uptight.
I under

6:30AM PST on Jan 28, 2013

I have read so many articles regarding dating and relationships and this is the first time I signed in the website just to put a comment. I owe christian carter a lot. It was about 5 years ago and i have been in so many relationships and it all failed miserably. Most of the men at had been will just stop caring without explanation. At that time i dont exactly know whats wrong. Its depressing and every friend i have talked to cant give me a decent advice and nothing works. And then i saw christian carter's article "ten mistakes women makes With men". I was shocked because i'm doing most it. This has been an eye opener for me. I read all the free articles wrote by christian carter and with my new found knowledge, im excited to try it. I applied it and for the first time in my life i feel secured in my relationship. I'm also not the only one trying to works things out in a relationship. I now know how to communicate with my man without him being defensive. It works so amazing that I'm still with the man i tried it the first time after 4 years and we are stii very much in love with each other. I respect the author's opinion, it is how she views christian carter's dating advice but i just want to let you all know, specially to the girls who are so tired with toxic relationship that it works! It might not work for everyone but you can try it. You don't actually need to buy his ebook, there are so many free articles written by him in the internet. So thats it. I hope someday i can a

11:37AM PST on Jan 17, 2013

Credentials? Psychologist, have degrees,but people walk out of their office at times even more stressed out, and the same rule applies with marriage counselors. It's all how one perceives things that really matters, and that's exactly why perception is the only thing higher than intelligence. Check out this guys website,and then you will understand life.www.topofthescale.com cheers!

12:38AM PST on Nov 11, 2012

Thank you for sharing!

2:05PM PDT on Oct 22, 2012

Yeah, because obviously all women really want is to 'Catch and Keep' a man Which century is this twit Carter living in? Sadly, the market created by the many insecurities that society piles onto women (and, to be fair, men as well) is a lucrative one.

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