The women in this boot camp are desperate and single, but can’t figure out why. The cast is composed of classic archetypes of the single woman: the ‘too much too soon’ romantic, the ‘gold digger’, the ‘fixing the wrong guys’ victim, the late 30’s ‘Lone Ranger’. To call the women out on their issues, Steven labels each woman with a moniker that correlates to her main problem. From “Miss Picky,” the woman who is too caught up in a list of impossible expectations, to “Miss Wedding-Obsessed,” the girl that tells guys on their first date she’s looking to be married within a year.
Of course! It’s the women’s fault that they’re single – if only they were to follow Steven Ward’s rules, they’d be happily married by now. Maybe he needs to read Dr. Karen Gail Lewis’ book and get a clue that women have a right not to settle. And we can be perfectly happy without a man, thank you very much.
The methods employed by Steven, with his “brutally honest approach to matchmaking,” are reminiscent of dog training: ” the ladies [get] zapped by an ankle bracelet when they bring up inappropriate topics on a date; or [they learn] how to pose in lingerie in an episode on sex.” Glancing through an interview with Ward, he is suggesting that dating is a game and being honest will prevent you from being in a relationship. He is perpetuating this game by training women to play into it (what happens after they land a guy, he doesn’t say – I guess the game has to continue indefinitely). Unlike Lewis who tells women that it’s okay to be single rather than playing to a man’s notion of what a woman should be like. Rather than degrading ourselves, we should demand that men grow up and be honest. Let’s add another “classic archetype of the single woman:” The happy spinster who proudly doesn’t settle!