Rude: Stop Being Nice and Start Being Bold looks at how women are conditioned to always act “nice,” and how when they act assertive, they are labeled “rude,” among other harsh titles such as “diva,” “high maintenance,” and “pushy.” Reid shows the places and situations in one’s life when it is better to act in a “positive rude” way rather than adopting a self-sacrificing “nice” persona. The book covers the areas of friends, family, dating, sex, weddings, consumer, work, money, and health. The consumer section takes a close look at working with hairstylists, the service industry, and the best practice for how to complain when services and products fall short of expectations. The health section provides specific guidance on “lady problems,” fat shaming, miscarriages, and giving birth. Each of the nine main section is followed tips on being the right kind of rude and include a nod to a famous person role model e.g. Taylor Swift, Anne Boleyn, Rosa Parks, and Meghan Markle.
The book contains lots of interesting and actionable information and is written in a straightforward and accessible manner. I like the focus on “positive” rudeness, which is based on the concept that a woman’s needs are as valid and equally important as those of others. The dating section talks about how women are conditioned to deliver “nice” rejections, often lying about having a significant other rather than admitting to a lack of interest, and how not letting people, men in particular, experience honest rejection can create a culture of entitlement. This, in an extreme case, can contribute to violence against women due to that entitlement.
In the section on work, the author shares a concept called “hepeating” where a man repeats something a woman has said in a meeting and gets credit for her idea, because it becomes somehow more palatable coming from a man. Also, this section addresses the ways women have learned to soften their email communications and have been conditioned to apologize.
I enjoyed not only the content, but the way the book is organized, the end of chapter summaries, and the famous person role models. In my opinion, some of the sections could have been expanded, but nevertheless Rude is an empowering read.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for providing an Advance Reader Copy.