Wednesday, February 18, 2009

He's Just Not That Intelligent

Riding in on the coattails of He's Just Not That Into You comes Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man from relationship expert ... Steve Harvey. Steve Harvey of the same-named TV show that's on reruns on TBS? Yes, that's the one.

I caught him promoting his new book on the Today Show as I was getting ready for work this morning. And not only was his segment insulting but, it made me wonder what the deal is with this recent trend of men needing to give women advice for being such failures at pleasing men. Where'd this niche grow from? And what makes Steve Harvey think he understands women? Why is it men are so great at reading women and women so terrible at interpreting men, at least according to all these relationship books?

I'll tell you what, all this guidance really just sounds like reinforcement of patriarchal gender norms. Men telling women how they ought to behave. Harvey went so far as to tell Meredith, host of the Today Show, that women belong at home. Act like a lady, that's how you keep a man, he said. Don't try to be all independent. Well some women enjoy being independent, having a job, making their own money, building a career, Meredith protested. Harvey went so far as to ask her if that's what women really want, wouldn't they rather have a man take care of them? Needless to say, she was annoyed. As was I. Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought we were living in '09, not 1949.

If some men are threatened by an independent woman, that's their drama. Maybe they need to work on their self-confidence. Read a couple self-help books.


Gioconda said...

Wow, that is insulting. The problem is that women are more likely to think they are the problem and stress over why they can't "please" or "keep" a man, and they're more likely to search for "corrective" self-help books than men are. Men may have just as many insecurities about dating, but I can't think of many men who sit around worrying about what they can change about themselves in order to keep the women in their lives, or who would take the kick to their pride in buying a book on how to please women by changing oneself. Oh well. It'll be interesting to see how this book does!

divadiv said...

Oh whoops yes, I meant that last sentence to be less advicy. And more of just a statement. But yes, it is easier to market these things to women because we tend to overanalyze things way too much. And while there are surely mainy nuerotic men, the asshole ones who need the guidance probably will never seek it out.

jaimelesmots said...

I think us women should get together and write the "He's just not that intelligent book" It might be a good response to this crap coming out blaming the woman solely for the failure of a relationship. Sure, we over analyze things and have trouble reading men, but men have trouble reading us and tend to under-analyze or don't put as much effort as women seem to require in a serious relationship... yeah that's what say I.

divadiv said...

I spelled the word many wrong. For shame.

Christine said...

who the hell wants to take advice from a guy with a shiny, bald head and a caterpillar above his top lip? ok that really wasn't profound guys but i just wanted to add my 2 cents.

Michelle said...

It is interesting that women are the ones who are expected to change, to mold ourselves to fit a man. Yet many of them wouldn't do the same for us. I recently dated a guy who had several habits that I was not happy about, and he knew it, yet he still just went along being himself. Yet, as soon as I found out that he didn't like something about me, I wanted to change to fit his idea of what I should be. Luckily, I got my head out of the sand in time to realize how ridiculous that is! Needless to say, we are no longer dating. But, even a few of my friends thought I should stick it out..."what if he's the one" and crap like that. They suggested I stay in Illinois (I was planning a move to OK) just to see what would happen. In short, put my life on hold to see if I could "make it work" with him, like this was my only chance, and he was the only single guy left in the world.

My point in saying all this is that it's not just the books that need to change, but how we (women) look at men and relationships. If our moms and friends and sisters are telling us that we should stick it out or shit like that, it's hard to take a step back and be objective about the situation. It's hard to ask yourself "what do I want?"