Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Pity The Woman Who Takes Relationship Advice From Steve Harvey Alone!

Don't be a fool ladies. Oprah may have found his shtick funny but it's not as if she's going to stop whatever works for her life with Stedman to adopt Steve's rules of engagement. I blame best friend Gayle who clearly lacks some critical thinking skills and knowledge of what's happening in today's dating world by suggesting the book in the first place. Oprah had him on for a brief Friday Live segment two weeks ago and he was funny so she invited him back for an entire episode. That's when I went, oh no! Perhaps they thought it was a great book because it's a generational thing since they're all in their 50's? Which only proves how out of touch they are! 

So I asked if anyone had watched this Oprah episode on Twitter and I was directed to this article by author Roslyn Holcomb on her self-titled blog: Don't Take Relationship Advice From Men.

She asks why women are so eager to listen to men giving relationship advice and I know why. We think we're going to learn something valuable. It's making an assumption though and you know what they say about those! It's also because a lot of us (Black women) may have grown up without reliable...ok I'm gonna be blunt...without hardly any (good) male role models so of course we'll gravitate towards that. Plus this is a patriarchal society so it should come as no surprise. 

Okay, I will concede some of what Steve Harvey said made sense but he's a comedian!! He doesn't have a PhD in psychology and he's not a social scientist: he's out to sell a book. He's a celebrity for goodness sake! Since when are celebrities role models for stable relationships? Besides isn't his current wife the woman who was the side chick that he left his previous wife for? How long do you think that relationship's going to last after he comes out of his "getting his groove back" lust haze? Do you really want to listen to a man who cheats as your only source of dating and relating information? Just because someone is on the teevee doesn't make them an authority on anything. Take it with a grain of salt at least.

This isn't to say that we should never solicit the advice of a man, but it needs to be the right one. I wouldn't advocate listening to what a lot of women have to say either. In what is commonly referred to as the "Black Community" a lot of women are taught to notice skin tone, hair texture, to attend a church and call it religious belief, to give all of their time and money away indiscriminately, to hold up the entire world...all at the individual female's expense. Then they're supposed to pat themselves on the back for the "giving to others" and doing the "Christian thing" meanwhile when they need help nobody's home. 

The adopted mantra should be "Ain't Nothing Going On But the Rent". If you ever question this one-sided practice (for Black men are NEVER told to do this) or drift towards thinking of yourself for more than a few seconds you'll be accused of being selfish. It also seems to be this invisible electronic fence that holds women back from considering all men of all ethnicities and races as viable partners. We're missing out because other women don't hesitate to date and marry "our" men. Nor do "our" men hesitate to chase after them in the most disrespectful manner and abandon us. The "us" would be our selves and any offspring we may produce with them as well. 

On the other hand, there's another phrase that's become popular (and this falls along class lines) "ni**ers ain't worth sh*t" in referring to Black males. Wow..and wow. So it's either become a mule or do everything yourself because you can't possibly rely on a Black man for anything. And keep to yourself and be lonely. This isn't about the abilities of men based on race, it's about choosing to be with a quality man that can pull his own weight in the world so you won't have to. It's about finding the man who values you and proves it by his actions. Neither of the extremes will work. Yet Harvey posits we should think like a man. It's total BS. I can't abide by that at all. 

Actually...let me revise that slightly. I'm dropping in a quote from Roslyn's article:
Male loyalty is sketchy at best. They are first loyal to themselves, then to other men, then to the woman they sleep with. (I'm adding the possibility of looking out for a daughter.) If you’re not in one of those categories, in all likelihood, you fall far down in the hierarchy. Further, you have to keep in mind that even if he’s not sleeping with you, most men are at least considering the possibility that you might be a good back-up
During the show segments Oprah had mostly Black women on. The first female guest had a long list but the first thing on it was her ideal man had to be African-American. So I'm guessing a foreign Black male is out of the question let alone seeking out other races. Right there she's reduced her chances of finding a husband by 98%. Black women outnumber Black men 3-1. 70% of us are single. Then if you add any kind of standards whatsoever that percentage decreases, plus she's in her 30's. Harvey did ask her if she was willing to be everything on her list that she wants a man to be? That I will agree with. She doesn't just need advice - she needs a reality check. They were joking with her about how she was seeking out Jesus incarnate for a husband. Unless you believe the Da Vinci code then that wouldn't even be possible then...or now! 
The question I'd be asking is:  You have to have the standards, but how do you know what those standards are? How do Black women in particular clear their minds of the indoctrination tactics fed to BW that keep them tethered in the barn and get free of them?
Another guest who is clearly delusional claims she won’t have intercourse or give oral sex for “religious” purposes but she receives oral sex from the men she’s dating because “they offer”. They’re offering because they’re hoping to convince her to go all the way. Plus I’d go so far as to say she’s setting herself up to get raped by one of them one of these days. There are just some things you don’t play around with. Maybe if you’re 18 and experimenting but this woman looked as if she was at least 25. I wouldn’t be testing those boundaries. “What religion?” Steve asked because he wanted go to her church. He was making jokes the entire show which only shows how serious he isn't.

Another guest discovered her boyfriend of 4 years had been cheating on her with scores of other women when she found a hidden cellphone. They were praising her for ending the relationship but nobody asked the obvious question: Why was she dating a guy for 4 years? Why did she consider her relationship a "commitment" when it was a guy who was just her boyfriend? Not to mention the fact that she let him move into her place. I'd love to know if she was paying all the bills, too? Then it went from bad to worse. She said she called the most frequently used number on the phone. The other woman claimed to have not been in love the guy – but that woman chose to spend 7 years with the guy. Who was she kidding?
This just proves a lot of us just don’t know what to look for and how to discern who quality men are. We don't set adequate standards. All of the women featured were attractive and intelligent. We have our own unresolved emotional issues that get in the way. We also have to do our part for attracting the type of men we claim we want. I felt as if the onus placed was too much at the disposal of the female guests as if some sort of blame game argument could be attached later. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Since the audience was multi-racial and they threw in one white woman who was insecure about her age a lot of useful information that Black women need specifically wasn’t discussed.
Plus this was to sell a book and provide entertainment. If Oprah was seriously going to give women advice it should have been a "break out the notebooks" and put on your thinking caps show. When Steve kept making funny faces and Oprah was laughing at his responses when women asked specifics about sexual activity and grooming I found myself getting very frustrated. It wasn't in the same way I feel the Tyra Show lacks depth but it was the right subject with the wrong person.  In fact, he was about to make a comment about his wife and the women in the audience indicated that he should shut up. See…he’s not that wise! 

They closed out the show with these 5 questions a woman should ask a man she's dating. Oh I guess I should mention you can check out chapter information here. One thing he did say that I totally agree with is waiting at least 90 days before engaging in any physical intimacy, but this isn't anything new. Of course not all women will want to adhere to that but again, you have to decide if you're looking for fun or if you're looking for a husband and act accordingly:

Ask the man about his -  
1. short term goals
2. long term goals
3. views on relationships
4. what he thinks about you
5. what he feels about you 

We want to be able to bake the cake, eat it and fat flush the calories away. Just remember: there's always consequences for our choices. So we should boldly go forth..and engage!

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Renee said...

Lets not forget the mid life crises that Harvey is going through as well. I don't know if you had the misfortune to see the pin up shots he took with a couple of shots to show off that men of a certain age can be sexy to but girl they were 7 shades of wrong.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Renee: I did see those "beefcake" shots and just laughed but now I realize how all of that is tied together. How in the heck did he get a book deal to talk about relationships though? Is Chris Rock gonna do one next so he can talk about BW?

Unknown said...

the post should read: "I pity the woman who takes relationship advice from Steve Harvey AND Oprah..."

i can't see how this cat wrote a book about relationships and GOT AWAY WITH IT! thats what i am tripping about. its like a NYT bestseller. somehow, someone figured out how to emit crack gases through radio waves.

I agree wholeheartedly though, most advice given to women is patriarchal, sexist, and shallow.