Saturday, May 16, 2009

Barefoot and pregnant.

I'm not sure how many men actually read my blog, I'm guessing very few, but I would like your opinion here.  Women, you may also give your thoughts if you wish.  And you probably will after you read this.

Remember my awesome roommate?  She is very into self awareness and reads a lot of books with inspirational and motivational messages and the like.  She often will come into my room with a book that I HAVE TO READ and I always get excited when she hands me something because she's so excited and the book is often quite good.  Or starts off good anyways.  I usually start one but don't have time to finish it before she hands me another and then I decide that the one she just handed me looks WAY BETTER! so I start that one.  I have about 5 books going right now. 

Anyhoo, we were talking one night about my ex and how his goal in life was to make me into a better person but he FAILED!  Sucker.  And she told me that she had a book that I HAVE TO READ about men and what they are really thinking.  She got really excited about it because it was so good and said that every girl should read this book as soon as they start to like boys. Now normally, these kind of men vs. women books are ones that I stay away from because, basically, I think they're stupid, but I have to admit, she had my curiosity piqued.  This one was written by Steve Harvey who is a comedian I guess and I like funny things so I decided, what the hell.

The book is called "Act like a lady, think like a man" and it's Steve Harvey's advice in book form(he also does a radio show) to all the women out there who want a committed relationship and can't seem to find one.  He opens with a dedication to All Women: "My hope is to empower you with a wide-open look into the minds of men" and then goes on to talk about this great favor he is doing for all of womankind.  

I couldn't make it past the second chapter.  And, lord help me, I really tried.  

Let me take you on my learning journey.   Chapter 2 is titled: "Our love isn't like your love" which basically translates into: "We(men) love you(women) but don't expect us to take care of you when you're sick because that is not how we show our love."  How do men show their love?  If they really love you, they will do each of the following three things that, concidentally, all start with a P:

If a man really loves you, when introducing you, he will say something like, "This is MY girlfriend whoever" or "I'd like you to meet MY lady." etc.  If he doesn't love you, or is not committed to you, he will just introduce you by your name, "This is blah blah".  I don't have much of a problem with this one, it's fair and probably true a lot of the times, although when reading further, it seems that he may have mistaken the word "profess" for "possess" but whatever.

If a man really loves you he will provide for you and that's all he ever thinks about so if you want a man to commit to you before he is able to provide for you then you're shit of luck because, as a women, you can't possibly be the provider or even really contribute because that's not your job. It's the man's job.  And if he can't do that job he has failed and you might as well just close the garage door and turn on the car.  Oh, and ladies? If you are thinking that you might want to be independent at all in your relationship, don't even try because that attitude will keep you single forever.  But what happens if you get divorced or something happens to your man and you have to provide for yourself but you don't know how because your man took care of all of that?  Let me see if I can find that part in the book.  Oh wait, that part doesn't exist.  I guess it's not a real issue.

...ok...deep breaths....

This is my favorite.  The third and final way a man can show you that he loves you is to protect you.  And how does he protect you?  Well, if a bill collector or someone comes to your door and threatens you but you're too fragile to stick up for yourself and your man comes home from the plant and finds you crying into your apron and supper is NOT on the table for christ's sake what have you been doing all day and you tell him that the mean bill collector came and was very awful but what could you say because you are only a women? Don't fear ladies!  The next time that jerk ass bill collector comes  around he will be sorry he ever spoke to you that way because this time your man will be home.  You will never have to stick up for yourself again!  Oh and guess what else?  Protection also means that your man can tell you to stop doing something if he thinks it's too dangerous.  For example, if you like doing things like sky diving or white water rafting but when you go do these things your man can't help but worry?  He can tell you to stop. Because he loves you.  And if you loved him you would stop the things you enjoy.  Because he worries.   

And this is when I closed the book.

Now, just to clarify, I'm not some hard core, man hating, feminist bitch.  I do see some validity in the premise of these 3 P's.  I understand that, in general, men like to be the provider in the relationship and some will even feel inadequate when not given the opportunity to do so.  The idea of men providing for women has been accepted as the societal norm for hundreds of years. I get that.  But it's 2009 everyone.  The majority of women now have careers, work full time, make their own money and have their own lives.  This is something that I see as an achievement, not as something to hold us over until we finally find a man to do it.  I don't ever want to be in a position where I am left alone in the world and, because I had relied on someone else to totally provide for me, I have no idea what to do.  Who would want that for someone they love?  Who would want someone they love to depend on them for so much that they are totally fucked without them?  Because the reality is, people leave, and people die and the hand that feeds you today might be the hand that slaps you tomorrow. 

I also get that men like to protect women and many women like to be protected.  Even I like the feeling of safety and protection when in a relationship.  I like when the guy I'm with takes care of me and makes me feel safe when I need it.  But I also would like the opportunity to take care of him when he needs it.  And the day that someone I'm with tells me I "can't" do something because he gets worried, is the day I close the book.

So, there you go.   What little I read of this book got me slightly riled up to say the least.  And before you ask, it was written in 2009.  Do men still think this way?  I would like to know because, if they do, I will never have a boyfriend and, really, I would be ok with that.

And, no, I did not read the whole book so maybe it gets better or maybe it's revealed in the third chapter that the first two chapters are actually a big joke and they totally sucked me in.  I doubt it though.

Comments?  Go!


palinode said...

It's very, very important for some believe that men and women have certain ways of interacting that are set in stone. It's a barometer for measuring correct levels of manliness and ladyhooditude. Take that certainty away from them and they get ... uncomfortable.

It's nonsense that has nothing to do with the way that real people live their lives, but it makes some people happy to believe that men should protect women from their own impulses, and women should be properly grateful for it.

erin said...


Imnotbenny said...

I'm not sure I would be reading a book By Steve Harvey on how to be a woman. Isn't that guy like in his 50's or something? It sounds a little outdated to me.

Personally, all this kind of stuff pisses me off, if I think about it too much. On the flip side, why should I have to be pigeon-holed into any sort of role either?

Steve Harvey's an assbag.

How can anyone categorize people like that and expect to be taken seriously anyway? It's all pretty much a crap industry taking advantage of people, in my opinion. I'm pretty sure that the name of that book should be "How Steve Harvey expects his women to act."

I've seen all sorts of relationships work, so who can say? I guess what works for someone won't work for someone else.

When the hell do bill collectors ever come to the house anymore? I wonder what the murder rate would be if that shit happened today.

Probably higher.

I'd be happy if I can find someone to be in a relationship with that I actually could consider a friend at the same time, and not have to worry about what my role is supposed to be.

I think most people are like that.

I just realized that my way of writing this response in teeny paragraphs is very fortune cookie-ish, so that's pretty funny to me.

If I went to a Chinese food place, and the fortune in my cookie was "Steve Harvey's an assbag", I would never eat anywhere else for the rest of my life.

So, anyway, that's my take on it.

notquiteawake said...

Well, it's good to see there are at least two guys out there who agree with me. And it seems that erin might have a crush on me so life's looking up!
Thanks for your comments! Steve Harvey IS and assbag!