Tuesday, September 22, 2009

5 things I Liked About Act Like A Lady Think Like a Man

I'm in an Oprah loving mood after her fantastic decision to choose the short story collection Say You're One of Them by Nigerian,Uwem Akpan for her book club, so today I'll talk a bit about an Oprah book.

Those who follow the blog know I watch Oprah often (shout at her often too) and recently she had comedian Steve Harvey on talking about his book Act Like A Lady Think Like A Man (note we are far behind American Oprah). It was a pretty funny interview. My husband happened to be around and we watched it together and then being the sweetie that he often is, he bought the book for me.

I'm not big on self-help books and ones about relationships I've always thought were pretty stupid. We are all very different and when we come together that different-ness goes up exponentially as the interaction between us often becomes the third person in the relationship. But this book is funny and actually made me think again about my own approach to my man. So here are 5 things I liked about Act Like a Lady Think Like A Man:

1. When I was training to be a teacher I had to take an educational psychology class. One thing I remember from that is the best way to remember things is in batches of three. Steve Harvey must have learned this too. Everything is in groups of three:

a) The 3 things that drive men: who he is, what he does, and how much money he makes

b) The 3 ways men show their love: Profess, Provide and Protect.

c) The 3 things men need from women: Support, Loyalty and "the Cookie"

2. First let me categorically state that I am a feminist, always have been, and I don't think it is a dirty word. I am one of "those" women. Proudly. But too, lately, I've been feeling sorry for men. Okay fine they still tenuously hold the reins of power, but we all know the second shoe is about to drop. They are becoming slightly obsolete in many ways and we women, even you non-feminists who ride on the backs of all of the daring feminists who gave you your life, are the ones pushing men to the edges.

But the funny thing is as we push them out of everything, we shout at them about how they do nothing. How can they do anything when we do everything- so perfectly. Steve Harvey points out in this book that men are socialised to do certain things like provide for their families and protect us. If their wives earn money and pay for everything and can fix everything from a broken towel rack to the remote for the garage door what are men left to do? We are making them irrelevant. You want your man to do half the work- then stop doing all of the work yourself and then complaining about it. I am 100% guilty of this and Steve Harvey has taught me an important lesson.

3. Sexy is not walking around naked- that's trashy. I won't deny a woman to wear what she wants but Mr. Harvey points out that you will get what you advertise. I agree. (Is my daughter reading this by any chance???)

4. One thing he goes on at length about in this book is that women set the terms in relationships. If you say you won't tolerate X and then he does X and you show him the door, he'll learn his lesson. I agree we women have lowered our standards We will accept a lot from a man- having a bad man is better than having no man- right? As Steve Harvey points out and I agree, the answer is- WRONG.

5. The last thing I found very interesting about Harvey's point of view is when it came to single moms. I know so many single moms and they do not want to introduce the kids to the new man until they are sure there is something serious there. Harvey's take is that you need to introduce the kids to the new man straight away. As a single mom you are a package with your kids, you need to know how this man interacts with your kids and you need to know that before you get in too deep. That was an interesting point of view and seems to make sense to me. I'm not a single mom though.

The book was an entertaining read and a good place to start conversations with your partner and to let you take a look at yourself- which I did. After I read the book I quizzed my husband about some of the things Harvey says men are like, I wanted to know if he thought they were right or not. My husband was raised alone by his aunt mostly at masimo (the lands- the place of women's work). He said that book wouldn't be applying to him since he thought like a lady and looked like a man. Oh well.


Elspeth Futcher said...

I like the thinking in this book! I agree with everyone of your points. As we become more powerful and more self-reliant men's roles are getting blurrier. I am certainly guilty of doing everything and then complaining that he does nothing!

I'm usually not one for looking at self-help books, being one of the school of 'you've got a brain, figure it out', but this one I may look for.

Thanks for bringing to my attention. Now we have to do something about that thinning glass ceiling...


Lauri said...

Elspeth- this book still has a lot of just plain common sense but it's humourous and at least gave me a chance to reflect on my own behaviour. That's a good thing.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

Steve Harvey's book is wildly popular. Sounds funny.

Helen Ginger said...

Your husband is funny.

I make it a point to not do it all. Pretty much everything in the garage or outside is my DH's territory. That includes electricity and heavy lifting. I'd prefer it included toilets and mopping, but he doesn't agree.

Straight From Hel

bonita said...

I feel any good information that may be in Harvey's book is discounted by the glittering generalities. I can't enumerate 5 reasons —I just had an immediate and visceral negative reaction to this book and Harvey's message.

daoine said...

Oh I think the other shoe is still a long way from dropping. As long as men continue to judge women (and how much they can get away with or get out of her) based on criteria such as how she chooses to dress and whether she wears make-up then I think the other shoe has actually been stolen and will never drop.

Anonymous said...

Steve Harvey's book was on the New York Best seller List!!