By G.I.N.A. (Game Is Not Allowed)
By now many of us have read “Act like a Lady Think Like a Man” by Steve Harvey. Once again the star of stage, television, film and radio has enlightened us with his direct and sometimes humorous delivery on one of life’s issues. I am not ashamed to admit I’ve had a crush on Steve Harvey since the days of his self titled sitcom. I even dubbed him a “manly man”. Despite his personal issues, I admire his views on relationships and a man’s’ role therein. He has commonly been known to praise those men who cater to their women, provide for their children and take care of home. For those who write and call his popular radio show for help and advice he is quick witted and on point when it comes to identifying flawed relationships. However, with his book, apparently aimed at misguided women I think Mr. Harvey missed the mark.
Avid followers of Steve Harvey have heard his rhetoric before; don’t give up the “cookie” too fast, take baby steps, learn about the man you date before going to the next level, we get that. Honestly, most women over the age of 25 are pretty clear on this dating thing so I don’t know what new information I thought would be gained from reading “Act Like a Lady…” What I did find interesting was the burden of responsibility placed on women. We are encouraged to not be “too independent” because this can be detrimental to our relationship status. We are told a man should pay for our time which is where courting and dating come into play. And single mothers should wait until we think a man is ready to be introduced to our children, rather bring him along sooner so we see how the children interact and respond.
No disrespect intended but did Mr. Harvey overlook what year this is? This isn’t 1950 and boys aren’t being raised to be strong, responsible men. Moreover, we no longer live in a world where men and women have clear roles in relationships. Our homes are broken consequently, the weight of raising children and running the household rests on the shoulders of women. Even a single woman with no children can carry both a heavy work load and hectic schedule with no time in between to play “damsel in distress”. We would love to “fall back” and let a man be a man. A lot of us get on our knees every night and add “God please send me a real man” to our prayers but even the Big Man upstairs is at a loss as to where all of the men have gone. With women taking on nearly all of the responsibilities in life and men working hard to avoid those same responsibilities, where would we be if we just sat around waiting for a man to take care of things?
Mr. Harvey’s outlook comes from a time period of extended families and two parent households. He grew up following the examples set by his father and other strong men around him. But times have changed and many of our young men have no role models to guide them into adulthood. Many are raised by single mothers who coddle them and enable irresponsibility which leads to grown men who don’t know how to be the man Steve Harvey outlines in his book. Still, Mr. Harvey makes it our responsibility to demand something these men couldn’t provide if we gave them a blue print.
Believe it or not many women are aware of the mistakes we make and the type of relationships we deserve but unless Mr. Harvey is going to clone himself and spread the love to billions of single women there isn’t anything more we can do until men play their part. As it stands we’ll keep wearing the pants and men, well, let’s just hope Steve Harvey writes a book titled “Stop Acting like a Boy, Be a Man”, that way he can teach men all of what they lack right now. Until then act like you know, think for yourself.
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