The conversation about relationships is an ongoing topic of discussion in our community. Everybody from singers (Ex: Tyrese) to actors (Ex: Hill Harper), and ordinary everyday people have played their hand at being a relationships expert. None other than Steve Harvey has successfully proved that you don’t need credentials nor a perfect relationship background to become a household name, as it relates to giving relationship advice. I know women and men who swear by Steve Harvey’s book Act Like a Lady, Think Like A Man. After the book created a galore of rave reviews and some not so rave reviews following 64 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, Steve Harvey took it a step further and turned the highly successful book into a movie. Two years following the movie Think Like A Man comes the sequel Think Like A Man Too.
As Think Like A Man Part II is still in production, the main rebuttal is whether or not the narrative is chastising women or enlightening women. In analyzing both sides:
Chastising Women Narrative
There are some that believe that Steve Harvey’s Act Like a Lady, Think Like A Man concept inadvertently blames women for failed relationships. The notion that, in order to have a successful relationship, women must act like a lady (for example: refrain from sex for the first 3 months of a relationship, which is outlined in the chapter titled “The 90-day Rule: Getting the Respect You Deserve”) and think like a man (which is outlined in the very first chapter titled “The Mindset of A Man”). Additionally, those that believe that the Act Like a Lady, Think Like A Man concept chastises women point out that the narrative requires women to go against their natural emotional reasoning — typically associated with females — and conform to logical reasoning — typically associated with males. For example, the following excerpt from the book can be taken as encouraging women to be less communicative and more emotionally restrained with their men:
“Men aren’t in the talking business; we’re in the fix-it business. From the moment we come out of the womb, we’re taught to protect, profess, and provide. Communicating, nurturing, listening to problems, and trying to understand them without any obligation to fix them is simply not what boys are raised to do. Detailed conversation is what you have with your girlfriends. Men just want to hear the problem and then fix it.”
Enlightening Women Narrative
There’s a colossal demographic of women seeking worthy relationship advice and Steve Harvey’s Act Like a Lady, Think Like A Man narrative quenches their thirst. There are women that subscribe to the notion that the best relationship advice can’t be offered by your mother, your best girlfriend, or even a relationships therapist, but instead from a man. These individuals believe that the most enlightening advice on how to have a successful relationship comes from the male perspective. Steve Harvey himself has stated “People say, ‘He’s a relationship expert,’ but the expertise that I have is that I’m an expert on how men think. If I was an expert at relationships, I wouldn’t be in my third marriage!”
As you can see both sides have a reasonable argument. Do you think Steve Harvey’s Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man narrative chastises women or enlightens women?