After my last blog post where I ranted about Steve Harvey’s appearance on Oprah (and yes, his book is #1 on the NYT bestseller list today…grrr) I went on to rant some more to my 21-year-old daughter, D, my brilliant sounding board for almost everything. She’s one of the few people in this world who gets me. Her take on the “Steve Harvey’s an expert on relationships” was entirely different from mine. It has nothing to do with his success as a comedian or transferring that success to another genre. It’s because, drum roll, please, he’s a man.
Could it possibly be that simple? To back up her position, D pointed to the success of another book out a few years ago, and now a movie. He’s Just Not That Into You. The author(s) of that book did not have degrees in related subject matter, either. Yet, the author who gets the most credit for the book was a man. So I guess he’s an expert on being a man. And based on that he’d know how men think and what they’re looking for. Oh, wait, I just discovered among his other credits, he’s a stand-up comic.
A week ago I saw the movie and I came out thinking it was a tad depressing. The women are stupid and the men are jerks.
And frankly, my opinion hasn’t changed much after my conversation with D. She agrees with me. Lots of women are stupid when it comes to relationships with men. They want to believe that they can behave like men, sleep around, and still be respected. For all the advances the Women’s Liberation movement made, this wasn’t one of them. Based on the fact that two male stand-up comics have had such phenomenal success advising lovelorn women (who do you think buys their books?) doesn’t change my opinion of the stupidity of a large segment of the female population. Women’s Lib insisted women should be equal to men. As if we were inferior in some way. That’s the message that trickled down and women bought into it. Why did we strive to be equal to men? Why didn’t we strive to be better? Not better than men, but better women? To acknowledge we are different. Why don’t we learn to celebrate the differences and our female strengths instead of downplaying them?
D insists that women will take advice from men simply because they’re men. As men, they must surely know more about how women should behave than women themselves do, right?
Sadly, our society has lost something it may never regain. Respect for women. This went hand-in-hand with the number of women who lost respect for themselves which is continually on the rise. Girls are taught or pressured into giving boys what they want at an early age. They’re rarely taught that it is their right to withhold themselves. Their self-worth seems to be tied up in “getting a man” which translates into sleeping with one because he buys her a drink. The men who use them rarely stick around and their self-esteem sinks lower each time they make the same mistake.
And maybe that’s the biggest problem. Girls/women never seem to “get” it. They repeat the same behavior over and over and again, just like the character of Gigi in the movie. She never figures it out on her own. She has to have a guy (a relationship expert simply by virtue of being a guy) point out to her what she’s been doing wrong. She finally takes his advice.
Really, how smart can he be? It takes him an inordinately long time to realize he’s in love with her, even though he’s a supposed expert on how that happens.
So you see why the movie depresses me. The women aren’t that bright. But then, neither are the men. Relationship experts? Give me a break.