This past week, self-proclaimed relationship guru and woman-whisperer Steve Harvey decided it would be a brilliant idea to host 2,000 men for a revelatory segment on the failings of women in dating. The thrice-married Harvey has been on crusade to enlighten women to the ways of men since the release of his book, Think Like A Man (TLAM) in 2009. The success of TLAM allowed him the opportunity to take his gospel to the main screen in 2012 and to educate all of America about what women are doing wrong.
There are some, dare I say, practical words of advice Harvey has been able to provide women with. Advice that isn’t always laden in horribly sexist and misogynistic overtones.
“The most successful people in this world recognize that taking chances to get what they want is much more productive than sitting around being too scared to take a shot.” — Steve Harvey, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment
However, those small nuggets of wisdom do not make up for Harvey’s overall problematic and narrow view toward women.
Harvey’s rebranding as a relationship expert comes with no credentials outside of his own relationship experiences. It’s rather comical that a comedian who has built much of his career on making paltry jokes about women would deem himself and his colleagues fit to provide dating advice. The taping of “What Men Really Think – The Event!” proved just how ridiculous, ill-equipped and trifling Steve Harvey is when it comes to women and dating.
Inviting 2,000 random men to speak on women, sex, dating and relationships was not an ingenious way to represent the overall views of men, but rather the perfect opportunity to create the ultimate testosterone fueled boys club. Men who attended this “landmark event” have spoken out on the short-comings and rape-y undertones that were vocalized by several members of the male audience towards the select group of women who were present. Rape culture is real. The perpetuation of sexist and patriarchal archetypes puts both women and men at risk.
I am not a fan Steve Harvey or his brand of relationship expertise. I am especially leery of accepting any advice from a man who has a notoriously bad rap for how he treats and relates to women. I am baffled as to how Harvey has been able to pull the wool over so many women’s eyes. There is nothing wrong with men doling out advice to women. I find my conversations with members of the opposite gender often allow me to gain new insights on my views. We need to remember the way in which masculinity and gender roles have been constructed. Not all men are brute beings who view women as property or humans who solely exist for their pleasure and reproduction. Additionally, women operating differently from men does not equate to us being completely clueless. Harvey needs to take up a new hobby, or maybe he should focus his energy on helping himself better understand women.
What do you think about Harvey’s brand of relationship advice? Let us know in the comments below.