Wherein Steve Harvey inspires my own relationship mantra

Posted at 4:20 PM Mar 23, 2009

By Andrea Grimes

steve harvey book.jpg
A couple of weeks ago, I was a pitcher of Lone Star and a couple of whiskeys into a serious crush on the bartender at my local, a Ryan Adams lookalike in a pearl snap. So I sidled up to the bar and asked him, on the pretense of a conversation my friends and I were already having, what his favorite bands were. His response?

"I don't want to get all emo on you, but I don't really like things."

And so I put the napkin on which I'd written my phone number back into my pocket, headed back to our table, and regaled my cohort with the tale of the World's Mopiest Bartender. Maybe he wasn't interested in talking to me--highly likely. Maybe he was a mopey, emo jerk--highly likely. But a younger Andrea would not have been deterred. A younger Andrea would have been sure that she was just the magical pixie to turn this guy around. But this Andrea, well, she cannot be bothered.

And so that's why I'm telling you, ladies, of my new relationship mantra: "Leave it the fuck alone." Don't even go as far as "he's just not that into you." Even that is overthinking it. Have another drink and don't even start worrying about asshat behavior.

That includes, of course, not listening to the incredible bullshit being spouted by Steve Harvey, who told Oprah.com that he's just here to do you stupid women a favor by telling you how men really work in his new book, I'm Gonna Essentialize Gender, Excuse Bad Behavior and Tell Women They Need To Learn To Deal With Our Shit Or Get Off The Pot (alternately titled Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man):

Harvey says this book has a special meaning for him. "This is the first project that I didn't do for money," he says. "Other than my foundation -- mentoring programs -- everything I do is for money. I tell jokes for a check; I'm on TV for a check. ... But this [book] right here I did purely to empower women."
Ah, Steve! What would we do without you? Have fulfilling relationships and lead happy lives? Oh, wait. Well, thanks for your input, anyway. Harvey goes on to provide the following revelations: men always approach women with a (sexual) agenda and don't want to hear the words "We need to talk."

Bullshit! I'm calling it right here, right now. There are jerks of both sexes/genders who are only interested in tail, there are jerks of both sexes/genders who don't want to hear the words "We need to talk," and there are surely millions of men the world over who aren't the emotionally unavailable assholes that every ladymag and self-help book make them out to be.

How do I know? Because while I've dicked around with plenty of jerks, the fact is that the majority of guys I know and have even dated, on occasion, have been thoughtful, emotionally reasonable people with average issues that have nothing to do with being born or raised with a penis in their pants. Maybe they're all horndog assholes, but I'm telling you what, if they are, they've done a damned good job hiding it from me. Dudes like Steve Harvey--who is, presumably, above the asshattery he's telling us to deal with--make all of the wonderful, thoughtful guys out there drift behind a douchebag-filled foreground.

When Steve Harvey--or anyone else--talks about how women need to adjust to "male" behavior like sex-fiending and emotional immaturity, it merely perpetuates stereotypes that do no one any good and it excuses, encourages and validates hurtful ways of thinking and acting. A better conversation: talk to people, not gendered tropes, and encourage them to go for things and individuals who make them happy.

If someone--a friend or boyfriend or otherwise--isn't giving you what you want, leave it the fuck alone.


mope rah. said:

I'm glad there's a 24 year old college student to break down the complex intergender relationships that have been complicating the lives of humans for the last dozens of millenia. that oughta clear everything up, thanks for putting that talented, accomplished comedian/author in his place.

Please direct me to the URL where I can purchase my "Leave it the fuck alone" bumper-sticker so I can show others the way.

David said:

Ass Count: 4
Fuck Count: 2
Shit Count: 3
Dick Count: 1 (not including Steve Harvey)

I'm scared of the angry Andrea.

andrea said:

Mope Rah - I'm actually 25--please don't leave out my valuable year of experience in telling others how to believe and behave. It was a seminal time in my life. And I'm not sure the "leave it the fuck alone" bumper sticker would do much in the way of "leading." :)


ButchStein said:

mope rah,
You are protesting a bit too much, I think. It's funny...there are all kind of men out there...but the anonymity of the internet really seems to bring out the aggression in a certain type.
Next time you get so upset while blogging, just sit back with a fatty, throw your DVD's of "The Steve Harvey Show" into the old player and escape into the solace of your masculinity with a comedy god there to guide you throughout.

David said:

Always give the people what they want.

Show others the way! Don't let your hoopty bumper be naked!

L.I.T.F.A Bumper Sticker in a convenient pack of 50.

Bob said:

It always annoys me when people tell me how all men act a certain way, espically when its a guy, just becasue you're an ass doesn't mean everyone else is.

Keith said:

I guess I think Steve Harvey's book is funny that any woman would take it as the bible for how to get a guy in x amount of days. It's so archaic.

You should have seen his interview on the Today show. That was unintentionally funny.

Maybe his book should be retitled "Diary of a broke ass out of touch black man"

Dre said:

All Steve Harvey does in this book is stereotype men and women. I feel that if he teaches his sons like he talks to men he will leave them defenseless from many of the female predators out there who prey on young naive men. If he believes that women don't play the "I only want sex from him game" or that if they do it is some new strange phenomenon he is fooling himself. The playa game is old as time and men and women have been playing it since the beginning. If in Steve's world he is empowering women he is surely handicapping his sons and other young men to believe women don't act like this and they don't do this. The book is full of old wives tales and stereotypes, neither is good in helping men or women with relationships but it is oh so beneficial when selling books.

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