Posted at 4:20 PM Mar 23, 2009By Andrea Grimes
"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.