Book Review: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man

The movie Think Like a Man has de-throned The Hunger Games as #1 in the box office this past weekend. For those of you who don’t know, Think Like a Man is based off of a self-help and dating advice book by comedian Steve Harvey entitled  Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment. I read this book a few years back, and had mixed feelings. Some of the advice given to women is sound, and other pieces are misguided.

The great advice reads much the same as other popular dating advice books like He’s Just Not That Into You
. Stop justifying his bad behavior, and start looking at these actions with a more critical eye. If you haven’t been introduced to his friends, you’re not his primary relationship. A man who says “I love you” too soon probably has some mental issues. Stop dating the first thing that comes along, and start having standards.

The bad advice, however is pretty bad. For starters, Harvey refers to the act of sex, and to female genitalia as “the cookie”. He counsels you to hold on to “the cookie” for at least three months after you start to date a man. What Harvey fails to understand is that this advice is not always necessary for a woman who has taken his other advice to heart. I believe a woman should have sex with her partner whenever she feels that it is the most appropriate. If she wants to wait, then she should. If she wants to bring her date inside for “coffee” at the end of the first date, then she should. By putting a mandatory wait on physical intimacy, it feels like Harvey is advocating playing head games with your partner.

Harvey also counsels women to start “acting like women”, by refusing to take out the trash or mow the lawn, and by starting to wear lingerie and to put on makeup before leaving the house. I can’t even begin to describe how silly I think this is. Why should a woman wait for someone else to take care of housework if she can do it herself?

There are other issues with Harvey’s advice, but most of it is good. While I look forward to seeing the comedic adaptation, I would caution other women from taking Harvey’s advice too seriously.

If you’d like to purchase the two books I referenced above, please help support this blog by purchasing them through the links above.

Posted on April 23, 2012, in Book Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Hmmm. Having not read this book, I’m still a little skeptical of what kind of relationship advice Steve Harvey is qualified to give women. And would he really date a woman who had a “rule” that she wouldn’t have sex for the first three months? That seems far-fetched in today’s world.

    Sometimes celebrity authors surprise me with their good work, but often I’m left wondering why they didn’t stick to their day job (aside from the obvious capitalization on their fame to sell some books…). Hate to be cynical! If I can find this for a reasonable price when I have time to read, I’ll check it out!

    • One of my favorite moments in the book involved a woman who was dating a guy who wasn’t working. They went grocery shopping, and he wanted pineapple juice. She refused to buy it for him, and when he argued with her, she threw the bottle on the floor.

      Steve Harvey said that she shouldn’t have thrown it on the floor, and while I agree with him on that point, I disagree with his reasoning. Harvey said that she shouldn’t have done it because then the guy left her. I say she shouldn’t have done it because of the poor person who had to clean it up.

      Either way, this particular woman is probably better off without the bum.

  2. Like Katy I haven’t read the book so I can only comment on your review. I agree that women should have standards and not compromise their values by accepting bad behaviour.

    As a man, he would suggest we wear sexy underwear and never leave the house without makeup wouldn’t he? Maybe he should spend a day in a lace thong and see how he likes wearing something that feels like cheese wire!

  3. I’m surprised you didn’t catch on to the fact that this book has a horrible title, and I’m sure most of the ideas contained within are completely sexist as well.

    First of all, it’s completely ridiculous to state that anyone should “act like a lady” or “think like a man”. Gender roles are outdated and unfair, and they stereotype both sexes. Let’s not revert back to the mentality that women are only around to look pretty. Why are you supporting this misogynistic garbage?

    I think it would be better advice to tell women to learn to become comfortable with themselves. If they want to meet a mate, they don’t have to get all tarted up to boost their self-esteem. All the makeup or lingerie in the world is not going to mask your insecurity and desperation.

    Let’s be real. Our society is completely focused on looks, especially when it comes to women. There’s much more to us than our appearance. We’re intelligent, independent, creative, driven, nurturing. If only the media would stop trying to portray us as nothing but sex objects, which is exactly what this book seems to do.

  4. Gah, really? It’s hard enough to find a man who takes his OWN trash out and does his own yard work let alone try to manipulate him into doing MINE. lol Steve Harvey, stick to comedy. Sounds like sexism and miso prattle yet acceptable to say and publish because it’s comedy. Men like an independent woman who DOESN’T need him to do EVERYTHING for her, but would LIKE to do her a favor by taking care of those things for her to feel useful to show he cares by fixing things and caretaking in that way.

  5. Steve Harvey is also on his third marriage. His first two wives have accused him of constant infidelity. Is this the kind of guy who should be writing a book about relationships? Hmm, not quite. I guess I just don’t find it funny that women are being belittled and objectified.

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