Editor’s Note: go here for Parts 1-3.
And, now, we return to our regularly scheduled programming
So, when I picked up Steve Harvey’s book I did so because I needed some ammo to fight off the onslaught of Neanderthals that show up at the house. What makes the situation tougher is that my daughters and their friends are drop-dead gorgeous. The two of them and their mom can stop traffic. The got their looks from their mom, and the only thing they got from me was my sarcasm. Then, they add their friends to the mix and I am the proverbial “toad-like guy, surrounded by total hotties.” In High School, I would have killed or died to stand next to them. I would have drank their bath water, now, I’m the gate keeper holding the velvet rope.
Both of the books, Act Like a Lady and Think Like a Man and Why Men Love Bitches, were great: I recommend them to all dad’s with daughters. The central theme is Harvey’s book is that women need to understand that men love differently. After all the years thinking in terms of equality, we probably forgotten that men and women experience desire and pleasure differently. There are some theories that suggest how a person experiences pleasure has more to do with gender than biology.Harvey’s book takes the man’s approach, a father’s approach. He simplifies a male’s hierarchy of needs to “support, loyalty and the “cookie,” meaning sex. He touches on how men show affection: profess, provide and protect, which makes some of us good at fixing things. It also talks about what scares us most: the loss of freedom.
Harvey is also up front about the physical aspect of men’s needs. He says right off the bat, “he wants to sleep with you.” Something I’ve said a lot to my daughter. It usually goes, “If he has a pulse, he wants to sleep with you. If he’s not gay, he wants to sleep with you.” It is all pretty simple. Harvey contends that the the responsibility is on the woman to convey that she is a keeper, not a sport fish, and that she has standards. In short, she wants to know that her partner has a plan for his own life. One of Harvey’s better known rules of thumb is the 90-day rule. He states that as a young man, working for Ford Motor company, he didn’t have benefits during the first 90 days of employment. Of course, he’s referring to sex.
Argov is even more stringent than Harvey about NOT jumping into bed with a guy too soon. She says hold out as long as you can, and in the meantime, there are lots of other things couples can do while the decide if they want to be with each other: picnics, bicycle rides, walks in the park, movies, etc. None of these include watching ESPN. Harvey suggests “the five questions before a woman is in too deep.” 1. What are your short term goals?; 2. What are your long-term goals?; 3. What are your views on relationships?; 4. What do you think about me?; and, 5. How do you feel about me? As a father of two girls (and as an overly protective parent to my daughters’ friends), I was glad to see someone else telling young women to ask these questions.
The second book, Why Men Love Bitches, by Sherry Argov, is even better. Her contention is that a number of women are simply “too nice,” un-assertive, easy, and too needy. As a result, they get burned time and time again. Her argument is that men are really “turned on” by a woman that is strong, dignified, independent, and who doesn’t allow herself to be treated poorly. Men might find temporary interest in other kinds of women, but they quickly move on once they’ve achieved what they want.
Unlike Harvey, she discusses a number of male hang ups, like the Mama/Ho Complex, fear of commitment, and how men need difference to remain the pursuers (that is, attentive lovers who fix everything in the house, mow the yard, bring flowers and not take their partners for granted). In the first case, Argov describes the problem as a male’s tendency to treat a woman the same way he treated his mother, and expect the same type of treatment from his wife. The result is invariably a loss of desire because, face it, it is creepy as hell. The Ho syndrome is the tendency to treat his would-be lover as a plaything, the midnight “booty calls,” without any real level of commitment or partnership.
Her recommendations are to embrace and set free one’s inner bitch. For example, the author cites the example of her friend who received a late-night invitation to drive 30 miles in the rain to her then-boyfriend’s apartment. I guess he thought he was squeezing her into his busy schedule. Over the phone, she told him, “Okay, baby. Let me put on some sexy underwear and I’ll be right over. Wait for me outside with an umbrella so I don’t get wet.” Then, the woman left his punk-ass standing in the rain, cold, wet, horny and alone, which is exactly what he had coming to him.
Argov and Harvey’s logic is simple: If you want respect, demand it through your actions from the beginning.” Don’t open the candy store and then think he’s going to respect you later.
I lost count of how many times that I’ve wanted to tell girls with low-cut shirts, “Why the hell don’t you cover up?” If you ran a bakery, wouldn’t you want to keep the flies off the donuts?” Then, why are you wearing a low-cut shirt and a skirt that is so short I can see your ovaries when you bend over. It you don’t value yourself, how is he going to value you?”
To be continued…
Cross-posted at My Ongoing Struggle With Misanthropy