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Steve gets it partially right
, March 30, 2009
This review is from: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment (Hardcover)
The central premise of Steve Harvey's book is that women are not setting stringent enough standards in their romantic dealings with men. As such, he posits, they are giving away their social power and selling themselves short on their dating/mating goals.
Steve is partially correct, but he misses the central point. It is true that women do tend to settle for less than they truly want when dating, but the damage they're doing to themselves is not ultimately a result of letting men get away with murder, so to speak. Rather, the problem originates from the fact that women are choosing the wrong men. Decent men don't look for any opportunity to take advantage of women. They don't take that mile when given the proverbial inch. The men who do are the players, chiselers and con artists, the kinds of men who may look good in the store window but fall totally apart when you get them home from the mall.
'Act Like a Lady' ultimately is a rehashing of the familiar 'men are incorrigible dogs' theory of gender. It's a tired story that I'd hope we had moved past, but here it is again in a new package. Yes, men like sex. Yes, men like to look around. But decent men are able to control their urges, especially when they know that not doing so will cause great pain to those around them. Steve's theory doesn't stand up to real life, where if you spend any time, you quickly realize that uniqueness is a defining human personality trait.
Most women do have high standards--that is, until they run into a man who knows all the right things to say to circumvent their defenses. A woman can absolutely KNOW that she's worth all the trouble, but she'll totally drop her guard when a skilled player comes along saying all the right things. He's selling something she didn't even consciously realize that she wanted, and in the end she's a sucker for it. Some guys get very good at this because they practice deception from an early age with girls. It's up to women to see these men for who they are and to look the other way when they pour on the insincere charm.
Women need to realize that the adage 'all that glitters is not gold' applies to men as well as minerals.
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