Let’s NOT ask Steve!

#TBT

Thought we’d revisit this oldie because Steve Harvey really, truly needs to stop thinking that he’s qualified to dole out advice. All he does is peddle respectability politics with a healthy dose of misogynoir. Just STFU Steve!

————————–

Two of the many things I’ve learned while living in L.A. are: a) traffic/commuting are horrible and b) there are no good radio stations. The latter discovery was fostered by my hour-long commute to work everyday during which I get to experience the full gamut of bad pranks, terrible jokes and even worse music selection. I’m sorry LA natives, I gave Big Boy’s Neighborhood a try but it reminded of a less-annoying West Coast version of Jammin’ 94.5’s “Ramiro and Pebbles’ Morning show”. Also, if you include Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off on the “Today’s Hip Hop” list, I can’t take you seriously.

1414429317taylor_bodega

Darth Susan (credit to VSB for the term) = the white woman we should all fear

Or perhaps I’ve been misinformed about Darth Susan’s credentials. After all, I’m sure the tough streets of Nashville and her 6-month stint in New York have throughly prepped TSwift for that hardcore life. I mean, she is now teaching New Yorkers everyday slang. How else would they know what a Bodega is?

wait-you-re-serious-o

My sentiments exactly Silver Fox.

Anyways I digress. Back to the terrible radio programming that LA has to offer.

Every morning without fail, while surfing through all the channels that play the same five-song rotation, I would land on the Steve Harvey radio show. Steve’s show stood out from the unimpressive crowd due to his advice segment, “Ask Steve”. “Don’t have anything better to do with their time” people (mostly women) call in and Steve offers some “wise” answer loosely based on pop psychology, sprinkled with a heaping of sexist hetero-normative bullshit. And the questions are almost always about relationships.

Now if you don’t know who Steve Harvey is, here’s a photograph:

photo

(Photo credit: The Steve Harvey Show website) Them veneers though! Dude keeps his dentist PAID!

Now that you know what Steve looks like, here’s a little relevant info about him (I promise this is relevant to my bigger point):

  • He is a comedian
  • He was the star of the Steve Harvey Show (the sitcom)
  • Hosts Family Feud
  • Has a talk show
  • Has a radio show
  • Has been married 3 times

Somehow all of those things = PhD in Counseling psychology. So, dear cousin currently pursuing this degree [edit: since this was originally posted, she successfully defended her dissertation so you shall henceforth address her as Dr. ], apparently you’re doing it wrong. Steve has not only written a “best-selling book turned box office hit” telling women how to catch a man but he’s making a career out of this, in addition to his comedy.

Some of my personal favorites from the show include [I’m paraphrasing of course because I could never replicate such genius]:

  • If you’re making more money than your man, go home and give him all of it and let him pay the bills. Let your man be the man
  • You don’t want to be a sports fish (WTF?)
  • Be like Ford and give him a 90-day probationary period before he can get the cookie (what grown man refers to genitals as cookies while being completely serious and not addressing a child)

Argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why do we keep getting advice from basic ass men who often times are single as heck, thrice-divorced or just plain dumb? Why are people eating this shit up?

1246797_o

I don’t understand what made people like Steve Harvey, Greg Behrendt (of “He’s Just Not That Into you” Fame) or Steve “I might have some serious mommy issues” Ward , the authorities on how women can get a man.

Lack of credentials aside, their advice is usually bullshit. It’s more often than not, dehumanizing and dripping with machismo and male privilege. Recently one of their homies, Steve Santagati went on CNN to mansplain the viral video about street harassment (I have my issues with the video but still…)

.cnn-660x440

Home girl in the middle’s face is absolutely priceless!

I’ve seen some of Steve S.’stuff before and wasn’t terribly surprised about what he had to say. His whole brand is about being a “bad boy” and saying absolutely terrible things about women, such as:

“Let us start with the world’s biggest catastrophe to date, OVERPOPULATION. Women are the ones actually having the children. You can blame religion, education, or the biological clock but it still comes down to one thing, women are having the children and, therefore, are directly responsible for overpopulating the planet. Ssssssh, stop yourself, I’ve already taken stock of the male role; men who impregnate women are idiots too, but this is about ULTIMATE RESPONSIBILITY.”  (Huffington Post, 11/07/2011)

So yeah, this is me when he has anything to say

tumblr_n6pkfi7AgD1rfduvxo1_500

But their crap “advice” aside, I think it speaks to a larger issue that there’s a market for it. We’re clearly consuming this advice in mass quantities and have fostered the success of these people. Are we that desperate to “understand the male psyche” that we’re eating up this garbage and running to the nearest Michaels’ because they’re telling us that vajazzling is the way to make him stay?

Have you ever wondered why all these self-help books are directed towards women? These con artists are taking advantage of the social edict that tells women that they’re incomplete sans man. Forging and maintaining a succesful relationship is completely the woman’s duty. If your relationship isn’t working then you must be doing something wrong and here’s a book for $19.99 on how to fix yourself. Don’t even think about asking your partner (heck, we’re going to just say man because I’m pretty sure these con men assume that all ladies want a man. It’s also implied that he’s cisgender because…duh) to change anything about himself/grow. Fix yourself, please your man and you’ll suddenly be happy.

Go ahead! Type in “Books for men on relationships” in Amazon’s search bar and see what pops up. Nothing. It’s either some book about what it means to be a real man or…you guessed it ladies,  “Ultimate Guide to keeping a man: Lessons on bending like a pretzel in bed, being his maid/mother and disappearing when he’s watching the game, unless it’s to bring him some wings and a beer”. That one is coming to a theater near you in 2017, starring Tom Cruise and Jennifer Lawrence (Because Hollywood: where romances aren’t believable unless she’s a young 20-something and he’s old enough to be her dad’s best friend). Ugh!

Oh, and Cosmo, don’t think you’re off the hook either. I’m convinced that you’re trolling us. You HAVE to be.

B0jlnUoCMAAHYSY

Hum…seriously?!?!? I have no words because WTF are actually not enough!

At least Steve Harvey admits that he started his advice segment for the jokes. My problem is that it should have stayed that way, A JOKE.

So…

Dear (mostly) straight, White guys and Steve Harvey:

Stop saying that you’re an expert on how women can catch and keep a man, as if he’s a Pokemon, because you have a penis.

Sincerely,

An awkward woman who’s already spent way too much of her life buying into this B.S.

P.S: Since listening to Steve Harvey’s irritating advice is what spurred on this blog post, I only focused on male self-proclaimed relationship gurus. However, I feel the same way about the female gurus who offer up the same trite advice (Looking at you Patti Stanger).

P.P.S: Not wanting to listen to your bullshit advice does not make me  a “man-hating, bitter” woman. Like Chimamanda said “Marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support” and I definitely hope to find the right guy to marry one day (hey future boo!). I’m just not going to do it using your asinine, derogatory 1950s mentality. And if that’s what it takes to get a man, then it’s a good thing I’m Catholic (hey convent!)

Also, LA step up your radio game!

Did I miss the kindergarden class on African colors?

I know, I know. I’m that person who doesn’t text you for weeks and then out of the blue sends you a quick “Good morning beautiful!”. You should ignore them because they need to kick rocks with open-toe shoes (my friend says that all the time and I find it hilarious. Thanks Ali). But maybe, just maybe, you decide to respond. At first you may be incredibly upset: “Idiot (I suggest using a stronger word but I’m working on my cursing), where have you been?! You ghosted on me”(Which sidebar, why is ghosting a thing? We’re adults. USE YOUR WORDS. But I digress).  Their smooth talking slowly gets the best of you. You start remembering why you liked them in the first place and you’re once again enthralled. Happened to me last month Definitely not speaking from personal experience. That was my roundabout way of saying: “hey boos! I’ve missed y’all! I’ve missed this space and I’ve missed story telling. I really appreciate how y’all continue to rock with me!”

i-appreciate-you

The one and only DJ Khaled. Major key alert!

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way (although…y’all know to expect another long intro excusing my absence for the next 6 months. I’m not really sure why I play these games), let’s dive right back in. I debated long and hard about what to discuss following my re-emergence from hibernation. While a lot of you (the 4 that still rock with me) seem to like the dating stories, my dating life has been more sad than entertaining lately. I did learn a new term though, “softboy“. So I thought I’d bring you another installment of “When people say dumb sh%t and need to be called out”.

Picture this. You’re sitting at a bar with a group of friends, glasses clinking, beer spilling on the old wooden table. Someone is laughing loudly while you try to repeat your unique name to Ruth’s date for the 3rd time.  Beneath your worn out shoes, the floor feels sticky. The air smells of stale beer, rotting wood and discarded cigarette buds. This is the bar that everyone goes to because the beer is cheap and the fries are extra greasy. It’s not much but it feels like home. You’ve joked with friends, played darts and stayed out well past your bedtime in this bar. You know where the bathrooms are located; and that anyone who orders the salmon sandwich will also become well-acquainted with those too-small stalls with the broken doors. The point is, this is a safe place. You feel confident that you can be yourself in this place and that you’re in good company.

Esther*, a pleasant blonde woman from the South (the Southern part is important, so pay attention folks), is discussing the latest college football game. Apparently, her favorite team beat some other team or something to that effect. That’s usually how these things work, right? Personally, I don’t care. Esther keeps yammering on about her team and mentions that they might beat the 1st place team in their division. People chuckle. Again, I do not care and am barely listening. Like I said (or in this case, am about to say) I’m just there so I won’t get fined. Esther, not one to be discouraged, continues: “We will rise again!”

say what now.gif

How has Nene Leeks expressed every sentiment I’ve ever had?

“I don’t get it. Why would that make you pause?” Good question my friend. On a regular day, I would have gone on with my merry Black self and ignored Esther and her enthusiasm for college football. But on that fateful day, I happened to walk by a car with a confederate flag and 2 Trump stickers. So your girl was feeling extra sensitive to anything that may have had even the slightest racist undertones.

pam-grier

Pam gets it. Let a mofo try me!

For those of you who may still be confused about why Esther saying “We will rise again” irked me, here’s a little free .99 U.S history lesson. In 1861, 7 states succeeded  from the Union and formed what became known as the Confederacy (They would grow their ranks to 11)… Actually, I don’t have time for this and I’m not the historian in the family. If you’re really interested, follow my cousin on Twitter (I gotta ask him if he’s cool with me putting his business out there first) or you can read about it. Google is free 25/7.

Essentially, what you need to know is that the Confederacy would have kept my behind in chains, picking cotton if they could and *some* Southerners have been going around for decades declaring that “The South will rise again” cuz you know…they racist AF. So you can see how hearing Esther, a blonde Southern woman, say those words may have made me feel some type of way.

Anyways (because this post is already getting too long)…while I’m a little shook, I get over it quickly. People keep laughing, drinking their beers. We’re all having a good time, Mary-Magdalene* is discussing her new business venture with a slightly buzzed Peter*. Emblazoned by alcohol, Peter declares “You should get some African colors for your logo”

 

scared-gif

“Now what exactly are African colors, Peter?”

“You know…bright! Maybe with some African print.”

icant

Exactly Kid Fury!

Can someone please explain to me what exactly African colors are? If I wear a yellow shirt in Russia, is it called “Russian yellow” vs. if I wear that shirt in Ghana, y’all gon’ call it “Ghanaian yellow”? I’m confused. I know we stay poppin’ in all colors of the rainbow palette but I didn’t realize bright colors were only reserved to Africa. Also, the audacity to just throw a “African print” as if that makes it better. “African prints” as Peter referred to them, vary and can actually depend on country/region. Example: fabric prints from the Forest region in Guinea are quite distinctive. Y’all stay trying us and having this “Africa is a monolith” attitude, even when you should know better!

Fix it Jesus!

Nene has had enough

(via Real Housewives of Atlanta)

Y’all! It may seem as if I’m making a mountain out of a molehill but words matter and these thought patterns are pervasive. We have got to do better people. So next time you’re having drinks with a Peter, at your favorite bar with the sticky floors, and he says something slick, follow these steps:

  1. Ask the ancestors for fortitude
  2. Take a deep breath. If you’re drinking, take another sip of your drink
  3. Look him in the eye so he can see that he ’bout to be checked and you ain’t playing no games
  4. Go for the jugular and make sure he knows/does better next time because you care

Disclaimer: if Peter is your glucose guardian (think about it for a second. It’ll come to you eventually), your ride home or just being the good friend who’s got you covered cuz you forgot your wallet, keep yo’ mouth shut. I can’t cover your beers and mine therefore your “wokeness” might have to wait until after the bill has been paid.

Other option is to write a longer-than-needed blog post on the interwebs. But that’s just me though. Not trying to be accused of ruining anyone’s life or friendships.

*Names and scenario have been changed.