After teaching women to Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Steve Harvey is gearing up for a new crusade to “help women become more dateable.”
Anyone else cringing, or is that just me?
It’s not that the man hasn’t had plenty of successful ideas. He’s made it as a comic, a talk show presenter, a game show host, and the author of two relationship advice books, so he must be doing something right. But if that mission statement doesn’t immediately raise a red flag, you’re not reading it correctly.
Here’s the deal: Harvey has launched a dating website, Delightful.com, as a joint venture with IAC (the company that owns Match.com, OkCupid, Tinder, and a slew of niche dating services). In addition to being the face of the site, he will supply articles and videos to help subscribers “find love and keep it.” So far so good.
But then you get to the philosophy behind the site, which Harvey kindly shared with Forbes recently.
“Women are wired differently,” he says. Online dating is great for people who want to go on a lot of dates - which means it’s good for men in Harvey’s mind, because only men are interested in playing the field. “A man doesn’t have any problem at all dating several or a wide variety of people until he finds the right one,” he says.
On the other hand, “women don’t really want to just date,” explains Harvey. “They want to date with the hope that it leads to a relationship.” And the reason is simple: “A lot of women have that biological clock that ticks in them.”
He’s not the first to say so. And undoubtedly, in some cases, he’s right. But it’s also a painfully problematic approach to 21st century dating. Just when you thought we were moving away from ideas that divide the sexes, here comes every “women are from Venus, men are from Mars” cliché that’s been ruining things so far.
Harvey goes on to say that women are too picky when it comes to dating, and that Delightful will include advice columns for women on important topics like “how to become more datable.” For men, Delightful will offer “instructionals on being the kind of man who knows how to treat a woman.” At no point does it appear Delightful will explain that it takes two people to make a relationship work, and that men and women need to learn to meet each other halfway for relationships to survive.
And what does Match CEO Sam Yagan have to say about Harvey’s prehistoric approach to modern romance?
“It’s not like we’re standing behind everything he’s ever said.” Well ok then.