Dear Men Who Write Relationship Advice to Women: Stop, now.

Dear Men Who Write Relationship Advice to Women: Stop, now.
Photo: StockImages

By Sylvia Snowden

Dear men who write relationship advice to women:  Please. Stop. NOW. 

It’s not that I mind reading what you have to say.  In fact, many of your columns are quite entertaining; a few of them are even insightful.  However, your writing raises a couple of major issues far more important than my amusement, and because of those issues, you should, well, quit.

Firstly, you are not now, nor will you ever be a woman.  And I don’t care how close you are with your mother, how many sisters you have, how many girl cousins there are on your father’s side or how many chicks you grew up with. You have absolutely no idea what it means to be a woman; you can’t fathom what we go through.    

You'll never know what it is to be a woman, notes SBC Correspondent Sylvia Snowden. Photo: Ambro. Posed by professional models.

You'll never know what it is to be a woman, notes SBC Correspondent Sylvia Snowden. Photo: Ambro. Posed by professional models.

You don’t know what it’s like to think that your value as a person depends on how desirable you are to men.  Your critical feedback of how women behave, talk, dress and, of course, look reinforces the idea that we aren’t desirable and therefore, lack value. 

And women that correlate how amazing they are to how many men want to be with them also have deep, long-term consequences.  Did you know that according to the DOVE Real beauty project, 6 out of 10 girls will stop doing some activity they love because they’re afraid it makes them look unattractive?  That’s right. 

They will hear critiques of their appearance and disposition in the hallways and on the playgrounds and then come home and hear you direct those same sorts of remarks towards their mothers, aunts and older sisters and then will decide they must change who they are. 

I work with ‘tween and teenage girls.  It is paramount to me that they feel empowered and that their sense of self-worth comes from their character and abilities; not from how attractive boys perceive them to be.  Unless and until you start to tell men to evaluate things like character when looking for a partner, you should really slow down with your critiques.  And that leads me to my next point.

Instead of giving relationship advice to women, you need to be advising men.  

I have never before seen grown men that don’t want to ask women out on dates, don’t open doors or pull out chairs while on dates and expect women to pick up the tab.  Help them. These men need you; I mean, really need you, to show them the way.  

Teach them the finesse and charm necessary to attract and keep an amazing woman because at this rate, we’ll all remain single!  It won’t just be a win for them, it will be a come up for you, too.  Think about it; pandering unproductive and unsolicited relationship advice to women may or may not get you a radio, TV spots and a book deal, but teaching the guy next door how to make a grade A, certified #baddie fall madly in love with him = $$$.

Thanks and please STOP.

Sincerely,

Sylvia

Sylvia Snowden

Sylvia Snowden

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  • fb_avatar

    Don't agree at all, and would even venture to say that this is not true. But I will respect your opinion.

    If women are going to give men advice (unsolicited, oftentimes) and think it kosher to do so, then when men (those who accurately do so) opine -- or share facts -- regarding women, then the reception should be in kind.

  • LOL. It is only in a column where a man can give advice to a woman, because in real life it is not accepted or even given the courtesy of a listen.

    At one point in time men did open doors for women, popped for the dates and hold doors and chairs for women, but were emphatically told to stop, by women writing advice columns. And by society, and by women.

    Your admonition of having men learn --- as an entire sex, I suppose you are saying-- "finesse and charm" is nothing more than saying that men do not possess it, and should learn it for the opposite sex, where it is not appreciated.

    For the source of your trouble I suggest you direct this at Gloria Steinem et al.

    I suggest following your own incorrect reasoning -- that is, if you have not been a man, stop giving advice to a man. You have no idea, to parrot, well, you.

    It is paramount to me that women see men not as snake oil charmers but real people with personalities and feelings and depth of character. When the day comes that your gaggle of women sees a guy and says, "Wow, what hot character" he possesses will be the day when men can retire their advice on relationships.

    It goes both ways, but you want one way. Face it.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Richard Davis:

    You are wonderful, speak the truth, brother.

  • opinions are like noses, everybody has them. This is as close minded and sexist as I have read on Chicagonow in a long time. You win! I am sure there are a lot of Stay At Home Dad's and single dads who would take exception to everything you have written. But hey, a loud head line gets you readers, so you reached your goal.

  • I blame Steve Harvey for all of this foolishness. If a thrice married "relationship expert" can make tons of cash off of his "advice," why can't "The Dream" get in on the action?

    *Sigh*

  • In reply to Woodlawn Wonder:

    Steve Harvey is Sinbad without humor and worse facial hair.

  • Seriously. It's about time somebody said this.

    Women should take advice from a male "relationship advice" blogger about as much as they should seek dating advice from Leon Phelps, The Lady's Man.

  • Dear Women who write relationship advice for men, SHUT THE FUCK UP.

  • fb_avatar

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  • Dear Sylvia,

    Please stop deciding you know enough to misrepresent both genders.

    There are plenty of columnists of both genders who offer awful advice. I would probably put you and the "six brown chicks" in that category if this column is any representation. There are also some great relationship columnists of both genders that do offer advice to both genders - I think of Carolyn Hax for one, and while I don't particularly agree with much of Dan Savage's advice, you'd be about the first to ever call him sexist.

    If you want to whine about dating, don't disguise your poor character as proper behavior. If you truly expect a man to pay your way everywhere you go, you are a gold digger and one horrible role model for young women who should be shown that they are independent of men and the traditional patriarchal structure of economics.

    I'm grateful for your work with pre-teens and teens on body image, but perhaps you could expand that work to pre-teen and teen boys too if you can get over your misandrist leanings. They're facing the same criticism on body image that girls do nowadays.

    Thanks, and please STOP until you actually get some perspective. It doesn't take a genius to not blame an entire gender for your own shortcomings.

    - a reader

  • fb_avatar

    Seriously? Women oft times feel themselves to be the central zone for any and all advice, and statistically, infidelity is initiated more often by women as well as divorce. Then taking into account the natural instincts of the human species; women are programmed to undermine each other if in the desire for a socially and genetically superior male. I disagree with you whole-heartedly. Each person's advice has value based therein the information provided; the value of said advice can't be based on the genitalia of the provider.

  • So, let's see if I have this right;

    A woman is authoring an article beseeching men to stop giving advice to women because they don't understand what it's like to be a woman.
    Meanwhile the woman, who, presumably has never been a man, is writing the article as if men should take HER advice.

    Riiight.

    Or...

    Perhaps something can be gained by the insight BOTH sexes have, and any voice that is a positive voice should be promoted instead of mocked or shunned.

  • "You don’t know what it’s like to think that your value as a person depends on how desirable you are to men."

    My worth as a person and as a woman is not dependent upon my desirability to men. I completely reject that premise and you appear to be reinforcing it. Please tell me that we have not reached 2013 and this BS is still being sold to women. Instead of reinforcing pre-1950's relationship values, perhaps you should consider the advice you dispense.

    In the meantime, I'll concentrate on my worth as a person by how well I design buildings, build tunnels, parent, behave as a spouse, interact with those around me, and try to help and improve the world. You know... not about how I look or how desirable I am to a particular set of people.

  • "Unless and until you start to tell men to evaluate things like character when looking for a partner, you should really slow down with your critiques."

    This is arguably the faultiest portion of this piece. Women have been placed in the position of choice when it comes to sex & relationships by our culture. Men are basically beggars and have to sell themselves for a chance to become a significant other. Women make their choices on attraction, which sets them up to get played & unhappy in the long run. Women can recognize character and other virtues & values but don't give a damn unless he can make her cherry pop.

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