How To Love? Don’t Ask Gray
THE Relationship Blog
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We have made it clear that there are some of these relationship advice gurus that we just do not agree with but we have always been nice about it. Well, no more nice CoupleDumb. This week we set our sights on some of the stupid love advice masters and, with some brutal specificity, tell you why these fools are full of crap.
Let’s start with the king of relationship wrongness: John Gray. Men Are From Mar, Women Are From Venus has become a classic in relationship self-help. The book is something like twenty years old at this point and people are still reading it. It has companion books, study guides and all of the trappings of a franchise. The problem is that he is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong! Are we clear here?
Dr. Gray’s work is more detrimental then helpful. He has created cages, labeled one in pink and the other in blue, and locked all men and women within. This kind of categorical pandering is very bad. Aldous Huxley, the author of the classic novel Brave New World, was one of the bigger brains of our time. He made a pretty strong case about the dangers of the reductive mind. He acknowledged that our brains naturally start with the big picture then breaks it down to the little pieces. This is a good thing to do only if you understand from the start that each of the little pieces are not fixed in dimension. They change, blending into the next piece such that we have one big picture.
Carl Jung, one of the founding fathers of psychology and a big brain himself, warns against creating a typology of a person. People are not one dimensional constructs that we can define in a couple of words or, for that matter, a million words.
It is simple for us to create little categories for our lives. Paul is a man. Lee is a woman. Paul is a white guy. Lee is a Cuban chick. Paul is a Scorpio. Lee is a Sagittarius. Unfortunately, these fun little names are only useful to racists and census workers. There are times when Lee is very unwomanly. There have been occasions when Paul has left his masculinity at the door.
So why do we say that we would not use Men Are From Mars as toilet paper? Because it is harmful. When a person is looking for help with love or they want to know how to love, the last thing that they need is some dumbass making pat statements that perpetuate the same old stereotypes. No, we are not done yet because this is another of the things that really chaffs our asses. One of the reasons that this book sold so well is that is continued the myth of dating and love and gender roles, even though it is not supported by science.
It is an interesting phenomenon, and on that has been researched a bunch now, that women feel oppressed by their roles in society and, at the same time, perpetrate that role. That is what Gray did with his book. He basically said that the way it has been is the way it is always going to be. In a back handed way, he slapped down women and put them back in their place. If you follow the stereotype, the one thing that women have going for them is that they have a handle on relationship but, because men are from mars, it means nothing since you can never communicate this to the man. Therefore, ladies, you are kind of useless.
The simple fact is that none of this is true. We are all from Earth. We wear are roles and shed them as we need. Never let anyone put you in a box with some simple label because you are greater than that. We are each infinitely complex, shifting and learning. So, Dr. Gray, we say ‘poopoo’ to you and your planets.