IN his 2009 bestseller Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment, US comedian Steve Harvey offers women a guide to understanding men -- in essence encouraging women to think like men do, in an attempt to alleviate problems like cheating.
The book was well received by many critics, who argued that though ticklish, it was a thorough, true guide to the workings of the mind of the modern man.
In a swift response a year after, the mother-daughter team of Rhonda Frost and Shanae Hall authored the book Why Do I Have To Think Like A Man? How To Think Like A Lady And Still Get The Man, making clear, among other things, that there's no need to bow to pressure to play the game the way Harvey advocates.
The women hint, among other things, that 'players' are created and nurtured by the very women who complain about them so much.
"[The book is] to introduce the woman's voice back into the dating and relationship discussion from a real point of view," Frost, the mother said. "This book is filled with aha moments, lessons, as well as great advice for changing how we women date and relate to men."
In the first of three parts the book covers the issue 'What Do Men Really Want?', admitting what many women know -- that 'You Can't Change Him'.
The other two parts cover 'Getting What You Need From The Man You Are With' and include 'Setting Standards', 'Understanding Your Baggage' and 'Knowing Your Place'; and the third, 'Confidence is Key', offers instruction on 'Finding Yourself', 'How to Make Him Want, Respect and Keep You' and 'Knowing Your Worth'.
"Players, cheaters, narcissists and smooth-talkers, when it comes to men behaving badly, ladies, it's up to you to change their game," the women said.
And said Hall, who was married to Cory Hall of the Cincinnati Bengals and Atlanta Falcons: "It's not the man that makes the difference, it's how you deal with the man that makes the difference between heartbreak and a mutually beneficial situation."
Here's the women's take on the dating game as outlined in the book:
"Let's assume he likes you and you like him. What do you do from here? You start dating. The first few dates are crucial to the direction of the relationship. It is the beginning of the relationship that you must establish 1. Your expectations, 2. What you are willing to sacrifice, and 3. What kind of attention you demand."
Added the women: " Make sure your first date is somewhere that you will enjoy. If he thinks Red Lobster is the spot and you are thinking hell no, say that in a polite way. Let him know when you don't like something and more important that he shouldn't expect to sleep with you on the first date."
In the same chapter Frost and Hall speak about the imperative questions that a woman should ask the man that she is dating.
One such question is: 'Do you want kids, do you have children and how often do you see them?'
"Whether you have children or not, these questions tell you a lot about the man that you are dating," said Hall. "From these short questions, you will be able to determine if he is responsible, proud of his family (whether the kids were planned or not), and if he is selfish and thinks the world rotates around him. If he says he doesn't have any kids, ask the next question. If he is over 37 and doesn't have any kids, that is a red flag for me. Why? Because it tells me one of four things: 1. He can't have children; 2. He has supported an ex-wife or ex-girlfriend in having an abortion; 3. He is selfish and doesn't want anything or anyone that is going to take money from him; or 4. He's on the down low."
The book is truly a mother-daughter view on relationships, an uncensored view of dating.
"Why Do I Have To Think Like A Man?... is based on more than 300 interviews with men and women over 25, and the authors' own dating drama," the women said. "The book reveals hold-nothing-back truths about deal breakers, commitment, baggage, intimacy, what men really want, and getting what you want in return. And to say the authors have 'been there, done that' in love, sex and marriage is an understatement. They draw on their life experiences with marriage, divorce, domestic violence, single motherhood, being cheated on -- and being "the other woman."
"We hope to empower all the women out there selling themselves short, hearing but not listening to the men they date, and seeing but not heeding the obvious warnings," said Frost. "Getting the guy isn't so much about knowing how they think; it's about dating smart, knowing what you want, and raising your standards."
Both survivors of emotional and physical abuse, Hall and Frost are donating a portion of the book proceeds to battered women shelters and other agencies that help women.
Hall is a former NFL wife, domestic violence survivor, and successful businesswoman.
According to her bio, she had the good life: a big house in a gated a community, financial security and a hunky NFL husband.
"But inside her Atlanta-based Southern mansion, life as a professional sports wife wasn't all photo ops and red carpet moments. Her fairytale marriage to her high school sweetheart was wrought with lies, cheating, and emotional and physical abuse. After seven years, she gained the courage to leave, starting from scratch as a single mother."
Hall holds a Bachelor's in Film, Cinema and TV from California State University Northridge, and is mother to three children.
Frost is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse who became a single mother at 15. Today she is the mother of three adult daughters and one teen son, and is a realtor in the Atlanta area. She is a journalism student at Georgia State University and writes on finding love after 40 at More.com.
The book is available on Amazon and more information is available at the women's website, www.lovingme1st.com.