‘Act like a lady, think like a man’

EJ Callahan and Rhonda Dugan lead a discussion on the movie "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man" after a screening on Feb. 13. (Kayla Bailey/ The Runner)
EJ Callahan and Rhonda Dugan lead a discussion on the movie “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” after a screening on Feb. 13. (Kayla Bailey/ The Runner)

By Cache’ Cantrell
Senior Staff Writer

As the Black History Month celebration continues, Black Women on Campus (BWOC) hosted a spotlight discussion of the movie “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.”

The movie, based on the similar titled book by Steve Harvey, is about a group of women who use advice from the book to get what they want from their men. Each of these men fit into a particular type: the player, the dreamer, the mama’s boy, the non-committer, the happily married guy and the happily divorced guy. Although the book is a self-help book for men and women of all backgrounds and cultures, the movie focused on relationships in the black community. Cedric, played by comedian Kevin Hart, is both the happily divorced guy and the narrator of the movie. He takes viewers on the journey of his friends’ relationships, from the women’s plans to the men defending themselves once they find out their women are using the book, to the happy ending for them all.

Following the movie, EJ Callahan, director of the Student Union and Rhonda Dugan, associate professor of sociology, led a discussion with the audience. Taking notes from the movie, Callahan began the discussion asking if love is in fact a game. Some audience members thought it isn’t while others disagreed.

“Definitely, it’s college. You’re discovering yourself and some people prefer not to settle down. I’ll say 75 percent, it’s a game. [Students] are trying to see how many they can get, male and female. They’ve got to have their top five, they’ve got to have people on the bench, it’s a game,” said alumna NaTasha Weatherspoon.

Interrupting the chatter of the audience, Callahan and Dugan both agreed that from the movie it seemed that Harvey’s book didn’t successfully help the women achieve their goals, but senior public administration major and president of BWOC, Lateia Jordan, thought otherwise.

“It kind of did work. For example the mama’s boy part, when [Harvey] was saying that [the mama’s boy] has to put the woman first, eventually he did that in the end,” said Jordan.

In the movie both Mya, played by Megan Good, and Harvey talked about the keeper versus the sports fish. Harvey explained that the keeperis the woman a man wants to take home to meet his mother and someone to build a life with. The sports fish is a woman that a man likes to parade around and show off to his friends. Harvey also explained that the sports fish is temporary. Adding on to the concept sophomore history major, Brent McClanahan II, expressed his belief that women attract certain men because of what they allow men to do. “Women sell themselves short,” said McClanahan.

Callahan posed the question to the audience: “Is waiting for better making you bitter?” Freshman sociology major Iesha McKinney said that each situation is different. “It depends. You don’t have to have your standards way up here where they can’t even reach them, but you shouldn’t set them way down here either to where no one is going to respect you,” she said.

Evolving from that question, Jordan brought up the topic of men being intimidated by a woman who has attained a higher education or makes more money than he does. Dugan shared her experience with being uncomfortable telling a man that she was getting her master’s degree during a date. “I would say, ‘Oh I’m going to teach.’ Sometimes I had to downplay what I was [going to school for],” she said. Dugan alsotold the audience about a guy who confessed that he didn’t think he would be able to handle it.

From a male’s perspective McClanahan explained that the issue comes down to a man’s insecurity, but made it clear that he personally didn’t have a problem with it. He also expressed that women should see that insecurity as a sign. “It’s kind of a red flag if a person doesn’t want to grow with you,” he said.