According to Randy Pausch in his book THE LAST LECTURE, a "Dutch Uncle" is someone who give you honest feedback.
I'm thinking we all need a Dutch uncle, whether writers or not. But if you DO happen to be a writer, well, it's just about essential. Which is why there is so much talk about the value critique groups.
In my experience, critique groups can be extremely helpful or not helpful at all. It really depends on the individuals involved. My poetry group The Big Table Poets is definitely a Dutch uncle for me. And I've had a number of Dutch uncles in the kid lit world. Sometimes it really hurts to hear what they have to say. But after I get done licking my wounds, I almost always realize how right they are.
"Not everything needs to be fixed."
- Randy Pausch