Monday, April 19, 2010

A Thought Provoking Post...

Ok...I know, it's almost 4AM on Monday morning, but every once in a while I get inspired. This is a repost of a comment I made on an ezine article...but it was so interesting and the responses to the article were so varied that I thought it deserved to be re-posted.

So, I follow Clutch Magazine (@clutchmagazine) on Twitter and they had an article that I came across called "Where Are Black Men's Voices in Single Black Woman Commentary?"

In case you don't read the article, it's basically highlighting the fact that recently, mainstream media has been focusing on the fact that there is an influx of marrying age SBF's (single black females) who aren't finding their black male counterparts. But these SBF's can be classified as middle class - gainfully employed, college educated, etc. etc. So, the columnist was essentially irritated with the mainstream focus on it - making SBF's sound like an endangered species. And, she wanted to hear the black man's perspective on it - rather than just the mainstream media's sound bites on it.

And this is where it got interesting...

People commented quite a bit - and the opinions were highly varied; some condemning black men for the current status of black on black relationships, and many saying don't just limit yourself to dating black men. Now, this is where it got me thinking...why in 2010 when our president is bi-racial are we (collective we - not personally) as black women still fixated on "The Black Man". We're in a post Loving vs. the State of VA world - where we're not forced to stick to our own. Even though it's been proven time and again through history, we're allowed to love whoever we want. So, why do we as black women only fixate on a black man and worse still become embittered when we see a black man with someone from another race - even when we know for a fact that we wouldn't want that man if he was available and interested in us?!

Having said that, this was my comment, please feel free to weigh in...

"I put this article/argument right along with the statistical evidence that people who come from single parent homes are neither as well adjusted or successful as their two parent family counterparts. If you’re looking for data to support a negative spin, it’s very easy to find it. 

In additional to the overwhelming gender bashing (both obvious and subversive) that I read in this thread I also see an obnoxious sense of entitlement coming from both genders. As a black woman, I just have to put this out there: Black men don’t “owe” you a relationship just because they fulfill a few “must haves” on your list (educated, gainfully employed, etc.) and you made it through college & are upwardly mobile. And likewise, black women aren’t required to play the “submissive Christie doll” routine just because you’re a black man. Respect, loyalty and dedication are earned. Being from the same racial make up as me guarantees you nothing except that we’re both sharing common ancestry.

When it comes to finding an appropriate mate (whether same race or from a different race) you get what you give. If you walk around with a complex saying “I went to college and I have a good job and I’m attractive – black men should just WANT me – but said black man must come with XYZ” then you’re going to end up with shallow jerk offs who wouldn’t support you if you lost it all tomorrow. Likewise, the time you waste worrying about why the random guy you saw in the store was with a white/asian/latin woman is time you’re wasting not meeting the guy you really want. Why waste your time worrying about something that you can’t change? I find many of my black female friends complaining about seeing a black man with a woman of another race. And then, when I ask them if they’re even mildly attracted to the man – 9 times out of 10 they wouldn’t want him if he was single. If the man approached them in the club they would be making a stank face. So, stop complaining. Regardless of whether or not a black man is dating a woman of another race because he really loves her or for status – it doesn’t change the fact that you’re not with him – so stop worrying about him.

We (as a culture) continue to help perpetuate these stereotypes and drama by focusing on things that we can’t change. We write books about it, bring it up in movies (all written by African Americans male & female) and even in comedy skits. Yet, somehow we’re upset when “mainstream” media picks up the soundbite and runs with it. Much like the N word debate and the “bitch” word debate – if you keep making a platform for it, it’s only a matter of time until the people outside of your own community decide to start shedding light on it.

And likewise, I agree with many other women on here who have said that you shouldn’t be limiting your dating pool by just race alone. I’ve been in a healthy, supportive and HAPPY relationship with a hispanic man for the last 5 years – not because I only date Spanish men (although I have dated men of all races) – but because we actually click and connected in ways that I’ve never been able to do with anyone else – regardless of race. We’ve both supported each other in starting our own businesses and have grown as individuals and as a couple. Somehow, I’ve always found that it’s silly to only allow myself to date people based on something as superficial as skin color – especially if my hopes/goals/dreams are more aligned with someone who is from a different race. And especially with the responses I’m seeing from a lot of the women on here – if you REALLY feel black men are so villainous/overbearing/looking for someone who will kowtow to them, then it’s even more of a reason why you should be expanding your horizons, not just sitting there with sand in your mouth.

In other words – if you’re not happy with the results you’re getting, then it’s up to you to make the change. Sitting around complaining about the state of black on black relationships isn’t going to make things any better and isn’t going to get you any closer to a happy & healthy relationship."

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