There’s a black woman out there, who has put in a long, curly hair weave in her own short, natural hair. She’s a beautiful black woman, but not in the way that’s acceptable in America. She also has put in her green contact lenses and her beautiful feather like eyelashes that accentuate her beautiful, almond shaped naturally brown eyes. She has applied her Iman foundation Earth 3 and has expertly contoured her nose and lips to look less rounded and more slender. She’s all set! So she leaves by herself for her favorite downtown night spot. This night, though, she’s on a mission: to find a man who will love her and care for her and care about her and help her with her difficult life. She’s simply tired of being lonely and broke and supportless. She knows what’s being said about her in the media. She’s heard all the negative statistics, but deep in her heart she knows that there is a brother out there just for her, and she intends to catch him tonight!!
I was recently at a brother’s blog that I read. The brother was telling a story about how as a single man he has to do his thing. Meaning get himself a woman from time to time. I consider him an intelligent, wise gentleman. He’s admitted to having been around the block quite a few times, so he’s not a youngster.
So with a little bit of game, he found himself in the willing woman’s house. Being a gentleman, he didn’t go into all of the details. He’s made it past the woman’s front door, so we can guess what time it was for him. Bingo! But the brother said he was not feeling quite right. He sensed that something was off. As the woman came out from behind the curtain, naked and ready to please him, his Spidey senses started tingling and he decided to hightail it out of there! What happened?
Now what I gathered from reading the piece was that he was quite pleased with his decision to leave her high and dry. The reason: it was subtly obvious to him that the woman wanted more from him than a little bit of love–she wanted to trap him into a relationship, which would mean having to spend his money on her. He wasn’t down for all of that.
After reading the brother’s post, rather than my doing a knee-jerk getting mad at the brother kind of thing, I simply thought about what he had said, and why he would say it. Then I thought about what is it that men and women actually want from each other. I have a question for you all and my question is this:
Is it wrong for a black woman to want to “catch” a black man so that he can help her and bring up her standard of living, and is it wrong for a black woman to expect a black man to love her and care for her for who she is?
Some brothers may say that they aren’t interested in getting into a relationship with a sister, and may have many excuses why. But in the end, is it that they feel that a black woman may not be worth spending their money on? Some brothers may even come to the table expecting to get some “brown sugar” yet feel justified that the woman shouldn’t expect to get any “love and care”. For me it seems completely illogical, and oppressive, both to the man and the woman. I’m not even going to go “there” with the lame “want his cake and eat it too” standard statement. For me it goes deeper than that. It goes to the heart of how we as black men and women even see each other and value each other.
We know that we are bombarded continuously with negative stereotypes about each other. These stereotypes assault the very depths of our hearts, deeply wounding our respect for each other. These poison arrows being shot at our hearts unceasingly damage how we define the basics of black manhood and black womanhood. The basics for black men should be to provide, protect, fulfill her emotional desires, and to care for and love his woman/wife. The basics for black women should be to respect, support, fulfill his sexual desires, and care for and love her man/husband. Of course, these are the bare basics and there is more to a relationship that grows over time and as the couple learns more and more about each other in love, and respect. It goes without saying (but I will) that in a whole and complete relationship, if a man is fulfilling his woman’s emotional desires, his own emotional desires are being fulfilled and if a woman is fulfilling her man’s sexual desires, her own sexual desires are being fulfilled.
So when racism and classism and all the other ‘isms come into play and damage our ability to be able to fulfill our mate’s basics desires, we may feel inadequate. Woman, if your man doesn’t feel sexually satisfied by you, don’t you feel anxious? Man, if your woman doesn’t feel that she’s being properly provided for, don’t you feel anxious? Yes, and yes.
So how do we deal with this? Some of us blame the other one. I’ve seen entire blog sites dedicated to blaming the black man for his “inabilities” and I’ve seen sites blaming the black woman for her “inabilities”. I can name names but I won’t today.
Now before any of you go off on me, let me explain my position. First and foremost, I don’t have a psychology degree, nor a college degree. What I have is a PhD in life experience. I have a bit of wisdom, gained from the school of hard knocks, called life. My position is that black love was nearly broken over the centuries that we have been in the Diaspora. We have studied our history and know that the black family unit was arbitrarily broken or dismantled in the time of slavery. Since we were not our own, but were owned by others, we had no say over our family structure. In the decades after slavery, we have endured never ending assaults upon our family structure. So if there is any brokenness, then reuniting as black men and women is what will fix it.
NO, I’m not anti interracial relationship oriented. But many black people who are in interracial relationships are there because of hatred of the black man or woman. This cannot make for a good interracial relationship, having self hatred as a black person.
I believe that what will help in reunification of the black man and woman is to unlearn some of the negative stuff that we’ve been taught about each other Namely, that the black woman is not worth spending money on. Not every woman seeking for protection and care from a man is a gold digger. Brothers have to relearn how to have that care and respect for the true femininity of a black woman. Even those who appear to be hard, because we understand that that’s just a front for self protection. (I believe no one loves me, so I’ll act hard as though it doesn’t matter to me). Sisters have to relearn how to display the proper respect for a black man, and not compare him to white men, nor treat him like a child.
Black men can do alot to help black women regain that lost sense of worthiness, of value, of femininity, sweetness and gentleness that gets pushed aside in the difficulties of life. But we black women can help black men to feel a sense of self worth and respect as well. It’s up to us to help us to come back to a sense of humanness and a high level of worthiness again. I find that whenever I mistreat my husband, he mistreats me, and whenever he mistreats me, I mistreat him. But whenever I treat him right, he treats me like a Queen, and whenever he treats me right, I treat him like a King!
The brother who’s blog I read and who felt that the woman he was trying to bed was actually trying to lure him for his money, could have helped that sister, even if he didn’t want to have a relationship with her. Instead he waxed philosophical about those sisters that trick men by wearing weave and fake eyelashes. If he was being genuine, then he would have admitted that he knew she was wearing a weave. Come on! Instead, he could have helped her with a bag of groceries or a tank of gas, or some small token to show that he was able to see past her hurts and insecurities and through to her humanity. The fact that “she was trying to lure him” to her bed ought to have shown him that she was in need of help.
Is a black woman worth that?