For quite sometime my mother has had the title of this post on the message blackboard in the kitchen. And that saying resonated with me as I saw this Nightline special that aired last week. Here check it out.
In case ABC comes and pulls the above clip, in short, Nightline decided to talk about the plight of educated and financially sucessful black women and how there is a trending theme in our community about their inability to not just find a good man, but indeed get married. So they highlight four BEE-you-tee-full black women aging from late twenties to mid thirties. They go through these statistics (Note to Jay-Z: numbers do lie) that say 42% of black women have never been married. And then they proceed to half the black male population eligible to pop the question. As if this couldn’t get any more awkward and depressing: in comes Steve Harvey.
Bald-headed Steve goes on as though he’s the relationship expert per his book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man where he comes in goes on about settling versus compromising. Then we meet the other four women of various ages and various professions who all take this time to express their anguish over not being married. Then Harvey enters again and essentially tells these black women to go for the older man.
So, where do I start with this one.
It’s all kinds of wrong with that clip.
Problem #1 — This clip made the assumption that 100% of black women are of the marrying status. Just because based on those statistics, that they pulled out the crack of they ass, only 54% of black men are eligible to pop the question does not mean that of that 54% that we’re at all interested in this “100%” of black women. Let’s be honest, not all black women are what we’re attracted to. I mean honestly, was Mary Jones from “Precious” included in that mythical 100% of black women? I think not. She can “go to the welfare” for all I care because frankly I don’t want her and I don’t know any of my black male friends who would want her either.
Problem #2 — Some black women really don’t care. This kind of is borrowed from the first problem, not all of the 42% of never been married black women are interested in getting married in the first place. I’m quite sure that there are enough black women who are content with being baby mamas or even if not that, they’re okay with NOT being married.
I will take a pause to address that in 2009 (2010) we still are struggling with how do we treat our daughters in black families. We still have a generation and half who still believes that their daughters NEED to get married. So we still have some elders pestering our daughters at every family gathering questioning their marital status. What gets worse is that some of families from not just the older women, but from the older men, we make our daughters feel inadequate if they’re not married by 25 or 26. My opinion is that rather than internalize those emotions, far too many black women don’t address the actual source of those emotions by not demonizing their family, but project them onto the black men who aren’t directly apart of that equation. So for many black women, their families can’t be wrong, and they’re certainly not wrong–so it must be the black male. What stems from that is this unfair demonization of black males for no apparent reason. And we get lopsided stories like this presented on Nightline.
Problem #3 — Let’s be honest, getting married for women is all about status. And to specifically address the four women in this newsclip, these women are going to stay single for a lot longer and let me tell you why.
Let’s start with Miss Jakene.
It took her until 34 to want to lower her height requirement from 6’5″ down to 6’2″?!?!? Now I’m not sure how tall she is, and if she is over 5’10” I could understand that, but damn, that’s her hangups and not something to blame on black men. And since we’re quoting statistics, only 15% of the male population is 6’4″ and taller and only 30% of the population is 6’2″ and taller, so her chances of finding someone that tall is still not statistically in her favor. Penultimately, I question her dingbat status if it took her until 34 to realize she needed to change that. And ultimately, that was key as to what she was really interested in when it came to a husband.
Particularly those four women sitting there, they want heads to turn when they walk through a door with their husband. Status. If anyone thinks they would allow themselves to fall for Darius around the corner, then they’re lying to themselves. Those women want someone who’s over 6′ at least, and who–let’s just say it–LOOKS GOOD. Status. They want the model type. Status. And who doesn’t? It’s understandable. We live in a society that fully lets us know what’s considered aesthetically pleasing. But, on camera and for the sake of being politically correct, your average educated, professional, “pretty girl” is going to talk about how they want a man who’s educated, has a car, either has a house or has solid plans to get a house within the next 3-5 years, who’s in a professional field of some sort. And when the rubber meets the road, they seriously want him to look like Shemar Moore or Pooch Hall. Status.
Is this the X-factor? The spark? The chemistry?
I’ll charge back with a resounding No. It’s not. Far too many black women need to be serious with themselves and maybe fall back for a moment and check their own inventory when it comes to getting married.
First of all, black women need to stop comparing themselves to their white counterparts. Since when did black women start comparing themselves to their “white friends who got married at 25” as a barometer for their own progression? Oh yeah, I forgot white women as the standard has been around since black women got tired of their nappy hair and decided to start straightening it “because it’s just easier to manage.”
Secondly, black women need to always view themselves as God’s gift to the world–let alone to black men. Too often, some black women approach relationships as though they’re the best thing that happened to their man and they approach it like it’s a project. Fall back. Why would any self-respecting black man want to get with a black woman who’s that arrogant?
Thirdly, to echo some of what I’ve said earlier, not all black women are the marrying type. I mean, black professional men, who are educated, cars and hopes of buying houses in the next 3-5 years have standards as well. When it comes to marrying, we don’t want some around the way chick just like black women don’t want Darius. (I would make a joke about ghetto black names, but since two of the women in the clip are named “Chato” [what the hell? Bootleg-ass french house] and “Jakene” that joke would flop.)
To back off the assaults I’ve levied against black women, I am fully aware of that spark and that x-factor that deems one attracted to another individual, perhaps I’m just saying that some black women perhaps need to be aware of what’s influencing that spark to occur. And more pointedly, I’m speaking of the young black female professionals as portrayed in this clip. Let’s be honest, not all young, black, female professionals are 5’9″, wearing a size 6 or even an 8 and have a light brown skinned complexion–and for the women who don’t fit into that paradigm, there is a whole ‘nother set of issues that they have to face. Then the onus is flipped onto the black males who want the model types–who want the Halle Berry and the Beyonce’ (pre-Jay-Z days) look-alikes.
But since we’re discussing black females here…
I’m just simply saying that good black men are out there, but I’m of the opinion that as long as you fool yourself that they’re not, then you’re never going to find them. What happens is that out of ten women who are black professionals and doing the damn thing, there is the 6’4″ brown skinned brother who drives the BMW 7 series has the loft in South Loop off of 16th and Prairie, and at least half of those women are vying for the attention of this brother. But young black brother, who’s educated, might not be rolling quite like the doctor and may drive like a 2004 Altima and is renting an apartment in South Shore, has to fight for attention–and then black women are running around saying “there are no good black men–they either all are taken, in jail or gay.”
Ultimately, all I have to say to black women is that black men are good enough–are you?
I know some black women are fuming right now and can’t wait to get to the comment section, but I just want to know why is it so easy for SOME black women to place so much blame on the plight of black men without ever holding a mirror up to themselves? Why was it so easy for these black women to be so cavalier about this issue? And why did they ask Steve Harvey of all people? How do you feel about the state of the black family?