My Ex’s must’ve really been in their thinking man poses on Monday because they both managed to cross my paths with some thought provoking shit. The 2 youngn’s were gettin a tad deep in their own rights out there and pondering the stats of worldly concerns.
While Ex number 1 was sending me Newsweek links about the damaging and erasing effects of global warming, chock with 100 beautiful photographs, Ex number 2 was posting figures on Facebook about the plight of Black Women (which would be all one/half of her) and their quest to find equally suited/matched Black men and how she may have to settle.
Well, in the little compilation of comments and commentary that followed, one of her Facebook friends attached this link to a feminist slanted blog where a guest writer had taken the time to share her frustration with what she calls an “attack” on the single Black woman in America. The Guest Writer’s name being Diane Lucas. Here’s that post http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/06/21/the-media-v-black-women-the-peculiar-case-of-the-media’s-obsession-with-unmarried-black-women/
You can guess from the onset that I was going to disagree with alot of what this post had to say, just because it’s esteeming itself as coming from a feminist angle, on a self proclaimed feminist blog. And you know how I feel about feminists.
Ms. Lucas sounds like a highly intelligent person who is still warping her logic around an emotional base, as most feminists do. She’s saying the same old defensive rebuttals that have been heard before by Black women. Instead of addressing the issue itself, her approach is to offset the notion and diffuse it by declaring it a non-issue and berating those who have dared to identify it as such. It’s an inverse mechanism of embracing and endearment that a Black woman at this point of hearing and having the same conversation would naturally take on, as all scrutinized peoples have done at some place in time or another…‘why should I think something’s wrong with me??’ ‘It’s not me – it’s You! I’m fine the way Iam. There is no problem, society is the problem!’
Sound familiar? We’ve heard this before, countless times. Fat people do it everyday. Doesn’t change the fact that they are fat.
Self-love is not the issue here. We’re talking cold hard facts and figures here. That’s how this whole topic of conversation began. Getting into the blame game or the psychological ramifications makes things especially cloudy. Let’s deal with the fact that the issue exists. No one is telling Black women to shame themselves for being independent, successful or Black.
See, this is a trouble zone. And this is where things get murky because anytime you venture near the territory of saying anything less than flattering about Black women as an enclave or group of people, you risk being metaphorically castrated, tarred and feathered and chased with pitchforks and torches by a mass of females. The most unfortunate part of all of this tho, is that a good majority of the time, the women who respond and react with the most vigor, are those who have not heard or read the comments or articles themselves, or in their entirety.
Slim Thug could attest to this perfectly in light of the drama that he’s just gotten himself into recently by making comments urging Black Women to be less expectant, more supportive and comparing them to their Anglo-Saxon Counterparts. You can peaceably debate, even express your likes and dislikes, but pick your battles.
What we’re dealing with here is layers and layers of strategic, post-slavery division put in place to keep African-Americans at a socio-economic disadvantage. True enough, nobody wants to hear the same old “The Man” diatribe, but looking at what we have in front of us everyday in the face of the basic Black family infrastructure, it’s painfully obvious that the effects are still hauntingly blatant and very much so long-lasting.
How many movies? How many Essence articles and Beauty Shop conversations? This is Ms. Lucas’ main gripe; she’s asking why is this such a prominent topic?? She’s particularly perturbed and confused with all of the seemingly sudden coverage by non-Black media outlets. But her phrasing here is a bit extreme. She chooses to frame the topic as a skewed concentration or passive assault on her and her kind. She even goes so far as to suggest that it may be some mild form of conspiracy in the post-Obama election era to discourage Black women from hoping to attain that sort of Michelle and Barack union that is publicly perceived as harmonious and ideal.
Perhaps the fact that this topic is making headlines on primetime national news forums and publications is more of an aid than a detriment. Maybe this takes it beyond the sister-girl chats and Tyler Perry movie monologues and Terri Mc Millan books and makes it a legitimate conversation that the rest of the world can have some insight into. Instead of thinking of Black women as a spectacle or specimen, maybe this just reflects them in the light of all women and connects them more so to show that across color lines, this is the challenge faced by most upwardly mobile females in their single lives. Lord knows those Sex & The City broads look like a bunch of glorified tramps, but chics eat that up. What makes the Black situation different tho, is that for a Black woman to be accompanied in her romantic life by a Black man as a partner, the odds seem stacked against her…literally.
Why our Ms. Lucas would be tired of hearing this fact is beyond me. Ignoring won’t help it. Sure, there’s way too many articles out there that make mention of the number of incarcerated Black men, and many of them depict jails, like prisons are just this tireless beast that sustains it’s diet by seeking and chewing up innocent young Black males. They also too often tend to make Black men seem overly victimized by the system. There is not too much argument that the Black man is the most down-beaten and broken group of Men in the world. The African-American male in particular has the worst rates of everything and is often looked down upon by Blacks of other nations. This doesn’t excuse the poor mishandling of our responsibilities as being men first in the last 5 decades. I personally think Black men have transformed our once nurturing, more docile and ride- or-die female population into it’s current incarnation through a vicious cycle of temptation and abandonment dating back to Post -Vietnam era recklessness and confusion. Alot of this has to do with how our concepts and definitions of manhood have been augmented and re-defined over time, by others, and ourselves most importantly. Prison time just doesn’t occur. We can argue that disproportionate sentences and streamlined laws have been designed to punish minorities at larger numbers than others, but there is no debating that crime gets you in jail in the first place. Niggas really just need to stop doing fucking crime!! Isn’t it a little played out the whole ‘I didn’t have no other choice‘ routine? Really??
Still and all, the fact remains…these numbers are these numbers. The number of Black Men in jail IS alarmingly high, Black Women DO outnumber Black Men, and there is an increasing divide between education levels between Black Women and men. This doesn’t excuse the men, but if the original issue is that Black women face quite the hurdle of trying to find their match within their race as they achieve continual financial and educational success, why and how does any amount of media coverage of this make it any less of a real dilemma?
What Black Women choose to do in the face of this attention is where more focus needs to be put. Do you aid in shaping your men up?? Or are you just sick and tired of that because you’ve done that already? Do you feed into this invisible power struggle that has increasingly torn Black men and women apart for half a century now? Or do you reverse the pull by emotional healing? Or do you do What Ms. Lucas has apparently done, and told yourself that you’re fine by yourself? That you should re-focus your energy off of partnership and companionship and pat yourself on the back for all of the other successful areas of your life? Do you do what Regina King and Chilli have advocated and date outside of your race? Or do you accept the present depressed state of things and settle because the pickings are slim if you want to stay within your own race?
What a conundrum indeed…
So in the wake of what is the anniversary of the break-up between me and the very Ex who’s Facebook post layed the fertile soil for this whole fuss, I ask…
Is today’s Single Black Women being attacked?? Or just worried about?