Black Women & Their Relationships with Men… : ThyBlackMan

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Black Women & Their Relationships with Men…

October 23, 2011 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Relationships, Sista Talk, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Why is that many Black women would rather say, “That’s how men are” when they should be saying “I don’t like that characteristic in a person, period—be they friend, boyfriend, father, husband, or otherwise”?

Many of us still insist that men should run our households, our churches, our jobs, and unfortunately our lives instead of insisting on gender equality. Women must stop relying on the idea of a man to represent sense, stability, and strength simply because he has a penis and an attitude.

I am not the first to say, nor will I be the last:

When heterosexual/”straight” Black women become unafraid and unashamed to raise their standards and stick to them, a different breed of Black man—men in general—will appear.

Some Black women are so afraid of being alone for the rest of their lives, that they make their happiness contingent upon having a love or romantic interest in their life in its most acceptable form—a man. Furthermore, they measure their worth by how many men are interested in them or find them desirable. It doesn’t seem to matter what kind of person the guy is or how he treats her, all that matters is that they both perform the actions of being in a heterosexual relationship, whether its dating, marrying, or whatever. It’s a show, like a movie or a theater performance, almost as if there is a script.

What’s the point of acting, if you’re not really happy or fulfilled?

Unfortunately, it appears to be a system of supply and demand. Once they see that we’re not buying their games anymore, refuse to play their game, and encourage everybody else not to play either, there will be change.

There are several things that women need to be remembered in relationships with some men:

1. His ideas of his manhood and the manhood of those around him (or lack thereof) will always come before his realization of his humanity.

2. You can tell a lot about someone who calls himself a man by how he treats the women around him. If he engages in disrespecting other women and allows women to be disrespected in his presence, these are warning signs.

3. [White] heterosexual male privilege is key to man’s sense of importance and power. That privilege will almost if not always come at the expense of women, children, and the non-gender conforming—that means you and everybody else.

4. Many women are too convinced of men’s limitations and potential for change to challenge them.

5. There is a difference between those males that we can build relationships with and, for lack of a better term, “hopeless cases”. You won’t know unless you try. Keep in mind that it’s essential to learn to discern who and what relationships are worth your time and which ones harmful to your health, most importantly your sense of self.

You are not “too strong” because we know what we want and need. You are not necessarily weak because you are trapped in or settle for relationship that do not in the end benefit or please us but if in the end we find ourselves unhappy with your relationships with those who identify as male then you have to not only consider the possibility that maybe you’ve never challenged “men” to be more for the sake of their own humanity but also deal with the fact that they may just want to be a man more than they want to be with you. Not to blame yourself but question and challenge.

In the end, you have to stop being an accessory and a trophy to their performances of masculinity.

Women cannot continue to be too afraid of what they want and the possibilities open to them by accepting the behavior of those men who not only harm us but harm our families and neighborhoods with their need to validate their sense of masculinity. We cannot continue to indoctrinate boys and young men into the patterns of thinking and behavior that not only create a vicious cycle of misogyny—that is, hatred of women both latent and overt—but perpetuate the patriarchal societal practices that oppress everyone.

Staff Writer; Shannon Rucker

For more articles written by this talented sista, do check out; The Black Feminist Blog.

Also connect with this sista via twitter; Ms. Queenly.

 


Comments

8 Responses to “Black Women & Their Relationships with Men…”
  1. James says:

    Carol:

    Sounds like we’re in the same boat. I won’t criticize, berate, or belittle the woman I fell in love with but one thing that I was in denial about was “am I in love with this woman or am I addicted to ‘love relationships & drama’? The truth hurts but it will set me free; after looking at my issues (some resolved; some still unresolved), the pain got greater and it hurts really bad but the reality is that as a Black Man; it’s better to admit, be accountable for, accept my part in what wen’t bad in the relationship, and move out of GODs’ way because NO MAN can change, shape, control, or even complete a Black Woman into the woman he wants her to be in a relationship; as well as NO WOMAN can change, shape, control, or even complete a Black Man into the man she wants to be in a relationship.

    I’ve heard too much drama outta ALL races of men & womens’ mouths about men & women REGARDLESS OF RACE; positive and negative. However, my best therapy to start the healing process was to look at ME on paper and keep writing {of course constant prayer and forgiveness from GOD comes first; everything else follows}. There is a thing called black mans’ syndrome as well; it goes both ways but with the help and direction of the ‘Heavenly Father’; I’ll be okay eventually.

    The ‘myth’ that there are no more GOOD black men or GOOD black women left is just a BIG FAT LIE. If we just look at some main factors: (1). What kind of woman do I attract to? (2). What kind of woman attracts to me? (A). What kind of man do I attract to? (B). What kind of man attracts to me? (C). Am I a good man? (D). Am I a good woman? These are open-ended questions that a lot of Black Men & Black Women do not ask themselves INDIVIDUALLY. The outside of a person (man or woman); is just what it is— THE OUTSIDE!!
    The list goes on and on but the thing I’m happy about despite the breakup, is that MY PICKER IS BROKE and GOD is the ONLY picker.

    Just wanted to share this with the readers, regardless whether anyone attacks this, likes it, etc.; doesn’t matter to me at this point. I JUST HOPE THAT SOMEONE CAN IDENTIFY & RELATE INTERNALLY with what I’m posting; specifically Black Men & Black Women…. I’m not saying that these are the main issues that caused the breakup because there are a lot more issues that have nothing to do with ALL TYPES of drama however, I just wanted to focus on these specific issue questions so that the layers can be peeled back more; (kind of like an onion; the more you peel off, the more your eyes water). . . .Someone before me posted the CENTRAL aspect to all of this: COMMUNICATION.

    Thanks to everyone who may take time to read my post and hopefully reply however, I will ask whomever posts’ a reply; do not give me answers and advice because eveyone’s experiences are totally different INDIVIDUALLY and COLLECTIVELY.

    GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU.

    SMILE. SMILE. SMILE. SMILE. SMILE. SMILE. It starts when we look in the mirror everyday.

    WE ARE ALL CHILDREN OF GOD! ! No matter what our past/present/future circumstances, life experiences, or situations.

    James.

  2. Ms. Queenly says:

    @ Nicole S.

    That’s not exactly what I’m saying. Women need to be accountable for enabling men to behave the way they do, as in supporting their behavior by putting up with it, not questioning and challenging it, or accepting it, but I’m not saying that they are responsible for what men do or don’t do or that women are making them do anything.

    If you’re not an enabler, good for you.

    ~MsQ

  3. Nicole S. says:

    Ok… so, it is *our* fault that there is not a “better” black man appearing? Once again, here is a discussion that holds women more accountable then men. Perhaps THAT is the standard we ought to be rectifying.

  4. natalie says:

    Every day he went to work. And in the midst of the many complaints Bout so many things from fwminist I have never heard a cry for more women to have access to oil rig jobs and coal mines. Its becaise someqhere along the line we decided we would pick and choose the things we desired to recwive equal treatment for! There is systemic disparity in the education of our young men and we are now experiwncing what happens after year of neglecting our biys and men. A society that despises its men run the risk of creating a society of despicable men. Did we not think there would be consequences for our personal choices which inclded ignoring the men in our community and standing with our backs to the mirror? Sure there is misogyny that has to be addressed but the larher conversTion has to pivot towards accountability for men AND women compassiom for womenAND men. As a twenty year advocate for “choice” I have stood alongside men that fought passionately for womens right to choose…that is the very women for whose rights to choose they figjt so passionately would have their reproductive rigjts not even taken into consideration for discussion. so my best example is the idea where we make declarations of independemce and bodily autonomy, the “ability to stamd on our own” while still maintaining the idea of ourselves and the current fatherlessness crisis (and the problems associated) as the victims of black mens sexual irresponsibility and ill intentions. As an advocate I believe with complete control over our reproductive decisions pre conception and post conception with access to 20+ options to prevwnt unwanted pregnancies access to safe abortions adoption etc., the refusal to accept that with great rigjts come greater responsibility allows pro lifers to undermine our efforts to stave off attack on roe v wade. Im tired of the hyprocrisy and blame game for our current situation since we allowed the radicals to push an ideology that led us to believe all sort of things abour our men. We should be angry but its impt we recognize and try and truly understand how we got to this place. Men and women alike are beginnimg to have an awakening because another forty years of the bleak prospect of partnering for strong families and community will be devastaing an irreversible if we dont try something different. I know im all over the place but I have sons amd I want a world that is as compassionate and understanding about their needs and feelings as my daughter

  5. natalie says:

    The problem is that there once existed a social contract between the men and women in our community. Womens liberation, the sexual revolution and a general desire for our roles to evolve more in society has had some positives and unfortunately a few negative unintended consequences. As our roles as women evolved in society we maintained the expectation that men would remain the chivalrous protectors providers we believed to be defining features of “manhood”. Idealogues indoctrinated our community and society as a whole with manhating partriarchal theory that has quite frankly influenced our way of thinking shaped harmful policy and generally rapidly expedited the deterioration of relationships between men and women in our community. I cringe evertime I hear one of us reduce issues in our community to a mans need to “man up” because in our attempts to define manhood for men we dont take into consideration that our definition is shaped by the ideas that we stand to benefit the most from. If men dont fit our definition or comply with the expectation that benefits or satisfies our desire for synchronicity with our needs or desires he is “less than a man”..Feminist idealogues have pivoted us towards a society where we emphasize accountability for men while extending our brothers little compassion it is ruthless and it is respecting our men but not necessarily loving them…on the other hand we emphasize compassion for women while minimally discussing accoun betability for women, it is infantilizing and it is loving women but not necessarily respecting them. 80% of out of wedlock children…has nothing to do with not using 20+ birthcontrol optioms availBle to us, No! Its mens fault! Not enough women pursuing engineering degrees? Its not a personal choice its patriarchy! We never apply the same logic to the 5% of male nurses or the clear lack of male teachers in education nor do we raise a fuss about it. Men committ suicode at five times the rate of women men account for 90% of work related deaths and 95% of combat deaths. Men regisyer for selective sevice as a stipulation for receiving college loans, our daughters do not. I could go on and on but my greandfather was a black man that worked in the coal mines. He risked his life e

  6. Bryneen Gary says:

    Many of us still insist that men should run our households, our churches, our jobs, and unfortunately our lives instead of insisting on gender equality. Women must stop relying on the idea of a man to represent sense, stability, and strength simply because he has a penis and an attitude.

    Okay, this part stuck out to me the Most because there’s alot of Men out there who feel they need to be running the household and supplying everything. I feel equality should be expressed alot more. I thought both Men and Women should represent sense, stability and strength because they are adults and Human beings. Then there’s Men who don’t want to share those responsibilites by saying the Woman, think she’s the Man. It’s probaly just a Matter of two people coming together and communicating in a way, where they have a understanding of who’s comfortable of doing what. Just my thoughts. Have a Good week

  7. Carol J says:

    I stumbled across this article and smiled. I have been trying to get this message across for years. I never “suffered” from this black womans syndrome….but 6 months ago I came close. I had to pull myself back from a dangerous edge, regain my mental posture, know I am loved & loving AND THEN let a man I feel madly in love with go.

  8. Bryneen Gary says:

    This was Great! will be back to speak more of it.
    Im following this blog and reposting on my new site

    http://poetiq-roses-publishing.spruz.com/

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