- Gender and Relationships
Why Are So Many Black Women Single, Part 2
In Part 1, the question was explored of why so many black women were single (between 60-70% some estimates). Among some of the possible reasons was the failure of black males to basically assimilate—at least on a practical, not necessarily an entirely cultural level—to the point where they can take advantage of the same socioeconomic opportunities at the same levels which black women have managed to do successfully. At the same time, the caveat was noted that good ‘ol-fashioned racial/ethnic/gender bias is also partially responsible for the failure of some African-American males not being able to advance at the same rate as their female counterparts, even when the ambition and relative drama-free living is practiced. The result is unemployed black males whom many black women then rule out as potential mates, especially among the relative unskilled and lower socioeconomic levels. For black women—who have used opportunities presented by a combination of the feminist movement, personal initiative, and the personal irresponsibility of (along with institutional bias against) the black male—the reasons for their wallowing in an otherwise undesirable relationship status are more a matter of counter-productive thinking fed by social change. Many have used their increased earning power in the black family to dictate decision-making, at the risk of emasculating the black male. More so, even those who are willing to forgo otherwise nasty attitudes do not take into account the sobering numbers. At 1.8 million more black women in America than black men, if every black woman of age managed to find and ultimately marry a black male, 8.3% of all available African-American women—1 out of every 12—would still be single; so much for thinking that black males are a dime a dozen. The upshot is that most black women seem to want the same equally accomplished black male, but the reality is that he simply is not there in numbers enough to make a difference…which brings us to the continuation of exploring why so many black women are equally culpable in why so many are single.
They Assume That All Black Men Are The Same
…and this simply is not the case. While the majority of all men can be generalized to some extent, black males in particular are as every bit as diverse a species as any on earth. Some are Christians. Some are atheists. Some are Buddhists (or former Buddhist in my case). Many love oral sex, while some find it abhorrent. Some are introverts who prefer the company of books, while more out-going extroverts feel comfortable around crowds. Some are sanitation workers, business-owners, soldiers, and investment bankers, while others are between jobs. The point is that black men come in all heights, weights, interests, personalities, temperaments, and occupations. They are who and what they are, and not what black women assume or necessarily desire individually. But many black women make the fatal mistake of assuming one man is the same as another, to the detriment of their relationships. In many ways, this is understandable. With so many adult black men and women having been raised by single mothers themselves, many black women can only make assumptions about what a man’s role in the family and in the relationship should be. With only feminist revisionism as their rubric, the result is relationship tension caused in part by black women wanting to be in charge (a role that many have had to take in non-traditional black families), that in turn causes many black men to avoid by seeking out other women who may or may not be as argumentative or more understanding. Granted, there are some black men who will attempt be kept by some women in much the same way as their mothers raised them to expect such (while at the same time not bothering to instill a sense of personal responsibility in them), there are many who don’t. Most black men want to be respected by black women, who themselves are clueless about what such a notion entails. A black man’s dreams, hopes, hurts, as well as his relevant (repeat, relevant) desires have to be respected, not belittled or ignored. Simply doing everything a man wants is not respectful, nor is it necessarily showing love. For the family/relationship-oriented black man, there has to be a level of (here’s a loaded word) acquiescence on the part of the black woman (now some black women may ask, “Why should I have to cater to a black man’s ego and insecurities in order to make him feel like man?” The answer is, probably for the same reason a black woman expects him to cater to her socially-fed sense romance whenever she wants to made to feel like a woman).
There are some black men who will allow black women to speak to them in whatever manner and/or way they please, even allow themselves to be physically struck by black women knowing that they were raised to never hit a woman. There are others who have no issue whatsoever using physical force in an attempt to be respected. For black women, it is a relationship imperative that they get to know what and who a black man is, and what it means in relation to how he is expected struggle a little harder than her in America.
They Are Too Independent
Ok, its understood that black women have had no choice but to be the father, mother, gardener, chauffeur, cook, plumber, etc., while many black males were out sowing their wild oats, or whatever less-than-productive hedonistic endeavors they were engaged in. In fact, there is a historical precedent for this, as black women were expected to work both inside and outside the house in order ensure the stability of the black family. Between the history of her role in the family and the reality of her responsibilities, black women have had to wear many hats. But we have to know when to step back and accept that some things are simply bigger than we are as individuals. One of these things is expectations. Just as many successful black women have had to learn to avoid micromanaging in their professional careers, many have yet to learn to similarly avoid micromanaging in their lives and delegate responsibilities. When there is a willing and capable partner present in their lives, many black women have trouble letting go. Many mistakenly believe that because they’ve accomplished so much in their own lives without a man that its necessary—when one is around—to “dumb themselves down” to inflate his ego in order to make him feel like a man. Its about allowing him to be the man, to allow him to do the things which they both know she can do for herself, provided that he is able (and not belittle him if he does not have the means, not to be confused—which women often do—with a lack of desire). To sum it up, just as black men have failed to be what a black woman wants, black women often prove themselves to be the exact opposite of what black men want…a woman who wants to be lead, has the faith to allow herself to be led but knows how to take control, no and's, ifs, or buts.
They Do Not Consider Interracial Options
This one is pretty much self-explanatory. As mentioned in the first part, black women simply do not consider interracial options at levels comparable to black men. Whether this is out of an otherwise admirable sense of ethnic allegiance or due to social attitudes, black women are more likely to desire a black male to partner with. The only thing that can be said in regards to this point is that whenever someone limits either their options or the particular way they do something, they limit their potential for happiness or success.
Many Have Issues
Simply put, many are crazy. Ok, this is a bit of an over simplification. But many have emotional (or other types) of issues which impair their abilities to function competently within a successful relationship. I’m fairly sure that every single black male has had the one same experience (as myself) insomuch as the dating ritual…meeting a single woman who, for want of a better way of phrasing, is so “crazy” that she thinks that you’re crazy. In other words, everyone else in her relationships is the issue while she ignores the one common denominator…herself. These types of woman never listen to anyone but themselves, and cannot see things beyond their emotions. They are out of control and don’t know it (but if you’re a male, you’d better not suggest wanting to “control” them if you value your peace of mind). This forces many to make brash, mostly irrational decisions. For example, a noted therapist lead research revealing that up to 30% of now-divorced women actually said knew that they were not marrying the right man the moment they exchanged vows during the marriage ceremony (“Did You Marry The Wrong Guy?” http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/sex/did-you-marry-the-wrong-guy-2477252/). In a sense, this is related to competition among women; many feel that being a wife is a type of triumph among the masses of women who failed to make it down the aisle, and gives a sense of equality among those who did. However, for many it is a misguided attempt to gain a sense emotional security that the current divorce rate indicates will never arrive (most new marriages have a 50/50 chance of long-term survival). This proclivity for making irrational decisions carries over to other aspects of relationships—or lack thereof. Putting up with long-term abuse, both mental and physical, choosing less-than-reputable men over those who are more capable of love (“choosing who you love rather than the one who loves you,” as my grandmother’s generation used to put it), and “trapping” men with pregnancy are things that some black men have had to endure from black women with unresolved issues, forcing many to go to great lengths to avoid. The result for many black women is that too many of them simply complain too much about what they don’t have (especially in relation to other women), in part because of their own success and the level of thinking it elicits seems to never be at fault for what is wrong in their relationships.
The issue for black women is that they are both victim and perpetrator in their own dilemma. While black men have shown a level indifference toward them (and by extension, the black family) which borders on contempt, black women have not helped their own cause by allowing their success to define the extent of their happiness. For the most part, both parties have allowed outside forces and social groupthink to manipulate their perceptions and their expectations with regards to one another. Black men have to be willing to learn that they only have one mother, and when they become an adult, they cannot rely on a woman to be a nanny, but a helpmate. Once again, black women, must understand that it is not a man’s job to continuously cater to their socially-fed sense of romance (or fantasy), but to allow themselves to become enlightened enough to appreciate things about an individual black male and learn to love him for who he is, not what they expect him to be.