DeityNyota

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How To Be Black: I have to agree with Mia McKenzie

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One of my Facebook contacts thought it would be funny to post an article titled  “How To Be Black In America: A (Relatively) Short List” written by author and activist Mia McKenzie. Mia studied writing at the University of Pittsburgh ; and is described as being a smart, scrappy Philadelphian (now living in the bay area) with a deep love of vegan pomegranate ice cream and fake fur collars. She see’s herself as being a black feminist and a “freaking queer” (her words not mine); who’s thoughts and ideas are often reflected in her writings, which have won her such awards and grants as:

  • Astraea Foundation Writers Fund Award, 2009
  • Leeway Foundation Transformation Award, 2011

She comprised a ‘short list’ of things that black people should do in order to become accepted or seen as normal by the rest of society.  Now,  knowing my friend I’m assuming this list was brought forward in attempts to poke fun of CNN anchor and social contributor Don Lemon. Who recently shared with the world the lessons his families elders taught him about to conduct himself. But in my personal opinion, her ‘list’ actually back fired.

Now, I’m no one of importance, I haven’t won any literary awards nor had any of my works published, but (based upon what I’m seeing) I feel that If  she was attempting to engage in a game of snarky sarcasm, it honestly didn’t work. Because I and many others happen to agree with the list she provided. But I’ll explain the hot sticking points for me, in more detail; because I think some ignorant, close-minded, and petty black folks are missing the over all big picture.

Here’s some of the list

1. Don’t sag your pants. Pull them up. Slowly. Don’t make any sudden movements: I don’t know about not making any subtle moves, but yes, please pull  up your pants. And while you’re at it, wear a belt. I do not want to see your boxers, much less think this prison style of dress is appealing or cool. This goes for the young ladies as well. Advertising your goods in low-rise jeans or cut off shorts that stop two inches short of your burning bush is not the example of a respectable young woman. Nor is this look cute either. And you’re wondering why you’re having men make derogatory comments via sexually explicit and suggestive ‘complements’.

2. Stop talking about racism. That’s over. (see: black President): No, don’t stop talking about racism, but do understand that we too are just as guilty of being racist. Not only towards other ethnicities, but we do it to one another (inter-cultural racism based upon complexion). We too become enraged with black men/women whom chose to date/marry someone who’s not black, and we too say and carry out racist actions towards others.

So if we’re going to point out the wrongs of others, we MUST acknowledged what we’re no better. If we’re going to talk about slavery, let touch on how ‘we’ (some of our African ancestors) sold us into slavery as well.

Let’s focus on how the Black Egyptians enslaved the Black Israelites/Hebrews.

Let’s talk about how we’re still slaves in mentality as a result of the physical enslavement we’ve endured (and how we continue to perpetuate this mind-set with our actions towards one another).  If we’re to have an honest talk about racism, let’s be honest with ourselves and acknowledge the part that we play.

3. Stop asking the black President to do anything to help you. That’s reverse-racism. Or something: This one still baffles me too this day. Because I keep asking black people this, what do “WE” want him to do for us that we can’t and shouldn’t already be doing for ourselves?

We keep harping on what he’s done for other communities, but we don’t mention the fact that these other communities do what we refuse to do; work together! They fight together; stand together for what they believe in and they hold the government (not just the President) accountable as such.

They learn the process of authoring bills and legislation in their favor, and they fight to push these bills and acts through the house and senate. They’re active in local/state/federal government and they don’t take no for an answer.

They VOTE during the primary and mid-term elections; because they understand that who ever is voted into the house/senate and local government affects the issues they hold dear. This is something many of ‘us’ fail to do. How can we hold the President accountable for what’s wrong in our communities when WE won’t even hold one another and ourselves accountable is my question? If we don’t fight to keep our communities free of drugs and gang violence, how in the heck do we expect the President to rid our communities of crime? He can’t do that for us, we have to do that!  If we don’t fight to ensure our children receive adequate health care and eduction, why do we expect him to do it for us?

4. Get an education somehow. Speak properly, for Christ’s sake. But don’t be uppity: I love this one! YES, WE DON’T STRESS education enough in our homes and in our communities! So yes, I’m all for education and I feel we need to fight diligently to ensure that our children understand the importance of being academically competitive.

AND YES, we need to teach our children how to speak proper English. Slang and street talk won’t help you get a job and it won’t assist them with effectively articulating themselves. The perception of individuals who ‘talk like that’ is one of negative stereotypes  (uneducated, dumb and ‘hood’). And may we agree with it or not, it assist people with passing judgment upon first meeting you. If WE seek to be seen for our intelligence and not appearance, DO NOT give society more ammunition to label you.

5. Be nicer. You know people are intimidated by you, right? Why are you making it harder on yourself?: There are some sisters and brothers with some nasty, unsavory attitudes. Even though this is not specific one ethnicity, we can all admit that we’ve shaken our heads at them while standing in line at the supermarket.

We’ve witnessed them speaking harshly to customer service representatives, and cursing out cashiers.

We’ve seen them hold up lines at events cursing out the volunteers because they paid “too much money” to get in for this.

WE see it all the time and it’s not a good look for us. THEY (the one’s whom demonstrate this behavior) make us all look bad, because there’s no need to be that way. You don’t have to curse people out or tell them like it ‘T.I. is’ (rolling my neck and snapping my fingers) to get your point across. But we see this every day. The manner in which many of ‘us’ carry ourselves is very unbecoming and ugly.

6. Be successful somehow. But do it without any kind of help. I mean, that’s how white people did it, right? No help whatsoever: Check out the chart below, and ask yourselves’ why don’t ‘we’ American born Africans get it?

Black Africans and people of African Origins come to this country and fare better in entrepreneurship, education, and finances than that of American Born Africans; whom have the same opportunities available too them, yet we’re lagging in these areas. They come here with absolutely nothing but a few mere belongings and they open businesses that are thriving (some within our community), they’re graduating with higher GPA’s from prestigious institutes of higher education and they pass down self-made wealth to their children.

That speaks volumes for how ungrateful ‘we’ (those of us born here) are. They’re more successful that most of us; and they do it with very little to no assistance.

We teach our children to become great workers (depending upon someone else to create job opportunities for us) while they teach their children to become the employers.

They understand the importance of commerce and how it’s linked to successful business ownership.

They do what we fail to do, stress education!

So, if they can find a way to be successful with nothing, what’s stopping ‘us’? They work together! They fund businesses with one another and they understand how there’s power in numbers. And its less of them; but they’re faring better than ‘us’; making do with next to nothing and still making it.

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7. Read a lot of books. Get recommendations from awesome people: YES! Black people need to encourage reading not only for our children but for ourselves. The problem I see with many of us is that we don’t read enough. And its one of the reasons why the chart listed above shows how we’re falling behind in education, and median house hold income.

Many African Americans refuse to broaden their scope and perception of life while gaining a plethora of knowledge on various topics by taking the time to read.

We’ll read Zane’s Sex Chronicles and 50 Shades of Stupidity; but we won’t read about African History, or how to become economically successful. There’s nothing wrong with encouraging reading! Pick up a book and turn off them damn soap operas and loosely based realty T.V. shows.

8. If you’re black and GLBT, choose which of those communities to align yourself with. I think the choice is obvious. (see: Recent Supreme Court Rulings): WE do this to our GLBT sisters and brothers! African-Americans reject them based upon sexual orientation due to religious beliefs and what we assume to be social norms.

WE see them as being an abomination, because many of us mistakenly believe that they made the choice to be gay (going against God’s design); thus such broad support within the African-American community for Prop 8.

WE don’t believe that their fight for equality is civil like ours, so WE reject their claims and tell them that their concerns are not ours!  We’re the one’s who reject them. Now, I have to admit that throughout the years our ideas and stances have changed, but African American’s still stand stanch in their fight against these civil unions (or making their marriage legal)

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9. Try really hard to get on a jury: YES! We complain about African-Americans not being judge by a jury of their peers, but we’re not getting actively involved in the litigation process. We will refuse to sit on jury duty (see it as an inconvenience) yet get mad when a brother or sister is convicted of a crime by people who don’t look like them. Take a look at these statistics and just image if we’re more active in the legal system, ensure that everyone is judged equally.

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10. Love: Yes, this is another problem with ‘us’! We don’t love one another enough. Black men and women don’t show one another enough love; and our mothers and fathers don’t show their children they love them enough.

We don’t have enough love for our communities, public schools and homes to ensure that they’re crime and drug free, up to code and a healthy environment for our children to flourish.

We don’t love our streets enough to keep them clean (NO we don’t) and we don’t love ourselves enough to ensure the images being projected of ‘us’ are not the negative and stereotypical images we see daily.

We don’t love ourselves enough to eat more healthier, nourishing foods that will combat hyper tension, diabetes and cancer. Many of us don’t even drink water because we don’t like the taste of it.

So yes, the Black Community is in dire need of love, love for one another, our children, our environment, our health/overall well-being and ourselves.

11. Look hard at your own individual selves and fix it so you can be better at love: One of the worst things in the world is witnessing a man or woman who refuses to take responsibility for their contributions to the dysfunctional relationships they engage in. These people will always blame everyone else for what went wrong in their relationship/marriage (it’s always the other person fault), while completely (conveniently) absolving their actions and themselves of being a contributing factor to why they’re either unhappily married, or can’t stay in a healthy relationship with anyone.

Some of ‘us’ fail to understand that for every action there’s a reaction and that sometimes the things we do and say to those we keep company with can be the reason why they’re “crazy”. Crazy doesn’t happen over night, there’s a gradual process of perpetual behavior (in most cases) that causes an individual to react a in a specific manner. Although this is not specific to one ethnicity, I always stress to both women and men how important it is to take the time they need to work on one’s self first! Prior to hopping into a new relationship after leaving another. I see so many people seek love from others, because they lack the spiritual tools needed to find love for one’s self. So I’m in complete agreement with this one.

12. Make crazy good, life-altering art: This one I can agree with 100%. And Its one of the reasons I started my small, minority, veteran, woman owned entertainment company. I was tired of seeing the images that society (and black people) believes to be an accurate representation of who we are. I seek to provide thought-provoking, socially controversial art that makes people think about how we as a people are being viewed and how “we” as a people view ourselves. We’ve seen so much of the negatives in the media that not only do other ethnicities believe this is who we are; we’ve come to terms with these images by embracing, internalizing and emulating them in the media geared towards black social-psycho consciousness.  The ‘art’ that we see today is no longer imitating life. And I’ve arrived at the conclusion that the lives of young black men (and women) is now imitating what we have been brainwashed into believing is art. Which is composed of nothing more than mediocre rap verses, over a hot looped track, heavy base line with half-naked (or fully nude) women in videos and on album covers; has replaced  what many within the African-American Community consider to be creative. There must come a time when ‘we’ become sickened with the perversion of our art by the entertainment industry; that’s telling us what it means to be black.

Please read “The 2nd Amendment vs. The Thug Image of Color”

https://dietynyota.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/the-2nd-amendment-vs-the-thug-image-of-color/

I’m not sure if Ms. McKenzie was seeking to be funny, or poke fun of African-American pendants via social satire; but may she realize it or not, she made some really good points.

When Being Freaky is Being Plain Greedy

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Image I happend to run across this posting on a friends Facebook page that I frequent and stir the pot of controversy in from time to time.  The posting read

“I’m a 39 year old black man who’s so much in love with my wife… But at the same time I’m real freak…I have fantasize about having a threesome…how do I go about telling her.”

Keeping it PG here, he explained that she’s no longer providing the ‘spark’ that he’d once experienced upon meeting her many years back; and that he was contemplating adding an ‘additional member‘ to his team. In his mind, he felt that this would bring forward a newness of passion that would provide excitement to a rather dull love life. But, the new team member could only be coached by him! Since he was the team hitter, no one else (no other man) could step up to the plate and take a swing at his wife. “that’s me and mines” he proudly stated.

Here’s my take on this whole issue that men face when dealing with desires of new flesh.

I had to explain to him that its quite possible that he’s not the only one who’s think about a new member if that area of his marriage is lacking. Trust and believe there are times that his wife deals with pleasing him while sacrificing her own needs (and possibly thinking about something new). And I assured him (as well as many other men that’ve had this conversation with) that his spouse may not feel that his performance is all that great either. Thus she’s putting the same efforts into these lack luster sessions as he is. You get what you give. When ever your spouse feels that being with you becomes a duty, he/she will no longer feel a desire for intimacy. Because now it becomes one of those chores that we must do but really lack the time, patience or energy to complete.

You’ll experience this lack when YOU as their spouse fail to continue to do the same things you did to get them, as a means of keeping them. Drafting a new member to your husband and wife team does nothing but add complications to a situation involving two people who’s business should be kept amongst themselves. The bedroom is the sanctuary of a married couples love; that’s designed to nurture the intimacy they share between one another, contained within the vows they took before God unto each other. Their flesh has become one. And the last thing anyone (man or woman) should want to do is bring forward someone who’s values for love and intimacy may not be the same as yours, or that may bring added drama into your union.

I personally can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would want someone else to view first hand the dysfunction between them and their spouse? The most intimate details that should shared between the woman/man in which you’ve formed a covenant before God should be taken before God, not “Sugar” the shake dancer.

But I found it funny how he loved his wife so much; and she was everything he ever wanted in a woman; but he was unwilling to ensure that she was just as satisfied as he wanted to be. He couldn’t see how selfish he was in his desire for new flesh; using the cop-out that its in his nature as a man to want more than one lover. This ‘desire’ which is really greed was causing him to have a mental block, that was hindering his ability to see the sensuality in his wife. His self-proclaimed ‘freakiness’ was nothing more than a selfish justification to satisfy his lust for another woman. Because I’m sure he’s already got the woman he wants to introduce to his wife picked out. If he hasn’t already slept with her.

After an exchange of opinions, he finally admitted that he simply really wanted to leave his wife for another woman. Which is a classic case of someone thinking that the grass is greener on the other side.

The 2nd Amendment VS. The Thug Image of Color.

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1016920_4928400260706_2106243091_nI find it interesting how we view gun ownership in this country (The United States Of America). On one hand, one image is seen as patriotic and a freedom of one’s rights to bear arms. Where as on the other hand, one image is seen as a depiction of impoverished crime, pre-medidated murder and a prime example of what’s wrong with our society.

Or, its seen as being justification for why the first image must fight to defend their rights to bear arms.

I don’t like to make such topics an issue of ethnicity (not race, because we’re all of the human race). But I like to focus more on the damaging affects of social norms, stereotypes and sensationalized propaganda in the media.

The first image is seen as being a normal American family, that’s proud of their impressive collection of firearms. The father is a man that provides for his family and will protect them at any cost. Society would have you believe that they’re all in their right minds, have no criminal records and have possibly never been convicted of a crime. They’re middle class (or affluent), drug free, educated and possibly reside in the suburbs. You wouldn’t think that maybe (just maybe) the guns they’re holding may have possibly been purchased on the black market (illegally). Thus they’re not accounted for and may have been used to commit a murder/crime. Looking at this image, you first thought would not be organized crime, nor would you see either of them as being members of a White Supremacist, anti-government group.

Maybe they are, and maybe they aren’t. But would the negatives of who would we assume they are would not be the first thing that comes to mind.

Let’s flip the script for a second

The second image could be one of an individual who has legally purchased and owns his firearm. Its possible that he resides in an environment where he’s forced to own a weapon to protect both his family and himself. Fire arms that he may have purchased legally! But, because of his style of dress, and yes; his ethnicity he’s more than likely to be seen as a repeat offender who’s been incarcerated and is possibly actively engaged in organized crime. The images being projected of individuals who looks like image two has programed society into believing that he’s a thug, gangster or pimp that’s ready to rape, rob, kill and steel.

Maybe he is, and maybe he isn’t. We know no more about him than we do the family in the first image. But his skin tells us what he is and what he’s about. Why is this an issue?

I place the blame for the manner in which we view image one verse image two to rest squarely upon the shoulders of the entertainment industry and the 24 hour news programming. Carefully selected stories and crime dramatizations assist with feeding society a hearty helping of visual and electronic media that tells us image two is bad, and image one is good. Not to mention the dramatic change in the hip hop/rap industry that glorifies trafficking narcotics, prison culture, premeditated murder and sexual objectification of women through date rape/sexual assault; its easy for us to view image two as representing the negative of American society.

But what if neither is good, nor bad?

What if they both have a criminal history?

Or what if neither have ever been incarcerated?

If you where to see either of these images walking down the street with an open carry weapon; what would your reaction be? Your reaction to their presence demonstrates your perception of who they are as people (may you know them personally or not). And it demonstrates how media has assisted you with developing your opinions people who look like them.

The Images of ‘Us’

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When will the Madness Stop?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s going on my people!!?!?!? Its been a while since I wrote last, and I had some free time, so I decided I would write a little before going to bed. I started thinking about a conversation I had with co-workers and I had about the movie ‘Norbit’ some time back. I was reminded of it when I saw this extremely large woman (black of course) ordering two number 2’s with a large diet coke from Mickey D’s. She reminded me of the character “Rasputia“; who was the star pupil through out the feature. Even though the movie was about the shy, good guy Norbit, the majority of the focus was Rasputia. She was the hideous, dark complexion, weave and wig wearing, morbidly obese, loud, rude, pushy, crass, scheming and unfaithful, love interest of Norbit; prior to him being saved by this skinny, beautiful, light complexion woman from his past (played by Thandie Newton). Her size was overly exaggerated, due to the issues she experienced when trying hard to fit comfortably in the driver seat of the compact car she drove through out the movie.

Now, some may not have taken her character personal which was actually played by Eddie Murphy himself. And most of my male co-workers felt that it was nothing more than a mere “comedy” or lack there of, written and produced by Eddie Murphy as a means of bouncing back after his divorce from his wife. But a  female co-worker of mine and I saw the movie a little different. Some may say that we where being ‘typical women’ and being over-analytical of a movie that was meant to be nothing more than pure entertainment; in which I personally understand that. I honestly don’t take any movie too seriously, after all it is a movie. But what was disheartening for me is the fact that when I saw this woman in line, I began to listen to some of the things that people where saying about her has she placed her order. One young man even compared her to the character as he and his peers began to chuckle. Of course they spoke on her weight, focused on her hair, her attitude and the fact that she was rude (because she was); and one ignorant brotha had the nerve to make the comment that women like her was the reason why he no longer dated black women 0_o.

As I calmed myself down after hearing his stupidity speak volumes of his over all character, it prompted me to bring this movie forward for discussion with my peers. Because I wanted to know how my people felt about such movies that depict black women as being the stereotypical “Rasputia” real-life characters.

We see Rasputia every day within the media in movies, in commercials, Ludacris and Red Man had a few in their rap videos and in our communities. The fact that we see a few in everyday life proves that there’s some truth to every stereotype; but honestly there has to come a time when enough becomes ‘enough’. I feel, the reason why “Rasputia” is so marketable is because:

There’s this myth that black women do not work out, for fear of sweating and messign up their hair.

Not only is it a myth, but for some black women it is a reality. There are black women who once their weaves and lace-front wigs or hair pieces have been sown in, sweating for them is not an option, in which this reminds me of the documentary “Good Hair” by comedian/actor Chris Rock. Some black women don’t even want you to touch their hair much less for it be ruined by sweat, induced by physical activity. Which for some of these women, they can and do become over weight, incapable of demonstrating cardio-vascular endurance and experience may unhealthy side affect (mentally, physically, emotionally and/or psychologically) as a result. I’ve witnessed black women refuse to work out or swim after getting their hair done, yet complain about being big and become depressed about their size. And it doesn’t help them over come bouts with depression and anxiety when they see such images of said black women being portrayed on the silver screen. I remember a black woman telling me that she’d walked out of the theater during the movie because she was outraged by how the Rasputia character was presented as being comedy, at the expense of black women who share the same physical attributes. She’d struggled with weight gain all her life; and the last thing she wanted was to see was such Tomfoolery being depicted of a black woman who’s physical features where a lot like hers.

People assume that Rasputia IS all plus sized, dark skin, black women.

American society (the world honestly) has been sold this ‘brand’ of black woman that fits the  stero-typical, hyper sexual, over weight, Aunt Jemima, Baby Mama, government assistance recipient black woman as being the over all description of most black women here in the U.S. Our own men even date and marry women from other countries, telling these women that he would rather be with them than Rasputia. So any time a black woman is plus size and dark in complexion, its automatically assumed that she’s unattractive, pushy, manly, overly aggressive, angry, loud, “ghetto”, and on the hunt for a man that she can push around and run over. And you’ll be surprised how many people actually think this way. They see Rasputia, and assign her imaginary personality traits to all black women who fit her physical description. Some black men (not all) steer clear of any woman whom “looks like she don’t play” and immediately assumes she’s the epitome of the character herself.  I’ll never deny that there are some black who’re a mirror image of Rasputia; but its a sad day when you see an entire ethnicity of women being cast into a generalized mold and told that they’re not worthy of being loved, because of how someone perceives their character, in relation to what’s being seen on T.V.

Keep in mind that some women are told this for so long, that eventually they start to conduct themselves in such a manner. If you’re told something long enough, you’ll soon start to believe it. Which is one of the main reasons why (I think) many of our women, dark, and plus size, have the nasty attitudes that embodies personality traits that gave birth to Rasputia.

OUR people don’t make it any better…

WE (black people) buy into these stereotypes!!!! Plain and simple. Many of us see ourselves the way we assume other people see us; and we incorporate this double consciousness of our individual selves that leads us to ‘act the part’. Thus, in our community, you’ll witness some black women who do not work out and gain excessive amounts of weight on the count of their hair. These women value the look of the fresh weaves or new hair-do’s more than that of their physical health. Physical attributes or artificial enhancements  (i.e. acrylic nails, weave, wigs, braids, mani/pedi-cures) for them means attracting a potential mate or ‘out-shining’ potential female competition. So if their hair and nails is always ‘did’, their shoe game is tight, and they stay fly, for these women, being in shape, eating right and taking care of one’s self doesn’t matter.

In our community, you’ll see the black women whom are told that they’re worth nothing more than finding some thug who needs a place to stay and a bed to lay in. So, these emotionally damaged women open thier homes and beds to disrespectful men. In the undertone message of Rasputia’s character, she was unfaithful to Norbit after all was said and done. No matter good Norbit treated her, she still ended up cheating on him with a skinny, po-pimp womanizer (played by Marlon Wayans). It was as if Norbit could never catch a break, he could never do anything right that pleased Rasputia, because she was always mad about something (this goes back to the angry, bitter stereotype of all black women). And the second she thought Norbit was looking at another woman, Rasputia did everything in her power to hurt him physically (letting him know) he would never do any better than her. Which is the same psychological war fare that some men use on women with low self-esteem (mainly the women who look like Rasputia) when incorprotating emotional abuse into her psyche. So Rasputia was using reverse-psychology on Norbit, breaking down his self -esteme, ensuring that he knew he would never be any good in his life unless she was in it. This was her way of showing him that even though she truly didn’t want him, she didn’t want him to have anyone else; for the mere thought of him being happy with another woman made her made enough to become physically abusive and aggressive.

Rasputia (like many women) wasn’t happy with herself, so she compensated for her unattractiveness, by hyping it up. She wore scantily, revealing, tasteless clothing (as you see many within the African American Community do) that showed much more than most wanted to see. Rasputia lacked fashion sense for her body type and was proud of it. The most memorable and culturally embarrassing scene to me would be the two piece bathing suit portion at the water park; where folds and roles, stretch marks, and  Kankels where introduced to the the audience. I felt this was a poke at the women who wear clothes that are two sizes two small, or that is not complementary to their body type.

My friends and I talked for almost two hours about this woman being seen as a ‘black woman’ in a movie that was written by a successful black man. I’m not sure if this was his way of getting back at all black women based upon the nasty divorce and rumored homosexual activity with R&B Singer Johnny GIll, or if he was just mad at black women in general. But I personally was a little sadden and disenchanted with the famed comedian who did “Delirious” and “48 Hours”. Yes, he did “The Klumps”, which picked upon obesity within the African American family, but I wasn’t really a fan of that either. One might say he made fun of Asians in “The Golden Child”, which happens to be one of my favorites. And yes, he does poke fun of everyone in some point in time in the majority of his comical sketches, movies and stand-up. So I’m not technically ‘complaining’; I’m just curious to know what do most of you think about the movie, and how black women are portrayed in the media?

The Gender Roles of Yester-Year

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September 1, 2010 marked my 32nd birthday. 32 years of being blessed, and able bodied to walk the face of this earth and accomplish many great things (in which I have).

I’ve served in the military for 10 years, I’m a supervisor at my current place of employment, I pay my own bills, enrolled in school full-time, a clean bill of health, financially stable. I would say I have more than most whom wish they where walking in my shoes.

But for some strange unexplainable reasons, I’m single! 0_o?

So many black women like myself are experiencing the same dilemma. We have all the chips in place (good job, education, financial stability, business and home owners, clean, well-kept, attractive and godly in most instances) yet we’re experiencing great difficulty wearing the title “Mrs”.

No husband, no children, just me, myself and I. Now, before I go out and purchase a ‘cat lady’ starter kit from the local ASPCA, I decided that it was time I do some self-evaluation; because I can only blame the media and society for what’s wrong with “me” as an individual for so long.  But I needed to get to the root of my own personal issues and find out why I and the many women like myself have yet to wed; as well as what I can do to change these ‘issues’ to make myself available for marriage.I know marriage is not the know all, end all to happiness; I’m going to be honest if a woman is not happy with herself, then she won’t be happy with man. But I’m lonely! And I’m not ashamed to admit it.

“Things are not the Same as When Mom‘s and Pop’s Hopped the Broom”

I keep hearing all this talk about how marriage was ‘back in the day’; and how when folks got married they married for better for worst. assuming that generations past took their wedding vows more serious than that of people to date. This may be true for many people, but something that I’ve personally find with many people in my life who’re married is that the family dynamics of today is not the same as it was 50 years past. In those days; men where the bread winners,  plain and simple. They went to work (mostly labor jobs), worked hard, bought home the bacon and assumed the role as head of the household. 

Daughters were taught how to be women. Most of us who grew up in my mothers day learned how to cook and clean, how to rear children and the importance of caring for a family. And they were taught find a man who could provide for them and their children.

Young men were groomed to be providers. Responsible community leaders, educated wise men who worked hard, and where self-reliant. Women knew their roles and men knew theirs. And there was very little to no ‘bluring’ between the lines.

Many would say the Feminist movement shattered these gender (exceptions) roles and have endanger the sanctity of the institute of marriage. I’ve heard many from the older generation state that Feminist have single-handedly ’emasculated’ men and have remade them into the more ‘kinder-genteler’ verson of  what constitutes a man. Givinf women and unfair advantage over men in work-force advancement, education and darn near domination in the house-hold, in politics and society.

You chose which ever you feel is correct, but I personally wondered what was so different about the teachings of yester day vs. today.

Daughters don’t really play with dolls any more….

I personally was taught as a young girl was taught what I call the 5 G’s:

Both my mother and my father taught me that my primary goals in life as a black woman was to become further educated! They stayed on  my back side about my grades, my mother was order by my father to sit down with me for at least two hours a night to go over my homework, ensure I understood the materials and passed my test. My father checked my grades, and if I had below a C+ (and that was if he was in a good mood) that was my ass. No if, ands, or ‘butts’ about it. I did my work, I par-took in extra curricular active that ensured I was not getting involved with the wrong crowd, and that would pave a way to college. We had no money, and my father knew that education was key to me becoming stable later on in life. He himself admitted that it would be a strong possibility that I would either be an unwed mother, or I would be single with no children. And he knew that I was going to need skills and training that would assist with me providing a decent living for myself. Because he didn’t want to see me on the streets selling myself, stripping on someone’s pole (literally) or becoming a ‘gold digger’. And he was the same way with my younger sister and brothers. His biggest saying was ‘Keep your legs and mouth closed, and keep your eyes and ears open’. Meaning stay off your back and learn the things you need to learn in life by listening in school and getting an education.

Now, I’m 32 years of age, working towards my bachelors, with several military/civilian equivalent certifications, employed as a computer analyst and no husband and/or children.

Most black women, hell most women in general that I know personally have received the same lessons in life. I wouldn’t say that feminist are the cause of this hard-knocks approach to life; but I honestly feel that women and men from my mother and fathers generation saw how difficult it is for a woman to raise a child(ren) on her own. Especially if she has very little to no education, work force experience and/or certifications/degrees. My father was raised by his mother; and my mother was raised by her mother. Both had alcoholic and abusive fathers, and were forced to live in dysfunctional homes. And their mothers had no money, worked odd jobs and barely scraped by. Both agreed that they didn’t want to see my sister and I suffer the same fate.

This positive reinforcement of encouragement has become my curse. Because now when I meet a man, I can’t tell him what I do, where or who I work for, how much money I make, or what I own, because if I do; I’m most defiantly casted into this generalized (stereotypical) category of being an ‘overly independent’ black woman. Most men who meet me feel they have nothing to offer me, so it’s a waste of time even trying to talk to me. Granted, (and this is not to say I have a chip on my shoulder) many of the men I do talk to may not have the same level of education, or training and work experience as myself. Thus I thinks issues within themselves would surface if they where to become involved with me (issues with man-hood and self-esteem)  Some may fear that I would seek to dominate him and wear the pants in the relationship as well. Lets be honest, some women who have a little something going for themselves do act this way. And they make it bad for those of us who are just searching for someone to share our lives with. But what I own, where I work or what degree’s a I posses has nothing to do with who I am as a woman. It doesn’t mean that I’m so career and success driven that I my longings for a man and his company are now null and void. Please my brotha’s, keep in mind that I make my money, my money doesn’t make me.

The Sowing of the Oats….

Even though my brothers, sister and I were taught to become further educated, and make something of ourselves in life. The lessons we learned in love where a little different. My sister and I were told to stay celibate and wait till marriage to find a ‘godly’ man and have before having sex. Were as my brothers were pretty much given a free fvck pass. They where not only taught, but strongly encouraged by my father to become sexually promiscuous with as many women as their hearts desire. He instilled in them, this destroy and conquer type of attitude that was accompanied with slight level of arrogance. They were told to never let their guards down and allow a woman to break them down (they’re men, and they should act and treated as such); never turn their backs on their bro’s for a hoe, and to never get serious about one woman until they’re about 50 years old (maybe later). They were told that as men, there was no need for them to settle down and start a family unless they’d traveled the world and experienced many women. My father would tell the stories of his sexual conquest to my brothers and males in company, as he allowed them to sip bear and flip through nudy magazines. It was a right of passage for the men in my family become indoctrinated into a misogynistic mind-set.

Which later lead to many failed relationships with good women, a baby mama of four, and the same battles with infidelity that my father and his brothers suffered. My brothers (both blood and friend alike) find it difficult to stay faithfully committed to one woman, because they’ve been taught for so long that it’s not in a mans nature to do so. Thus, they get married and soon end up divorced, paying alimony and child support. You’ll see these same men in their late 40’s to early 60’s; up in the club wearing a 3 piece suit and wing-tipped shoes looking for a young thang to keep them warm at night.

I’ve met many men who suffer from an inflated sense of their own worth. Feeling that they’ve yet to meet a woman who was worthy of them asking for their hand in marriage. As a friend in another blog put it

“It’s not that they’ve never met a woman who was unworthy of their hand in marriage, it’s that the brotha either strayed away looking for the next ‘bigger and better thing’ around the corner or they had such high standards that good women where unable to meet them.”

So many men have watched the whole parade of women walk by waiting for his chance at Mrs. America. Leaving a trail of broken hearts in the wake of this destruction, because he feels that he’ll someday meet Kim Kardashian or Beyoncé, and it will be love at first sight. And let’s be real (not all) but some brothers just have some serious issues in relationships. They’re bitter, suffer from the Angry Black man syndrome (the man is always out to get them), have issues with mama, racist, color struck (only date, marry, or have kids with a specific color of woman), and insecure. The same could be said for some women (we’re not to be left out). Any time men refuse to examine themselves and what they do wrong, it’s always linked back to ALL women as if they’ve met and know us all personally.

This is where ‘we’ women are all clumped into one category, shoved in a box labeled ‘same’ and left single. Even those of us who do play the traditional female roles (seek to be stay at home mothers, and want to be kept by a man) still have problems moving past the preconceived notions of modern woman over all.

If you’re edcuated, hold your own, and have something to bring to the table; you’re ‘too independant’, manly, and will seek to wear the pants in the relationship or marriage.

If you’re submissive, docile, what most would considered ‘feminine’ and play the traditioal role; you run the risk of being run over and  cheated on with the ‘bad girls’ who’re ‘too independent’.

If you’re the inbetween mixuter of the two, you still will possibly be single or experience many failed relationships; because you may possibly cross paths with men who’ve yet to finish sowing thier oats.

Honestly ladies, we’re damed if we do and damed if we don’t……..

Team Work Makes the Dream Work (Marriage is a Partnership, not a Dictatorship).

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I sometimes wonder what happens in someone’s relationship/marriage that caused it to come to an abrupt end. I see so many people around me happy go lucky one second in their lives and relationships/marriage; only to find out later they’ve filled for a separation and/or divorce. What’s so interesting to me, is when you open those ‘flood gates‘ of emotions by asking the opposing parties ‘what happened’? You get a variant of responses. Granted, each response will be based upon individual perception (and you’ll probably never really know what took place). But you find that its always the other persons fault 0_o? The individual speaking to you about the break up is alway’s innocent, never did anything wrong and never played a part in contributing to the dysfunction that lead to them going their separate ways.

“She wouldn’t cook and clean!!” one guy shouted to me as his whole mood changed from happy to psychotic.

“He would never give me time to myself” she stated as she boxed her ‘ex-mans’ stuff up in a box.

Both these people, was able to state any and everything they saw wrong with their signficant other, but the tone changed when I asked

“And what did you do?”

My grandmother (being the wise woman she was) told me that for every action there is a reaction. And when you care more about what makes you happy and completely disregard your partners needs, there will always be issues within that relationship/marriage. And in most cases it won’t work.

My guy friend didn’t understand that his ex wife didn’t have time to cook and clean the way he felt she should have, because he felt that her specific duties included devoting more of her time to him. Never mind the fact that they had children; he felt that it was her duty as a wife to give him sex when he ‘needed’ it. His excuses was that men love sex, and that the next woman he finds will understand (and agree) to that Yet, he’s never getting married again, he just wants a steady ‘common-law wife’. He complained about her ‘muffin top’ that magically appeared after having their children, and how she wasn’t working hard enough to work it off. He complained that the house was never cleaned properly, because every time he came home there was toys in the walkway’s and sticky stuff on the kitchen floor.

“How hard is it to cook a decent meal, keep the house clean and watch after the kids? I mean, its not like she has a job! All she does is sit on her fat ass watch soaps all day”.

Now, when you talk to his ex-wife, her story is a little different. She felt that he never did his fare share around the house to help out with the kids and keep the house clean. She felt that her sexual ‘rations’ where good enough to tie him over until later that night when the kids fall asleep. To her, as long as he was getting sex twice a day, that should have been good enough, because some men don’t even get that. She felt that she was feeling so much pressure to lose the baby weight, that it was becoming difficult for her to find the time and courage to get in the gym and work the weight off. He was constantly putting her down over how much weight that she’d gained after giving birth, that in stead of running on the treadmill he’d purchased for her birthday, she would eat ice-cream and cry. She tried keeping the house in order, but it was difficult to keep up with the kids, clean the house, cook a meal and still be sexy for him when he comes home.

“I’m being pulled in so many different directions now! I don’t know how to be a perfect mother, a good looking perfect wife and maintain a perfect house”

Even though I was regretting the fact that I even intervened in this lovers quarrel, I had to lend my 2 cents to both parties in regards to what I saw was wrong (from an outsiders perspective).

1. In stead of him complaining about the fact that she’d gained weight and hadn’t lost it after 3 years; he should have been supportive enough to be that encouragement she needed to get back in shape. If he was willing to spend $2,000.oo on a top notch treadmill, the least he could do was get on it once in a while himself to encourage her to do so, or pay for a memeber ship to a gym where they could work out together. Putting a woman down over weight she’s gained doesn’t help her lose the weight. It does one of two things

A. Makes her hate herself and completely destroy’s her self-esteem and confidence. Leaving her paranoid that she’ll be dumped for a smaller, younger, more beautiful looking woman (which could also drive her crazy).

B. Make her seek comfort in food. She’ll eat more and work out less; becoming completely withdrawn within herself, because she now realizes that her boyfriend/fiances/husband no longer finds her attractive.

Or

C. She could just leave and take the kids, since that is in many ways verbal abuse. Call someone Jabba the Hut, and Thunder-Tighs it not the what I personally would call ‘motivation’.

2. Instead of him complaining about the house not being clean, find a choir that he could do when he got home that would assist with taking care of the kids and keeping the house clean. He could start out with something simple as taking out the trash, washing the dishes after dinner, or getting the kids their bath/insuring they brush their teeth and tucking them in for the night. Even if he feels the ‘sticky stuff’ under his feet when entering the kitchen, he could also pick up a broom and mop and clean the floor once the day is over. This way she not only feels appreciated by the help she’s receiving from him, but she’ll feel as if her man loves and appreciates her enough to get on his hands dirty with housework. Thus, that’s one less choir she has to do, which saves more energy for sex later on that night. He could even go so far as to take a day off from work and help her around the house, or send the kids to their grandparents so they could have the house to themselves.

3. In stead of her trying to break her back being the ‘perfect wife/mother’ she should have been more concerned with being who she was as a person and doing the best she could to hold down the home-front. NO woman is perfect! No woman will be able to care for children who’re in between the ages of 2 and 3, while being in perfect shape, cooking the perfect meals and doing the right thing all the time, every time. She (and he) both needs to understand that being a mother is a full time job and can be both tiring and rewarding. If he had a problem with her weight, start trying to cook meals and find ways to cut back on the caloric intake and lose it. And she should have looked at it as losing weight to become more healthy and happy with herself, not just trying to lose weight to look sexy in a Teddy. This is a perk, but getting in shape requires healthy eating habits and a healthy self-image.

4. She should have created a daily schedule or routine for herself that would assist with becoming more organized and effective in her daily tasking. She could have designated an area in the house that was strictly for play for the kids; that would be sectioned off from the rest of the  house. Feed the kids snacks at a set time (getting them on a routine) so that there’s not a mess when ever her soon to be ex-husband would come home. By that time he gets there, the house would be clean (less the kids play area), dinner would be cooked and ready and they could sit down as a family to eat. Thus, the husband do his part by possibly washing the dishes and getting the kids ready for bed while she ‘freshen up’ if you know what I mean.

Most importantly, they both should have been woman and man enough to talk about their problems and finding solutions. When two people come together as one, they’re saying that they’re willing to work on their differences and finding ways to compromise in order to make things work. But I’m finding that most people of today have no  idea what it takes to get married and stay married (nor do they care too).

Breaking up, separating/divorcing does noting to solve the problem, if the individual is unwilling to acknowledge problems within themselves and work on them. The same ‘bags’ you had in that marriage will be carried over into the next marriage if you’re not careful.