It Took a Man To Help Me Understand Why Oprah Never Married

The Championships - Wimbledon 2013: Day OneCondi Rice is back in the news. It appears she has been tapped to join a 12-18 person selection committee for the BCS. Pat Dye, 70-something year old former Auburn University coach, couldn’t be more explicit his displeasure. Of Ms. Rice’s experience he says “All she knows about football is what somebody told her. Or what she read in a book, or what she saw on television. To understand football, you’ve got to play with your hand in the dirt.”

Indeed.

Considering that virtually every political pundit on television in this country has never run for (let alone held) office, or that male gynecologists have never given birth to babies, I’d say that Ms. Rice is in right good company. Most everyone we consider to be an “expert” in a given field learned what they know through a book and/or someone telling them about it. Quelle horreur!

I have to wonder about Mr. Dye’s utterances. Are they racist? Sexist? Just plain crazy or a mixture of all three? I surreptitiously posed the question on Facebook to see what the feedback would be, and the response I got from one gentleman in particular was so breathtakingly regressive that it made my heart skip a beat. What did he have to say, you ask?

condi single

Is she still single? What on God’s Good Green Earth does that have to do with the topic of her expertise? This is Condoleezza Rice we’re talking about here! Concert pianist, pro-grade golf playing, former Secretary of State to the last bloody Super Power on the bloody globe and you want to know if she is still single??

And then it hit me and my bewilderment was replaced with a flood of enlightenment: Oprah was right.

Just come with me. I’ll show you what I mean.

In a recent interview, Oprah Winfrey (who is one of the wealthiest people on the planet, and certainly one of the richest Black women) was asked if she would ever marry Stedman, her beau of nearly 30 years. She answered emphatically (and with finality) that she would “probably leave this Earth an unmarried woman.” I’m sure quite a few clergy men and women’s souls along with their garb were rent asunder all over the Black community with that utterance. How could Oprah champion such a notion? That a woman should not be married? Isn’t that the prize we as a gender all strive for – to be some man’s personal trinket… err wife? According to the likes of Mr. McKinney, it is. Because after all, what is a woman if she is unmarried?

Many years ago when Oprah’s show was still on the air, she walked into the audience holding a personal camera so that people could get a view from her perspective of what it’s like to walk into a live studio audience on the Oprah Show. As women (and men) squealed, applauded and threw their hands up adoringly as she approached, Oprah said from behind the camera:

“This… THIS is why I never got married.”

You could hear the smile in her voice. I remember sitting on the couch with a baby in my lap feeling highly offended. What did she mean “this is why she never got married”? So some people clap for you and you get to talk on a stage, and…and so what? Fast forward a decade later and I finally get what she meant. It wasn’t the applause itself she was referring to; it was her accomplishments; her struggle, sweat and effort thus far that had brought her to that pivotal moment in time. She was Oprah- no last name needed -Winfrey.  Could she really have gotten that far, as a Black woman, with a ring on her finger? History and sociology says not.

Like all women, Black women live under a certain set of expectations. Oprah herself said one of such expectations of a wife is for her to “come home sometime”. And it’s true. A man generally wants his wife at home, unless he’s cheating on her. Oprah, like Condi Rice, does a great deal of traveling to support her work. Unlike men, women are expected to hold down the home front and keep it comfortable for their partner’s return. But when you’re trying to change or save the world, you can’t be worried about whether or not your husband ate that morning or if he remembered to take out the trash or even if he’s feeling lonely for any length of time. They say behind every great/successful man, there is a (strong) woman, but who is championing the cause of women in their quest for equal measures of greatness or success?

Let’s just be very clear here: women do not NEED men. Little girls do. This is why they start selling the idea of marriage to little girls as early was “they” can, before she has a chance to discover her power and potential.

A woman’s relationship with a man is all about her level of maturity. A woman wants a man, but in that same vein a mature woman knows that the absence or presence of a man in her life is not going to end, or more importantly, define her existence. The Bible says so.

Genesis 2:18 says:

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

It is not good. For MAN to be alone. I will make a HELPER suitable for him.

Men need women because MEN need help, not the other way round. You ask any woman over a certain age and she’ll tell you that all she needs in this world is a great work of fiction, some good food and a gaggle of friends and she’ll live a long, happy and healthy life. The most valuable gift a man can offer a woman is the gift of companionship, and good companions don’t hold each other back. I can’t think of a single man who has the courage to be defined as “Mrs. Winfrey” or “Mrs. Rice”, which is why these women and those like them will remain unmarried. Men are just too weak.

The next time some barrel chested bloke or some gossipy woman with no ambitions other than to dress herself up to attract said barrel chested bloke poke fun at you or any other woman in her pursuit of excellence, keep that in mind.

Is Condoleezza Rice still single indeed? Yes! Probably… and good for her!