You know how it is when you’re on social media: People post and re-post memes and quotes meant to exemplify insightful profundity in 140 characters or less and the masses nod, “like” it, and carry on chewing cud, just as we’d been doing x number of hours before we logged on that morning.
But sometimes – every once in a great while- someone posts something so breathtakingly stupid in its essence that it brings all bovine behavior to a halt. For me, it was this post from a certain gentleman’s wall this morning.
Now, to put this in context, this was posted by one of those guys who fancies himself “more spiritual” than thou and therefore “more intelligent” than thou, and who believes Obama is the second coming of Satan. I usually ignore his posts, but I keep him as a friend because every once in a while he posts a good vegetarian recipe that I think I might try on a summer’s day. No doubt that when he posted this, it fell under his self-assessed segment of truth or “chu’ch”, as he likes to call it.
I upon reading it, however, was livid.
You might not understand why. The statement seems harmless on the surface, doesn’t it?
“Money attracts the females you want, but struggle attracts the woman you need.”
What’s the harm in that?
First of all, implicit in the statement is that there is only ONE type of woman who is attracted to money, and those are “gold diggers”, as hip hop has so fondly dubbed them. To indicate that only selfish women are after money is over-simplistic at best. Money is what puts food on the table, bathes our children and keeps the electricity on. Every human being, man or woman, wants money…unless they live in a convent, in which case their physical needs are provided for by alms or growing their own food and herbs. Very little of humanity resides in a monastery. We ALL want/need money. I want money as much as the next woman, and that does not diminish my worth as a human being, let alone a woman.
Second, it implies that only “good” women are attracted to struggle. What exactly about struggle is so attractive? Nothing! We are all struggling in this life. If I’m going to brave the ills of this world with a potential or actual mate, it’s not going to be even remotely based on the idea that we need to be struggling to prove my salt. That’s just nonsense. Struggle attracts no one! Ask the homeless man in the street or the guy who’s about to be kicked out of his home how many dates he’s been on in the last month. Not many, my friends, not many. Potential to do better attracts a mate, not struggle.
The part I have the most difficulty coming to terms with is the very first portion of the statement, and this has everything to do with me being the mother of a young boy whom I hope to raise into a good man. “Money attracts the females you WANT.”
The implications of the statement are that what men want in a woman – in totality – is a physically attractive being. They want the airhead trophy wife who smiles prettily for pictures and bears him equally pretty, racially ambiguous (or purebred White children). Is this what men say about themselves? Is this their faithful confession about their values? That if given all the money they could ever hope for, their WANTS in a mate would be packed up in the personhood of an airhead groupie? How were you raised then?! Why wouldn’t the desire of your heart be a woman who’s hardworking, dedicated, smart and compassionate? This is what all men should WANT in a mate, isn’t it? So why must it then be solely by trial of fire and ‘struggle’ that you come to understand this? If that’s you, then Momma definitely raised a fool.
I guess the most shocking (and I don’t know why I was surprised) thing I encountered was the comments from men who agreed vehemently and wholeheartedly with the statement, and offered to have me call them if I was “struggling to understand it.”
No thank you, I replied. I understood it fully and didn’t want any of these individuals debasing themselves in order to justify this sub-par, high school inspired prattle. When I probed further and offered the notion that most women might – just might – be looking at other factors in a mate beyond money to include talent, physical prowess or spirituality, I was hit with this reply.
Of course I asked him which women in his circle he would consider to exemplify this pervasive gold digger trope. He has yet to respond. This is what I find with men whom I ask these questions to… these questions that bring it home; they make broad generalizations about women like “they should keep their legs closed” or “stop being sluts” or “MOST women are money grabbing gold diggers”. They clam up when you ask them to name names within their own personal circles. So someone else’s sister is a slut but not yours? Niggro, please.
I’m not trying to create controversy where none really exists, I promise you I’m not… but this is my frustration with American thinking; Black American thinking in particular. There is no critical thought, no probing past the surface, no depth or consideration for what lies behind these seemingly innocuous statements!
What’s worse is that all the men thumping their chests saying “that’s right!” are barely employed anyway! The numbers bear this out. WE are still in the Great Recession. Guess what Black America: You are ALL struggling! You are better off contemplating the character of your mate than worrying about what he/she is going to do if you make the big time. The majority of us aren’t going to make it past lower/mid middle class in this country.
Does anyone else get why I’m so annoyed by this meme? What are your thoughts on it? If you’re male and you’re reading this, would you agree that the type of woman you want and need are not one and the same? What does that say about your values and how you were socialized to think about women? Discuss! ↓