*Note: This isn’t a blog about abortion. Rather, it’s a blog about Black men’s perceived attitudes towards abortion. I’m sure by the end of it, there will be plenty of offence to go around. You are all very welcome.
Let’s just be very clear: the type of Black masculinity we see parading around in the streets and on our television screens is manufactured. Robert Townsend told us as much in his groundbreaking 1987 film, Hollywood Shuffle (which I see is on Netflix and will be watching today!). Portraying an aspiring actor, Townsend finally lands a gig in a Blaxploitation film as a gangster. As he delivers his lines, his White/Jewish director commands him to be “more Black”.
“What do you mean?” asks Townsend.
“You know…grab your crotch. Slur your words,” the director says enthusiastically. He demonstrates the appropriate portrayal of ‘street talk’, grabbing his crotch, hunching his back and slurring his words.
If that sounds or looks familiar, it’s because every Black boy who grew up without a father in the age of television learned what it means to be a Black man from a Hollywood Jew. Sadly, Black men in belted jeans and polo shirts pounding away on their keyboards don’t make for very exciting television. Someone could script and cast a complex Black male character who hacks government files and enjoys a glass of red wine at the end of a hard day of data mining, but like 18th century Negro doctors and inventors, we know those don’t exist.
Likewise, Black fatherhood has been portrayed as something to avoid at all costs. Apart from Bill Cosby and James Evans, there have not really been many models for strong Black fatherhood on television. I guess you could lump in Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper, but I don’t think that was his kid. We would be kidding ourselves if we denied the power of media over the choices we make and the behaviors we employ. Every time I use the word “amazing”, I want to slice myself, simply because I am completely aware that “amazing” is the only word the Kardashian Klan is capable of using to describe any positive experience, no matter how miniscule. Now, if I in all my Magna Cum Laude amazingness am that susceptible to hypnotic, grammar crushing powers of the Kardashians, how much more the average 18-35 year old male?
The images Black males see reflected back on television screens and the pages of magazines don’t exactly scream power and responsibility. You can have power – yes – but it must only be over your bitches and ho’s. Your responsibility begins and ends with keeping yourself iced out and throwing your ‘thirsty’ she-rabbit a few carats to keep her satiated and silent. Of course, you and your doe will be expected to have sex, and while doing so, it must be hot, heavy and aggressive. A Black man is only a man if he can ‘lay the smack down’ on that azz. Sex would – ideally – be unprotected. You’ve heard somewhere on television or one of those ridiculous misogynistic morning shows that you can’t climax with a condom on. Alas, your little bunny gets pregnant. The solution is obvious.
“You need to handle dat,” you tell her callously, head cocked to the side with your hand on the same, mustering as much bravado as possible. Alternatively, you never bother to look up from your Play Station.
“What?” she screeches.
“You know…go get an abortion.”
You explain to her that you’re not ready to be a father, and that you never really had a choice in the matter (something else you heard some dimwitted television character say), and repeat that she needs to take care of dat.
“Besides…we can’t afford no kids no way.”
She’s looking at you like you’re insane, because you seem to have forgotten that you’re a 35 year old man and not some witless 17 year old with no possessions and nothing but his sexual stamina to his name. Then she looks around at all the junk you’ve purchased in the last 3 months: new rims and a sound system for your car, a big flat screen TV, a trove of sneakers in the closet. She silently walks out of the room and 9 months later, you’re a father. Tada!
Let’s go back to a certain sentence in this conversation. You said “I never had the choice” when it came to becoming a father. On the contrary, sir, you did. Men know pretty early on whether they want to have kids at some point or not. Men who don’t will go to extreme lengths to ensure that they are never (ever!) responsible for a pregnancy. 30 minutes of out-patient surgery will guarantee that you never sire a child. Men who want to leave themselves open to the possibility wear condoms. Then there are the men who think their penises are a part of an elite military corps, where they can dive in and pull out at the most critical moment. Finally, there are those dudes who blissfully, carelessly, wantonly bust their nut and wonder 6 weeks later how “this happened”. Their bewilderment is always amusing.
I know quite a few of that last group of guys, and even though some of them have gone on to become wonderful fathers, I can’t help but wonder if they would be excellent candidates for relationships with transgendered women. No, seriously. If the idea or reality of being a parent causes you that much grief, there ARE other dating/relationship options available to you.
A transgendered woman has everything men of this sort need. Let’s face it: transgendered women are just as hot or hotter than your run of the mill born-with-a-vagina woman. Necessity dictates that they invest a lot of time into hair, make-up and clothing. You will never have to worry about your transgendered girl looking scruffy! From what I hear (from this guy who sleeps with a transgendered woman), they are skilled in the art of and provide excellent fellatio. And finally – and most importantly – you will never have to worry about impregnating a transgendered woman. She will never have a period, PMS, cramps or ensure your progeny through child birth. If you play your cards right and act now – make that switch before it’s too late – you’ll never have to worry about car seats or school fees for the remainder of your days. And no, you will not be “gay”; you’re still with a “woman”. You will, in essence, have the best of both worlds.
It’s something to think about.
Are you a candidate for a transgendered relationship? Is the idea of fatherhood so appalling that it might inspire you to consider a new type of romantic partner? We could be looking at the future of Black relationships. You heard it here first! Discuss. ↓