I’m going to attempt to put a week’s worth of thoughts into 1500 words or less. Bear with me. Oh yes, and before we begin #NotAllMen and #NotAllWomen. Some of you people are Cinderella’s step sister, forcing your foot into the proverbial slipper of my observations that was not intended for you…
I hate a weak man – but in particular I loathe a weak Black man.
The most exquisite pain I have ever had to endure was bestowed upon me by a weak Black man who was so dedicated in his devotion to causing me harm it was like a religion to him. This is the man you know as Douche Bag. Conversely, some of the greatest moments of joy and peace I have experienced are the direct result of the intentional words from and actions of my husband. Douche Bag and Marshall could not be more different from each other. Douche Bag is big, muscular and boorish. That boorishness and callousness disregard for the feelings and needs of others is what many mistake for ‘strength’. My husband on the other hand is a gentle man…and that doesn’t make him ‘weak’. He is like the steady, soft dripping of water, which over time hollows out or reshapes the hardest stone.
That to me, is strength.
I have been watching commentary on various social media platforms and have been beside myself with grief for the past 36 hours. It’s as though the weight of our collective failure as a race came crashing on my consciousness. In particularly, I have been daunted and dispirited by the weakness of many – just too many! – Black men. This feebleness has manifested itself in their verbosely expressed vision of what the genesis of a possible relationship with a woman would look like if only she would “comport herself”. Here’s an example I culled from online:
Ladies: If a guy chases you for 6 months and you don’t give in, he will eventually get tired and go somewhere else. But when he does, you will tell him you didn’t try hard enough! Just remember it doesn’t mean he never loved you.
Drivel like this masquerading as “depth” gets retweeted and shared on social media dozens of times a day. Why? Because too many men are weak….and wack…and resonate with this level of foolishness. These brothers don’t value women and the trickledown effect is that women begin to see less value in themselves. Here’s an example from my own life in the opposite.
I don’t remember what we were doing – maybe watching Star Trek or cleaning the house; I don’t know – but Marshall paused and said to me “You know, the day I knew I had to marry you is when I sat down and thought about my life without you in it. I couldn’t see it. I couldn’t see my life without you in it.”
That’s what a woman looking for a relationship wants. If you only have 6 months to focus on securing a relationship with someone you supposedly “loved”, then you’re not serious. It’s just that simple. Men will work their entire lives to buy the car of their dreams, but give up on winning the affections of a woman if she doesn’t reciprocate quickly and on his timeline. And what is this whole business of chasing? Is she a gazelle and you a hyena? Is a woman you “love” something you are going to gobble up and discard when you are done? That’s what your language suggests…and that’s why after 6 short months you were dogged. You as a boy/man never took the time to examine and improve yourself.
They say hurting people hurt other people. Are you hurt, Black Men? Is that why you are hell bent on hurting the closest thing to you – which is Black Women? If so, let us know so we can help you ease the pain. That’s what we’ve been doing for centuries, isn’t it? Right when we were chained up on the same boats, or chopping tobacco in the fields right alongside you, or fighting in the same wars, or mourning your lifeless bodies in the middle of the street… WE’VE been there for you, right? So what’s with all this hatred in return for our devotedness? Is it because we are too tough and expect strength out of you? Surely, you’ve witnessed what life is like globally for people of color – not to mention the rigors of being a woman of color! Hint: it’s freaking hard…and still we don’t break. But now you’ve joined the feeding frenzy against we who are your truest allies. Why do you now seek to join those who want to break us?
I came across this article that quotes Common referring to Erykah Badu as the ‘bossiest’ Black woman he’s ever dated. Gazi Kodzo has dismissed Common as a man whose only true claim to fame as the ‘ex-boyfriend of Black female elite stars’. Common has dated Serena Williams. Taraji Henson and Miss Badu. It is rumored he is dating Lupita Nyong’o. These are all strong and gifted Black women, yet the moderator could only come up with a question framed in negativity because these are the shenanigans of the New Black. He didn’t ask who was the kindest, or most nurturing or had the most depth in conversation…just who was “bossiest”, which we all know is code for emasculating and/or domineering. I posted the link and my expressed my disdain for Common’s reflections. Along the way, I made mention that I would rather see Lupita stay in a relationship with Jared Leto (the whitest of white men) than to date Common who has proven he would use their past to get ratings/cheers/laughs.
You should have seen this brother go to WAR because I dared to make this suggestion. Why should a Black woman want to be desired by a white man? How quickly you’ve forgotten the lustful eyes of the slave master! The same white man who you would have date Lupita is the same white man who will gun your sons down in the street! What short memories you have, Malaka!
Oh, saa? And who do you think is responsible for the majority of sexual abuse meted out against Black children? Whose cruel words play repeatedly in the head of the Black girl who doesn’t believe she’s good enough. And wasn’t it Chris Brown who turned Rihanna into the face of young domestic violence? Today Riri is the face of Dior…and that’s not because Breezy connected his knuckles to her temples.
Of course we continued to wage a war of words until I challenged him to find and speak to 3 complete strangers and ask them if they believe Black women are loved by Black men. Not desired, lusted after or fulfill a booty fetish…I mean loved. As in supported, nurtured, respected and valued. We await the results.
I don’t think Black men know how much their words and deeds affect Black women. It’s one thing to worship at the Altar of White Vagina, but it’s another thing entirely to make the only person who made your existence possible to feel as though her womb….and her whole body….are unworthy. Take a quick look at this:
Hundreds of people jumped on this girl to tell her how “sick” and “brainwashed” and “stupid” she is. It is a stretch for them to imagine how she ended up this way…but how can it be? How can people not understand that when Black women and girls see messages like the following every day, several times a day:
This is psychological warfare! And if we don’t overcome it, it’s because we’re not “strong Black women”. What is the strength of a women worth when her sons, brothers and fathers see her as something dirty or something to exploit? That leaves a wound in you…sometimes it’s a sore so deep it becomes more a part of you than the ‘normal’ skin itself. Your wound becomes your identity, and the pain associated with it becomes your constant, faithful and reliable friend. Janette McGhee Watson expressed this so eloquently in her vows to her husband in this clip.
It’s 10 minutes long. How many brother have 10 minutes to spare to hear the heart cry of a Black woman? Not enough. Far too few. And you know why? Because Y’ALL don’t love US. You don’t value you us…and if/when you do, it’s only when we’re conforming to your perceptions of what womanhood should be. I know 5 women – Black women – who have told me that they used to pray every night as little girls to wake up white. I ain’t never heard of a white woman praying to wake up with the skin and burden of a Black woman.
Now, some of you can (and will) deflect and cast blame and say it’s all the white man’s fault, or you can man up like Matthew and restore some broken hearts and rebuild the crumbling edifices of our unions.