I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of bored with the media sensationalizing and perpetuating this “civil war” between black men and black women. It’s a whole lot of finger-pointing, overexaggerations, and irrational extrapolations based on what people think is the so-called problem with black women or black men. Even the blogosphere is inundated with objective narratives told through subjective experiences. I get it, if you run a blog that you’re making money from, you’re somewhat pigeon-holed to discuss the dynamics of relationships. No subject more than sex/love gets people riled up and verbally slandering the opposite sex. It’s frustrating to read article after article that haphazardly attempt to tell me how I feel and why I feel it. But I admire sites like SBM, that seek to meerly offer 1 point of view and leave it up to the individuals to take from that article what they will.
The funny thing is, when you peel back the layers of condescension, black women and black men are actually saying and thinking the same things. Our approach may differ and our experiences are often unique. Yet we all want to arrive at the same destination; a modest 4 bedroom house with a 2 car garage, a backyard to BBQ in, some kids with a fairly attractive spouse and a career that reaps upward benefits.
I found an article on the Washington Post that specifically sought to analyze the psyche of black women. A study was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, in which a sample size of adults was asked a series of questions regarding home life, career, money, lifestyle, goals, and social commentary. In reading the results, a few pointers stood out to me in comparing this measurable mentality of both black women and black men.
* We both see marriage as a key component to overall happiness: In the study, 47% of black men and 40% of black women said that they consider marriage as “very important”; only 6% of black men said marriage is “not at all important”. If you believe the hype, then those numbers might come as a shock. As a community, we know the value of being married and we both seek to marry the right person at the right time. Sadly, divorce rates are used as a scare tactic and the honest discourse that could help us better understand each other is hampered. Despite the bullsh!t out here that makes it seem like women have to drag or trap a dude to marry them, the truth is getting to that altar is a matter of choice and circumstance.
* We care more about being wealthy than white people : It’s about to be income tax time so the prevalence of faux ballers is about to skyrocket. Although black women are nearing the point of making the same income as their white female counterparts, wealthy is not an adjective they’d use to describe themselves. I suppose being wealthy and the ability to grow your wealth has more to do with knowing how to invest. And that’s just not an area of concern to us. Black women and men alike buy lavish items for the benefit of other black women and men. Fellas, don’t let shorty fool you. She doesn’t spend $500 on a weave and $600 per year taking yoga and pole dancing classes for your benefit! Back in December, tons of grown, able-bodied black men stood in line to cop the limited release Concord Jordan 11s
rather than apply to work at Target to be able to flaunt them for other dudes. With that mentality, the feeling of wealth will forever be obscure to us. In comparison with the 9% and 5% of white men and women, black men clearly care more the most about the symbolism of wealth (27%); while black women are kinda “meh” to it (38% said it’s somewhat important).
* In spite of the odds against us, we hold ourselves in a high regard: I don’t know if it’s human vanity or just a deeply ingrained confidence, but black women and men crushed their counterparts when asked about self-esteem. We both place great emphasis on physical attractiveness (74% and 69%). So anybody who tells you “looks don’t matter” is full of sh!t. I mean the fact that we still discuss the light skin vs. dark skin mantra is proof of our own aesthetic consciousness. Looks can effect multiple facets of your life if you’re blessed with the right (or wrong) gene pool. In terms of self-esteem, black men apparently walk around with a high opinion of themselves, with 94% replying “strongly agree”. While the study doesn’t offer up a uniform follow-up question as to why a respondent’s self-esteem ranks as it does, it’s kind of easy to read between the lines. Big city living is full of black men like myself who are attractive, college educated, and well spoken with no kids. The distinctions end there though. If a black women wants specific traits beyond that, the available pool shrinks exponentially depending on what metro city you’re in.
I really would advise you to take a look at the full survey to get a more exhaustive picture of the similarities we share. If and when we can permeate through this bogus shell of “you don’t hear me though” rhetoric, the improvement of male-female relations could have a rippling effect
Or maybe I should just pinch myself…..