Single Black woman says, “I ain’t the Problem, Nightline, Black Men Are!”
So, that we are crystal clear I do not run behind black men. I do not beg them to spend time with me. I am not desperate for their attention, money, or third arm. I am so tired of Nightline, CNN, ABC, and yes the great matriarch himself, Tyler Perry, telling me that I am the problem. There is a political project afoot to make black women feel they are woefully inadequate. And to this, I say bah hum bug.
– April 24, 2010 Facebook’s Status, Fallon
Just in case you’re wondering, yes, I started my blog with a status update I wrote last week when Nightline aired its show, Face-Off: Why Can’t a Successful Black Woman Find a Man? The Facebook status update conveys my sentiments about this latest cycle of blaming black women for the woes of the black man, the woes of the black community, and the woes of the economy. Yes, if only I would become barefoot and pregnant unemployed and desperate for Big Daddy’s benevolent protection then I would be married [cue the Disney’s music] and the mice with their little mice hands would make my white wedding dress . . . living happily ever after . . . yes, if only I could be that type of woman again. Yes, I use to be a version of her (i.e. wanting to marry the senator instead of being the senator syndrome) when I was searching for my voice.
But, I ain’t her now and I don’t know too many black women who are. If you want a more scholarly understanding of this issue I suggest you read Melissa Harris Lacewell’s Nightline asks why black women can’t get a man or Farai Chideya How Does It Feel to Be a Black, Female, Single Problem because my blog is going to be a rant about how I think black men are the problems. Yes, I said they are the PROBLEMS. Okay, not the pen-ultimate problem, but definitely the problem when it comes to how they use their hetero-male privilege in romantic relationships with black women in particular black women like me who are not willing to put up with their shit cow dung.
I know this makes me a bad race woman and perhaps even a bad feminist, but it’s the truth. And my grandmother in her southern tone says, “Tell the truth and shame devil” and so I’ve decided today to shame that Devil all the da way back to hell because black men are indeed the reason why I am a happy single black hetero-woman. And my happiness has nothing to do with not being able to find one because my godmother says and it’s true “men are like buses they come every 15 minutes and they will screw anything with a hole.”
Of course, screwing does not lead to a lifelong commitment with the brother, but the point is that if we wanted to find one we could. So, perhaps our singleness, my singleness, is in response to not wanting to put up with hetero black male privilege. I don’t believe in submission. I do not believe in making myself small so that you can feel good about your hetero-masculinity. And it has been my experience that men want black women who will cater to them, who will shut up sometimes, who will stay at home and raise the children (even though the fool will admit he would not want to stay at home), who will endure stress, abuse, violence, and sacrifice in the name of commitment. And I say once again, I ain’t her.
Yep, I’m going to beat this drum . . . black men are the problems. Perhaps, someone who has a glimmer of common sense Hill Harper, Steve Harvey, or Kevin Powell should write a how-to-book with colorful pictures teaching black men how to become unconventional/atypical black men . . . the kind of man who allows a black woman to be herself . . . the kind man who does not mentally masturbate with black feminist heterosexual women, but who wants a lifetime of memories with her (yep, that’s my personal gripe). . . the kind of black man who believes “iron sharpens iron, she will make a better black man out of me” . . . the kind of man who will endure many years of psycho therapy to understand his emotions so that he can be an emotionally available father and husband . . . the kind of man who is proud to say I am the husband of such and such using her maiden name . . . the kind of man who will smile and at times grin at her witticism/arguments deeply respecting her thoughts . . . I could go on forever listing how black men can begin to challenge their male privilege, but, hey, Random House is not ain’t giving me no book deal they are too busy running behind the Steve Harvey’s and Tyler Perry’s of the world because clearly they speak for black women [pure sarcasm].
Of course, as a good race woman, I have to say that this blog is not an indictment against black men. I know being a black man is hard [cue the homeless black man on the corner playing the violin]. I get it and from birth have gotten it. However, the intention of this blog is about black men and Nightline understanding why some black women “choose” to be single because we are not willing to acquiesce to the cow dung—black male privilege. We are not willing to settle for black men who are not emotionally available irrespective if he wears a “blue collar,” a “white collar,” or a “green job collar.”
Honestly, I’m sick and tired of being the problem. I am tired of being the scapegoat for why we have double digit unemployment in black communities. Yes, some people believe if black women would stop working then black men could take their jobs and all the social problems in the black community will be remedied. Yeah, right. And I am tired of being berated by the news media and blamed for the demoralization of our communities when we all know capitalism, racism, sexism, class, poverty, heteronormativity, and black male privilege are all to blame for the many issues we face in our communities.
Once again, I believe there is a political project afoot to make black women to feel woefully inadequate because they lack black hetero-male romantic partnership/marriage. And I think part of the political project is to cloak the dysfunctionality of capitalism and to warn other groups of women what will happen if they stray too far from appropriate feminine behaviors and identities—you will be blamed for the toxic social issues of your community and will be subjected to public ridicule on Nightline and other mainstream news shows—so be a good little girl . . . a “well behaved” black girl.
Yes, I said and will continue to say, Black men are part of the Problem and why I “choose” to be single.
Can I get a sistah to testify?