Saturday, February 11, 2006

Brothas, Just Because You Can, Doesn't Mean You Should -- Part II of II on Black Relationships

I LOVE BLACK MEN!!!! I think you are the sexiest men on earth. From a historical standpoint, black men (with black women by their side) have endured slavery, beatings and segregation, and continue to endure the prejudicial attitudes and behaviors of this country. Yet, you continue to better yourselves and continue to demonstrate to the rest of the world that black men can do anything that men of other races can do, and even better. Physically, I love black men's chocolate smooth skin, full lips, and that natural "swagger" that you all have about yourselves. (You know what I'm talking about!) :)

However, it seems that you, my brothas, have taken for granted the appreciation that black women have for you. This is evidenced by the number of you married brothas who constantly and consistently try to get me to participate in your adulterous behavior. This is also evidenced by the behavior of many of those "available professional black men" I referenced in last week's entry. (Yes, emphasis on professional.) The men who fall into that category of "available professional black men" know that they are limited in quantity, which consequently, makes them a hot commodity. And as I stated last week, black women realize that black men are hard to come by, and for the sake of having/keeping a man, they allow themselves to be treated poorly.

But my brothas, it is time that you all stand up and be accountable for your behavior. Here's a newsflash for you: JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN DO SOMETHING, DOESN'T MEAN YOU SHOULD DO IT! Just because a woman may be willing to forgive your indiscretions, does not give you a rite of passage to cheat. On the flipside, if you are married and a woman throws herself at you, act like you have some sense and stop acting like your bodily urges are just too much for you to control. If you come across a sista with self-esteem problems, either leave her alone or try to get her some help. But please stop taking advantage of and playing on her insecurities.

Undoubtedly, someone will respond to this and say that black women encounter these problems because we only want to date the tall, good looking, athletically fit brothas. (As someone did last week.) And back in the day, I may have agreed with that statement; however, that theory has no applicability in black relationships today. I know quite a few women who have been played by that unsuspecting brotha. (You know, the one who is a little overweight, or the one who is not the best looking, or the one who doesn't make a lot of money.)

My brothas, I need to you to honor your sistas. I need you to stop mistreating and disrepecting black women. Black women have been and continue to be the backbone of the black family. Honor us, love us, treat us like the queens that we are. Stop the cheating, stop the controlling behavior, and stop disrespecting. How would you feel if a man treated your mother, your sister, or your daughter, the way that you treat us?

--Notta

10 comments:

thespookwhosatbythedoor said...

Just as I don't support giving sistas victim status when they choose to stay with trifling black men, I don't believe that black men should be free from accountability in how they treat the sistas they are with.

I often hear brothas use the statement "well I told her the situation" as an excuse to play on an insecure woman. Yes you told her what was up, but if you continue to sleep with her and play with her mind, you are still wrong.

The problem lies in how men are raised as compared to women. Black men (as well as men of other races) are raised to believe that having sexual relationships with a number of women is an attribute of manhood. How many times have you heard someone compliment a cute male child and say, "he's going to be a heartbreaker." Hence, men are encouraged to seek sexual conquest without regard to anyone's feelings or their own self-respect.

To my brothas-- please remember: a WHORE IS A WHORE regardless of gender.

crushalot said...

A huge part of the problem has to do with what thespookwhosatbythedoor said - a lot has to do with how we black men are raised. That's where it starts I believe. I vividly remembered as a young boy that the more girls that I accumulated as pawns, the bigger the king I was. And the bigger the king I became, the more pawns I got. And on and on... I have male friends who encourage their sons to do likewise. Don't get tied down they tell them. Leave you options open. We become addicted to that and then like any addiction, it is hard to stop. Mind you, I have female friends who do the same - encourage their sons to do the same. Maybe we need to encourage our sons to approach this differently. Let's really focus on them cuz apparently many of my counterparts find it too challenging to change, not that they shouldn't try hard. I am just trying to be realistic. The most difficult thing to change is a CULTURE and this has become a cultural thing...

Curry said...

I dig the fact that you started off by saying "I Love Black Men". I'm tired of hearing sista's bash black men for reasons OTHER than the ones you listed.

Your statement about "available professional black men" being "limited in quantity" could and SHOULD also be "limited in quality". I personally don't believe that being an educated professional makes a black man a hot commodity. The one thing that appears to be missing from the equation, and has been for the greater part of our generation, is the integrity, leadership, and forethought that made our fathers REAL MEN, rich OR poor. Any black man that has defied the odds and the statistics and made a successful life for himself deserves ALL the rewards that such hard work should guarantee. However, what's really screaming in your post is the issue of integrity. No matter what the level of success that a man has attained, he still has the ability to live a hellacious life!

At one time black men worked not only to build wealth for themselves, but build wealth for their families and for those that would come after they died. They weren’t as focused on the ‘here and now’ as they are today. Brothers are making more money much quicker than ever before, and if you ask me, it has gone straight to our heads.

When I die I want my child to be able to benefit not only from my financial or educational accomplishments, but also from the relationships I established in my life. Runnin’ around sleeping with married women, or just generally being a man whore will not bring that type of fruit to our lives. I got soooo sick of being a one-track thinker. We should be thinking about the young brothers that are looking at us walk. We should be thinking about the little girls that are watching how we treat their mothers. We should be thinking about what type of roads we’ve paved for other black men. Now, when we find a women that cares more about THESE things than the our new 750i, then we’ve got a keeper. Not that I don’t want a 750i … *Cheese*

r. parrish said...

I don't think anyone is going to argue with Notta that both black men and black women need to exercise more self-control and "sense" where sexual relationships are concerned. What has bothered me about her recent post and her last post is that it assumes some generality in the behavior of black folks. Not all sistas are chasing after married men (as I attempted to point out last week), and not all married men are sleeping with the women who make themselves available.

I don't say that to deflect attention away from these problems or act as if they don't exist. However, for me, they seem like manifestations of deeper structural and cultural problems as spook and crush have noted and aren't easily addressed.

I thought spook was on the right track in noting that cultural expectations of men and women play a significant role in gender relations. We must also look at why there is such a disparity between professional black men and women. Why are so many black men in prisons and so few of us in universities (I know the answers seem obvious but bear with me)? What effect has women's empowerment and their influx into the professions had on gender relations? We must begin to be able to answer some of these questions before we can address the behaviors. Neither can we simply shrug off the impact of larger American gender norms, which allow men of all races to be with women who are either at or below their level of educational or economic attainment, while professional women often find themselves rejected both by men at and below their socioeconomic level because they feel threatened or emasculated in some way by a woman with equal or greater earning power.

While I still believe that we all must shoulder our personal responsibility and not engage in the behavior Notta admonishes us to avoid (behavior I still assert many of us do avoid), I also think many cultural and societal inequities have conspired to create the current situation, and these issues need addressing in order to begin changing some of the dysfunctional behavior that Notta rightfully seeks to alter.

beyourowndiva said...

Notta-

This week a man I had dated a long time ago called out of the blue. He stopped by. I need to say he is very honest & fine. He will sometimes omit information but not lie.

I asked if he ever married he said "yes, but we're seperated".

Hmm,...? so I asked "Who got the house?" He gave no answer. Hmm,...? I said "Oh, that means you still live together but you don't have sex and stay in another room." He is very predictable.
He said "yes". I reponded "In my book you're married. You just don't have sex" Needless to say I had no romatic interest.

The truth? He is not interested in his wife anymore but still doesn't want to divorce. Furthermore, he's enjoying a dual income lifestyle.

Wow, it is interesting what SOME men will try. Yes, he would've if he could've

Anonymous said...

For once, I agree with just about everything you said. :-)

Seriously, if everyone really believed and applied your concept (just because you can, doesn't mean you should) we all might be in a better place. You know I hate the fact that you use the n-word and just b/c you can, doesn't mean you should. The fact of the matter is when it comes to men and women, there will always be people who take advantage of one another. Sad, but true. Although there are some people out there that make black men and women look bad, it is important to note that the majority of black women and men are involved in healthy, loving relationships.

Breal said...

In response to both posts and the responses that have followed, I must say that some of the opinions I have read so far have been dead on target....from both sides of the fence. Definitely good stuff. I can honestly say that from my own experiences I have seen the manner in which men have dogged out women due to the fact that they are considered "hot commodities". BUT...I don't agree with the victimized mask women try to hide behind because as stated before, men are only going to do what they are allowed to do.
Here is my issue with all of this....
Why is there such an emphasis being placed on qualities that should be as commonplace as breathing or scratching your head? Being professional or educated shouldn't make a man any more or less of a "hot commodity". True...those traits are indeed plusses to some. But as stated in an above post, does that worldly success add to a persons integrity level? In my humble opinion heck no. I know plenty of brothas who are strait up snakes in business suits. Because he's suited up and well spoken, that makes him a "hot" commodity??? Does that make him any more "real" than the next man who may not be doing things as big but could be a moral goldmine?
I think the way some (not all) women are being played out is due to the fact that these (not all) women are soooo blinded by the glossy overcoat of success that a man has achieved that they overlook the qualities which made men "MEN" over the years. The predatory brothas out there have caught on to the hype being placed on their accomplishments and are now using them to get over on the same women that gave them the "power" or whatever you want to call it in the first place. My advice, you don't want to be done wrong, don't leave it up to a quite possibly morally compromised man to keep ill treatment from falling upon you....take resposibility for yourself and look for what's really important; a man's ability to treat YOU how YOU want to be treated. Sitting in university classrooms and corporate boardrooms doesn't build moral character and isn't a prerequisite for being a "hot commodity". The sooner that is realized by the women who have made it so...the men who have used the "powers" for ill purposes will have to go at their manipulative practices in another fashion.
In closing, and I won't let my brothas totally off the hook. Real men don't use outstanding accomplishments as a means to increase the notches on headboards/belts...Real men put those accomplishments to better use. Providing security for the women we should be loving...not exploiting. Taking better care of our families and setting the example for our little ones coming up...especially our sons. They are the ones who will see our behaviors and mimic them...for better or for worse.

Notta Golddigger said...

I feel compelled to respond to the number of comments relating to my designation of the "professional" black man. Many of you have commented that women need to look beyond education and qualifications, and look at the "qualities which made men 'MEN' over the years," as "breal" put it. My question to you is, what is that has made men "MEN" over the years?

Traditionally, men (black and white) have been the breadwinners of their families. Many people grew up with fathers who, although they provided financially for their families, did so to the exclusion of providing their families with any emotional support. Is that what has made men "MEN?"

As far as education is concerned, for me, education goes WAY back in my family. I am one of the few people I know whose grandmother has a college degree. In turn, my father also has a college degree. My father is a "professional" man, and was always able to provide for us. He is the example that I followed in my pursuit of both my undergraduate and law degrees. So is it wrong for me to want to be with someone who is like my father -- or like myself for that matter?

Trust me, my use of the term "professional" does not in any way connote "rich" or "money." For example, teachers are professionals, and we all know that teachers are WAY underpaid. I am also not attempting to say that "professional" equals integrity. Clearly it does not. All I am saying is that I, and many other women, want to be with men who have similar interests and goals as us, and that we shouldn't have to compromise or settle for something less than that.

--Notta

r. parrish said...

I must agree with Notta and say that this isn't an issue that is predicated on socioeconomic status. I don't think anyone has suggested that financial success and education alone makes a man a "hot commodity." The "professional" qualifier, as Notta noted, only identifies a category of men that are more probably compatible with other "professional" women.

breal is also correct in asserting that integrity is not developed in university classrooms or corporate boardrooms, but no-one implied that they did. Although the discussion thus far has focused primarily on black professionals, we all know this is an issue that afflicts the larger black community regardless of ones education or income.

The fact is that some men think it is o.k. to hop from bed to bed without regard for the women and children they leave behind. Our own popular culture reinforces this behavior by celebrating these men as "pimps," or "playas." For those of you who still watch BET (I had to give it up), count how many videos feature a single black man or his crew surrounded by mindless video hos with vacant looks on their faces. Boys grow up watching this and when many of them have no male father figure to teach them otherwise, it becomes the model of their behavior. There is no-one to tell them the videos are fantasies and should not be anyone's reality. The videos are equally dangerous for young girls who learn that they are only valued for their bodies and their willingness to give it to men.

So...this has little to do with economic or social status. I am sorry if people have gotten that impression. As has been mentioned before by myself and others on this blog, there is a serious cultural problem right now within the black community. Until we mobilize, without respect to class or profession, and reject some of the more harmful cultural influences we have embraced, many of the problems Notta writes about will only persist.

Curry said...

Very well said Breal ... I'd like to comment on the statement that you made about "setting the example for our little ones coming up...especially our sons." I actually believe it is the opposite, I believe it HAS to start with our daughters. Both of these posts are wrapped around the statement that men will do ONLY what women will allow. If we teach our daughters NOT to deal with these types of men, raise them with the example of manhood, just as Notta mentioned about her father, then we've automatically segregated a large chunk of the men who would prey on our daughters. Not to sound superficial, but it's a sellers market. Men pursue women. Women have the right of choice, not us. So if we're teaching our daughters about men, and SHOWING them what a man should be, when their eyes are opened to the world of male/female interaction, they'll already have a blueprint. THEN our sons will either have to change their approach, or be left behind. This isn’t to downplay the importance of teaching boys, it’s just a matter of putting the horse before the cart. Grant it, men (in my opinion) should set the tone of the relationship, women should dictate how a man will and will not treat her. The statement that Notta made regarding the educational background in her family is a good example of this principal at work.

I’m gonna touch the whole “professional” thing one mo’ time (I promise). In my brief sabbatical here on Earth, I’ve met lots of women in various situations. Although having certain credentials and “success” may attract a woman, it WILL NOT keep her. From what I’ve experienced, that is not the nature of women. Women want to be loved. At the end of the day it all boils down to this. It’s biblical (didn’t want to go here, but.. ) Somewhere in the bible is says something to the affect of “Husbands love your wives; wives honor your husbands…” It starts at birth, that’s just the way women are designed to be, and thank God for that! I can take my daughter anywhere and buy her all sorts of stuff to keep her entertained, but at the end of the day, she just wants to be hugged, kissed, and told how much she is loved. I personally know women who have those brothas’ that have got all there ducks lined up and are outright miserable because there is no love in the relationship. At the end of the day when the dating games are over and the background checks and examinations are complete, men want to be honored and respected and women want to be loved & appreciated.

Curry