Sunday, February 05, 2006

Girlfriend, He Doesn't Care About You!!!!! -- Part I of II on Black Relationships

My sista, my girlfriend, my ace boom, I just have to say it, he does not care about you!!!! So stop throwing yourself at him, stop thinking you can change what you deem "his bad habits," and for goodness sake -- please stop trying to use sex to control him.

I apologize in advance for this lengthy entry, but there is much to say about this subject. This is Part I of a two-part series in which I address black relationships. Yes, these words are applicable to the masses of women -- regardless of race or nationality -- but again, I'm addressing my sistas (all sistas, even the groupies and golddiggers). However, my brothas, please don't think that you are off the hook. Part II will address the behavior of black men in the dating game. But for now, I'm focusing on my girls.

Black women are beautiful, intelligent, regal, and inspiring creatures. From the days that our ancestors were pickin' cotton in the cotton fields, we have held down our households by serving as the backbone of our families, and carrying ourselves with both dignity and grace. We take care of our business by pursuing our careers and raising our children at the same time (many times without the assistance of a man).

So why is it that so many of us sell ourselves short by "entertaining" men who do not have our best interests at heart? Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking "at" you all, I'm talking "with" you, because I have been there too. We've all been there. The question is: at what point do you start to value yourself, and realize that you deserve better?

I used to live in Washington D.C., a.k.a. "Chocolate City," where professional black people abound. Women who have never lived in D.C. always have the impression that because there are so many professional black men there, the dating options are endless. However, just the opposite is true. Sure D.C. has a much bigger selection of professional black men than most cities, but it also has a much much bigger selection of professional black women. I always give people this scenario: you start off with a pool of professional black men -- take away those who are married, those who are gay, and those who don't date sistas, and you are left with an even smaller pool of "available" professional black men. (Yes, emphasis on "available.") Contrast that with the plethora of available professional black women (which is evidenced by the huge numbers of sistas in college compared to brothas), and you're left with a large discrepancy in numbers. Because of this shortage in available professional black men, too many of us "settle" for men who are bad for us just to be able to say we have a man. Yet, that same man is out with LaToya, LaTonya, LaKeisha, and everybody else and their mama -- when he should be at home with his woman.

But tsk, tsk ladies. NEWSFLASH -- a man will only do what you allow him to do. Stop letting him treat you like you are disposable. You not only de-value yourself by doing that, but you make it hard on those of us who choose to be alone rather than deal with unnecessary drama from a man. Because you allow him to cheat on you, sleep with you and then go home to wifey, and generally disrespect you -- and then let him back in your heart and your bed, you diminish yourself and diminish the value of black women in general. Why would a man put up with a strong woman with values and standards, when he knows with you he can do as he pleases and still come home? STOP IT! Stop doing it to yourself, and stop doing it to the rest of us. I'm sick of hearing you complain about how your man doesn't treat you right, yet that fool is always up in your bed. Just stop it, he doesn't care about you, and you know it.

Black women, we need to take back our power and strength. We have to learn how to value ourselves again. We have to be able to recognize men who are bad for us, and leave them alone. We cannot continue to diminish our value by settling for men who constantly break our spirits and minds. We have to recognize when a man does not care about us, and choose to leave him alone. The longer we continue to accept lying, cheating, and disrespectful men in our beds, the longer we continue to de-value the honor and grace with which black women have guided their families throughout time.



thespookwhosatbythedoor said...

Preach Notta!

If you want respect, you must demand respect. A man will only do what you allow him to do. And we as black women have become so desperate, so enamored with the idea of that gold/platinum ring, that we often sacrifice our pride and self-respect in order to "have a man." This is true especially for woman over 25 who feel like their biological clocks are ticking, and/or those who set marriage as a gaol that they must attain before the age of 30.

As Notta pointed out, desperate women with no standards, willing to be one of many, make it hard on those of us who carry ourselves like the royalty that we decended from.

Don't get me wrong, no one likes to be alone, but you can do bad all by yourself. And until we as sistas develop some form of sisterhood, and demand accountability, we won't get the love that we deserve.

Anonymous said...

i totally agree with you on this topic. simply put, black women have to show a man how she wants and deserves to be treated. therefore, we can not demand a commitment when we accept his dating multiple women; we cannot demand monogamy when we accept his sleeping with multiple women in addition to us; we cannot demand chilvary after we have paid for all the dates and we initiate most if not all things rather than allowing him to pursue us and actually "court" us (as my grandmother would say).

Curry said...

You ladies are ALL on the right track, but I've seen the other side of it as well. Just as black women SHOULD demand a certain level of respect and admiration, there is also a dynamic that black women (women in general) should uphold as a response to a black man ( men in general). I've been guilty of not making my some very important decisions upfront, which led to huge miscommunication and pointless arguments and verbal assaults. But I maintain that men should take it upon themselves to set the standard and pace of relationships and a women, in response, should either be in agreement (provided that she is not being led astray), or disagreement, and move on. Yokes have to be even.

I have to teach my daughter both sides of that to the best of my ability, inspite of my personal feelings about certain things I don't understand about women. Take a gander at this


Notta Golddigger said...

FYI, someone also posted a good reply to this week's entry in the comment section under my picture. Be sure to check out that comment also! Just scroll down and click on the "comments" button underneath my picture.


Anonymous said...

I think your entire post has to do with the lack of self-esteem among women, especially black women. Low self-esteem allows people to make decisions that are not in their best interest but they often end up blaming someone else rather than look in the mirror. Truth be told, there are numerous men and women that ain't sh!t and are only out for self. That fact is not going to change any time soon. So rather than blame those shiftless negroes for "causing" the hurt/pain, start holding yourselves accountable. Shiftless negroes will get theirs in the end, so rather than focus on them the focus should be on making sure you are secure and genuinely love yourself. Even if you met someone who had their stuff together, would you be able to recognize and appreciate him/her if you operating with low self-esteem and low expecations?

I agree with most of what Notta had to say, but the focus on professionals seems a bit limiting in my opinion. That's a discussion for another day.

r. parrish said...

Forgive my naivete, but where are these women of which you speak? I've read the statistics and know many professional black women having a difficult time finding a black man, but I have yet to meet a woman who would settle for a married or otherwise attached man just to have somebody. I have seen women settle for men who aren't nearly as intelligent or on top of their business as they are, but I can't picture any woman I know that would consciously enter into a relationship that has little chance of being anything other than dysfunctional.

I guess my question to Notta is: who are these women? From the responses I've read, you seem to be preaching to the choir. Why would anyone accept a relationship on those terms? I guess I'm just having a hard time accepting the pervasiveness of the problem. I concede that my perspective on this topic may be limited as a man, but I have still to meet the woman Notta describes in her post.

Anyhow...I would challenge black women to reflect on whom they deem "proper" candidates for marriage. Anecdotally, I entered law school with a class of 8 black men (including myself) and around 23 black women. Two of the men were married and one was gay. Out of the remaining 5 eligible black men, only one of them was dating regularly (and yes he fit Notta's stereotype and dated multiple women). The other 4 were single and weren't dating. The reason for that according to my female friends was that although the remaining 4 men were nice or sweet, they were either too short or too big or not attractive.

My point is that even though there aren't many black men to choose from, there are men out there who are being overlooked for a number of superficial reasons. Now I'm the last person to tell anyone to date someone they aren't physically attracted to, but to be fair, I know too many women who aren't going to consider a suitor who isn't 6'0 tall and athletically built.

Lastly, with the numbers as they now stand, I don't see any reason black women shouldn't be looking beyond black men as potential mates. It doesn't necessarily mean that you love and respect black men any less; we know we are a scarce commodity. Can't black women have fulfilling relationships outside the confines of our racial classifications, or am I again being naive?

Curry said...

Adding on the R. Parrishs' comments ...

I guess a good question would be to ask exactly what is it that a black women is looking for and why? There are a million different reasons why people decide to get married, is love still the number one reason? By attaching a 'professional' designation to anyone you deem acceptable to date, are you saying "I'll only make myself available to love if you have _______" ? .. or "I'll only love you if ______. " Now honestly, I'm just playing devils advocate, I'm not saying that women should lower their standards. However, if you look at the long term aspects of relationships, will the economic prowess of a man be enough to sustain until "death do us part"? When you're 52 and going through menopause, will you be thinking of how wonderfully successful your black man is, or will you be thinking about whether this negro is loving and considerate enough to turn the air conditioner on past his level of comfort just so you can be comfortable while you're having your nightly hot flashes? Or what if something dramatic & devastating happens to him and he is no longer able to provide the spoils that he was able to provide whilst at this prime, did love come first?

Someone really close to me has always settled for a certain type of degrading and demeaning style of relationships that I’ve always been puzzled by. I couldn't figure out just why she continued to have the same type of problems in her relationships with the same type of men. A few weeks ago I finally realized that her actions were a reflection of her personality. In other words, maybe the women who are walking with dogs, lying with dogs, & sharing fleas with dogs aren't so different from the dogs themselves. If you want to be treated like a queen, BE a queen. And in order to BE a queen you have to SEE a queen. Television will COMPLETELY ruin that. Go to chuch’ !! Amongst the coal, there are usually a few diamonds that can rub off on you.


Notta Golddigger said...

In response to r. parrish's comments -- r. parrish, you ask who are these women? These women are your mother, your sister, your aunt, your cousin, your niece, and your friend. They are everywhere. Personally, I have several friends and know of several women who oftentimes sell themselves short by dealing with men who either cheat on them, try to control them, or generally act disrespectful towards them. My guess is that they haven't responded to this entry because they know it applies to them. I didn't expect they would respond; but I hope they can take something from hearing women who have been there tell them that there is something better for them in life.

As for your comments RE: black men being overlooked for superficial reasons, it really bothers me when men make this statement. Men don't settle for women who they are not physically attracted to, so why should we? If I'm not attracted to short, fat, bald guys -- dating one is not going to make me change my mind about that, it just means I'll be unhappy in my relationship because I'm not attracted to my man. I'm not saying that every man has to be 6' tall and athletically built, as you commented. Physical attraction is a subjective concept. One person's trash is another person's treasure. And if I want to date someone who is physically attractive to me (and me only, not the rest of the world), then I am entitled to do that.

Additionally, RE: your comment about black women dating men of other nationalities -- dating men who are not black is fine for women who want to do that, but some sistas are just not attracted to men of other nationalities.


Victor - San Diego said...

“Conversate” is what is called a “back-formation” based on the noun "conversation.” But the verb for this sort of thing is “converse.”

Webster's New Millennium™ Dictionary of English - Cite This Source - Share This Main Entry: conversate
Part of Speech: v
Definition: to socialize and chat; to converse with another
Etymology: back-formation from conversation
Usage: slang

Don't let this get you down "sista" you do not have to worry about folks like that, as long as you are together.

Anonymous said...

Is this conversation still on?

Anonymous said...

I was guilty of using this word many years ago in a casual conversation with a coworker,who happened to be white, and he kindly corrected me. I immediately enrolled in a basic grammar class at the local community college the following term and continued to take writing classes until I fully understood English grammar. Like most people in here, I cringe every time I hear our people use this word and I kindly correct them.

Anonymous said...

Sad to see the grammar that is used. conversate, He be right back, I axed you, Me and my friend.
Me at the beginning of a sentence is never correct and it is not only black folks that use it. I saw a policeman on the ID channel starting a sentence with ME. . It's the lack of education in our school systems. Here is one that I just heard on T.V. I want to be witch you. With grammar like that they will not be going anywhere soon. They have a slim chance to none likely to become successful in life. I hope they try and get an education in grammar because it is true, people do judge you once you open your mouth.