I didn’t know that black women were facing their own epidemic; but now thanks to the media creating and reporting the news I am now informed! But I feel the media has missed the true story here, the breaking news isn’t that black women aren’t able to find black men, but that they are being plagued by bitterness. Teeth are being sucked, eyes rolled and necks snapped as men with Cornrows and cars without automatic windows dare to speak to educated and travelled women. The bitterness is spreading! Bitterness that once was reserved for disgruntled divorcees (think Angela Bassett in Waiting to Exhale) who had given their all to a man who kept it moving. Now this black plague has twenty-something professional ladies getting upset that the perfect black man hasn’t yet come to claim them. Especially after we have been building a perfect world for him to complete with his presence. After he finished school, dated Heather, Kim Lee and Maria! We’ve been patiently waiting, but if these men are trying to leave us alone in the worlds we created (think Angela Bassett in Waiting to Exhale with gasoline and matches). And with perspectives like these I guess Bitch is the New Black; which is a sad sentiment to begin with, but it gets even sadder when a twenty-something in a metropolitan area is saying it! I truly believe a simple reality check could cure this ailment of evil in these single, fabulous black women on the verge of bitter coldness!
Now, Amaretto Jenkins would be remised if I didn’t acknowledge the fact that life hasn’t happened the way most of us imagined it would. Even though I am an 80s baby I feel like dating on the road to marriage should follow something from a 1950s atlas. But 60 years later, most of us aren’t marrying our high school or college sweethearts. And most of us don’t have our grandmothers trying to set up with that fine Johnson boy from down the street. Oh how nice and so much easier that would be. But with integration, education, drugs and a whole host of other issues in the Black community the definition of a family changed and many of us women folk learned to make it, be it by a thread, on our own pr with the support of our Sister girl circles. But like I said I am an 80s baby so I feel like I should have something that looks like the Huxtables in which we are both professionals co laboring in building a household and raising children. And since the Cosby show was a top rated show for years, I know I am not the only black woman walking around with this expectation for herself. But alas, that was a scripted television show. Which means, that just like fairy tales, it came from someone’s creative warehouse...not reality!
But a lot of us took Claire’s example and went running. We got our degrees, homes, cars, fabulous closets full of stuff. We became well rounded women, but at the end of this we expected our Cliff to be there with his degree, home, cars and money to fill our closets with more fabulous stuff. But many of us are finding that there isn’t a Cliff there to meet us. And well many of us are feeling some type of way about that. After all, we have done our part, gone and gotten of these things, prepared a perfect world and yet there is no comparable Yang to balance out our fabulous Yin! And so the panic creeps in. Because the men we do recognize as our Cliff’s don’t want us…for whatever reason.
But the reality is that Cliff brought more to Claire’s table than just his profession or the material things that made up their home. Granted on the show Cliff and Claire were high school sweethearts, but the reality was that they were co labors who established a covetable household. If Cliff had been plumber and she an attorney would it not have worked if all things were still equal? Things like his belief system, how he handle his finances, how he wanted to raise children, how he wanted to contribute to the community, how he communicated and showed he loved her? Not to get all MLK about it, but shouldn’t women folk be judging men on the content of their character and not the contents of their wallets.
This news special made it statistically clear that Black men aren’t walking down the same paths into the adulthood that Black women take. And now that I think about it, I never hear black men alluding to the Cosby show as much as black women folk tend to. In fact black men seem to be ascribing to the Obama approach to relationship and families. I guess because they are real tangible people who have had struggles and probably will continue to struggle to make it work. But with women folks walking around with these ideas of the perfect man being able to match her dollar for dollar can they end up any way other than bitter? The reality is that black men aren’t making those same leaps into the professional world at the same time or with the same frequency that Black women are. Michelle Robinson was further along in her career and making more money when Barack Obama asked her out… if Michelle had allowed bitterness to seep in whilst she got her degrees and started her career... what example would many of the black children have today of male/female relationships-ain’t no more Cosby shows on Thursday nights! Right? Right!
I don’t think successful black women on the verge of bitterness need to settle, you can be with a man who complements you not mirrors you. And the reality today is hooking and marrying professional young black men of equal elk is like winning the lottery, because there are so many more of us than them. So where does that leave us? With the reality that we might have to change some of the expectations that we have in our heads. We all want to end up with Cliffs, but if we are called to marriage we have to trust that the right man for us will meet us where we are-be it our momma's house or on a weekend get away with our Sister circle.
If we flee from bitterness and become to open to accept the reality of today's dating world we can read books about Bitch is the New Black and laugh because it’s funny, not because it’s true!
See You In Seven
SO LONG, FAREWELL...
The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot