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- ‘Really, Really Messed Up My Life’
What She Wants?
Too many single Black women want to be married Black women. A big part of the problem is the personal choices many Black women make. People are inclined to attribute one’s negative actions to internal factors and their own negative actions to external factors. For example, many women believe men are unfaithful because they are “biologically wired” to have various sexual partners. If you ask men, they usually say their mate was not making them happy. Really?
Plus, too many Black men mistakenly believe a number of Black women are attracted to “bad boys” because “that’s just how females are.” While that remains to be debated, each of us needs to take responsibility for whom we invite into our bedroom and our life. Why do so many Black women choose poor mates?
American culture popularizes the tall, dark, and handsome…and the “bad boy” over the nice guy. Brothers who are brooding, unpredictable, and even unstable are also the ones who seem to have multiple families and often an inability to be committed and/or monogamous. Direct speech, individualism, competitiveness, and materialism are also highly valued by women seeking men. Of course, many women become more realistic with their standards as they mature.
According to many studies, including research done by the University of British Columbia, women are more sexually attracted to non-smiling men. Conversely, men are more attracted to smiling women. This plays into the “bad boy” image that many young women, specifically Black women, find irresistible. Not only that, most Black women today grew up without a male role model; most White women did not. We cannot underestimate the impact of this experience for girls.
One rationalization for this is welfare policies. Before welfare, many Black men worked while Black women were homemakers. Once welfare laws changed, men were literally not permitted to cohabitate with women receiving public aid. There are some who say women no longer needed a husband as they entered the workforce; they earned their own money and raised their children alone. Contemporary Black women also receive mixed signals as to what makes a good Black man. American society teaches them he should be tall, an individual, financially well-off, and he should be tough. Black society says he should not show many signs that he actually wants a long-term relationship (something or somebody that is unattainable gains value) and that women ought to be “strong and independent.”
Overall, there are several options to stem the tide of single-parent households and healthier relationships with Black women and Black men. Women must hold men accountable for their behaviors and not be clouded by emotions. Easier said than done.
For example, if a man has multiple children, an unstable employment history, a criminal record, and exhibits poor behavior, then it’s incumbent on the woman to make healthier relationship choices, especially when other children are involved. Also, we can all use a good dose of common sense when selecting a man for a long-term relationship and Black men should not take rejection from them too personally. If someone makes it crystal clear they do not value you, do not want to be with you—DON’T LET YOURSELF WANT THEM.
Ramal Johnson was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and is a graduate student at Norfolk State University. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from St. Augustine’s College and aspires to work in the media industry. Tweet him @RamalJohnson.