All Articles Tagged "single black women"
Aaahhh friends and family. Though deep down you know they have your best interests at heart, sometimes they say some of the most unintentionally hurtful things ever. This is certainly the case when it comes to your romantic relationships… or lack thereof. Even though your network found major flaws in your last five boyfriends, they certainly don’t want to see you single either and they’re going to make that very well known… to your face. Just like somebody telling you you’ve gained weight, throwing your singleness in your face can be a potentially sensitive subject and usually something you’re well aware of. Here are the things we single girls wish you would stop asking, saying or suggesting.
What do Carrie Bradshaw, Rachel Greene, Beyonce, Madonna and Michelle Obama have in common? At one time or another these real and fictional characters have all admitted they don’t (or don’t like to) cook. Recently, I’ve quit that club and started cooking for fun.
It’s weird because I was definitely one of those non-cooking single women that single male bloggers bash every chance they get. Unfazed by the opinion of men I don’t know, I held fast to my thought that if a man was looking to date Rachael Ray then he was looking at the wrong one. I could make a great bowl of cereal and my vegetables steamed in the microwave were delicious, but like Carrie Bradshaw, I kept sweaters in my stove and I was perfectly content with that.
It wasn’t that I couldn’t cook or hated cooking. I just wasn’t convinced that cooking for one was cheaper, healthier or the best use of my time. At first, my stance was nonchalant and not completely thought through. However, the more it was contested by men I wasn’t even dating, the more that I didn’t want to cook.
People who knew I wasn’t regularly firing up the skillet to feed potential suitors would ask me incredulously, “Well what are you going to do when you get married?” as if cooking was wifely duty number one. Cooking on a regular basis solely because that’s what married women do didn’t served as motivation for me anyway.
You see, I believe that the expectation for women to treat their boyfriends (official and unofficial) like husbands is problematic. Dating me was not marrying me and using the oft-repeated argument that a “wife should cook” as a reason why I should cook seemed ridiculous considering that I was not a wife nor necessarily angling for a ring.
The women who co-signed this nonsense always seemed to be those long-suffering girlfriends, foaming at the mouth for an engagement ring yet unaware of the fact that they were on a multi-year audition, checking off everything on their respective boyfriends’ arbitrary “what I want in a wife” list without a ring in sight. I figured the more excellent way was to ignore them and continue eating my steamed peas and carrots while spending my time and money how I saw fit. If I got married in the process, great, but my boyfriends knew that cooking was not high on my priority list and I refused to play pretend.
I use the cooking example because that was my thing, but I understand that there are some women who like to cook and don’t do it to prove that they’re “wife material”. It’s not about cooking at all. It’s about the fallacy that a single woman’s actions should always be in line with what would be considered “wife material”. Over and over women are admonished to lose weight, learn to cook, dial down the clubbing, step up your shoe game, get a graduate degree, buy an iPhone, don’t make more money than your man, stop wearing acrylics, sew in some weave, and the list goes on.
It also implies that men are all the same and all want the same things in a woman. There’s no compulsory list of what men want in a wife because men (like women) want different things and, in fact, the same man may want different things depending on his current maturity level. If I am working overtime trying to be what this guy wants, then what happens when I meet the next guy who wants something totally different? I’m back to square one without a clue what I want.
I figured that I’d rather just be who I am and meet a man who is compatible with me without struggling to meet the evasive “standard wife material” bar. Besides, I believe that the men who insist that a single woman should be acting like his wife, are men who want a wife without having to get married. What part of the game is that?
When I did get engaged then married, I didn’t intend to start cooking, it just happened. Marriage is a stronger motivator than I ever expected! In fact, I’ve found myself suddenly doing all sorts of things that I’m guessing a wife should do. In that way, getting married has made me discover a better version of myself. My husband got more than he bargained for and that’s always a nice surprise. As for the men who may have passed me over because I rarely boiled an egg back then?
What do you think? Do you think single women are pressured to make sure their actions are in line with what would be considered “wife material”?
Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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We know that dogs come in all breeds, but can we agree that all men aren’t dogs?
In many of the Black Women: Doomed to Be Single news stories, the recurring advice is black women need to seek love outside the confines of their race. Some advice-givers go as far to assert that, if black women refuse to expand their racial horizons, they will never be married.
Unsurprisingly, this advice is not well-received by the Single Black Female Brigade.
While the advice givers may mean well and feel they were just responding to the “I can’t find a good black man” complaints with the obvious “then don’t date just black men” solution, surely what they’ve found is that some people with questions have already determined that there are no answers.
In fact, instead of exploring this suggestion and determining if there is any merit to the solution based on the expressed problem, these single black women have completely flipped the script altogether. What used to be television specials, books and endless columns about what’s wrong with black men, have now been edited to exclude the word “black” and explain what’s wrong with all men.
As Sil Lai Abrams points out in her Ebony article “The Myth of the White Knight: White Men Are Not the Answer to Black Women’s Problems”:
Black men do not have the market cornered on shady relationship behavior.
She’s right. Black men do not have the market cornered. But because these highly-publicized single black women declared that they’re single because black men are shady, some have recommended these women look at other races.
That’s not sufficient though because as Sil Lai points out:
From my years of field research, I can assure you that a White man can be just as commitmentphobic, misogynistic and unreliable as a Black one.
Over at Clutch Magazine, Stacia Brown further drives this point home:
[The date men of other races] advice is tied to mythical ideas about the superior morality, dating practices, and values of white men, [and] it’s highly problematic.
Noncommittal, emotionally detached, unfaithful men come in all colors. And there’s no valid, non-anecdotal evidence that supports the idea that a white man who dates or marries a black woman is predisposed to treat her better than a black man would.
So White men are out.
And in the comments section on the Clutch article another woman mentioned:
Now days, Chinese women say at least American men play around first then get married, whereas Asian men get married then play around. But, what they don’t know is men play around regardless.
So Asian men are out…oh wait, she mentioned that all men play around regardless so we’re screwed.
This is where we’re at in the black female community? We’ve convinced ourselves that there are no answers to our dating woes and we’re pretty much doomed to play “wifey” because no man anywhere is going to make us his “wife”?
With that kind of attitude, it’s no wonder the statistics are where they are.
I’m not saying that black women need to date outside of their race when they only want to date black men. Relationships should be based on the heart, not logic or mathematical equations. I am saying that we need to collectively check our thoughts and beliefs and see what it is we’ve internalized about black men…and every other man.
For some reason, a slew of black women saw the “date outside of your race” advice as some sort of offensive comment against black men — even though it was clearly an understandable response to a group of women seemingly fed up with their own self-described shallow dating pool.
To go from criticizing one group to criticizing every single man everywhere is out of control and this whole discussion is starting to reek of bitterness and delusion. What part of the game is that? No one is saying we should ignore the negative experiences that we’ve had, but to shout down anyone trying to give you a solution by just hollering about more problems makes it seem like we don’t want an answer.
Maybe dating outside of your race isn’t a viable solution, but finding fault with every single type of man on the planet while you wait for the man of your dreams seems counterproductive and will likely leave you right where you are, single.
Follow Alissa Henry on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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It seems like everyone likes to blame the fact that women are single on women. Of course, the media would lead you to believe that women are single because of personal character flaws, negative behavior or just not being able to make it work, but sometimes the reasons have nothing to do with them and everything to do with the extenuating circumstances.
Here are some reasons why a woman may be single beyond her control….
Before we go any further, I understand that it is not everyone woman’s aspiration to marry and have a family. However, the desire does apply to most and I recommend reading the following with that in mind.
In the age of the brazen careerist and countless hopefuls graduating from college each year, love is frequently placed on the backburner—for some, until it’s too late.
You know who she is, your super-successful 45 year-old boss. She owns a beautiful home, drives a sleek sports car and pampers her twin Chihuahuas all while slaving 80 hours a week at the office. Diane didn’t have time to date when she was 30 and, now, there’s still no time but she’s pre-menopausal so it doesn’t really matter. Hershey and Reese are listed as her beneficiaries.
Are you bright and beautiful but don’t want to end up like Diane? Here’s how to avoid that middle-aged WTF moment:
Stop taking relationship advice from single women.
This includes bloggers and magazine columnists in their late twenties and early thirties nowhere near the aisle. They are just as single as you. Seek the wisdom of women in the types of relationships you want and, if that is marriage, find yourself a few married friends—newlyweds, veterans, even divorcees. They are or have been there. It’s not that single women have nothing to offer in the area of relationships, but they should not be your primary source of advice on how to get married. It’s like asking a dog to teach you to purr.
Dating often comes with so many rules. Do this, don’t do that. But when you push away all the fluff and see through the superficial aspects of dating, it comes down to a lengthy search for Mr. Right. Many stereotypes and misconceptions come with dating and can cloud our view of reality and judgment… not what we want to happen on a date. Take a look at these 8 dating myths that need to be eliminated sooner than later.
Tami Winfrey Harris, the woman behind What Tami Said, is seeking out black women of various ages, backgrounds, geographic locations, and experiences to discuss how they navigate relationships, sexuality, singleness, marriage, and divorce.
The goal, Tami said, is to juxtapose:
“The authentic experiences of African American women with the tragic common narrative about black women and marriage — a narrative that narrows lives, turns black female successes into failures and unfairly burdens us alone with responsibility for the success of black male/female relationships, black families and the black community.”
She hopes to combine the stories taken from the various interviews and combine them in a published work down the line. Women interested in participating in the project can send an email to Tamara@BackTalkBook.com.
What do you think about Tami’s idea? Will you participate? Our participation would certainly go a long way towards countering the continuing mainstream media’s exploitation of black women’s love lives for entertainment and profit.
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
I was walking down 125th St. on a wet, dreary day in NYC when I received a text from an acquaintance about her debut appearance on Nightline. I wasn’t in the least bit surprised that the topic of discussion for the trillionth time was unwed black women and them exploring interracial options. I was genuinely happy for her opportunity, but I was so over mainstream media’s obsession with who black women do or don’t date/marry.
Once again the popularity of our love lives has sky rocketed due to Ralph Richard Banks’ latest book, Is Marriage for White People? According to Banks, black women should stop limiting their options to black men. “It’s time for black women to stop being held hostage to the deficiencies of black men,” Banks says. “They should emancipate themselves and not feel as if they have no option but make the best of this bad situation. Black women have been taking one for the team for a long time.” For the record, Banks is married to a black woman.
I really don’t care about Banks’ hypothesis. After his horrid article, “Why black women are justifiably bitter: The bleak relationship picture for African-American females” on NYDailyNews.com, there is nothing Banks can tell me about relationships.
I am, however, annoyed that black women’s singleness has become a spectacle. For starters, this story has been covered ad naseum since 2009. The Washington Post was ahead of the curve with Joy Jones’ “Marriage Is for White People” in 2006, hence the inspiration for the title of Banks’ book. What’s also troublesome is the focus on the so-called dreadful statistic of unwed black women while fewer Americans in general are marrying. Where’s all the chatter about white, Asian and Latina single ladies? Anyone who has spent any time around young professional white women would know that they too are frustrated with dating. Yet, unlike Nightline’s 2010 “Face Off: Why Can’t a Successful Black Woman Find a Man?” special, no white celebrities were called for a panel discussion about the 45% of unmarried white women .
It is beyond problematic that authors, journalists, researchers, social commentators and mainstream media find that black women’s singleness is a crisis, and that the solution is to marry white men. Single white women are never told to “date outside their race,” “stop being so loyal to white men” or “marry a black man!” Why then would we accept that black women must date, marry and procreate with a white man to solve our relationship woes? I call patriarchy and white privilege. Let’s be clear of what’s going on here with the media’s propaganda.
Read the rest on HuffPost Black Voices, and leave your comments below.
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On Saturday, CentricTV will air Michael Baisden’s documentary, “Do Women Know What They Want?” I saw the previews for the film last weekend, and as I watched the snippet on the website, it’s clear the special is of the Steve Harvey ilk: “Let me fix women’s expectations about men so they can stop whining about why they can’t find one. Oh, and don’t forget to give white men a try and step up your sex game if you expect your man to be faithful.” Thanks.
Aside from the obvious reason that single black women’s problems have now become big business (books! TV specials! magazine spreads! depressing films!), why are even more men jumping in to try to solve our relationship problems otherwise? The market is totally saturated. Don’t they have enough to do, or someone else to save? Every time I go to a panel or click on someone’s website, there is a man claiming to have written the “foreal foreal” book on men that women need to read and that other men are too scared to write. Instead of a book on men for women, how about a book on manhood for men? I’m looking at you, Hill Harper.
It is beyond annoying to be constantly bombarded with messages from men who:
(a) Are not experts in relationships,
(b) Are saying the same thing we’ve already heard,
(c) Have no genuine desire to really help women get the man they want, and
(d) Say expand your horizons and date outside your race — even if a woman says she wants a black husband.
Yet another union chronicled on reality television has gone by the wayside. Former football and baseball superstar Deion Sanders has filed for divorce from his model/actress wife Pilar Sanders. You might recall that the couple had a reality show a couple years back on the Oxygen network. Pilar was also a castmember on Football Wives, Shaunie O’Neal’s gridiron version of her popular Basketball Wives series.
In a Hello Beautiful exclusive, Pilar said she was shocked by the whole thing:
It’s unfortunate that my husband decided to take this course of action…I’m surprised and hurt… As I said to my children, we must take a minute breath and Trust God.
Head over to Hello Beautiful to see what Pilar has been up to lately on the business front outside of reality television. Since she’ll be a single mom soon, she has to keep that income flowing in (beyond child support) and set a good example for her children in terms of being a confident, independent woman.
Are you surprised by this split?
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