Thursday, March 14, 2013

Many thoughts in my head about why black women are struggling romantically

First I want to say a couple of thing:

Who you are is attractive to someone. Note this down. Some women think that their brand of beauty or because of their weight or height or skin shade, they are just not attractive to anyone and must settle for scraps of attention. I grant that some women do not fall into the norms of beauty but this means nothing. If all the men around you are lemmings, who only fancy women who they are told to fancy by the media and what have you, then it is important that you expose your self to loads and loads and loads of men to increase your chances of meeting that 1 in 25 that will fully and totally appreciate you and what you have to offer. I am convinced that one of the major reasons why black women struggle to find partners is that they do not play the numbers game. Being holed up at home, not putting yourself out there everyday and every weekend and moving in sheltered circles constituents one of the most potent impediment to black women securing themselves relationships.

In addition I want to reiterate the point I made in the past that black women have to do their very very best to present themselves with finesse and polish. Look smart, dress sharp. Don’t let your look fall apart. Have a sense of style and comfort in your body and in your look (I am also against the severe cooperate look which many black women go for which just kills their personality!). Over the years I have noted how that black men are comforted by black women looking ...a mess when compared to others in any group. It seems that this is a sign that the black woman is 'in her place,' and is 'not going anywhere' so to say. She is locked down in her social position, is not a threat or a contender. When they look unpolished and dress without care (I am not even talking about expensive clothes) and cant grow their own hair, black women seem to give of the sign (which pleases others immensely), that we are un-integratable, immobile, will be where we are wanted (which is clearing up after others or making their path smooth for them). Even if you are overweight you can still dress to flatter your proportions while you work at weight loss.

In truth, so many people are comforted by black women looking dishevelled, worse for wear, dowdy, matronly, with ill fitting clothes or shapeless dresses, horrible hair and weaves with garish colors or worse a black woolly hat of some sort to stuff away unkempt hairdos. Indeed we all know it when we see it, black women who put on those types of woolly hats (usually black) clearly to skirt round combing and dressing their hair on a 'busy' day.

Don’t think this is one just poking fun at others, I have been there and done that. At one point I think I must have been the worst dressed at a local church I used to attend, because I just had too much on (you need to make time to be polished!) and of course I was one of those who felt relationship with God was above earthly things and this was the line I was fed steadily by pastors and the likes who talked about how men wanted holy prayer warriors even as said men were trampling said holy warriors in their brazen bid to get to the unholy good looking counterparts that they were said to never ever want (I guess this is why I am quick to recognize and condemn the double talk that comes out of the Black community and church). I know how comforted others felt, that I was 'out of contention'. I also know how 'sisters' felt it was ok to block any attention coming my way deeming themselves better recipients of the male's attention (yes Christians, yes in the church, you better recognize that Christians can and do constituent some of the folk most lacking in self awareness as such cause hurt and havoc).

Don't comfort people by your inability to make an effort. I 'd rather face obstacles because someone deems me a worthy adversary/rival/competitor than someone feel comforted by the fact that I look and present myself as someone they can say, 'Oh her, don’t worry she is no threat!'

Why black women are having a hard time meeting their marriage ambitions in and out of race

A few of you wrote to me about my last blog post. Some wanted to take me up on that idea of a matchmaker as I encouraged and I think this is a good idea. It set me really thinking and questioning why black women are indeed having a rough time connecting with men. I know it's rough out there for all races and marriage trends are down all over however as I have said, casual observation leads me to feel that even polished and proper black women who you would expect to not have issues are having major issues especially when considered against their less polished counterparts of other races. We have a weight of stereotypes working against us but not always in the straight forward negative way we think. Sometimes the sentiment is not we are not fit for marriage, its more like we are beyond needing marriage, men, a helper, a knight in shinning armour (if some people realized that black women too desire a shinning armoured knight they would faint dead away!). I think it is this later sentiment of 'Don’t be silly, black women don’t bother with all that silly stuff of love and marriage its all beneath them(we are super human and evolved past those silly needs of other women in fact we should be looked up to for this by women who are serious about their feminism because the black woman has kicked men out from any importance in our lives!). So how do we fix back this idea back that black women are like all other women in their desire for love and companionship?

Do you know one other clear reason why black women are suffering at the marriage stakes. The reason is this, each black woman is fighting this fight on her own. Black women do not have a network of friends, buddies, parents, aunties and uncles who have an eye out for her in this regard (rather if anything she is being fed BS and obsolete nonsense by her female relations either deliberately to sabotage her or because they are as dumb as nails). Black women are in it all alone, they don’t receive any kind of compounding effect of other women looking out for them in this regard. Indeed how many of you married or engaged black women have bothered to link up the many single men that form part of your network (especially now from your husbands circle) with the many single black women you know particularly in the BWE circles, women who you have known and vetted for years?

I was watching a documentary a year or two ago where it was revealed that Princess Diana actually hooked Fergie and Andrew (Prince Charles' younger brother) up. She planned and executed the whole thing and when Fergie finally confronted her about it (Andrew was always in the parties and get-togethers where she was invited), Diana openly admitted it without hesitation saying that she wanted a friend around the place. Yes the naïve sweet little 20 something year old Diana still finding her own feet in the royal family was busy matchmaking for her friend and with the specific goal of building a supportive network for herself in years to come (we also know that Camilla endorsed Diana as her replacement before Charles went after her!).

The only time a woman can chat up a man without any stigma is when she is chatting up a man to match him with a friend. As married or engaged women, you can have that discussion with a man without a sense of shame or fear. 'Are you with anyone?' You can say, “I know someone who would be just right for you, she has the dame taste in movies as you” or “I am gonna introduce you to a friend of mine and I believe you two will hit it off” etc etc. Folks, a recommendation is everything, especially in this wimpy modern world where people have too much choice and no backbone! Even in the workplace these days with their elaborate mechanisms for selecting the best person for the job... well just let a friend, colleague or worker recommend someone they know even if he or she is a serial killer and all those sophisticated systems are bypassed.

The two people might be as different as anything, but because you have said they are suited the psychology will work on them and they will start from a place and point of faith and openness that they may well become a couple. People have started relationships on the basis of faith in a friends recommendation. I know of a particular instance where the friends chose a woman randomly and were trying to play a practical joke but the action of that recommendation was so psychologically strong and by the time they revealed all, the couple had bonded because they had opened up to each other based on the recommendation. The couple ended up getting married!

People have built a whole relationship on the faith in their friend or colleague's say so.

So black women are battling ideas that make relationships beneath them as well as those that cast doubt on their fitness for marriage and there isn’t even a helping hand up from those who have cracked the code. Even in BWE circles there isn’t even this pulling together to assist (I must commend those who held cocktail parties or meet ups in the past around this objective God bless). These ones don’t think it is necessary to help and maybe create a friend and ally for life. None surveys their surroundings with the aim of identifying a match for their single friends and for some of you it wont even take you out of your way for more than 5 mins, you can do it while painting your nails! Folks are in such far flung places as Japan and China where the exotic value of black women is sky high and can deliver results and where the brand of black woman hasn’t been severely damaged by familiar stereotypes, yet they cant think of a way of exploiting this situation for their single girl friends. Some of you only need to use social media or introduce people through that medium.

As Lenny Kravitz says 'Mr Cab Driver only thinks about himself, Mr Cab driver I might need some help!

Next blog post available from 30 th March

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Meena said...

Thank you for writing such a wonderful post Halima. I have learned from observation and experience that a major factor in how young women of all groups find their way to marriageable men has a great deal to do with their family and friends. I was fortunate to have become close friends with a woman from work of Nigerian heritage whose friends and family truly embraced me. For the first time in life, I was blessed to have a woman in my corner who felt it important for me to be partnered and was willing to find a suitable partner for me. No woman from my own family has ever suggested this or provided guidance in how to approach the subject of finding a marriageable partner. This is why I am so appreciative of the work you and other Authentic BWE writers do. I only know of one family member who relied on friends from where she grew up in the Caribbean to help her find a suitable partner for both her first and second marriages. This is key! Women looking out for other women. However, many black women in the states and their black residential areas operate too dysfunctionally and are much too isolated from the rest of the non-black population. For example, not many young black women my age are aware of how important it is to vet men. Those who may be partnered with sub-par boyfriends that associate with sub-par male friends, would not be doing her black girlfriends a favor by playing matchmaker. Factor in the voluntary self-segregation and isolation many young black woman practice when out in social circles, and the prospect of becoming acquainted with potential partners of a different race is very low. It is important that a young black women who desires marriage do all she can if faced with these challenges to promote her goals full speed. Being able to rely on a solid support system is great. However, this requires investment and time to nurture the relationships from which we derive support. While I am hopeful these support systems can be formed among forward thinking black women, I still think it's best to look out for yourself individually.

Lorraine said...


Aabaakawad said...

Serial killers have excellent focus and a good work ethic.

Dee Dee Russell said...

Great post as usual. You remain a favored writer.

FemmeNoire said...

It is clear that a new infrastructure of support for Black women & girls is needed to replace the disgusting non-one in which Black women & girls have been abused and misraised both in & out of the Black community.

Anonymous said...

Great post! However I'm not sure I've ever seen these "black wooly hats" you speak of.

ak said...

I did comment on this post a few days ago but I still don't see the comment LOL! Oh well : ) I reciprocate with black and non-black girlfriends by telling them about job opportunities that I've heard of if they happen to be searching and I even got an interview to happen for one of them and one of my black girlfriends is very lovely, smiley and happy and seems like really good wife and mother material to me and I have attempted to fix her up with suitable looking men from mt workplace but I remember one alright fellow had a girlfriend so I had to look for someone else for her! LOL

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

It is highly disrespectful for that dysfunctional WM lurker who trolls our blogs and associates with anti-BWE Opportunists to leave some drive-by snarky comment to diminish the seriousness of the topic at hand.

It is more important than ever for BW who are like-minded where it counts with tangible assets to bring to connect with each other.

Shaylah Dixon said...

Black women have to incest in their self and their love life. I know we have the spiritual down and we need to start knowing how to date and meet people. How many of us watched the females in our household get ready for a date and not going to some church revival only to come away with any empty pocketbook and not our love lives nutured because we are told to "wait on the Lord"? We need to start taking hobbies and then more men of other races we encounter, the more we will become relaxed around them and will start to learn new things from them.

Zoe said...

I think that the fact that many bw in the West don't have fathers also contributes to the problem.

Men respect other men more than they respect women. Because of this, they assign a higher value to women who have male protection.

A woman who has male protection (in form of a father) is more likely to be treated with respect and offered marriage and commitment.

This does not mean that bw cannot get this from men. It just means that they have to be act a little smarter than white women in order to get the same results.

ak said...

I've contacted an introduction agency called Sara Eden as well. Let's see about going that route.