Sunday, August 24, 2008

Why are Black Women in 'Wait' Mode

I am sure we all understand what it means to be in a mode. If you have some of the older sound systems like I do you know you need to shift a button to different modes to enable the CD, Radio or Cassete. One can be in a mode to sleep, to eat, to excercise etc. Black women are apparently in waiting mode. They are waiting to see if they can 'work this out', 'turn this thing around' with black men. Many are waiting to see 'if we might not need to change the modus operandi' in terms of dating.

Sometimes people question the way in which I do the work of 'enabling' black women to take up their full options for relationships. Some ask, why cant you just say, "Love should know no color", or some same comment. My response is that such notions have little or no meaning to black women. If it did, anything from up to a quatre of black women, would be with other men by now because in the black female situation, it is not only comonsense, it is expedient that love should have no color! Having weighed the situation, I know that I have to put up 'an effective argument' for interracial dating for black women. And you cant have an effective message unless you understand black women, where they are coming from, their social and political realities etc. Its no good speaking to them in terms that have no meaning, one might as well not say anything.

Lets face it 70% singleness of black women, is quite a high number. In fact it is abnormally high. No one waits until they are 70% in a problem to make some adjustment or some other arrangements, unless their response systems have failed are overridden or something else is going on. Usually people start to feel uneasy when a situation turns 35-40 percent. The fact that black women have not reacted effectively to their situation speaks to a number of things.

Say for instance you were in a ditch, and it started to rain and fill with water. I am sure that by the time the water was at your ankles, it would be obvious that you would need to get out. Your brain would work fast, it would tally the situation with a possible outcome and your body would respond to self-preserve. Indeed by the time the water was at your calves I am sure you would have already started keen efforts to get out. To stay in place till the water is almost at your neck points to the fact that, maybe you are trapped and a rope has caught of your feet and you cant pull free. Its either that or someone has come upon the situation, and told you that they have sent or are going for help, and that you should stay put or that the rain would stop in a few minutes and they would get you out, or the water would seep into the ground or some such other story. At this point we can also be talking about 'mind games' being played.

When you realise that the above scenerio can be an analogy of black womens situation yet they black women havent really made any moves to speak of, then you understand that what needs to be done is not mere generic talking about 'love sees no color', but really this is about untangling black women (psychologically and otherwise) from whatever is keeping her complacent in an urgent situation. Thus my key objective, (having recognised that this is no ordinary but a very complex issue), has always been to untangle black women from the memes and notions within her community that keeps her staying put while the percentage climbs 60., 70, 80... This is what it means to be effective.

There are memes and ideas within the black community that are encouraging black women to stay in wait mode. Challenging these ideas (and they are a plethora), means challenging such notions as 'dating and marrying black is the proof of a black womans race committment, 'by sticking to black I am doing my bit for my race' 'there are enough black men out there for every black woman', 'black men are brothers and will always act in a brotherly and safe manner towards black women, other men wont.' Some times its about pointing to the logical outcomes of certain perspectives, other times its about unpacking complex memes which on the surface appear simple and straight forward.

So the question that often comes to me, 'why do we need to talk about black men', is answered by 'because it is the meme/s that the community has crafted around black men that keeps out other options, therefore we have to challenge these.' So it is not so much black men being talked about, but the ideas and values woven around dating black men that are being scrutinized.

I also cause black women to pause and take a look/stock of their sitaution (in ways that they are often discouraged from doing) where all the nessecary clues that could tell them how they should now react are evident. Lets face it, black women dont wake up one day, decide they want to get married and find no men, rather years of 'datelessness', male rejection and ridicule (a common experience with black women), would have taught black women what to do, how to adjust if they only took note of their personal experinces.

70% singleness rate for black women is very shocking, yet black women wait. It is very evident that they need the skillful presentation of the issue from Black Female Guardians who have their interest and their interest alone in mind.

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