Posts Tagged ‘Relationships

18
Feb
10

International Nonsense

Russia Today, known as RT, is a global network broadcast in English, and intended to provide a Russian viewpoint on global events as well as news occurring across the country. It also has a channel on youtube, and recently aired this story about… what do you know? Single black women in America. I wonder what the “Russian perspective” on this one could be. Let’s watch.

A few questions I have right off the bat.

  • Did I miss when this became a global crisis?
  • Why are the first girl’s three arguments for why she feels she deserves a good man that she has neither a disease, attitude problem, nor likes to fight?
  • Is it just me or does it seem like these newscasters are just going through the motions?
  • Would it reveal anything more to talk to a successful young black, or even mixed couple and get their take on the situation?
  • Funny how these stories don’t perceive the possibility of homosexuality as a contributor to the statistical imbalance.
  • What are statistics like for black men and women in Russia? Are African American men that enigmatic a breed?

As I stated in my last post, before we start looking at statistics and shaking our heads, I think everyone could benefit from a little more introspection and determination when it comes to searching for Mr. or Ms. Right. Not only should black women, in this case, consider altering their requirements, but they should consider what it is in a potential partner that might compliment their lifestyle in a way they may not have considered. Times are changing, and a woman who seeks happiness might need to separate herself from the powers she has gained through access to the bread-winning world of career-chasing from the power she naturally possesses as a woman. I think many women are at a loss for why they are successful, yet single, might be  approaching the dating scene more like man than a woman. Sure, men want a woman with a good job, goals, etc., but something within that XY gene reminds males from the inside out that they should be providing for others. Women experience the same calling, but the difference in how we provide that nurture and care is part of what attracts us to one another.

The issue is that women seem to be the ones making the most progress in all areas right now. The side-effect of this movement ultimately weighs, then, on their capable shoulders. That’s not to say that “Good” men won’t always exist to help combat stereotypes and assist in the transition, but by certain standards, these fellas are clearly not prominent enough in number.

So to black women: I personally think black love is stronger than ever. It can neither be replicated nor estimated.  Today, it also exists beyond the bounds of a black relationship. African Americans have an opportunity today to share our passionate brand of partnership with the world, and I fault neither those who undertake this task nor those who prefer not to with undermining it. And now, I have full faith that the black woman will construct a creative solution to this “crisis” before the rest of the planet has enough time to throw the entire African American race a pity party.

18
Feb
10

Blacklisted

"State of the Black Woman"

“For starters, there are 1.8 million more black women than black men. So even if every black man in America married a black woman today, one out of 12 black women still wouldn’t make it down the aisle if they hoped to marry a black man.

Let’s take 100 black men. By the time you eliminate those without a high school diploma (21 percent), the unemployed (17 percent) and those ages 25-34 who are incarcerated (8 percent), you have only half of black men, 54 percent, whom many black women find acceptable.”

—From ABC “Nightline’s,” Single, Black, Female– And Plenty of Company

This excerpt comes from a special “Nightline” investigation featuring a handful of successful young black women who apparently possess all of the qualities which would make them highly desirable to a black man, but were all single and finding very few eligible prospects on the playing field.  The segment, which aired in December, sought out comedian turned self-proclaimed relationship aficionado, Steve Harvey, to get to the bottom of their man-seeking woes.

Follow this segment below for about 7 minutes.

So soak all of that in–whether you are a man or woman, and whether your are black, white, yellow, red, blue, etc.

Now, pay special attention if you are a Hampton student–and just a little bit more if you aren’t. In case you don’t attend the university, and the following figures haven’t been drilled relentlessly into your subconscious by way of your daily social interaction here, the female to male ratio at this school is 3:1. Hampton is also a historically black university, and its demographics reflect as such.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a peculiar test group–one significantly groomed to enter into the professional world within the next four or so years and compose a formidable push of young African Americans into the workforce. Presumably, there will also be approximately three times as many black women graduating as men.  It can be said that the closed-campus factor which promotes black relationships at Hampton is not a fair translation of the opportunities (or lack thereof) that the “real world” presents, but the similarity in the lopsidedness of the figures cannot be ignored. Although the women in the clip featured above have developed their own criteria of characteristics which potential suitors have either failed to meet or have not displayed in conjunction with that indescribable “spark” which most would claim is the true beginning of any courtship, they have found their reasons–just as women on this campus have–to raise a concerned voice about the state of the black relationship. More specifically, last week, the sisters of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Inc. hosted a discussion to address the state of the black woman.

Panelists Await Audience Commentary

The forum, which presented several descriptors of today’s young black woman inspired an open-ended discussion, including a revolving table of panelists who spoke briefly on their experience regarding each attribute. Words like “strong,” “exotic,” and “virtuous” were topics of discussion as both male and female students recounted stories of their mothers as role models.

Curious as to how the Hampton woman’s mindset concerning relationships compared to that of the black woman in the professional world, I drew my own sample of college-aged women who have found their unique brand of success in academics, extracurricular activities, and lifestyle.

This success, which varies greatly from what might be an acceptable translation in the professional world (paycheck, position), offers females seeking companionship a more intimate understanding of the males they are attending classes with. The types of characteristics that a woman might otherwise have to uncover through the process of blindly dating around are nearly on display across this campus. Still, many black females at Hampton express disappointment with the availability of males attending the school. After revealing such statistics to students who attended the forum, these are some of the responses I received.

Andre Watkins-Clark, senior aviation major from Ohio and Nina Martin, Senior art major from Hampton discuss their take on the statistics below.

A Male Student Poses A Question to the Panel

Although the odds seem stacked against black women, I would venture to say, even as a black man, that patience in selecting a mate is the key to success. Combine that with a understanding of what it is, as a woman, you want in a mate, and you will never see yourself as part of any statistic–only a decider of your own life path. It will most likely take a more flexible mindset and assessment of priorities on the females behalf, seeing as the black woman is entering into a world where numbers don’t lie and the “role” of both parties in a relationship is changing, but a woman who approaches the playing field with an attitude of self-determination will get what she wants. Just as a man holds certain powers to bend the rules of the love game in his favor, the efforts of single women in search of companionship must be directed towards using a creative approach to claim the ball in their court. Simultaneously, they must realize that even the most imbalanced weight of  any statistic or poll could never trump the individuality that each and every black woman possesses which makes them attractive in the first place.

What are your thoughts? Do the statistics concern you as a male or female, black or otherwise? Is an environment like Hampton University’s an honest precursor to the opportunities offered in the “real world?”




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