Greetings all! I hope that you all are preparing for a wonderful holiday season. I, myself am eagerly anticipating some time off work to sleep and partake in some shenanigans with my friends. Whenever we get together it’s always a memorable time. With that being said, a recent Instagram post got me to thinking about my everlasting single status and the responsibility that lies on my shoulderS as a black woman. The meme was quite straightforward and simple, it reads “So who waits for us while we get out shit together?”-Black women. Pretty cut and dry question huh? Who waits on us to get our shit together? But the question is so loaded that if it was a potato, it’d be bursting with cheese and bacon. First of all, we all know that no one waits on us to get our shit together, so I choose to ask some other huge questions to point out the reality that we black women carry the brunt of the world on our backs and we’ve been doing it so long that oftentimes by our male counterparts we are taken for granted.
What if the roles were reversed, what if we did some of the ridiculous things that many, not all black men tend to do sometimes?
What If We Were Inconsistent With Our Careers?
You see the young black male, Cameron, is allowed to live with his parents while he works at the temporary agency and is allowed to explore the idea of a T-shirt company or possibly joining the military as a potential career path. Because truly, the black male is his momma’s baby while the black female, Jasmine, is that heifer that needs to get her ass out of her mother’s house as soon as possible. Now what both Cameron and Jasmine are doing is admirable but you see Jasmine is expected to already have her career path figured out by the time she’s entered her early 20s. In addition, as Jasmine leaves home and becomes involved with Drew, she’s expected to allow him immunity as he hustles out of the house that she’s breaking her back to pay for because her mother isn’t so welcoming. Crazy isn’t it? Cameron is cleared to discover himself with his mother while Drew expects the same treatment from his girlfriend. I’m quite sure there’s huge psychological discoveries in these two scenarios.
What if Cameron becomes a lawyer and meets Melissa who is thinking of being a counselor but right now she dances most of the time until she gets tired of the club owner and sometimes she earns money on the side as a waitress but then again she’s always braiding whenever she can. What if? I’ll tell you what if. Cameron would play with Melissa for a while but as soon as one of his homeboys says something about seeing Melissa at a bachelor party, poor Melissa would be history. Pretty soon she’d get the title of “trifling”, “hoe” and “broke” as he prepares to meet someone better. Is Cameron the villain here? Most of society would say no, and I’d say he isn’t a villain but he isn’t exactly correct either.
What If We Had Multiples?
Society doesn’t look at Cameron and Jasmine through the same lens. If Cameron wound up the father of three different babies with three different women his stock wouldn’t be any less off than it was when he was first enrolled into law school however if the tables were turned and Jasmine became a mother thrice with three different men things certainly would change for her. Would Cameron, the attorney, even look her way? You all know the answer to that, no, hell no. But again, is he the villain here? Is he a necessarily a bad guy?
Why Ask Us to Put Up With What You Wouldn’t?
I could ask about 100 questions, including the following about men and what they expect us to put up with but my ultimate wondering lies here, why would you want us to put up with some shit that you wouldn’t? Why? You don’t want a hoe, so don’t be one. You wouldn’t like inconsistency, so be consistent. You wouldn’t like irresponsibility, so stop running away from your responsibilities. You wouldn’t want a lazy woman, so don’t be a lazy ass man. You wouldn’t want us if we were broke and not trying to find direction? So you need to man up and boss up. If you wouldn’t want your daughter to date a man like you, you need to change. In addition, don’t get mad at us when we call a spade a spade, if you know damn well you have enough kids to fulfill a starting lineup of a basketball or football team, don’t get mad when we say that we’re not prepared to deal with all of that. You know damn well you wouldn’t. You wouldn’t want a woman who’s just with you for your 6 figures and she’s not making the same, so don’t you try and do the same shit to us.
If you were a little black girl in the 90s you saw a lot of phenomenal women. We saw Oprah for Christ’s sake as well as Hilary Clinton, Barbara Jordan, Maya Angelou, Janet Jackson, Angela Bassett and the list goes. Consequently we saw what greatness lies in being female and many times we saw the greatness that lies in being a black female (I know Hilary isn’t a sister) so many of us aspire to be as great or greater than those women. No one, has ever waited on us to get our shit together. We’ve had to carry the brunt of the world since the beginning of time. We’ve carried that weight in times of trial, through slavery as broodmares and the sexually exploited as well as in times of triumph while being labeled as “too independent” and “unwifeable”. Society has divided us with huge forces like Willie Lynch and governmental institutions such as welfare but through it all, we’ve still flourished, we’ve still transcended into the embodiment of Black Girl Magic. This reality isn’t necessarily harsh but instead triumphant, we know that no one waits on us to get our shit together, so to you black men, we aren’t waiting on you to get yours together either.
I had a friend, a real friend, who was working to keep his shit together and provide for his daughter. That friend was a great father and a true embodiment of what a real man’s love is all about. My dear friend EJ, I miss you so much. Every time I think of texting you some absurd mess about the opposite sex, I get even sadder, I get even madder because you aren’t here. Another anniversary of your death is looming in a month or so, and it’s still surreal to me. How could someone take your life and take so much of our light away, that is what you meant to me. You were so much light and a shining example of love. I love you and I miss you. Keep a watchful eye up there. Lord knows I need it.
December 12, 2017 at 7:07 pm
Beautifully written! I couldn’t have said it better myself. I feel as though successful black women like ourselves often get the short end of the stick because we have standards. It’s not that we think we’re above anyone, it’s just that we know the work we’ve put into our accomplishments and success. On top of that, we’ve been exposed to hardworking men of character and substance, so why should we settle for less? We deserve the best! Period,