Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Solving the problem of free-range black women…

Let’s jump right on in, shall we?

Yes, I know…we sistahs are nothing if we aren’t a dangerous, hypersexual, unhealthy, emotional, and enraged mass of unmarried drama.

But worry not!

The Economist article has a solution to that unmarried part. And, since everyone knows that nothing settles a woman down like the guidance and leadership of a man through the sanctified institution of man-on-woman marriage, marrying black women off will likely address all of our other “problems” too!

Fuck the audacity of hope…let’s shoot for the audacity of being saved by a man!

Before you let those feathers get ruffled, please note that the editors at the Economist made a point of stating that they didn’t come up with the latest and greatest solution to the problem of free-range black women – wait for it…a “black male professor” wrote a something or other about it and HE is the one who “kicked up a storm”, so just chill that ass out and don’t blame the Economist for making sure that storm doesn’t die down.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

Professor Ralph Richard Banks has a book out titled “Is Marriage for White People? How the African-American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone”.

In the book, Banks makes a point that others have made that black women are less likely to be married. Black women are less likely to marry someone who isn’t black and apparently our unmarried free-range status has a negative impact on society, so everyone and their lap dawg should encourage unmarried black women to seek out men regardless of race and get our stubborn difficult and in need of marriage asses married.

Pause...consider the issue several times…continue.

Allow me to retort.

The term “unmarried” assumes that the natural state of adult human beings is “married”.

The economic argument is that the lives of women are more stable and secure when married…my argument is that the only fix to economic instability for black women is equality - in education, hiring practices, and wages.

The theory that “unmarried” black women are a drag on society assumes that marriage is a solution, but I’m here to tell ya that marriage is it’s own worst marketer.

With a 50% failure rate…and assuming that Banks is right in asking whether marriage is for white people…why the hell isn’t anyone asking why white people can’t get the marriage thing right?

Divorce costs money…it takes a toll on families and has a huge negative impact on the lives of women…and yet Banks and those who enjoy chewing on the bone du jour of black women’s integrity aren’t turned on by exploring the impact that has on whether women consider marriage or on society at large.

I get it, though.

If a body starts an intellectual exploration with the assumption that marriage is the natural state of things and assumes that women who are not married should be married then that body’s intellectual exploration is narrowed to a conclusion that seeks to solve the problem of unmarriedness.

But Banks apparently has a heart. He doesn’t want sistahs seeking to solve our unmarriedness to marry down or have to share a man. His solution is for our own good…so we can have our own man to lead us out of the darkness of trying to live life on our own.

And never you mind that this shit would deny black women romance...that it reduces the union of marriage to a transaction…that is leverages black women’s agency to a hunt for a provider…that in assuming marriage is a solution it absolves society of the multitude of inequalities facing women…or that this exploration on top of the relentless study of black women as mothers, as reproductive vessels, as troubled and at risk and a drag on society and unhealthy and violent and irrational and difficult thus in need of taming…

…that this shit situates black women as the subject, our lives naked and on display, studied like the Hottentot Venus, and presented with the false choice of leveraging our womb and sexuality for the promise stability and safety.


Well, shit…if that doesn’t get sistahs off our lazy asses and out there in the dating scene looking for a cure…um, err…a man, I don’t know what will.



Jennie Kermode said...

One does wonder what he expects lesbian black women to do. Does he not believe they exist, or does he think they should be married off too, that perhaps it will 'cure' them?

Somehow, given how few black women are bankers and politicians even today, it seems to me unlikely that the difficult economic situation we find ourselves in is their fault.

Shark-Fu said...

Jennie, I had the same thought but forgot to add the question to my post. Thanks for the comment!

Pockysmama said...

The term “unmarried” assumes that the natural state of adult human beings is “married”.


"unmarried" along with "premarital" irk the living hell out of me. They are not the default human condition. I am not "unmarried" as I had not intention of ever being married. Ditto "premarital."

A radical thought: some of us black women aren't interested in marrying ANYONE whether black, brown, yellow or purple.

Anonymous said...

Jayzus H. tapdancing monkeyballs!!! Here we go again with "The Problem with .... Black Women". Why we always gotta be a problem? And why is there so much drama and controversy over whether or not we are married? Why is that anybody's business? It's not like other American women aren't unmarried and having out-babies all over the place.

Seriously, this shit gives me gas!

Anonymous said...

Although well-intentioned, these articles are all too common. The drag on society is the unequal pay and expectations of women, and particularly women of color. Even if you ignore that, I think the problem they are really concerned about, in their biased way, is the drag on our economy by women who are forced to be the sole care-givers for children. And the Conservative solution to this "problem" is not better pay, more flexible hours, and childcare support, but marriage! Gaah!

Adj D said...

Girl Right on! So tired of this attack on unmarried black women Bull Shit as if being single is a curse, so they think married is the default situation! There's enough miserable married people out there, and so the problem is we won't give in and marry non black men as if that is THE answer!

charmngbilly said...

this is the third millenium, why does this medieval stuff keep showing back up??

i'm proud that in more and more places my people can get married, but i have reservations.....given what the str8 devils have made of the institution i kind of feel my people deserve something much better than marriage.....oops, i digress. easily distracted by bright shiny objects, here.

Anonymous said...

No sex before marriage. Just give me the sex.

"A puritan is someone who suspects someone else might be having a good time." H.L. Menken

BrownMichelle said...

Here's what gets me in the whole business. As a black woman very interested in getting married, it's frustrating that these articles tend to be posed as though the entire issue is that Black women are being picky or parochial. The Economist says something like "Black women fear that mean from other races aren't attracted to them." No - Black hetero women know that our race marks us as less desirable. Take a look at any personals section of a newspaper (do those still exist?) or the OKCupid blog post on online dating and race.

That - on top of all of the points made in the post and in the comments - makes me crazy. The same folks who reproduce and disseminate a culture that says that black women are unlovable are annoyed that black women feel unlovable.

Mark said...

It is better not to marry at all than to marry disastrously, contrary to popular belief. I am gay too and very interested in getting married, but I won't settle for just anyone. God, send me a geeky, mustachioed redheaded man who can talk intelligently about chaos theory.. please? Marriage for gays is overdue. (I'm a librarian! Ha!)

That being said, it is better for many women, not just black women, to stay single. I can't speak for the rest of mankind, but women in my life hold me together. They've got their own stuff together too so they don't mind helping me. MEN are the ones who need women, not the other way around. There are reasons that jokes exist about how woebegone a "bachelor pad" is.

I am mainly gay, but when I have been attracted to women (Kinsey scale, y'all) it has 9 times out of 10 to a sister. Black women are SO beautiful!! I don't know how the media is so unaware of this. If we do see a black woman in media, she's usually some light-skinned bony lady... NOT true black beauty at all!

Black women are accustomed to being self-reliant because of the dire social and economic circumstances they face. If they don't look out for themselves, who will? Anyone who has some kind of "problem" with black female self-reliance should first address these issues and maybe um, go meet a black woman.

Because of this history of independence, this does make black women proud and strong, and it's ridiculous that others see it as a problem. One of my black woman friends has a theory that black men marrying white women is because black men want someone more submissive and docile as a wife, since black women SURE aren't gonna fit that role. LOL. You go girls!!

She then concluded by saying that my headstrong (Italian) mother was the most like a black woman of any white lady she ever met- which I recognized as a HUGE compliment. Hehe,

Anonymous said...

I haven't read the Economist article or the book that the article refers to. So I'm not sure what was said.

But I do feel that quite a few of my professional, black women friends did feel that they didn't have any prospects in terms of marriage. And I know they wanted the experience of being a wife and a mother. For women who aren't interested and are happily single then it's great. But for those who are yearning for a life partner it's sad. That doesn't mean that single people are "less"; just that for some single people, being single isn't there first choice.

If there are social and economic reasons that cause more minority women to remain single when that's not what they want, I think it's important to understand those factors and see what needs to be changed.

Regardless, black women need to stop thinking of themselves as undesirable - they are beautiful and strong and loving - with or without a husband.

Anonymous said...

If I put a quarter in the magic race change machine and marry my husband again will marriage pay all my bills this time, cause it sure didn't the first time round.

But maybe the "marriage makes money fall out of the sky" thing only works if one, or both members of the couple are black? Of course the money didn't rain on a white/latino couple. That must be it.

Really how stupid can marriage mongers be?

PS Will marriage magically increase the family income of a cohabitating black women, or does it only work for virgins?

Anonymous said...

You hit it out of ballpark with that remark on fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. Therefore there are plenty of white people who used to be married and may be two or three time losers as statistics show if you are divorced you have twice the chance of divorcing again. So does that make whites smarter...I mean being two or three time losers in the marriage game?

C-Haze said...

Reading this, I am reminded of society's idiotic tendency to blame the very people it insists on victimizing for a host of societal "ills".

For years black women have been discriminated against, negatively stereotyped, denied equal employment opportunities, equal healthcare privileges, equal salary, equal housing opportunities, equal education opportunities (and that's just PART of the list- and it's post-segregation/Civil Rights era) by society.

Yet black women are blamed for the problems society created, through its own actions?

It's ludicrous.

Obviously it's much easier to point the finger at others than it is to look at ourselves and try to assess what role we may have played in creating many of today's problems.

NancyP said...

If the author is that concerned, he might advocate for decriminalizing possession of a small amount of a drug of abuse and for wider availability of drug and alcohol abuse treatment.

Anthony said...

I wouldn't say the black race is beyond repair, being a black male, I feel all races have their own share of issues back that is another topic, I can agree to disagree on the issue you are stating but drama comes in all relationship there is no perfect couple there are only couples who are committed to one another that have successful marriages, or relationships, we are flawed as a human race regardless of how successful or how much money we have but we can't be judgemental, There are truly some good woman out there in the world that have good hearts and are waiting for a good black man, we have to do the searching, as it says in the bible a man that finds a good wife finds a good thing, also nice guys need to really learn patience it is one of our strong qualites without it we would be impatient and bitter willing to settle for anything.

As for the ghetto, dramafide (not sure if that is a word, Lol), loud mouth black woman out there we truly can't judge them, example if you picture a young girl growing up in a not so good neighborhood who only had a single mom who was uneducated never had a positve male in her life to influence her was raised by television and the bad environments, you can't really be surprise as to what they become when they get older. Some of these woman need a positive male influence who is nice and charming and not afraid to speak the truth. I have seen honest nice guys turn a so called ghetto girl into a respectable woman who learn the values and respect of a positive role model, now don't get me wrong I said some not all, but really everyone deserve a chance, we have been so brain washed that we look at looks and body types, I mean we are men after all but we really should be looking at the heart.

I would so choose an okay woman with a good heart even if she has kids then a very attractive woman with no heart at all. Nice guys there is a time to be nice and at time to be honest, women don't need a nice guy 24/7. We need to step up cause we sure are good at complaining about not finding a good woman but will not put the effort to give them a chance because they don't meet our standards, really life is too short to be picky, now I'm not saying settle for anything but give them a chance you will know if they are good for you or not but read the book first not just the cover. Hope this helps any nice guy out there who truly wants to find someone and all the fake nice guys (please stop destroying our endangered species.)

Anonymous said...

I am a black man married to a white eastern european lady and I love her with all my heart. Love should be from the heart not because of the same skincolour.

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