Sardonic Sistah Says

Observations… Ruminations… Ponderances… & Rants from Another Perspective

War Between the Genders: the Coolest

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It’s August and some of us are still discussing what Obama said in a black church on father’s day.

Some of us agree with it while others don’t.  Some of us think he should have kept it to himself while others think he should have done what we have always done and talked about it away from the cameras so the majority couldn’t hear.  But now that it’s out there we have to figure out what to do with it and why.

Or maybe not.  Since the 1960s the we’ve decided that researching, discussing and blaming was the way to go putting the condition of lower class blacks on white priviledge, middle class black flight or lower class black despair.  In truth the real reasons could be equally divided among the three but emphasis has been focused mostly on racism. In the meantime among young poor blacks the concept of black fatherhood has morphed into baby mamas/baby daddies, absentee fathers/overworked mothers.

In the book “Promises I Can Keep” sociologists Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalas posit that the reason lower class women have children out of wedlock isn’t because they don’t value family but, the exact opposite; they think motherhood and family is very important.  The problem is finding men of marriage material.  Instead of waiting for Mr. Right to arrive the women decide to start their families although they still hope the right man comes along. 

Which might be far from likely since the incarceration rate for black men is high and black men are six times more likely to be a victim of homicide than their white counterparts.  Even for educated black women the chances of finding a compatible mate are low since black women outpace black males in education and employment.

So for straight black men who are educated and gainfully employed what would be the impetus for marrying when, just taking the black community into account, they have a veritable wonderland of availabel women.  But even with this surplus of women black males have the highest mortality rate and studies show that unmarried black males live a shorter life than married black males.  Perhaps its because wives make sure that husbands get the help they need when they are sick or maybe it’s the sense of purpose that family can give that buoys the men to be better.

Unfortunately, the benefits of marriage for black men isn’t also true for black women.  In a 2005 article, columnist William Raspberry discussed the discrepency he found in a survye by the Institute of American Values.  In his article titled, “Poor Marriage, Poor Health” he interviews Linda Malone-Colon who says:

“In a number of surveys, African Americans report that they are less satisfied. They also report higher levels of conflict — even violence. Then there’s the matter of domestic justice — sharing household responsibilities. And infidelity rates are higher among African American men.”

A few weeks before Obama spoke of black men in church my friend Vette and I were comparing notes on two similar but distinct black women that we knew (and loved) who had a thing for black thug guys and only black thug guys.  According to them they were the only type of black men that existed.

“My friend Grace told me you can’t find a single black man who has never caught a case,” I submit.

Vette throws in, “Tabitha thinks that black men over 35 are old and boring.”

“How old is she?”

“Thirty eight.”

We come up with our own ideas of what is keeping black women away from decent black guys: they discount the good ones by thinking they are corny and boring; their summation of black masculinity is skewed too far toward an archetypal caveman; they haven’t grown up enough; they love drama.  Whichever reason it is it helps to reinforce the image of the player black male to young black males who have no role models to mimic.  If women, even your mama, seems to love the absent black male then why not aspire to be that way?

But then that seems like to much work to try to muster through when we can just put all the blame on the slavery system that instilled into us the black stud way of building families.  Although back then that “black stud” didn’t have a choice.


Written by rentec

17 August, 2008 at 6:42 am

Posted in blogging

2 Responses

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  1. […] public links >> household War Between the Genders: the Coolest Saved by MjOoPi on Sun 12-10-2008 The Next Big Thing Saved by ReneeThomasMusic on Thu 02-10-2008 […]

  2. […] is what is wrong with black women now,” my friend Vette said.  “We have ruined our men and our […]

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