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When It Comes to Relationship Complaints, Men Have It Wrong

Monday, June 14, 2010 , Posted by JD at 10:04 PM

Last week rapper Slim Thug set off a firestorm when he complained about black women not standing by their men. In his post for the "online magazine" Vibe, (which really wasn't so much a post as much as a weirdly recorded and transcribed rant i.e. a setup) he made a lot of generalizations about black women that were unfair and immediately garnered a negative response across the twittasphere and blogosphere.

I wanted to write about this incident last week but felt it had been done to death. At the time, I tweeted a few things to Slim Thug. Summary: Just because a woman doesn't hold YOU down doesn't mean she won't do so for someone else. You may want to reconsider the types of women you deal with.

Rather than attack Slim Thug's statements I felt it was better to encourage him to reflect on his own choices--something that women are always encouraged to do. In fact, even more than encouraged to be introspective women are often pushed into taking blame for the choices of their men. From magazine articles to silly ass books by the likes of Steve Harvey, women are told to use their actions to manipulate their men's actions into the positive. In other words, rather than expect and demand that men be decent because it's the right thing to do, it becomes the woman's job to use various Barnum and Bailey tactics to trick him into action like some helpless circus animal.

In my mind, the fact that women are constantly urged to be responsible for themselves and others makes me, and presumably other women, extra sensitive to comments like the ones Slim Thug made. I believe that many men have issues with women because even more than women generalize men (e.g. all men are dogs) men generalize women and it always works to their detriment.

The majority of my close friends are male, and when they relay stories to me about what their women are or aren't doing, it's difficult to explain to them that the deficiencies in their relationship have more to do with the woman's disinterest than it does with women in general having bad relationship habits.

For example, if you are with a woman who never cooks for you yet this is something that is important to you, two things could be happening. 1. She doesn't like you enough to please you in that manner or 2. You have a fundamental disagreement about how important this issue is in the relationship. However, most men tend to think of this issue as a reflection of the fact that modern women don't cook anymore.

Sometimes failings in a relationship are indicative of a lack of investment e.g. someone dating someone just so that they're not alone).  Once again, just because she's not cooking for you doesn't mean she didn't cook for the last man or that she won't cook for the next one. Replace the word "cook" with "perform oral sex," "listen to your problems," "hold you down," "pay like she weigh," or any number of other actions a man may desire a woman perform, and you have the same scenario.

When men brainwash themselves into believing that all women are ______, they cheat themselves. This type of logic pushes you to stay in relationships that aren't healthy for you because you believe that if you move on to the next woman the same patterns will reappear.  The reality is, should you choose the right woman next time, the issues that you have with your current woman won't be issues at all.

To be clear, I do believe that there are some distinct patterns emerging in men and women that prevent us from having healthy relationships. So yes there are some behavioral commonalities but still most of this boils down to the two individuals involved. The generalization trap is one that men tend to fall into, in particular black men who tend to have an extra need to be cherished in a relationship whether they like to admit or not.

I sympathize with Slim Thug to the extent that due to his profession he may in fact be blinded and confused by his choices. On one hand, he may need a certain type of woman to present a particular image to the public. On the other hand, that type of woman might leave him lonely and wanting for a real connection. I believe that when rapper Talib Kweli jumped in to defend Slim Thug, he did so because, as one of Thug's peers he could identify to some degree.

To that end, it doesn't mean that either man hates women or hates black women. It just means that like many men, they haven't begun to successfully explore all of their options. Perhaps they feel boxed in by the women that are immediately available. Once again, the response to that is not to verbally batter these men but to encourage them to reach for something substantive rather than something easy.

Currently have 5 comments:

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great post.
    I believe your comments are valid and sound. To point something out:

    "However, most men tend to think of this issue as a reflection of the fact that modern women don't cook anymore."

    You are spot on with this one. Assuming ALL women reflect ONE woman's habits is extremely dangerous. We've seen time and time again that men don't want to hear about the ex-boyfriend. Why must WE hear about the ex-girlfriend or the ex-wife constantly? It's aggravating and troublesome.

    I honestly had to recall who Mr. Thug was (I don't listen to hip hop all that much). When I found out who he was, I dismissed him (how's THAT for bougie?) Men like him aren't worth my time. Unfortunately, there are a lot of immature men who follow Mr. Thug's thinking.

    Perhaps Black people should stop talking and start acting. Mr. Thug's comments set off a barrage of complaints from both Black women AND men. Maybe if Black folks put their good relationship habits into use - we wouldn't have men with the likes of Mr. Thug and his annoying verbiage.

    KJ

  1. A.Smith says:

    "Step up your game..." this has become my refrain in all these debates. Anyone who's seen my comments is probably sick of it.

    To me, it wasn't that what he said was so baseless and insulting, it was that he really did mean that to address all black women. Not some (as he tried to later claim) or just the ones he knows... but all of us. No, sir. That works, not.

    How do you think you're going to date the same type of women from the same places and get new results? Same for women looking for men. How are you going to do that? Makes no sense. So unless you're varying your approach and dating all types of women, I don't care about your generalities or thoughts, honestly.

    I loved your take on this issue. Especially this: "This type of logic pushes you to stay in relationships that aren't healthy for you because you believe that if you move on to the next woman the same patterns will reappear." It's got me thinking about how many dudes I know who stayed with girls they knew were no good. But they liked how their other male friends lightweight drooled over her, they liked that in public they looked like they had bagged a dime (whatever the hell that means). I say when you start generalizing a group (in this case, men generalizing women) it becomes much easier to stay, as you say, especially when you know you should bounce. Makes perfect sense to me.

  1. and1grad says:

    I dont have the link but Slim Thug addressed this on Tigga's show & his explanations of what happened seemed reasonable. The only thing I learned about that whole fiasco was that being reactionary doesnt do much for understanding a situation or statement. Actually, I'm lying. I already knew that. So...I didnt learn anything. #shrug

    "The generalization trap is one that men tend to fall into, in particular black men who tend to have an extra need to be cherished in a relationship whether they like to admit or not."

    This is kind of a confusing statement given your point about generalization. An extra need to be cherished? Compared to ___ men? I also cant co-sign the men generalize women more than women generalize men statement. Shocking, I'm sure. LOL

    Admittedly, I tease women about this crap all the time bc so many of yall are so willing to listen to anyone say ANYTHING about relationships...even when the advice given is so OBVIOUSLY atrocious. Its really funny to watch. To be fair, society (minus the judicial system) places the onus of maintaining a successful relationship onto the woman...but Christ, stop listening to EVERYTHING/EVERYBODY.

    That said, why havent you done a blog on cooking for your man? :-) I would retweet that. #justsaying

  1. I am glad you pointed out that a LOT of women shows, books and magazines act like men can be trained like a puppy with a dog clicker. It took me a long time to find a woman that was not trying to manipulate me into doing what she wanted, instead of just telling me why (blank) is important to her. I don't know about other men but when alerted to manipulation by any force I automatically react with rebellious behavior sometimes to my detriment.

    What I really don't understand is why people get all in a tizzy when people make over reaching statements. I could give two rats asses what any person who does not know me or pay me thinks about me.

  1. Sunshyne says:

    Amen! If Slim Thug would take the time to find out all them heffas he givin his number too are really hoodrats before he tries to get serious he may have less problems.

    And you're right Superstar, Cosmo has a bad habit of that every month. How to get you man to put the toilet seat down, how to get him to share his feelings, how I got him to take me out on a date. It's ridiculous!!