Yesterday on twitter I started a discussion about a trend I’m noticing among young black men and women. I was too lazy to blog it at the time, but then the replies got OUT OF CONTROL. I simply could not respond to them all. So people suggested I blog about it anyway to give people an opportunity to comment. Therefore if this post gets no comments, I will be throwing MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF SHADE. And when I throw shade I break windows (and get all up in your mental).
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.
If there's anything I've learned during my short stint blogging and tweeting, it's that not everyone likes my style:
|A grand total of 10 people have blocked me on twitter. How rude!|