marrriage

Black Women's "Unreasonable" Dating Standards

In a post titled Stop Re-Writing The Obamas History To Justify Your Inadequacy, where I wrote about how the Obamas' presumed perfection is used by some Black men to justify Black women tolerating poor partners, as these men will compare themselves to Obama’s early days, claiming that Michelle accepted him with “nothing” (because being a law intern during Harvard law school enrollment, previous work experience as a passionate community organizer, having a Columbia degree, tall, physically attractive, great personality, humor, wit and being sensitive to women’s needs is “nothing”), I also wrote:  

The idea that Black women have standards that are “too high” yet no other women do, when what many women of various races want has many areas that overlap, is a myth created to insult Black women. Some Black men applaud this. Here’s the real problem. When Black women are the “only” ones with standards that are too high, what Dateline, CNN, and any other unknowledgeable entity that seeks to quantify and measure Blackness are saying is that Black men are inferior. They can’t measure up. Black men need to heed this before applauding these various insults that the media perpetuates to marginalize Black women; they are in fact subtle jabs to Black men. Black men aught to be more stingy with their applause…

In a post titled Black Women Are Not Bitter I wrote: 

Black women are not bitter just because we desire quality partners. Women’s standards and desires for men do not magically become “unreasonable” when a Black woman has them, then reasonable again if a non-Black woman has them. The only way this would be true is if the world is confirming that Black men are permanently inferior, thus anything Black women could want is not possible, thus making us “unreasonable.” Black men should reject this, versus applauding anytime the media suggests that we are “unreasonable.”

Black women are consistently faced with the sexist racism that already claims that we are not desirable partners because we don’t obey Black men enough (despite sadly millions of Black women actually being ride or die for patriarchy), are not attractive enough (thanks to Eurocentric beauty standards that creates a hierarchy where Black women with the least European features are deemed the least attractive and women of colour are spread out over this hierarchy based on how close they are to appearing White) or are the sole cause of being single (despite plenty of Black women choosing to be happily single, are a part of the LGBT community and are not interested in heterosexual Black men, are open to interracial relationships and are not seeking Black men “only,” or worse, are deemed as unreasonable drama queens who are hunting athletes, rappers and “thugs” only).

Despite the fact that NO conclusive evidence reveals that all Black women want rappers (other than a handful of fans, what Black woman [even if she likes rap music] legitimately wants to walk down the aisle with a rapper waiting at the end? Literally?), athletes (and while just like women of other races, many Black women think sports are cool and find some athletes attractive, they aren’t actively seeking professional athletes as partners), or “thugs” (which many Black men with college degrees will label any Black man who doesn’t have one, but is still considered attractive to Black women a “thug”; they do this out of jealousy because they assume that the social status climb should automatically make them more attractive than Black men with a lower social status), mainstream media, Black men and even some Black women who identify with patriarchy and seek to marginalize fellow Black women will continue to assert this hapless claim. Whites seem to believe the exact same things about Black women and dating.

The reason why the athlete/rapper/“thug” nonsense persists is because the culture around all three types of men is hypersexualized (a combination of racist stereotypes against Black men [the oversexualized “buck”] and these Black men performing patriarchal masculinity which includes a component of sexual hyperactivity) and to suggest that all Black women want one of the three is to reinforce the idea of Black women and hypersexualization. Because of a plethora of things from cultural norms to racist and classist blockades to other areas of employment in addition to the culture of celebrity worship, athletes and rappers are financially some of the most “successful” Black men in America. Black women as a group are deemed to crave these men as to reinforce the notion of Black women being “gold-diggers” who are inherently “immoral;” not typical American women (and men) who tend to have interest (even if not relational or sexual) in anyone deemed successful by society’s standards.

If I said that all White women want Wall Street bankers, politicians and biker gang members as husbands, people would laugh me out of the building. Yet similar hapless claims shaped by racism and classism are made against Black women daily. Worse, Black men have yet to realize that every time they applaud the media asserting that Black women have “unreasonable” standards, they are suggesting that they themselves are inferior and unable to be the kind of partners that women of other races seek and aren’t called unreasonable for seeking them.

It’s critical to paint Black women as being both undesirable and the CAUSE of said undesirability so that the racism used to shape conversations about our desires, our relationships and who we choose to love will remained unquestioned. And sadly, Black men are the least likely to challenge this racism. Many feel that they have too much to lose in the name of patriarchy if they challenge when this sexist racism is targeted specifically against Black women. The problem is it’s never just about us. Black men busy clapping and agreeing with the media, or worse, become a part of this media (i.e. the recent sexist over at Black Enterprise or Steve Harvey or Tyler Perry or Kevin Hart or Tyrese or Reverend Run or D.L. Hughley…I could go on for at least an hour) they don’t realize that every time they set fire to my identity as a Black woman, they too slowly die from smoke inhalation.

Stop Telling Me What I Like!! Do you Know What You Like?

I am tired of people saying that, oh your only interested in Asian Men….No…I am interested in MEN! point blank. I don’t know who I am going to marry in the years to come! 

And to the African American Women who bash their own race of men. Who are you? What gives you the right to bash your own race? Or any race for that matter! Like I get messages from people who say, “Aren’t White men, Asian Men, Hispanic Men, etc. better than Black Men?” Or they say, “I interracially date because Black Men are not worth anything." 

Like really? Take a seat and reevaluate what you are saying. You are basically stereotyping your own race. So what of the women who date these men? Listen Ladies and listen well. No race of man is better than the last one! A Man is a Man treat him as such.

To the African American Men who tell me that, "You are a Sell out. A white Man’s whore." I am also going to kindly ask all of you take a seat as well. Who are you to tell me that my love for a man, (Whether he is white, black, hispanic, Asian etc.) Is sell out behaviour? what is a Sell out? A person should love whoever they want to love whether it’d be same or different gender and race. 

We cool?

Cool.

Marriage is like that show Everybody Loves Raymond, but it’s not funny. All the problems are the same, but it’s- You know, instead of all the funny, pithy dialogue, everybody’s just really pissed off and tense. Marriage is like an unfunny, tense version of Everybody Loves Raymond. But it doesn’t last twenty two minutes. It lasts forever.
—  Paul Rudd (Knocked Up)
France set to hold first gay marriage

France set to hold first gay marriage (via AFP)

The first gay marriage in France is set to take place Wednesday in the southern city of Montpellier, amid fears of protest after months of opposition that saw tens of thousands take to the streets. Officially a secular republic, France is overwhelmingly Catholic, and the issue of gay adoption and marriage…


 
My Bride, My Fact-Checker

My bride is my fact-checker. And I am hers.

Before I place an order at a restaurant I ask my bride what kind of fish I like. Before my bride starts to watch a movie she asks me if she’s seen it before.

My bride knows what I’m allergic to. I know her favorite song. She tells me what insurance card to use. I remind her what authors she has read.  She knows every medication I have ever taken.  And I keep a firm record of all the places she has ever had sex with her husband….with charts and graphs and statistics of success.

I remember half the shit that is important to my well being. And my bride remembers the other half. And like most marriages, vice versa. After ten years of wedded bliss my mind has become mush. I need my bride…I need her to help me complete my boring stories.

We’re at a cocktail party and I yell across the room, “Honey, which Caribbean island were we at when you were pregnant with Abby?”

Which Caribbean Island? Damn, that sounds pretentious. Except that we’ve only been to two…and I can’t remember the names. One was Antigua. The other starts with a “B”.

Then one hour later my wife calls over to me, “Honey, what was that restaurant that we went to near the Art Museum?”

Oh, I know this one! It was called Rembrandt’s. You had the Chopped Salad with mixed greens, oranges and grape tomatoes. We did not have sex that night…although I gave it my best effort.

I seem to remember the minute details of our life. While my bride attends to the big things. She has memorized our entire family’s social security numbers, while I have memorized the lyrics to our favorite Dan Zanes song.  I remembered to charge all the electronics for our upcoming vacation, while my bride has remembered to pack up all the kids…all four of them.

My bride knows where we keep our money. I know where we keep the remote control. My bride keeps a mental record of medical shots our children have had. I keep a mental record of our favorite shots at the bar. My bride knows every ingredient in our kids lunch bag. I know every song that I ever put on a mix-tape for her.

Ok, so my bride hangs on to the more important information in her head like medical and emergency information. While my mind tends to maintain our pop-culture references like the movie we saw on our first date. One of us will be great answering questions at the emergency room. And one of us will be great answering questions on The Newlywed Game.

My wife’s knowledge can literally save any of our lives in a pinch. My knowledge, however, can win us a a two–night stay at Dick&Jane’s B&B in Rhode Island. Now tell me, who would you want by your side?

I am Kevin Harris, a father of four and husband to one very understanding woman. And yes, I know exactly what’s causing all these pregnancies! My home life makes me smile and I like to share that laughter with others. Hopefully, you can find a bit of your home life reflecting in my pathetic blog. Like it. Seriously, you know you want to. Just click the damn thumb already. For more of my writing I suggest you visit my favorites page….http://mypatheticblog.tumblr.com/tagged/favorites