When It Comes To ‘The Single Black Women’ Conversation, Is It Time To Change The Subject???

- By Bossip Staff

Last week’s conversations about the “unwed Black mother problem” and its potential solutions had many Bossip readers saying ‘Here We Go Again…” And we completely understand.

Every time we look up there is a new story about how so many black women are unmarried and examining the possible causes.

In her recent article “All The Single Ladies (And Men) Deserve A Break” Kellee Terrell asks that we stop pointing fingers at single black women (and men) and start pointing them at the media:

What’s interesting is that every five years, this topic dusts itself off and re-emerges with a trendy news hook. This time around, we have [Tyler] Perry’s exhaustive body of work and our infatuation with the Obamas’ marriage to blame for why this topic just won’t die. You know it’s bad when the subject has infiltrated spaces like the Economist magazine.

My issue isn’t with the fact that we are talking about straight black romantic relationships; it’s with how we are talking about them. These conversations are not nuanced, eye-opening or constructive. Instead they are dominated by malicious finger-pointing, and cloaked in sexist and classist undertones that do nothing but insinuate that we as black people are pathological. A lot of the fingers point toward black women in particular.

The issue is complex, but we understand how the nuance gets lost in the word count. It’s hard to present these issues with ALL of the facts and scenarios and still keep things brief enough to keep our reader’s attention.

Fortunately Terrell offers some suggestions about how to go about this conversation in the right way:

Don’t get me wrong; folks have some legitimate reasons to be upset, and we do need to continue to call each other out — in a more civil and dignified manner. But at some point, we also have to be willing to recognize when our complaints are based on sexist ridiculousness, reactionary bitterness and unrealistic expectations.

What’s missing is a conversation about how jumpin’ the broom might not make you complete if you were not complete to begin with. And how you shouldn’t feel like a complete failure if you haven’t or never will wed.

What’s also missing is a constructive conversation about self-analysis and healing. Hey, life is hard, and we need to address the role that our own baggage — past experiences, upbringing and trauma — plays in how we view ourselves and relate to one another. And most important (channeling my inner bell hooks here), we need to be open to understanding how oppression — whether racism, sexism, patriarchy, homophobia or classism — plays out in our everyday lives and affects our romantic relationships. More important, we need to understand how our internalization of all of those prejudices truly messes us up.

Do you agree that the way the media talks about black relationships is damaging to our psyche?

We agree that it’s time to change the subject, and we think that looking at the topic in a different way may be key to actually finding some solutions.

Since Terrell suggests starting with dealing with our emotional baggage as single people — we wanted to start there.

How has your upbringing influenced your attitude toward marriage and relationships? Does the media play a role in how you date? If you date outside your race, what made you take those steps? What problems have you encountered dating or marrying outside of your race? What are some of the unfair accusations/assumptions you have about the opposite sex? What are some of the unfair accusations/assumptions you’ve faced?

Do you think the black community’s attitude towards counseling and psychotherapy is part of the problem?

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Comments

  • samech

    …..YES!!!

    • ImaPC

      no. Putting things out in the open is the only way to get any kind of change. Is it better for our ‘psyche’ if everyone ignores the elephant in the room?

      if over 70% of Black children are born out of wedlock, then thats going to be damaging to many Black psyches anyway, regardless of if anyone wants to talk about it.
      The truth of the matter is we have a lot of the same issues we did 15-20 years ago. We still ascribe to White standards of beauty, we still have a higher percentage of Black men in prison relative to our collective place in the population than other races, and we are STILL bringing up the rear in many pverty and education categories.

    • TheFamWilliams

      I agree. Let’s drop it. Its not only a Black issue according to the 2010 Census — fewer people of all races are married. This is just another ploy to blame Black women for something … anything. Divorce rates are high, anyway. Besides, why let someone else tell you what to do with your life. Only you decide how you want to live. People aren’t marrying because its too much drama.

  • nana

    @Akillah some don’t have a choice!

    • my two cents

      ALL women have a choice, whether they realize it or not!

  • Bunny(formerly Angel/UrHeiness)

    How come it’s always “the forever single bw?” So there are none to very little “single” bm out there? Is that what it is? hmmmm…SMDH yet again.
    & all the white/non-black women are happily wedded or in harmonious relationships?

    • SoKali

      I’m married, my sisters married, my mothers still married to my father. Some of us still do this without buying into the hype created for us. The black woman is the new scapegoat for all our problems and needs the same support that the black man begged for in the 80’s and 90’s when they were being stereotyped the worst.

  • HeartBreak

    I think the medias’ stilted portrayal of black people ‘as a whole’ is damaging to the psyche.

  • http://omgtre.com OMGTré! - Blog

    I wish they would leave the Black woman’s vagina and uterus alone!

    • 1991 UK Gem of Africa

      loooooooool so true.

  • 1991 UK Gem of Africa

    blah blah blah…. why do black people love attacking each other smh… and so if some one is single what does it have to do with anyone else… I do not care as long as it doesn’t affect me. Being single is not the end of the world.
    This site just recycles the same old stories and the same old ignorant fools come with the same old ignorant statements.

  • juliemango

    Overall bw need to work on becoming more desirable to bm and also open up our minds to a shorter list not necessarily lowering our standards!!!

    • my two cents

      juliemango needs to stheck up until she finds a clue. bw are ALREADY attractive. i don’t think it is a matter of “attractivness, it is more a matter of their blackness. ever notice the same “brothas” that hate fat, will PROUDLY spend time with fat as long as it is white? or hispanic? eurocentric standards of beauty play a great part.

      for the record, the only bw i know lamenting about their singleness are waiting for their black prince. otherwise, they could open their options and give and get love from those giving it to them.

  • imjustsayin

    Why is the focus on black women being single when 60% of black men are single as well
    And more importantly why is that so bad
    Really its a lot of people black or white who don’t wanna be married it ain’t cuz they can’t find nobody all the time
    I kno plenty of so called unattractive women happily married or in a relationship hell it seem like they be the main ones getting married theses days….
    My whole thing is I’m tired if the media acting like its something wrong with not being married and when they say single technically all that means is not married but they’re tryin to make it sound like single and can’t find a man when there are plenty of bw in great evolving relationships and then you have women like me in the early 20s still tryin to become established before I even attempt to settle down so I guess I’m part of tha statistic as well huh..even tho my relationship wit my man has spanned longer then some married couples
    Its all bs the media always tryin to find a way to be little us all they really tryin to say is no one wants a black women and they try to throw statistics in there to prove it as fact

    • Nee Nee

      Exactly! Well said! Im so tired of hearing about this! Im single in my 30’s and I want someone but I most certainly will not settle NOR am I sad and lonely over it. I do what I want when I want and nobody to answer to. Also, they keep doing these percentages. What about the divorce rates??? The highest percent of people divorcing are white! Blacks are right behind but that certainly says alot. So I am just doing me and you also are so right about the “unatractive” women being the ones to get married. Seen bridezilla?? Those itches are always the ugliest stankiest ect ect I’ll just stop right there lol! But yea, this whole subject is stupid and I am really tired of the media and people letting the media make us look like something we are not.

  • Matix B

    If you are not married, divorced or widowed your azz is single. Don’t get it twisted, most people consider themselves attached if they are dating ..GTFOH you’re azz is single , just like mine. Difference is I BEEEEN dodging bullets and y’all taking them. Get over the labels and live your life.

  • Matix B

    I got a man but I’m singel as hell.

  • It is what it is.....

    Ughhhhhh…not again.

  • BrazilGoddesse

    THESE STUDY NUMBERS ARE ABSOLUTELY INACURATE AND WRONG, AND THESE NUMBER DON’T EVEN APPLY TO BLACK WOMEN IN AFRICA.

    FURTHERMORE NOT TO MENTION THAT A LOT OF BLACK GUYS ONLY MARRY WHITE CHICKS JUST TO OBTAIN THEIR PAPERS/CITIZENSHIP BUT OF COURSE THE STUDY/MEDIA DOESN’T EVEN MENTION THAT. i KNOW THIS WHITE TRASHY GIRL WHO JUST SPONSORED HER SO CALLED “HUSBAND” FROM JAMAICA AND THE GUY DUMP HER A WEEK LATER AS SOON AS HE GOT HIS PAPERS. SO BE VERY CAREFUL WHAT U READING IN THE MEDIA,ITS ALL CRAP, ONLY CAUSE OF ENVY TOWARDS BLACK WOMEN.

  • what_am_iDoing

    youtube . com *****

  • justsayin'

    COSIGN!
    I had a choice of being married three times for the year but I’d rather remain single AND DRAMA FREE.Tank you!

  • justsayin'

    COSIGN!
    I had a choice of being married three times for the year but I’d rather remain single AND DRAMA FREE.Thank you!

  • John J

    HOW ABOUT WE JUST STOP TALKING ABOUT IT ALL TOGETHER?

    LET’S TRY THAT.

  • justsayin'

    The situation is more complex that that hunny!

  • STEFANY

    YES! PLEASE LEAVE THIS TOPIC BEHIND IN 2010, IT’S OFFICALLY DEAD! GET’S SOME BUSINESS OF YOUR OWN AND STOP WORRYING ABOUT THE BLACK WOMAN!

    • WithAllHonesty

      Collectively Black women are the only ethnic group of women crying and seeking public outreach as to why they can’t get a good man.

      Don’t get it twisted, I don’t think anyone cares enough to initiate the concern first. It’s the black women who can’t get or keep a good man seeking the attention and empathy.

    • my two cents

      withallhonesty-

      the black women stuck on stupid waiting for a BLACK man have painted THEMSELVES in this pathetic corner. be REAL clear about this!

      the rest of us KNOW there is NO man shortage!

    • sholla21

      @ my two cents “the rest of us KNOW there is NO man shortage!”
      THANK YOU sister. Say it louder. I know I’m not feeling any kind of man shortage.

  • Joyce

    YAWWWNNNN…Im bi and fu©k with white guys and black girls..that was random…..o well but still YAWWWNNN…

  • http://www.showmestate.com 5'10" AKILLAH RICHARDS (A SPADE IS A SPADE)

    girl I lost count and I pity the fool who’s worried about marrying one of these godless, walking stds. lol

  • Luke Cage...(Power Man)

    This conversation should hold no bearing on a single mother with one or two children from the same man. The ones with 3 or 4 from 3 or 4 men…. go kill yourself. I will adopt your little ba$tards.

    I would also think that these statistics should also include the father or fathers status. With out brothers being incarcerated and murdered at alarming rates, that should not be overlooked. Some of these women may have lost their man to the jail or the grave.

    • A Mess

      @ Luke, cosign. Also, that does bring up a valid point. Are women who’s husbands are incarcerated considered single? I wonder if the government is looking at it as since he’s locked up and cannot support you, then your a single mother situation.

  • A Mess

    Yes marriage is a wonderful thing (I guess) but I think that too many women rush into marriage because of pressures from society. If you can barely get along with your boyfriend, how do you expect a marriage to work. People think that getting that piece of paper magically changes a person.

    • tiny

      so true, but neither does living with him or having kids by him. He is who he is, and will only change because HE wants to change.

  • TT

    Of course not single means single, not married, never been married!

  • TheFamWilliams

    Yes, let’s drop it. Because, according to the 2010 Census, fewer people of all races are marrying. Those that are married end in divorce. Divorce rates are high. Who want to deal with all the drama, anyway. Let it go. Its not a Black issue.

  • Luke Cage...(Power Man)

    The only disparaging thing about this topic is that it implies that no one wants to marry a black woman. As a black man with a married mother (45yrs to my dad) and two single sisters who are mothers who choose to remain in relationships without feeling a need to marry. I feel anger towards any poll, survey our census that tries to imply that black women aren’t desirable. I cant get enough of my sisters, im juggling 3 beautiful ones right now.

    And before you judge ladies I am newly divorced and certainly not looking for Mrs.Right yet and the women I an seeing know exactly that.

    • my two cents

      @ Luke-

      do the 3 women KNOW that they are man-sharing? THAT is the difference. they may know you are not interested to settle down but do they know they are in a rotation?

      no judgment. as soon as a man says he is not ready to settle down, i am out anyways. i am not interested to married either. however, i am also uninterested to spend time with someone out collecting cooties like they are a public toilet.

      the lack of desire for bm to be married to bw is creating a veritable harem for bm. stuck on stupid bw, waiting for a bm, are the surplus booty that comprises the harems.

      the convo doesn’t just depict bw as undesirable. it depicts bw as undesirable for marriage and committed relationships. your comment reinforced this notion. NO ONE has EVER declared bw undesirable for SEX. think about it.

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