October 2011 Archives

Disclaimer:  I love men, particularly black men.  LOVE them.  But because I love them, I'd rather pull their proverbial ho skirt, than keep ignoring them when they're "on one".  And boy are they on one...


The broadest of brush strokes:  Men of the masculism movement make my ass ache.  Seriously, they make me cringe.  From the most radical ones like Jimi Izreal and Blacktown.net, to middle of the anti-feminist road folks like Very Smart Brothas, men's rights advocates and their ilk, to quote-unquote those who "empathize with women" like Michael Baisden, Steve Harvey - they all make my ass twinkle. Even your everyday average "regular" guy, whose reaction to the feminist movement is to "empower women" to pay for dates, not collect child support, cater to their every whim, lower their expectations of men and feel guilty for making equal (or more money) because they have no ambition - they all scream Masculist to me.

Symbol of the planet/Roman god Mars, also used...

Image via Wikipedia

What's a masculist you say?:  Masculism may refer to political, cultural, and economic movements aimed at establishing and defending political, economic, and social rights and participation in society for men and boys. These rights include legal issues, such as those of child support/custody, alimony, and equal pay for equal work. Its concepts sometimes coincide with those of men's rights, father's rights, and men's liberation. Masculism also refers to antifeminism and advocacy of male superiority and dominance.

Why did I paint the black men I mentioned above with the broad masculist stroke?  Let's see (all IMHO of course)...

  •  The radical masculists position:  the women's rights movement is the cause for the destruction of the black family, the subjugation of the black man, and the creation of a race of ultimate Sapphires that dominate African American culture.  They assert that the feminist movement now seeks higher status for women than for men, and as such - men are essentially deserved of free head/pussy as reparations for the gender war.  Clearly, iCant.
  • The midde of the road masculists:  see all of the above, but with less fervor.  The difference is in the delivery  Instead of beating women over the head with a club, they lull them into submission with a "just keeping it real - just telling you what men really think/feel" lullaby...and still demand the aforementioned reparations. iRefuse.
  • The women-empathizing masculists:  the most insidious of the 3.  They also believe most of the above, but fool women into thinking they actually like women, by suggesting that men are just "boys", their flaws are just "men being men", that men have no free will and as such...men must be treated like simple children.  No expectations = no disappointment.  Just coddle men, accept their trifling ways, and act like a woman from 1953, and you too will be graced and fortunate enough to land one of these manboys.  iGuess.


Let me ask this question, and yes - it is a bit rhetorical:  how do you empower men by victimizing them? 

A clue brothas: attempting to empower men by denigrating women via stereotyping, generalizations and thinly veiled insults - always makes the man appear effeminate. Always.  [this is the definition of bitchazzness]


Slut-Walk-NYC

Image by DayTripper15 via Flickr

Oh, you radical feminist you - this is why you can't get a man, because you don't understand them:  I do.  I understand them enough to not accept behavior that is unmanly and frankly beneath them.  I understand the qualities that most women find manly about them: their protective nature, their nobility, their gallantry, their courage, their honor.  There is nothing remotely noble, honorable or courageous about defining your place as a man, by suggesting that women must step down in order for you to ascend.

And let me be clear - I am not a feminist.  I would never profess this.  I'm born in the wrong era, already benefitting from burned bras and marches.  I'm not well versed in feminist issues and am definitely not suggesting that women should step over men to lead.  If anything, I'm submissive...(and yes I said that with a straight face).  I just don't think that my position as a woman should determine someone else's position as a man. That's some shaky ground to stand on, because hell - what if I become Chaz Bono tomorrow?  Or Jessica Rabbit?  Are you less masculine to the butch me, but more masculine to the super-femme me?


I love men. Men whose masculinity isn't threatened by a color, a new position, sexual experimentation, my aggressiveness, their immediacy, or.... anything. I love men whose bones, sinew, muscle, veins, brain knows they are men. I
love men whose position as a man or gender role is not determined relative to my position as a woman.  I love black men, in particular. 

Washington DC, USA 1995

Image by Yoke Mc via Flickr

We see what you did there:  And I need them to understand that  - we as women - have seen what you did there.  And it's not working.  You're not fooling us, you're not fooling them...you're not even fooling the real men amongst you.

I need you all, collectively, to give up this particular ghost.  The most intelligent amongst you are becoming the most bitchified, and if we - as a community - are ever going to get it together, we need the smartest of you to understand this.  Not the victimized you.  The courageous you.  Seriously.  And call your brethren to the carpet.  Your brethren that are in trouble (see article below), that are lost, that are underemployed, that are floundering.  We ultimately need all of you.


author's note:  I would never, ever hyperlink Blacktown or Jimi Izreal and give them free publicity.  You want to find them, Google them.  Both are known keyboard gangsters and I have a life - I refuse to kill braincells debating whether/not they're masculists or even the meaning of the term.  I'm pretty sure they use Google alerts.  Boys, if you do show up here, feel free to comment and if your comments are respectful...I may approve them ;-)

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In answer to the

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Preface:  this is probably the main reason why I got my "voice" back.  This idea isn't solely a case of perception; the glass being half empty or half full is semantics at the moment.  More relevant is what's in the glass, and whether I want to drink what's in it.

 

Yes, I'm considering throwing in the towel on dating, relationships, marriage, partnership and happily-ever-after, completely.  I've been considering it for quite a while, actually.

A bit of background:  When I was 37-ish, I had a frank conversation with my older, wizened gynecologist, about my fibroids.  One of the tumors was inoperable via less invasive procedures, and he recommended a hysterectomy.  I was holding out the hope that the guy I was, er, boning on the regular, would pony up to commitment, so I could use 1 last egg to have another child.  2 years later, when that didn't happen, I held an emotional funeral internally for my unused eggs.  I mourned them for a long time, thought a lot about missed opportunities and whether or not the decision to hold on to my uterus was wise, given my statistics:  single (never married), black, woman, parent, resident of Atlanta.  The odds were never exactly stacked in my favor.

What the heck does all that have to do with dating, exactly?:  I have that exact same feeling again.  The mourning feeling.  The odds not being stacked in my favor feeling.  Compounded with the feeling that I haven't enjoyed "dating" in this century.  The funeral hymn is playing in the background, but wait I'm jumping ahead...

I'm Not Feeling You

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The idea of dating has lost its appeal:  It has become more chore than fun. The same stats that suggested I probably wouldn't have another child seem to suggest that I should settle.  Compromise.  Lower my standards.  Drink what's in the glass being presented to me - if I buy into statistics that is.  Or, if I buy into what men, black men specifically (can't speak to others, since I don't date them) are presenting me with.

A few recent cases in point:

  • The brother who refuses to "date" because he "doesn't want to waste money getting to know me".  He'd rather get to know me by putting his proverbial feet on my proverbial couch (double entendre intended).
  • The brothas completely lacking creativity, inspiration or even thought in their approach.  Typically, the approach is: "Hey, I'm not busy so if you're not busy, maybe you can come up with something for us to do?  Just watch the budget"

  • The brothas looking for instant-
    16.06.MMM.WDC.16oct95

    Image by ElvertBarnes via Flickr

    relationships:  men who "claim" they want to settle down either the instant they lay eyes on me, or when they realize I fit their mold of the "significant other" they're looking for.  They have a square hole...I'm a bit round, but I guess I look like I might fit...
  • The brothas looking for someone to upgrade them:  'nuff said
  • The brothas looking to upgrade themselves:  you're a solid 5 on a scale of 1-10. but as a single, black man of a certain age, with a job, all your teeth and a health plan, you're looking to date outside your weight class.  I get that.  But that does not get you a dime, unless you're willing to pay for it.  And that doesn't ensure that I'm going to date a 2, because the odds are against me.  I don't care how many 2s try this logic.
  • The brothas lacking in social graces, the brothas lacking in manners/etiquette, the brothas, the brothas, the brothas...

I don't mean to let women off the hook (them being "thirsty" and "doing the most" and all).  And I have, at times, been that exact woman.  But it's the brothas I date, and the brothas are presenting me with the glass that's full of, frankly, shyt.  I simply have lost the taste for it.

Don't get it twisted:  I love black men, still.  But I am losing the desire to date one, in any way, shape or form.

And on relationships:  I haven't had one in over 14 years.  Next topic...

African American couple sunset engagement port...

Image by Ryan Smith Photography via Flickr

So, what to do?:  I have thought about this, prayed, slept, worried, talked to a counselor, talked to friends and have read (and continue to read) self-help and relationship books.  Not the Steve Harvey kind either.

I'm attending a webinar with a clinical psychologist about dating black men later this week, and hope to pose this as a question.

But seriously, and this question isn't rhetorical - what do you do when you're ready to give up?  When the funeral hymn is playing in the background, and the idea (body) is laid out on the casket, ready for viewing?  Is it at this point you call a doctor for a cure?

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I'm ba-ack...

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...And I'm not sure what I intend to do with this space yet, other than to write.

However, given that I haven't had a "voice" in over a year, it feels good to have my voice back.  For now, that's more than enough :-)

Got suggestions?  You know what to do....the comment boxes of the blog are open....lol