Young, single and black
I recently watched a panel discussion on YouTube entitled 'Why Can't Unmarried Black Women Find a Good Man' that featured comedian Steve Harvey, author - Hill Harper, talk-show host; Sherrie Shepherd; and a few others. They were looking at the statistic in the United States that says 70 per cent of black women are single.
The panel was convened to figure out why this was the case and to answer the question, Why can't unmarried black women find a good black man?
I found some of the points made by the panel to be unrealistic and skewed towards women making all the adjustments.
One panellist's observation was that "women are looking for men who do not exist," which, in his estimation, was a man who has a lot of money, flowers and candy. While I will agree with that point to a certain extent, I do believe that women do have specific expectations of what they are looking for in a man.
There is a recurrent thought process that because more women are college-educated and becoming more successful in their careers they are setting themselves up to be lonely all their lives.
This belief further contributes to the high number of single women that are in our society today. But is it that women are unrealistic with their expectations? Or are the men not stepping up to the basic standard that these women have?
I can say, from my own observation, that it's a combination of both. Generally, men are not excited about being with a woman who is making more money than he is or who is, overall, more successful in her career than he is.
Traditionally, men are expected to be the breadwinners in the household, but when he is not the highest earner in said household, that role becomes blurred. But with gender roles becoming more fluid, should the woman making more money still be an issue?
For quite a few men it is. On the other hand, when it comes to a women's expectations of men, she wants him to make more money than she does. But for the woman in top management who earns a high income, the pool is much smaller, and that man is typically not interested in a woman like her - for other reasons.
Another issue that was raised in the panel discussion was the need to keep families together. It was pointed out that some women are too quick to leave their relationship and that contributes to the demise of the black family, overall.
BE MORE FORGIVING
The men on the panel tried to make the case that women need to be more forgiving when the men "mess up" and not be so quick to leave. This particular point annoyed me because the definitions of "mess up" included cheating, getting someone else pregnant, breaking the law, etc.
Now, I have no issue with a woman who decides to stay with her man, but this idea that she is required to stay because that's what makes a "good woman" is ridiculous.
Also, the blame for breaking up the family now lands on her because she has chosen not to be with a man who has "messed up". That's why I am not impressed when someone points out that they've been together for over 20 years, as if the length of time is the most important indicator of a healthy happy relationship. There are people in prison serving time as well, so just staying together is not enough.
I also understand that some couples sacrifice their individual happiness for the security of their children being with both parents, but that decision is subjective, and in some cases, can do more harm than good.
Children are better off in a happy environment, and if the parents are together but unhappy, the child will suffer in the long run. At the end of the day, happy parents make happier children.
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