In many ways I think the “why black women ain’t got no man” meme is played out. Played out in the way mainstream media has chosen to capitalize off the so-called statistics of successful single black women. But another part of me knows that we must engage in REAL conversations about the abhor some black women and black men have toward one another.
Yesterday folks on Twitter were up in arms about VIBE.com publishing Slim Thug’s over generalizations about black women, his comparison of all black women to his brother’s white girlfriend and how black women need to stand by their man. See here for full article.
Like, who seriously gives a flying shit about Slim Thug? Can anyone name one single he’s ever dropped without injuring a brain muscle? I’ll wait…
So that it’s clear I don’t think the women (myself included) who took to the airwaves to broadcast their frustrations care at all about Slim Thug. More so, many black women are concerned about the paradigm shift of a generation of black men who have us all wrong. Not only do they have it all wrong, they refuse to stick up for us whenever we are attacked. Not all black men, but more than I’d hope for.
Anytime a woman laments about anything slightly critical of black men they are insulted, berated and dismissed. This is exemplified in the piss poor Nightline segments, articles written by black women (see the comments on my “Dumb It Down” article here or on Essence), books that attempt to reverse the premise of the annoying self-help books written by black men and the list goes on. Instead of seeing the point, whether you agree or not, there is a sense of defensiveness that black men feel the need to defend their brethren even when it doesn’t apply to them. But when black women do the same we’re told, “oh it’s Slim Thug who cares. It’s a waste of energy.”
Last night I enthusiastically waited to watch VH1’s Behind the Music of DMX. We all know DMX is a troubled soul truly being “One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” However, his musical talent is undeniable. DMX was one of the biggest rappers of the late 90’s, early 2000’s with five consecutive number 1 albums. It was only natural for me to want to watch a semi-documentary of his life.
Now Slim Thug’s incoherent asinine opinion in sum is this:
Black women need to stand by their man more. Black women need to be more genuine and be more 50/50 [but] It should be a fair exchange in a relationship period or eventually somebody is gonna feel like they’re getting fucked over whether it’s the woman or the man. I think that will help Black relationships out a lot.
Ok, Slim whatever you say. If anything proved his statement to be less true it was DMX’s now ex-wife Tashera Simmons.
Here was a black woman who had no indication that Earl Simmons would be anything but the petty criminal and junkie he was. Yet, it didn’t deter her from loving Earl, marrying him, giving birth to his children and “giving him 17 years of her life.” Tashera’s dedication was evident in her reassuring him: “I told him I would never leave him for drugs,” nor did she leave him after his many prison stints. However, she did finally leave after several indiscretions and learning he had a child outside of their marriage.
So what the hell is Slim talking about? Of course DMX and Tashera is an isolated case, and one people may say isn’t reality because a) these are celebrities and b) this is that hood love shit.
In all actuality Tashera and DMX’s story sans the drugs and rich lifestyle, is more of an accurate depiction of the black women I know. By that I mean black women for the most part have no qualms or hesitation in having their man’s back in every aspect of life.
An example of black women’s devotion to black men (some may argue the wrong men), is to look at the number of black single mothers. All of these women at some point had their man’s back, loved him and believed in him. And how were they repaid for their devotion? Or what about pre 80’s when black folks at large were still marrying, and several black women would overlook their husband’s infidelity for the sake of the family or his reputation? Coretta Scott King is a prime example.
Examples of black women having black men’s back are all around us and can be seen every single day. One need not look any further than FXP for the love black women have for our men (cue Sable Verity’s most recent article). Similar sentiments are displayed everyday by guess who? Black women.
Excuse me if my vision is blurry, but I don’t see black women not holding their man down really being the issue here. Black women in America have always done this since the days of slavery. And most likely will continue to do so.
What I do see however is the lack of support, love, encouragement and uplifting from a massive amount of our beloved brothers.
We will never advance as a collective people as long as we continue falling prey to the divide and conquer tactic that has been used on us for centuries. Gender blaming solves nothing; as both men and women bring their share of faults, misconceptions and bitterness to the table, that in turn has caused such a tumultuous dynamic between black women and black men.
We’re all at fault. Now let’s move forward with resolving the problem.
In the meantime however, it would be refreshing to see Tashera’s or Sable’s kind of love reversed with brothers having that same adoration for us. Then maybe we wouldn’t be so frustrated when the mentally underdeveloped likes of Slim Thug are released from their cages.