A dear friend of mine posted this meme on Facebook, upon first sight it invoked a cackle so hearty that it sounded as if my soul gave percussion to my vocals chords. I laughed so hard tears poured down my face; but, after the moment of humorous appeal passed, I began to think.
I found myself asking what is the Black woman experience when it comes to her expressing hers concerns and having Black men understand and take interest in her intellectual depth, where does the Black man stand on understanding the thoughts of the Black woman.
I decided to indulge in the post, read the insight and thoughts of these highly intelligent Black woman, what they offered was conversation worthy commentary – questions, topics, and comments of substance; but, there was one comment that stood out to me.
“Oh you thought we were going to talk about my favorite color and movie? oh no no no…”
~Kya “Sosa” Winbush
This conversation and the responses within it brought to light a truth, apparently one shared by many women – that in a space and time where there are so many controversial and conversation worthy things transpiring around us, it is still expected for women to sit in a position of complacency and contentment in being chosen based on her looks and perceived decorative presence and not for her depth and understanding of the world.
What was most disheartening was the response from the males and their lacking ability to open their minds to understand the premise of the conversation and support the thought that women can be more than a pretty face. But, most importantly, what stood out among the male commentary was the stating that women somehow are attempting to step into the shoes of men by expressing that they possess depth.
“Men play a role, women play the best role. No need to fight all your life trying to play the man’s role.”
“You can’t expect old traditions when you’re busy eliminating it.”
And, as the conversation continues women are forced back into the traditional stance of being life givers as if that is our only quality and capability.
Creating men in the sense of “whatever a man can do a woman can do” FALSE. No need for competition. What a woman can do a man can’t (pregnancy, etc.). What a man can do a woman can’t (pissing with a natural born penis). Let’s keep it simple like that.
This raises the question, why can’t women expect to be treated as women in a traditional sense and still be thought provoking forces? Why is it necessary to silence ourselves and dumb down our existence for a male to feel like a man? Why is my presence, as a woman, expected to be ornamental; while, as a man your opinion is one of substance and importance.
I find it intriguing that it is acceptable for woman to lead 70% of Black households (thank you Tatum for this tidbit), but then are expected to be silent and offer nothing to the world but their submission and child-bearing. It is almost as if by bettering ourselves, our position, and giving voice to our thoughts we challenge the manhood of Black males – instead of finding an equally footed partner, we are perceived as a threat.
I, as a woman, find satisfaction in a man that can entertain conversations about their views, feelings, and opinions on the various topics that flow through my mind; but, somehow for men a woman that is capable of doing so is intimidating. It almost seems that for men a woman is only as good as her surface, anything deeper than that and she is stepping out of her place, position, and designated role.
With this, I have a heads-up for Black men attempting to date the self-aware Black woman – we will not dumb down our existence for the sake of your fragile male ego. It is not the Black woman’s responsibility to build you up and make you feel like a man; nor is it our responsibility to allow you to define your manhood at the cost of our womanhood.
The development and self-awareness of the Black woman is not one that aims to emasculate you or stand in your role as a man. The self-awareness of the Black woman is just that, Black women understanding the power that Black women possess within ourselves. The self-awareness of the Black woman is not allowing a society constructed for the empowerment of men to sit us in a corner in a Betty Crocker apron holding a spatula and accepting that we are not capable of anything greater than being a impregnable doormat and being satisfied that our partner knows our “favorite color”.
The self-awareness of the Black woman is understanding that we have thoughts on abortion, the Black Lives Matter movement, feminism, and racism and having these thoughts and opinions are okay. The Black woman’s self-awareness is for her, it is not for you and we’re not asking you to like, allow, or accept it – we’re telling you that we are present and if you can not handle us – then get out of the way.
I read a meme once that stated,
I’m not my grandparents
Well Black men, I’m sorry for not being sorry about telling you this.
Dear Black Man:
We are not your mothers; our submission, dumbing down, domestication and silence will not be the means to build you up.
The Self-Aware Black Woman
You Really Can Get the Fuck.