Is It A Black Girl Problem?

Disclaimer: I’ve created a personal goal for myself with this blog starting with this post. There’s no point in explaining said goal, just know that it will come to fruition and you’ll see more of me around.

This topic has been an underlying trending topic amongst my friends and I over the past few months. It’s a phenomenon that isn’t new by any means; however, as we get older and identify more with the professional sphere and less with the early 20s no responsibility undergraduate sphere, it is a topic that is glaring us in the face like a 3-year-old toddler who is shining a mirror in our eyes from the backseat of his mom’s van. It’s coming at us head on and for the life of me I can’t figure out an objective stance to take.

Question of the Day: Why are black women single and what can we do about it?

After many discussions with (black female) friends I usually walk away with a sense of bewilderment and confusion and an idea that it’s not us it’s (the proverbial) them and that we’re all awesome and I’d date you/me/all of us in a heartbeat.

After reading countless articles (ok, really 10.. I couldn’t take it anymore) on this subject and reading the various opinions in the comments section of said articles, I began to feel uncomfortable and a little ‘dirty’ I guess as so many people interjected on the black woman’s plight and basically told me why I might have to accept being single forever.

Sparknotes of what I read:

1. There is a shortage of black men due to their high incarceration rate and the disparity between educated black men and women is alarmingly high. <<< this is true. While I personally do not know any incarcerated men, the educated black men I do know are enjoying playing the field and have no intention of settling down anytime soon. If I were one I’d do the same, so you can’t fault these manboys.

2. Black women are too assertive, aggressive, abrasive, – in a sense ‘too much’ – and no one wants to deal with all of their nonsense. <<< I know plenty of black women who have backbones and make a stance, but it’s no more than a man would do (regardless of race). These women are constantly forcing smiles on their faces so that they don’t fit the angry black woman stereotype and yet so many are still seen through the negative lense.

3. Unmarried black women should keep their legs closed because no one is going to wife them and father someone else’s kids. <<< this is fair. I wouldn’t want to raise a bastard child if I were a guy either. However, there are so many women without children, I don’t understand where this stigma comes from except for the stereotypes that people see on TV of women with five kids who don’t want to work and are abusing the welfare system so that they don’t have to be employed (the general theme from the comments section, even though a majority of the frustrated women are educated and employed).

4. Women raised in single parent homes (with just a mother) do not know how to understand and appreciate a man. <<< again, this is stereotyping. Many (again, comments not articles) said that it’s obvious single mothers are always talking about ‘no good ni****s’ or ‘your no good daddy’ to their kids and these children grow up to abhor men and not know how to appreciate them. This is not true. I was raised in a single parent home and my mother constantly encouraged me to reach out to my father. Most of my black friends from school all have married (a few divorced) parents. The minority of us that were raised with just a mom would know how to appreciate a man. It’s really a game of logic. Why want something you wouldn’t cherish or appreciate? Why would thousands of single black women want a man just to belittle them? It just doesn’t make sense.

5. Black women are obese and no one wants thick women except the rappers <<< I don’t know any obese people. Maybe I’ve been blessed with my Carolina bubble (undergrad) and DC young professional bubble that I didn’t realize this was a black female perception. The idea that black women don’t need to take care of their bodies because they think they don’t have to and that all men should like ‘thick’ women is absurd. Granted big booties have been glorified in recent years, it’s only on certain types that it is embraced. J.Lo has been lauded as having been the pioneer of the big butt and the Kardashian clan made it mainstream. No one really praises Serena Williams’ derrière or heck even Nicki Minaj’s (&& she wrote a whole song about it)… but the appropriation of the booty is another blog post for another day.

6. While black women are opening up to the idea of interracial dating/marriage, you can’t really assume other races are willing to do the same. <<< while a guy may be willing to sleep with you, you may not be in the top five he’d consider bringing home to mama. This could really be said for any one, any race. However, if you take into consideration this UCLA study or these OKCupid results that was turned into a visual on Buzzfeed, you can kind of see the point I’m trying to make.

Reading these opinions  intertwined with statistics made me wonder what does society find to be true and how do black women find a sense of self (in their personal lives) when everyone is basically saying that you being single is your fault. I’ve realized there isn’t really any one answer and there will probably never be one. Let’s face it, if I could crack the code on why single people are single on a widespread scale, I’d be featured on every late night talk show and on top of the New York Times bestseller list for months.

I could tell you about how 2/3 of my (white) friends from Texas are married/engaged and that constantly seeing people’s last names change on Facebook is one of my biggest annoyances to date. However, I would be belittling the plight of all of my single friends and how this stage where so many friends are starting families and we’re still going out to bars to meet people is kind of like a family creating purgatory.

While I’ve done an anecdote for location, I could do the same for education level (hellooo should’ve tried harder at acquiring my M-R-S while getting my B.A.), and go deeper on race than focusing on the black female, but I don’t want to. Yes, black women have their issues. Every group has their issues. At the end of the day if you erase a whole group out of potential mate consideration because of their features  you’re immature. If you categorize a whole group of people as inferior or disdainful or undesireable because of stereotypes and generalizations you’re an idiot. Trying to find a mate isn’t a black girl problem, black problem, or racial problem, it’s a single person problem.

I’ve realized that it’s harder for some more than others to find love, but trying to find a mate is half the battle when trying to win the war of love – right?

Song of the Day: Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing – Stevie Wonder

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