Saturday, October 25, 2008

The following article was the substance needed to begin a lengthy, heated, and healthy email dialogue that contributed to two days worth of meaningful discussion with a group of college educated, middle class, married, single, and PASSIONATE about black relationships African Americans. There is a lot to learn in the comments. Please feel free to read them and respond if ya like!

Why Black Women Can't Find Good Black Men

It still amazes some men to hear Black women say that they can't find good, quality Black men for companionship. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the ratio of women to men in the U.S. is about 145 million women to roughly 139 million men. In more manageable terms -- for every 100 sistas, there are about 87 brothas. Not too bad. But according to Black women, the best of Black men are either hidden deeply within those 87, or have somehow disappeared within that missing 13. If these men are not physically hidden or totally out of the relationship picture -- where are they? The answer: They're right here. They're over there. They're everywhere!

These sentiments are spoken loudly by the thousands of available Black men who find it illogical to simply state "No good men exist." Many Black men don't understand the social reasoning behind the female belief that there is a Black male shortage. To men, it appears that women have become so enthralled with the notion of there being a shortage -- many don't take the time to notice the Black men who are available. It is here that we begin to explore the depths of the problem.

Women aren't looking for just any guy. They seek men of quality, good character, and substance -- which has nothing to do with numbers. Since guys are supposed to be more logical creatures, we tend to crunch numbers. We also tend to take a more tangible position by believing that if they can hear us, touch us, and see us -- how can they say there aren't enough of us?
But ask any woman -- she will likely tell you that plenty of brothas exist, but not many with whom she would want to spend quality time. Also, there is an argument from Black women who believe that there are specific reasons for the shortages. For instance, the numbers of Black men residing in prisons, and the many Black men who choose to date women of other races.

Going back to our 100-Women to 87-Men ratio, the following stats my shed some light on where Black women say the available Black men are hiding:

White Women

Chances are, Black men who desire White females today, desired them yesterday and will probably desire them for the foreseeable future. We cannot assume that a Black man dates Black women his entire life; has a bad experience; and as a result, decides to explore life with a White female. We're not hating on White women, but how much of the 87 should we subtract? Let's choose a medium-sized number like 20 to denote the total unavailable to Black women.

Prison

Unfortunately, there are a lot of Black men serving time in local, state and federal prisons. But women must ask themselves, "Why would I want a man who commits crimes serious enough to land him behind bars?" Don't get me wrong. We still love our imprisoned brothas, and some of them have been incarcerated unjustly. But this issue is relative and depends on each woman's definition of, "good brotha". If women desire men of integrity and great moral fiber, then we should subtract another medium-sized number (20) from the group of 87. This accounts for the sad numbers of brothas who just aren't living right and don't deserve a spot in society.

Homosexuality

Men who are homosexual, bisexual, or live outside of what society calls, "heterosexual" -- make up another medium-sized number since they don't typically seek relationships with women. Strangely enough, there are some bisexual men who also desire to be in heterosexual relationships. However, most heterosexual women don't knowingly choose to date a bisexual man. So again, we subtract (20) from the group of 87 to account for gay men, and other men who aren't considered "straight".

Now we have the Big Three. According to Black women and many within the Black community, these three situations create a wedge that has been driven between Black women and available "good" Black men.

But what does it all mean?

It means that in reality, only 87 - 60 = 27 available Black men are actually, "available" for the 100 Black women in our Census stats. This is, of course, assuming there are 100 available, good Black women out there.

If we assume there are, then the ratio reveals some pretty low numbers.

Now, the task for our sistas is to locate one of the 27 men who is considered, "good".

Writiten by a Staff Writer for



24 comments:

Muata said...

Muata responds to the article:

Black women got it tough. That is a given. The article is part of the reflection of Black America. Sad - but true. Additionally, we may want to consider this as a factor: SOME BLACK WOMEN RUN BLACK MEN OFF WITH THEIR PERSISTENT NAGGING AND COMPLAINING. What black man in his right mind would stay around for that foolishness? Not me. I would be OUT. Out in several ways i.e. leave her, ignore the hell out of her, shut-down emotionally, etc. This is real, and black women need to listen and take heed: No man needs to be bombarded with the same crap over and over again. Also, black women need to stop bringing their soiled baggage into future relationships; and smile sometime!! This is my take - but the article is on point. I am definitely NOT dismissing the trifling-ness that black men harbor/display either. And, no offense to you my sista - but i am so tired of the tired complications that i have had with dating black a! merican women. sorry to say this but the white/west indian/african women i have been involved with did not cause me ANY major grief. i am not lying and i am not being mean. this is my truth. i love you, shirley. and, i am not indicting all black american women - but there is a reason so many of our women go to bed alone each and every night or have husbands/boyfriends who have checked out completely. black women and black men need to hold a mirror up in front of themselves, and try to figure this crap out...or else! this is where our energy should be.

-Muata

Muata said...

Reader Responds:

Black Women need to start looking at other Races. Black Men do it!

-AJ

Muata said...

Muata responds to AJ:

perhaps - but then black women would not be conducting their due diligence in exploring the REASONS. WE have to do this, and how about black women opening up to take some responsibility for this mess we have? i think the start is for black men and women to look in the mirror. WE have to ask ourselves the tough questions e.g. what am i doing to to contribute to the black family demise. did i spell demise right?

-Muata

Muata said...

Reader Responds to Muata:

You spelled it right and you know you probably just started something! LOL

-DM

Muata said...

Reader Responds:

Hi! Ok, I started this with an email to my brother, Brian. Yes, I am sick and tired of being alone. Yes, Men and Women need to look in the mirror. I also agree that maybe I should consider outside my race since I can not find happiness with a black man. I will keep praying and speaking it into existence what I really want. Thanks for all of the adult conversation

-SPH

Muata said...

AJ responds again:

No - I'm not going to bombard your email today on this topic. I'm going to say my peace and I'm done. I've learned a lot in my ten years of marriage. One being that you must first take a look at yourself to see what's wrong in your own relationships. All of your relationships with people in general. Second, two wrongs don't make a right. Third, you can't change other people. You can only change yourself, and hopefully you change yourself for the better. If you changing your actions and reactions (for the better) don't bring about a change (for the better) in your relationships, then let those relationships go.

We can't blame entire group of people (the Black Woman or Black Men) for the demise of healthy black relationships.

It's true that some Black women have some baggage. The same can be said about Black Men. I wonder why? Black Men please take a look at what your Mothers have gown through bringing you up. We as Black women have experienced it to. We see what our mothers have gown through. What they have accepted. What they have have had to do. We have to come to terms with that and not let it effect us negatively. It's true.

But Black Men, don't be so quick to turn your back on Black Women and be so free to speak so negatively about us.

I challenge each of you, take a look at yourself. What can make you a better person? (Please don't take this wrong. I'm not trying to be high and mighty. I have a lot of flaws myself. I am a work in progress.)

The point is, Our relationships will get better as we better ourselves. We can't - shouldn't sit back and point fingers at other people.

That's my take.

-AJ

Muata said...

Reader Responds:

Interesting perspectives. I read all of the comments and I see two things. First the top 3 things are really not the issue. It's amazing that a woman can blame white women
for not having a good man. I married a white woman because she is the woman i fell in love with. I liked all types of women but really only loved one. Its not a matter of preference or anything with me. My heart just belonged to one woman. I will say that you could probably ammend your top 3 and take out white women and add preference. It could be that some black men just prefer other types of women, white, latin, european whatever. THat usually has more to do with their upbringing or where they were raised and all that jazz.

Secondly, I would like to point out that no matter how you slice all women of all types have issues. Trust me on that one. I have dated the United Nations and lemme tell you that none of the women have the same passsion as black women. You can't match that anywhere in the world. THe american black woman is the most passionate female on earth. With that comes alot of good and some bad of course.

What amazes me is that the men blame it on the women and women blame it on the men. Really, men of all races are the same.We all have some diff faults but if you think white women have it better with white guys you are nuts. Its the same across the board. Women ar women and men are men.

Stop downing each other and look at yourself. Black women don't talk anymore crap than white chicks. Trust me I married one. The only thing different is the delivery. And that is more of an individual thing. Black men! We are just like all the other men in the world. We chase women all over the world. We are cut off emotionally, we need to feel needed. The real issue is that the modern man has not evolved with the modern woman. Women are making more money, more independent and sometimes act as if they dont need a man. Not true. We need each other. Lastly I'd like to point out that maybe people need to make better choices. Stop trying to make stuff work that just doesnt.

-LS

Muata said...

Reader Responds to LS:

I don't believe anyone has blamed white women. The research blamed black men for fleeing to white women- and giving up on being a "good man" to a black woman.
The difference between black men, and men of other races, is that black men are quicker to abandon their race of women than white men...or Asian men...or Latin. That's a fact.

Ergo the problem.

-TM

Muata said...

Reader Response:

Well, I have to say that while part of the blame does fall on the black man, I do believe we, black women, are to blame as well. Specifically, many of our men do what they do to us (i.e., treat us poorly, come and go as they please, etc) because we allow them to treat us that way. If we did not allow the "door" to remain open for far too long, I truly believe that the behavior wouldn't be as pervasive as it is. Yes, we are very forgiving and resilient and yes, often times we buy into the notion that a some-time man is better than no man at all, but once a person knows he - or she for that matter - can do whatever, behave however, WHY would he hold himself to a higher standard if he knows, on some level, that he can get away with being less than a man of true integrity?

What I've noticed in the 11 years I've been in Atlanta, and I'm not blaming Atlanta - but the mentality, is that men and women tend to short circuit the "courting" stage. Yes, I'm a little old school and somewhat traditional in my thinking -- but if I'm willing to give you my "everything" before I KNOW you and you KNOW me...who's fault is it then? Mine. I said yes when I knew to say no. Did I hope for more? Maybe, probably, yes. And when it doesn't show up or I get my feelings hurt because you've turned out not to be who I thought/hoped you were (and why did I think you were that person in such a short period of time anyway??), I have no one to balme but myself. So, now I need to shut the door and move on right? Well, maybe just maybe I can be the one to change him or just be the one for him and he'll see it and recognize it and somehow miraculously choose me...just me...only me. SERIOUSLY? Did he say that? Maybe. But did he SHOW me that? Uh...well, not yet, but I'm sure he will....it's just a matter of time. Right. Time started when you said "hello" and ended when you said "yes" when you knew to say "NO." Time's up.

Black women do carry some of the blame and all I'm really saying is we're either willing to accept the consequences of poor and hasty choices or we will choose to recognize when we begin to short change ourselves and allow another's behavior to affect us in ways only we can give power to, and correct it. Dating and loving in the short term or the long is challenging, sometimes scary, and often risky -- and I believe the key to all of it is trusting ourselves to do right and be true...making our own choices, dealing with the consequences appropriately, forgiving, and making the next right choice. Its up to each of us as to how this plays out...no one person is to blame...but we all have to be individually responsible. And when the other is not...its your choice as to what happens next...your choice...you, and unfortunately others - as many of us are experiencing, will have to deal with it one way or the other.

My 2cent ramble...

-ER

Muata said...

Muata responds to ER:

ericka-
thanks for contributing to the conversation. i have re-read each response, and i must say that i a surprised and a little disappointed that you were the only female in this dialogue who FULLY accepted some responsibility on the side of females. that says a lot to me because i must admit i RARELY witness women pointing the finger at themselves for their part in the destruction of the black family. while i certainly we (black men) play a HUGE role in the downfall, i have to agree that it has been a mutual effort that's full of insecurity that has lead to SERIOUS mistakes with in the black male-female relationship. thank you.

--ER

Muata said...

Reader Responds:

I agree with Larikus. But I have to ask......Who declared that the black family is getting worse? Does that include all of the white and "other" families that are "together" but disfunctional. I know plenty of marriages where the man and women barley speak, don't sleep in the same room, don't eat together and so on. Is that family better than the one where the man or women makes a decision to leave? Is that a better example for the kids? How many black men you know "today" that don't pay child support or see their children? I know it exist...but it's less than it was when I was in high school and even fewer since I graduated from college...so that is not a increase but a decrease. To be a dead beat dad is taboo today....

-EJ

Muata said...

LS Responds to TM:

So it's abandoning your race if you date a woman of another race? Did I read this wrong? If so please fill me on on what you mean. Is there any empirical evidence to support the claim that black men flee to white women more than any other race?

I don't see how it's fleeing at all. I don't think this is a problem. If a man has a preference other than black women or even if he chooses to date another race because of issues he has had with women of his own race is that a problem. The article stated three causes. White women was one of them but I actually think maybe the person just wrote it that way for style points because if you read between the lines he or she is sayin that these factors contribute to black men not being available to black women. Words matter. It should read "Preference" instead of "White Women"

As to EJ's point the black family isn't doing any worse than the other American families. As I said before, the modern man has not evolved with the modern woman. And the modern woman has not yet realized that some of the things that their mothers did that they saw as submissive and they look down upon are things that helped hold the family together. Sometimes you gotta let a man be a maN. Modern women suck at that. Black, white, asian, all races. Women changed but it seems men are mostly the same. We are all msotly emotionally unavailable. Its how most were raised.

Male/female relations are tough. There is a unique circumcstance with black men and black women but for the most part black people have the same struggles in love that everyone esle has.

-LS

Muata said...

Muata responds to EJ and LS:

the main point is that the black family is not where it should be. we need to stop with the excuses of why we are not where we should be. not that ej and larikus have listed excuses. and, families in general are getting worse. when was the last time we all sat at a table and had dinner? in my mind that is a poor reflection of FAMILY which means in my mind it is getting worse. more money-but no bonding in the home. more opportunity-but no one watches the Wiz together anymore. and, we are getting better? we left the lives of family togetherness when we decided to integrate with hateful people.

and, let me say it again: I DO NOT CARE ABOUT ANY OTHER FAMILY. i just don't. nothing they do in their home affects my life. what is critical to me is the number of black men in prison or going to prison, the number of black men in child support court because he too damn cool to get a job, and so on and so on. let's look past what we see in our nice and comfortable neighborhoods and recognize that the black family in most urban areas is non-existence. we need to stop coming to our conclusions based on our unbruised lives. it ain't peachy king in all of Atlanta, southside chi-town, in durham, nc near the greyhound station, on washington drive in HP, on douglas drive in thomasville, in the urban section of H-town, etc. please stop seeing the world through your lenses only. hell, most of us do not even associate ourselves with people who ride the marta bus. these are the people who are more than likely a part of a really broken home, and their lives /homes are wrecked, and in most cases it is because of a black man. i have said it before and will say it again, BLACK MEN NEED TO RE-FOCUS. I am including ME!

-Muata

Muata said...

TM Responds to LS:

Yes- it is abandoning your race if you date outside...exclusively. You read right- No clarity needed.
Black men are more guilty of this than other races. In the old days- women sat at home barefoot & pregnant- cooked, cleaned, & looked the other way, because they depended on their men to bring home the bacon. I would love to stay home with my infant son, & depend on the 'man' to support us. Truth of the matter is that my mortgage wouldn't get paid if I stayed home. Men don't deserve the submissiveness they once received, because life today isn't structured in a way that he deserves it. Not in the way it used to be. Women are out of the home working just as hard as men to make family work.

-TM

Muata said...

Reader Responds:

Wow..............yet another great subject! Ms. Reid adressed the topic with substance. The question in and of itself is TIRED! People are individuals and have individuals thoughts, values, and experiences. Women are not the "VICTIMS" that some, even themselves, make them out to be. Relationships are two way streets. Families are suffering partly because individuals are damaged..........................and fail to take time to accept and work on themselves before CHOOSING to enter a relationship with someone else! I read a book in the 6th grade that said "men play at love to get sex and women play at sex to get love". True or not, we are different carrying all the above characteristics with us, often times never really understanding ourselves. Throw in lack of communication and coping skills and we have a recipe of successful failures. We have proven that we can succeed in the boardroom, classroom, athletic field, political, arena, etc.................................. It's WORKING TOGETHER on a lifelong committment that is our weakness. Pointing the finger is a waste of time!

-PM

Muata said...

Reader Response:

Ok, this conversation is getting HOT!! I think all of you made some great points to the discussion. It's individual issues that create the relationship issues whatever they may be.

I agree w/Brian that we should look at the issues w/black relationships as a whole. We all tend to just look at our own circle but I think overall the black family is decreasing.

This is a very small example of this, but I watched the NBA draft this year and of course there were more black young men in the draft than white but there were a lot of white men that was drafted. Anyway, most of black men's family was represented by just the mom. Every white man that was drafted had mom and dad by his side. It made me wonder, what happened to daddy w/the black men? Why wasn't he there on the biggest day of his son's life? Think of that on a larger scale, all the important, life-changing experiences in the black children's lives, in mama's life...where's daddy?

-YW

Muata said...

EJ responds to TM:

If you make the argument that black men "ABANDON" black women and other men don't abandon their women....I could make the argument that black men have more options and is more desired than any other race of men....OR, that black women don't know how to SHUT THE F___ UP! All of which could be considered ignorant.

-EJ

Muata said...

Muata Responds to TM:

abandoning implies so much with negative connotations. i can name a few black men who have married white women or other than black american - but i am not ready to say that they abandoned the race. what about those men who fell in love with a white girl, and continues to donate his time and money to black causes i.e. Thurgood Marshall Fund and a YMCA in a black neighborhood? now, there are PLENTY of black women who are worthy of marriage-and i really do not understand why or how a black man positioned himself to fall in love with a white girl or a mexican girl. i used position because one has to position/prepare him/herself mentally and emotionally to be in love. clearly color of skin matters even in matters of the heart because reality dictates that inter-racial marriages and dating is a struggle. i ain't up for that added struggle .being black in america is enough! with my understanding my spirit would not be open to marrying a white woman. i just could not do it because of my view of the world. and, because my momma told me: "NEVER BRING A WHITE GIRL TO MY HOUSE." i hope ya understand. did i make any sense with the last few sentences?

-Muata

Muata said...

EJ responds to Muata:

What are you so afraid of? I made a choice to marry a black women because I wanted to marry a black women. You sound like you live in fear of something or someone. If I had feel in love with a Mexican, white, or any other race then I would have married her. From the tone of this conversation, it might be better to look outside the race...non of ya'll sound happy except the man who married a white women. Chew on dat!

-EJ

Muata said...

LS responds to Muata:

Yea you made sense by making no sense at all, That is about as Palinesque of a comment I have ever heard but then again hehe I knew it was coming. I don't know where people of get off thinking that because you are of a particular culture that you got dibs on everything about that culture. Why is a black woman entitled to all black men? Where is that written. Preference is a matter of personal feeling and anyone choosing to date a skinny girl instead of at girl is choosing because of preference. He bears no obligation to fall in love with someone the same as him. It might be easier sure but there is no obligation of every black man to marry a black that opinion is absurd.

I don't know much about your love life BP. But I can tell you that you are suggesting that people actually choose to love one race over the other. Clearly a man of your intelligent would not truly believe such a thing. If my race feels abandoned by me then that is something those feeling abandoned have to deal with. I used to feel compelled to defend my choice in love and in a mate but then I realized that only an insecure person defends these types of choices. It makes many unhappy but if I were put here to please all then I would have no pleasure for myself.

I have learned to accept people for who they are but seriously Mentor. Is that what you are going to teach your child? IF so how can I send my lil boy over to play with yours when you openly detest my union? Think on that. Words matter. Reality dictates that that inter-racial marriages and dating is a struggle? We just had an email string of 20-30 emails that basically said that dating within the race is a struggle. You went to HPU. It would have been easier to go to A&T. Life isn't easy at all. And love is the hardest thing I have ever done and I was homeless at 16. hhee

Give me a real logical argument that spews something besides rhetoric and hate.

-LS

Muata said...

Muata responds to LS:

i knew i would be tagged as hateful. i stand by my analysis that's laced with a black power disposition. i do not apology for it at all. it has worked for me for years, i am happy and i stand by what my momma told me.

Muata said...

Reader Response:

Timing and compatability are key! That's really the issue that people need to embrace. A flaw is just something one person doesn't like about the other some once told me. And so, if this is true the whole thing about relationships just comes down to that old basic law...be in the right place at the right time.

-MP

Muata said...

Muata responds to all men on the email list:

the finger needs to be pointed at the black man. you know and i know that WE are the common denominator for the problems our families are experiencing. you know it! yes, many black women have been known for running a man off-but when i think back i see the black woman there, and not the man. now, some left with good reason, and i will praise a man for leaving a situation that is too volatile to manage. it is a must that he departs. however, when i sit down and examine me, some of my boys, my uncles, my friends uncles i come to this conclusion: THE BLACK MAN HAS FAILED THE BLACK FAMILY in recent history. now, if that is pointing the finger i am sorry-but like i said: YOU KNOW AND THE MEN ON THIS EMAIL KNOW THAT WE ARE IN THE NEED OF A LOT OF CHANGING. no, i am not siding with black women either. i have plenty that i can list about them. i am just trying to see me first in the mirror (just as i have challenged the women on this email to do), and not the sista that was in my corner until i acted a fool. that's the start. the beginning of the healing.

-Muata

FREEDOM said...

It's always funny to hear black men saying that they won't marry a white woman, but they'll f*ck one. Just Hilarious!

I SAY LOVE WHO YOU LOVE AND WORK AT MAKING THAT UNION ONE THAT WILL SURVIVE THE TEST OF TIME BECAUSE SO MANY PEOPLE MALE & FEMALE WILL DIE LONELY!

"REAL TALK, NO SHIT!"