As predicted, the combination of a wonderful wedding and the holidays in December led to more discussions than usual about why, exactly, I am not yet married. It wasn’t framed that way. It was more like, “When are you getting married?” In a sweet, brotherly, uncle-like kind of way. I can, of course, always choose to avoid people in order to avoid these inquiries. But instead, I walk right into the conundrum.
So, I was a little relieved to see this Clutch Magazine piece about helping out single black men who can’t seem to keep a woman. Of course Demetria Lucas draws the ire of angry black men (surprise!) but I appreciate that she wants to balance out the vitriol that is usually reserved for us “angry black women”:
I mean, there are far fewer Black women that are unmarried, and selfishly, all the concern is about them.
Men have been overlooked too long!! I would like to advocate a movement that addresses their sour single lives and encourages them to be fruitful and multiply within the confines of marriage, instead of continuing the cycle of absentee fatherhood. I encourage every breathing Black woman to join me in this new crusade.
Here’s an incomplete half of the equation on why some Black men are unable to keep a woman, the part guys really need to hear.
You Can’t Keep A Woman Because…
01. You’re Entitled
Great. You might have a degree, a good job, maybe even a tailored suit. It doesn’t give you the right to treat anyone like they’re disposable or to be treated like God’s gift to womankind. You did what you were supposed to do. You don’t get kudos for that.
02. You’re a Misogynist
You’re such a raging sexist that you don’t get why a woman is offended by your continued use of “female” as a derogatory euphemism for “bitch”. Adult humans are called women. Refer to them as such.
03. You Don’t Know How to Communicate
Texting is not talking. Pick up the phone. Also, while women empathize with your issues and mood swings, giving the silent treatment while you get in your feelings or when you argue with your partner is dysfunctional communication.
In all fairness, I know you can’t necessarily over-correct for misogyny and historical baggage when it comes to black man/black woman animosity. Nor is it helpful to generalize. But it is nice to see at least some acknowledgment that you can’t be in a relationship on your own and that single black men (like single men in general!) have some trouble in relationships, too, for a number of the reasons she mentioned. And then, of course, there’s the fact that they might actually be happy alone!