Wednesday, June 9, 2010

This blog is in response to an interview Slim Thug gave and was posted on The article link is below.:

I don’t usually respond to articles like this, but he has struck a really bad nerve with me. I honestly can not accurately explain the frustration I have after reading this article. Needless to say, I am a black woman. I am not normally offended or put off by what others say to generalize me as a woman but more important a black woman, because I know who I am and how hard I work, but most importantly the “popularity contest” I am in, NO man is a judge, but this is just ridiculous, to say the least.

There are just some things that if you thought, you should not say and this is a CLEAR example of a lot of those things. But I am glad that he did the interview and said what he said. It’s that old adage that when a person tells you who they are believe them.

There were so many things in that interview that disgusted me that I just don’t know where to start. So let me start off by saying that he says men and women need to change the way they think. Can I get him to do just that? Are you kidding me? I find it laughable that he is comfortable with making the statements he makes about black women, but I guess that means that if he were generalized and grouped with black men who are seen as dead beats, thugs (I guess that would be ok since his stage name is Slim Thug), no good, uneducated, hoodlums, aren’t ambitious, liars, lazy and many more derogatory characteristics, he would be fine with that.

I have had my heart broken a time or two myself, but will I ever group all black men with those few. NO!!!!! Because I know plenty of black men who are wonderful. I love black men and when God decides I am ready for my mate, I pray he is black. Even as a 30 year old single black woman, I refuse to let a few bad apples spoil my perception of ALL black men. This is not to say that men of other races are not wonderful, but I have brothers, cousins, nephews, friends who are black males and I hear, see and realize how society groups them all into the same category. So, why should I?

I am not saying any of those men were not good or even great, but just that we weren’t great together. We weren’t equally yoked; so, we weren’t meant to be a forever story. I am also not saying that I am the best thing this side of the world, but I am by far not the worse. Like, MJB says in one of her songs, I know at times I have gone hard for no reason at all, but I know I am a great woman too. If those failed attempts at relationships have taught me nothing else, they taught me that I know I will be a great mate to my Mr. when the time is right.

Something Katt Williams said in one of his comedy routines got me to thinking (IKR). I am paraphrasing here: he said something along the lines that women are always saying how men are no good and blah, blah. He went on to say that women need to ask themselves what about them is attracting these no good men (see why I got to thinking). So I give the same advice to Slim Thug. Step back and not just check yourself out in the mirror but study who you are inside and out. Of course, I don’t know you personally so my next statement is a generalization (but you’re ok with that, right?): I’m sure you don’t go for the girl next door types. Who you are attracts those women who want you to buy this, take them here, do that, but do not group all black women in that category.

I don’t expect any man to give me more than I can give myself or that I am willing to give in return. I don’t need $3000 bags or $10000 outfits, because that does not mean you love and respect me, because those are the two things I DEMAND. Now, if you want to buy me a $3000 bag, am I going to take it…ummm yes, but would I rather you buy me 100 cheaper bags (I like variety), put that on my student loans, give it to charity, send it to Haiti, give it to an HBCU (Jackson State University)…definitely.

I am very vocal, but I also like to sit back and observe others while they run their mouths. I have learned so much by letting people talk. As I grow older, I am realizing that if my presence and words serve no purpose or don’t get things accomplished, then I should do more observing and less speaking. Now, this doesn’t mean that I will be mild and meek just to get and keep a man, but I am learning to pick and use my words carefully.

Even though, I was perturbed after reading that interview being a black woman, but I was more so angered at the implications behind it. I mean if you thought those things and not said them, ok…fine, but now they are out in the free world. There are little black boys who look up to you. You are not a role model I want any young black male following. This interview leads them to believe black women aren’t good enough, that they should only date women who are submissive and that all black women are argumentative and can’t recognize a “good man,” and won’t treat them like kings. I’ll say it again, I love black men, but I don’t think all black men or men for that fact should be treated like kings.

Even more, what message are you sending to young black girls. Society is already telling them that beauty is marked by being thin, now you want them to feel that in order to get a “good man” they have to not have a voice or opinion that if they want to keep their man, cooking and cleaning is enough. This is not the messages I want to send to our youth. I want young black girls to know and understand their worth. I want them to know that it’s okay to be vocal when it serves to better society. I want them to realize that they are queens and should be treated accordingly.

I have nephews and although they think the world of rappers (I agree with some of their choices), I am glad that they have a family of strong, independent, hard-working, mind-speaking, supportive, educated black women to be around, not all young men have this so they will grow to buy into these stereotypes about their black counterparts. It is very said that you have grouped all black women in with the ones you have met who have exhibited this characteristics.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Compromising vs. Settling

So, I know it’s been a minute. So much has happened since we last chatted. I passed my comps, got an A- on my master’s project, graduated grad school, and was made faculty at work. Well those were the major happenings, but this entry isn’t about those things. A friend’s posting got me to thinking and reexamining “the list.” She asked (reposted from Baisden Live) what was the difference between settling and compromising? It’s funny because another friend and I have had this conversation several times. I always tell her that if she settles and it by chance doesn’t work out then I am not going to feel sorry for her and tell her I told her so, because God provides us with everything else, so why wouldn’t He supply our mate (I know, I don’t take my own advice very well). I know compromising usually takes two (it takes 2 to make a thing go right) and settling is normally a decision made by one, but my short answer to my friend’s posting was “Compromise: You want 5 kids-he wants 2 COMPROMISE at 3 and Settling: you think you are never going to find a good man, so you SETTLE for a man with 6 kids and tells you he doesn't want anymore.” This response was a little exaggerated, but sums up my thought on the matter.

So, here I decided would be a better place to elaborate. Although, I don’t have a physical list of what I want in a man (which may be why I haven’t found “him” but that’s another story), I do have qualities, characteristics, or what have you in my mind. As I have gotten older, some of what I have thought I needed, I realized not so much. I have over time deleted things off my list. Now you may be thinking then “aren’t you settling?” NO, I’m not. Some of the things I have on my list aren’t very important and definitely aren’t worth me giving up a good man for. For example, I would love to have man that knows where the hamper was and would every time he undressed placed his dirty clothes in the right place, but am I going to let that be a deal breaker….ummm, a No.

The important things I have left on the list. I still want and need a man who is loving, compassionate, driven, and respectful, is spiritual, believes in God, and goes to church. A man who I feel comfortable and at peace with, who I can laugh and cry with, that I feel safe with. A man that will not intentionally lie to me to in order to hide. A man that makes a home so that regardless of what the world does to me, I know his arms erases all doubt. A man I can talk to and can talk to me. A man who works hard and honest, believes in me and himself, doesn’t let what others think, say or do control what he thinks, says, or does. Now, this list is by no means a complete one (I think I will actually but it all down soon), but these are some of the things I feel are important and ARE NOT negotiable.

Now back to my example. I would be a fool, to say the least, to give up a man who has these JUST because of a hamper issue:). It’s one of those things that you realize and 20 years down the line, you aren’t mad because you knew it to begin with. A good friend is almost always late. She told me that her husband knew this about her before they got married, but he doesn’t scream and count the clock. This isn’t settling to me. It’s me coming to terms with the reality that if I want a man who has ALL I want, I’m going to have to make him…lol. I can let go of the little things to see the bigger picture. In my friend’s case her husband loves her and it was more important to be late with her than to be on time without her (or at least that’s the conclusion I drew).

So to me, compromising is giving up a little to gain so much more, realizing that we all have faults and quirks, but that they make up what, more times than not, could be the best part of us. On the other hand, settling is taking what is at hand just because what you really want is out of reach for the moment, but if you wait on it, it will be well worth it. Settling is one giving up all or A LOT just to have something anything now. After a compromise, you still feel like you win and are happier for it, but when you settle, the after taste lingers and soon builds into resentment.

My friend’s response to me was that she probably doesn’t compromise enough because she fears she is settling. Compromising takes careful thought and preparation, give and take. Settling is an act of desperation. When I have to decide between compromising and settling, I look at what I am giving up in order to gain what I want. If I am giving up a dream or a need, I’m settling. I also ask myself, “why is this so important?” Am I not compromising to prove a point or to be stubborn? If the answer to this is yes, then I have to reevaluate the importance.

I don’t really know the exact wording of or theory behind the 80/20 rule, but a friend of mine said that one of her teaches told her that 20% of what we have on our “list” we are not going to find. So, my thought is that I am only willing to compromise with that 20% that I probably shouldn’t have included anyway. I will SETTLE down with the guy who has the other 80%.

So until next time…, love, laugh and cry.