Separate But Unequal: The Quandary of Black Women & Marriage

♥ Hell Hath No Fury…♥

“This is what marriage really means: helping one another to reach the full status of being persons, responsible beings who do not run away from life”

— Paul Tournier

DETROIT — I Love Black Women. Period. My Mom is a Black Woman. I Love Her. There is something about an intelligent, well-spoken, well-versed, hard working, confident, Nubian Goddess. From her walk, to her attitude, to her ability to understand me, there is nothing more impressive than a Black Woman. Now that we’ve established this, I feel that, as a black man, I can chip in my two cents to why her ass is as single as a $1 bill in my wallet. Lately it has become apparently en vogue, and I don’t mean the R&B group, for there to be all these reports and statistics on why the black woman (more specifically, the “successful” black woman) can’t seem to find a man to marry her. While I’m not some sympathizer like Michael Baisden who will do anything to get women to listen to him, nor am I a self-proclaimed relationship expert like Steve Harvey, this blog is not exactly meant to be a scientific meta-analysis of the plight of our Nubian sisters. I’m not gonna get into the conflated and often overused mantras about black men being the problem (BTW: Essence Magazine’s assessments about black men are, on the low end, 95% F.O.S.). I am gonna shoot straight on what I feel is the problem just from my experience as being a black man having dealt with black women since birth. If you don’t like it, then create your own damn site and do something about it! Let’s Go.

The numbers read like the drop out rates in the Detroit Public Schools. Nearly 45% of Black men have never married and 42% of Black women have never married. I am apart of that 45%. Rewind the clock back nearly 50 years to 1963, 70% of black families were headed by married couples. SEVENTY PERCENT! For the record, I came from a two-parent household. By the time we got to 2002, that number was down to 48%, and it’s pretty clear that as we hit the new decade, it continues to plummet. When ABC’s Nightline did a profile on this subject just before Christmas, it laid out a pretty stunning picture:

“For starters, there are 1.8 million more black women than black men. So even if every black man in America married a black woman today, one out of 12 black women still wouldn’t make it down the aisle if they hoped to marry a black man. Let’s take 100 black men. By the time you eliminate those without a high school diploma (21%), the unemployed (17%) and those ages 25-34 who are incarcerated (8%), you have only half of black men, 54%, whom many black women find acceptable.”

—Courtesy of ABC Reporters Linsey Davis and Hana Karar.

I hit the stop button at the last line “you have only half of black men, 54%, whom many black women find acceptable.” Here’s where my assessment begins. As I continued to watch this piece, a piece that got a whole lot of uppity (and yes, I said UPPITY) black women’s panties in a bunch, I noticed the women, all of which are over 30, seem to be very successful by nearly any standards. However, they, like many single black women, don’t have all their priorities straight. I focused on the word “acceptable”, because it can be a pretty subjective word. What actually is “acceptable” is up for debate. While I completely have no problem with a woman wanting a man who is on her level educationally (Hell, that has always been requirement #1 with me), you start to lose me when your “list” of requirements starts creeping past 10. One woman said her “list” was 50 at one time! o_O Some of these chicks had such things as “height” as a requirement. As a man who measures at just over 6’0″, I often make the cut when I meet a woman (who often is no taller than 5’3″) has some dumb-ass height requirement. But that doesn’t mean I’m cool with it. Another thing is having a “financial” requirement, basically stating you must make “x” amount of dollars to ride. I can understand wanting a man to have a job, being self-sufficient and being able to take care of himself. But does he really need to be making $250K a year?

Part of black women’s problems, and women of all races to a certain extent, is that you are too damned picky. I can understand setting certain unbreakable standards. Honesty, integrity, loyalty, caring, kindness, and being adept at dropping the hammer on you during sexy-time is all fine and dandy. However, when you are judging a man based on height, and skin tone, and hair, that’s when you lose me and others. However, something that didn’t get touched upon, and rarely does get mentioned, is that perhaps a lot of the “good” black men have been chased away by the “independent” black women. Uh, huh. I went there. And I will explain what I mean.

Judging by the reactions to the Nightline piece, many of which I have grown to expect from black women, many of the other rich, uppity, black female professors and figures immediately tried to discredit it by going to the tired “There aren’t enough good black men” card that was played out 10 years ago or the “Black men just can’t handle (or are intimidated by) a strong/independent/successful black woman” card or the “We just have higher standards than women of other races” card, and the myriad of other defense mechanisms that black women go to whenever they are slapped in the face with reality. As Jay-Z so aptly put it: Men Lie. Women Lie. Numbers Don’t. I dispute all three of these tired excuses like this.

  1. There are plenty of “good” black men out there. No, they aren’t all married, in relationships, or Gay. They do exist. Perhaps, instead of sticking your nose up at a man who possesses the qualities you look for, but not the height or curly hair, you may want to actually see him for who he is. I mean, you expect us to look past your love handles, skin blemishes, weave, and stretch marks. That doesn’t mean you “settled”. It means you “compromised”. I know some of you may not know what that word means, here’s the definition.
  2. My mother holds a Master’s Degree in Education. She taught in the Detroit Public School system for nearly 40 years. She was the first person in my family to obtain a college degree (both Bachelor’s and Master’s). She balanced her job, coaching, and raising me solo before she remarried in 1983. She made the most money out of my parents. She overcame Cancer. She manages the money in the house. She taught me 80% of what I know about sports. She bought and Paid for a Mercedes Benz and never once threw any of it in my Father’s Face. They work together as a unit. That’s what a Strong, Independent Black woman is! Real Men are not “intimidated” or “scared” of that. Real men are turned on by that. I was raised by that kind of a woman, so that’s what I expect! Secondarily, consistently reminding us of how much you don’t need us, how you’re independent, and how successful you are just makes you look petty and is annoying. It also makes you look weak because you come off as trying to prove something, when, honestly, most grown men couldn’t really care less. That shit’s not fire, son (© Ed Lover). Stop it.
  3. Any black woman who tries to justify her being single because she has “higher standards” than say white women, or asian women, or hispanic women, to that I say: C’MON SON!!! GTF Outta Here w/that bullshit! The new hotness is Black women playing the “submissive” card, meaning that Black women are so real and thus will never be as weak and timid as women of other races. HA! I have seen white women that are more gangster than some Detroit women. Don’t let the smooth taste fool you about Asian chicks, they will go hard on you. I saw Kill Bill Vols. 1 & 2. And do I even need to mention what a Hispanic woman will do to you if you come incorrect? Plus, considering that there have been TV shows where 20 women, at least 18 of them being black, have allowed themselves to be degraded, played, and manipulated on national television in just the last five years alone? Miss me with the submissive shit. If your standards are so high, why is it that your baby daddy (ugh…) looks like you snatched his ass off of Cell Block 4? I’ve seen many a timid and cowardly black woman who are more submissive than a dude caught in an Anderson Silva rear-naked choke. That shit’s not sexy either, and not all Black men want a woman who is submissive.

The root of this and many other bitter excuses (and yes, I said BITTER!) comes from the fact that since about 1990, Black women have faced stiff competition from women of other races, and have been losing. White girls aren’t just for Pro Athletes anymore. I know black women don’t wanna hear this (like I give a shit at this point), but there are a number of black men who are tired of being told we’re “no good” by Black women and we’ve said enough is enough. We know when we’re not wanted. We’re tired of being held responsible for what the last man did. We’re tired of being eliminated from consideration because of our height, intellect, personality, or education. Think about being an employee at a company. You have been loyal to that company for decades, but all your boss does is dismiss your importance, lump you in with shitty former employees, tell you that they really don’t need you, and constantly tell you that you aren’t that good at your job. Yet they expect you to stay loyal. Meanwhile, across the street, there’s another company, which offers the same pay, same benefits, but they treat you with an inordinate amount of respect. And they’re hiring! Guess who I’m gonna work for!?

Black Women, as much as I love you and respect you, the reason you’re on the bottom of the heap when it comes to marriage is the same reason that Black men are at the bottom of the heap in numerous other categories. It all starts with that person you see staring back at you in the mirror while you’re doing your hair in the morning. I’m not saying that you need to settle for the next knotty-head, no-good Negro street urchin that saunters through the door with his skinny jeans sagging below his ashy knees. Standards are a good thing. “Preferences” are just dumb and childish. There’s a point where compromise is in order. As a lot of you have often said to black men, we’re not just gonna sit around and wait around for you. While we may not fit every requirement you seek, someone else will see something different and love who we are. Race or Socioeconomic status be damned. To the successful, educated, hard-working, gorgeous, legitimately independent black women (because a lot of you broads are talking that “I’m Independent” BS, but you live with your moms, drive around in her car, and have your man paying your bills), continue to do your thing, but ease back on the requirements. So what if he’s 5’7″? Are you trying to marry him, or run the pick-and-roll with him?

To all black women, I simply will ask these two things of you. One, stop living in denial. I have heard chicks claim that the Media is responsible for them not being married. Add that to the list of all the other things the media is responsible for, I guess. Please start looking at yourself objectively. It’s not the fault of the media, or of white women, or of black men (completely). A lot of your plight in relationships was caused by your poor decision making. Often, you knew the dude was a POS when you met him, but you let “love” beat your ass like Ike beat Tina. You let that one L leave you jaded and bitter toward all of us when, while he was a dirtbag, you chose to be with him. Make better decisions! Secondly, and Finally, Start listening to what Black men have to say. I don’t mean ask your girl or go to that female “men’s expert” in Essence Magazine either. I mean if you have a male friend, or a brother, or cousin, or whoever is important in your life who possesses a Penis and two balls, you need to pick his brain. You will learn a lot about men if you ask a man, not another single bitter woman, what he feels about certain things. You’ll be surprised at what you hear and what you learn.

Or don’t pay attention to anything I’ve said, and continue to sit there and be rich, successful, bitter, and lonely. The choice is yours.

Until Next Time, That’s The Way It Is. Wednesday, January 13, 2010.

The 52nd day since the Detroit Lions’ Last Victory

Take Care, God Bless, Always Dare to Be Different, and G.O.M.A.B. Σ

P.S.: Happy Founders’ Day (January 16th) To The Greatest Group of Women ever Assembled: The Exquisite and Classy Women of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. I Love My Z-PHI! Here’s to 90 Years of Finer Womanhood. Ζ

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Jay Scott Smith

What’s Happening! The name’s Jason…but for the sake of this blog, you can call me Jay or Jay Scott. I am a 37-year-old Journalist, Detroit Native, Man of Sigma, and Charismatic Enigma…That About Covers it for me! lol You wanna get in contact w/me, well, here you go! G.O.M.A.B. to my Blu Family! (ΦΒΣ/ΖΦΒ)

9 thoughts on “Separate But Unequal: The Quandary of Black Women & Marriage”

  1. I saw that show and it turned my stomach. I’m not even black and was disgusted by most of the women on the show.
    Half of those women likely grew up in single mom households and probably couldn’t even write an articulate article like the one you wrote here.
    Those women just want control not love.
    I also found it disturbing that of all the different demographics of successful women, it was the black ones complaining, yet again. Whether it’s the single black mom or successful childless black woman they still say the same thing “there are no good black men”. Every one of those women were just vain and if they do meet a man to their liking he’ll probably just sex her and dump her. Afterall why would a dude that has all those things going for him settle? Women like that are even worse on a date than shanaynay. They are the educated nag. They always discuss what they “deserve” on the first date. No man, black, white, asian, christian, jewish, muslim or atheist wants to hear relationship ransom demands on the first date. Most of those women are destined to marry a cucumber and a can of crisco anyway.


  2. I have no idea how I ended up on your page, but your analysis of this very real issue is superficial, hate filled, and useless in bringing about any real solutions. You are venting about “chicks”, and “bitter” women. How is name calling useful at all.

    And what is your point, that I (as a black women) should pretend to be attracted to a short man, when I am not … all in the name of compromise so that you can sleep at night.


    1. What exactly is “hate filled” about it? You seem to have honesty confused with “hate”. It also shows that you basically didn’t bother actually reading what I wrote. I love selective readers (Evidenced by you missing my pointing out that I’m not a short man). I dunno how you found my page, but you are more than welcome to not return to it.


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