Archive for March, 2010


Pass the Mic to the ‘Angry’ Black Woman

Something dawned on me today when I was driving into work and listening to a morning radio show. The DJ, a SIS, was defending black womanhood against a brother – and I use that term loosely – who suggested that 60% of all black women are angry.

I can’t deny that I have met one or two sufferers of Angry Black Woman Syndrome in my day; but, there are far more well-adjusted, peaceful, happy sisters out here. However, as the DJ tried to defend our often-attacked demographic on air, her voice was a bit agitated, and I realized that her passion might be misconstrued as anger. I wanted her to speak more calmly before the caller snapped back that she’d proven his point.

So, that’s when this question caused me to slam on the brakes, figuratively: Is the whole ABW theory just a way to keep sisters quiet about all the negative stereotypes and criticism we get from society?

Think about it. If someone accused you of being disagreeable, you might not protest because doing so would just be handing over more ammunition.

So, when a SIS is attacked for being angry and having attitude, her initial reaction to passionately defend herself – which I think is natural – may do more harm than good. Is keeping silent the answer? Is silencing us “the plan”?

As I pondered this, I thought about the caller using a black woman’s anger to justify his decision to date outside the race. Of course, this is poppycock, but I did start to wonder whether women of other races have to deal with the negative stereotypes that black women have to.

Are they being perceived as irrational, materialistic, inherently unattractive, angry and undesirable by society? More importantly, are women of other races getting this from their brothers?

Maybe these women are being hated on by the men in their communities, and I just don’t know about it, since I’m on the outskirts. However, that’s really irrelevant.

The point is that if someone is bold enough to look you in your face and slander the majority of your demographic, then he or she shouldn’t be surprised if you choose to respond with equal conviction … even if that means throwing in a neck roll.

I don’t consider that anger. That’s just human nature. I mean, what type of person allows such disparaging remarks to go unchecked? I wouldn’t expect any dude to keep silent as someone questioned his manhood. So, of course many black women respond when we’re confronted with negative stereotypes. If that labels us as angry, then so be it.

My take: I’d rather we be a bunch of “angry” sistahs who stick up for ourselves and combat society’s negative images of us than silent women who let others define and openly insult us. Besides, who else is gonna stand up for us?


Outing the Secret Significant

If you weren’t sure, or if I left some question in your mind, I want to state for the record, that I’m single.

Maybe if I had a significant other, I would have an answer for the following question: What does it mean when your boyfriend or girlfriend doesn’t acknowledge you at all on Facebook?

I know a few people who are in relationships; although, there’s no “In a Relationship” indication on their pages. They’re going on romantic vacations, but not posting any photos, or sharing even vague, general details with those they obviously consider friends. On Valentine’s Day, there was no status update about spending quality time with that special someone.

As far as the World Wide Web is concerned, these folks are pretty much single.

Like I said, I don’t have a significant other, but I’d imagine that if I did, this would irk me a bit and make me wonder: Is he ashamed of me? Is he assuming I won’t be around long enough to worry about “introducing” me to his friends? Is he a playa, making sure available women don’t think he’s taken?

Maybe they’ve had a discussion and both decided not to mention the relationship. Maybe they’re waiting for a specific anniversary before going public with the news, but unless you’re Brangelina, what’s with all the secrecy? It’s not like you’re going to get mobbed by the paparazzi. Sure, you may get a few questions, but I’d imagine the feelings of the secret significant should trump that minor annoyance.

I’m not suggesting that people update their relationship status 30 minutes after it changes, but I think I’d be perturbed if a boyfriend of mine posted photos of his life but left out all the ones with me in them. Hopefully, any guy I end up dating exclusively wouldn’t shy away from posting a photo of the two of us and writing a caption identifying me as his girlfriend. I guess one could argue that such displays aren’t a big deal, but if that’s the case, then why avoid them?

Luckily, this isn’t anything I have to worry about, but for the sistah out there whose boyfriend seems to have an aversion to mentioning your existence on his cyber profiles, this is for you.


Can You Control Who You Attract?

I have a friend who complains that she only seems to attract older men, like guys she would probably address as “Mister” if they weren’t hitting on her. Another friend has to beat the married fellas off with a stick, and I’ve noticed that I seem to attract the in-transition guys – the ones who realize their days of playa-hood are almost over, but are trying to squeeze every last drop of it out before settling down.

So, after recognizing a pattern in the sort of people she attracts, a SIS has to ask herself what is it about me that draws these types?

One of my friends theorizes that we sometimes attract what we fear the most. So, if you’re worried about having to support a man, the jobless will find you irresistible. Is there some validity to this? Can we be so focused on what we absolutely do not want that we subliminally attract just that?

I’m not sure, but it would explain why my homie, who’s a sucker for chivalry, continues to pull in the guys who wouldn’t think to open her car door even if she were trapped inside with Cujo.

I do think that when you meet someone who possesses a trait or characteristic you want to avoid, you’re likely to take special note of it. So, it might not be that you’re only attracting your undesirable sorts. It could just be that when they do pay you attention, it knocks you in the face like Debo did Red in “Friday.”

Either way, I’m thinking it’s good to know what you do and don’t want in a friend or potential mate, but it’s probably more beneficial to focus on the positives. It might not improve your options too much, but it’s likely that the people you want to attract are drawn to glass-half-full folks. So, walking into a room thinking about the new friends you’re going to meet with all their wonderful qualities, is probably a better look than just hoping to repel the undesirables.


Do Soul Mates Really Exist?

Folks say there’s some truth to every joke. So, when a TV host recently rebutted the idea of soul mates, I wondered: Is there such a thing? His take, “It doesn’t exist. Find someone you can tolerate. Keep it simple. Find someone you can sleep next to without throwing up and marry them.”

If he’s right, then a lot of single people out here waiting for “the one” may be holding out for an ideal that doesn’t exist.

So, what does that mean? Should a SIS not be looking for a yin to her yang? Is it self sabotage to want a guy who is a perfect match? Is it too much to ask to meet someone you’re actually excited about, as opposed to just someone who’s tolerable?

If those are all unrealistic expectations, then maybe the TV host is right, and the concept of a soul mate is as ridiculous as the idea that Prince Charming will show up on a white horse with a bouquet of flowers to whisk his princess off to Happily Ever After.

So, once again, I turned to my own personal wives club for their take. Have my homegirls with husbands actually found their soul mates, and if so, how did they know “he” was “the one”?

The unanimous answer from my friends with ring bling was that soul mates are a reality. The word “effortless” popped up a few times to describe such a relationship. According to them, it should be comfortable, like chillin’ with a BFF.

Danielle, who has been married for nearly a decade, said, “You want to share EVERYTHING going on in your life with that person because you KNOW he will just get it! In short, if this person could be/is your best friend, then he’s the one for you.”

Denise, who’s going on nine years, described a soul mate as, “A person who loves you when you’re at your best, and still loves you just as much when you’re at your worst.”

Awww. Sweet. Right?

I’d say that belief in this sort of “soul mate” is a positive thing for singles. If not, then what’s your litmus test for potential mates? If acceptable and tolerable are the only requirements, then you may be selling yourself a bit short.


Five Signs of an Angry Black Woman

Here’s something you won’t believe. Since starting this blog, I have been accused of being an Angry Black Woman. (Unbelievable! I know!) It hasn’t happened often, and I personally don’t think I’ve been hostile at all, but I took a step back and tried some introspection.

At the risk of reinforcing a negative stereotype, I have to admit that there is such a thing as Angry Black Woman (ABW) syndrome. It is worth stating that not every SIS suffers from this ailment (and not every angry person is black or single).

So, while I tried to determine whether there was any validity to the ABW accusation made against yours truly, I came up with a list of five signs I think separate the ABW from regular folks who limit their anger to obscene hand gestures made toward the horrible driver in the next lane.

Here’s the list of signs I came up with.

You Might Be an ABW If…:

You’re Constantly Urged to Seek Therapy (or Jesus)
Of course, not all church invitations are extended because of suspected anger management issues, but if your friends respond to what you consider normal venting, by inviting you to Sunday service and/or suggesting you seek professional help, you might have a problem. If more than a few confidantes have advised you to get counseling or pastoral guidance, they are telling you: (1) your issues are too big for them to handle and (2) only God, or someone trained to deal with insane or possessed people, can help you.

You’re a Hater
If you’re an ABW, it’s hard for you to take your eyes off your own discontentment long enough to be happy for somebody else. You’ll look for any excuse to avoid celebrating weddings, baby showers, housewarmings, promotions or anything that you would prefer be happening to you. A twinge of jealousy isn’t abnormal, but a tirade about how life isn’t fair because you deserve all the good fortune others are experiencing, is a symptom of the syndrome.

You Aren’t Being Asked Why You’re Single
I know. It’s an annoying question, “Why are you single”? However, I take it as an indicator of my loveable charm. For the life of them, those around me cannot understand why some guy hasn’t seen all the wonderful attributes and characteristics they see in me. So, it stands to reason that if no one’s asking you why you’re single, it might be because the reasons are clear to them. A rotten attitude might be the cause.

You’re Never Satisfied
A neighbor offers to shovel your walk, but you complain that he didn’t clean off your car. A friend promised to go to a movie with you, but you’re angry at her ‘cause her unexpected coma ruined your plans. The ABW always finds a reason to fuss. There are very few silver linings or bright sides. The worst part? Even the rational irritations seem irrational when the ABW adds her tainted spin to the tales.

You’re Pissed Right Now
If you’re ready to get to cussin’ ‘cause all of the above traits remind you of yourself, then you probably got a problem.

Considering that it’s my list, I might be biased, but after reviewing these traits, I’ve concluded that I am not an angry, black woman. LOL.

Are you?

March 2010
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