Saturday, September 5, 2009

Let's Get Serious About Vetting Men, Part 1: Do You Really Want A Fatherless Man To Be The Father Of YOUR Children?

This essay is contained in my new book. I'm delighted to announce that The Sojourner's Passport site has launched! You can visit it at http://www.sojournerspassport.com/.

Everyone, I can't thank you enough for your ongoing encouragement and support; I truly appreciate it. Your support is what made this possible. And here's a special shout-out to my web designers at Educo Web Design. They're nice people to deal with, and they do outstanding work!

Peace and blessings,
Khadija Nassif

79 comments:

E said...

I agree 100%. If a woman is serious about finding a husband with the best combo of positive traits, she should eliminate fatherless men from her search. People will gasp when we say this because they don't really think a black woman should have ANY standards at all, especially not for a black man. They also know this one criteria will eliminate many (maybe most, depending on age)black men from a woman's 'list'. I also wouldn't date a man with kids when I was dating a lot in my early 20s, because I don't have kids. (I discuss this in my interview on CW's blog). People called me snobby and unrealistic, but so what? That was MY choice and what I brought to the table. And you you know how men feel about women with kids. Why should we not think the same way. Reciprocity, folks. Do you know how much child support is? Why would I want a man with a financial obligation outside of my house? And any guy in his 20s with a divorce or an out-of-wedlock child has left an angry woman somewhere and who needs that? Anyway, these standards are par outside all-black constructs.

Of course, a fatherless man could be a good husband, but he is less likely to have seen the role of husband performed firsthand. I loved what you said about a father going out and cleaning off the snow for his family (and wife, especially) and putting up the Christmas tree. I have never shoveled snow at my parents' house (and I grew up in CT, lots of it). I would put on my coat and boots and grab a shovel and he would send me back in and yell for my brothers to get their butts outside to help him. Not because he thought I was was physically unable and couldn't, but because I am his daughter and shouldn't have to perform hard labor with him and my brothers right there. My dad raised me to be tough and to believe I was the equal of any man (he cheered on the sidelines at my black belt test at 13, and all through my training where I frequently laid out boys during sparring), but also what minimum actions a woman should expect from a man. He is the only brother of three sisters so he shoveled a LOT of snow growing up. A lot of these lessons we didn't even verbally discuss, I got them by observing long-term over my childhood and adolescence.

E said...

My fiance does the same sorts of things like going out to warm up my car so I don't have to enter a cold leather-seated car. My fiance has grown up seeing his father do the same things for his mother. My brothers have grown up seeing how a husband treats a wife and they have absorbed most of that. (The 14yr old and I had big blow-out last week when I came home with a car full of groceries and he didn't come out to help me unload and shelve. More work to do on him, but the 20yr old would never sit back while watching me lift a heavy box in his presence.)

This may be a class-based issue and we know some blacks folks get mad when you discuss class or it may just be an issue of values. I know folks like to blame feminism for the end of chivalry, but I don't buy that, at least not totally. A man can respect a woman as is his intellectual and social equal while still holding a door open or not letting her struggle with heavy boxes while he just watches.

I am also glad that you addressed Pres. Obama in the addendum because folks LOVE to bring up his success despite his father's absence. However, being raised in Hawaii and internationally by one's educated, (PhD in anthropology) divorced mother and her supportive parents is much different than being the child of a struggling/never-been-married/barely finished high-school Mom growing up in low-income housing.

I also think his Mr. Soetoro, his sister's father, played a bigger role in a part of his upbringing than he talks about. I think he downplays his international childhood because folks here just wouldn't get it. Too much 'international' flavor in that family for some folks to deal. His sister married a native Hawaian professor and her kids are also multiracial. Check out a family pic from Inauguration Day. Wow!

Anyway, thank you for this post. These conversations are getting sharper and timelier and you can see the desperation of folks who see us seeing the light (hack piece by Jimi Izrael on The Root). What you are doing here is offering critical thinking, which is priceless.

Evia said...

Before somebody writes in to talk about how Pres. Obama is a fatherless man

Khadija, you've hit on a VITAL focal point for any woman who is serious about vetting a man. Who ARE his people? Who are the people he was around during his formative years. Who was NOT present in his life? What "normal" practices were not present in his life? What was the actual CONTENT of the social practices? A person is largely the product of their environment.

The background of a man must never be overlooked. His mindset is largely formed by his background. According to that Proverb: "So a man thinketh, so he is."

Some people become enlightened and can recover well from their defective backgrounds, but most don't--ESPECIALLY when they don't see anything wrong with their backgrounds.

As an old-school southern AA woman, I used to hear the question 'who are his/her people?' asked and discussed whenever any serious discussion came up about allowing a new person into the family or our closely-knit community. Southern black folks even screened against genetic "character" defects or predispositions like lying and thievery because they believed that some people are congenital liars, theives, sadists, etc. They also screened against mental illnesses as best they could. So I often heard folks asking questions about a person's family. People actually drove long distances to investigate a person's family since they couldn't find out vital info in any other way. LOL!

Sometimes the men in a boy's ***extended family*** can and do fill in very effectively as solid male role models for young male children. What boys need is to SEE men performing their role as men to the best of their ability and on a ***constant*** basis. This is how boys learn to be men, by watching REAL men perform the role of providing for and protecting women and children on a regular basis. The man doesn't have to perform the role perfectly, but the boy must see the man trying his utter best and succeeding.

I remember my ex-husband talking about his father, a lowly paid worker in Nigeria, going to work every day for 30 years and suffering indignities at work. I can still remember how my ex's voice quavered as he talked about the impact of his father on his life, and the role his dad played in the household and in the community. His dad may not have been viewed as important at work, but he was respected at home and in his community because he never stopped doing his best to perform his role.

What causes so many young AA males to be clueless about the role a REAL man plays in the life of women and children is that there is no REAL man even in the vicinity in the lives of so many young black boys. They simply see a lot of weak posturing males with big bodies who make all kinds of excuses about how bw won't "let" them be men--LOL!, or about how a bw "drove them away" from their children! So these little boys grow up to copy this mindset and these postures. Bw really need to pay close attention to how a typical AA man talks about the pathology in the AA community. If he has sympathy for bm who abandon their children, you do NOT want him. No REAL man has sympathy for a man who can abandon his defenseless children.

Obama's extended family consisted of his grandfather and his stepfather (his mother's Indonesian husband), but I don't know anything about the qualities and traits of these men and the impact they had on his life. I haven't read any of Pres. Obama's books. I believe these men were constantly present though in his life.

At least Obama knows that he's supposed to be there for his daughters. Many clueless bm out there these days actually expect for a woman, especially if she's a bw, to do a good job of raising children ALL ALONE and will blame bw for not raising black boys better ALL ALONE!! This is so pathethic and reveals to the world just how damaged their thinking is.

Karen said...

Khadija,

This a serious reality check that every woman needs to consider when choosing a potential mate.

Generational stability in a family that is normal behaviour pays off in so many rewards big and small. The basic things do not have to be discussed or learned as they are already present.

This is something that is not to be underestimated.

Very good post to bring this to the forefront...

Khadija said...

E,

You're welcome!

You said, "Anyway, these standards are par outside all-black constructs."

Exactly. Other people don't play that.

You said, "Of course, a fatherless man could be a good husband, but he is less likely to have seen the role of husband performed firsthand."

This is the problem. Why select a man who needs special ed coaching in order to learn how to perform his role because he's never seen it done firsthand?

And this is assuming that he even WANTS to learn how to perform NORMAL husband/father roles. There are a LOT of fatherless males who insist that they "turned out just fine" and who refuse to acknowledge that they have information gaps concerning their role because of their fatherlessness.

Fatherless men are typically the ones who want/expect a gold star, cookie, and a pat on the head for performing what are actually MINIMAL husband/father behaviors. Why be bothered with this when there are plenty of men who already KNOW what they're supposed to do?

Fatherless men are also typically the ones who feel that long-distance fathering, weekend fathering, and telephone-based fathering are sufficient.

You said, "I loved what you said about a father going out and cleaning off the snow for his family (and wife, especially) and putting up the Christmas tree. I have never shoveled snow at my parents' house (and I grew up in CT, lots of it)."

As these various conversations progress, I'm learning that I need to give CONCRETE examples of what I'm talking about. This is because, unfortunately, so many AAs have NO IDEA of what normal looks like in various contexts.

You said, "My dad raised me to be tough and to believe I was the equal of any man (he cheered on the sidelines at my black belt test at 13, and all through my training where I frequently laid out boys during sparring), but also what minimum actions a woman should expect from a man...A lot of these lessons we didn't even verbally discuss, I got them by observing long-term over my childhood and adolescence."

The lessons that are actually LIVED are the ones that are learned most deeply. Children mimic and model the ACTIONS they see performed on a regular basis. Not words. And not slogans that are pulled out for special occassions.

You said, "This may be a class-based issue and we know some blacks folks get mad when you discuss class or it may just be an issue of values."

Khadija said...

Part 2

It's both class-based and value-based. Those AAs (across all economic classes) who cling to "old-school" values are deeply concerned about the type of family a child's date came from. Whether they're "old-school" or not in other ways, most Black middle class parents are also deeply concerned about the "Who are his/her people?" question.

You said, "I am also glad that you addressed Pres. Obama in the addendum because folks LOVE to bring up his success despite his father's absence. However, being raised in Hawaii and internationally by one's educated, (PhD in anthropology) divorced mother and her supportive parents is much different than being the child of a struggling/never-been-married/barely finished high-school Mom growing up in low-income housing."

Exactly. Another point is that there are various ways of measuring "success" in terms of one's family life.

As an older teenager, one of things I appreciated about my father (in contrast to what I saw some of his BM friends doing) is when I discovered that he had passed on several job promotions because he was unwilling to be away from us for long stretches of time.

Along the way during some of our vacations, Dad would drop in to visit some of his friends who had taken promotions that required them to be away from their families for long stretches of time. We would also visit some of his friends who had taken promotions that required them to move frequently around the country.

Well, when talking to these men's children who were my age, I learned to appreciate the STABILITY that my Dad created for my brother and me by foregoing those sorts of promotions. One poor kid told me about how he lived in a different state for each year of high school because of his father's job-related moves. {shudder}

We lose sight of the fact that Pres. Obama has been physically AWAY from his little girls for SIGNIFICANT chunks of time during their lives.

You said, "I also think his Mr. Soetoro, his sister's father, played a bigger role in a part of his upbringing than he talks about. I think he downplays his international childhood because folks here just wouldn't get it. Too much 'international' flavor in that family for some folks to deal."

I agree that he has probably downplayed just how he was raised by a foreign Mooz-lim man from Indonesia. It would make White folks uncomfortable. But in discussing Pres. Obama, I'm going with the way he has publicly characterized his upbringing, as opposed to what I suspect the "real deal" was (raised by a foreign Muslim stepfather).

You said, "These conversations are getting sharper and timelier and you can see the desperation of folks who see us seeing the light (hack piece by Jimi Izrael on The Root)."

Yes. Those who wish to exploit the best and brightest AA women ARE getting nervous as more of us find clarity.

Khadija said...

Part 3

Evia,

I 1,000% co-sign your entire comment. And I hope that the ladies are paying CLOSE attention to your comment. Everything you said is EXTREMELY important!

Dealing with a man who has NO CLUE (because there haven't been any NORMAL husband/fathers in his vicinity while growing up) as to what he's supposed to do for his wife and children leads to unnecessary and SERIOUS problems later on down the road.

Dealing even with a man who is willing to learn what he's supposed to do (via special ed coaching) leads to unnecessary and SERIOUS problems later on down the road.

Why would a woman inflict this on her future children when there are so many other men who are ALREADY prepared to function as GOOD husbands/fathers?
____________________

Karen,

You said, (emphasis added)"Generational stability in a family that is normal behaviour pays off in so many rewards big and small. The basic things do not have to be discussed or learned as they are already present."

Again, why have children with a man who needs special ed coaching to figure out how to be a father to YOUR children?

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Absolutely, the "who are his people" question has mattered, not only as you have described it, in old school African American culture, but also in "old school" Caribbean culture.

In those communities, small and close-knit, it was how people knew each other--S/he is from "so and so" (geographic location) connected to those XYZ people (family name).

Some more examples of the positives in growing up with a father:

1. You see him interacting with other neighborhood males in ensuring the safety of everyone, including the women and children in the neighborhood.

2. As an adult woman, you have a frame of reference for talking with your fiancee (and eventually, your husband) about your lives growing up and what you want to do in your marital life--what you thought worked in your parents' marriage, and what you want to improve upon. It is more difficult when there is nothing there to start off with.

3. They know that normal women will have certain (reasonable) expectations of them, and they know that it is their responsibility as men to meet those expectations.

4. They see what it is like for a man to be dedicated to his family first and foremost.

Khadija said...

PioneerValleyWoman,

You said, "Absolutely, the "who are his people" question has mattered, not only as you have described it, in old school African American culture, but also in "old school" Caribbean culture.

In those communities, small and close-knit, it was how people knew each other--S/he is from "so and so" (geographic location) connected to those XYZ people (family name)."


That's the thing. EVERYBODY on this planet---except for foolish, new-school AAs---wants to know "Who ARE his people?"

Thank you for giving additional concrete examples of the (priceless) benefits of growing up with a father. These are benefits that pay many dividends for future generations. And the absence of these benefits is usually a huge DEFICIT for future generations.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

You're welcome!

Oops--fiancee should read fiance!

Interest said...

While I wholeheartedly agree about deciphering backgrounds and upbringings, I'm not certain it can be implemented as subscribed, in a way that makes this criterion an efficient filter.

As an aside, I am a black woman, from a 2-parent home, from the upperclass. Pardon me for explaining this- I just do not want my opinions to be dismissed as those of someone who is disgruntled about some "class based issue" as one commentor stated.

To define efficient filter: An efficient filter is one that removes those things of no value (the trash) and retains those things of value (the gems).

Or a qualifier for that matter. To define qualifier: Something that without, a person would not be deemed an acceptable candidate. However, possessing said criteria does not guarantee candidacy.

There are men who, grew up in 2 parent homes, where the woman was the workhorse, house servant, who was constantly self-sacrificing her own needs for the betterment of her children and her family. Her sons grow up to either resent their mother's lack of personal backbone, or to expect their future wives to be sacrificial lambs.

Regardless of parental marital status, my concerns are the person, and how that person feels about the circumstances that they grew up in.

Evia touched on the point I want to make when she said:
"Some people become enlightened and can recover well from their defective backgrounds, but most don't--ESPECIALLY when they don't see anything wrong with their backgrounds."

Now I don't claim to know numbers, so I won't attempt to validate my opinions with adjectives like "most"- b/c I honestly don't know what's *real*. But I will say that some men of single parent houeseholds recognize that their upbringing is not what is accepted as the cultural/societal "norm". (I do not believe they are exceptions). They are aware that something is missing, and though they may need "special ed" as Khadija put it, they are fully aware that there is a void. Can that void be filled? Can they learn to fulfill a husband's/father's role? It depends on the man, and their personal desire to do so. We would not know that, however b/c such men would automatically fail both the qualifier and filter.

Interest said...

Now the man who grew up with both parents would still concern me, b/c I wonder what experiences shaped his "truths" about relationships. His views about child rearing and upbringing, and the roles a husband and a wife play for each other, and for their families. I can't tell you how many BM I have spoken with (that are of 2 parent homes) who are waiting to marry their workhorse. That's what they know. That's what they feel is right. These men have the desired "qualifier" and will hence pass our "filter". This is not uncommon. So something about that criterion lacks efficacy. If I were using this as a sieve in my kitchen, I would be remiss, because food would invariably slide right through, while those things I do not want, remain in the recipe.

Something tells me this is not an anomaly either. Particularly if you consider that studies have shown women are growing less and less dissatisfied with marriage, as men are becoming more smug. Someone is getting the short end of this stick, and we are continuing to procreate and re-birth the workhorse mentality right into our offspring.

Now a man raised by a single mother can also have the workhorse woman mindset (for obvious reasons) I do not deny that likelihood *at all*.But I think with criteria such as this, there is a need to be a bit more *human* centered rather than situation centered. I concede that there are situations which- without a doubt need to be filtered right out of the pot *from jump*. But for a qualifier like the one we're describing- there are some cautions to be heeded.

I fully agree that we are products of our environment. But it is more important (to me) to be person centered. Meaning- to gauge from the individual *how* those experiences shaped them. The experience (or lack of experience) alone is not enough for me to determine where a potential suitor should fall. One person from a strict home may grow up to be a strict parent. Another may overcompensate for their loss of freedom, by giving their own children complete free reign. That is something that has to be gauged from the individual- as the circumstance is not enough to either qualify or disqualify them as potential. And the mate that I choose would be pendant upon which outcome I value. This coupled with an understanding and appreciation of how *your own* background has shaped and molded *you*, and how *you* have responded to such shaping is necessary to make decisions about future mates.

Khadija said...

"Interest,"

So you made up this commenter ID just to post these 2 comments?

I'll play along (for now) because I want the audience to see a common troll technique in operation. You've used a LOT of convoluted language to try to obscure some very common-sense conclusions that women ACROSS THIS PLANET and ACROSS THE CENTURIES have made:


(1) It does NOT benefit a woman's future children to have a fatherless man as their father. The exceptions are NOT the rule.

(2) Not only does having a fatherless man as a father bring NO benefit to children, it usually brings DEFICITS to their quality of life. Typically, HUGE deficits.

(3) Why would any woman take these sorts of chances with HER future children, when there are so many men who have been properly socialized by their fathers?

(4) There's NO sensible reason for a woman to take these unnecessary risks and play these games with her children's future.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

tertiaryanna said...

Khadija,

Your post today is so important. In addition, I believe that if a boy has grown up in an environment where fatherlessness is the norm, then even if that man is strongly committed to be a father to his own children, he may still be in an environment that is against his values.

The lack of social reinforcement of a person's actions are values has an can be seen on multiple levels: his kids don't benefit from having peers with stable male leadership, he himself has little appropriate** support for the trials of fatherhood, his wife has less support for issues in her marriage if her friends have no spouse at all.

It's hard to do well in isolation. So the loss of a solid peer structure can make a tough job (raising a successful family) even harder. So it's even more valuable to choose a partner who not only has a shared value, but who is (by default or by deliberate choice) in an environment that reflects and reinforces these values.

**I say "appropriate" because if male interaction in the family is seen as unusual, the man who's actually doing it can easily be considered a hero for doing work that's just the standard. So Dad gets extra heaps of praise for basic childcare, even though the stated value of fatherhood is interaction with the children. And that effectively undermines the structure of partnership that is supposed to help support Mom's efforts.

KM said...

I cosign with this post.

My own father is essentially a DBR. My parents' relationship (not a marriage) is supremely dysfunctional. My mother wants it to end but she's too lazy to kick him out b/c he's sick. But, I did live in a 2 parent household and my father was and still is protective (always wants to pick me up if I'm out late, always checking to see who my friends are, even though he's a DBR, constantly making sure other neighborhood DBRs don't bother me when I visit home)

Then I have my aunts and uncles on my mother's side of the family. ALL are married, ALL have healthy marriages, and they ALL raised children that were well-adjusted until they became adults. Some of my cousins got their own issues but none of them can say it was because of what their parents did. Majority of my older cousins are married, BM and BW, and are raising their children in a married 2 parent household.

After seeing the mess of my parents relationship and the marriages in my extended family, I have no desire for a man who grew up fatherless. I know that when the man puts me through the vetting process that the dysfunctional immediate family I grew up in will be a red flag. Why would someone like me want to end up with someone with the exact/similar background? I want my future children to have more than I did growing up, not to have to overcome more obstacles that they don't have to have.

tertiaryanna said...

@ Interest:

"...BM I have spoken with (that are of 2 parent homes) who are waiting to marry their workhorse. That's what they know. That's what they feel is right. These men have the desired "qualifier" and will hence pass our "filter". This is not uncommon. So something about that criterion lacks efficacy."

I think the problem is that you're using a superficial look at the filter: it's not just the fact of a two parent household.

The legal or physical absence of the father in the home is a sign that there's some missing male leadership in the family. However, the presence of the father in the home doesn't mean that there's male leadership in the family.

Ideally, it would, and the argument here takes the ideal point, and removes the concept of bad, but present fathers from the discussion.

It's not that bad-but-present fathers don't occur, but that they don't address the real concern underlying these posts: skyrocketing OOW childrearing, complete absence of fatherhood from these children's lives and the resultant strain of BW (& children's) lives.

The general argument here is that if a boy has not seen the skills and values involved in being a good husband father, he won't be as likely to pass that on to his wife and children.

A key word here is "good". So a man in a two-parent but dysfunctional family is going to have some things that need to be addressed, just as you've noted. These are important concerns, but if a man's demonstrated that he's unwilling to commit to the woman and his children, the fact that he's got other issues isn't going to be on the table, and that's the starting point in some of these discussions (at least, that's what I thought.)

So an important concept that should be addressed from the start is his commitment to the woman and children by protecting them with a marriage contract. And if we're talking about identifying quality men, an indication that he's at least been exposed to this should be a good indicator that he's seen it as normal and will be willing to do this as well.

If a woman knows from the get-go that there's a problem here, then (if she's dating purposefully) she can decide whether or not she wants to proceed further.

Sometimes, it's really useful to triage your attention by taking note of the little hints about someone's life. So you don't spend months and months dating someone, and never really knowing what their actions are in an area because you haven't gotten there yet (like, you don't know what kind of parent that person will be because you all don't have kids yet.)

Instead, you can make a partial assessment based on facts that give a clue as to what they're likely to (likely, not 'definitely going to") do.

It's kind of like how we can assess someone's sense of responsibility with looking at how they handle money, their attention to detail by how clean they keep their car, or their fighting style with how they treat waiters.

tertiaryanna said...

@ KM

"I know that when the man puts me through the vetting process that the dysfunctional immediate family I grew up in will be a red flag."

KM, this is so important, and it's something I've thought about often (in regards to my own family and their problems.)

I think that's another point to consider: why jeopardize your future children's chances at a good marriage by starting a family with someone whose family already has problems? People want to put their kids in good schools and give them good experiences, so why not try to start them off properly by having them in a functional family environment?

Khadija said...

Tertiaryanna,

You're being very charitable and patient in indulging "Interest." I don't believe that "Interest" is that genuinely confused. These are some very basic, very common sense things that we're discussing.

Mass, overwhelming, and nearly COMPLETE fatherlessness is at the root of all the problems that are literally KILLING the AA collective. This is obvious. We see this reflected in the news stories about the atrocities committed every day by fatherless AAs. We see the countless diminished AA lives that have fatherlessness at their core. We know all of this.

Any AA woman who wants a good life for her future children needs to find a man who will be a good husband and father. This is obvious. We know this.

The odds are LOW that a fatherless man is going to know how to be, or even want to be, a GOOD husband and father. This is obvious. We know this. We see this reflected every day in the extremely strange and peculiar attitudes that many fatherless men harbor about fatherhood:

(1) Fatherless men are typically the ones who want/expect a gold star, cookie, and a pat on the head for performing what are actually MINIMAL husband/father behaviors.

(2) Fatherless men are also typically the ones who feel that long-distance fathering, weekend fathering, and telephone-based fathering are sufficient.

This is NOT rocket science.
It is also not rocket science to understand that nothing in life is certain (except eventual death). There are only the odds. A sensible woman will do everything she can to MAXIMIZE the odds of her children having a GOOD father. Choosing a fatherless man SIGNIFICANTLY decreases the odds of her future children having a GOOD father.

This really isn't that deep or profound. Women from EVERY OTHER ethnic group ACROSS THIS PLANET understand these very basic observations.

Sojourners who are dating purposefully also understand these very basic observations.
________________________

KM,

You said, "I want my future children to have more than I did growing up, not to have to overcome more obstacles that they don't have to have."

Any sensible woman will do what she can to MAXIMIZE the odds of her children having a good life. This includes them reaping the many benefits (tangible and intangible) of being raised by a GOOD father. It's very simple.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Felicia said...

This is a GREAT topic of discussion Khadija!

Thank you for broaching the subject.

MOST of the time, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

And sorriness when it comes to men is passed on generation after generation. Because the damage stems from the ROOT.

The FOUNDATION is not positive, and strong to begin with.

There are of course exceptions to the rule, but that's like looking for a needle in a haystack.

And looking for needles in the haystack ("good black men" most of whom these days are not looking for good BW - certainly not dark-skinned and West-African featured - to marry) in the so called "bc" - instead of fishing in the OCEAN of the GLOBAL community where men raised by their fathers are the STANDARD instead of the exception - is EXACTLY why most AA BW are in the negative and embarrassing HOLE their in on the relationship front.

I can't even begin to detail all of the wonderful benefits that come from marrying a man who was raised by his father. A man who comes from an environment where marriage is a respected institution. Where it is expected that a man takes care of his family. Supports them, loves them, raises and educates his young, loves and supports his wife, etc...

Really ladies, I can't even imagine being in any other situation.

All women deserve this. And shouldn't accept anything less.

And YES, traditions are VERY important. Especially around the holidays. There are specific German traditions that my husband and his family are passing down to our sons because they realize - like most people do - that traditions, rituals, etc... MATTER and give a sense of wholeness and history to the young. I'm also - in addition to my parents and family - passing down traditions and family histories.

It's IMPORTANT and it matters.

MEN are supposed to raise boys to manhood. And there is usually a stark difference between men who were raised by their fathers and those who weren't.

BW should IGNORE ANYONE who presumes they don't deserve the BEST husbands and fathers for their children regardless of "race".

We DO. NO one is more deserving of this happiness than us.

jeanetta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Interest said...

Wow.

Firstly- I'll state I am NOT a troll. I have read this blog for some time now, and have enjoyed it. This topic is of "interest" to me for a number of reasons- and I chose to engage in the discussion today. I am sincerely offended by the notion that I am a troll feigning ignorance to spark controversy. I am no such thing.

I was under the assumption that though "free speech" as in (profanity, and hate) is not welcome here- "free thought" was. And, that I was welcome to share a (not so) opposing viewpoint without the validity of my character being questioned. I urge you to read my post again- because I fail to see where I have been rude, or told a lie. Whatever thing you specifically disagree with, I can respect. But how do I entertain broad dismissals of my entire conversation, when I am actually not even fully disagreeing with you? All I asked was that we that take a few things into considerations when we begin to create rigid filters/qualifiers for our potential mates.

I am not "confused" as Khadija put it about this topic at all. And I do thank Tertiaryanna for actually addressing something I specifically said- it tells me you actually did read my post and did not simply knee-jerk react to any sense of dissention you may have anticipated from me. I appreciate that.

Khadija- honestly I am sincerely offended by what you have said. I appreciate that think tanks for BW on web exist- but what good are they if the dialogue cannot include disagreement without insults to one's personal character or intentions? What opportunities for growth are there if we can only entertain ideas that mimic our own?

I do not have a blog- so I cannot link you to any personal website. Hence the semblance of anonymity. What other "proof" of my existance would you like for me to include?

If my ideas are only welcome when I agree, then perhaps I should not post here.

Aisha said...

Khadija said:
"The odds are LOW that a fatherless man is going to know how to be, or even want to be, a GOOD husband and father."

Well said. I actually grew up with a father who is an exception. Despite his own father's absence in his life, my dad basically overcompensated and tried to become the best father ever (smile). While he is (very) far from perfect, he is an excellent dad. He never made any bones about the fact that his children were the most important thing in his life, through words and actions. I realized this even more so once I got older and saw how my friends fathers acted, even the ones from homes that were much more functional than mine. My dad is an exceptional father period. So that example was set for me at a very young age.

But I also agree that that's not how it goes most times. Most people don't break the behaviors they grew up with. While I would not immediately discount a fatherless man as a potential mate, I would look at him with a strong, critical eye. Does he have the strength of character to build a better life? Has he already taken steps towards doing so? I look at character more so than background, although background is important too.

For the most part, I think a man's attitude towards fatherhood is pretty apparent even before he has children, regardless of who he is talking to. I am looking for someone who:

1) Is responsible in general
2) Displays a genuine enthusiasm at the prospect of having children
3) Actually LIKES children and is patient with them
4) Wants children for himself and not just to make the woman happy
5) Points out positive and negative parenting traits in others that I am in agreement with.
6) Makes plans for his future children, such as where he would want to send them to school and what activities he wants them to participate in
7) Show a concern and protectiveness for children in general

Khadija said...

Felicia,

You're welcome!

You said, "And looking for needles in the haystack ("good black men" most of whom these days are not looking for good BW - certainly not dark-skinned and West-African featured - to marry) in the so called "bc" - instead of fishing in the OCEAN of the GLOBAL community where men raised by their fathers are the STANDARD instead of the exception - is EXACTLY why most AA BW are in the negative and embarrassing HOLE their in on the relationship front."

And there you have it. There's an entire OCEAN of functional, NORMAL men who were raised by their fathers (including non-AA BM). Why so many AA women persist in limiting themselves to only fishing in the ever-dwindling, increasingly radioactive pool of AA males is beyond me.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

rainebeaux said...

Khadija, I thank you profusely for this post. Of course, like KM and jeanetta, I'm sweating buckets re: meeting a man's standards with my background (absentee/deceased father, abysmal track record of marriage on mom's side; mom/dad never married, etc.)

Looking forward to future responses...

Khadija said...

Jeanetta,

I'm going to be blunt here, please bear with me. This is because time is VERY short for those few AA women who will make it out and create better futures for themselves and their children. So, there's no more time to beat around the bush or walk on eggshells about certain things.

RESPECTFULLY, the very premises and assumptions that seem to underlie your question show that you've been hoodwinked and bamboozled. Here's what I mean:

Unless you come from a family background of drug addicts and convicts, why would you think that YOU'RE in a comparable situation to a fatherless male when being evaluated?

It's interesting. Whenever deficits are discussed, AA male protectionists like to pretend that deficits are "equal" in how they play out for each gender. NO, they're not.

Unless their mothers were also absent (or negligent), most fatherless women have seen a woman (their own mothers) perform LARGE portions of a mother's role.

This means that fatherless women have learned most of the things that go into performing their OWN future role---the role of being a MOTHER.

Meanwhile, fatherless men have NOT seen a man perform ANY, much less large, portions of a father's role. This means that fatherless men have NOT learned most of the things that go into performing their OWN future role---the role of being a FATHER.


Now, fatherless women often have problems on the "wife front" (since they haven't seen that part of the role modelled), but they're much less likely to make FUNDAMENTAL errors in terms of knowing how to "mother" children. Because by watching their own mothers, they've seen up close and personal how "mothering" works in action.

This is in sharp contrast to the FUNDAMENTAL errors that many fatherless men make in terms of being a father to their own children (such as believing that minimal fatherhood duties are heroic expectations, and believing that weekend, long-distance, and tele-fathering is okay). They make these fundamental errors because they've never seen "fathering" in action.

So, Jeanetta,

If your mother worked for a living to put food on your table, etc...

If your mother kept you adequately bathed, clothed, and sheltered...

If your mother cooked for you...

If your mother combed your hair everyday...

If your mother helped you with your homework...

If your mother took care of your emotional needs...

If your mother did the million and one things that are involved in day to day child care and childrearing...

Then you have a pretty good idea of what's normal, and how to perform your future role as a mother!

The only thing that I could see raising a comparable number of red flags is if you DIDN'T have the opportunity while growing up to see how being a mother works on an everyday, up close and personal basis. This sort of thing generally only applies to girls who grow up with absent or negligent mothers (dope fiend mothers, convict mothers, lazy welfare queen mothers, etc.).

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

rainebeaux said...

Khadija: ohhhh...I've seen moms in action, doing same. Got it. It's mostly the BM--most of whom disqualify themselves, as you've touched on in the post--giving us this kind of grief, demanding that we jump through the flaming hoops! I see this more clearly now.

Khadija said...

"Interest,"

Okay, now you've managed to annoy me. Let me explain some things that don't seem to have occurred to you:

Since this is apparently the 1st time that you've de-lurked, you have NOT earned any level of trust whatsoever with me. If you had been participating in these conversations all along, I would have less reason to be suspicious of what's really going on with your comment.

If you had been participating in these conversations all along, if only to say "Hello---that's interesting." and NOT necessarily to agree, then I would have some reason to take your comments at face value.

Warning to Lurkers: DON'T let your 1st de-cloaking comment be something ambiguous in meaning or intention! Don't de-cloak for the 1st time to say something strange.

When you do that, you look just like a troll who only materialized to disrupt the conversation with some sly, subtle obfuscation.


Why does "trust" matter in this context? It matters because there are legions of Internet Ike Turners, Ikettes and assorted other trolls who are CONSTANTLY trying to disrupt these conversations!

You have NO...CLUE about the madness, confusion and bile---some of which tries to be subtle by being convoluted---like the comment that you 1st-time-de-cloaked to make--- that I screen out!

And it p*sses me off that individuals like you NEVER seem to consider what it is that I and other BWE bloggers are dealing with. The blog-stalking, harassment, and trolling has never crossed your mind.

If you want to be responded to like a known and therefore trusted commenter whose comments are taken at face value, then perhaps you should have EARNED that trust by having a track record of previous participation---I'm NOT talking about agreement---I'm talking about participation---if only to write in to say "Hello, there! I disagree, but this was interesting.".


Peace.

tertiaryanna said...

@Khadija

"RESPECTFULLY, the very premises and assumptions that seem to underlie your question show that you've been hoodwinked and bamboozled."


Thank you for being explicit here, because honestly, I had the exact same question as Jeanetta. The only reason why I didn't ask it here was because I had thought of another place to ask it.

But the idea that BW have been so inculturated to think that the fact of absent fathers is one that they alone can be blamed for goes deeper than I expected (meaning, I didn't see this blind spot in my own logic, in spite of the comments I've made about absent fathers online.)

I'm very grateful for this post.

Evia said...

Khadija, it never fails that whenever we try to have discussions like this, a commenter comes in with their own discussion points and tries to get us to discuss what he/she wants to discuss. For ex., we're advising bw to fish in the ocean/global village ofr quality men where there's an abundance of men who DO ALREADY KNOW how to be at least averagely good husbands and good fathers whereas your troll-like commenter is presenting a "hunt and peck" scarcity scenario. These are 2 DIFFERENT scenarios:SCARCITY vs ABUNDANCE.

Then it also never fails that the troll-like commenter pretends to have hurt feelings and then threatens to leave if we won't allow him/her to intrude. This is a classic tactic to hijack or derail a discussion.

If a commenter wants to talk about something that we're NOT talking about, then to put it nicely, they need to leave and go to another site where their topic is being discussed. Or they can start their own blog!

If your

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Tertiary Anna:

But the idea that BW have been so inculturated to think that the fact of absent fathers is one that they alone can be blamed for goes deeper than I expected (meaning, I didn't see this blind spot in my own logic, in spite of the comments I've made about absent fathers online.)

My reply:

I'm so glad Khadija was able to clarify this for you.

I dont' think it takes rocket science to explain why you might feel that way.

As you were mentioning, women are always blamed by society for out of wedlock pregnancies, ie. "she should have kept her legs closed; she should have chosen wisely; perhaps she should have married him..."

At the same time, there is no blame put on the men who went there with them! Perhaps, "he could have kept it in his pants, perhaps he should have been careful of who he was sleeping with; perhaps he should have married her..."

So yes, as Khadija was saying, fatherless women have seen the mothering role, so they are prepared for that.

However, from what I am seeing here in the commentaries to Khadija's posts, and which authors have spoken of, like the author of the book, Whatever Happened to Daddy's Little Girl, fatherless women might have issues with aspects of female identity that married mothers are able to model--dating for the purpose of identifying men who would make good husbands, and how to relate to one's husband.

rainebeaux said...

But the idea that BW have been so inculturated to think that the fact of absent fathers is one that they alone can be blamed for goes deeper than I expected

Tertiaryanna, I never understood this; I knew it wasn't just me. I too addressed my concern elsewhere, but became redundant.*

*sorry, Khadija: the "concern" troll distracted me a tad.

Evia, thank you for the reminder that I must (re)build my abundance mindset. Is it just me, or is it the angrier the trolls become, the lazier they get?

Evia said...

Oops! Sorry for my unedited comment above.


@TertiaryAnna re:

However, the presence of the father in the home doesn't mean that there's male leadership in the family.

THANK YOU! In order for a male to lead correctly, he must have learned or observed family leadership skills on a regular basis somewhere. Males are not born knowing how to be leaders of families. So I'd want to have a good idea of the man's credentials for family leadership and if he's a fatherless male who has grown up in an environment where fatherlessness is the norm, then where did he learn how to lead a family?? Where did he learn how to be a man?

This is a fine point that needs to be underlined in triple.

Another aspect of this is that some OOW mothers who are hearing that children need to have fathers living in the home are now grabbing practically any man to step into their children's lives as a father-- and allowing these men to move into the home. This is often not the only reason why they're allowing men to move in, of course, but some of them think this will be a major fringe benefit. They, of course, don't know how to vet the man.

So an important concept that should be addressed from the start is his commitment to the woman and children by protecting them with a marriage contract.

EXCELLENT! A marriage contract is a powerful form of protection for women and children. A marriage contract is a LEGAL contract recognized by the highest courts and all institutions. It carries a lot of weight and is highly beneficial in so many ways. Duh! (See the current essay on my site.) Every society on earth has some sort of societally approved form of marriage.

This is why homosexuals are fighting with all their might and will continue to fight until every last one of them can get legally married.

And to those people who say that "marriage is JUST a piece of paper," well so is paper money. I mean, IF marriage is not important, then why NOT get married?

Khadija said...

Aisha,

You said, "Most people don't break the behaviors they grew up with."
____________________

Rainebeaux and Tertiaryanna,

What strikes me about how AAs typically frame the discourse around these issues is that it's all designed to prevent AA women from seriously scrutinizing exactly what it is that many AA men are bringing to the table as potential husbands and fathers. And pretending that the effects of fatherlessness are somehow "equal" between genders is part of this dishonest trickbag.

Well, what many AA men are bringing is actually SUB-STANDARD compared to the baseline of what men from other ethnic groups bring to the table (and this includes non-AA Black men) as potential husbands and fathers.

BOTTOM LINE: Ladies, STOP grading African-American men on a "curve"! Nobody is grading you on a curve. And NO OTHER ethnic group of women on this planet grades men on a curve.

[The phrase "grading Black men on a curve" is borrowed from an extremely astute blogger named Focused Purpose. Thanks, Sis!]
_________________________

Evia,

You said, "For ex., we're advising bw to fish in the ocean/global village ofr quality men where there's an abundance of men who DO ALREADY KNOW how to be at least averagely good husbands and good fathers whereas your troll-like commenter is presenting a "hunt and peck" scarcity scenario. These are 2 DIFFERENT scenarios:SCARCITY vs ABUNDANCE."

Yes. There are a LOT of people who are HEAVILY INVESTED in having AA women believe the lie that a life filled with scarcity and "hunting and pecking" is all that's available to us. AND all that we're entitled to!

And so those individuals who benefit from AA women being bamboozled into hunting and pecking through a ever-dwindling, increasingly toxic pool of AA males do everything they can to throw AA women off the road to ABUNDANCE.

Trying to make simple ideas like abundance complicated and confusing is one of their tricks. Trying to make BASIC standards complicated is another trick. Trying to convince AA women that they aren't entitled to vet and screen AA men is another trick. Trying to convince individual AA women that they aren't in ANY position to vet and screen AA men is yet another trick.

Well, it's a new day. As you've reminded me in the past, Every shut eye ain't sleep. I'm pleased to see that the tide of opinion is quietly shifting among a number of AA women.
_______________________

PioneerValleyWoman,

Thanks for the scholarly "back up." Ya gotta love academics!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

MangoButtahQueen said...

..........BW have been so inculturated to think that the fact of absent fathers is one that they alone can be blamed for goes deeper than I expected (meaning, I didn't see this blind spot in my own logic, in spite of the comments I've made about absent fathers online.....

You know I have been dealing with guilt on this very issue for the past 16 years in being a single parent of 2 boys- I had to chose between being a "gravedigger/martyr" or single parent. I always wished (to myself) that I had chosen/vetted men better than I did. At the time since both fathers were raised with their fathers I had erroneously assumed that they were taught...not taking into consideration what they were taught concerning manhood/fatherhood, much less how often the fathers were mentally/physically there.

Needless to say as a result it has been less than a desirable situation for both of my sons.

I have had to had to tell my 16 year old repeatedly on manhood issues that "I am not a man, I cannot teach you how to be one, your father is supposed to teach you this". I know that may sound cruel to tell a son but, I really cannot teach him how to be a man.

I know he is going to run into some relationship difficulty because of this deficit in his life but I can not see myself shouldering the blame alone for something that his father has refused to do...that is teaching him to be a man.

Interest said...

Khadija:

"Warning to Lurkers: DON'T let your 1st de-cloaking comment be something ambiguous in meaning or intention! Don't de-cloak for the 1st time to say something strange."
---------------------------------
I did not realize what I was saying was "strange" or ambiguous.
-------------------------------------
You have NO...CLUE about the madness, confusion and bile---some of which tries to be subtle by being convoluted---like the comment that you 1st-time-de-cloaked to make--- that I screen out!

And it p*sses me off that individuals like you NEVER seem to consider what it is that I and other BWE bloggers are dealing with. The blog-stalking, harassment, and trolling has never crossed your mind.
-------------------------
You're making a few assumptions here. I am a member of a number of online forums- and I am fully aware of the havoc that "trolls" wreak on discussions. Had I not been- I would not have been offended by you calling me one. Did you feel that I was stalking you or harrassing you by dissenting?

Also- you're pissed off that I did not assume you were mad about troll abuse? How was I supposed to respond? Your first words to me were an accusation. Your refuting of my view was predicated upon that accusation. Was I supposed to reply with empathy to your predicament as a blogger?
----------------------------------
If you want to be responded to like a known and therefore trusted commenter whose comments are taken at face value, then perhaps you should have EARNED that trust by having a track record of previous participation---I'm NOT talking about agreement---I'm talking about participation---if only to write in to say "Hello, there! I disagree, but this was interesting.".
--------------------------------------
I will fully concede that I should not expect anyone to "know me" or "trust me" which is why I came out of lurking. I simply expected my post to actually be read, and discussions had based on what I said, not assumptions about who I am. My fault here was assuming that my words would be read as I intended for them to be, and not with suspicion of malicious intent. But I agree that this is based on "trust" which I clearly have not built.

I will be sure to post more often agreements, as well as disagreements.

Interest said...

Evia:
Then it also never fails that the troll-like commenter pretends to have hurt feelings and then threatens to leave if we won't allow him/her to intrude. This is a classic tactic to hijack or derail a discussion.
----------------------------------
The "she's a troll" attack as a method to invalidate my opinions is weak. It's a cheap and easy way to escape challenging your own view. Classic witch hunt. The suspected "witch" will spend time trying to prove she's not (which is nearly impossible when you've clearly already made up your mind), and the actual conversation will not be had. If my actual words were rude or disrespectful, or harassing in nature- then deeming me a troll would make sense. But calling me a troll simply because I am a first time commentor that disagrees (and clearly did not understand the politics that go on behind first time posting) is baffling. I am not feigning hurt- I was actually offended by the insinuation. I am not exercising any "tactic". Khadija's blog is in no way under attack by me. I simply stated a different viewpoint- and if you had actually read through it, instead of deeming my dissent as grounds to paint me as a troll, I would not have been offended.
-------------------------------------
If a commenter wants to talk about something that we're NOT talking about, then to put it nicely, they need to leave and go to another site where their topic is being discussed. Or they can start their own blog!
-------------------------------------
I'm not talking about a different subject - I am discussing the same subject you are- I just have a alightly different view. Your statement makes it seem as though those with different views should not express those here?

Khadija said...

"Interest,"

You said, "I will fully concede that I should not expect anyone to "know me" or "trust me" which is why I came out of lurking. I simply expected my post to actually be read, and discussions had based on what I said, not assumptions about who I am. My fault here was assuming that my words would be read as I intended for them to be, and not with suspicion of malicious intent. But I agree that this is based on "trust" which I clearly have not built.

...I would not have been offended by you calling me one. Did you feel that I was stalking you or harrassing you by dissenting?"


Since you acknowledge that you have NOT earned any trust here, I don't understand why you're still pursuing this non-existent point.

Since you're the one who stepped wrong by asserting entitlement to something that you're NOT entitled to (trust and good faith being read into your comment), I don't understand why you're coming back to argue this (non-existent) point.

How can you legitimately claim offense at being held in suspicion when you know that you have NOT earned any trust? This sort of behavior only confirms my initial suspicions about you.

I don't know who you are.

You could very well be one of the trolls who invent contrived commenter IDs in hopes of getting past my screening.

You saying that you're not a troll is absolutely meaningless. Surely you realize that most trolls claim not to be trolls.

I don't know who...you...are.

Maybe you ARE one of the individuals who are cyber-stalking this blog.

And yet again, you're presuming that you're somehow entitled to a "blank slate" reaction and entitled to be believed when you claim not to be a troll---when you're NOT entitled to any of that. You have NOT earned that level of trust.

I don't know who you are.

And since I'm getting a bad gut reaction to you, and to how you're handling your inital error, I'm inviting you to LEAVE this conversation AND leave this blog.


Peace.

Interest said...

I decline that invitation. I will continue to post- at least you all have had an introduction to me (however bad this has panned out to be). I find value in conversations such as these, and I want to participate in the discourse. I will continue to be respectful, if you will continue to have me.

rainebeaux said...

Khadija:

Trying to make simple ideas like abundance complicated and confusing is one of their tricks. Trying to make BASIC standards complicated is another trick. Trying to convince AA women that they aren't entitled to vet and screen AA men is another trick. Trying to convince individual AA women that they aren't in ANY position to vet and screen AA men is yet another trick.

^thank you again for the bluntness and the second, most dangerous definition of what I've called droppin' rocket science.










Evia, you said:

Another aspect of this is that some OOW mothers who are hearing that children need to have fathers living in the home are now grabbing practically any man to step into their children's lives as a father-- and allowing these men to move into the home. This is often not the only reason why they're allowing men to move in, of course, but some of them think this will be a major fringe benefit. They, of course, don't know how to vet the man.

I've been SMH at this phenomenon for 25 years, and as a parent, I STILL don't get it. I've heard/read waaaay too many horror stories stemming from this arrangement!

Evia said...

Okay, as I was saying, there are plenty of men who did not suffer from fatherlessness. These men ALREADY know how to be fathers and plenty of them come from traditions where men assumed the role of major provider and protector for their families. I advise AA women to focus only on those men from THOSE groups/backgrounds. AA women can least afford to make a mistake in this department.

If any other woman wants to give a man a chance to experiment on them and their children, give them your blessings, but don't YOU do it. There are no guarantees in life, but always bet on the winning horse UNLESS you're one of those rare AA women who may be able to afford to lose.

Starting at around 22, I, as an ordinary-looking AA woman, from a background of middle class values though poor in terms of money was able to rather quickly find a variety of men who met my criteria as good husband and father material. However, race and ethnicity were not important to me at all. Therefore before and after my first marriage, I dated all groups of men aside from Asians (Oriental Asian men never asked me out or showed any interest in me). Based on my experiences and everything I've observed, read and heard, nothing will ever shake the following belief.

If a typical AA woman of average looks is intelligent, a critical thinker, fit, behaves and dresses with decorum, is friendly, equally receptive to all men in the global village, has upwardly mobile values, is willing to travel, has reasonable emotional health, and gets out a lot socially and partakes in a wide variety of activities, there are PLENTY of men available to her. She does not need to hunt and peck. Many of these men will approach her or express interest if she positions herself correctly in a wide variety of social settings on a regular basis.

I was older when I started dating after my first marriage and I still did not lack for male attention. This was not more than a decade ago. The world has not changed much at all since then. So I know that plenty of men are STILL interested in AA women. AA women are females and heterosexual men are wired to want females. This desire supersedes race or anything negative about AA women in the media by a long shot.

I repeat: AA women do not have to hunt and peck or settle for damaged scraps. I love my husband and can't imagine not being with him, but if I were seeking another husband, I believe I could find him in a fairly short amount of time.

Living well is one of my chief values. I am adaptable with any Quality man and toward any set of circumstances that will greatly enhance the living well status for me and my children as long as it doesn't hurt others. I see no reason why any other typical AA woman cannot do the same.

Southland Diva said...

I agree the effect of fatherlessness on men differs greatly from women. For men it means they have no in-home role model for being a father; being a husband; or observing a male/female relationship over a long period of time. This is a major handicap but one which can be overcome with maturity and committment. I have an example in my own family. I know he is an exception -- not that I'm biased or anything.

For women the decifiency tends to show up in relationships since they have not experienced an in-home role model on being a wife or observing male/female relationship over a long period time.

Peace

sistrunkqueen said...

Wow It is amazing what happens in a few days! I have read both posts about vetting men and to be honest it is all common sense. I have tried to talk to two AA women last year about expanding their options. No Go! They only want a black man. Anywhooo fast forward one year and they are still single and lonely.
I am tired of talking about this issue. It is every woman for herself. Feast to famine now with the economy,jobs, and political climate. We have alot of issues to address in the next three months. Some of us are preparing and some are just living.
My sister and I just got back from shopping at Family Dollar stocking up for the food shortage. Forget about man shortage there will be a food and water shortage soon. As A MATTER OF FACT IT HAS BEGUN HERE IN ATLANTA. We must be prepared for the worst because if you have not been reading the papers or online blogs/videos than you should be now.
Sorry for the speech but there are some other pertinent issues going on in the hemisphere than vetting a man for marriage and dating.

Khadija said...

MangoButtahQueen,

Since you didn't conceive your sons all by yourself, then you are NOT responsible all by yourself for their upbringing. Their fathers' choice to refuse to teach their son(s) vital information about being a man is their choice, and nobody else's.
_____________________

Rainebeaux,

You're welcome! THANK YOU and Jeanetta for your questions! Your (sincere) questions gave me an opportunity to address one of the main FALSE premises that a lot of AA women have been tricked into operating under.
____________________

Evia,

You said, "AA women can least afford to make a mistake in this department.

If any other woman wants to give a man a chance to experiment on them and their children, give them your blessings, but don't YOU do it. There are no guarantees in life, but always bet on the winning horse UNLESS you're one of those rare AA women who may be able to afford to lose."


I don't know any AA women who can afford to lose, or who can afford to bet on men who are LIKELY TO LOSE, or who can afford to play games with their children's futures. I'm sure such AA women exist. Somewhere....Somewhere else. I'm just saying that I don't know any AA woman who can afford to do these things.

Any AA woman who is serious about securing the best possible future for HER children will be willing to take some notes from our African cousins, and other women of color like Asian women.

These other women, especially Asian women, have been successful in securing GOOD futures for their children, and we're mostly NOT. This is because AA women persist in betting on crippled horses, instead of winning horses.

These other women generally have NO time whatsoever to spare on men who are LIKELY TO LOSE. From what I've seen from talking to the ones I've known over the years, it doesn't even occur to them to tarry with men who fit the losing profile!

They have NO "pity parties" for loser males. And fatherlessness is part of a losing profile for a man. These other women are extremely clear about the importance of betting on winners. They DON'T grade men on a curve---they grade men based on what these men are likely to do for their future children.

And these other women won't let anybody shame or hoodwink them into relaxing their standards.

Ladies, let me point something else out about this situation: Do you honestly believe that "Tyrone" actually approaches a halfway decent Mei Ling talking about, "You got to cut me some slack"?

NO, Tyrone KNOWS BETTER than to approach the average (as opposed to Reject) Mei Ling with any hint of an attitude claiming that she's under some obligation to overlook his defects! NO, Tyrone ONLY comes to YOU, AA women, with that "You got to cut me some slack" nonsense.


I believe that AA women need to humble ourselves enough to take some tips from how these other women "do" when it comes to vetting men.
__________________

SouthlandDiva,

Yep, the effects are different between the genders.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Aisha said...

Southland Diva:
"For women the decifiency tends to show up in relationships since they have not experienced an in-home role model on being a wife or observing male/female relationship over a long period time."
_____________________________________

This area personally concerns me. I don't want to speak for anyone else, but I think this is what jeanette and tertiaryanna were referring to. How do you pass a man's vetting process when you don't have a good example of a wife/husband relationship? A man may say, "Her parents are divorced, so she doesn't know what a happy relationship looks like." It's the wifely shortcomings that concern me, not the motherly ones.

fandd said...

Hey Khadija,

Just dropped by to totally cosign on this post. A good friend of mine who is married to a fatherless man gave me the same advice that you are writing about.

She advised me to investigate a man's family before becoming involved with him. She noted that it is hard for a man who grew up without a father to know what being a father and a husband means.

Also, thanks for the comment about grading black men on a curve. I never realized I was doing that until now.

Khadija said...

Ladies,

I'm hearing a lot of fear-based & lack of self-regard-based comments. What it sounds like is "I'm afraid to have standards because I'm afraid that the man will apply standards to ME."

Here are my thoughts:

(1) You're assuming that men assess different factors with the exact same degree of emphasis on the exact same points as most women do. That's not a valid assumption.

(2) Most of us have had the dating/courting experience of having to detangle ourselves from (nice way of saying break up with/get rid of) men who decided they wanted to pursue a serious relationship with us, and we didn't want such a relationship with them. Have you noticed how hard it is to get rid of a man who really wants you? LOL! If a man really wants you, he's likely to overlook (or rationalize to himself) questions about "Her parents are divorced, so she doesn't know what a happy relationship looks like."

Ladies, have more confidence in yourself and your value. You're NOT beggars like so many AA males. You DON'T have to beg somebody to take you in. You can bring more than enough to the table to overcome the "her parents are divorced" bit as far as a quality man is concerned.

[*This is assuming that you're NOT carrying around the baggage that many of us have been urging some of you to get rid of since the Flawless discussion---things like excess weight, dowdy/trashy self-presentation, coarse behaviors, etc.]

I will note that getting past his mother's scrutiny is a separate issue. But even with that, a QUALITY man is NOT a mama's boy. He'll make his OWN decisions about a woman.

____________________

Sistrunkqueen,

You said, "Forget about man shortage there will be a food and water shortage soon. As A MATTER OF FACT IT HAS BEGUN HERE IN ATLANTA. We must be prepared for the worst because if you have not been reading the papers or online blogs/videos than you should be now.
Sorry for the speech but there are some other pertinent issues going on in the hemisphere than vetting a man for marriage and dating."
.

I beg to differ. How is a single woman, ALONE, going to protect whatever supplies she's gathered during a time of chaos? And for how long will she be able to do this without backup?

Times of chaos and disaster are when it's MOST NECESSARY for a woman to have as much backup as possible---including the added physical protection that comes from having a male protector and provider.
_____________________

Fandd,

You're welcome!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

tertiaryanna said...

@ Aisha,

For my part, I was speaking more to the parenting aspect. I figured if I don't burn the house down when cooking dinner, I'll be doing a good job on the wifely front, LOL.

Also, this sentence from my first comment (at about 12:30 p.m.) is totally garbled: "The lack of social reinforcement of a person's actions are values has an can be seen on multiple levels...."

I meant to write:
The lack of social reinforcement of a person's actions and values can be seen on multiple levels:"

Khadija said...

Let me expand briefly on my last comment. Here's the thing: If the woman's perceived value to the man is HIGH enough across the board, many quality men will talk themselves out of previous concerns about the woman's family background of parental divorce.

Again, I'll be blunt. For many men, that family background stuff is somewhat nebulous and intangible when they make their calculations. What's more "real" to them is the woman's self-presentation and what her observed behavior says about her "good wife" potential.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

sistrunkqueen said...

Khadijah

You are right about a woman being ALONE. There are many who are alone but we still go on. You still have to prepare yourself for the worse. That mean food storage, stocking supplies, saving money and staying informed.
These things need to be done like stealth. Finding a man for comfort or support is a secondary priority. I think now in my life it is about survival on my job and in my community. The MAN will come whenever. I am not actively looking for any man.I am looking for peace of mind and joy.
Unfortunately a lot of sisters have low self-esteem and it is very obvious to many men. If they are having problems vetting black men how are they going to vet white, Asian or Latino men? What are the charateristics they are looking for in a male? This dialogue between Interest and others is an example of black female confusion about men and standards. I don't think many of them (bw) have any good standards. Believe me I have heard alot of horror stories in Atlanta. I even thought about doing a youtube vlog about interracial dating here, but after the fiasco with the interracial parties last summer I put that to rest. A lot of haters in the ATL.
There is a need for more dialogue among black women on these key issues. We are getting killed out here and it is getting worse by the day.I don't know what black women will do without the BWE/IR dating blogs that are online. It was a life saver for me. It makes me feel good to see and read about sisters escaping the matrix. Good Luck to all here

Khadija said...

Sistrunkqueen,

I believe that we must prepare for the worst AND move forward with our various aspirations. For me, it's not either/or; it's both/and.

If you haven't heard of it already, you might want to check out the following site and podcast:

The Survival Podcast: "Helping you live the life you want, if times get tough, or even if they don't."

You can also listen from the website at http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/

For those who are unfamiliar with this podcast, I suggest you start with the following 3 shows:

"An Introduction to The Survival Podcast" (6/20/08).

"The Unique Challenges of Economic Collapse Survival Planning" (8/11/08).

"The Missed Lessons from Hurricane Katrina" (6/27/08).

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Felicia said...

What's more "real" to them is the woman's self-presentation and what her observed behavior says about her "good wife" potential.

THANK YOU FOR KEEPING IT REAL. This is what Quality men are interested in.

And the self-presentation has NOTHING to do with skin-tone, hair length and texture, Afro vs. Euro leaning physical features, etc...

In the GLOBAL community (as opposed to the so-called "bc") of men self-presentation is related to how well everything COMES TOGETHER. A becoming hairstyle regardless of length or texture, appropriate and healthy weight, tasteful, and well fitting clothes, (not tents, but also leaving something to the imagination) etc...

And, how you come across. Are you comfortable in upper middle class surroundings, a good conversationalist, intelligent and confident, yada yada

Basically positive and likable personality traits that quality NON color-stuck men (the only ones BW need to be concentrating on) are attracted to.

I just wanted to mention that just in case some reader out there see's the term " self-presentation" and immediately thinks of the color hierarchy mess that exists within the so-called "bc".

We're not talking about that.

Khadija said...

Felicia,

Thanks for the backup and the point of clarification! I can't possibly anticipate all the ways that these messages can be distorted by miscommunication. THANK YOU, Felicia!
___________________

Here's the part where I'm sure to anger many readers (I know, I know...I do that a lot):

What we're talking about right now is a large part of the reason I keep stressing the things that we have direct control over. We can't change the past or our various families of origin. However, we DO have control over our own self-presentation and behavior.

Some women have been enraged, and a few have angrily looked for pity parties each and every time I have brought up (1) the excess weight/fitness issue, (2) the "Flawless" issue, and (3) the reasons why women should NOT publicly let it all hang out issue (curse, engage in "therapy talk," etc while in public). But please understand that having these issues weakens and undermines your ability to set reasonable standards for men!

I don't think it's a coincidence that Jennifer Hudson's sister---who was married to the convicted felon who allegedly massacred her family---is morbidly obese.

I don't think it's a coincidence that Mo'Nique was talking about her "open" marriage when she was interviewed by "Messence" a while back.

I know that in both cases, there are probably a whole lot of other issues mixed up in that, but nobody can deny that the obesity was part of how these 2 women got into those DREADFUL marriages, and part of why they settled for those particular males.

I know that there are emotional and other issues tied up in the weight issue for a lot of women. I know that. I'm saying to get counseling if that's the case!

I'm also saying that wallowing in shortcomings is part of what keeps so many AA women trapped. Yes, it's going to be HARDER for a woman to set reasonable standards if she's obese, frumpy, tacky, coarse, or has other highly-visible flaws. These flaws lessen a woman's perceived value. This is simply harsh reality.

But the good thing is that this stuff is under your DIRECT control! You don't need anybody else's permission to get/keep your self-presentation together! I never said that any of this is easy. Those of you who followed along with my P90/P90X updates heard me whine every step of the way. But these things still have to be attended to.

It's really up to you; it's your choice.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Aisha said...

Khadija:
"Ladies, have more confidence in yourself and your value. You're NOT beggars like so many AA males. You DON'T have to beg somebody to take you in. You can bring more than enough to the table to overcome the "her parents are divorced" bit as far as a quality man is concerned."

Quote 2:
"Again, I'll be blunt. For many men, that family background stuff is somewhat nebulous and intangible when they make their calculations. What's more "real" to them is the woman's self-presentation and what her observed behavior says about her "good wife" potential.
____________________________________

Thank you for clarification. I actually have a lot of confidence in myself as a potential mate (not saying you were talking only to me). However, when the conversation turned to bypassing men due to their family background, a part of me went "Hey, my background is not perfect either! What if someone passes me over because of things that are beyond my control?"

However, after reading your response, especially the second one, I see that men may not use the same criteria to judge us as we do them. I suppose we as women have to vet harder because we live in a patriarchal society. A good or bad marriage will probably affect us more, especially if there are children involved.

Thanks again everyone for all your insights.

Evia said...

I don't know any AA women who can afford to lose, or who can afford to bet on men who are LIKELY TO LOSE, or who can afford to play games with their children's futures. I'm sure such AA women exist. Somewhere....Somewhere else. I'm just saying that I don't know any AA woman who can afford to do these things.

Khadija, I don't EITHER, but that's my way of saying: "Take all of that "bm exceptions" talk away from here! I know however that some bw are going to keep popping up here and more importantly--in the lives of readers offline to tell them that there are these all of these wonderful EXCEPTIONS of fatherless bm who learned how to be men without a father present and without observing any REAL man in the vicinity. LOL!

We're talking about betting on winners and they're talking about betting on losers. This requires critical thinking. I want readers to be able to mentally refute this ***garbage*** and instantly. First of all, I want them to recognize it as garbage and next I want them to ask themselves: Why bet on a loser when you can instead use the same time and energy and other resources to bet on a winner? I want them to dismiss these "exception" talkers as folks who are trying to gaslight bw into allowing these "exceptions" to experiment with their lives and those of their children. Why do it when you don't have to?? I want bw to ask themselves and each other: Why do so many bw run around hunting and pecking and fishing in polluted ponds for these EXCEPTIONS?

You're assuming that men assess different factors with the exact same degree of emphasis on the exact same points as most women do. That's not a valid assumption.

I TOTALLY agree. I didn't grow up with my father in the home and absolutely NO man I've ever dated was concerned in the least about that, and practically all of the men I've dated did grow up with fathers. As you've pointed out, men use a different set of criteria to assess women and this has always been the case and is the case across all cultures.

I could be wrong about this, but I think that some readers may be alluding to these negative stereotypes of the "controlling bw" or the "independent bw" or the "demanding bw" because they genuinely believe that most bw behave this way due to lack of observing proper male-female interaction. They may be thinking that if bw behave this way in a relationship with a non-quality bm, then she may do the same in a relationship with a Quality man. A lot of gaslighting has occurred in a bw's mind for her to reach this conclusion.

First of all, many AA women may exhibit "controlling" behaviors with malfunctioning or totally dysfunctional AA men BECAUSE the improper functioning of the men will and does cause the family to crash and burn. But when the bw starts fussing and getting on the man about his not doing critically IMPORTANT things, he accuses her of being "controlling" and "demanding." This is a widespread pattern of behavior between MANY AA women and men. I'm sure that most of y'all can cite numerous examples of this that you've observed. I know that I can.

The FACT is that when you're with a QUALITY man, a woman does NOT need to exhibit these stereotypical behaviors because he gives her very little reason to do so, thus she doesn't need to try to look over his shoulder to make sure that he's doing what he's supposed to do or pressure him to do them. So a woman can just be a woman and not his supervisor. When, for ex., a malfunctioning man doesn't pay the car insurance or refuses to look for a job, why would any woman remain quiet about that?????? However, so many AA women get blasted for daring to open their mouths to question why their husband or live-in boyfriend are not doing important things like this.

Evia said...

Part 2

What's more "real" to them is the woman's self-presentation and what her observed behavior says about her "good wife" potential.

Exactly, Khadija and the PUBLIC self-presentation of many younger bw that I see is ATROCIOUS. I'm going to be blunt too. Someone talked about seeing young black women arriving on campus last week with their butts hanging out of their clothes. Just because an Asian woman can wear low-rider jeans doesn't mean that a bw with a big behind should do so. ONLY ghetto-minded bm might think that that's cute. And why would young bw on a college campus be trying to appeal to ghetto-minded bm?

Don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong at all in being well-endowed, but bw need to learn how to better present their assets.
You have to wear clothes that look becoming on YOUR body structure, but I see so many bw busting out of their clothes!!! There is nothing cute or alluring about that.

I see so many AA women who put so much attention on their hair, their nails, pocketbooks, and shoes, but there they stand busting out of their clothes!!!

Not only do many AA women dress inappropriately, many of them BEHAVE atrociously in public. They're not demure at all. They are too LOUD and crude. For ex. I was sitting all the way across a food court at a mall last week from a young bw who got her salad, started eating it and then she got on her cell phone. Lawdy! I could hear her all the way across the food court and what she was saying was nobody else's business!! Other people were also there talking with each other. A couple of others were even talking on their cell phone, but we could ALL hear what this young bw said because she was LOUD.

Folks will try to claim this has to do with poverty. This has NOTHING to do with poverty. I grew up cash poor because we were farmers. Many continental African women grow up in mindbending poverty, yet we were taught or we learned how to display lady like public behavior, whether we were actual ladies or not. LOL!! I may sound online like I'm loud and aggressive, but I'm actually a softspoken, demure, smiling woman if y'all ever met me. MOST men do NOT care whether you're an actual lady, as long as you ***behave*** like a lady and especially in PUBLIC.

As an aside, many bw DO need to sign up with online dating services. This would enable interested men to get to know your mind and heart before they actually meet the woman. That, in itself, would prevent many of the media-driven stereotypes from interfering with getting to know a bw. I realize that many wm do not include bw on the list of who they're looking for because ALL bw are lumped together, but ***some*** of those men don't include bw because they have heard much COARSE rejecting of wm language from AA women!! If the online dating sites were to have "American-based continental African" woman category on those sites, you'd see that many of those same wm WOULD include THOSE black women.

AA women have allowed DBR-AA men to set the standard for the women's looks, behavior, and outlook on life. So we now see so many AA women "trapped" inside that standard. Even if a young bw is an OOW mother, there are Quality men who are still interested in you IF you present yourself well. It all has to do your sum total and how you PACKAGE yourself. Your THINKING is a very critical aspect of your package.

Felicia said...

Khadija said...

"I don't think it's a coincidence that Jennifer Hudson's sister---who was married to the convicted felon who allegedly massacred her family---is morbidly obese"

"I don't think it's a coincidence that Mo'Nique was talking about her "open" marriage when she was interviewed by "Messence" a while back."

"I know that in both cases, there are probably a whole lot of other issues mixed up in that, but nobody can deny that the obesity was part of how these 2 women got into those DREADFUL marriages, and part of why they settled for those particular males."


----------------------

NO MORE HIDING BEHIND THE FAT FOR EMOTIONAL EATER

http://www.usatoday.com/news
/health/weightloss/2007-04-29-wlc-rhoads_N.htm

Rhoads says she was an emotional eater who started overeating as a teenager to avoid unwanted attention from older men. "When I was an adolescent, several men commented on my developing body inappropriately, and it scared me," she says. "To protect myself, I ate. Food was safe.

"I was hiding in plain view. When you are that big, people don't look at you. They don't make eye contact."

During the years she was losing weight, Rhoads came to terms with those emotions.
She also made changes she still practices: She keeps a daily food journal, exercises regularly and limits foods high in sugar and saturated (animal) fat.

She met her husband, Chip, when she was about 20 pounds from her goal weight. They got married — her first marriage — when she was 45. "He is incredibly supportive," she says. "If we want to go out to dinner, he asks me to pick the restaurant so that I can be sure there are good choices for me."

She hopes her story inspires others. "I know where I was before and how hopeless I felt. I have confidence in myself now. I did something I thought I could never do.

---------------------

BW need to as get FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE from these toxic and stress provoking environments and damaged people in order to have a fighting chance.

MUST READ ARTICLE BELOW...

http://stress.about.com/od/
stresshealth/a/weightgain.htm

"There are several ways in which stress can contribute to weight gain. One has to do with cortisol, a stress hormone. When we’re under stress, the fight or flight response is triggered in our bodies, leading to the release of various hormones.
Whether we're stressed because of constant, crazy demands at work or we're really in danger, our bodies respond like we're about to be harmed and need to fight for our lives (or run like heck). To answer this need, we experience a burst of energy, shifts in metabolism and blood flow, and other changes.

If you remain in this state for a prolonged amount of time due to chronic stress, your health becomes at risk. Aside from a host of other dangers, chronic stress can also cause weight gain-- which is why some products like Cortislim are marketed as diet aids."


---------------------

This above information is NOT a legitimate excuse to blame excess weight on outside circumstances. Because one can CHANGE those outside circumstances.

BW can CUT OFF and PULL THE PLUG on the various leeches in the "community" that are trying to bleed them dry.

Khadija said...

***Audience Note***

I'm going to close the comments on this conversation by the end of today. I believe that we've covered all of the important angles with this issue.

I'm going to make some comments now, but I'm pretty much going to sit back for the rest of this conversation (unless somebody says something that I can't resist responding to---LOL!).

Ladies:

This is a patriarchal society. Keep that in mind. As Evia said, (QUALITY) "men use a different set of criteria to assess women and this has always been the case and is the case across all cultures."

Throughout ALL normal cultures and throughout ALL eras, women are the ones who NEED to be focused on the stability, responsibility, and provider abilities of potential husbands.

This is because it's women and their children who suffer the consequences of choosing men who are incompetent protectors, providers, and fathers. Men don't suffer those same consequences, so they're not using the same set of criteria to evaluate women.

Why are some of you so AFRAID to set the SAME standards that EVERY other woman on this planet uses, and has used throughout the millenia?

This is because Tyrone has you mentally confused and defeated. Tyrone has you listening to madness that he doesn't DARE approach Mei Ling with! Because many of y'all have been hoodwinked and bamboozled into grading non-competitive-with-quality-men-Negroes on a curve, you've lost sight of this.

Because many of y'all somehow think that "Black pride" equals REFUSING to get in alignment with UNIVERSAL HUMAN standards, you have undermined your ability to set reasonable standards for the men you date.

That cursing in public, having your breasts and rear ends "bustin' loose" out of your too-tight clothes, and publicly talking that "therapy/12 step meeting talk" (aka "My Pafology") are all behaviors that keep you trapped with Tyrone. That's why Tyrone and Ikette tell you that anything you might do to elevate your public image is "acting White."

Khadija said...

Part 2

You've been bamboozled into thinking that you're NOT supposed to have any standards at all. Or that you're not in a position to have any standards. Or a thousand other CRAZY, DYSFUNCTIONAL, DISTORTED ideas that keep you limiting yourself to the ever-dwindling, increasingly radioactive pool of only AA BM.

Those of you who are too cowardly to set the standards necessary to protect and elevate your future children, that's on you.

The Abundant Life Bus is leaving the station. Some of you are going to be left behind.

Left behind to continue to listen to Tyrone talk about all sorts of madness. Tyrone is going to continue to blame YOU for HIS ongoing failures to protect and provide for the masses AA women and children. Tyrone is going to continue to blame YOU for his refusal to marry any of the mothers of his children; and his refusal to father his own children. He's going to continue to blame you for his many and continued failures to maintain a safe and habitable AA community.

Keeping places safe is a MAN'S job. Tyrone doesn't understand that. He want YOU to keep HIM safe. He wants you to do what he's supposed to do. And when you're silly enough to do his job (because you don't want what's left of the community to totally crash and burn), he BLAMES YOU.

Tyrone wants the privileges that come with functioning like a man, even though he's NOT doing any of the things that normal men do. He wants the "props" that protectors and providers get, WITHOUT having to protect or provide for anybody.

But all of this is only somewhat relevant to those who are fixated on Tyrone. I have long since left Tyrone to his own devices. I suggest you do the same. Now, I do respond to, and care about, the roughly 2% of AA men who are "Ali-s," "Adam-s," and "Kwame-s," but that's only because they have DEMONSTRATED by their actions that they are WORTHY of my attention.

If you're silly enough to sit around with, and limit yourself to Tyrone, then you get what you deserve. The only people in this equation that I feel sorry for are your future children.

Evia, Felicia, PioneerValleyWoman, Halima, myself and others have been repeatedly telling you about how the door to your prison cell and the gate to your prison yard are WIDE OPEN---you just have to walk through these open doors out into the sunlight.

We're not going to keep repeating this forever. It's time consuming; and we all have other things to do with our time.

For me, that means that when I see that you're finding and creating "reasons" why you can't step through these open doors, I'm going to step back and let you sit in your cage.

I'm NOT berating anybody. And I'm NOT talking about genuine confusion---I know that AA women have been indoctrinated with a set of SELF-DEFEATING beliefs.

I'm just saying that I'm not going to keep going round and round over common sense ideas that we can see other women (including non-AA Black women) implementing all around us. And we can see how these other women are succeeding by implementing these common sense ideas and standards.

You can take a page from these other women and choose to act in ways that lead to abundant life; or you (AND your children) can continue to suffer the consequences of dealing with sub-standard Tyrones. It's really up to you.

Good Luck and God Bless,
Khadija

KM said...

Ladies,

I got together with some of my BW friends last night and one of them mentioned this post. She's a lurker, she doesn't want to post (yet) but she used to be a real big BM-only BW. She knows of how I told her about dating IR in college and now, she saw when I was at my heaviest (270), I was still dating IR, and even though I've lost 70 lbs, my options for dating IR have exploded.

I hadn't shown her this site, she found it on her own but she's been reading, especially the past five posts and she's learning. She told me that she's going to start opening herself up to IR dating. She's 27, has a good job, looks very pretty and put together but hasn't dated since she was 21.

So ladies, I just wanted to share that. These blogs are making an impact.

Ifetayo said...

As someone who grew up with a dedicated father who was himself fatherless (divorce when he was young), here are some experiences I can share:

Positives:
1. strong belief that a father is supposed to provide
2. high degree of involvement in certain aspects of our education (visiting classrooms, paying for tutors and extracurricular activities)
3. willingness to metaphorically put his foot up my brother's behind when necessary ("If you don't cross the graduation stage with the rest of your high school class, don't bother coming home the next day.")
4. material generosity. I never tried to get boys/men to buy me things as a youth b/c my father often took care of it, w/in reason.

Some negatives:
1. not understanding the importance of effective emotional support. There is a fine line between "you can do better b/c you have great potential" and "nothing you do is good enough"
2. not knowing carpentry, car maintenance, plumbing, etc. This is a HUGE factor contributing to black men's high unemployment b/c some never learned these skills. My mother is the handy-woman around the house because she learned from her FATHER.
3. not understanding wealth-building. my father interacted with the children of black professionals growing up, and his mother exposed him to arts and culture (opera, etc.), so he can interact with people at that level. he also knows how to identify subtle signs of wealth. However, he did not understand the importance of multiple streams of income and home/business ownership, despite his college and some graduate education.

Karen said...

KM,

Your friend hasn't dated since she was 21... these are the prime years where we also have our youth as an asset. It is of course not too late but I am saddened that a young woman is in such a situation.

BUT if she is willing to make the mental changes (along with critical thinking and self-reflection), then the opportunities will come for her to live an abundant life.

Khadija said...

Ifetayo,

You said, "2. not knowing carpentry, car maintenance, plumbing, etc. This is a HUGE factor contributing to black men's high unemployment b/c some never learned these skills. My mother is the handy-woman around the house because she learned from her FATHER."

It's funny that you should mention this, because a friend and I were talking about this last week. Her husband (who's a dentist) is a fatherless man, and it annoys her that they have to call repairmen for every little thing that breaks. [He's got some other fatherless-based deficits that annoy her, but this was the latest irritant that happened to come up during the conversation.]

It didn't occur to me until she said this, but you're right, Ifetayo---fatherless men generally are NOT handy around the house. Now that I think about it, a lot of these fatherless men (like my friend's husband) don't even own their own set of tools. Which is pretty unthinkable for most normal men. Even men who are mostly incompetent with handling tools like to play with them, and like to play at fixing things (poorly) around the house.

The sight of (non-mechanic) AA men fixing stuff is a sight that you no longer really see in AA areas. Similar to how you know longer really see large groups of children playing outside (jumping rope, playing ball, rollerskating, or riding bikes, etc) in AA areas.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

lisa99 said...


It didn't occur to me until she said this, but you're right, Ifetayo---fatherless men generally are NOT handy around the house. Now that I think about it, a lot of these fatherless men (like my friend's husband) don't even own their own set of tools. Which is pretty unthinkable for most normal men. Even men who are mostly incompetent with handling tools like to play with them, and like to play at fixing things (poorly) around the house.


Okay, I continue to be blown away by the insights here... :)

My father, who grew up fatherless, did a very good job with his children, and I am so thankful for him. He continues to influence me today.

But I know that my mom did always complain about my father's lack of handiness and often mentioned how she wished she had a guy who wanted to do things around the house. My father tried, but he simply had no interest in much beyond the basics (cutting the lawn, hammering a nail in the wall to hang a picture, etc.).

I've noticed that most of the men that I've been dating lately (including my current gem of a partner) are very handy. Now that I think of it, they all come from homes where fathers are present. Even if a divorce took place, they remained close with their fathers and were with them on a regular basis. It's nice to hear my current partner talking about all of the things he wants to teach his children and grandchildren! I joke that he has to get the children first before he can start thinking about the grandkids!

I have dated two men from fatherless homes before, and I found them (mostly) to be like my father in that they wanted to be different, and be an ever-present, active presence in their future children's lives by marrying their mothers BEFORE they were born. But still, it was interesting to see some of the expectations they had of me (probably coming from the fact that their mothers did EVERYTHING for them), and when I would say to them, "No, I'm not doing that. You'll have to figure it out yourself," they got upset and called me selfish. They had girlfriends before who would drop everything to do something for these men, and the requests these men had were things they were perfectly capable of handling -- they just took a little bit of effort on their parts.

It took me until a few weeks ago and a discussion with my current partner to link this to their lack of understanding of a man's role. He was stunned at the requests one man made and said he would have been "embarrassed," to ask a girlfriend for her to sacrifice her time to drive him somewhere when he could have easily found a bus or other public transportation to get there.

So even with the best-intentioned fatherless man, there's a learning curve... and I don't really want to deal with that!

zoopath said...

As long as he can pay for the handyman to come then that's fine with me. Although I should disclose that I think my stepdad did too much handyman stuff (sometimes poorly and there's always old cars in the driveway that he never fixes, renovating burned up houses to rent out) so I'd prefer a guy that's not handy to one that's too handy :) but that's my bias. My husband wasn't fatherless, his father just wasn't very handy.

Satya said...

What's more "real" to them is the woman's self-presentation and what her observed behavior says about her "good wife" potential

I'm glad this was brought up. For years one of the reasons I didn't try to date was that I didn't have an impressive career or high salary to bring to the table-and I thought that would be important to a quality man. Come to think of it, I think most of that vein of advice came from women-not men.
I am educated and have other things to bring, but that wasn't one of them. It didn't occur to me that those other aspects might be the ones that were actually more important to a good portion of men.
I did notice other women (who certainly didn't have more going for them career wise) marrying well, but it didn't click for me that this was due to the fact that men had some other criteria for selecting a mate.
I just thought it was something white and other races of women could "get away" with, but that it wouldn't play well for a BW.

rainebeaux said...

I wish I had more to add, but it looks like everything *has* been covered, and I've learned plenty in the last 24 hours.

Khadija, all: thanks again for the insight and timely kicks in the pants.

arthur said...

There has been a lot of discussion about things that to me seem so obvious as to be almost self-evident; about vetting, self-presentation, weight issues, more stuff I can't even remember.

Every comment I read had me thinking about what I could say to support or expand on the points being covered; at the end, there was just too much to talk about.

But a few things; Evia, you mentioned being demure and soft-spoken in real life, but I knew that already, because you married a man like Darren. Your occasional sketches of him in your posts have described him very well as to the type of man he is; you would have to have a lady-like public persona to get within radar range of a guy like that (quality man).

Also you said ..I see so many AA women who put so much attention on their hair, their nails, pocketbooks, and shoes, ..

Fancy hair, nails, pocketbooks, shoes = items almost meaningless to a quality man. This is how he sees all that: does the hair work for your face and shape of head? Fine ... are your nails clean and cared for? Fine ... do your shoes and pocketbook fit with your outfit and overall look? Fine. And it takes him about a microsecond to unconsciously scan all that in; he'll really only be aware of something that doesn't fit into the envelope of "Ladylike".

The important things (to him)? They've all been talked about upthread; Does being soft-spoken and demure, not being overweight, wearing clothes that wouldn't look out of place at P.F. Chiangs or the Chart House = "acting white?". Whatever.

But this is the unavoidable bottom line: if you want to catch a certain kind of fish, you have to use the bait they like.

lisa99 said...

I'm glad this was brought up. For years one of the reasons I didn't try to date was that I didn't have an impressive career or high salary to bring to the table-and I thought that would be important to a quality man. Come to think of it, I think most of that vein of advice came from women-not men.

I only hear the "what do you bring to the table" conversation (in regards to women) in the black community. Nowhere else.

When I hear BW saying what they are looking for in a man, the question (from another black person) often is, "Well what do YOU bring to the table?" As if this is a contest to make sure you can "match" your partner in salary, education, etc.

Most normal, undamaged men are not asking (whether to themselves or out loud), "What does this woman bring to the table?" Yes, they are looking for certain qualities when they are pursuing a woman, but not in the "bring to the table" sense that many of us are defining as salary, job, degrees, etc.

While good men aren't necessarily against a woman with higher education and a decent salary (and they might appreciate her intelligence and accomplishments), that's not usually what they are looking for first and foremost when they are seeking a wife.

A lot of BW seem to be stunned by the idea that in the dating process, it is not their role to "prove" anything to a man about their abilities or "show" a man how responsible they are... the idea that a BW should simply sit back and allow a man to court her (while she responds with kindness, gratitude and appreciation) is still very foreign to many of us.

arthur said...

And I should have noted; most of my post above, and the last few lines in particular, were meant for the lurking audience, not the ladies posting.

rainebeaux said...

I find it odd that there are a few men who aren't handy...if I can hook up a 30-year-old solid state, rabbit eared television *sans remote* to a VCR/DVD console and a digital converter box taking only a cursory glance at the instructions for the latter two devices, I can't imagine a man being unable to, say, fix a chair leg or install a light switch.

(I understand electronics and hardware/home repair are different, but I can't imagine meeting a man without tools, much less the inability to use them! The money saved from calling professionals less often can be used for a family vacation or an extra annuity...but then, that's just me.)

Khadija said...

Satya,

You said, "It didn't occur to me that those other aspects might be the ones that were actually more important to a good portion of men.
I did notice other women (who certainly didn't have more going for them career wise) marrying well, but it didn't click for me that this was due to the fact that men had some other criteria for selecting a mate."


As far as I'm concerned, all of this points out that AA women need NEW and DIFFERENT reference points than the ones that most of us are currently using.

More blunt talk: "New-school" AA males are the ONLY group of males who evaluate women in terms of the women's breadwinner potential. There are similarly deranged, individual men in other ethnic groups, but that sort of thinking is not the norm for other men. And old-school AA men WANTED to support their wives and children.

What I notice is that these deranged Tyrones DON'T want women who are their true peers---they DON'T want "Sheniquas." For example, Convict-Tyrone does not want Convict-Sheniqua.

The Tyrones' general spirit-breaking campaigns, and "You need to settle for nothing" campaigns are all directed at high-functioning AA women. And these thought-distortion campaigns revolve around convincing high-functioning AA women that they are worthless.

AA women need new reference points. So here are some suggestions:

1- STOP listening to at least 99.99% of AA men. [I don't want to say stop listening to all of them, but the problem is that most AA women can't be trusted to see the handful of exceptions. Too many of y'all see almost every AA man as being "an exception" to the dysfunction that's on display.]
I don't understand why so many of y'all are even listening to what the bulk of AA men are saying about any topic. What accomplishments do they have to demonstrate that they should be taken seriously? About anything?

2-STOP listening to 99.99% of other AA women. It frightens me to see how little discernment is going on among AA women. I don't bother to listen to 99.99% of other AA women because most of us are encouraging each other to make do with hellish conditions. {slipping into Ebonics} I ain't tryin' to hear no slavery talk!

Just because somebody is a fellow AA woman does NOT mean that person has your best interests at heart. Even if they do mean you well, many of them are brainwashed.

3-Ask yourself: "Is this idea pointing me toward abundant life or is it telling me why I "must" settle for scarcity?" I ain't tryin' to hear no "hunt and peck" talk---God's Earth is too big, and too abundant for that mess!

4-Ask yourself: "Would somebody come to a halfway decent Mei Ling with this _________ [demand, expectation, assumption]?" The same Tyrones that tell y'all that you must be workhorses are NOT coming to Mei Ling with that mess. The same Tyrones that tell y'all that you should marry convicted felons are NOT coming to Mei Ling with that madness.

The bottom line is that AA women are going to have to BURN the smallpox-infected, psychological "security blankets" of listening to most other AAs. And start learning how to use critical thinking.

And start claiming for themselves the same God-given rights as every other woman on this planet. [Which I have to add, includes qualifying yourself to claim these same rights---Mei Ling is NOT running around screaming "I can be fat and beautiful, darn it! Recognize me as big and beautiful!"; or talking about her "pafology" in public, or any of that other loud, "too much information" mess that too many of us are doing in public.]

***Mei Ling and other non-AA women use STEALTH to get where they want to go---you should too.***

_________________

Rainebeaux,

You're welcome!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Arthur,

Thanks for your input. It's always helpful to hear from NORMAL MEN.

Yes, these things under discussion should be obvious, but as you can see, the DERANGED, "new school" indoctrination has created a LOT of upside-down, inside-out, sideways, and otherwise "distorted by a funhouse mirror" perceptions of certain BASIC ideas.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Aeddy Scots said...

I'm going to carefully delurk and say thank you. I first read your post on why it's important to date in college (freshman) a few days ago and kept going through your blog. It's been so insightful and eyeopening. There are so many things I've learned here that I just wouldn't have been able to because I do come from a fatherless home and my mother never taught me how to be feminine because she didn't learn how to either. And (this may be in part because I'm from NY), I had no idea that there were "man" behaviors AND that there were men who knew these behaviors, until two years ago (and these "men" were sixteen year old boys from the South). But even then, I never thought that I was entitled to a man who exhibited man behaviors. It was just a pipe dream until now really. And I just thank you so much for having this blog and putting it out there despite everything.

Khadija said...

Aeddy Scots,

You're welcome!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Felicia said...

...1- STOP listening to at least 99.99% of AA men....

...I don't understand why so many of y'all are even listening to what the bulk of AA men are saying about any topic. What accomplishments do they have to demonstrate that they should be taken seriously? About anything?...

...2-STOP listening to 99.99% of other AA women....


--------------------

YOU BETTER PREACH!

Khadija, what some may fail to realize is, most AA BW have been so poisoned and brainwashed by the supposed "bc", that they don't realize that there are physical assets they specifically have that many Quality men are looking for.

Some secretly believe the hype (and lie) that WW, AW, and non African-descended HW have a "leg up" in the beauty department due to having lesser melanin.

Therefor, some of these deluded BW may believe they have to be "superwomen" (the high-powered career, house, whole 9 yards materialistically speaking) to even be in the running for a decent mate.

All in order to so-called "make up for being black women." ESPECIALLY if dark-skinned and stereotypically West-African featured. SMH at the sickness of it all.

Because of an internalization of the white/light beauty myth (anything white or light and female is by default "beautiful" even if it's ugly as sin), some BW may feel they MUST go that "extra yard" over and above what non BW "bring to the table", when they DON'T.

DECENT, NON-COLORSTRUCK, NORMAL, AND QUALITY men simply want a good woman with a sharp head on her shoulders, who's family oriented, presents well, and behaves well. Someone pleasant and lady like who knows how to appreciate a gentleman.

It's as simple as that.

Readers, The next time some black/African-American SOB ask you "what are you willing to bring to the table", you tell them MYSELF. That's all I need to bring.

And if you posses all of the positive qualities already outlined in detail for the past 3 going on 4 years, that's all you NEED.

VET and fish in the GLOBAL community of men REGARDLESS of "race".

And FORGET about "offending" folks by exercising your right to LIVE WELL.

OF COURSE certain insecure and racist folks of various "races"/ethnicities and both genders will be offended and outraged that you're living and loving well.

WHO CARES? The ONLY power these haters have, is the power that SILLY BW give them.

So BW interested in marriage to Quality men in the global community - especially if they happen to be WM - are going to have to realize they're not going to please a large segment of the population out there.

It's not BW's job to be "people pleasers". I know my ONLY job in this world is to please myself, my husband who reciprocates the love I have for him, and my children.

Everyone else - unless they're in my corner and have proven it - know where they can go.

Really, I think some BW are afraid to leave what amounts to a cage, because of fear of what "others" think and may say.LOL

When these "others" are POWERLESS, often WORTHLESS, and don't amount to a hill of beans.

Thank you again Khadija for this SLAMMING essay of yours.

It is SERIOUS food for thought.

Khadija said...

Felicia,

You're welcome; and thank YOU for your input! You've helped a lot.

You said, "Really, I think some BW are afraid to leave what amounts to a cage, because of fear of what "others" think and may say.LOL When these "others" are POWERLESS, often WORTHLESS, and don't amount to a hill of beans."

I'm reminded of a couple of slogans:

The left wing slogan of "You have nothing to lose but your chains!"

And something that Sis. Min. Ava Muhammad talked about during one of her lectures. She was talking about how some AAs (with broken minds) only respond favorably to the people who HATE them. She said something to the effect of "You love the devil because he gives you NOTHING!" Well, this is the same mental pattern that I see a lot of AA women engaging in. Most AA women have totally internalized BM's sexism.

They flock to finance Tyler Perry, various BW-hating rappers, R. Kelly, and all sorts of other Negroes who have demonstrated hatred and contempt for them. And they're willing to fight with other AA women over these BW-hating Negroes. I won't shed a single tear over these women when they drown in the rising flood waters. The rest of us will be better off without them and their poison.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

rainebeaux said...

Based on today's post, I'd like to add a slogan (well, actually it's the title of an early rap song):

Watch the closing doors.

My "inner Becky" thanks you. :)

Ivy Jain said...

This is an incredible discussion. It's really eye opening to see how being fatherless affects men and women. We don't get to see firsthand healthy relationships between women and men. I understand how being fatherless negatively effects men even more, because they need that role model to teach them how to be men.

I am very worried about my nephew. His father is a DBR who was also fatherless. There isn't any surrogates can step up to the plate (our family has few males -- most are really young).

Anyway, guess I'm getting off topic. I just want to say this post is really thought provoking. It's made me realize more things to consider when vetting a guy. I never knew what older folks meant when they ask, "who is his people?" I didn't make the connection that it's about trying to gauge the values of the potential husband.

-Ivy
(formerly Bandbabe)

Khadija said...

Ivy,

Yep, that's what the old folks meant. *Smile*

Peace, blessings and solidarity.