Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Why It's Important To Have Dating Experiences In College: Readers' Money Quotes From Lisa99 & Tertiaryanna

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

59 comments:

Jubilance said...

I've been reading the various postings on this topic & I really want to say bravo for having this conversation.

I went to a large Big Ten university, where I was exposed to any and everyone. Growing up in a different college town, I was used to interacting with people of various racial and ethnic backgrounds, and so I did not fall into that "I have to socialize with only Black people" trap. But when it came to dating, I was still brainwashed by my father's "The White man is the devil" lessons growing up and I never considered dating outside my race. In fact, the first time a non-Black man ever asked me out, I didn't even realize it because I was so conditioned to think of non-Black men as options!

Anyway, I dated a lot in college, and was even engaged at one point. I'm 27 now and I could not fathom being my age but having limited dating experience.

I personally loathe this culture in the Black community that says "BW need to prove their worth to BM". I don't subscribe to that, at all. I have a set of behaviors that I expect from any man who is in my life, regardless of race, and he will be shown the door if he doesn't comply. I dont feel back for expecting a man to finance our activities, for him to spend time with me, for him to be impeccable with his word, etc. Why do other women feel these types of things are perfectly acceptable to demand in their dating relationships, but BW do not?

I've seen it time and again, on various blogs or message boards, where the woman who expects and demands that a man treat her well, treat her with respect, and actually do for her is called all kinds of names and told she is aiming too high or that she's too demanding. Why or why do we do this to ourselves?

I truly feel for the women who buy into what everyone else is telling them and live their lives by other people's rules. How sad & lonely it must be to follow someone else's rules and not follow your own destiny.

tasha212 said...

Let me clarify my earlier statement. I do believe that it is vitally important to date in college. I dated more than a couple of guys, but only had one REAL boyfriend. And I attended an HBCU and still attend one as a graduate student. The guy who I dated my last year in college was older (about 10 years) and in graduate school. He taught me alot about men in general and how to demand respect and good treatment in a relationship. As far as I'm concerned, he set the standard as far as how I expect to be treated by any man that I date. So I do think that it's important to go out on REAL dates with REAL men while you are young so you can know what it feels like to be treated well. And if a young woman chooses to, she can date without having sex. It is not required. Believe me, it can be done. I say that because alot of younger women feel pressured to have sex before they are ready.

Tasha

rainebeaux said...

Khaija, you said in the previous post:

After talking to her at length, I realized that much of this was the result of a lack of actual dating experience (as opposed to hook-up experiences). This lack of actual dating experience matters. A LOT.

Forgot to mention something when I gave my two cents there: basically, all I knew was the hook-up part, unfortunately. I fully blame myself, having missed the small window of opportunity to figure this out when I was in college the first time. I'd like to think I'll get it right the next go round in my new environment (within and outside college; I have no other choice but to return)...

Sharifa said...

Well, this post was quite a difficult read for me. It was actually something that had come to mind before I came to your site this morning, interestingly.

I agree with you and your two mo ney-quote readers (I also must say that I appreciate the absence of judgment of bw who are in this circumstance in your tone). It is so important for bw to have that experience for the reasons you highlighted.

I don't think I was really prepared (by elder women) for dating and marriage. I just set out to be a "good girl," behave myself, get my education, and I think I just assumed that I would find marriage and all the other things I wanted in life along the way. As I got older, I was aware of the mindfield of bw bm relations, but only in recent years have I really come to understand how all of this affects me, and the position I am in. That's hard to admit. I see how all of this seems to come so much more easily for women of other groups (that was my observation from this morning).

I guess I have some extra work to do to make my life what I want it to be. Great.

Aphrodite said...

Hello Khadija,


Thank you for this post. I am unsure whether I should cry bc I have never heard someone say aloud/type what you are saying.


"When I bring these issues up during in person conversations, I notice that there's always a number of adult African-American women who minimize the importance of this issue by saying that these young women need to focus on their studies and not on dating. I believe that young ladies should focus on BOTH."


I can remember having this concern of mine trivialized so much when this was happening with me.


Pretty much I am a basketcase when it comes to dating. I am no where near as experienced as most of my peers, but have had a few dates in the past couple of years - the majority being this past year, but I can vouch for the issues with being/feeling left behind/trailing on the low end of the learning curve of courtship.

It is just that this is getting to be such a Herculean task for me. There is so much anxiety and uncertainty for me and I screw up all the time. There are lots of things I am still unsure about - not overt, but subtle and too much I don't know until I am in the middle of it.

Khadija said...

Jubilance,

Thank you for your kind words; I truly appreciate it.

You said, "I'm 27 now and I could not fathom being my age but having limited dating experience.

I personally loathe this culture in the Black community that says "BW need to prove their worth to BM"."


I'm discovering that all sorts of bizarre situations have become normalized among young AAs. This acceptance of "no dates for AA women during college" thing is just one bizarre situation. There are other weird things becoming normalized.

And, because nobody's realing talking about this in concrete details, older AAs are assuming that things are as they were in their era(s); and younger AAs are assuming that this mess is normal.

I have NO CLUE when all of this mess started. And it seems to me that younger AA women have NO CLUE that this is NOT how things are suppposed to operate. Let me get back to describing the coworker's situation.

Keep in mind that she came to me for help in figuring out what went wrong with her interactions with this one guy who had started by taking her out on a REAL date.

I had to carefully quiz the coworker and get a moment-by-moment description of the date to figure out what had gone wrong. She was MYSTIFIED. One angle that annoyed me was that she didn't really believe my assessment of what went wrong and why the man was irritated and offended UNTIL the man later on told her the same things I had said.

Here's a less edited summary of what happened with that situation:

After she originally lowered herself in his eyes on their first date by pulling out her purse to pay, he later on quietly assigned her to jump-off status. [He did some things that quietly signalled that she had shifted herself out of "actual date quality" category with him and into "one step above bargain basement hook-up" category. I won't bother with the details. The coworker was blind to these signals also.

She confirmed this newly-assigned lower status when they went out again and she did the purse maneuver again (this was AFTER I had told her to NEVER do that again).

Even though he had decided at that point to use her, this man had enough sense of manhood to still be annoyed each time she did the purse maneuver during subsequent outings.

I'm at the point where I'm not going to debate with somebody to try to help them. Especially when I was minding my own business and the person came to ME for advice that they then wanted to argue about. For example, at one point the man became angry with the coworker because she disagreed with him over a legal point while they were talking on the phone (they're both attorneys). The man ultimately raised his voice and hung up on her.

She calls me, all confused and asked me what I thought. She wanted to call him back. She got angry when I told her not to do that. She didn't understand the simple logic of:

1-Why would you even want to talk to somebody who yells at you and hangs up the phone on you?

2-If you are just hell-bent upon ever speaking to this individual again---which is an extremely bad idea---at minimum you need to make him chase YOU if he wants to have any further communication with you. He's the one who hung up the phone on you. The way he's treating you will only get worse. And it'll get a whole lot worse even faster if you run behind him after he disrespected you like that.

Khadija said...

Part 2

Of course, she didn't listen to the advice that she sought out. She called him back "to see if he was okay." Whatever.

After that, I didn't bother to respond to her questions as she became increasingly confused and disappointed with the ever-DECREASING quality of their interactions. Of course, he ultimately threw her away like an old dishrag after he got bored. And her spirit was that much more crushed in the end. Oh well. She was warned.

Anyhoo, the other trend that I discovered after quizzing several younger AA women (who had come to me for suggestions) is that these women chauffeur Negroes around while on these "dates." They pick the Negro up and drive the both of them around to everywhere they go while out on these "dates."

Which I don't understand because I don't understand why somebody is going out with an ADULT male who does not have a car. This isn't high school where large groups of kids are riding the bus together to go to the football game, etc. And even in high school, the guys I went out with (one-on-one dates or double dates) had the sense to borrow their fathers' cars when they took me out on dates. Me riding the bus to go on a one-on-one date with a guy was unthinkable and unimaginable. I had never heard of such.

It's one thing to drive separately in your own car for the first few preliminary, casual meetings to see if it's safe to go out on a REAL date with a particular man.

But that's not what's happening. Apparently, many gainfully employed, younger AA women are picking Negroes up, driving them both to an outing, going Dutch on the outing, and then dropping the Negroes back home. And calling this a "date."

?????!!!!!?????

I just found out about the above-two practices because the women asked me what I thought went wrong with their "dates." And since they accept the above-two practices as normal, I had to ask for a moment-by-moment description of what happened to pinpoint the problem.

Khadija said...

Part 3

Rainebeaux,

There's no need to blame yourself. Most people accept---without questioning---whatever is considered "normal" in their immediate circles. If nobody explicitly warned you about any of this, how would you know?

I'm irritated with the coworker because I know that at least one person (ME) warned her point blank, and took the time to explain to her what's normal. The vast majority of younger AA women are NOT given explicit, concrete warnings and suggestions. So, they DON'T know any better than the weird circumstances that have now become normalized in their age group.

But the bottom line was that she wasn't willing to take the risk of having to "hold out" and go without a certain type of male attention for even a minute.

She never quite understood that the time she was wasting with the guy I described is time that could have been spent placing herself around better prospects. Desperation will do that to women.

Don't blame yourself.
_______________________

Sharifa,

You said, "I agree with you and your two mo ney-quote readers (I also must say that I appreciate the absence of judgment of bw who are in this circumstance in your tone)."

As I told Rainebeaux, the vast majority of younger AA women were NEVER warned or given explicit, concrete explanations. Part of the reason for this is that most middle-aged and older AA women (who enjoyed teenager-hood and young adulthood under TOTALLY different dating circumstances) have NO IDEA that this mess is what is going on.

Most of us are assuming that things are as they were when we were in high school/college. Most of us have NO IDEA how far conditions have sunk for young AA women. Most of us can't even imagine some of the things that have become normalized.

This means that nobody's telling younger AA women any different, because we have no idea that circumstances have gotten this far out.

So, this means that the vast majority of younger AA women don't know any better than the weird circumstances that have now become normalized in their age group. How can anybody "judge" them if they had no way of knowing anything different? Now, folks who ignore the sound advice and warnings that they were given are in a different category.
__________________

Tasha212,

The ONLY kind of interactions (sexual or otherwise) that I'm referring to as important and necessary experiences in college are those that a young woman actually WANTS to have---and wants for her OWN reasons---as opposed to being pressured by anybody else.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Aphrodite said...

Blogger rainebeaux said...

"basically, all I knew was the hook-up part, unfortunately."


I can relate to that and when I quickly started to see that this was the most painful thing I had ever engaged in I stopped and became celibate.




Blogger Sharifa said...

Well, this post was quite a difficult read for me.


It has been for me too and a little painful. I am grateful that it is being taken seriously, but discussion of this issues brings up a lot for me emotionally.

Mainly, feeling incompetent, powerless, and out of control. Those situations may not be entirely true, but it is hard to feel those feelings.

Aphrodite said...

Hello Khadija,

"is that these women chauffeur Negroes around while on these "dates." They pick the Negro up and drive the both of them around to everywhere they go while out on these "dates."


This is another laugh/cry moment for me bc I have done that. I did it once with a guy that didn't have a car and two times with two different men who had cars, but who wouldn't drive and it wasn't my car- it was my mom's.

Khadija said...

My Sisters,

Pleae remember:

YOU WERE ROBBED OF YOUR BIRTHRIGHT!!!!!!!

It is your birthright as women like every other group of women to have reasonable opportunities for legitimate, wholesome marriage and family life. You were ROBBED of this by narrowed options and circumstances. These circumstances are the end result of AAs buying into corrupt dogma.


There is NO need for you to feel embarassment, shame, as if you were dumb (I'm being blunt), or anything else like that. There's no shame in being robbed. YOU WERE ROBBED.

This bizarre situation does NOT reflect on you; it reflects on how far your elders have allowed this situation to sink! [And I lump myself in that blame-worthy category to some degree. A whooole lot of things went to h*ll in a handbasket on the watch of AAs who are middle-aged and older.]

I'm reminded of what a middle-aged Columbian friend told me when I asked her how things had previously gotten so far gone in her country (narco wars, Pablo Escobar, etc.).

It was chilling to hear her answer in a dry tone of voice, "It happened because we ignored all the 'little' things until they got too big to ignore. And then when they got big, at that point they were too dangerous for even the government to deal with. That's why we needed help from the American military."

Well, it's the same with AAs. We ignored, excused, justified, and coddled all sorts of increasingly INFERIOR behaviors and the INFERIOR life circumstances that they created.

We collectively did all of this to artificially soothe and prop up AA males' bruised egos. Egos that had been bruised by the experience of being CONQUERED by WM.

And now in places like Los Angeles and Florida, they are being conquered by Latino/mestizo men. AA "Orthodox"/Sunni Muslim males acknowledge that they have been conquered by Arab men. There's at least one Negro imam preaching that Arabs are a superior race.

Whenever the conquered AA male is confronted by another type of man (White, Latino, Asian, Arab, Pakistani, whatever), the AA male SUBMITS to that other man's will. He doesn't even try to compete with other men in the things that MEN are measured by---how well they protect and provide.

Khadija said...

Part 2

Instead, the conquered AA male satisfies himself with the pleasures of being a "stud horse"---just like on the slave plantations where he was used to impregnate a series of women, and where "Massa" was the one feeding and clothing his poorly-fed and clothed offspring. Well, "Massa" is still feeding and clothing the male slave's offspring through Link cards, etc.

Instead, the conquered AA male satisfies himself with trying to get whatever droppings these other men leave for him---that's why so many of them are so proud to have REJECT Becky, REJECT Lupe, etc. on their arms.

Finally, the conquered AA male satisfies himself with demeaning, fighting, and attacking AA women and girls. All this while he NEVER raises his voice or his hand to his former(?) slavemaster.

They KNOW that they are conquered men. They KNOW that they can't successfully compete with, or fight against, other men. And so what's left for these failed males is to try to break AA women's spirits. They can't break anybody else. In any way. And they know this.

Blaming AA women for the mess that was created by AA women catering to BM's bruised egos is one of the conquered AA males' favorite techniques. DON'T fall for it---YOU WERE ROBBED OF YOUR BIRTHRIGHT.


That's why these Internet Ike Turners are content to harass women's blogs. Only a weak...inferior...conquered...male obsesses over what women are talking about. NORMAL, FUNCTIONAL, COMPETENT men are focused on what other MEN are doing. Real men measure themselves and their accomplishments by other men. Actual MEN are not in any sort of competition or struggle with women.

Not all AA males are mentally conquered men, but the vast majority of them are. And the current crop are even weaker in their minds than previous generations of mentally conquered AA males. For just one example, old-school AA men were not fixated on women's conversations. You practically couldn't pay them to listen to women's conversations.

THERE'S STILL TIME FOR YOU TO CLAIM YOUR BIRTHRIGHT. But you can't look back. You can't succumb to regrets or self-blame. What's done is done. Be happy you have the health and resilience to be able to reach for it. Don't look back at "Sodom." You have to keep looking and moving forward into better circumstances. Into the Promised Land.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

tertiaryanna said...

Khadija,

Thank you for emphasizing my comment. This topic has been on my mind lately. I feel that an unhelpful construct is like a minefield: the threats may need to be clearly stated so that people can avoid needless harm.

I totally agree with you here:

Most people accept---without questioning---whatever is considered "normal" in their immediate circles. If nobody explicitly warned you about any of this, how would you know?

I think that some people are invested in making sure that BW don't get warned.

I think this is why the feelings of shame and embarrassment are common: deception works best when the target feels responsible for the cheat. It reduces suspicion on the cheater and makes their job much easier.

So if a BW is exposed to people who want to advance their own agendas by using her resources, they will encourage her to focus on her own actions while discouraging her from looking at theirs. You talked about this practice and its effects in the Gaslighting post.

I have also felt sadness about these issues. But as I begin to recognize these deceptions, I have become angry. You are absolutely right: people are being robbed. And I hope that identifying the robbers can help people get as far away from them as possible.

Khadija said...

Tertiaryanna,

You're welcome; and THANK YOU for providing a Reader's Money Quote.

You said, "I think that some people are invested in making sure that BW don't get warned.

I think this is why the feelings of shame and embarrassment are common: deception works best when the target feels responsible for the cheat. It reduces suspicion on the cheater and makes their job much easier.

So if a BW is exposed to people who want to advance their own agendas by using her resources, they will encourage her to focus on her own actions while discouraging her from looking at theirs."


I see that I need to add this most recent comment from you as part of an addendum to the post. Yes, there are MANY people who are heavily invested in making sure that AA women don't get warned.

I'm thankful that readers are sharing their true reactions to the post. It NEVER would have occurred to me that the robbery victims would feel the slightest bit ashamed or embarassed for being ROBBED. Which is why I'm adding the addendum.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

lormarie said...

Yes I was robbed. Back in my pentecostal Christian days, I was taught that God would bring along "the one" and all a Christian woman should do was wait. We were also taught to limit our pool of men to the "saved." If he wasn't saved, we were not to date him and remain alone. Forget about sex before marriage as it is a sin. Needless to say, I abided by all of that and had limited experience in college. I obeyed because the fear of hell can be strong. I was even convinced when a young christian guy who I dated preached that we were to be married "thus saith the lord." All this for all the COGIC church to hear. But that's another post. Eventually, I had to form emotionally intimate friendships with men because I began to crave communication with them. I also waited longer than most women to have sex. While that isn't a bad thing, I abstained not out of desire but out of fear. While I still believe that it is sinful according to Christianity, I can't deny that I would hate to be my age with no sexual experience. I know of some ex-Christians who have reached 40 and beyond and lament the fact that they have no experience.

I am glad that some bw bloggers are touching on the religious issues that keep black women single and waiting in vain.

Khadija said...

Lormarie,

Yep. You were robbed. You said, "While I still believe that it is sinful according to Christianity, I can't deny that I would hate to be my age with no sexual experience. I know of some ex-Christians who have reached 40 and beyond and lament the fact that they have no experience."

Being that age and having no experience is probably a source of regrets for people in those circumstances. This is another angle that makes me so annoyed to hear what I call "the fake holy talk" from SMUG, COMPLACENT, typically married and having sex while married (yes, I went there) religious zealots of all faith traditions.

I realized as a college student that people who beat others over the head with "holy talk" about why others shouldn't have unmarried sex usually fall into 2 categories:

(1) People who aren't having sex (whether they're married or not), and are disgruntled about that fact, and therefore don't want anybody else to have sex either. Misery loves company.

(2) SMUG, COMPLACENT married people who are happily having sex and have therefore NEVER thought about the potential negatives attached to women (and it's mostly women) following their slogans about "keeping their legs closed." These complacent, ARROGANT individuals have NEVER considered how it might feel to be a "mature virgin" or the difficulties involved with that.

And these complacent, ARROGANT individuals are NOT in the position of having to make any sacrifices to support the fake holy talk that they bash others with. They're NOT giving up a single thing to support their own holy talk---the sacrifice is for OTHERS to make.

I would call this behavior the ethical equivalent of Marie Antoinette's "let them eat cake" admonition to the starving masses in France. It's thoughtlessly callous and cruel.


I would probably have a different reaction to these people if they adequately warned young ladies about ALL the angles to these issues (meaning the angles we've been discussing in the last few blog posts). But they're NOT doing that. Instead, they're hitting women over the head with "keep your leg closed" while simultaneously setting them up to have very few dating---and therefore marriage---options. They haven't even mentioned the possibility/risk that following their advice could lead to dying as a "mature virgin."

And I know a woman in my age group who WENT TO HER GRAVE as a regret-filled "mature virgin"! This is why I'm particularly p#ssed off about the holy talk that is targeted at AA women. The bulk of the men in the church/mosque are NOT following any of that---and nobody really expects them to. Well, what about my deceased acquaintance? She was a youthful college coed/church lady who eventually became a middle aged church lady. She took all those "holy talk" slogans to heart. And look at what it got her. Excuse me, but that's some bull$%#@.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Nathifa said...

Great post. I can relate to many of the things the women have said. I too have dated men who had a car and wanted me to drive them, wanted me to pay for the date and so on. What stopped me from continuing this was one day I just started to have a conversation with myself. I decided what was accetable to me and what my boundaries were. Because I thought about how I felt afterwards and I always felt like s***. I do not want to feel like that anymore. I'am not going to date anyone who has less than me, who treats me less than I would treat myself or another person. But It took awhile because I thought there behavior was normal because I was told it was and my frineds were having similar situations. I even remember in grad school my family was still saying well you can't expect a man to have a car, house and a job. Well why did I have those things and I'm a single parent. Why was the standard different for them. Now that I have started dating quality men regardless of race my dad in particular is angry. He wants me to only date black men. When I explain to him that I will only date quality men he states find a black man. Notice he never addresses quality and thinks that a black man instantlty equals quality because we are both black. I want to get married and to do that I have to expand my dating options to include all quality men not just black men. I always end the conversation with why do you not want me to have a husband who loves me and treats me like queeen. He gets quiet when I say that. He is still stuck in his Black power days and does not understand that the black men in his generation who married the mothers of there kids, worked even if the they only had high school diploma, did not use women for money or a place to stay, and provide and protect does not exist like it use to. Alot of the kids are now growing up in fatherless homes and they do not see the benefits of marriage. They think it is normal for black women to go it alone and do it all. They seem to want you to take care of them and there needs only. I'm not with that anymore.

KM said...

To piggyback on the church talk...

I'm a Christian and I actively go to church. I've been in the black church and the white church and the white church does emphasize no sex before marriage but guess what? The white church provides plenty of opportunities for their singles to meet appropriate mates and marry. Many white christian women marry before they are 27. The black church fails in that regard.

And the black church fails because there aren't enough appropriate single black men in the church and many of the men, married or not, use the black church as either a harem or as a bunch of mules to do their work.

Right now, I attend a multicultural church where it is preached no sex before marriage (not just because its bad but because of the diseases, unexpected pregnancy, odds of getting involved with men that after the fact, you find out you don't want to be involved with, etc.) yet there are opportunities provided for singles to meet, vet, and marry. Many of the BW in my church and my age group (25-30) have gotten married over the past two years, and a good percentage of the marriages are IR.

BW who read here and go to church, just a word of advice: Look at your church, at the behavior of your pastor. Are there enough appropriate men to truly have a choice to meet, vet and marry, or is most of the church full of married men? Are many of the older women (church mothers) unmarried? Are there more single mothers than married mothers? If those answers are yes and you really want to marry, its time to find a new church.


(not to pick on single moms but reality is, odds are if there are a lot of single moms in a church, the culture of marriage just isn't there)

Khadija said...

Let me say something else that is sure to anger a lot of folks (LOL!).

My mother's side of the family is Catholic, so I grew up being aware of the anti-Catholic ignorance and bigotry that many AA Protestants harbor. [If I had a dime everytime I heard some AA Protestant say something like "Christians and Catholics"---never mind the fact that Protestant denominations have their roots in the breaking away from the Catholic Church during the Reformation---which most AA Protestants seem to be completely unware of...in other words, the Catholic Church (as well as the various Orthodox Churches) came BEFORE the Protestants...but I digress.]

Well, I see that most AA church ladies have never noticed that their indoctrination is causing them to live

just...
like...
Catholic...
nuns..

in...
a...
PERMANENT...
state of celibacy!

They got a lot of y'all AA Protestant women living JUST LIKE the Catholic nuns and priests that some of you make mockery of. WITHOUT any of the financial support that the Catholic Church gives to its priests and nuns!

I believe that some of y'all need to reflect on that, and ask your indoctrinated church lady friends to ponder that as well.


Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Nathifa,

Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it. I praise God that you woke up out of the conditioning. Onward and forward.
________________

KM,

You said, "I'm a Christian and I actively go to church. I've been in the black church and the white church and the white church does emphasize no sex before marriage but guess what? The white church provides plenty of opportunities for their singles to meet appropriate mates and marry. Many white christian women marry before they are 27. The black church fails in that regard.

And the black church fails because there aren't enough appropriate single black men in the church and many of the men, married or not, use the black church as either a harem or as a bunch of mules to do their work.

Right now, I attend a multicultural church where it is preached no sex before marriage (not just because its bad but because of the diseases, unexpected pregnancy, odds of getting involved with men that after the fact, you find out you don't want to be involved with, etc.) yet there are opportunities provided for singles to meet, vet, and marry. Many of the BW in my church and my age group (25-30) have gotten married over the past two years, and a good percentage of the marriages are IR."


Well, there you have it. Here's my view:

I REFUSE to listen to "holy talk" from anybody unless that person/church/mosque can DEMONSTRATE that they have thought the issues through, AND made provisions to protect the interests of anybody who listens to and follows their "holy talk"!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Karen r said...

I enjoy reading your blog daily. While I dated extensively in college and attended a predominately white institution, my dating experiences did not include sex. That was a very affirming choice for me that did not leave me with the fear of pregnancy, disease, etc. I know that times have changed (I completed undergraduate school in the late 80's)but dating does not have to equal sex. The "keep your legs closed" idea was one that I embraced due to my spiritual values and one that I continued to embrace until marriage (at age 25). I don't regret that choice at all because I believe sex should be sacred. When I go to my reunions I am overwhelmed with gratitude that I didn't sleep with any of the guys I dated in college. I can look them in the eye and have no regrets. Just a thought

foreverloyal said...

When I was in high school and college, I didn't date for religious and personal reasons.
--I saw the practical reasons to not marry a man of a different religion,
--had no interest in dating a guy I KNEW I wouldn't marry and considered myself way too sensitive to endure the heartbreak I saw my peers going thru.

All that said, I met my dh the year after college graduation. I remember my friend (previously mentioned bestie who graciously played chaperone), dh, and I were at the drugstore.
I needed some shampoo and cleansing gel or something like that. Dh tried to pay, and I wouldn't let him. I was like, "Why?" It's so funny, looking back. He was clearly frustrated that I wouldn't allow him to buy it for me, and I was confused as to why he cared enough to be frustrated.
I have since realized, he was trying to take any little opportunity to show me that I was worth his resources, and that he was willing and HAPPY to provide.
This was early in our relationship, in fact it wasn't even a relationship at that point. I liked him, thought he was a nice guy and seemed to have many fine qualities.
If I had to explain my behaviour, I'd say it was because I would have felt bad if a guy I wasn't sure about "wasted" his money buying things for me.
I now know that a REAL man is not bothered by spending some money on a woman he is trying to get to know. He's not going to be saying, "Da** I spent X on her and it went nowhere!"
(Obviously if you KNOW the guy has NO chance with you and you smile in his face and let him spend $$ on you, you are wrong. I am not talking about that.)
Anyway, I adjusted quickly. We can unlearn unhelpful behaviors, as Khadija, Evia, et. al are saying. But we do need to be willing to examine our behaviors and make the needed changes.

rainebeaux said...

Maaaan, don't get me started on my church (how'd I get robbed in Jesus' name at 26?!)...

If I may do a head count:

~last I checked, there may be six (out of a membership of 250, give or take a few new members) single men;

~single church ladies (including single mothers): uhh...multiply the previous by six.

~of course the rest are married and giving the "wait on the Lord" spiel!

Needless to say, I had no one to look forward to there; dating within was frowned upon, and the Pastor and Co-Pastor would give us the George Carlin side eye if we got hold of a decent man from the outside (some did, most didn't; a handful of the latter group became single mothers for the first time or had another oow child. I just plain grew tired of that song and dance at the altar.)

*ahem* yep, new church on my to-do list.

lisa99 said...

Khadija,

Thank you for highlighting my quote.

Like some of the readers, I too had a moment of clarity about two years ago when I realized that I had been robbed, and people "gaslighting" me when I dared to question them about my lack of dating opportunities.

Although I didn't grow up in an AA Protestant denomination, I find that some of that thinking about AA women/dating/marriage permeates greater AA society. So when I happened to innocently bring up the topic of dating to some non-religious people while I was in college, they'd be quick to say, "Don't worry about that! Keep your head in those books!"

(Never mind that my G.P.A. was in the 3.7 range at a Big Ten university... apparently, I still needed to study more!)

Luckily, by the time I was 29, my logical side finally won out and I realized that it was time to start working seriously on my social life. Yes, I had been dating during my 20s, but it was so haphazard and directionless that nothing much came of it. Well, I realize why now... I didn't know how to date with a purpose. I fell into the idea that a good relationship and marriage "just happens."

(And in the meantime, stay focused on God, blah blah blah.)

Ladies, it's never too late to make changes. Recognizing that you were robbed is the first step. Better to recognize this earlier than later... there's still time to craft the lives you want!

Khadija said...

Karen R,

You said, "That was a very affirming choice for me that did not leave me with the fear of pregnancy, disease, etc. I know that times have changed (I completed undergraduate school in the late 80's)..."

That's beautiful that you feel that way. Other women DON'T. Other women DON'T feel that this was much of a choice, much less an "affirming" one. Many feel that they were pressured into making life-DAMAGING sacrifices. Many of them have regrets.

I feel that right alongside the "premarital sex horror" stories, there should be a place for "holy talk horror stories." A place for women to tell the TRUTH about the regrets they have for allowing themselves to be pressured into obeying the holy talk. Places where we can mention how following the holy talk carries the risk of ending up like my deceased acquaintance: Living like a Catholic nun during life (without financial support from the "holy talkers") and going to one's grave with regrets as a virgin.

You said, "...but dating does not have to equal sex."

You're doing the straw man bad-faith argument, and responding to something that was NOT said. NOBODY here said that "dating has to equal sex." Where are you getting that from?

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

rainebeaux said...

ETA: is it ironic that I became more anti-marriage the longer I stayed in church, even after I had my daughter? I tell you, enough gaslighting to choke a horse...

In any event, good to know it's not too late. *whew*.

Karen said...

@Rainbeaux,

With realization brings the discovery that there is a new way to live. The fact that you now know means that you have every possibility to live your life and that of your daughter's differently.

Just don't be hard on yourself, you were robbed.

Felicia said...

Khadija,

Your two posts from...

September 2, 2009 8:52 PM and September 2, 2009 8:58 PM

ARE IT.

Those two posts should be REQUIRED reading for BW ACROSS the diaspora. WHether African-American, African, Caribbean, whatever.

Because it describes - in depth - the damaged beyond repair psyche's of a growing majority (not all but majority) of the males that black communities world wide are still trying to steer BW towards.

BW need to STOP listening to a "community" that doesn't have their best interests in mind. STOP thinking a "community" that's sole purpose seemingly is to continue propping up BM's fragile and bruised egos, at the EXPENSE of BW and black children if need be.

BW need to STOP looking towards their fathers, other family members, friends, "Community" leaders, ministers, black popular culture/magazines/icons, etc.. To give them the "go ahead" and give them their blessings because HELL WILL FREEZE OVER before BW get ANY support in marrying well REGARDLESS of "race". ESPECIALLY if this involves falling in love and marrying a white man.

BW need to GROW UP and stop looking outwards for support and encouragement (that will NOT come) and start looking WITHIN.

If these fools don't feed you, cloth you, pay your bills, put a roof over your head, etc... FORGET THEM.

To further illustrate the way many BM are psychologically conquered and therefor are unable to provide BW with the positive internal qualities that are VITAL in a mate (strength, self-love and self-pride, a sense that one can overcome adversity instead of totally caving in, etc...) I provide the case of Luke Davis...



I TURNED FROM BLACK TO WIHTE: How a skin disorder changed a man's identity and his place in the world

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1201841/I-turned-black-white-How-skin-disordered-changed-mans-identity-place-world.html#ixzz0Q3V0yNOn



Now I will admit, Mr. Davis DID have an exceptionally abnormal and unusual start in life, BUT there are PLENTY of BM with Luke Davis's attitude who came from black two parent, seemingly normal families.

Basically, a person CAN'T give what they DON'T have. MANY BM deep down don't love themselves, who they are, and what they represent. Therefor they obviously can't love BW because BW are a physical reflection of themselves. A reminder.

Powerless conquered men DON'T want to be reminded of their powerlessness.

They want to make believe that THEY'RE the ones on top and "in control". When EVERYTHING points to the OPPOSITE.

That's where this (totally hilarious considering the circumstances) "macho" bravado that thugs display comes from.

It's a FRONT to try to deflect attention away from the fact that BM as a group (individually some have CERTAINLY stepped up to the plate and have been WONDERFUL husbands, fathers, brothers, etc...) have simply FAILED in comparison to other men.

REAL MEN uplift the women of their ethnic/national/"racial" group, provide for them and protect them, AND the vulnerable children they create with them.

REAL MEN - even if interracially married - DON'T down the "race"/nationality/ethnicity of women who've given birth to them. Because that would be a reflection of SELF hatred.

And REAL MEN love themselves.

REAL MEN BUILD cultures instead of trying to tear them apart.

And when they have beef with other men they take it TO those other men. Instead of acting suicidally and directing their hatred and pain towards the women and children of their group.

The sooner BW realize these simple facts - and that the SORRY'NESS that has overtaken large portions of the "community" on various fronts - have nothing to do with them personally but EVERYTHING to do with DBR BM and their PERSONAL issues - the better.

As you said Khadija, many if not most BW have simply been ROBBED.

There should be no shame in that. BUT fool me twice...

Nu Girl said...

Khadija Said:

Don't look back at "Sodom." You have to keep looking and moving forward into better circumstances. Into the Promised Land.

My Response:

Yes, I think not looking back also means stop reading and paying attention to black male bloggers and commentators who are just looking to draw black women back in by using various tactics such as blame shifting, gas lighting etc. Looking back even to debate with men like these are a waste of precious energy and time. Once they see that bw are not even bothering to comment or pay them any attention at all, they will realize that their tactics have failed.

I have a girlfriend who left a destructive relationship. The DBR male she left would try baiting her into confrontations by making very venomous comments towards her when she would go to drop off or pick up their two children. This negro knew he could not get her to come back, so he kept her emotionally drawn in by initiating negative encounters.

I told her that she was better off cutting off all contact with this male. I learned a while ago that the worse thing you can do to a damaged male is ignore him!

Evia said...

Khadija, these discussions about the non-dating lives of YOUNG, in-their-prime AA women points to an unspeakably shocking situation. Sadly, I have to say that this is why I KNOW that some people should not be allowed to have children--IF they're not willing to fight against anybody and anything and fight forever to make sure their children get at least the average equipment package to have a reasonably fulfilling life. Being equipped to have an average SOCIAL life meets a KEY basic need because human beings are social animals.

I, as a parent, will fight FOREVER to make sure that my children get the basic package, and I married a man who is equally willing to fight and win for his children's sake. I can't guarantee that my children will actually have a fulfilling life, but I'm going to make sure that they get the basic equipment package.

As parents, an important part of the proper socialization of children is to make sure they have "normal" social opportunities and acquire average social skills. I've always eased and gently pushed my children into new social experiences and supported them initially because that's what parents are supposed to do. Children do NOT know what's best for them. They are "children"!!As a mother and father, my husband and I are responsible to make sure our children are safe, eat balanced meals, get a good education, hometraining, moral grounding AND average social skills and social opportunities. I go out of my way to make sure that my children are around other children with whom they can mingle comfortably, children whose values and behavioral expectations are similar. I have refused to allow my children to mingle with the DBR children of others, including my relatives.

Sure, people have called me a snob, but my first responsibility is to my children. When any individual in any society doesn't have average social skills and/average social opportunities, it can easily cause them to stumble throughout life, so a balance in all aspects of a child's life is CRITICAL. Children need to succeed to at least the average point in all of the broad areas of life, for best results.

Much of AA functioning these days severely inhibits AA girls and women from succeeding to even the the below-average level in the romantic-reproductive realm--the most CRITICAL realm. And the craziest part about this is that a huge proportion of AA people are still trying to deify this notion of "black love." LOL!!!

You mentioned that older AAs have failed the younger generation, but I, for one, have been talking what I write online all down through the years, but the typical AA person does NOT listen. AAs tend to be very resistant, stubborn, arrogant, and constantly in attack mode and have accused me of "acting white" even when I was married to a Nigerian man. LOL! I know other AAs who also were attacked by the ignorant (unknowing), arrogant hordes of AAs who are always looking to fight the wrong people. Sometimes, I think that some of those who know better have just had enough!

The responsibility is NOT just on the outspoken ones of us. It is crucial for those silent AAs to support those of us who are speaking out. If outspoken elders like C. Dolores Tuckers and other brave ones like her had been ***SUPPORTED***, just think about how much of this destruction could have been stopped.

Speak up, BW. Fight back against the arrogant, ignorant hordes!!! Always support those who are supporting you!!

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Re. church ladies and indoctrination...an important point: the differences between these fundamentalist type churches (the Catholic church included) and other Protestant churches that are just not into all that.

zoopath said...

@Karen: There's a whole a lotta room between being a complete skank and dating without sex. I originally thought about sex the same way but then I realized that the whole wait until marriage thing only has a happy ending *if* you get married before 30. Especially for black women, I remember looking at the statistics and I thought "Why would God want black women not to even enjoy their sexuality in addition to not getting married?". That seems an especially unfair deal to me given that I have yet to see God come down from heaven and hand out good men. Everyone has their own set of rules for personal behavior, for me, sex was for exclusive relationships of at least 3 months and it served me pretty well. I'm 29 and have been married 2 years. Do I have a small amount of regret concerning certain relationships, of course. However, I'd regret having spent my entire 20's celibate and be a 30 y/o virgin like my best-friend (she's not black, BTW). Once you get to 30, it's just kinda sad..it's not really about morality at that point unless you're a nun.

BLKSeaGoat said...

Khadijah,

A young woman was killed by an errant bullet while walking back to Spelman College.

It appears that there are even more reasons for black parents to consuder sending their black daughters to non-HBCUs, but I would even go further.

Parents need to send their daughters to schools where the SURROUNDING areas aren't CRIME HAVENS. She was only 19!

I'm sorry for posting this here.

shermyb said...

Thank you all for this timely post and the great comments I've read so far. I'd like to share my story because I haven't heard anyone talk about this, and maybe this is no one else's experience, but here it goes...

Some background: My mother and father were "married" when they were in their early 20s. My father happened to be really married to someone else so their "marriage" was not legal. My mother wanted to work things out, but my father was too busy womanizing, as far as I know, details are still hazy, as he was not a staple of my upbringing. My mom had drug problems and money problems, so I was put off on other family to take care of me. I was molested in said family members care, and never told anyone until I started having flashbacks in junior high.

My mother made bad decision after bad decision about the men in her life. My father paraded woman after woman in front of me whose status was unclear. Throughout my life, I've met various "step-sisters" and "step-brothers" and one constant "step-mother". My aunts were married to men who turned out to abuse drugs as well and let the family deteriorate, so that I grew up seeing, divorced, single women taking care of everything, except in the case of my mother who TO THIS DAY cannot get it together enough to make better decisions for her life.

While in the care of my mother (When she wasn't to far off on drugs she would take care of me), I was raped by her "boyfriend", a random man she brought around her 13 yr old daughter, who asked ME if I wanted him to marry my mom after just meeting him. I was raped again that same year by a boy I was interested in, who was older than me, and I didn't know how to navigate being alone with him. When my parents found out, my mother said nothing, and my father said he was sorry that happened to me. All this to say that I got the message early on, that the only thing a man valued me for, was my body.

Of course all of these experiences caused me to have issues with men, dating, etc. I've sought therapy, etc. throughout for all of these issues. But there is NO substitute for GUIDANCE! I was never guided by anyone, on how to mine this field with men. I only thought they wanted one thing, and that I was meant to give it to them, by force, or volutarily.

After much pain and hard won experience, I, greatfully, learned a better way. But it did take me several years of celibacy after college, and fits and starts of relationships to really get a feel for what things were all about. Now at 31, almost 32, I feel both behind and ahead. Benind in the sense that I'm only now "getting it" and ahead in the sense that because of all I've seen, I'm much better attuned to how things go wrong, and how to be better prepared for the challenges of marriage.

I really just felt I had to speak for those of us who've had to go through fatherlessness, abuse, and neglect on our road to what it means to be a woman.

Angelyca said...

Khadija, I can't truly demonstrate how much I appreciate and look forward to you essays.

Like a previous poster commented, reading about these issues that all point to how black woman have been robbed of our birthrights, and expected to feel as if it were our fault angers me immensely.

Although I did have the "keep your head in those books" and "keep your legs closed" talks in undergrad (just two years ago, and even in graduate school now!) I am glad I did not take heed of those words to the extreme and kept myself from dating experiences.

I am wondering though, I think my parents were so socially restrictive of me (I couldn't even talk on the phone with boys until I was a senior in HS, and I never got to go out with 'secular' people until my senior prom), was because of their bad choices when they were young.

I think the overcompensation for people with situations like that accounts for a least a small percentage of the people who want to breed 'mature virgins'.

I will not hedge-I have definitely made some (ok, a few, lol) missteps in building up my dating life. However, learning from black women of reason that truly have the best interests of black women young and older at heart has oriented me in the right direction.

Now I can try and save my sisters!

tasha212 said...

Khadijah said:

I would probably have a different reaction to these people if they adequately warned young ladies about ALL the angles to these issues (meaning the angles we've been discussing in the last few blog posts). But they're NOT doing that. Instead, they're hitting women over the head with "keep your leg closed" while simultaneously setting them up to have very few dating---and therefore marriage---options. They haven't even mentioned the possibility/risk that following their advice could lead to dying as a "mature virgin."

And I know a woman in my age group who WENT TO HER GRAVE as a regret-filled "mature virgin"! This is why I'm particularly p#ssed off about the holy talk that is targeted at AA women. The bulk of the men in the church/mosque are NOT following any of that---and nobody really expects them to. Well, what about my deceased acquaintance? She was a youthful college coed/church lady who eventually became a middle aged church lady. She took all those "holy talk" slogans to heart. And look at what it got her. Excuse me, but that's some bull$%#@.

RESPONSE: I have a best friend who is in her mid-twenties and is still a virgin. And I had a conversation with her about her absolute refusal to have emotional or physical intimacy with men. I'm starting to think that she has issues with sex and intimacy that go way beyond her Christian faith. She is a young "church lady" who never misses a Sunday service or a Wednesday night Bible study. I asked her one day what if she never go married, would she be ok with never having sex. She said that it wasn't that important to her. I was flabbergasted. How could you not want to experience sex, at least once in your life? That's an essential human experience. So, I understand the need for women to have sex and intimate relationships.

I am a "mature virgin". At 29, I have never had sexual intercourse. I've come close, but I never went all the way. But that was a choice because as a young woman, I didn't think I could handle the emotional price of giving myself to a man and having the relationship fall apart. And I didn't believe in casual sex. I still don't. But I don't want to die a virgin. I feel that in an effort to protect myself, I may have missed out on one of the essential experiences of college/young adulthood. I thought that my decision to abstain from sexual intercourse would make me stand above and apart from other women who gave it up sometimes for little of nothing. With my 30th b-day quickly approaching, I am determined that the next ten years will be better and richer than the last. But I don't believe in regrets. All you can do is learn from mistakes and move on, wiser than before. As someone who is wiser than I was in my late teens and early 20s, I understand the importance of having and maintaining loving and meaningfull social relationships, both with other females and with men. I spent most of my adolescence and young adulthood with my head stuck in a book. I missed out on so much as a result. Like I said before, my 30s will be different.

Peace and Solidarity,

Tasha

DeStouet said...

Shermyb,

Thank you for sharing with us your story.

One of the things that has been the most helpful to me (I swear to the high heavens) is completely cutting myself off from family members who were not reciprocating what I put out. Now, all of my resources are focused and given to my immediate family members (two daughters, a son and the hubster).
I also have a few close friends who I can depend on and vice- versa.

If your mom can not get her life together AND if she is draining your resources, making you feel guilty or ashamed of how far you have come despite your challenges; I would strongly encourage that you cut her off immediately. And any other family member who have proven to you, that they are not yet on your level.

For "survivors" like us, completely cutting off our damaged family members is always the most difficult -I don't know why, but it is true.

You said" Benind in the sense that I'm only now "getting it" and ahead in the sense that because of all I've seen, I'm much better attuned to how things go wrong, and how to be better prepared for the challenges of marriage."

I'm in the very same boat as you but I am putting in long hours, working double shifts all to "catch" up.

Khadija said...

ForeverLoyal,

Yes, as you said, "We can unlearn unhelpful behaviors" and move forward.
_____________________

Rainebeaux,

You said, "Needless to say, I had no one to look forward to there; dating within was frowned upon, and the Pastor and Co-Pastor would give us the George Carlin side eye if we got hold of a decent man from the outside..."

I'm wondering how these pastors could possibly sincerely believe that this in any way served the legitimate interests of that church's female members. On the one hand, there weren't enough men at that church, and on the other hand, they were pressuring women NOT to date/court decent men from outside that church. THAT'S CRAZY.
_____________________

Lisa99,

You're welcome and THANK YOU for providing some Reader's Money Quotes!
______________________

Felicia,

Thank you for your kind words about the comments; I truly appreciate it.

You said, "Because it describes - in depth - the damaged beyond repair psyche's of a growing majority (not all but majority) of the males that black communities world wide are still trying to steer BW towards."

This is it. Right now, AA women are allowing themselves to be steered toward a numerically-dwindling, and increasingly toxic pool of AA men. Any AA parent who cares about their baby girls' quality of lives needs to steer their daughters toward the global village. The former Black community is imploding. Soon, the only surviving, functional AAs (including the handful of functional AA men) will be OUTSIDE of that construct.
________________________

NuGirl,

You said, "Yes, I think not looking back also means stop reading and paying attention to black male bloggers and commentators who are just looking to draw black women back in by using various tactics such as blame shifting, gas lighting etc. Looking back even to debate with men like these are a waste of precious energy and time."

EXACTLY!
_________________________

Evia,

You said, "The responsibility is NOT just on the outspoken ones of us. It is crucial for those silent AAs to support those of us who are speaking out. If outspoken elders like C. Dolores Tuckers and other brave ones like her had been ***SUPPORTED***, just think about how much of this destruction could have been stopped.

Speak up, BW. Fight back against the arrogant, ignorant hordes!!! Always support those who are supporting you!!"


I agree. AAs tend to use up the handful of us who are willing to take a stand. And we're notorious for NOT supporting the other Black people who actually support us.

Khadija said...

Part 2

PioneerValleyWoman,

You said, "Re. church ladies and indoctrination...an important point: the differences between these fundamentalist type churches (the Catholic church included) and other Protestant churches that are just not into all that."

This is why I'm pushing the practice of critical thinking---thinking for oneself. We have to learn to look at the SUBSTANCE of things and not the labels.

For example, "Orthodox"/Sunni Muslim AAs are strongly against unmarried sex and are strongly FOR marriage. However, the "Orthodox"/Sunni Muslim AA collective contains MANY people who have literally been married 5, 10, 15+ times! Some of us get married and divorced like other people date! And I believe that much of this is motivated by a desire to make the sex legal according to Islamic religious codes.

The situation has gotten to the point that a label has been developed for the Sunni Negro males who marry and discard women in this sort of volume---"joyriders."

As far as I'm concerned, these joyriders and their mostly WILLING female victims are making a mockery of marriage. And of course, many of them don't believe in using birth control. I would prefer that these nuts have unmarried sex while using birth control INSTEAD OF the destruction that they are creating by these revolving door marriages and the children left behind in the wreckage.

Critical thinking---it can save lives.
__________________

BLKSeaGoat,

You said, "A young woman was killed by an errant bullet while walking back to Spelman College."

Lord have mercy. {seething}

You said, "It appears that there are even more reasons for black parents to consuder sending their black daughters to non-HBCUs, but I would even go further.

Parents need to send their daughters to schools where the SURROUNDING areas aren't CRIME HAVENS. She was only 19!"


This is why I'm irritated by individuals like Miss Chanequa Campbell, formerly of Harvard University. Since our various all-AA hovels are imploding, we're going to need to seek refuge elsewhere. Including seeking refuge as college students at PWIs.

Well, when enough individuals (as was alleged about Miss Campbell) bring the VIOLENT, GHETTO "element" to these non-Black safe harbors, eventually they won't want to let us in.

Folks need to wake up and STOP looking at these HBCUs through a haze of nostalgia.

Khadija said...

Part 3

Shermyb,

I praise God that you made it through all of that.
___________________________

Angelyca,

Thank you for your kind words about the posts; I truly appreciate it.

What concerns me about the ultra-religious-ultra-strict parents is that their children are usually the ones LEAST prepared to safely navigate the world away from their parents.

Those were the kids who went BUCK WILD the moment they got away from their parents. Those were the ones who were the most frantic to do high-risk social behaviors.

I also noted that the strict church/mosque girls were generally the ones who were most easily deceived by slick-talking young men. And this was because they didn't have any previous experience of hearing and rejecting little boys' lies when in high school. The ultra-sterile social conditions that their parents created left many of them extremely naive and extra vulnerable to being manipulated by male predators.
____________________

Tasha,

As you know, you don't have to explain your decisions about your life to anybody. I want you (along with everybody else) to be free to do whatever works best for YOU and YOUR values (as long as it's not destructive toward other people).

Let me be clear: I'm NOT "promoting" pre-marital sex OR celibacy. Everybody has to figure out what works best for them. And this is as it should be.

What I AM promoting is critical thinking and making informed choices FREE from coercion. I believe that too many AA women are making "choices" in ALL areas of their lives that are ill-informed and the result of coercion. This lack of information about ALL of the angles involved in these issues, and the lack of freedom of choice is what I object to. Not anything else.


It's been my observation that for some people celibacy and roles that require celibacy (the Catholic priesthood, etc.) can be a FREELY & JOYOUSLY CHOSEN postion.

It's been my observation that for some other people, celibacy and roles that require celibacy (the Catholic priesthood, etc.) can be a PRETEXT and A PLACE TO HIDE from dealing with their issues (such as sexual orientation in terms of the priesthood, and issues regarding emotional intimacy with some ultra-religious women).

What I'm looking at is the information (or lack of such) going into various choices, and the amount of coercion involved in the choices.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

mutemia said...

I would like to say thank you for conversation. I don't have much to contribute now because I am still digesting this post. But thank you again for bringing these issues to the forefront.

Karen said...

@zoopath,

I think your comment was meant for "Karen r"

@All Commenters,

I thank you personally for the courage to share your stories and insights.

@Khadija,

Thank you so much for bringing these issues out in the open. My hope is that these discussions enable even those that are "silent" to reflect on their lives and if they recognize the symptoms of "gaslighting", etc. they will be able to take from these discussions, ways and approaches to change their lives for the better.

Evia said...

One of the things that has been the most helpful to me (I swear to the high heavens) is completely cutting myself off from family members who were not reciprocating what I put out.

I had run across a book some years ago written by an AA woman called, "How to Survive Despite Your Family."

I think that title says it all.

It's heart-wrenching and virtually goes against everything we're taught to separate from family members--especially mothers, sisters, brothers, etc. BUT the AA situation is unlike virtually anything in recorded history. Way too many AAs have simply been ***damaged beyond repair.*** I'm not bashing anyone when I say this. This is just so obvious.

There are plenty of damaged people in all groups, but black residential areas force way too many damaged blacks to be concentrated in very close proximity to each other and this is a recipe for compounded levels of damage to those who are least equipped to defend and protect themselves: women and children.

Anytime there are more than a certain level of damaged people in close proximity to each other, they WILL continue to damage each other and it doesn't matter whether they're close family members or what ethnic group or race. We know the whys, whens, and hows, but none of that changes what IS.

Even very young AA women with common sense simply can and must be determined to ONLY socialize in and marry into healthier populations of others who share their values. And I'm sure I don't need to list all of the various fringe benefits to be gained from mingling ONLY with people who consider reciprocity to be a normal aspect of human interaction.

Khadija said...

Mutemia,

You're welcome!
___________________

Karen,

You're welcome!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

zoopath said...

@Karen: You're right, forgot the R, sorry about that.

Southland Diva said...

I can see now, how trying to prove to a man you don't need his money, can make him feel devalued. A lot of women don't realize this, thinking instead the show of independence will indicate she wants him as a person, not him as a resource. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt and the baseball cap.

You can't change the past, but you can learn the lesson and move on.

Peace

Khadija said...

SouthlandDiva,

You said, "I can see now, how trying to prove to a man you don't need his money, can make him feel devalued. A lot of women don't realize this, thinking instead the show of independence will indicate she wants him as a person, not him as a resource."

I think that in addition to lack of actual dating experience, this particular blunder (of reaching for the bill) is also the result of lack of exposure to NORMAL men.

NORMAL men (and NORMAL teenage boys who have been properly raised by their fathers) WANT to be protectors and providers for "their" women/girls.

When a REAL man (or NORMAL teenage boy) invites a woman/girl out on a REAL date, it gives him an opportunity to demonstrate (if even on a small level) his skill as a prospective provider/protector. REAL men and NORMAL teenage boys welcome the opportunity to show off their provider/protector skills!

So, keeping the above in mind, when a woman reaches for the bill while she's out on a date with a REAL man or NORMAL, PROPERLY RAISED teenage boy, it translates to him as:

(1) Calling into question his ability to provide/protect even on the trivial level of providing for the date. You're basically saying that he can't even handle something as trivial as an evening out. This is insulting.

(2) Showing him that you might be off on some extreme kick of "I REFUSE to let you do s*^% for me, including something as small as handle the expenses for this date that you invited me to."

This sort of behavior is extremely unattractive and uninviting. REAL men and NORMAL teenage boys want normal women/girls that respond like normal women/girls to their provide/protect demonstrations; they DON'T want co-males/she-males.

(3) The woman who reaches for the bill has also deprived him of his opportunity to show off his provider/protector skills. That's a large part of the pleasure of dating for REAL men and NORMAL teenage boys.

Even if he ultimately pays the bill, the whole joy of providing has been tainted by having to "wrestle" the bill away from the woman/girl.

All of the above is NO GOOD.


Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

Also, Khadija, let me add that SOME bw have told me that they're willing to pay the bill so that the man won't EXPECT them to GIVE him sex. Some bw say that when a a typical bm does pay for dinner, he thinks that it's a quid pro quo thing. His paying for dinner "ENTITLES" him to sex, and things can nasty when she refuses to have sex.

SOME men will hound you to go out with them and they will INSIST on paying and the whole nine, but will also refuse to take "no" re the sex thing. I'm sure that many women my age can relate to the all-too-familiar wrestling match at the end of the evening. LOL!

Or sadly, in some cases, women were raped in those situations. Then, there are other women who will "give" the man "sympathy sex" simply because he's a "nice" guy or was "nice" enough to pay the check.

Darren and I went to a holiday dinner affair a several years ago at an acquaintance's house and there were 3 AA men there discussing this issue. The only difference is that they talked about "buying drinks" for women at clubs and such. They said some women will let them pay for a whole bunch of drinks and then at the end of the evening will simply say "thanks" and "goodbye" and leave. All 3 of these men expressed ANGER about that.

After hearing them talk about it like that, I sat there thinking to myself that I would NEVER, EVER allow a man to buy me a drink. LOL! Why would these guys think that just because they buy me a few drinks, that they are ***entitled*** to my most prized possession--my body. If, on the other hand, the woman refuses to let them buy the drink, they then think the woman thinks they can't pay, is rejecting them, is a lesbian, or is some kind of card-carrying--get ready for the F-word------FEMINIST. LOL!

So, women are really in a tight spot out there. Personally, I'm always subtle, BUT I believe in getting it straight from the beginning so that the man knows what's going to happen and what's not going to happen, so that if he doesn't like it, we can go our separate ways before things get nasty--before he pays for anything. Let's face it, if he just wants sex, the woman must let him know that she's not the one (if she doesn't want 'just sex' too). If he want's a relationship, then a MAN is indeed willing to court and try to win the woman but realizes that there are no guarantees in life.

Another aspect of this, and this is just the way I think and is the way I operated when I was single, is that a woman should NOT allow a man to continue to Pay, and Pay, and Pay IF she knows that she's not really interested in him. That's dishonest. In my book, she is USING that man if she does that. I don't like male or female USERS!

Even if she does like him--after he's picked up the check a couple of times, she should find a way to reciprocate, (NOT sex) like--on their next date--find a place that offers FREE food (for ex. a club that offers free wings with a beer) or FREE entertainment (concerts,etc.), invite him to a party, etc.

Another key aspect of this and is a major reason for the anger so many men have towards women is that a LOT of men don't know how to pick the "right" woman, but they blame women for this. They will trample certain pleasant-mannered, nicely-dressed women to get to that "hot" woman who looks like the video vixen. I've seen that happen many times. Two of my bm relatives married women who had "hot" looks and they're both now divorced and still have a whole bunch of anger and problems from those marriages. It wasn't the women's fault. The women were what they were and never pretended to be anything other than what they were. They looked good to these guys, but the women had no substance.

What I'm saying is that the way a person looks has NOTHING to do with their "substance."

However, these male relatives would not listen, so they learned the hard way. One of them is now with a plain looking woman, and is happy with her. LOL!

Khadija said...

Evia,

You said, "Also, Khadija, let me add that SOME bw have told me that they're willing to pay the bill so that the man won't EXPECT them to GIVE him sex. Some bw say that when a a typical bm does pay for dinner, he thinks that it's a quid pro quo thing. His paying for dinner "ENTITLES" him to sex, and things can nasty when she refuses to have sex.

SOME men will hound you to go out with them and they will INSIST on paying and the whole nine, but will also refuse to take "no" re the sex thing. I'm sure that many women my age can relate to the all-too-familiar wrestling match at the end of the evening. LOL!"

So, women are really in a tight spot out there. Personally, I'm always subtle, BUT I believe in getting it straight from the beginning so that the man knows what's going to happen and what's not going to happen, so that if he doesn't like it, we can go our separate ways before things get nasty--before he pays for anything. Let's face it, if he just wants sex, the woman must let him know that she's not the one (if she doesn't want 'just sex' too)."
(emphasis added)

Women (who are not willing to "put out") need to make that clear UP FRONT (in as graceful a way as possible). At which point, the "You are obligated to put out because I bought you a Big Mac" scum can eliminate themselves.

Praise God, that I've never been attacked by a date (or anybody else), but very early on I recognized the wisdom of a woman silently keeping some mace handy in her pocket while out on dates.

You said, "The only difference is that they talked about "buying drinks" for women at clubs and such. They said some women will let them pay for a whole bunch of drinks and then at the end of the evening will simply say "thanks" and "goodbye" and leave. All 3 of these men expressed ANGER about that.

After hearing them talk about it like that, I sat there thinking to myself that I would NEVER, EVER allow a man to buy me a drink. LOL! Why would these guys think that just because they buy me a few drinks, that they are ***entitled*** to my most prized possession--my body. If, on the other hand, the woman refuses to let them buy the drink, they then think the woman thinks they can't pay, is rejecting them, is a lesbian, or is some kind of card-carrying--get ready for the F-word------FEMINIST. LOL!"


There's always been something about that whole "Let me buy you a drink" dynamic that I didn't like. I've never stopped to analyze it, like we're doing now.

On those very rare occassions that I let some strange guy buy me a drink, I never let them buy me alcoholic drinks. When that has occurred, I changed the equation by letting them buy me ONE NON-ALCOHOLIC drink ("virgin" drink and/or soda pop). Which triggered them asking me whether or not I'm "religious" or something, which triggered my opportunity to let them know in a subtle way that I'm NOT the one for casual sex.

You said, "a woman should NOT allow a man to continue to Pay, and Pay, and Pay IF she knows that she's not really interested in him. That's dishonest. In my book, she is USING that man if she does that. I don't like male or female USERS!"

That sort of behavior is just WRONG! I don't like users either.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Hmmm...Okay, now that I've actively thought about it:

The underlying reason why I've always disliked the whole "Let me buy you a drink" dynamic is because it has echoes of "Let me get you drunk/high so I can take advantage of your freshly-impaired judgment and new, extra vulnerability."

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Rebecca said...

Hi Khadija,

I had to come out of lurker-dom for this one. LOL.

I'm in my final year of college, and have only recently opened myself up to dating. I'm currently going to a major film school in LA and spent my junior year interning/networking in various places in the business. My work has paid off, and I am looking forward to the day I can email you links to films with my name on them that portray black women in a positive light.

This is all to set up the fact that I now find myself around very wealthy, very high-powered men of various ages. I can think of about 6 or 7 instances in the last year where I have been in the company of such a man, and been highly uncomfortable when he paid for things (in both romantic + non-romantic situations.)

Now if you were to stop me on the street and ask me if I wanted to be married I would certainly say "yes." And if you asked me to name some qualities in a man I would desire, I would most certainly say I want a man that is financially stable with strong chivalrous character. And yet, I have been uncomfortable being "taken care of" even when it was just as simple as a meal!

Now that I am trying to date more, I've been trying to unpack my discomfort. Like so many other BW, I come from a single parent home and grew up watching my mother take care of the entire household.

Jubilance asked: "Why do other women feel these types of things are perfectly acceptable to demand in their dating relationships, but BW do not?"

It's because we've been taught either by word or action not to...that being cared for is a scar against black womanhood, when nothing could be further from the truth.

This is a plain fact that should be completely obvious, but I want to thank you for publicly addressing it.

~Rebecca

PS: Your college posts are spot on. I know a number of drop-dead gorgeous (and I'm not exaggerating) BW who literally just don't date. I recall a black student union meeting about a year ago where the topic was IR dating. One of my girlfriends who had a white boyfriend at the time was almost in tears because of the things that were said about "loyalty" and other nonsense. Another friend and I tried to defend her (and ourselves by extension), but we kept getting shouted down by this one girl who kept saying she wanted to have "pure black babies" with a black man.

Lord strike me down if I'm lying, I kid you not, that's what she said. Curiously enough, in a room of about 100-150 black students, my friend with the non-black boyfriend was one of about 3 girls in the room who was actually in a long term relationship. Strange, huh?

Khadija said...

Hello there, Rebecca!

You're welcome!

You said, "I had to come out of lurker-dom for this one. LOL."

I'm happy that you de-lurked. *Smile*

You said, "I'm in my final year of college, and have only recently opened myself up to dating. I'm currently going to a major film school in LA and spent my junior year interning/networking in various places in the business. My work has paid off, and I am looking forward to the day I can email you links to films with my name on them that portray black women in a positive light."

I'm looking forward to that day as well.

You said, "This is all to set up the fact that I now find myself around very wealthy, very high-powered men of various ages."

I hope you realize that you're in a VERY good position: You've got your "youth" card in play AND you're naturally surrounded by men who can bring significant resources to the table (financially and career-wise).

You said, "I can think of about 6 or 7 instances in the last year where I have been in the company of such a man, and been highly uncomfortable when he paid for things (in both romantic + non-romantic situations.)"

As you already know, this is something that needs to be worked on if you're serious about MARRYING WELL.

You said, "Now if you were to stop me on the street and ask me if I wanted to be married I would certainly say "yes." And if you asked me to name some qualities in a man I would desire, I would most certainly say I want a man that is financially stable with strong chivalrous character. And yet, I have been uncomfortable being "taken care of" even when it was just as simple as a meal!

Now that I am trying to date more, I've been trying to unpack my discomfort."


It's good that you're working on this.

About the madness you described from the Black Student Union meeting: I'm coming to the conclusion that young AA women need to STAY OUT of such meetings. And only meet with groups of LIKE-MINDED young BW who are determined to LIVE AND MARRY WELL.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

lisa99 said...

Rebecca, thanks for your comments!

I can relate to your feeling of discomfort. Although I don't experience this now, I simply had trouble for a while with the idea of financially stable men taking me out on dates to nice establishments, insisting that I order whatever I wanted and then quickly whipping out the credit card or cash to pay the bill. The bill never even sat on the table very long before they were reaching to grab it.

This didn't happen to me in the college setting, but I first experienced this during my internships at corporations when I began to be asked out on dates.

Now I work in a career that requires a lot of travel, and I encounter many financially stable men who show an attraction to me and ask me out. These men do not hesitate to take me to nice places, pay the bill and then give me a pleasant goodbye at the end of the night without "expecting" anything.

Once you become accustomed to such treatment, you never look back! I certainly do not! :) Although my mom and dad were married, my mom probably handled a little more than she should have financially and I had to fight off the idea that I needed to "prove" to a man that I could take care of myself. Pshaw!

Another thing in your post that makes me shake my head... I graduated from college 10 years ago, and my freshman year was 14 years ago. My black student union had the same tired discussions about interracial dating back then, and I'm sure that the ladies who are older than me remember similar "forums" in the 1980s and earlier.

I'm just wondering how much talking are black women going to continue to do on this... how many decades do we need to keep having black student union "forums" about IR dating?

(And things keep getting worse for black women in the meantime...)

Aisha said...

Wow. Reading through these comments, I see so much of myself here. To sum it up, I will say that I was taught to act in a manner that prevents low-quality guys from approaching me. But I was never really taught how to encourage the high-quality ones.

I too have had issues with guys paying for me, even on a simple date. I reasoned that I didn't want he or I to feel like I owed him anything. That's the same reason I won't let anyone buy me a drink the rare times I go to clubs/bars. Some men won't leave you alone for the rest of the night after that!

But there is a difference between some slimy stranger trying to weasel his way closer to you, and a genuinely nice guy who wants to show he appreciates your company.


Funnily enough, once I get to know a man and his intentions, I don't have a problem with him paying for things. It's just that in the beginning, it makes me very uncomfortable.

I feel like I am always on guard with men. Some unpleasant characters ruin what should be a very natural interaction. I'm tired of suppressing my femininity because some jerks out there don't know how to act. I want to be more open, but I am afraid. It's like there is a fine balance between screening out creeps and shutting out ALL men.

Khadija said...

Ladies,

Please continue to talk among yourselves. I like it when readers dialogue with other commenters.

Spread the word:

Any AA woman who wants to LIVE and MARRY WELL must STOP socializing in all-Black circles!

There are plenty of male creeps to be found anywhere, HOWEVER...the baseline of what is considered normal male behavior is generally MUCH, MUCH higher among other races/ethnic groups.

[I suspect that much of this is because other races/ethnicities don't have the OVERWHELMING PREPONDERANCE of fatherless males that AAs have.]

Ladies, position yourself to be treated WELL!


Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Ifetayo said...

Aisha,

I can relate to a lot of what you said. I am on the path away from wearing my "don't mess with me" face all the time when leaving the house. Rather than maintaining a cold demeanor, I am slowly adjusting it depending on the environment and the people I come across.

Some things that help: 1. living/working/playing in safe environments, 2. attending events with security, 3. attending events with friends who care about your safety.

In short, it's a move from being wary to being aware.

On a note more directly related to this post, I have begun dating a man who is RESPECTFUL. It is such a change of pace, like the difference between night and day. The difference is so stark that I cried thinking of all the times I tried to put up with disrespectful behavior and rationalized red flags. It feels so liberating to break free of these destructive mindsets.

Another thing I have noticed is that the more mentally liberated you become, the easier it gets to identify DBR thinking and behavior.

Sharifa said...

I just wanted to add somethings related to the church piece. I've observed the phenomena that after a certain age, bm are not 'required' to attend church. It seems to happen around age 16-19. Often the father, if he's even around, might not be a church goer, either. I guess the mother get's sick of nagging/forcing the bm to go. As a result, that's fewer bm in the church to date/marry, and quite honesty, fewer bm who really hold to the faith or live their lives according to the faith in general. My mother would've had a fit if I decided at 16 (or even now) that I wasn't going to church. There's something there about a bw's 'place' and the license that is given to bm in the collective.

femmeautonome said...

I regret being so late to this discussion (especially now that the blog is closed - I don't know if you will still respond to comments).

I really needed to read this post. I kept it up for a few days and just made time.

I am out of my first long-term relationship and have been pondering how I got to where I am. I have hardly any dating experience. Like Lormarie, I've come to realize some of this was fear.

I, too, was raised in a Christian home (evangelical) and was not allowed to date in hs. Dating in college was not encouraged. I could have, I supposed, but something always held me back.

Now I am in my late 20s and have no idea what to do and am afraid I will meet quality men and ruin it because of my lack of experience.

@rainebeaux,
you wrote "Ladies, it's never too late to make changes. Recognizing that you were robbed is the first step. Better to recognize this earlier than later... there's still time to craft the lives you want!"

So true.

Khadija said...

Femmeautonome,

As Rainebeaux said, it's never too late to make changes.

No, I'm not going to continue holding discussions here; I just haven't bothered to close the comments sections to the posts. However, I will still respond to emails.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.