What’s going on, everybody?
Today, I wanted to post my reaction to an article that I came across after browsing the UPA forums. I posted my reaction to it there, and it was quite a detailed one, so I thought, “Hey, might as well put in on the blog as well.” The article is called “Why Women and Children Don’t Listen to Positive Black Men,” and you can find it here. It’s not too long of a read, and I’ll do my best (and fail) to ensure that my response isn’t that lengthy either.
Before I begin, let me launch a disclaimer: I’m hesitant to use the term “positive Black man,” because it implies that other Black men are negative, when in truth, I don’t think that many of us embrace negativity; most us are just men trying to make it in life. Plus, positive and negative are somewhat loose terms; what’s positive or negative to one person isn’t necessarily the same thing to another. I understand the writer’s intent though, and I think that as you all read my response, you’ll understand what we mean when we use those terms.
Also I have to give the author praise, because the title alone makes me want to read it. I’ve wondered why positive Black men aren’t valued in our community to the extent they are in others, but few people wrote anything on this subject. Naturally, when I found someone who did (particularly a woman), I gasped in incredulous jubilance. I read her article, and it really made me think, and I hope you read her article, along with my response, and consider the points that both of us make.
Now, here we go!
I’m going to start with the points in the article I agree with:
1. Yes, women desire Alpha males, and yes, most of the Alpha males in our community aren’t the productive ones.
I think it’s common knowledge to pretty much everyone involved that women desire alpha males, though I can’t seem to find a specific definition of the term, and apparently, I’m not the only one who can’t explain exactly what an alpha male is. I was able to find a list containing 25 traits possessed by alpha male, however, and it’s totally understandable why a woman would want partner with a man who had some or all those traits.
(Sometimes, it’s to their own detriment, though; I’d argue that the trend in society now is for women to chase the few alpha males in society, and leave any lesser men with nothing. I once heard that women would rather an alpha male’s whore than a beta male’s wife.)
Also, most of the alpha males in the Black community aren’t positive men, that is true. Instead of the junior Malcolm Xs, Marcus Garveys, Lupe Fiascos, Maurice Ashleys, and Cameron Clarkes, our alpha males consist of the Shawty Los, Lil’ Waynes, Chief Keefs, Donte Stallworths, Desmond Hatchetts or even the Pookies and Ray-Rays of the ghetto. Most of these men aren’t known for promoting or embracing positivity, yet many of them probably have a wider assortment of suitors than then men in the previous group. I’m sure most of you would agree with this assertion.
2. Positive men (Beta males, as the author would say) are incapable of telling Black women who they should gravitate towards romantically.
(To be truthful, I don’t think any Black man can tell a Black woman to do anything, unless he wants to get sworn at and have a finger wagged in his face.) The author is somewhat correct here; as men, we could tell women who they should romantically invest in, but we can’t force them to be attracted to something they aren’t. I could spend all day telling a woman that she should like Brothas that are expy of Steve Urkel, but she can’t fight who she really wants deep down.
I don’t think this is a mark of being incapable of being the stronger gender, as the author claims, I think it’s really more about doing what’s best for the community at large. Some men who tell women whom they should give their bodies and eggs to are really looking out for that woman’s and the community’s best interest. Personally, I’m not going to waste much time telling women who they should mate with, for reasons you’ll see later on.
3. The negative men in our community shouldn’t have in the Alpha male position in the Black community.
Agreed. This doesn’t need any further explanation.
4. Women who deal with the negative men in our community begin to take on those men’s qualities.
I have heard that women take on the ideologies of the men they deal with. One of the reasons why I don’t pay much attention to women who say that their ex-boyfriend, previous husband, baby daddy, casual sex partner, and so on “ain’t s*** is because many of them aren’t as good as they say they are if they gave themselves to him, and they take on his characteristics after dealing with him. Even an article from Psychology Today says:
“In efforts to gain the affections of an attractive potential dating partner, people are willing to take on the possible partner’s negative traits themselves. … Such a finding should not be taken lightly: altering a person’s identity is no small feat. Like Sandy who went from being a good girl to a rebel, people may be willing to make important changes to their images in efforts to win over their love interests, even when those changes are unflattering.”
You can read this blog post to see a little more on this subject.
5. Some Black women feel safer in the arms of criminals than with productive citizens.
To quote the author herself:
“In an ironic twist that is based on illusion many Black women feel safer around negative Black men because they seem stronger because they are not passive to crime like many positive Black men, but instead they seem to control it. This is temporary and their negativity leads no where, but the activeness of negative Black men create the illusion of strength.”
However, there were a few points that I’ll address:
1. The writer stated a possible solution: don’t support a negative man’s music, appearance on shows, endorsements, style of dress, way of talking, their mentalities, and how they behave.
While it’s good in theory, this to me isn’t very effective. It’s tough to quantitatively analyze how many positive vs. negative Black men we have, but I think it’d be pretty safe to assume that most of us actually fall in the middle, then the negative men are slightly more plentiful than the positive, at least in lower-income areas. I’d argue that there are more positive Black men in upper-class areas.
Even still, one small demographic of men choosing not to support something will not cause it collapse. Enough of the negative Black men and women will still fund it, as will the men behind the curtain. So us not putting our dollars and energy into won’t matter too much, the negativity will still obtain more than enough energy to function.
2. She states that positive Black men need to step up and distinguish themselves from the negative men.
(This isn’t really a point I disagreed with per se, but one that I thought I’d mention.) I would like to point out that such a phrase seems reminiscent of one the Code Yellow Anti-Male Shaming Tactics, found here: http://exposingfeminism.wordpress.com/shaming-tactics/ (Now, I’m not too crazy about MRAs, but they put out good info from time to time.)
Anyway, to quote the description following Code Yellow shaming tactics: “It is important to remember that there is a difference between bravery and stupidity. The only risks that reasonable people dare to take are calculated risks. One weighs the likely costs and benefits of said risks. As it is, some men are finding out that many women fail a cost-benefit analysis.”
Most of the women who deal with these sort of men aren’t worth the risk, in my opinion. Even if we, the “positive” Black men, were to establish dominance—which would be about as easy as playing chess with just a king and a bishop versus an opponent who has all their pieces—who’s to say that the women who have taken on the ideologies of these still won’t want them anyway? Especially when we live in a culture in which women get rewarded for making bad decisions (Welfare, food stamps, WIC, Child support, etc.).
One of the men who read the article brought up a good point when he addressed something the author wrote:
“First, you cannot, cannot, cannot tell Black women what to do and have them listen”.
That’s the problem right there in a nutshell. What one woman won’t do…another will. She doesn’t want to get told what to do or listen? Many BM are like, “fine…it’s other women out there (White, African, Asian, Latino or whatever) that will”. BM are finding this out by the boatloads.
It’s better for BM to be alone then to deal with someone that wants to backtalk you on every trivial thing and doesn’t want to listen to reason or logic. Especially when he’s expected to listen to HER reason and logic. No two way street in a relationship just complicates life when life is complicated enough. And many BM are finding this out by the boatloads.
From what I understand … you want positive Black Beta males to fight negative Black Alpha males for the betterment of the BC and take it back from them. However, it doesn’t work like that as betas don’t have it in them to fight in the first place.
I don’t feel much of an incentive to fight against the negative Black men, or play chess with just my king and bishop, especially when it’s unlikely that I’ll be successful, and I don’t get a great reward for doing so. I’d rather get an American Black woman of a decent upbringing (father in the home, small town from the South), a foreign Black woman, or at the very least, an Asian, Hispanic, Indian, or Multiracial woman. (I’m not checking for white women seriously, to be honest; a white woman would have to exceptional for me to consider her—no disrespect to white female readers, of course. Then again, I don’t think any white woman is going to lose sleep over not being a Black man’s primary option.)
3. The writer also made it seem as though (Black) women are led by their vaginas and incapable of critical thinking.
While it is true that we can’t control who we’re attracted to, we can control who we invest in.
Case in point: I’m sure you could find several of those urban models/video vixens that I’d be attracted to. However, I wouldn’t pursue a relationship or even initiate sex with one of those women. Why? Because most of them are or have been strippers/escorts, probably have or have had an STD, are probably single mothers, have hoodrat tendencies, or at the very least have been promiscuous.
I might be attracted to their large breasts, small waists, wide hips, and large butts, but I know better than to get with a woman like that. I’m sure with my nerdy/geeky self, those women would cheat on me or do something like that. No game expert can give me enough game to maintain a relationship with a woman like that, nor should they; I have no business being with a woman who’s seriously invested in such a lifestyle.
The only time I would get with a woman who did any modeling of that sort would be if she:
- Didn’t do it for long
- Wasn’t known for sleeping with rappers, athletes, photographers, magazine editors, website owners, etc.
- Never slid down a pole or escorted (let’s be honest, that’s what many of those women do)
- Didn’t have any children
And even then, she’d still lose out if I found that attractive, kind, chaste Sista of a stable family background.
I’m sure most women know that the negative men are bad news ahead of time, but they get with them anyway. I may not have the mind of woman, but one would assume that Black women are capable of engaging in critical thinking to some degree—I would argue that if they date outside of their race, they are able to recognize positivity.
Many of the women who date these negative Black men know precisely what they’re doing, and that’s why it’s tough to agree with the idea that the Black men should “step up,” especially since it’s a high-risk, low-reward situation.
Of course, I do care about the Black community, and I do want us to do better, but honestly, it’s only so much I, or any “positive” Black man can do. If the negative Black men and women who love them feel happy with each other, there isn’t much I can do to stop them. We live in a culture that glorifies negativity and we exist in a society where men and their seeds are nothing more than a means to an end—just a way for a woman to live comfortably.
What incentive does she have to change if no matter who she gives her body to, whether it’s the Cameron Clarke, Chief Keefs, or the ever-elusive in-between Brotha, when all three options result in the same thing for her? Also, why would the men change, when they’re the ones being sexually rewarded by the women and respected by the young/impressionable men?
Positive Black men choosing not to support them doesn’t do much, since the elite place them there and fund them, the women love them, and the young impressionable men want to emulate them. How can we oppose these forces?
… But that’s just me. What do you guys think? Do you think positive Black men should go against the odds and establish dominance? Or should we leave the negative men and their lovers/admires alone?
Leave a comment. I’m interested to hear what you all think.