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“Black men can’t keep their sausage in one factory,” lamented one of my female associates during a conversation we had about relationships. To be more specific, we had been discussing the possible factors in why black men and women seem to be drifting further and further apart in the dating world.

“I know too many women, including myself, who have been cheated on or talked down to by their partners. In most cases, these women are black and so are the men they’re involved with. I can’t speak for all black women, but for those I know, we have simply gotten tired of clinging to the fantasy of building something real with a ‘good’ black man. I’m not saying they don’t exist—they do, but there are very few of them, and thousands of us competing for scraps. It’s a big waste of time.”

My associate, who asked to be kept anonymous, also mentioned that women of color have come a along way from the days of old when they were expected, mainly by church folk, to follow the leadership of their husbands or significant others.

“We (black women) don’t have to rely on men for financial or even emotional support,” she explained. “I blame the church for convincing women in the past to be homemakers and slaves to their husbands. That era is over. My job pays me more than most men I encounter. That’s probably the case for many black women. We’re also making progress in education and politics. We have finally reached full independence as a gender. Why would we jeopardize that for the sake of companionship? I guess that by not having a man, the main sacrifice would be long periods without sex. But that’s what toys are for, and like I said, we live in a different day, women are exploring their sexuality more and having sex with more than just one person. Women used to be stigmatized for hopping in bed with multiple partners, but lately we have been controlling the narrative. We decide the outcome of our sexuality.”

She continued, “Black men aren’t deserving of a submissive woman. They have collectively failed to provide leadership and security to the black race. I have confronted my pastor about this topic. We aren’t living in the prehistoric era. In this day and age, how does any male clergy have the nerve to exhort women to be submissive to men? Especially black women—we have single-handedly carried the weight of our community on our backs. The males should be following us.”

*The internet is bloated with various reports and studies regarding the increasingly high rate of divorce among African American couples. Some experts contend that inflated statistics are responsible for the notion that black marriages are failing. In contrast, there are numerous sources of content that highlight the pending demise of black romance. 

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When my associate and I finally parted ways, I took a minute to ponder our discussion. On my drive home I dissected her words, trying to pull out every ounce of substance I could gather. I eventually reached a disheartening conclusion: if even a fraction of black women have the same outlook as my associate, there’s a legitimate possibility that African American couples as a whole will ultimately experience failure or disappointment. I brought this scenario to one of my male compatriots during an impromptu jaunt to one of our favorite hangouts—a strip club (don’t judge me). He conceded that black men have a reputation for stepping outside their relationships for sexual enjoyment, but “in our (men) defense” he explained, “it’s nearly impossible to get along with sisters these days.”

“Don’t get me wrong, there’s not an ounce of my being that dislikes black women. However, in my experiences with sisters, I have been part of more train-wrecks than happy endings. To me, it’s cultural. Our (men) need for dominance is no different, or more intense, than Hispanic men. On top of that, black and Hispanic men are predominately Christian. We’re taught that men are designed by God to lead, and that women are designed to follow—this philosophy is drummed in our heads from birth. Even if I didn’t come up in the church, I wouldn’t allow my manhood to be compromised by today’s reconfiguration of traditional gender roles. I believe women have a specific purpose and place in society—it’s not behind us, but it’s certainly not ahead of us either.”

He continued, “I work for a company that’s owned by a woman and the employees are predominately female. If I were truly a misogynist, I wouldn’t be able to work under these conditions. Still, on a daily basis it seems, I’m confronted by a headstrong coworker who feels as if she has something to prove to her male peers. I can’t speak for other men, but I’m not adverse to women being in positions of power or authority. The problem is that in many cases, they get carried away with the power their given. It’s a classic case of the Napoleon complex—women on every part of the globe feel as though they have been belittled and marginalized. So how do they respond? Quite often, it’s by trying to flip the power dynamic—they assert themselves, often aggressively, to create the illusion of dominance, when in reality, they appear weak and insecure.”

As my buddy whipped a folded stack of dollar bills out of his pocket, I asked what his thoughts were about the failing condition of black romance.

“Someone has to take a back seat and let the other lead,” he explained. “If the partnership is fifty-fifty, then who will make the final decisions if and when the two parties involved can’t agree on a particular issue? On a biological level, black women are no different than any other race of women. They are naturally programmed to be nurturers for their children and their spouses. That requires a certain amount of submissiveness. Unfortunately, there are aspects of the black experience that have hardened black women to the idea of being submissive. On a social level, many of them have, for decades, been forced to survive without the support of consistent male counterpart. In my opinion, instead of waiting for the ‘right one’ to come along, they are hedging their bets and relying on themselves. After years of self-survival, I understand why it would be difficult for any woman to relinquish control. It’s partially our (black men) fault, but that doesn’t mean we have to stick around for the drama.”

In my opinion, feminism is the single greatest threat to the preservation and longevity of black relationships. The concept of feminism was originally developed to spread self-awareness and self-worth among the world’s female populace. I could be wrong, but it seems black women in large numbers have added their own spin to feminism, using it as a weapon to further emasculate the already subjugated populace of black men in America. If this doesn’t change, it will eventually lead to the permanent extinction of black love.

Readers, what do you think?

cory haywood
Cory A. Haywood

The Black Hat is written by  Southern California based  Cory A. Haywood, a freelance writer and expert on Negro foolishness. Contact him via: [email protected] and/or visit his blog: corythewriter.blogspot.com