Tuesday, April 22, 2008

STANDARDS

I had an interesting experience at lunch with a number of co-workers, almost all black women, the other day that encouraged me to think about “standards,” and how we decide what is important to us in a potential mate.

As many of you know, I work for a large law firm, that pays its attorneys fairly well in exchange for a pretty grueling work schedule. As a result, I often find that my peers have developed an appreciation for the “finer things” in life that I don’t entirely share; I try not to judge it, because I am sure there are things I spend my money on that they could find fault with, but some of their choices are just not for me. Our conversation at lunch generally revolved around work, popular culture, etc., and then some ladies started discussing automobiles. There was a general agreement that the Lexus SUV was the vehicle of choice—the BMW just didn’t feel “luxurious” inside, the Range Rover isn’t dependable, the Mercedes looks like a minivan, and the Porsche Cayenne doesn’t even come with Bluetooth standard! Only I, and a first year who received a Lexus coupe as a graduation present for graduating from law school, didn’t own one of these automobiles—and believe me, I felt quite out of place with my little Chrysler!

From cars, the talk segued to weekend jaunts to Paris and St. Barths and finally, to men. One former co-worker, who had acknowledged on a previous occasion to being “bougie,” described a suitor who drove a white Mercedes convertible, and due to successful real estate investments, had retired from paid employment in his 30s. Another woman pointed out that you can’t judge a man’s wealth by his vehicle, and the first sister assured us that she makes no such judgments, but a man certainly can’t expect her to pick him up in her Lexus SUV or date her when he isn’t “pushing” something equally plush!

I joined in the laughter, but I wondered—what our are REAL standards? I know that many of these sisters were probably perfectly sincere—they could never date a man who did not have a certain level of education, a certain level of income, a certain level of wealth, a certain type of car, etc. I also know from prior conversations, that most of them wouldn’t even consider dating a non-black man. In NYC, or anywhere else in the U.S., this certainly makes their situation rather . . . challenging. The competition for men who meet this kind of criteria is fierce: not only do these sisters have to face off against other lawyers, doctors, investment bankers, engineers, and other professionals, but against models, actresses, and women who’s entire lives are invested in their looks. And, again, the pink elephant at the table is that many of the men that such sisters see as compatible don’t necessarily limit themselves to black women, or have any interest in black women at all. Unsurprisingly, I was one of only a few women at the table who was married, and ironically, my completely unpretentious, non-luxury automobile driving husband probably comes closer to the “baller” ideal being touted simply by virtue of family background and career trajectory than the husbands of the other women there who were also married.

Halima and Evia have blogged repeatedly about the need to help sisters “get free” by sharing with them as much information as possible about their options and their ability not to limit themselves needlessly. I agree wholeheartedly when the issue is simply one of not allowing the social expectations of others to dictate your individual choices; and yet, I am hesitant to directly address the choices and criteria of many of the women I know. After all, these women are in essence “ballers” of sorts themselves—they aren’t seeking anything from a man that they don’t themselves possess in terms of social status, education, income, professional achievement, etc. Just because I eschew flash, why should they? If they find flash attractive, can they ever feel real passion for a man who lives more simply but has more (in my opinion) substance? If you drive a Lexus, is it really so wrong to want your man too as well?

On the other hand, almost all of these sisters want to meet a life-partner and marry, but have yet to find him. In a city like NYC in particular, even the most forgiving standards do not place the odds in favor of a single woman. If a different approach could help, would it be better for them to take such an approach? Please note that I ask the above with full knowledge that I am speaking of a very tiny percentage of the single black woman population—that for most black women the problem is perhaps not needing “different” standards, but needing some standard other than race alone. However, I would like to hear what the women and men out there think about the role of “standards,” in finding a mate, and whether they make any difference at all?

111 comments:

Taylor-Sara said...

Aimee, just my 2 cents. I think it is extremely shallow to be so concerned with what a man drives. Are they trying to marry a car or a man? Also, I think it is ridiculous in this day and age to eliminate all but black men! My God, it does not take a rocket scientist (or people as smart as your friends) to know that bm who meet that criteria, usually have completely eliminated bw from his list of prospects! Why would anyone be actively looking for someone who is not looking for her? I don't get it....That's just baffling to me....

Pamela said...

There is another side to focusing on the material. There is the status as stated in this blog entry. I would love to ignore the so-called material trappings when dealing with men. Unfortunately the men I have been around that may not own their own house or have a so-called career for the most part stop talking with women like me that owns her own house, car, etc. I do not say that the man must have these things before I will give him the time of day. However I have found it a whole lot easier to continue conversing with men that do. If I find a man that is confident and may not have all the material trappings I will talk with him. I guess the bottom line is finding someone that I have things in common with.

The sad thing to me is that people actually feel they are better people because they own things. This was a rude awakening for me. I thought dating was all about getting to know someone and hopefully find a person that wants to marry. All this other stuff has made it very complicated. Even if the fellow has material things as mentioned it does not guarantee that they will want you. It is very hard when you own more than ten cents and can count past 10. In some cases you may feel forced to look at what the man has in order to determine if you may have a chance with him or not.

I have definitely broadened my horizons. Pretty much the only men I talk with on a fairly regular basis in this season of life are wm or hm.

Anonymous said...

I have thought about this alot. everyone has some impossible standard they expect the opposite sex to live up to. Like Aimee, I am not flashy. I am not a lawyer but I make a decent living, own my own home, support a child who goes to private school, etc. Even when I try to be open about material things other issues come up, "Is he goo looking enough?" especially whe considering white men. This is a huge sticking point for me as I don't want to be compared to black men who will date anything that is white regardless of how low bred or unattractive. Maybe it's human nature to demand that people be our equal but this attitude will leave many of us alone and lonely. I think the real issue is that when we value people in these ways, it shows our own lack of substance.

Taylor-Sara said...

Aimee, let me rephrase. I do understand wanting a man 'on your level' I mean no woman works hard to go down. And I can certainly understand any woman wanting a financially solvent man, who owns his home, has a few bucks in the bank etc. But to make it a deal breaker that he does not drive a SPECIFIC TYPE OF CAR! That's just too shallow for words, and I almost pity those women. Life is just too short to worry about such ridiculous status driven, shallow, superficial values such as these. Some people are indeed lost.....If God has blessed you to be in financially benificial place in your life, you should be saying, "Dear lord, thank you for my blessing." Not, 'don't look my way, because you are not good enough!" Because whether you are Donald Trump or the bum under the bridge, you can NEVER take it with you. And to think you are more because you have more is the ultimate travesty. As I have always told my child. You are not better than anyone. -but you are always just as good....

Aimee said...

Taylor-Sara said...

Aimee, just my 2 cents. I think it is extremely shallow to be so concerned with what a man drives. Are they trying to marry a car or a man? Also, I think it is ridiculous in this day and age to eliminate all but black men! My God, it does not take a rocket scientist (or people as smart as your friends) to know that bm who meet that criteria, usually have completely eliminated bw from his list of prospects! Why would anyone be actively looking for someone who is not looking for her? I don't get it....That's just baffling to me....

Hi t-s!

I think what this is about is that small percentage of black people who view themselves as part of an "elite" (cue Lawrence Graham). The grew up in Jack and Jill; their parents were in the Boule and the Links; their great-grandfather was the first black dentist in ___________. Very often, the women in particular were raised to believe that their veritable whiteness made them trophies, not only to the BM of their own class but to all BM who achieved a certain level of success. These were people who were raised to fulfill an image, and that image involved a certain level of wealth and achivement, complete with the right accoutrements, including a certain sort of spouse.

Suddenly, the women find themselves in competition with women who the men of their class and other "successful" BM would never have previously have had legal access to, or felt comfortable bringing home to their parents--and they are competing with such women based on criteria that had always previously favored them vis-a-vis other BW (lightness of skin, straightness of hair, narrowness of features, etc.) However, when competing with WW, AW, and HW, they don't necessarily come out ahead based on these benchmarks.

Some of them I think are a little confused. They were raised with certain expectations; many of the men they expected to marry were scooped up by their prettiest/whitest peers in undergrad at Harvard or Yale, or by actual WW, and now they're pushing 30, and they're parents are wondering what's going on. A lot of them are dating "appropriate" candidates who just won't commit to them, and seem content to juggle a never-ending multiracial harem.

I am not part of this class; my grandparents were part of the Great Migration, and basically worked themselves up from sharecropping farms in Mississippi to the Midwestern working class, then sent their children to college and graduate school with nothing more than faith, will, and a fierce work ethic, and belief in the power of education. This means I didn't have many of my current peers' advantages; but it also means that I don't have a lot of their baggage.

On the other hand, I really want to avoid putting these sisters down. Most of them are very charitable and spend a lot of time volunteering and mentoring, and they're all genuinely bright and hardworking. I just get the sense sometimes that they've been sold a bill of goods, and I don't know if, for all their advantages, they can recognize where the path they are on is leading them. It ain't 1950 anymore.

Aimee said...

Pamela said...

There is another side to focusing on the material. There is the status as stated in this blog entry. I would love to ignore the so-called material trappings when dealing with men. Unfortunately the men I have been around that may not own their own house or have a so-called career for the most part stop talking with women like me that owns her own house, car, etc. I do not say that the man must have these things before I will give him the time of day. However I have found it a whole lot easier to continue conversing with men that do. If I find a man that is confident and may not have all the material trappings I will talk with him. I guess the bottom line is finding someone that I have things in common with.

Hey Pamela!

I definitely have heard this from many women--that it is not merely a matter of what your standards are, but how confident and secure a man is with a woman who may have "more," than him, and even more importantly, compatability. The reality is that people with more and common have more in common. That isn't snobbishness, that's just a fact. It certainly isn't about cars--but it may be about education or profession or background. It doesn't mean that you "look down" on people who are different, only that you don't have as much to say to one another. There's nothing to apologize for in that, in my opinion.

Clarice said...

"Sometimes you struggle so hard to feed your family one way, you forget to feed them the other way, with spiritual nourishment. Everybody needs that." - James Brown

Excellent post, especially as per recent news that BW are making strides than ever and earning more than BM, which is opening up greater options and choices. This discussion is more like a form over substance issue. Consider this - if substantial wealth, material affluence i.e. having a fine form are things the individual wants - that's fine. FOlks want what they want - be honest - the caution is to have a balance is the sustance i.e. material wealth, status and comfort overshadowing the substance of the character. Just like old money tends to be understated and discrete - that can happen with a good work ethic morals and values and character or skeletons that would make a serial killer blush - same is true for less affluent folks. Material wealth, status and substantial blessings in and of themselves are neither good nor bad they just are - the determining factor is the person or the character of the person. It's very easy on the success track and just in daily life to get caught up working hard to maintain the well paid job - and enjoy some of the perks it affords to have the spiritual substance i.e. the intangibles get lost in the shuffle. What it comes down to at the end of the day in those quiet moments in time,no matter what your standards are, is do you like, respect, value and love the person you are with and most importantly - do you like who you become when you are with them? Are you honoring, valuing, loving, respecting and living your truth even in the relationship with them? Never forget how it makes you feel - We may forget what happens or what was said and done but rarely do we forget what we feel. Have standards, maintain those standards - but retain your truth through it all!

V/r

Clarice

Miss Issues said...

Interesting post, Aimee. This works both ways. From my point of view there is nothing wrong with aspiring for material things and there's nothing wrong with having a mate that wants those things, too. This can be said even in friendships. That's why golddiggers usually in up with rich shallow men. Both want the same thing, but go after different methods to get it.
Frankly, it will be hard for any woman drives a luxury car and lives in an upscale neighborhood to date a man who drive a GM and lives in the hood.
People have to things in common, be it ambitions or beliefs. Frankly, love doesn't conquer all.
I dated a man who thought it was silly for me to carry expensive purses and wear expensive shoes. He couldn't fathom why I didn't want to live in a big house in the suburbs. It ended. He was nice guy, but I didn't need any one criticizing me for my choices.
Same with female friends. I tried to be friends with the bw who, but she kept calling me materialistic and shallow. I wanted call her cheap and boring, but I don't like stomping that low. Just like the guy, she's a nice person but we have nothing in common.
It's more than a car, it's a person outlook on life.

Anonymous said...

Aimee,
It so strange that you were even hanging out with such people. You seem way too deep for that.
In general (not always), I find that the women who care most about the material thing are the very women who came from "nothing", meaning they are first generation success stories. It's very sad.
I've had lots of "things" my entire life and none of it means anything if you can't find love. I feel sorry for your friends.

Aimee said...

Anonymous said...

Aimee,
It so strange that you were even hanging out with such people. You seem way too deep for that.
In general (not always), I find that the women who care most about the material thing are the very women who came from "nothing", meaning they are first generation success stories. It's very sad.
I've had lots of "things" my entire life and none of it means anything if you can't find love. I feel sorry for your friends.


Well, I don't want to unfairly misrepresent these ladies--as I noted, these are all women with very good, substantive qualities as well as characteristics that may not seem to appealing.

Additionally, on a practical level, they are co-workers, so spending time with them and developing relationships with them is important for my career; they aren't necessarily the people I would meet or interact with in my life outside of my professional life. I can't simply shun them and expect to still maintain viable working relationships and networks with them.

Above all, I really do try to maintain interactions with a variety of people, even people who have some characteristics I don't entirely care for, if they have some qualities I do find admirable. I think it's important, at least on a limited basis, in order to inform the clarity of my own thinking and values. Also, I don't want to make it seem like ALL the BW I work with think this way; some were laughing about their Corollas and simple lives.

I guess it just struck me that so many seemed to share the same sense of expectation about the way life should work. I have previously encountered this mentality in college and law school, so it wasn't entirely new to me, but back then I just assumed that maybe it would "work" for them; it wasn't my world, so maybe that was just the way it worked in their's, and as an outsider, I just didn't get it. At this point, I see some worry setting in for some of them, and that makes me wonder if it IS working in their world.

Halima said...

Some of them I think are a little confused. They were raised with certain expectations; many of the men they expected to marry were scooped up by their prettiest/whitest peers in undergrad at Harvard or Yale, or by actual WW, and now they're pushing 30, and they're parents are wondering what's going on. A lot of them are dating "appropriate" candidates who just won't commit to them, and seem content to juggle a never-ending multiracial harem.

This i agree with, many bw are labouring under a misapprehension, a lightbulb hasnt yet gone off in their head of how the world really is (i dont know why some bw refuse to just open their eyes and simply observe, it's not rocket science).

its all very sad and i think the BC actually encourages this delussion for political gain. i think many bw are in a sense living in a 'matrix, not seeing the world as it really is.

I think that you could do a work of mercy here to ease them into reality! put a drill to this 'noting but a bm' attitude and see what it is made of, whether it is of substance or just a front/confusion. i am sure many of them will be deep down scared at this point!

GoldenAh said...

Do non-black men ever ask these women out? I hope for their sakes they start taking a chance and say yes.

There are men in NYC who ride the subway and don't appear wealthy at all. A number of them like to bike around the city also. Then again some are eccentric with a capital E.

I love cars - for myself - worrying about what a man drives doesn't say a whole lot. Sam Walton (Wal-Mart) drove an old station wagon.

I guess they'll wake up one day.

Taylor-Sara said...

yes, and some men who drive beautiful new cars have all of their money invested in 'appearances' ie, cars, homes, and other various expensive items they can ill afford! Many American men will deplete their accts readily in order to 'look wealthy' with no substance to the look.... Most millionaires are NOT flashy!

JaliliMaster said...

From the culture I come from (Nigerian), I CANNOT marry a guy who didn't go to college, and it was a decent degree (I value intelligence ALOT) unless he had some stroke of luck and has a successful business. That's just the way things work over there. But to judge a man based on the precise car he drives? That's a new one!

Anonymous said...

Quoting James Brown. Lovely (Sarcasm). Why not qoute his White wife too?

knockoutchick said...

Aimee, Aimee, Aimee...aren't these women crazy? :-)

The writing is on the wall...in NEON colors.

I know some of these women, slightly older late 30s + and desperation has set in...yet they cling to a notion of the "ideal black man".

When you attend events for young black professionals they are packed with women. Contemporary Friends or socials at Martha's Vineyard and so on. It is sad. I mean it is wonderful that young black women are achieving educational and financial success in record numbers, yet our male conterparts are not. It's deep.

And you are so spot on about the fair haired, light skinned black girls who grew up being the belles of the ball who now find themselves replaced by the truly "fairest"...a Nordic blonde.

The competition is fierce. And WW are not having a picnic either these days. It's just that if all else fails, if worst comes to worst, if you are knocked up, alone and out in the cold you can always marry a successful BM (ref. Heidi Klum) :-)

Black families no longer bristle at a white wife...as a matter of fact they tend to say a lot more about a white husband.

I know women who do hold some of the material standards you described, but I mean HELLO! Over 50% of BM in NYC are unemployed. It will be hard enough for them to simply find a black guy who is working. Just like you and me, they see the few BM peers they studied with, showing up at functions now with WW in tow.

What can I say Aimee, some of our black sisters are just stuck in a time and place that no longer exists. As I have said before...the Asian girls now what time it is.

I would rather be rolled in hot tar, than spend another evening with a room full of attractive degreed, multi-lingual, waxed, plucked, perfumed, manicured, circuit trained, designer -laden black women and the 5 BM that are rotating between that 100.

I am not as educated as these women and I am thoroughly impressed. BW are making strides of epic proportions.

These women are high achievers and they are really seeking someone who has achieved MORE. The dream when I was a little girl was to meet a man, taller, smarter and richer than you. Now how does that work when you are VP at 29 and a black woman?

Pamela said...

I do not remember a time where I said 'only a bm' unless maybe the men of other races at the time were not physically attractive to me. I just don't remember thinking that I would not be with men of other races. I went out with wm from time to time since college days. I have not really been around many men of other races.

I hope that somehow these ladies will have the light bulb come on. I'm a bit more pragmatic than romantic in my approach to relationships. I check out the odds. Who are the available quality men and where are they? If they are quality men and I find them physically attractive I will go for them. I have not met a fellow yet that I connected with BUT at least I meet them from time to time. At my age that is a blessing:)

gatamala said...

Wow.

I came from a comfortable background, but wasn't so pressed about the car thing. Sure, I'll have a Beemer...someday...but a car is not an asset and depreciates when you drive it off the lot so that's no indicator of wealth to me (lease anyone). I like toys, but everything in perspective.


I get what you're saying KOC & aimee. Being that I'm not light-skinned, I wasn't the epitome of what those types of bm wanted. I learned what's what really quickly.

Depending on what your friends REALLY want and NEED out of life, you just might have to lay it out for them.

Sometimes I think a certain phenotype of black woman will have the hardest time as they are so used to being the prize. However, they now have to compete with ____ women too.


I would rather be rolled in hot tar, than spend another evening with a room full of attractive degreed, multi-lingual, waxed, plucked, perfumed, manicured, circuit trained, designer -laden black women and the 5 BM that are rotating between that 100


add some feathers to that too!

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Knockoutchick:

These women are high achievers and they are really seeking someone who has achieved MORE. The dream when I was a little girl was to meet a man, taller, smarter and richer than you. Now how does that work when you are VP at 29 and a black woman?

My reply:

I really don't know, and I wish I did. The ideal is to find "Mr. Big," but lots of women want him and there aren't enough like Mr. Big out there.

There was a saying once I heard of, that women of today have now become the men their mothers once wanted them to marry, emblazened on a t-shirt friends of mine in grad school had--"Be the lawyer your mother always wanted you to marry, XYZ law school..."

So many women are already "Ms. Big."

Perhaps it is about redefining what is needed.

If a woman has that much, yes, a man who has more would be even better. But if both couples are driven, will someone have to compromise in order to get things to work?

I'm thinking here of all the woman who were Ms. Big who then married Mr. Big. Once they married and had kids, they decided to stay at home. They no longer wanted to be Ms. Big.

However, if a woman wants to remain Ms. Big, marrying a man who is not as accomplished might work, provided he is not troubled by being married to an Alpha wife...

knockoutchick said...

Yes the question is...are gender roles completely reversing among the modern black middle class?

Now black women will say, "OK fine, I don't need you to buy me a house, I'll buy my own!" And we see black female home ownership sky rocketing in the past few years. But when you have a nice home, car and material things of your own, Can you be happy with a man who is living in a cardboard box or the like? Apparently, it is quite difficult.

All women I know ....all races, seem to have a desire to have a comfortable beautiful home. Sadly, the same can not be said for the men I know either white or black. Women seem to have greater attachments to these things. I know successful white men who live is apartments I would kindly describe as NASTY. And the only thing standing between them and the health department violation is one word, MAID.

I know guys who do have car fetishes but many men I know, grown and educated though they may be...have considered what car would attract the most women in their decision about what car to buy.

Men and women are very different creatures, Lord knows.

And I think men don't like to be challenged so if they feel they can't live up to certain standards...they just let those women pass by after all the numbers are in their favor.

I know men white and black who are very intimidated by successful women. I recently over heard this conversation in reference to dating a ballsy, successful, young white female colleague.

"I'm scared of her, man, she's a dude."

As far as BW having standards. I am all for someone seeking to date and marry a peer. If you own a house, car and have material wealth, you are damn sure you can seek the same. I think the harsh reality for BW is that our peers do not exist in the same numbers.

Aimee said...

Halima said...

I think that you could do a work of mercy here to ease them into reality! put a drill to this 'noting but a bm' attitude and see what it is made of, whether it is of substance or just a front/confusion.

I do see a little bit of the fear your talking about underneath the bravado, just because these women are achivers, and are not used to not reaching their goals. I think probably most of us can relate, because almost all the sisters here fit within this paradigm to some extent: smart, hard-working, positive, used to going after what we want and making things happen in our lives; it's the main reason we won't settle for poor treatment or disrespect from any kind of man.

So when you start questioning any of these sisters' goals, they tend to get suspicious, and sometimes knee-jerk dismissive--they've had to develop that kind of confidence in their own visions in order to get where they want to be. But as you note, to what extent is this their vision, and to what extent are they chasing something they've been programmed to chase, something that may not even be satisfying if they get it? Personally, in my mother and aunts' generation, I know more than a handful of older sisters who got that "brass-ring" of the "successful" black man to top off their "successful" bourgeoise lives, and I knew that behind the glossy facades, they were living a nightmare. It was their experiences that in part motivated me not to restrict myself in the same ways in seeking a mate. I mean, not to pat ourselves on the backs too much (LOL!) but it still takes a certain amount of courage to say "I'm not following these rules. I don't care what other people think." I think we know that the rewards FAR outweigh the disapproval of strangers; but some people are, in their heart of hearts, still trapped in that fear.

Aimee said...

knockoutchick said...

I know some of these women, slightly older late 30s + and desperation has set in...yet they cling to a notion of the "ideal black man".

When you attend events for young black professionals they are packed with women. Contemporary Friends or socials at Martha's Vineyard and so on. It is sad. I mean it is wonderful that young black women are achieving educational and financial success in record numbers, yet our male conterparts are not. It's deep.

. . . I would rather be rolled in hot tar, than spend another evening with a room full of attractive degreed, multi-lingual, waxed, plucked, perfumed, manicured, circuit trained, designer -laden black women and the 5 BM that are rotating between that 100.


Sigh. How many times have I seen this? At this point, even when we have our "affinity group" meetings at work, I barely notice that the sisters outnumber the brothers about 4-1; it's not even remarkable any more, which is depressing in and of itself.

Not to get off track, but I am truly perplexed as to why brothers aren't stepping up more and addressing this--the increasing absence of BM starting in the high schools and continuing through college, graduate/professional school and into professional life is truly reaching crisis proportions. Instead, they're still all heated about BW being fat and having "bad attitudes." The lack of priorities and the energy wasted on projecting blame instead of taking action is stunning.

But you're right--these sisters need to get their priorities together too, instead of trying to be the black Carrie Bradshaw, all trying to chase the same black Mr. Big, who would happily dump them all for the white Carrie Bradshaw. All I'm saying is they need to figure out what really matters to them, because I find it impossible to believe that it's a Bentley coupe and reservations at Nobu.

Pamela said...

Yes I made those hard choices long ago. I determined that I would live a good life if I had to live it alone. I was not going to ask for misery just so I could prove to others that 'I could get a man'. I purposely said 'a man' instead of 'get a bm' because many in the lie called the bc will accuse of not liking MEN if you do not like the BM around you. I was so in your face with my comebacks to that garbage that they stopped talking that trash to me. Thank God I'm not around people like that these days. I have not been for many years. I have not met that person that I connect with YET. However I have no musery because of a wrong choice made under some silly pressure from people that do not have lives of their own. I have a wonderful life that hopefully will be enhanced by a quality man of any hue.

Clarice said...

"Anonymous said... April 24, 2008 2:23 AM - Quoting James Brown. Lovely (Sarcasm). Why not qoute his White wife too?"

The quote by James Brown seems incongruous at first blush however it is quite fitting. Consider this - He did exactly as stated - provided for his family while he was alive from a material stand point all the trappings of a lavish life. However upon his death failed to provide for the long term security of his family and children. From the published accounts he treated his wife and child quite poorly. The quote seems - an appropriate cautionary tale not to go for what glitters without knowing the substance contained within. Substance trumps form in the final analysis.

The other take away from that quote is that it is possible to learn from everyone and use the lessons learned even from those that do not provide the best example. We can as Maya Angelou and Oprah says "do better when we know better" even learning lessons from less than sterling sources. Living well i.e. "honoring our truth - valuing, respecting and enjoying our inherent value and worth" by leveraging the lessons to be learned even from those persons that exemplify what not to do seems to be a sweeter revenge.


V/r

Clarice

gatamala said...

Not to get off track, but I am truly perplexed as to why brothers aren't stepping up more and addressing this--the increasing absence of BM starting in the high schools and continuing through college, graduate/professional school and into professional life is truly reaching crisis proportions. Instead, they're still all heated about BW being fat and having "bad attitudes." The lack of priorities and the energy wasted on projecting blame instead of taking action is stunning.

I don't understand when the blame will be taken off women and placed on themselves. I have heard men say we are educating females at the expense of males (lord)!

But you're right--these sisters need to get their priorities together too, instead of trying to be the black Carrie Bradshaw, all trying to chase the same black Mr. Big, who would happily dump them all for the white Carrie Bradshaw. All I'm saying is they need to figure out what really matters to them, because I find it impossible to believe that it's a Bentley coupe and reservations at Nobu.

I co-sign 100% on this.

What is really important. What do you NEED in life.

knockoutchick said...

I too am wondering why no one in the black community has addressed this. Why oh why?

As these are the daughters of the movers and shakers of our community.

When the super achieving fair haired daughters of the
ni**erati can't find BM mates...certainly the ship is
sinking!

knockoutchick said...

Hey PVW,

We as modern women have a very difficult road to navigate.

I mean the modern ideal..of being a degreed, super thin beauty who also who runs a Fortune 500 company while raising 10 kids ...is insane.

The highly educated WW who give it all to be super Mom once they meet Mr. Right clearly have much more choices. And for most the GOAL seemed to be family life all along.

I would want to suggest BW set priorities, yet on the other hand BW are in such a different financial situation. There often is no one around to help financially, so in a sense they have to keep focused on the job, and the material things become distractions.

knockoutchick said...

"Not to get off track, but I am truly perplexed as to why brothers aren't stepping up more and addressing this--the increasing absence of BM starting in the high schools and continuing through college, graduate/professional school and into professional life is truly reaching crisis proportions."

This is a national tragedy of epic proportions and no one talks about it.

All I am hearing about is how we need to bring in foriegn labor. How we need to increase HB 1 visas for high tech employees...yet HELLO in our own country, BM are jailed or idle.

Miss Pinky said...

"When the super achieving fair haired daughters of the
ni**erati can't find BM mates...certainly the ship is
sinking!"

___________________________________

You have SUCH a way with words..lol.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Knockoutchick:

The highly educated WW who give it all to be super Mom once they meet Mr. Right clearly have much more choices. And for most the GOAL seemed to be family life all along.

My reply:

In many instances, it just seems to be a given. I can make some comparisons.

I have had numerous students over the years, young white women and a few young black women in the mix whom I have gotten to know as mentors.

More of the young white women seem to be in very serious relationships in college. Granted, not all, but enough that I notice that in conversations with them or comments I hear them make in class.

It is as though it is a given that they are going to be in serious-type relationships in college and graduate school. For example, a young cousin in law school said that during the course of her law school career, white women were getting engaged right and left. The student newspaper used to publicize the announcements. Those who did not get engaged in law school got married within 3 or so years afterwards.

As for the young women I see in my classes, either they know how to get it from the men, or the men expect that is a logical progression in dating.

Ms. Waiting to Exhale (the author who wrote the book--I forget her name--was writing about this 20+ years ago in Essence magazine!) White women in college dated, but black women were more likely to just be "with someone," with no expectation of the long-term.

The young white women students talk about their career dreams and how they plan to negotiate those with their partners. One of them had been dating a police officer (about 10 years her senior) since her sophomore year of college. This young woman was so incredibly together.

She used to commute to see him on the weekends. She got exceptional grades, and wrote a thesis in the midst of working for a lawyer as a paralegal part time in her home town.

She got into law school, was planning a wedding and persuaded her father not to spend money on a lavish one, because she and the fiancee wanted the money to buy an apartment.

She was just barely 22 years old, yet anyone would think she was years older in the way she had things so together.

As for the young black women, also quite together, a few of them, with the good grades and all, incredibly motivated.

I only knew of one's dating situation. She was perennially trying to find a black man to date, and she was in graduate school, in her late 20s. Her experience might very well be typical.

When high achieving young white women find it relatively easy to find decent enough men to commit to them in long-term relationships, it is so much more difficult for the young black women.

Pamela said...

As a 'older' single I can testify to that. Percentage-wise a higher percentage of ww were in long-term relationships or married by the time they got out of college. Some bw were in long-term relationships or married but many of us were not so lucky. It is sad that it appears that has not changed in 2008. My issue was not that I limited myself to bm. In fact I went out with a wm for a while during the last two years of college. I unfortunately spent that time with someone that ended up not marrying at all. I'm not sure why. We reconnected a few months ago after not having any contact for 25 years. I see that it was good that we did not get together. Nothing bad about him. He is still the fun person I remember but we did not have enough in common for a long-term relationship. I knew that limiting myself to bm was not going to be feasible to me. I found many wm cute along with bm. It has not been easy for bw that really want to marry. This is why it is so important for bw to check out all quality men, especially while they are young. It is even harder for someone my age to find them. Most of them are either married or are scrubs. Standards dealing with quality are imperative. Narrow standards needlessly limit your options.

Clarice said...

As for the young women I see in my classes, either "they know how to get it from the men, or the men expect

that is a logical progression in dating."

"they know how to get it from the men, or the men expect that is a logical progression in dating." This

statement is key! For the women seeking a LTR i.e. marriage - they set the expectation from the start.

These women let the men know what is expected of them early in the game. Especially with "career with

marriage minded" women they take the tactic that either he agrees to the rules or finds another game. These

women establish their goals - career and marriage and the standards for achieving each and apply them as

they navigate through life. They refuse to accept it has to be one or the other and go for both without

limiting themselves. Without knowing what the other students were doing we can only presume based on their

actions and the info provided "likely to just be "with someone," with no expectation of the long-term"

that the black female students though they were achievers and goal oriented - it was a single focus goal.

Limit the expectations and limit the outcome - if you don't think you can you won't - because you won't

even allocate efforts and resources to achieve it. More women need to include as part of their standards

the standard of limiting or eliminating the self imposed limitations and work with all options open!

V/r

Clarice

Anonymous said...

Bw not having mates is an issue not many "saw" 20 years ago (or longer). Its a multi tiered situation as to why bw/bm are not marrying (overall) like they did up til the mid-60s. This is really where it started (earlier in some cases).

Somehow, some bm got the message that it was cool to be "bad". That school was not the place to be. Bw on the other hand (certainly more than bm) listened to the mantra, "You get an education. You have to be able to take care of yourself." Many of us got degrees. Even some bw who had oow situations took care of business. Even got training for better paying work, etc.

All in all we are so used to holding it down for everyone else...we forget about us. When I looked up after holding it down for years, I realized I was 30ish. It was an eye opener for me how long I focused on career and everything else but me.

To bw pretty much everywhere (older $, no $, middle class $), if not wed by early 30s...it seems bleak. Taking up with non deserving men at times just to "be in a relationship" (which smart bw celeb did this and is now ending it?).

Even to some who hope for irrs find that the non-bm seem to opt for younger bw. Our strategies must be thought out. To go to the places where quality will be. To participate in events/activities as opposed to just being spectators. (Self included)

Sometimes the mature aged people in the bc do not understand just how different it is now to date/marry. It is not for the weak to be sure. I just might have to go to Europe (j/k. sort of).

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Clarice:


that the black female students though they were achievers and goal oriented - it was a single focus goal.

My reply:

Or if it was not a single focus goal, it happened by default.

If there are not many black men around, black women tend to do the career thing to the exclusion of everything else, because they have no choice. No prince charming showing up, or Prince Charming has 5 maidens vying for his hand...Or they can't imagine Prince Charming might not be black...

But those in relationships, as you remind us, have to be up front with establishing standards and not be afraid to do so. Too many are afraid perhaps to go there, because the guys can be straightforward. If a woman has standards she becomes "high maintenance," and they will step in a minute if a woman makes demands.

And this is not limited to black women only. Why else have so many white women magazines focused so much on relationships? Why was S"ex and the City" so popular, of that book "He's Just Not Into You?"

All too often though, those demands might not even be outlandish, but for spoiled boys, the demanding basics (fidelity, an interest in marriage) might as well be demanding the sun and the moon.

On the other hand, others might not feel ready for the long term, so they "wait and see," or they reject men who seem too serious (ie., wanting marriage at say age 25) or they don't connect with the right men and they hang around too long, or they don't exercise their options to date widely, as Anon. 10:44 remind us.

The young cousin who was in law school fit into this category in several ways, it seems. When she was younger, I remember her telling me about young men (black as well as white) whom she knew, who were, in my view, feeling her out for her interest in the long term.

That is where they were, and that is what they were looking for, but she didn't feel ready (at 24). So she wound up dating the wrong kind of guy(s) who were not serious, and things didn't work out, with the break up following.

So now she is in her late 20s (just turned 29) and wants marriage. She is a young lawyer, living in NY, which is its own challenge, as Aimee has reminded us, but I don't think she is really exercising all her options.

I give her credit that she has kept up with friends from college and law school who are part of her social network, and she attends a black church, but nothing is happening, and so she can do more--attend the alumni events where she might be less likely to run into the regular crowd, or put herself in the right places in other ways, other types of social events, as an example.

Speaking on the phone to her recently, she said a black man she met said she was too "bourgie" for him, she needed to date white guys. I pounced on that and said, why don't you consider it as an option? Pure silence...

The more options a woman exercises, the better will be her chances, than merely limiting herself.

knockoutchick said...

Well..you ladies have posted some great observations.

Of course it is easier to see things from the outside. I think these women are just stunned and can't accept what is going on around them. They want to BELIEVE that there is a black prince charming even though all indications tell them that it will not happen for them.

Particularly those few who have had fathers and uncles support them. But this is not our fathers generation...or for the BC, the last time we saw real solid men and families would be our grand fathers generation.

knockoutchick said...

PVW,

Of course if we did have anything that resembled a true community. Your educated young cousin would find a similarly educated partner, they would marry have children and become solid members of the middle class, the bedrock of any community.

In this way, your cousin's will, drive and determination would be shared with a younger generation. Yet in the BC the most educated of women have few children as most don't marry.

You know the story.

Anonymous said...

PVM,

You know what you said about "Ms. Big" hit a note with me.

I have made comments before about successful WW dating these 50 cent type black guys.

There are all these single women out there...as some of the WW I see have just decided. "Hey! I make enough money I don't want to deal with a type A white guy, so I'll get a guy I think is sexy and fun."

So I see WW in their late 30s who have just given up on the WM ideal. I know of a couple with illiterate, ex-con black BFs. Because having a certain level of education and position in life they are used to being in control. They can retain that control by being with this type of black guy. Apparently there is nothing hipper for some WW, than a big, buff, dimwitted black guy.

Now on the flip.....successful BW would cringe at the notion of taking care of a trifling white man...and Lord knows there are plenty of them looking for dates. :-)

So for BW the choices are really quite narrow.

You know if any of the BW Aimee posts about...showed up to Brunch with a big, tattoed white guy with a Brooklyn accent and poor clothing choices...their friends would fall out!

Get a white "artist", clean him up, get him out of debt...then sit around and listen to him drone on about social injustice, and the Republican party all day, IF he's good and sexy. :-)

I'm just saying though.......

That's what I see the white girls doing.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Knockoutchick:

PVW,

Of course if we did have anything that resembled a true community. Your educated young cousin would find a similarly educated partner, they would marry have children and become solid members of the middle class, the bedrock of any community.

In this way, your cousin's will, drive and determination would be shared with a younger generation.

My reply:

And if well-educated, well-spoken, non-ebonics spouting, classy, "no drama here" young black women in certain quarters were not seen as "phony, fake, bougie-acting," they would be snapped up like crazy.

But outside of those quarters in the community, non-bm don't see them like that, but instead see them as the decent kind of young women they can date and bring home to mom with pride.

Unfortunately, the ones she thought at 22/23/24 were too serious, black as well as white, got snapped up a long time ago.

As Evia once said, we have to train our daughters to think in terms of marriage at younger ages, now, because black women who wait until later years can miss out. But are all 22-25 year olds mature enough for it?

I have heard white women say the same thing. At younger years, there were guys who were interested in marriage, but they didn't think they were ready to make such a big step. When they were ready, though, there were less guys around.


Anon. 9:59:

Now on the flip.....successful BW would cringe at the notion of taking care of a trifling white man...and Lord knows there are plenty of them looking for dates. :-)

So for BW the choices are really quite narrow.

You know if any of the BW Aimee posts about...showed up to Brunch with a big, tattoed white guy with a Brooklyn accent and poor clothing choices...their friends would fall out!

Get a white "artist", clean him up, get him out of debt...then sit around and listen to him drone on about social injustice, and the Republican party all day, IF he's good and sexy. :-)

I'm just saying though.......

That's what I see the white girls doing.

My reply:

Or you find a presentable white guy, who might not be very accomplished in comparison to Ms. Big, has no debt, meets his financial obligations, and he is the type one can bring home to mom and the friends, yet all he wants is to be your man (husband), dedicated to your interests first and foremost, that can work!

PioneerValleyWoman said...

But outside of those quarters in the community, non-bm don't see them like that, but instead see them as the decent kind of young women they can date and bring home to mom with pride.


Rephrase:

But outside of those quarters in the community, some non-bm don't see them like that, but instead see them as the decent kind of young women they can date and bring home to mom with pride.

Pamela said...

To the gal talking about bw that had fathers and uncles that supported them:

My parents were married 58 years before Dad died on 03/11/2008 at the age of 77. During the dinner after the burial I was watching a lot of Mom's friends and mine mingling. I also saw a couple of single men my age that I went to college with. When I looked at them I had the following thought: Now I know why I'm not married. I had a Dad that adored me and I knew men with wonderful character and strength. I was exposed to these type of men young in life. I truly wonder if I will ever meet men like that again. What I experience with them is not unreasonable. My father was not a perfect man BUT was proud to be a husband and father. After I got out of college I just have not met the men that are proud of the idea of being a husband and father. Those qualities should not be generational. At my age dating or hanging out is not an option. Never was.

PVW's comments about women going after the career because there was no other option describes me pretty accurately. I wanted to have the career because I wanted to get paid for talents that the Lord gifted me with. It just so happened that it was a marketable skill. However I always wanted to be married and possibly have children. I hope to marry someday but it is harder the older you get. Unfortunately man unfairly characterize 'career women' as those that 'do not need a man', 'hate men', etc. and will not give us a chance. There is nothing you can do but do well on the job and support yourself.

BTW If any man called me bourgie because I had a decent job and said I should date a wm I would tell him 'WATCH ME' as I twisted my tail in his face. That type of guy is a waste of any decent woman's time.

PVW said: Or you find a presentable white guy, who might not be very accomplished in comparison to Ms. Big, has no debt, meets his financial obligations, and he is the type one can bring home to mom and the friends, yet all he wants is to be your man (husband), dedicated to your interests first and foremost, that can work!

I would LOVE to meet a man like that. This type of man is confident in who he is and is responsible. Unfortunately a lot of men that I would have considered made the assumption that I would not accept them without giving me a chance because they were not accomplished. I guess I don't identify myself or others by their accomplishments. Probably because I have met a lot of accomplished jerks that I would not give a minute of my time to.

JaliliMaster said...

I'm sorry, but I wouldn't date a man who isn't accomplished. Then again, I'm a 21 years old, Chem Engineering student, so my idea of 'accomplised' may differ slighty from alot of those posting on this board. Just 'having a job' isn't enough for me. The job matters. I workes before I enterred university, so I know what 'qualifications' are required to get some of these jobs, and for alot of them, it ain't much!

I personally, am not at a point in my life where a man has to have a certain amount in his pockets, drive a certain type of car etc., but I know that few years down the line, somethings I overlooke now will matter then. Less about material possessions, more about ambition. That is why I'm attracted to intelligent men.

I have drive and frankly, can't stand people that don't, be they men or women. Seeing a man with ambition, AND the ability to bck it up, that attracts me. Personally, ballers and the like, not really my thing. I'm Nigerian, and in most if not all African countries, education is valued. So a man without it, I don't know how I'd take that home to my parents. In Naija society, women are still expected to marry 'up'. Most actually consider it a shame on the family if a girl who is atleast a graduate, comes home with a guy who could barely scrape it through his last year of high school. And I'm sorry ladies, I don't care how nice or friendly a man is, if he couldn't sort out high school, I wouldn't even look at him ONCE, and no bw should feel the pressure to either, be he black or white. High school was not THAT hard!

That said, if we are all so willing to settle for a white guy who is not as 'accomplished' as us, why do I hear so many bw complaining about the 'lack' of bm on their economic/academic level?!

Clarice said...

JaliliMaster said..That said, if we are all so willing to settle for a white guy who is not as 'accomplished' as us, why do I hear so many bw complaining about the 'lack' of bm on their economic/academic level?!


Quiet as it is kept, the reality - though it is changing slow is that a WM w/out a degree in some cases can be economically and socially (manner, breeding, knowledge of world events) comparable and have parity with accomplished BW.


It is more about parity - compatibility and accomplished is more about ambition and character. To be accomplished one has to be disciplined, responsible, mature and have self respect.


V/r

Clarice

Pamela said...

I was going to say the definition of accomplished is very important. Clarice's definition is pretty close to mine. I realize I am a bit older than many posting on here. My Dad did not graduate high school but accomplished a lot in his life. He went in the military at 17 and retired. He learned a trade and made a good living and supported my Mom and I. She worked but was not the main breadwinner. My Mom took some college classes but did not earn a degree. Both of them were able to get jobs that required degrees because they worked hard and back in those days they valued experience more so than they do today. My Dad died last month and Mom is doing well. She has no worries about where she is living. She is in a nice house that she has decided to stay in. People would look at them and probably think they had degrees and a whole pile of change. They were not rich but did well in spite of the lack of education. God really blessed their efforts.

Compatibility is everything to me. Of course I realize that will come through experiences in life. I will probably be more compatible with someone that has a college degree since I have two degrees (BS, MBA). However a person without a degree that has 'accomplished' things will be just as compatible because of the drive and passion they have for life, not necessarily the college education. That does not identify a person to me.

I also had an extended period for about five years where my degrees did not help me get a job. If I had that tendency of thinking that marrying a person with an education is marrying up I would be pretty mad if my husband ended up like I did for five years where I just could not find a job. I was looking nationwide but did not find anything. My degrees meant absolutely nothing. Thank God that season ended two years ago. It really put a different perspective. A degree does not guarantee that you will always have a good job. This is where I look at the passion and drive with backup more so than the degrees. Hard knocks will help you adjust your views in life.

Aimee said...

JaliliMaster said...

And I'm sorry ladies, I don't care how nice or friendly a man is, if he couldn't sort out high school, I wouldn't even look at him ONCE, and no bw should feel the pressure to either, be he black or white. High school was not THAT hard!

LOL! This is the other side of the "standards" debate--at what point do you go from rejecting appearances and societal expectations, and cross the line into having NO standards at all?

For me, I know that it is very unlikely that I could have married a man without at least a college education, a strong work ethic, a certain level of financial security and financial management skills, etc. These are my values; and my own experience, as well as the experience of others, has taught me that I would have to have these qualities in common with a man in order to happily spend the rest of my life with him. But for me, these qualities are less important as "credentials" than as compatibilities. I've dated men who had very little formal education or who spent profligately, and it just didn't work--we didn't have a lot to talk about or much in common, and we didn't look at the world or life the same way. It's easy to say that certain things should or shouldn't matter, but some things you just have to have in common as a foundation, or everyday life becomes a struggle.

That said, if we are all so willing to settle for a white guy who is not as 'accomplished' as us, why do I hear so many bw complaining about the 'lack' of bm on their economic/academic level?!

I think the issue here is that the "lack" that you hear many BW complaining about is not simply a men having LESS education, income or wealth--it's about having men who have NO education, income, or wealth, no interest in achieving these goals, and resentment toward any woman who has achieved these goals. Men whose goal is to exploit and depend on women in lieu of actually achieving anything on their own.

For much of recent black American history, there has been a tremendous emphasis on the concept that BM have been "demasculinized," and in order to support BM in their efforts to reclaim their manhood, the obligation of BW is to unquestioningly and unceasingly support any and all BM in whatever manner that those men demanded.

This is how all the problems of the black community became BW's fault: BM don't have jobs because BW take all their jobs, or refuse to demand that BM get jobs, or don't support a brotha's wounded masculine ego sufficiently so that he has the confidence to go get a job. BM don't have education because BW take all the available educational opportunities, or don't push BM hard enough to get an education, or push them so hard that their fragile manhood is further undermined. And so on and so on.

The bottom line is that we have become one of the few communities on the planet where women are told that they are somehow undermining a man's masculinity by refusing to support him materially while he "heals" his masculine ego. This demonization has run up against the reality that most BW could really care less if a man drives a Benz or has a degree; she just wants the elusive BMW (Black Man Working) who is willing to work WITH her to make a life TOGETHER. Unfortunately, many BW are discovering that wanting this, and finding a BM who wants the same thing with THEM, are two very different things.

JaliliMaster said...

Before anyone thinks of dating that white guy with far less 'accomplishements' than you, take a look:

Look at his past girlfriends. Of the ones that were white, were they also much more accomplished than he was or were they on his level? The same thing if you are dating a bm of lesser means.

Now I say this because many bm see the white skin of a woman as some sort of bonus, so would be willing to settle for far less than if she were black. Simiarly, there are white men who date black women who would still see her black skin as less than, so she would have to be exceptional, even better than him, for him to consider her worthy of his companionship.

I mean sisters, please don't act like you haven't seen that bm who would prance around on the street like he went to harvard, wearing a suit, only going after 'boogie' sisters, and calling any bw who might show the slightest sign of 'hood-ness' a ghetto-gutter-rat. Yet you'd go to his home and see some fucked-up white woman (usually very overweight or downright unattractive)or trailer park creature, waiting for him. If that bm isn't ready to make those concessions for you, why should it be okay if she is non-black?

Similarly, you've seen that wm living at home with mama, in the basement, low-paid job, barely finished highschool, average joe-looking, who would be more than willing to date a bw, just as long as she looked like Halle/Naomi AND had Oprah's bank account (u know it isn't enough to be hot, u have to be able to feed his white ass as well!). Take a look at his past gf's, the ones that were white. They are usually on his level. So why should any bw have to lower herself to such men?

Now please don't interpret this as me saying that you should only date men earning above a certain amount (well actually, you really shouldn't even give eye to a man who can't put together a basic minimum wage). All I'm asying is that if he lacks ambition/drive, run fast!

knockoutchick said...

Hey Pinky,

Thanks!

Dig you blog as well.

knockoutchick said...

Well... other than the caricatures I love to smile at.

I do think the reality for many BW in New York is that there are many WM who might be available to the professional BW, who are extremely well educated and cultured YET do not make much money. I think this is the real "hard" question. If you have worked hard for years you feel like I want a man that can at least take me to dinner....but what happens IF your idea of a simple dinner is Nobu? I know, I know...re-think.

As we know as BW, most of us have been directed towards careers that would generate a livable income because there was often no one else there to help us. Many of us come from middle class families or Strivers that were motivated primarily to create and maintain wealth. Our disadvantaged position in larger society always made us much more susceptible to economic crisis, so we had to "think with our heads". I know of BW who may have wanted to study art or literature but whose families were against it in high school and thereafter. So those women may have become.....Accountants, let's say.

On the other hand, WM having a certain privileged position were always freer to choose to do what they wanted in life. I know many WM who chose art as a career choice who are truly doing what they wanted to do in life. This city is filled with WM with advanced degrees in fields that generate very little income. So for sure there are WM out there with MFAs from top tier schools working in Art galleries and making 40K.

They have a higher degree of education than the BW who graduated and is working at Coopers and Lybrand. They even are most likely at lot more worldly and possibly more cultured. Yet the real deal is they make much less money.

Many of us who know that accountant or broker know that she has time to read little that is not associated with her field and actually she really is not that well read or well travelled. She doesn't have the time. Yet what she does have is $$$ and what she does know is the "signifiers" of wealth.


Or maybe not even the stereotypical artsy guy, but men who are educated but whose income is quite modest. These are men who clearly have achieved positive things. Yet what I am hearing is when they pair with a more financially successful woman, it is easy for the woman to become resentful and feel she is doing the "heavy lifting" in the relationship. The unsaid stew that's brewing is the woman is thinking. "Well, you can paint, write, landscape, teach PR kids in the South Bronx and so on because I am holding it down".

Oh, I'm so confused...:-)

knockoutchick said...

Clarice and PVM,

Great points about character, yet I live in a city of con men and make believe.

It's not an easy road.

As everyone on these boards suggest...TRAVEL!

J said...

I couldn't agree more with what jalilmaster has been saying throughout this topic. Its important for Black women to be open to all their options but don't become "that Black person" who will accept from their mate because their skin is white (or lighter from a different race).

Fortunately I never see this in Black women but always in Black men. Whenever I see a WM/BW couple both are usually very accomplished and seemingly compatible. Black women need to keep it that way.

Georgia said...

I'm sorry, I am abit confused about the post...

Are we talking about successful/materialistic black women, who attain the financial pinnacle and still expect to find their 'IBM?'

Cause I see two different things is the post.

For any hard working BW who does everything she has to do to make it, the experience of keeping your head down-keeping focused is a hard pill to swallow: especially in undergrad. But as an undergrad graduate, leaving college owning two businesses already.

I knew the moment I I decided to pursue the path to where I am now and attaining all that I have - academically & professional- would in a way push me out of my 'bracket.' So the idea of an equal, or finding one had to broaden because when I did occasional looked up from my books. I noticed that I was always one of 3 blacks in a class or that the I had taken 3 classes with the same two BM-and one was dating a WW already.

Never being one of the sistas but also never being the token Bgirl, I don't know how to explain this really, I guess. I assume now that the likelihood of marrying a BM, who is up to par with me is now highly unlike, but I've accepted that and feel sorta fine with the notion; more then likely I will be married to a white man some day.

As for the materialistic aspect of it all, though I don't subscribe to the, 'if he don't a lexus' group, but I do belong to the, 'this is what I've done with my life, this is what I've got, and this what I bring to the table--Now what about you?' group. And I hope that is not shameful to admit out loud, but I've seen the women in my life taken advantage of because they were financial depend on the men in their lives; I cannot be that way, but I don't want anyone to be that way with me.

it means something when I can openly admit, I would do business with a man like my father, if he were alive today, because he was a man of great character/substance/ and work integrity. But I would never marry a man like him because he was a horrible husband, and he has therefore set the 'I deserve better then that' standard in me. Does this make sense, let me know.

Georgia said...

PVW said...

When high achieving young white women find it relatively easy to find decent enough men to commit to them in long-term relationships, it is so much more difficult for the young black women.

The answer is YES, I think the comparison of WW and BW in college is always unfair based on fact there are no two more different sub-sets in the world then WW and BW when it comes to marriage & education. And this is the social scientist in me coming out.

When we think of education and WW we have to remember the numbers always, WW may be in graduate school and engaged at the same time, but the majority of those woman will opt out of their careers if the option is viable. BW have NEVER had this choice. The possibility of not working has been a new development, but even when it is feasible; in a test of a 100 BW, only 10% that's 10 out of a 100 choose not to work.

I say, this openly, when I am in class I don't care if the WW sitting to my left, gets a better grade on her paper then me. I care if the WM sitting on my right does, he is my competition in class. It is him that I more then likely encounter later, so i don't waste time worrying about someone who won't be there 10 years from now anyways.

Now when it comes to relationships in college for BW, are we forgetting, this is more BC programming. I was told many a time, 'keep your head in the books Georgia. I'm not saying to go without, but I am saying to wait and hold out for the best: more time/better yield--my father was an accountant, sorry lol. And the 'IBM' comes back into play here-hardcore, especially in grad school, but wait.

BW outnumber BM in undergrad at most colleges 7 sometime even 10 to 1, what about grad school. THIS SUCKS, lol, but where open your options comes into play. AND getting over the notion that you can't be in an involved relationship and finishing school/starting your career at the same time. We are big girls now, lol.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Knockoutchick:

Or maybe not even the stereotypical artsy guy, but men who are educated but whose income is quite modest. These are men who clearly have achieved positive things. Yet what I am hearing is when they pair with a more financially successful woman, it is easy for the woman to become resentful and feel she is doing the "heavy lifting" in the relationship. The unsaid stew that's brewing is the woman is thinking. "Well, you can paint, write, landscape, teach PR kids in the South Bronx and so on because I am holding it down".

My reply:

Or on the other hand, she might not feel resentment because he can pursue his more modest career and take care of the children while she works as "Ms. Big."

Georgia:

Good points regarding how many black girls are raised--focus on the books. The benefits (in terms of economics) and the better guys will come later.

But like you said, as big girls, both can be done--open the options, because the numbers from undergrad on are not in our favor as they are in the white girls'...Wait for the Black Prince, when he might not be there! Not!

Aimee said...

JaliliMaster said...

Before anyone thinks of dating that white guy with far less 'accomplishements' than you, take a look:

Look at his past girlfriends. Of the ones that were white, were they also much more accomplished than he was or were they on his level? The same thing if you are dating a bm of lesser means.

Now I say this because many bm see the white skin of a woman as some sort of bonus, so would be willing to settle for far less than if she were black. Simiarly, there are white men who date black women who would still see her black skin as less than, so she would have to be exceptional, even better than him, for him to consider her worthy of his companionship.


Actually, I don't think you have to worry about too many sisters dating "down" when it comes to non-black men. At least in the U.S., most BW have grown up with the stereotypical image of the BM who will get with "any old kind of WW," prefer a fat WW because there's "more whiteness to love," take the "WM's leftover's," etc. The result is that many BW who are still hesitant about IRRs are very candid and explicit in stating that a WM would have to be at least as good if not "better" than any available BM for her to give him the time of day. I've heard BW sniff derisively at a BW with a WM (based on looks) that "she could get a brotha that looked like that," with the assumption being of course, that if you can get a brotha like that, you should--that dating a WM might be acceptable if and only if said WM is clearly superior by every measure to any and every available BM.

Certainly, I wouldn't want sistas to start getting with 400lb WM because they have "more whiteness to love"; but I think that ultimately, you have to develop a set of criteria that apply across the board to any potential mate, based on your needs and desires. Those are the only kind of standards that, in my mind, make any sense.

Clarice said...

"knockoutchick said... Great points about character, yet I live in a city of con men and make believe."

KOC - I did not know you lived in Washington DC ;) home of the worlds biggest, brightest con men, thieves and liars i.e. politicians. No matter who, what or where - trust but verify - believe what he does not what he says! Keep a clear head and pay attention to your gut. Having one standard that applies accross the board regardless of race, creed or color - saves time - either the person measures up or they don't and if they do not - let's not even go there. Essentially come correct and bring your A game or go home.


V/r

Clarice

Ava said...

These women sound super shallow. I would not even want to be around them. However, if you attend sorority events or different African American professional conventions during the summer, these women are out there in large numbers. Then they meet these types of men and the men use them. I was at the gym the other day and this "brother" comes up to me telling me that he plays pro football yadayadayada and telling me what he owns and all of this other stuff. I made it very clear that I dont care and was not interested. Look, I would love to be with a well-to-do man. I have met quite a few. I have dated a couple. The best thing to do is get to know men because regardless of what he has, his character will determine how he will treat you. There is a price to pay when ONLY looking at a person's looks or material assets when choosing a partner.

Ava said...

Hey guys,
Just wanted to comment on a few of the comments that I just read:


#1

" there are white men who date black women who would still see her black skin as less than, so she would have to be exceptional, even better than him, for him to consider her worthy of his companionship"

This is true and I know one who just married a black female attorney. It happens all the time and is probably the case with MOST whites who marry successful blacks. You wont always know. Also, there are a LOT of black women who AINT marrying down if they marry a white man. But I know plenty of white guys like this who will probably end up marrying a black woman because the situation (bm/bf) is so bad in the black community. These guys are not white trash. Some are just regular professional white men.


#2
Some of them I think are a little confused. They were raised with certain expectations; many of the men they expected to marry were scooped up by their prettiest/whitest peers in undergrad at Harvard or Yale, or by actual WW, and now they're pushing 30, and they're parents are wondering what's going on. A lot of them are dating "appropriate" candidates who just won't commit to them, and seem content to juggle a never-ending multiracial harem.

This is true. I have a lot of pretty, successful, light skinned girlfriends who dont have it as great as I would have expected. And have you seen Congressman Harold Ford's little blond fiance? She looks like white trash to me but if he were to marry a black girl she would have to be of a much better pedigree. She would have to be high yellow, almost white and from a VERY prominent black family. Now they are not even good enough anymore!


#3
And you are so spot on about the fair haired, light skinned black girls who grew up being the belles
of the ball who now find themselves replaced by the truly "fairest"...a Nordic blonde.

Yeah. I attended a historically black college for undergrad and these were the women that all of the black men swooned over and some were even too scared to approach. And these girls would not give them the time of day. Now some of these guys are doctors and lawyers and date these women. They use them now because of how they dissed them back in the day. Also, I bet a lot of black guys think that dealing with actual white women is better than dealing with the so called "creme of the crop" black woman that every man wanted and went CRAZY over. Why not have the real thing?

That said, if we are all so willing to settle for a white guy who is not as 'accomplished' as us, why do I hear so many bw complaining about the 'lack' of bm on their economic/academic level?!

If the white guy is not as accomplished as you but is a stand up guy, I think that that is okay. I prefer an accomplished man. A lot of black men will still treat you like dirt even if he is blue collar or professional because they feel that black women dont have it as good as they do. Black men of ALL social classes take advantage of the numbers game.

I am glad that a lot of black women still say "only a black man" that means more white men for me. When most other black women catch on, white men will have their pick of some of the most beautiful, successful black women in the world.

Anonymous said...

All interesting points that have been brought up. I'd just like to throw in that individuals life experiences always play a large part (obviously) in what is considered acceptable and unacceptable. I'm in my early 30's and things that I considered unaccepable 10 years ago have changed significantly. Case in point, I have both a BA and MBA and would consider myself an individual who would not have settled for anything less than the best; ie, nice (designer) clothing; bomb a$$ car; only the best in travel and accommodations; fine dining, etc. However, as I've grown, the more I realize how unimportant that stuff really is. That's not to say that I'll start shopping and buying my clothes from Walmart (no offense to anyone who shops there, I just abhor their business practices); or eating at fast food joints - that's still not me, but I've found through my travels around the world, that less really is more. In visiting Paris, France and Venice, Italy, and other countries you will see happy individuals from all walks of like simply enjoying life. Nobody is putting on airs about how much money they make, nor trying to keep up with the Jones'. I conversed and had the opportunity to eat dinners with individuals who were writers', attorneys, and everything in between. Oftentimes the most unassuming artist made hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, while a doctor made close to nothing, but no one cared. In the United States, everyone wants the biggest house, with the longest driveway and the biggest backyear or the "phattest" penthouse apartment with a doorman, etc. Yet, in other countries, (not to say they don't have wealthy individuals living in oppulent residences)more often than not you, will find average to above average families living in 700-900 sq feet flats/apartments, and never a complaint. They tend to live more within their means and are more than gracious in opening their humble homes to a passing visitor who may need a place to sleep (even if they have to sleep on the floor). I guess my main point is that after more than 10 years in Corporate America taking all of the crap they have to offer just so I can have my corner office, company expense account, etc, I finally realized I had enough. With that, I also came to the same realization about dating. I too, was a sistah' who would never think about dating anyone but a BM, but over the course of the past 5 years, I've opened my dating options up significantly and all I can say is that "life is good." I think everyone should have standards, and shouldn't settle, but as time progresses standards do sometimes change. That's not to say that is a good or bad thing, it's just reality. I would love to encourage all of my single BW friends to date outside of their race, but I know they simply will not. It's easier for me, because I don't want any children, so I don't have the same biological clock issues as some of my friends have, but some of them are beautiful women both inside and out, and would be considered a "catch" for any man, but they chose to cut off a whole lot of options so they don't look like "traitors." Oh well.
(sorry - this is long winded, I got away from myself :)
Te'

GoldenAh said...

>>Certainly, I wouldn't want sistas to start getting with 400lb WM because they have "more whiteness to love";


See now, why did you have to go there? I likes 'em big. (As long as there is a good height / weight balance.)

;-)

JaliliMaster said...

If the white guy is not as accomplished as you but is a stand up guy, I think that that is okay. I prefer an accomplished man. A lot of black men will still treat you like dirt even if he is blue collar or professional because they feel that black women dont have it as good as they do. Black men of ALL social classes take advantage of the numbers game.
---------------------

Which comes back to my original post. You are willing to make all sorts of excuses for wm who earn far less, but at the same time, tarring all bm with one brush. Ridiculous!

JaliliMaster said...

Actually, I don't think you have to worry about too many sisters dating "down" when it comes to non-black men. At least in the U.S., most BW have grown up with the stereotypical image of the BM who will get with "any old kind of WW," prefer a fat WW because there's "more whiteness to love," take the "WM's leftover's," etc. The result is that many BW who are still hesitant about IRRs are very candid and explicit in stating that a WM would have to be at least as good if not "better" than any available BM for her to give him the time of day. I've heard BW sniff derisively at a BW with a WM (based on looks) that "she could get a brotha that looked like that," with the assumption being of course, that if you can get a brotha like that, you should--that dating a WM might be acceptable if and only if said WM is clearly superior by every measure to any and every available BM.
------------------

Looking at majority of the comments posted on this page, I DO think alot of bw have no problem 'marrying down', afterall they've been doing it with bm who earn next to nothing, so why not wm, eh?
---------------------------

Certainly, I wouldn't want sistas to start getting with 400lb WM because they have "more whiteness to love"; but I think that ultimately, you have to develop a set of criteria that apply across the board to any potential mate, based on your needs and desires. Those are the only kind of standards that, in my mind, make any sense.
----------------------

Well tell that to the women on here who are trying to convince everyone that 'artsy' white men are still more accompished than, say, 'artsy' bm. There is even one poster who was foolishly (yes, you were foolish) going on about how some of these wm my even be more 'cultured' than many of the bw that earn more than they do. It really irritates me when bw do the exact same thing they accuse bm of. Yes, bm most times marry down, far down, when they marry/date inter-racially. The same applies to the bw on this board who were trying to excuse bw doing the same.

Women, on average, look for a man that can be her provoder, protector etc. Why shouldn't bw be allowed to do the same? We are constantly tol to support the bm, hold it down, be there for the brothers, that we have started to take this as the norm. I don't care who this offends, but it is obvious that the majority who are posting on this board are willing to 'settle' fo some triflin' wm, all in the name of him being 'artsy' and 'cultured'. Yeah right!

Just as I say to the bm who do it, I say to you. YOU ARE MARRYING/DATING DOWN! And don't pretend that his white skin has nothing to do with it! Frankly, I find some of the women here, I'm sorry to say, pathetic!

I mean, I've seen desperate, but this is soemthign else. I'm willing to bet that most of those who were going on about the wm being 'artsy' and settling for less, were above a certain age (your guess what that age is), never married/divorced, oow kids, so feel that they have to lower their standards to broaden their nets. Or already married to semi-triflin' white dudes, and trying to excuse or explain away their choices. You women need to get a life. Desperation is a bad thing. Just ask Jennifer Aniston!

knockoutchick said...

Jalilimaster:

When I say the WM MFA may be more cultured than the black accountant. I am just posting what I see.

We must be able to speak the truth amongst ourselves. To say that is NOT a swipe at the accountant...or a need to give a pass to the WM.

Educated WP for the most part have a lot more free time and disposable income than their black counterparts.

Of all the type A people I know working in Finance...white, black, asian, whatever..not a ONE I know of is reading anything other than the WSJ, NYT, watching MSNBC or maybe reading the Economist. They don't have time. Folks have to show and prove. What happened at Bear Stearns and other companies here on a smaller scale has people shaking.

I don't work in Finance but I work with many people who do. I meet black people who are super smart, talented, etc...but in terms of the detailed, nuanced information I know some white folks can spout about African politics for instance, there is no comparison.

The only black people I know that have this detailed cultural knowledge are those in academia. I have a GF who is a professor and I am embarassed sometime at how much more she knows than me about things I should know. I should know what is going on in elections in Senegal or Jamaica or other countries through out the diaspora. I should, but I am working like a runaway slave...for right now, I don't have the time.

So what I see is these professional BW work like dogs and the only liesure time might be spent enjoying a lavish dinner at the next hot spot.

But I see SOME WM who have support from family and others and they can read and travel to their hearts desire!

Sandra77 said...

Jallilimaster, I would suggest that you re-read the comments you're responding to a little more closely. And apply a little more experience to your interpretation of those comments - your response thereto seems to misunderstand what was said.

Gemma Ford said...

I've gotta agree with a lot of what Jailimaster says. It's the same package, w/different wrapping. "artiste" and "aspiring rapper", same thing... if a woman wants to become a patron, that's her choice, but she shouldn't delude herself into thinking one is any better than the other. There's a big difference between not dating a dude without a Benz and wanting a guy that can pull his own weight financially and assist in making sure any children that may emerge from the union can grow up in a safe neighborhood and can afford college. Concerns about money when it comes to someone you may spend the rest of your life with aren't shallow and limiting, they're realistic. And if the shortage of college educated/financially stable WM isn't as drastic, then why would college-educated BFs even have to consider dating WM who aren't?

m (again) said...

However, if a woman wants to remain Ms. Big, marrying a man who is not as accomplished might work, provided he is not troubled by being married to an Alpha wife...

Speaking as one who has had not one, but two engagements break up, that's a very, very, VERY big "provided", PVW.

And it's not about "lording it over" someone. I'm just a professional trying to make it day to day. I'm not sure how men get from that to "lording it over" someone, but I can't believe how oversensitive some of them are and encourage each other to be.

And they say WOMEN are the "oversensitive" ones.

My butt.

m (again) said...

"If the white guy is not as accomplished as you but is a stand up guy, I think that that is okay. "

It's not about whether YOU think it's okay. Even if YOU think it's fine ...

It's about whether THEY think it's okay.

It's about whether their FAMILY think's it's okay.

It's about whether their "BOYS" think it's okay.

Is no one paying attention to the fact that the cost of living is rising by the nanosecond? If the expectation is that you're a family who is just supposed to live on one salary, but your kids are still supposed to go to private school, then all I can say is about half the population really needs to turn off the Cognitive Dissonance TV.

Because I see this phenomenon in a lot of men, REGARDLESS of color, and I don't understand it.

And yes, I get that it has to do with male pride, male cultural place, blah blah ... but what I'm saying is I don't understand how they think it works in, like, actual REALITY.

Ava said...

Aimee,

What do you think of Harold Ford with the woman that he is about to marry?

Clarice said...

m (again) said... "If the white guy is not as accomplished as you but is a stand up guy, I think that that is okay. " It's not about whether YOU think it's okay. Even if YOU think it's fine ... It's about whether THEY think it's okay. It's about whether their FAMILY think's it's okay. It's about whether their "BOYS" think it's okay.


The only persons whose opinion have any standing with me are those that have paid their dues with me, to earn my trust and respect and walked a mile with me and been there through thick and thin, in the hard times as well as the good times. If the speaker who is entitled to have an opinion and to express that opinion meets that criteria then fine - otherwise they have no standing and stepping to me on anything is pointless.

m (again) said..."Speaking as one who has had not one, but two engagements break up, that's a very, very, VERY big "provided", PVW. And it's not about "lording it over" someone. I'm just a professional trying to make it day to day. I'm not sure how men get from that to "lording it over" someone, but I can't believe how oversensitive some of them are and encourage each other to be."

The key there M is that it's not about anything that you are doing - it's about them and their insecurity. If they are feeling insecure any action that is taken in a calm, confident, manner will be seen as 'lording it over them' and rather than admit they are insecure and man up and deal with it they find equally insecure men to bolster their self esteem. Without being in the situation I am willing to bet even money the 'lording it over them' statement was made when they did not get something they wanted and or you acted in your own best interest like any other reasonable person would.

Men who are that insecure can't handle an equal partner - consider the good the comes out of not getting hitched to that type of person permenantly. Those type of men think she will change once we marry and are sadly mistaken. Women who are happy with themselves are not high maintenance (they are not looking to others for their happiness) which men like but these women while willing to make reasonable and fair compromises or trade offs are not willing to be a doormat and that is the problem. Insecure people can't handle fair trade offs. Men are not ready for women who say be fair or do not go there then you won't be there when I arrive and I will not have to go there!

V/r

Clarice

Anonymous said...

Niegian can be just as racist against their own poor people and isn't that is what you were trying to say? I work with one and she can be adverting snobbish.

Anonymous said...

Correction...
I know some Nigerians or lets say Africans who are very nice people and then there are those who are snobbish since they have profitable careers and can afford a better life for themselves.
And, what about those men who live in Africa and are now on the internet looking for non-bw?
And, what about Nigeria's POOR? WTF is the government and the rich doing to uplift these people(sounds like America)?

Anonymous said...

I like Pinky's comments.

Where will the light almost white elite turn to for men for their women? There are still some of us bp who can remember a time when being a fair/light skin man/woman meant better opportunities for them.
Well, well how times have change. Flash forward there seems to be some dissention in the Jack/Jill world...which is so antiquated. So, Jack now prefers a real "Becky" to just a Jill? I am to feel sorry for the Jacks/Jills who lived very well compared to their darker brethren?
Personally, my brown self could careless.
A. F.

JaliliMaster said...

To that anonymous poster moaning about Nigerians and other Africans, your jealousy at their success is, quite frankly, pathetic! I'm sure you are the crabs in a barrel type of black person.

Don't hate others that have done better/achieved more than you!

JaliliMaster said...

To m,

I think much of the issue is with the men you dated. But that said, you were engaged twice, both ending not very well. Some of the blame must lay at your feet as well. Maybe you are dating these guys becuase you think your career might be an asset to them? Try someone on your level, they'd probably have less esteem issues with it. Good luck.

JaliliMaster said...

Gemma Ford said...
I've gotta agree with a lot of what Jailimaster says. It's the same package, w/different wrapping. "artiste" and "aspiring rapper", same thing... if a woman wants to become a patron, that's her choice, but she shouldn't delude herself into thinking one is any better than the other. There's a big difference between not dating a dude without a Benz and wanting a guy that can pull his own weight financially and assist in making sure any children that may emerge from the union can grow up in a safe neighborhood and can afford college. Concerns about money when it comes to someone you may spend the rest of your life with aren't shallow and limiting, they're realistic. And if the shortage of college educated/financially stable WM isn't as drastic, then why would college-educated BFs even have to consider dating WM who aren't?

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

Atleast someone here gets my point. These women are trying to make excuses for the wm in a way that I know they would NEVER do for those dirty, good nuthin' bm. I cannot date a man that didn't go to college. The kind of culture I come from (Nigerian), that would, quite honestly, be an embarrassment. And one of the things I value most in a man is a very high IQ. I'm a straight A student, and I can't stand dumb people. The only thing that annoys me more than the thick (as in mentally), are the mediocre (u know, average). Now I'm not saying we should all only date a man that looks like Gerard Butler, the brain of Einstein, wallet of Bill Gates, mind of Socrates etc., but we should all have standards.

I've been dissing african-american women for some of the choices I see them make when choosing 'life' partners (that hardly ever stay). So I see no reason why I should smile just 'cuz they're making those same choices with wm.

The women on this board that wre getting uber-defensive just have guilty conscience!

If you are going to go with a struggling white artist, why not go with that struggling black rapper. Afterall, who decides what true art is. Or is it only cultured when it's stuff that mostly white people do? (And this is from someone who is completely against the idea of dating these useless rapper types).

Anonymous said...

"Get a white "artist", clean him up, get him out of debt...then sit around and listen to him drone on about social injustice, and the Republican party all day, IF he's good and sexy."

If the ww jump off the bridge would you?
A.F.

Anonymous said...

Jali...every bw does not make those mistakes. And, again what about the women/men in Africa...all are not doing well. Congrads...on you achievements.
A. F.

knockoutchick said...

The question I am posing is clearly being misunderstood.

The question and it is a pertinent one...Can you be open to a well educated man who makes considerably LESS money than you...the artist occupation is just a smoke screen.

At issue is the fact that gifted young black American students are in large numbers directed AWAY from the arts and towards high income producing fields.

I never made comparison or mention of rap or rappers but I can say for the most part I detest rap, I do not think it is art and there are HUGE differences in my mind from most "rappers" I hear and other true artists , irregardless of race who have dedicated years of their lives to study or master instruments. Can one compare 50 Cent and Terence Blanchard?

New York draws artists...and the city is packed with them. Well educated folks with advanced degrees who make little money.

Now it is obvious most successful BW would NOT be open to date the a WM making less income, in that way they simply follow the thoughts of larger society. There is the widely held belief that since WM experience more priveledge in our society they are held to higher expectations in achievement. As I have posted some of the same WW i know that are happy to date semi - literate black ex-cons would NEVER, ever date a WM like that. They expect and demand more of WM.

knockoutchick said...

As it should go without saying we are all very different. So I always say...what works best for each individual is the key.

I enjoy posting about "characters" WM artists from Willeburg and wanna be tough guys from Jersey or Brooklyn. But I do agree with the posters who say it is truly only about finding a true stand up guy who is dedicated to you and loves you, that is what is most important. No if I only could accept that advice :-)

Yet as the original post was about successful BW and standards, I will share that I do know of a BW acquaintance who has just given a WM suitor the thumbs down (I keep imaging that scene in "Gladiator" with Joaquin Phoenix) because he only makes a mere 175K, because as everyone knows 175K cannot support a family and keep kids in private school in New York City, so he can take his "broke" ass home :-)....it's all relative.

knockoutchick said...

To. A. F.

"Get a white "artist", clean him up, get him out of debt...then sit around and listen to him drone on about social injustice, and the Republican party all day, IF he's good and sexy."

Don't get sarcasm....Lighten up...it's a joke.

Gemma Ford said...

If poets who don't play instruments are artists, then so are rappers, and the distinction is indeed in your mind.

"There is the widely held belief that since WM experience more priveledge in our society they are held to higher expectations in achievement."

But how is expecting them to have achievements equal to a successful black woman a "higher expectation"? It only is if the woman holds racist double standards that claim that black couch-warmer=ok white couch-warmer=unacceptable, but if she does, she's got pretty serious issues. Presumably, we're talking about healthy women who would have the exact same standards for men from any race. For me, having different standards by race smacks of pandering when it's the same race and/or fetishism when it's another race. And as I asked before, why should college educated BFs even have to consider such a thing if there's many more equally successful white/non-black men to choose from? Shouldn't "widening one's horizons" racially mean easily finding more men that are able to meet a woman's standards, if they're reasonable? And to me, there's nothing unreasonable about wanting an equal. I mean, what if the wife gets sick/becomes disabled, has a difficult pregnancy, or loses her job -- will the husband's sparse or sporadic commissions be enough to stay afloat for months or years at a time? Will he be able to handle financial affairs efficiently if she's unable? Any couple should ideally take these possibilities into account, no matter which partner makes a drastically smaller amount.

Anonymous said...

There is the "convential/popular opinion" about certain subjects. and THEN there is the FACTUAL/STATISTICAL realities of what is being discussed.

So for instance, FACTUALLY bw HAVE made TREMENDOUS gains economically, and educationally, BUUUUUT bw as a group are STILL overwhelmingly in low paying jobs(this fact is NOT reported to take away ANYTHING from bw. Bw face Tremendous levels of employment discrimination).

Employed bm on average MAKE MORE than bw, and when you look at the highest earning black peoople, BM as a group DOMINATE that list.
Again that was NOT shared to downgrade what bw have accomplished.

Here are some facts.

The MAJORITY of bw(many of whom are teens 15-19 and their early 20's) who have NEVER married WILL marry.
The majority of bw 30 and older either ARE married or have been married.
The majority of college educated bw WILL get married.

This gets to my central point, which is about how the lives of black people are consistently distorted. Either by people NOT knowing the facts or by people MISUNDERSTANDING those facts/stats.

For example:

Let's take the comparison that says 36% of black people(15 years and older) are married vs. 55% of white folks(15 years and older) are currently married.


A little known but IMPORTANT fact is that the black population is 9 YEARS younger on average then the white population.

Add that with the fact that the AGE of first marriage is INCREASING and that means a MUCH higher percentage of the black population WON'T even be "old enough(the average age of first marriages)" to get married.

This means ALL things being equal, JUST BASED ON AGE alone the black population will have MUCH lower marriage rates than white folks.

So, these striaght up comparisions of black people and white people distorts reality if ALL the pertinent facts are NOT explained or presented.

There are MANY more examples JUST dealing with marriage rates alone that are like that.

ALL I am saying is BEFORE you form these HARD and FAST concrete opinions about what AILS black people MAKE sure you aren't just repeating ignorance.

Belive me there is a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG tradition of distortion and out right LYING where it concerns us, and I have listened and read MANY people who INSISTED they were NOT distorting or lying on black people, but when one LOOKS at the FACTUAL/StATISTICAL info with understanding FREQUENTLY people ARE engaging in distortion.

m (again) said...

Jalili -

May I respectfully submit that you don't know me or the facts of my personal situation(s) well enough to make the observations you made.

One of the gentlemen in question is in the same profession as I am -- and if you ask me, he's certainly better at his subspecialty than I am at it, even if he's not better at mine -- and I wasn't just talking about those two people.

If you Google "professional", "women", and "nothing to offer them", then perhaps you will glean a little more of what I'm talking about. It's a much more widespread phenomenon than "perhaps it's your fault".

And I've discussed it at some length with my Nigerian godfather, who agrees with me -- so please don't begin with the assertion that you can assess the situation so much more clearly because you're not American.

Clarice - thank you for your thoughtful observations.

Aimee said...

JaliliMaster said...

Just as I say to the bm who do it, I say to you. YOU ARE MARRYING/DATING DOWN! And don't pretend that his white skin has nothing to do with it! Frankly, I find some of the women here, I'm sorry to say, pathetic!

(1) Who exactly is this "YOU" that you're referring to?

(2) The element you seem to have misunderstood in knockoutchick's posts was the question of the healthiness of dating men who are compatible with you on every level EXCEPT for income--i.e., you share similar levels of education, social class, family backgrounds, values, etc., but he's a teacher and you're a doctor. Is that marrying "down"? BW are actively encouraged not to think so when it comes to BM, but knockoutchick's point is that most WOULD think so when it comes to WM. Is this reasonable?

For instance, one of the two other women at our luncheon who was married is married to a BM teacher. I have met her husband, and he is handsome and bright, and seems to love his wife dearly. They met in college, and are very active in community projects and working with young people--they share a common vision, and enjoy working together towards it's achievement. But I can virtually guarantee you that as a NYC public school teacher, he probably makes a about a 1/4 of her income as a third-year biglaw associate. They are both educated, both clearly value marriage and family, and share important values. And oh yeah--they both seem happy. However, while he is far from "poor," he will almost certainly never earn the income she earns. Did she marry "down"? What if he was white--would she have married "down" then? My point is that in the U.S., most black people would definitely say she had not married down in marrying her current black husband with his current credentials, but would think that she HAD married down if she married a WM with the same credentials--indeed, if she married a WM whose credentials were in any way not entirely superior to her own. Is his "white skin" an operative factor in the latter case, and if so, why should it be?

We're not talking about marrying an unemployed, uneducated, OOW-baby making, dependent, exploitative, semi- or full-blown criminal bum who you have nothing in common with, be he white or black. That to me is the point of having criteria that apply ACROSS THE BOARD. The question is what those criteria should be. Perhaps they should encompass income, just as much as education or social class. Perhaps it's more important to simply have values in common. The point is to develop criteria based on YOUR individual wants and needs.

Obviously, my co-workers don't simply want a man with a Lexus SUV--they want a man who possesses the stereotypical qualities associated in the popular imagination with those who drive luxury cars: advanced education, upper middle-class social status, wealth and income, bourgeois family background, etc. These are the qualities that THEY possess, and they are the qualities they seek in a mate. While anyone with a pulse and decent FICO can lease a Lexus, finding that elusive paragon of the Talented Tenth simply takes more doing than many of these ladies were raised to expect. So the question becomes, are they actually holding out for something worthwhile? Are ALL of their criteria of equal worth, and worthy of equal commitment? Where is the line between settling and choosing wisely?

Junglecat said...

Jalilimaster,
You are obviously very intelligent, but you need to work on your communications skills. There is no need to be so harsh with your comments. I realize that at 21 the world is more black and white than gray, but you should be more respectful of other posters opinion.

With that said, I agree with some of your opinions, however, I understand knockoutchick's point and I think the answer is not as clear cut as you think.

Respectfully,

Junglecat

m (again) said...

"I realize that at 21 the world is more black and white than gray, but you should be more respectful of other posters opinion."

Oh, she's 21??

Thank you for clearing that up, junglecat. I didn't even begin to recognize or deal with the phenomenae I was talking to the board about until I was 27, because I wasn't finished with my professional studies until then.

She doesn't even know what I'm talking about.

Anonymous said...

Kockoutchick said:

I would rather be rolled in hot tar, than spend another evening with a room full of attractive degreed, multi-lingual, waxed, plucked, perfumed, manicured, circuit trained, designer -laden black women and the 5 BM that are rotating between that 100.

My Reply:

I have seen this more times than I care to remember. They will wake up and smell the coffee sooner or later. The more BW they start to see with WM, the more acceptable it will become.

However, as a 40 year old never married, childfree BW, I can tell you that it is never to late to open up your options. You are forgetting the one very important advantage that we have as BW, we don't age at the same rate as WW.

It has been my experience that WM my five years my junior and up to five years my senior really enjoy being with a woman who they can relate to but who looks 10 years younger. For instance, if I make a funny reference to something we would both be familiar with (age wise), my date will laugh and then say "Oh, yeah, I forgot that you are my age!"

This recently happened to me while visiting a white woman friend of mine and her family. She is 33 and her husband is 41. Her husband was saying something and then said "Oh, yeah, I forgot that you are actually older than my wife! You don't have a wrinkle on your face..it's amazing..." The wife didn't like it at all and I deflected to another conversation, but when I looked back at her, I really could see the age on her face already.

Don't sleep....white men are and will continue to be "checking for us."

PioneerValleyWoman said...

M (again):

...I didn't even begin to recognize or deal with the phenomenae I was talking to the board about until I was 27, because I wasn't finished with my professional studies until then.

My reply:

And what is remarkable is that the wisdom that comes with age can sometimes be met with a contemptuous "ageism," in that: "Well you must be saying such things because you are of a 'certain' age."

Reading the perspectives of various women here, they are talking about the nuances of their perspectives having developed throughout maturity and their life experiences over time.

Their grown women's maturity should not be met with contempt.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Oops--typo:

throughout maturity

Should read:

through maturity

Anonymous said...

To other Anon who is forty and fab:

I am also 40 and I look like I am 28. I am wrinkle free and I also have a nice body. I dont feel as pressed about being 40 as I would if I did not look like this. I get hit on by men who are 18 to 80. I was focused on my career and did not want husband and kids in the past. Now I am not even so sure about the kids but I have the option of adoption. Men are not a problem though. Younger women are not a threat... cause I lot as good if not better than most women who are 10 years younger! And I look better than most white women my age!

Anonymous said...

However, as a 40 year old never married, childfree BW, I can tell you that it is never to late to open up your options. You are forgetting the one very important advantage that we have as BW, we don't age at the same rate as WW.

Although we dont age at the same rate on the outside, we are not as healthy overall inside. That is why we have to exercise and eat right to be the complete package!

nana said...

Anon said:....

"Employed bm on average MAKE MORE than bw, and when you look at the highest earning black peoople, BM as a group DOMINATE that list.
Again that was NOT shared to downgrade what bw have accomplished."

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

I really dont get why black men gloat when comparing their supposedly 'higher' income to that of black women. Lets face the fact folks, black women are NOT your friends or competition, your friends are white, asian, latino men. When you start making the same level or more than them then you'll really have something to boast about!

As for now, just sit down, have a coke and shut the f up!...how annoying.

nana said...

Anon said:....

"cause I lot as good if not better than most women who are 10 years younger! And I look better than most white women my age!"

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

Even though am not white women's biggest fan, I dont see the point of you downing them to push yourself up. you could have just easily listed your good 'qualities' without dragging anyone down through the process.

Ava said...

"Employed bm on average MAKE MORE than bw, and when you look at the highest earning black peoople, BM as a group DOMINATE that list.
Again that was NOT shared to downgrade what bw have accomplished."


Bullshit! I would have to see the statistics on that

Anonymous said...

"Employed bm on average MAKE MORE than bw, and when you look at the highest earning black peoople, BM as a group DOMINATE that list.
Again that was NOT shared to downgrade what bw have accomplished."

And black men have the highest rates of commiting rape, murder and robbery so what is your point?

JaliliMaster said...

Hmm, it seems some people are actually getting offende that me, this mere 21 year old, inexperienced 'little girl' would have opinions different from their own. How dare some of you, on one hand, moan about ageism, then at the same time put me down due to my age. I am more than entitled to my opinion so those who don't like it can stick it!

And to m, I'm not sure which poster you are but if my memory serves me right, you are the one that has been engaged twice. I really don't know why you had such a problem with my reply. For the most part, I put most of the blame on the attitudes you claimed these men had. Just 'cuz I said you had to take some responsibility, you got all in a rut. Whatever!

And Aimee, the 'you' I was referring to are the bw on this board who are trying to tell everyone to 'settle for less' wm. Wm are not in a shortage. Successful wm are not in a shortage. I have never been of the belief that bw should settle for bm who are not on their level due to some 'shortage' of hardworking and successful ones, so why should they do it with wm?

And please don't misunderstand my point. As regards the lawyer and her teacher husband, she did not 'marry down'. He is hardworking and successful. I don't define success solely from a financial point of view. It is also about how well you have done in your chosen field.

Some people on this board are getting wound up by my comments because it hit nerve!

Anonymous said...

I really dont get why black men gloat when comparing their supposedly 'higher' income to that of black women. Lets face the fact folks, black women are NOT your friends or competition, your friends are white, asian, latino men. When you start making the same level or more than them then you'll really have something to boast about!

As for now, just sit down, have a coke and shut the f up!...how annoying.


MY response:
I am the anon who you responded to.
I specifically wrote twice that I wasn't pointing that out to downgrade bw or to big up bm.
YOu are absolutely correct in a sexist society that FAVORS men over women, bm making more than bw is NOT an accomplishment and CERTAINLY not a failure of bw.

I was pointing out that reality to say that this idea that there are MORE bw who are making these high salaries than there are bm making those same high salaries is a PATENTLY false one.

It is also a DISTORTION that the majority of bw college grads won't get married.

It is also a distortion that MAJORITY of black adult men and women won't get married or aren't already married.

My overall point was no matter your preference in dating, why MUST the lives of black people be distorted?

Anonymous said...

Bullshit! I would have to see the statistics on that

My response:
No, it is NOT bs.
This is what I mean these distortions get repeated SO many times that people start to take them AS fact, even when they are demonstrably incorrect.

You can do a SIMPLE internet search type "income black men black women" and see what comes up.

Either way employed bm DO outearn employed bw.
Again I repeat this fact is NOT brought forth to putdown bw, but it is the truth.

Anonymous said...

And black men have the highest rates of commiting rape, murder and robbery so what is your point?



MY response:
My point was to address the original blog about "standards" and about this consistent falsehood that all of these highly paid bw are sitting around not able to find a bm "on their level" financially.

Again, from a FACTUAL standpoint, the OVERWHELMING majority of ALL people are NOT highly paid professionals and that accurately describes both the bm and bw populations.

Also, from a factual standpoint employed bm DO earn more than employed bw IN LARGE numbers.

I think I read a stat that there are about 3 bm for every 1 bw that makes over $75,000 A YEAR.

So in laymens terms that means the are 3 times the number of bm making over that salary as bw.


As far as your DISTORTION of saying bm have the highest rates of commiting those crimes, FIRST it has to be stated WM committ the MAJORITY of crime in this society, and that DESPITE that fact, their RACIAL group IS NEVER connected with being the highest breaking this or that law.

The association of the black race with criminality has a LONG standing racist traditition.
SO I guess my question to you is WHAT do YOU think about the connection you made and why did YOU amke it?

knockoutchick said...

@ Jalilmaster

"As regards the lawyer and her teacher husband, she did not 'marry down'. He is hardworking and successful."

Hmmm funny that!

I'll make my point again.

I have been posting about educated WM who make little money.

Now let's flip the script...the same couple with an educated BW lawyer wife and a WM husband who is a teacher, in this situation what I hear from folks is that the BW has "settled".

Again with WM, the perception is ...they have all access to power and wealth and therefore should ALWAYS generate more income.

So no matter HOW educated and hardworking the WM may be IF he makes less money the majority of black folks will say that woman has "settled".

WM are judged in hard currency.

He could be saving starving babies in Darfur yet if the black wife makes more $$$$ folks in the BC will tsk, tsk tsk!

knockoutchick said...

"FIRST it has to be stated WM committ the MAJORITY of crime in this society, and that DESPITE that fact, their RACIAL group IS NEVER connected with being the highest breaking this or that law."

Many of these sad half truths are popular in the BC. Did you already post that "the majority of BM who marry, marry BW"? Jokes! You got 'em!

If BM at maybe 5% of the population created the MAJORITY of crime in this country , BCs would be living in 24 hour war zones. Yet in relation to their relative small numbers BM are committing quite some numbers of criminal acts.

Following your logic ...I'll throw out another miraculous insight. The MAJORITY of clowns in this country are WM. The MAJORITY of shoe salesmen in this country are WM too.

knockoutchick said...

The women who post here or who are described in the topic of this thread represent a small sub-set of BW overall.

Yet the numbers of educated or high achieving BW are growing and if we look at college graduation numbers, growing and far out stripping their BM peers...hence the problems we discuss here will only be exacerbated in the future. And no one in the BC talks about it.

BW are working incredibly hard...often on our own with no support network, few or no mentors in industry.

Yet, all you hear is BM quoting how many of them earn over $75K. I say let's see those numbers 5-10 years from now. I think it's going to bring some folks to tears.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
And black men have the highest rates of commiting rape, murder and robbery so what is your point?


And black women lead all women in similar crime stats. So what's your point?

Anonymous said...

Yet the numbers of educated or high achieving BW are growing and if we look at college graduation numbers, growing and far out stripping their BM peers...hence the problems we discuss here will only be exacerbated in the future. And no one in the BC talks about it.

You do realize that for every 140 females enrolled in American colleges, only 100 males are enrolled? This is nationwide, and not limitted to any one racial group. So why are you pointing out the fewer black male goint to college when this is simply a part of a nationwide trend of all races brought on by feminist idiots like yourself who are destroying our society.

nana said...

"And black women lead all women in similar crime stats. So what's your point?"

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

Does this include black AFRICAN women?? thought not! please be SPECIFIC on the kind of black women you talking about as the term is tooo broad for you to start making generalising left and right. I really reaally hate it when ignorant people like you go round lumping all off us together like we are one and the same!

PLEASE bare in mind that "black women" covers african, carribean AND american women! so get that straight before you go spouting you mouth off again! how annoying!

Anonymous said...

Hey Nana. Why didn't you address the anon who was responded to after she used the general term "black men" (check out May 17, 2008 12:20 PM). She didn't specify any specific black men. Why didn't you call her "ignorant"? Of course we know why. It's called hypocrisy.

Anyone with any intelligence knows by the context of the discussion that we are referring to black/African Americans. Read between the lines and you won't appear so dense. I will be the first to say that Africa and the Caribbean have higher quality black women than the U.S.

nana said...

Hey Anon,

ok, I do apologise for taking it out on you! Its just that am sick and tired of hearing every negative stereotype out there with 'black woman' attached to it, when some of us had no part whatsoever in creating or perpetuating these 'stereotypes' and yet we ALL have to suffer the consequences because of a few "black" women. So not fair and it really really does my head in.

Arrrrgg!

knockoutchick said...

Standards and "Idiot Feminists"

On an anonymous forum where women meet to chat and share experiences..suddenly anonymous male posters arrive and attempt to dominate the conversation. Barreling over everyone with little or no self reflection, but they must hold you down until you admit their brilliance and insight.

Much like offline or "in nature".

I think if we look outside ourselves this forum is quite interesting in many ways. The very idea that a group of BW would have an open conversation about the achievement standards they seek in both black and white men..or rather all men is pratically revolutionary. For years BW HAD to accept whatever was given to them.

Some men are irritated that we even have the gall the create such a thread.

Now for the first time we have choices and opportunities never imagined before.

And that sea change has not been a happy one for most men.

I am not sure what is happening but I have posted about this before, that the women I come in contact with (black and white) seem to be a lot more motivated than the men.

The men seem much less motivated towards the hard drive to career success...and many of the educated WM I know seem to be looking for a way OUT of the corporate grind. Yet the WW who have not taken the mommy track are barreling through.

I think it might be that feminine behavorial traits make them better suited to the corporate environment where male behaviours such as...the desire to lead, may make it more difficult. After all we can't have all chiefs and no Indians.

A determined young woman like Jalilimaster may find that while in university she has many male peers. She will most certainly already outnumber her BM peers. Yet, among the WM, excluding the aggressive type A's or those with family wealth, the average guys..she might find 10 years from now, her drive has sent her ahead of these men as well.

It is "new" for women to see the higher levels of corporate success or the feel close to the brass ring...they are willing to stick it out. And educated BW are more open to that crushing workload as many do not have partners or children.

Where as I see many WM because they feel opportunities are always available be more comfortable changing fields...walking away from careers they studied 10-15 years for...and so on.

And then...the question of intimate relationships. It becomes more and ore difficult for these men and women to get along as these roles and the dynamics are constantly changing.

Jalilimaster may decide to spend her 20's seeking an advanced degree or focusing on her career with great succes. 10 years from now she might run into a cute white guy see knew from school and find after 5 years of corporate hell, he quit to open a small bike shop and is happily making a dollar and a quarter each week :-)

Now fully 1/3 of "high earning" individuals are women. And more and more women are being made to pay "manimony".

http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/personal/05/22/lw.manimony/

Something to think about.

JaliliMaster said...

Knockoutchick, please stuff your nonsense in your mouth. I can see that you are trying to be subtly condescending. I have no respect for low self-esteem women like you. If what I said did not bother you so much, you wouldn't still be on that topic, and be replying in such a manner.

I can spend my 20's doing what I want, I apologise that it just happens to be getting an education, a solid one, as opposed to doing whatever it is you deem acceptable for a black woman as myself to be doing. All those hypothetical situations you cooked up are bogus and ridiculous. If you want to marry a poor, triflin' white man, please go ahead. If that is all you can get, then it's not really your fault.

You tried to twist what I said about the black male teacher, claiming that had it been a white male, I'd have been harsher. My response was in relation to his job, and had nothing whatsoever to do with his race. I see an educated teacher, working hard, be he black or white, as on a completely different level from an 'educated' and uneployed artist, whether they are a rapper or a more acceptable(white) type of artist (according to you). You are not smart enough to bamboozle me with your nonsense, so honey, PLEASE STOP TRYING!

JaliliMaster said...

And to that anonymous bm poster, stop trying to derail this discussion. The world does not revolve around black men, as I'm sure you already know, so either keep it on topic or scram!

knockoutchick said...

@ Jalilimaster

My previous post was certainly not referring to you in a condescending manner. In fact I was complimenting the drive you exhibit.

Absolutely I am intrigued by any subject related to the changing of male/female roles. I have posted about these topics before and most likely will again and again and again and again.

Anyway, back to work ....since in addition to my current partner I have two trifling white ex boyfriends I have to support..so not a minutes rest :-)

JaliliMaster said...

Knockoutchick, YOU KNOW you didn't mean it in a complimentary way, so stop lying!

This discussion ended ages ago so please quit it!

rebecca said...

The Fountain

(1)

Into the sunshine,

Full of the light,

Leaping and flashing

From morn till night!

(2)

Into the moonlight,

Whiter than snow,

Waving so flower-like

When the winds blow!
(3)

Into the starlight,

Rushing in spray,

Happy at midnight,

Happy by day.
(4)

Ever in motion,

Blithesome and cheery,

Still climbing heavenward,

Never aweary;
(5)

Glad of all weathers,

Still seeming best,

Upward of downward

Motion thy rest;
(6)

Full of a nature

Nothing can tame,

Changed every moment

Ever the same.
(7)

Ceaseless aspiring,

Ceaseless content,

Darkness or sunshine

Thy element;
(8)

Glorious fountain!

Let my heart be

Fresh, changeful, constant,

Upward like thee!

~~~by runescape gold