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The Problem With Men Being Men | Clutch Magazine.

Queenly Commentary: Tami, you know I appreciate you, but I am going to sit here and flat out say I have a problem with “folks who kick it old school”.

In so far as “kicking it old school” usually means actively and passively attacking, othering, and rejecting those who do not.

So I suppose what I’m saying is that I’m not against people who identify as heterosexual and adhere to the stereotypical ideas of what that mean.

However, sometimes what that means entails active and passive forms of rejecting those who are not engaged in that kind of relationship.

Point on article.

From the article:

Advice that encourages women to bend themselves to fit men, with men defined as some monolithic group, is as useless as it is sexist[…] Setting a low bar and pretending it’s the norm encourages women to accept less and men to strive for less, and it erases a lot of good black men who are progressive and supportive and strong.

In his bestselling book, and soon to be movie, Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, Steve Harvey offers women advice on “how to be a girl,” something he believes is a lost art. Many of his suggestions, including cooking for your man and not lifting heavy items, are typical of the reductive thinking permeating incessant modern discussions about black male-female relationships. Women are to be dependent, submissive, chaste yet sexually available, and focused on “womanly things” like nurturing, child-rearing and cooking. Above all, a good woman must “let a man be a man”–that is independent, a natural leader in all things, emotionally distant, sexually voracious and prone to stray. We are told, the fate of the race and black women’s happiness depends on both men and women acting out these roles. But treating traditional gender roles as gospel is more damaging to the black community than helpful. There is no one way to be a man or a woman.  

This isn’t a treatise against men and women who like to kick it old school. Do you. But it is dangerous to hold up regressive ideas of femininity and masculinity as the way it should be. Too many of our ideas of gender roles are based on the sexist hierarchy entrenched in the majority white culture, long before black men were recognized as fully men and black women as women. Narrow views of gender do a disservice to both black men and women, curtailing their freedom to be their authentic selves and exacerbating already serious problems in the black community[…]

Also troubling is that “let a man be a man” covers a host of oppressive, or at least not useful, behavior. Instead of pushing back on the idea of “slut shaming,” we embrace that men will judge women who have sex too soon. Instead of requiring partners to be open and communicative, we accept that men will be distant and evasive. Instead of honoring a woman’s right to control her body and sexuality, we accept that a man who isn’t “taken care of” has a right to be unfaithful. Instead of allowing men and women to work hard and achieve, we encourage women to be less successful lest men be threatened. Because that is how men are. And we have to let men be men….

Read the full article.

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