I woke up so sick I could barely move. I could barely walk, but was shuffling. The first thing that went through my head was, "you need testosterone". I took four T tabs before anything else, and was immediately well enough to lift my feet. Considering how much estrogen I had in me, I could understand my dream. In my dream 2 girls went to check out a cave, and 2 boys wanted to come along--winsome lads, but I told them "no". I think that I literally have had a double persona my entire life--male and female, and they have vied for dominance. The male side usually won, because to be honest, it is the stronger and more naturally aligned with my true self. Now, the female persona(s)--because when I am not psychologically healthy, my psyche reveals itself in dreams as fragmented, in this case two females and two males--is having a field day, reveling in unconscious superiority, all amped up on artificial estrogen. She doesn't care that the goddamned hormones are killing me, making me so sick that I can barely move, much less do anything of a productive nature. No, the feminine persona in me is demanding revenge for all the years she has been appropriately subordinate to me--and is reveling in her power to control, just as surely as all the psychological males who are besotted with her immature, childish (because it is not really me) presence are. More psychological work for me, which is not something i can do much of when i am as sick as i am.
I do want to follow through on some ideas I presented in a post earlier. While doing a cursory morning paper read, I encountered the bullshit, sexist, self-serving insults of a certain Rick Banks. I am not even a Black woman, and his chauvinistic, racist stupidities made my blood boil--so much so that I was going to go through the extensive registration process, so that I could post a blistering response online. Unfortunately, there were no comments section, so this is my comment on it.
Rick Banks thesis is that given the abysmal marriage rates among Blacks, and the skyrocketing unmarried status of Black women, that they should open themselves up to interracial marriage!
The reason this is so insulting is that I have NEVER EVER in my life met a Black woman who was not open to interracial dating and marriage to a White man. But, face it, men of any race, are more emotionally immature than women, and while women don't care so much about a man's appearance, men are obsessed with it. Now, there are a lot of fine-looking Black sisters out there, but generally speaking, society does not appreciate or venerate dark women. This is true in the Caucasian Hispanic community as well, where mothers fuss at their daughters to cover up their skin so that they don't turn brown. It was true, centuries ago, when the Song of Solomon was written--the first literate record of a Black/Brown apologizing for her skin color, "I am dark, but comely". Yes indeed, Black women are dark, but indeed comely. So why do so few White men show dating interest in Black women? Simple. Most men fall in love with the woman who reminds them of dear old mom. I find all types of women attractive, but I find Hispanic and Indian women to have that extra pull on my heart and psyche--they remind me of mom.
So, why aren't Black men falling in love with, and marrying women who remind them of dear old Mom? Aaah, that is a good question, but one that would take a lot of time and presumption (given my White race) to answer. I will float out some ideas that hopefully educated Black women will explore. First of all, historically, there are not strong, mutual relationships between African men and women. Not only is patriarchal dominance, and even abuse, the norm, but the males seem to live their adult lives in "male posses", away from the women, once they reached a certain age. It would be interesting for some cultural anthropologist to research how this came about (certainly for evolutionary advantage), but one thing is clear, African-American men no longer live in a hunter-gatherer, tribal and aboriginal society, and the norms of adult manhood in an industrial nation require a different set of behaviors and expectations. I remember reading an article once about someone in Africa, relaying the story of "Hamlet" to a group of African elder men, and being surprised to learn that they could not understand what he assumed, was a universal depiction of Oedipal conflict, because in their culture, men were not conflicted or ambivalent about their feelings regarding their mothers or women. From a very early age, they had completely cut off that dependent need of the mother, and their tribal society did not encourage or facilitate and independent need of, or relationship to the feminine. When reared in Western society, which is built on male/female intimacy, and the ability of the male to commit to marry and support his family, does that ancient racial memory interfere, so that Black women become who a Black man separates from to prove his manhood (as dictated by racial memory), but commitment to the White woman, indicates his adoption into the Western cultural paradigm? These are broad brush strokes, for certainly I have known some Black men whose commitment to their wives and families were exemplary, but something is clearly exacerbating Black male maturity, and I am sick and tired of hearing the racial prejudice argument. Black males had more manhood in the first half of this century, when racism was much more extreme and debilitating.
I do believe that racial prejudice does factor into this imbalance--however, there is prejudice you can control, and prejudice that you cannot control. You can only push so hard against societal norms of beauty. My dark niece looked at me once, with big, brown 6 year old eyes, and said, "I wish I wasn't Mexican". Now, while she has a third generation Mexican American mother, she is growing up in a privileged, loving, solidly middle class family, where the only Spanish she hears is "Yo quiero Taco Bell". However, the norm around her is White, and she, being female, is picking up that her dark skin is not as well regarded as her fair brothers.. Now, one of her brothers is dark as she is, while the other two are more White looking than I, and yes, I have said to myself, "it would have been better for her if she had been the fair one, and her brothers dark" (because societal norms actually favors a darker man, and has for years--look at Jane Eyre's beau--whose name escapes me right now). But life isn't fair. Like two of her brothers, she is going to be a very short shrimp. However, as a female, her petite height will not not handicap her, unlike what her short-statured brothers will experience. Is it fair that someone is dark and someone else is lighter complexioned? That someone is short and someone tall (ask any short man about the hell he was put through growing up, and what it did to his psyche?....) Is it fair that someone is fat and someone is skinny? In Mauritania, they abuse the little girls, force feeding them food until they vomit, because it is considered attractive to be fat.
To be female means that one has to make peace with the fact that one's sexual attractiveness is an important feature of their individual lives--especially in the early years of adulthood. Thank God, the feminist movement of the 60's helped to pry away the ironclad determinism of such societal decrees. I don't think that I could have attained a healthy self-identity as a female without those feminist pioneers--for I have never given two figs about my personal appearance--although being short, bugs the hell out of me (tells you a lot about me, huh?). However, women will always be psychologically vulnerable regarding their attractiveness, and that is where Rick Banks, so stupidly, so arrogantly, so insensitively, twists the knife that is is already in the backs of Black women--a back stabbing knife too often placed there by their own Brothers. For the truth is, that of the dozens of Black women I have met and known, there is not one of them, who would not be open to dating and marriage with a White man. Twist the knife in deeper, Rick--does it make a guilty conscience feel better?
I say over and over again, that one should not despair or rage over what one cannot control, but instead act to influence what one CAN control. So the final paragraphs of this post will be addressed to Black women. As I said earlier, I have known more than a few Black women, and even dated a couple, and one thing that has always struck me about Black women, is how, no matter what, they support and enable their menfolk. Needless to say, I rarely see it reciprocated by their Black brothers. However, I am wondering if this isn't feminine self-defeating behavior. Females are naturally self-giving, selfless, nurturing, and protecting--however, when done to extreme, it becomes self-sabotaging. Again, we can thank so many of the feminist writers for amply proving that point in the last century. In college, when I was doing feminist reading, I would read of Black women who would tell White women that they could not confront their menfolk, because it would play into the hands of racist White America. In short, to Black women, racial loyalty trumped gender loyalty--which ultimately meant that they put the needs of Black men above those of their own selves. Look where such an attitude has got you, ladies. Do not be angry at the men, for their racial "disloyalty", because instinctively they are acting to meet their own needs, whereas too many of you have played right into the feminine trap of denying your own needs--thinking such martyr behavior will be rewarded. It won't. It will only lead to feelings of anger, bitterness, and resentment.
So, what can you do to positively reverse this? STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR THE IMMATURITY OF BLACK MALES! Black males DO have a harder time maturing into men--and in my opinion, the primary reason for this, is the lack of fatherhood in the culture. HOWEVER, the secondary reason is an overprotective, coddling, enabling female network--mothers, sisters, aunts, friends. When a man commits to marriage, he is committing to manhood--he has to EARN his living, SUPPORT his wife, and TEND to the children. Such a commitment forces him to give up juvenile irresponsibility, and no Black man marries a White woman without thinking, "man, I have got to prove to myself and the world that I deserve this lady". However, too many Black women will not make those same demands of manhood from their menfolk. They constantly are making excuses for them (I know, because I have listened to it, ad nauseum), about how hard it is to be a Black man, and how racism is to blame for all of Black men's problems. NO!!! IT IS HARD TO BE A MAN. PERIOD. And all your excuses, and rationalizing makes it difficult for men to break out of the childhood dependency and mature into responsible manhood, when Mama is always protecting her baby.
Such maternal behavior may have been necessary during the days of slavery, but that was over a century and a half ago. It now is counterproductive. I know that a lot of Black women are trying to make up for the lack of Black fathers, but a woman can only be an excellent mother, not a mother and a father. An excellent mother knows when it is time for a man to be responsible for his own actions and behaviors. Even if it is high risk, let the young man be who he will, AND FACE THE CONSEQUENCES FOR IT, WITHOUT EXCUSES. However, you can influence your young sons. Demand certain standards of behavior from them, as long as they are under age, and under your roof. I remember watching Barack Obama give a speech to the Black Caucus--back in the day, when they still thought he was the Messiah. However, gathering from the stony faces I saw, they didn't like that speech--especially the female representatives. What was Obama saying to them, that had them so resistant? He was telling them to demand excellence from their children--that B's and C's weren't good enough--that they should be pushing for straight "A's". It is the feminine that loves no matter what--it is the masculine that attaches conditions to love. THERE IS TOO MUCH FEMININE IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY, and it is alienating and emasculating to the male psyche. Even if one is a single mother, demand excellence from your son--that part of a masculine identity is easy to adopt--but you have to drop the slave mentality of "I have got to protect my boy or no one else will". When a Black man marries a White woman, he knows that HE has to protect her, HE has to support her, HE has to emotionally encourage her (if only from her racist White peers)--there is no unconscious fear that he is going to be mommy-coddled by an unconditional love. Instead, he fears that he will be shown to be a shiftless no-count, unworthy of her love and commitment. (Of course, I am talking about the distressing pattern of the "best" and most successful Black men who seem to be marrying less and less Black women). However, this fear PUSHES him to manhood. Every man needs to feel that he EARNS his position in the world, that he ACHIEVES it. Of course, the demand for excellence also fuels fear of failure, but the truth is that EVERYONE experiences failure, rejection and hardship--the key is to persevere despite this.
So, ladies I am showing my masculine side, and demanding excellence from you. What Rick Banks did to you all with that book is truly execrable. I was going to write a blistering comment, but instead, I challenge you all to defend yourself. Had Rick Banks written a similarly insensitive and arrogant book regarding White females, I guarantee you, they would be up in arms. I am not talking about writing a post, or yelling at your male significant others in displaced anger. I am talking about SUSTAINED, ORGANIZED, POWERFUL opposition. He has a job doesn't he? Do you really think somebody with such fallacious, sexistly blind reasoning skills should be teaching law at a top university? You have got the power, use it. NOW. Not years from now. It is up to you. Forget about how hard it is to be a Black man. Insist upon being treated with the fullness of respect due a woman--slowly, little by little, the hard way it will come, but you have to start looking out for yourselves, instead of waiting for your Black brothers to do it for you.