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Feminism vs. Misogyny: What’s Really To Blame For The Demise of Black Relationships?

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black couple yelling photo

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

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

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

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

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

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

divorce photo

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

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

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

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

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

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

Readers, what do you think?

cory haywood
Cory A. Haywood

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

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Olivia

    May 10, 2016 at 6:48 am

    No feminism is NOT in fact the greatest threat to relationships in general , it’s male infidelity as so explicitly demonstrated in this article . Feminism grew as a movement to establish equal legal rights for women. The most disrespected person in America is the black woman , as said by Malcom X himself , women in general are oppressed by the patriarchal society we live in. For black women , even more so. Feminism is for men too, it be movement is essentially about gaining the right to live freely without the restraints that gender imposes. Women do not have to be ‘submissive’ anymore than men have to be ‘masculine’ and dominant. As stated in your article , black men have already failed at this so really what are you trying to cling onto here ? If a mans sense of masculinity is crippled by a woman’s assertiveness and belief in her own autonomy as a fellow human being , then your ‘masculinity’ was weak as fuck to begin with.

  2. Sharon

    May 12, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    When you have that woman who’s willing to sleep with a married/already taken man or the woman who has the mentality that we don’t need them and that they’re good for only one thing …we give our men the ideal of “why settle” and with that, I feel is why black romance and commitment is slowly fading. Lately, I feel that COMMITMENT for some is just too much work. To often people want both their cake and ice cream without having to pay for it.

  3. TheSadTruth

    July 20, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Just too many very Pathetic Loser women out there nowadays for us Good men looking for a Good woman these days. Oh Wow, did i say a Good woman? Where are they at?

  4. al

    October 3, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    “it seems black women in large numbers have added their own spin to feminism, using it as a weapon to further emasculate the already subjugated populace of black men in America”

    bingo.

  5. Go Mgtow

    September 12, 2019 at 7:35 am

    Feminism is cancer caused by very evil horrible women these days, which makes MGTOW the real cure.

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EUR Commentary

The Crenshaw Mall Battle is Far More Than A Battle Over One Mall

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Baldwin Hills - Crenshaw

Baldwin Hills - Crenshaw

*The instant that a major outside development company announced that it would bid to buy the Crenshaw Mall, the battle was on. Here are the familiar charges. It is a naked money-making grab by outsiders. It will jack up rents for struggling small Black-owned businesses. It will usher in a rash of chic, high priced, new housing for mostly young upscale whites. It will drive even more lower-income, working-class out of their community. It will continue to send the wrong signal that inner-city Black neighborhoods are ripe for major outside development dollar pickings.

Outside Developers say just the opposite. They claim that their purchase of the Crenshaw Mall will boost minority-owned businesses, spur economic growth, and provide quality retail outlets and restaurants for the Crenshaw community

The developer who toyed with putting that bid in for the mall got the message and backed out. Now there’s another developer who reportedly has put up the cash for the Mall.  The same pro and con arguments on both sides are being shouted. The battle to send this developer packing by some community activists is even fiercer. Whether it’s the fight over ownership of the Crenshaw Mall or any other inner major business and residential area, the watchword that rings on all lips is this word: gentrification.

Like any other controversial, hotly debated, and divisive issue that bursts on the public policy scene, there’s a history. Gentrification is no different. It didn’t start in the late 1990s with young whites pouring into mostly Black and poor neighborhoods in America’s central cities and buying up rundown houses and apartment buildings. Then soaring the rents and home prices thereby driving the Blacks out. Or developers hungrily eyeing prime commercial space and land in neighborhoods such as the Crenshaw district.

Crenshaw Mall remodel

Artist rendering of remodeled Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall

The Urban Land Institute in the first major study in 1976 on gentrification that year found that a rising number of big cities experienced some form of gentrification. There were lots of new rehabbed housing and apartments in almost all cases occupied by affluent, educated young professionals. The report noted that the newcomers were “establishing a new investment climate.”

This was not lost on investors and developers who see bigger profits to be made selling to the young affluent whites interested in moving back into these areas.  It didn’t take long for the first rumblings of protest to be heard. The rumblings came from residents and community activists. They demanded to know, what about the folk who live in these neighborhoods, what happens to those who can no longer afford homes and apartments there? There were warnings that the transformation had consequences, mostly dire for those residents and for cities. There would be even more distinct areas carved out for the rich and poor, this time not out of the city, but within the cities.

A decade later the ante jumped on inner-city real estate. The influx of young affluent whites snapping up distressed properties in inner-city neighborhoods turned gentrification into a major growth industry. The properties bought often at fire-sale prices in distressed areas became solid financial investments for the present and future for investors and speculators. The ramp-up in tax revenue and fees was a windfall for municipal and county governments. The sweetener for investors and developers was to offer an even greater goodie bag of tax breaks and incentives to spur them to gobble up even more land in these areas.

Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza

There was scant if any attention paid to the effect of the make-over of these areas on the increasingly displaced Blacks and Hispanics, and the poor in what were fast becoming nouveau rich neighborhoods. Instead, there were countless articles and stories and features on the lifestyles and habits of the new urban elite in these neighborhoods. The words” increased poverty,” “displacement,” “racial disparity” was nearly totally absent from the gentrification conversation.

With gentrification now becoming a buzzword for seismic urban change, the battle lines were now tightly drawn in the debate over whether gentrification and development or at least the types of development it brought were a good or bad thing for poor Black and Hispanic communities. Developers, a slew of government officials, and real estate moguls are solidly on one side repeatedly citing the supposed benefits: more jobs, a spur to businesses, more and better housing, schools, and services, and spruced up public space. Community activists, legions of residents, counter with their checklist of bad things it purportedly will bring: homelessness, displacement, unaffordability, racial tensions, and erosion of the decades of racial and cultural cohesion that ironically forced confinement to racially segregated neighborhoods engendered.

The fierce battle over the Crenshaw Mall is set hard against the backdrop of class and race, and the rapidly changing demographics of America’s cities. The debate will continue to sharpen over the best use of valued land in and near central cities. Locally, the Crenshaw Mall is simply the flashpoint of this debate; a debate that will only grow fiercer with time.

earl ofari hutchinson

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is the author of The Gentrification Wars (Amazon) He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network

 

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COVID-19

Shawn V. Branch: My Personal Experience with COVID-19 and the Life Lessons Learned

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Shawn V. Branch - IMG_7609
Shawn V. Branch - IMG_7609

Shawn V. Branch

Changing Our Narrative

*The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on so many of us. Not only have we been dealing with quarantining, wearing masks, and social distancing, but we have also been dealing with all of this with the added pressure of a national reckoning with racial injustice and a nail-biting election. For so many of us, we are looking forward to 2021 and praying it will be much nicer than this crazy year.

My personal experience with COVID began the first week of March. It started with symptoms of a common cold that then turned into what I thought was the flu. I did not feel awful, but I developed a fever that would not go away. I tried everything that I had done in the past to rid myself of the flu, but nothing was working. Having COVID never crossed my mind until two close friends kept asking me if I thought I should get a test. My immediate reaction was to say no. In my mind, I was still thinking it was the flu and I felt sure I could not have COVID.

COVID-19 testing

File Photo: “Now I was starting to get nervous. The next morning, he called and instructed me to come to the office and call him when I parked, and he would meet me outside and bring me a mask. At this time, we were not required to wear masks but he was taking the necessary precautions for himself and the staff. He gave me the test (and thank God, he did the throat swab and not the nose swab).” Shawn V. Branch

A few more days passed, and I was not feeling better. My bestie said, “You need to get tested.” I called my doctor and he said that he was getting his first batch of COVID tests the following day and to text him in the morning. Now I was starting to get nervous. The next morning, he called and instructed me to come to the office and call him when I parked, and he would meet me outside and bring me a mask. At this time, we were not required to wear masks but he was taking the necessary precautions for himself and the staff. He gave me the test (and thank God, he did the throat swab and not the nose swab). He prescribed some medication to help fight what we thought was the flu. The pills worked and a few days later my fever was gone but I was still nervous while waiting for my results. I took the test on a Monday; the following Thursday, I received a call from my doctor that said I tested positive for COVID-19.I was stunned. After I got over the initial shock, I started thinking: how did this happen and why me? That day, I sent a text message to my family and then a few close friends telling them about my result. My mother instantly told me that she was flying to Atlanta to be with me. I told her she absolutely could not do that!! Honestly, I really did want her to come. It had been a while since I saw her and during this time, I did not want to be alone; but I knew it was not safe for her to come and visit. That night as I laid in bed, I started to cry. So many thoughts were running through my mind and now I knew I had to quarantine and be isolated from the very support system I felt I most needed at that very moment.

But in that deep sadness, I was reminded of all I have to be thankful for. I am so blessed to have a loving family and wonderful friends. They checked on me daily, and my friends in Atlanta brought me food and champagne regularly, leaving it at my door. I thank God daily for my circle of friends. Living alone during the pandemic was very hard, and then facing the stress and unknowns of having COVID tested all my strength.

During my time with COVID, I tried to continue with my regular routine. I was up early, working and working out. I hate being sick and I also hate laying around doing nothing. I was alone so I had to cook my own meals, clean and do all the things I do when I am not sick. As I began to get better, I realized my breathing was a little weird. I was not out of breath, but something was different. I also felt that my body was not feeling 100% better after quarantine. I had weird feelings throughout my body and it just made me mad. I started reading articles about the after effects of COVID and I saw several of my symptoms reflected. Again, I started to feel the same stress and panic I felt when I first got my positive COVID results back.

Now, eight months after getting over COVID, I am feeling like my old self. I’ve had several COVID tests since then and they have all come back negative. I know the question of immunity has been a topic of discussion. I don’t think that I am safe from re-infection, so I still take all the necessary precautions. There is much that is unknown about COVID, so I always lean on the side of caution.

There are a few things that I’ve learned and a few things that I have started doing since contracting the virus:

Dr. Anthony Fauci

FILE PHOTO: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., July 31, 2020. Kevin Dietsch/Pool via REUTERS

I take a multi-vitamin and Emergen-C (Immune +), every day. Dr. Fauci recommends vitamins C and D to help your immune system help fight off respiratory infections

Emergen-C and Centrum

“I am pretty good about my health, but now I really listen to my body and don’t take my health for granted.” Shawn V. Branch

I am pretty good about my health, but now I really listen to my body and don’t take my health for granted. I make my own smoothies at least five days a week. This serves as just another way to make sure I am getting all the proper nutrients that my body needs. In addition to working out five days a week, I now walk at least three days a week. I started doing this when the lock down in Atlanta first took place, and continued because its healthy and it gives me the opportunity to clear my head and exercise with friends.

Healthy food ingredients for smoothie

“I make my own smoothies at least five days a week. This serves as just another way to make sure I am getting all the proper nutrients that my body needs.” Shawn V. Branch

As much as I love a good happy hour, I realized that small, intimate gatherings with special people were really the way to go. I now have two gatherings that I look forward to: Building Boys Gathering- when I get together with a few guys in the building and we eat, drink and have a great conversation; and Family Time – every Saturday I hang out with my bestie and his husband. We take turns cooking, watching movies and enjoy great conversation. These two events are definitely food for my soul.

I can do without as many material things in my life. I realized that I do not need any more clothes, shoes, etc. One day while putting away laundry I noticed that I still had clothing with tags on them. As much as I love to shop, the pandemic made me realize that I have more than I need.

I need to protect my mental health by any means necessary. While I am lucky to be able to work from home, I have found that my default is to work a lot of hours because there’s nothing else to do. I have to force myself not to fall into that trap. I stop my workday at 5 pm, turn on music, fix myself a cocktail, and just relax. I’ve also decided to disconnect from news and social media one weekend a month. I think it is important more than ever to no longer neglect me and take a break.

alcoholic drink

“I stop my workday at 5 pm, turn on music, fix myself a cocktail, and just relax.” Shawn V. Branch

I really missed not being able to see family and friends. I’ve always considered my relationships most important and that has only become more the case now in the face of this pandemic.

Being alone for countless hours with nothing to do made me think about my life’s purpose and how I am making sure that I am being fulfilled.

I really missed hugging people. The first person I hugged was my bestie and that was not until August.

I am more empathetic to other people. We are all trying to cope with this new way of living and for some it’s been harder than for others. I’ve realized that I need to be more understanding to others and what they may be experiencing.

making a toast with people on Zoom

“I’ve realized that I need to be more understanding to others and what they may be experiencing.“ Shawn V. Branch

Even Zoom happy hours can get on my nerves.

Now, as we move into fall and winter, we’re already seeing an exponential increase in the number of COVID cases and deaths. I often say to myself, What is it that we’ve learned that we will want to carry with us long after the pandemic is behind us —and perhaps for the rest of our lives? I know that as individuals we can make our own choices, and it is individual choices that will make the difference.

I hope and pray that we learn from this pandemic to bring more stillness into our lives, take better care of ourselves, be gentle and loving to ourselves, never take people for granted, and be thankful for what we have!

Shawn V. Branch

Shawn V. Branch, Food, Lifestyle & Travel Editor, ReelUrbanNews.com, with professional imprint ranging from education to executive positioning. Shawn is the curator of the lifestyle blog, SV Branches (www.vanbranchblog.com), which is based on the vision of inspiring and connecting with people who are searching for positivity and motivation. Originally from Baltimore, Shawn now resides in the City of Atlanta.

 

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Columns

EUR Reviews: ‘Mangrove’ a Must and ‘The Giant’ a Bust / WATCH

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Letitia Wright - Mangrove

*“Mangrove,” is one of five films from the “Small Axe” anthology by Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”).

Based on true events, the film chronicles the 50th anniversary of the day in 1970 when 150 protesters of West Indian and African heritage in Notting Hill, West London, took to the streets because of police brutality. In a reign of racist terror, the local police raid Mangrove—a  lively community base for locals, intellectuals and activists—time after time.

When nine men and women are wrongly arrested and charged with incitement to riot, a highly publicized trial ensues. his must see film follows the Nine and their road to justice. One of the Nine, Altheia Jones-LeCointe (Letitia Wright), is the leader of the British Black Panther Movement.

Ironically, Wright is the sister of T’Challa in Black Panther. During the highly publicized trial of the Mangrove Nine, tensions ran high as they fought against brutal treatment and discrimination.

Mangrove march

Letitia Wright as Altheia Jones-LeCointe (center), Malachi Kirby (Darcus Howe, center, holding megaphone) in Mangrove. Photo: Des Willie/Amazon Prime Video

“Mangrove” is not only timely, but universal in its depiction of bigotry and injustice throughout the universe. The raw emotions that spill out into the streets, and at times inside the Mangrove, are real. “Mangrove” hits its mark going for the jugular with in your face necessary narratives.

Co-written and directed by Steve McQueen, “Mangrove” also stars  Malachi Kirby, Shaun Parkes, and Malachi Kirby, Rochenda Sandall, Jack Lowden, Sam Spruell,  Gershwyn Eustache, Nathaniel Martello-White, Richie Campbell, Jumayn Hunter, and Gary Beadle. “Mangrove” is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

The Giant

Watching “The Giant” is like watching paint dry. At least with the paint drying, viewers are spared the doldrums of Charlotte’s (Odessa Young) sleepwalk-like trudge through “The Giant.” Minutes after the film begins, Charlotte mother’s quivering feet are seen because she has just committed suicide. This scene is tantamount to what audiences are in for; in addition to a serial killer storyline.

Giant Odessa

Odessa Young (Charlotte) in “The Giant.”

Charlotte is a 17-year-old spending the summer in her Georgia hometown before heading off to college. Her questionable first love Joe (Ben Schnetzer), who mysteriously disappeared also returns. And Charlotte’s best friend Olivia (Madelyn Cline) only adds to the dire state of affairs with her dark appearances.

The surreal scenes and dreamlike sequences set up to pique the imagination fail miserably because of the monotonous and maudlin tone of the movie. Charlotte’s belabored, psychological trek drains viewers to the point where they could care less about the conclusion.

Directed by David Raboy, “The Giant” also stars Jack Kilmer, Madelyn Cline, Danny Ramirez, and PJ Marshall. “The Giant” is available on Digital & On Demand.

Facebook.com/TheFilmStrip Twitter: @thefilmstrip Instagram.com/thefilmstriptm

 

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