A Quarter Life Crisis

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Plight Of the Educated Black Woman

Under normal circumstances I like to keep my blog rather racially ambiguous not because I’m not into being a sistah girl but because being black doesn’t define me. True it’s a large part of who I am but it’s not the be all and end all. It’s the skin I’m in so to speak so I see the world through the eyes of a black woman and to some degree the world sees me first as a black woman before seeing me as just Faith. Don’t worry I’ve gotten used to it.

With that dissertation aside here’s the skinny. Over the last few weeks friends of mine and some not so close people I talk to have been having this reoccurring conversation with me about the plight of the educated black woman. OK that sounds very melodramatic but if you’re a regular reader (the two or three that actually exist following my almost month long hiatus) you’re used to my slight exaggeration. In any event, the plight of the educated black woman is this, marriage is highly unlikely. And for that marriage to happen between you and a black man of equal standing is even less likely.

Census stats report that black families are less likely to contain a married couple than other groups 46% vs 81% and single female headed families are far more likely 45.4% vs 13.7%.

OK OK before you kumbaya hand holding liberal idealist who come into “urban” areas by way of church missions and college projects go all ape shit on me, grow up. Barack may rock the White House and even throw a kick ass bbq inviting his United Nations friends and it looks all sweet potato pie great at the same time in some podunk ass-backwards town in Mississippi they have separate but equal proms. Yes it’s true with no faithaggeration. Sad the entire graduating class encompasses but 54 students so having the separate prom seems utterly ridonkulous when they should be trying to figure out why only 54 people are graduating, the point is simply at the end of the day we stick with our own.

Don’t get me wrong, I know tons and see tons of interracial couples (I am one of them) but most of the black women I know dream of having that strapping black man on her arm. Hell, let me be personal since this is my blog, when I close my eyes at night I entertain the idea of marrying my very own Common or Barack Obama. This dream fizzles quickly when I think about my true viable options that fit my short list of must or must not haves. Ok that was dramatic but you get my drift.

And I don’t think I’m asking for much. You give the list a whirl:

  • Must be childless (the list has dropped significantly after this one)
  • Must be employed preferably in a career that has some semblance of a 401k
  • Must be my educational equivalent or better
  • Must have no criminal record
  • Must believe in some type of higher power (we can debate religion later)
  • Must date women exclusively (this is soooo serious)
  • Must not live with mother or some other relative who raised you as a child
  • Must without a doubt not have any type of inappropriate tattoos (i.e . MOB splashed across your neck, you so can’t attend the office party)

Already I’ve eliminated an entire pool of “potentials.” Not only that I find that when I date and when I say I I mean myself and the women I’ve chit chatted with over the past few weeks. Hell let me say when we date fellow brothers we find ourselves making major concessions. Concessions aren’t inherently bad, with every relationship we make some because in life you never get 100% of what you want. Maybe you don’t like smokers (this was a major not gonna touch it with a stick for me) but prince charming rides in on his stallion hiding a social smoking habit. If he makes you smile you say well that smoking thing isn’t that bad.

Oh that was just me, I guess.

But I am talking major concessions like being startled from your sleep by a ringing cell phone at 3AM in the morning because baby mama number two (multiples give me the shivers) has a personal issue she just absolutely needs to discuss with your man. His answer before you can even begin to roll your eyes and snap your neck, she’s the mother of my child. WTF? This is more than a concession, this is a complete and utter relationship killer and creates an environment that doesn’t promote the Obama-esque union my Wander sees in her head for me.

To be completely honest there is only one guy, of all the men I know who fits the short list I spoke about earlier and that’s 21 Jumpstreet. We know how that ended. He does give me hope there are more out there like him, well not just like him because the whole hiding a live in girlfriend was janky but you know what I’m saying. No wait there’s two, Designer Jeans is the other one and well he’s a manwhore like so many other “good brothers” out there.

What I do know, my sistahs are scared. A lot of us close the doors to anyone but black men and because of this we settle and make concessions in order to have the veneer of “black love.” As a result we end up with the baby (hence the baby mama drama) minus the husband, house or ring. And I don’t want to be a downer or sound like a hater of all black men because I’m not. In actuality I heart black men, if given the chance to date and marry one who could make the short list I might just give up a kidney because well, I heart black men and I don’t want to be part of that growing statistic of angry black women who say brothers ain’t shit.

Side note I will never say this because my heart tells me it isn’t true.

But I will say this, brothers step up your game in all seriousness!

Is this just a Philadelphia phenomenon?

8 Pardon My French:

DC DIVA DATING ADVENTURES said...

Ahhh, totally understand the ambiguity on the the race thing...like I don't talk about it either...pause...trying to remember if it ever came up....maybe once or twice...

No it's not a Philly thing, it's a US thing? I have friends in Oklahoma, Michigan, Texas, New York & DC who feel the same way...

However, there is hope...on both sides...thought about some of the "good guys" I know besides pill popping Tony, male-whore Brian (he admits he's a slut though, he's in therapy for it, lol...), whiny Old Man, and some of the commitmentphobes)

I think more role model relationships are needed. Hate for the Obama's to be the "token" black relationship model, but others do need to step up their game. Like, why aren't O & Stedman married (another blog topic) or why don't we see more positive images of solid relationships in the black community???

In anycase, I do think some black women (not you or myself....just some others) need to realize, it's OK to date outside of your race/ethnic background (and gasp, even religion) that we (despite what the media portrays) are progressing and can be progressive... That love comes in all colors & flavors...

Don't get me wrong "chocolate" love is beautiful, but so is "butter pecan", "vanilla", "rocky road", chocolate chip", "almond..."

Sorry, must be lunch time ;)

myundiary@gmail.com said...

Ok, this is officially one of the best post you have written. I agree. I am an educated black woman, with my own job, car, house, etc. Its so hard to find a black man with the same out here. They definitely need to step their game up and stop blaming it on the DAMN environment.

La'Tonya Richardson said...

My friend tells me I have this picket fence idea of things. So, I'll try to come out the yard on this one. I have a black man, and have had him for more than 20 years, so I'm not going to pull an Oprah and say I understand. However I have watched cousins and friends who have some of the same standards, not being able to find black men that fit the bill. Studies show, that with educated women, if they don't find a spouse during college, it's more difficult past that point. Not impossible, but more difficult.

Faith, a black man may be out there for you, but just like the shoe you swear you put in a certain place, you might need to look in another location. Educated women, who are trying to make it, married, and unmarried, we have a tendency to run out of time, especially for our selves. Another thing I've learned is we are creatures of habit. Look outside of Philly, and step out of your routine.

I am never one to say lower your standards. My husband and I, who by the way didn't finish college, but makes way more than me with two jobs, have 4 girls. I want them all to have high standard and requirements. You get only what you ask for.

And just maybe, your prince charming is not a black man. And that's okay too. He just be a man of color, any color. Your happiness is what counts.

Thanks for the welcome back.

Don't Be a Slut said...

I can definitely relate. Single and almost ready to give up at age 38. But I'd rather be single than deal with Baby Mama Drama and other disasters.

Chaotically Calm said...

@Diva, I would like to see more role model relationships but with everyday people it would give me more faith in the state of black folk and marriage.

@Myundiary, yeah the environment is a bad excuse and I'm tired of hearing it myself.

@La'Tonya, I'm glad to hear that you are your husband have been together for 20yrs...it means that there's hope

@Don't Be a Slut, that 3AM thing was very true it wasn't for dramatic flair....I can't and won't deal with it. And honestly I shouldn't have to because I'm not bringing that kind of drama.

Crystal Monae said...

I believe that you should NEVER waiver on the qualities that you want in mate, especially not to acheive "black love, white love, hispanic love, japanese love, chinese love, italian love,..." okay you get my point. know what you want and go for that in any shade!

James said...

This is my first time reading your blog, I found it while attempting to locate a replacement for "Stuff educated black people like" but that's a story for another day.

I wouldn't have posted anything but your list of requirements for a potential partner strikes me as pretty curious. Starting with the petty and moving slowly toward significance:
1) A career with a 401k? That doesn't even make sense. With the debt the USA is accruing a Roth IRA makes more sense (because we'll have to pay those debts off some day via taxes) and careers don't have 401ks.
2) Believing in a higher power is directly proportional to how uneducated an individual is. That said, I don't dislike religious people. I just think they're confused ;-)
3) Requiring a person to have an educational requirement equal to yourself is a bit strict. Especially considering the fact that college is a pretty poor investment these days. All the wealthiest people I know, including my obscenely wealthy boss, never graduated from college and loans can leave a person fiscally crippled for the majority of their life.
4) This is the most egregious offense in my opinion. You're describing all of the generic socially constructed benchmarks for a man's worth as a human. There's nothing on your list about personality, character, integrity, multi-culturalism, empathy, intellectual curiosity etc.
The female equivalent of this list would be "I'm looking for a skinny woman with big boobs, that's healthy, submissive and has rich parents."

I do like the blog, good on you, keep promoting discussion in the world ;-)

Chaotically Calm said...

@Crystal, I am one to tell my friends don't let race screw with your happiness.

@James, The female equivalent of this list would be "I'm looking for a skinny woman with big boobs, that's healthy, submissive and has rich parents.

Actually it wouldn't this list besides the dating women exclusively is pretty gender neutral. I wrote it that way purposely. The short requirements go both ways.

Also you must understand this is a short list and all the qualities you list in four are important but would form a much larger list of what I look for in a mate. However, if a man can't even make the short list there are some serious issues.

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