I realized something that would have helped me exponentially when I
was forcibly lumped into joined the “relationship” blogging genre. Women are right. This is why, despite my best efforts at careful wording, precise grammar, and MLA approved on-line citation formatting for references, my opinion would never matter if it ever ran contrary to the majority of women. While this site self-describes itself as The Source for the Black Male Perspective, let’s be clear, it doesn’t matter if I’m talking about men, black or other, because women are subject matter experts in that field too. In essence, men’s opinions don’t matter, because men are no longer needed. The quicker we accept this demotion, the better.
You can care about the well-being of women but only in areas they deem ok for you to care. All other subjects are off limit. If you don’t agree with them, despite your best intentions, you are not part of the cure, you are part of the problem, and therefore, the enemy. Your opinion is only welcome when it aligns with what they’re already thinking. Ironically, this theme sounds eerily deja vu of a gender whose power is in upheaval.
In fact, the more women dominate, the more they behave, fittingly, like the dominant sex. – The Atlantic
Quit complaining and “man up” is what they might be quick to dismiss you with. This implies today’s women must know how men should act, since clearly from their perspective you are not acting like one, hence their suggestion you “man up.” Know your role, whatever that means in this day and age. While no one seems to know for sure, it is still a familiar rhetoric flung recklessly at men whom women believe fail to sufficiently follow an ever changing and unwritten script. Is a real man best depicted through the chauvinistic and adulterous, yet desirably dominant by most women’s own admittance, character portrayed by Don Draper in AMC’s Mad Men? Is a man best embodied in the felony convicted, tattooed covered, R&B crooning, Mr. He Can Beat Me himself and top selling artist, Chris Brown? Or is Aubrey, the auto-tune R&B singing Canadian rapper, cardigan sweater wearing, conflicted emotions ranging between misogynist and the glorification of love, you might know him as Drake, the embodiment of a man? Is a real man responsible for atonement for the absentee father, x-boyfriend, abuser, accuser, cheater? Or is he responsible for living up to the man who long since departed but whose reputation has manifested itself in the figments of her imagination as perfection, affectionately known as #HIM (Her Imaginary Man)?
That was the headline blazoned across my inbox after a helpful reader forwarded this article for digestion (For the record, I welcome articles/opinions/constructive criticism: wisdomismisery at gmail dot com). I had noticed a pattern of similarly themed articles. I was reminded of the How to Raise the Men We’d Want to Marry article over on CNN, originally posted on Oprah.com, which makes no mention of the use of a father’s role in raising…men. A more recent reading of Huffington Post’s Myth of Male Weakness, which made passing reference to the The End of Men article floated on the precipice of the part of my brain that begins to forget past events. I took a deep breath, braced myself for the worst, and opened the article.
IF YOU REALLY want to see where the world is headed, of course, looking at the current workforce can get you only so far. To see the future—of the workforce, the economy, and the culture—you need to spend some time at America’s colleges and professional schools, where a quiet revolution is under way. More than ever, college is the gateway to economic success, a necessary precondition for moving into the upper-middle class—and increasingly even the middle class. It’s this broad, striving middle class that defines our society. And demographically, we can see with absolute clarity that in the coming decades the middle class will be dominated by women.
It’s a long article but I read it in its entirety. I found none of it overwhelmingly shocking. I also found none of it intimidating. However, I did find it very interesting. Traditional gender roles are clearly changing but expectations lag behind. I wouldn’t say it’s for the better nor would I say it’s for the worse. It is, without a doubt, different and whether we like it or not we’re all directly and indirectly affected. I don’t believe the rise of women is the end of men but maybe that’s because I’ve always had a strong woman present in my life, my mother.
Why are women smarter than men? From an educational basis, this is becoming non-negotiable. As shown in the quote above, women, especially black women, are graduating at rates exponentially higher than their male counterparts. Further, they are pursuing graduate degrees at a higher clip as well. In cities where women are already not out-earning their male counterparts, it is more often a reflection of biased pay practices that benefit men for performing the same work. A standard, I might add, which is also changing. Why are women statistically more driven than their male counterparts, across all races, at attaining higher levels of education? Further, where are all these highly educated, soon to be equally or better paid, women to turn when looking for a mate? Should they settle? They think so but then again, it wasn’t considered settling all those years when the inverse was true. When men traditionally married less educated and less financially equipped women. What’s the difference now?
I’m not one for an us versus them mentality but I do understand how some can see it as a zero sum game, which as I wrote about a few weeks ago, is why some whites believe discrimination against whites is worse than it is against blacks. There is only so much “pie” to go around, and when we’re all competing for the same dessert, while we may fundamentally want everyone to eat, we are only motivated to sacrifice our piece if we can first ensure doing so won’t lead us (or those close to us) to starve.
The playing field is changing and many of us are still trying to understand the game. When so-called rules that have been in place for decades suddenly switch, no one is an expert. Any one pretending to be one is a fool, arrogant, or both. In theory, we are progressing towards, or possibly already living in, a world where men don’t need women and women don’t need men. In fact, if one needed one more than the other it would be men, not women. Since, aside from adoption, men still need women to have children. The latter does not apply to women. Beyond procreation, both men and women can do everything for themselves, or so we seem to believe.
More than ever in history, we live in an era where women don’t need men. What does that mean to you? I personally have no idea. Regardless, as a male, a black male at that, perhaps I failed to realize that it is my perspective that would be the first targeted casualty of the movement. Steve Harvey, not surprisingly, was wrong. We shouldn’t encourage women to think like a man, act like a lady. We should encourage men to think like a woman and act like a man. In contrast to what James Brown told us in his 60’s hit, It’s a Man’s World, the future looks more and more like a “woman’s world.” In such an environment, how do you properly act like a man?
Ask a woman?