Home Featured The Inconsistencies In How We Give Men and Women Advice

The Inconsistencies In How We Give Men and Women Advice

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Last week I wrote a post entitled The Ridiculous Expectations Black Men Black Men Place On The Sexuality Of Black Women. In the post I discussed the various ways in which Black men shame the sexuality of Black women and how this trend seems to be spreading via social media. The post received a decent amount of feedback across social media platforms from men and women alike. One comment that stood out was from another writer for this site, Dr. J. The following is his comment to my post:

“The problem with this post is that it’s going to give chicks a blank check. It’s really not a matter of the ridiculous expectations we have on women, it’s the lack of expectations we have on men. Anytime someone says, “Men can do it, but women can’t—that’s not fair.” I always counter with, why is the solution that everyone should be able to do it instead of telling men to stop doing it?

Listen man, I’m telling you right now, people ask women to do all types of freaky things in the bed, and then judge them for how they react. But a brother makes a girl squirt on the first time and she asks not a question at all.”

Dr. J and I don’t always see eye to eye in regards various topics that we cover here at Single Black Male but I agreed with this one 100%. Not only did I agree with it but also it started a train of thought about where we as men don’t hold other men accountable for nearly enough. Starting with introspection, here at SBM we cover a multitude of topics with most of them centering on relationships and the interactions between men and women. I wouldn’t be lying if I stated that the advice given is focused towards women.

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“You can get a man if you…”

“The top ___ reasons why no man will ever be interested in you.”

“Your personality sucks because…”

This is not just a trend seen on SBM but most relationship sites and books are catered to women and how women can best find and/or keep a man. What I scarcely see evidence of is of men giving advice to other men about how to get or keep a woman. I hardly see posts or books that chastise the shortcomings or wrongdoing that we know a lot of men commit and when I do see these blogs/books they usually garner little interest. Part of this has to do with men not reading blogs at the same rate as women do and that men really don’t want to take advice from other men when it comes to relationships. We tend to think we know everything that there is to know.

Dr. J’s comment made me think of my father. Most fathers take pride when their sons start to become interested in girls. They love that their sons are “chips off the old block” especially if his son is a ladies man. Although I know differently now then I didn’t. My dad was something of a rolling stone but he wanted better for his sons because he knew how much stress and strain that could put on our future relationships. To prevent us being like him at first he preached focusing on our studies and not girls. When we were finally old enough to date (according to him) he stressed that we should become one women men. I’m not making the argument that I’m this awesome guy because the advice my father gave me somehow life changing or that my father is even that great of a guy.

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What I do know is that one of the common goals men and women have when it comes to relationships is for them to have more ups than downs and more happy moments than sad ones. One of the ways in which this can happen at least on the male side of relationships is for males to hold other males accountable. Its easy for a man to tell a woman how to function in a relationship but it’s a whole different beast giving another man constructive criticism because that would involve looking at yourself as well.

Most of my posts here haven’t been about sex or relationships. They’ve mostly been about social issues. For that reason in the foreseeable future any posts I do write that falls under relationships will be addressed towards men. They may not the viewership that posts get that are addressed towards women but I believe men also need advice.

Have you noticed that there’s a discrepancy in the type of scrutiny we give men versus the type of women when it comes to handling the opposite sex?

Comment(32)

  1. I definitely try to be critical of men at times in my column on viralstatus.com . But I do agree , we don't hold each other accountable enough in challenging our philosophies. We need more of it and it starts with us.

  2. While I can agree with the premise of the post, I have to point out that both sexes are generally guilty of this. Most women's articles, blogs, etc. spare no expense in illuminating the many flaws and inadequacies that men have in regard to relationships. The ladies who hold ladies accountable are in the minority and are usually met with some kind of rationalization for the behaviors. We both have a long way to go with this one.

  3. The dynamic is a bit different when you're giving advice to someone in your peer group– and for relationship topics, the 2 biggest peer groups are men and women.

    When you, as a male, write a post that is directed at women, I can easily join the brigade and say: "Yea, thats right! ol silly women over there acting silly!"

    But when you direct it at fellow dudes, its more like: "Wait… so what you tryina say? We don't agree with that… do we?"

    Not that its a good thing or a bad thing (and it's probably a little of both)– but it just takes some mental gymnastics, self awareness, and independence to take objective advice and separate oneself from the groupthink behavior. Especially when its so easy to fall in line with your peer brigade.

  4. For one, men are stubborn, if its not about money most not tryna hear that see. Because men for the most part arent the ones who are investing years in women only to get shut all the way down and she find someone else the next week, men arent struggling to get her to commit, we’re the pursuers. In the battle of the sexes, men are winning, handedly at that. Thats not to say that there isnt room for improvement, but the winning team rarely changes their startegy

    1. Yeah. For these reasons, when it comes to relationships, men aren't better, but it's better to be a man.

  5. Thank you!!!! As I read many post about men and women relations, it always about what I should be doing to improve myself for a man. Or Why does a man act this way. However, we never look at the details of why men act this way. Whenever I ask it's always (well there's more women then men so we can do what we want to do). Which is a crappy excuse if I heard one. We both need to hold our genders accountable. Men should tighten up, just as much as Women should. There is no hope for the relations if only women are working to improve themselves, yet men choose not to.
    My recent post I get so lonely

    1. I agree with your premise about men fixing their issues before complaining about sisters although a lot of sisters are walking around with serious issues. Had a conversation this past weekend with a old military buddy of mine threatening to leave his baby-mama because she is antagonizing and doesn't listen to him. I asked him what do you expect when you live in her own house, drives her car, don't have a reliable source of income and jump from one seemingly unsuccessful venture to the next. Instead of using the benefits earned from your military service to improve himself like everyone of us that served in combat with him, and have degrees, advance degrees and stable employment to show for it, instead he is looking for an easy way out by planning to move in with another chick and perpetuate his sad situation. Although he is my homeboy, but I do shake my head at women that allow him into their lives when they can see his issues from a mile away. Men need to get their acts together and ladies needs to overhaul their mate selection process, because rewarding this kind of buffoonery is very pathetic.

        1. He said he will refocus his energy in improving himself and I am hoping he does just that, because me and my other buddies went off on him. It is just hard to see someone who has stared death in the face with you and navigated through situation that demands ultimate focus, suddenly lose that focus and can't seem to do anything right.

        2. That's awesome. It really is.

          I find that men tend to "mind their business" a tad too much when it comes to their close peers. So, the fact that you were honest with him is soo awesome to me. Maybe this happens more often than I think and I just don't see it. *shrugs*

        3. I think if you guys are truly friends, male or female, you should be able to give them that heart to heat advice. If I have a female friend who is cheating on a good guy, I'mma let her know that she doesn't need to play with a man's or anyone's heart like that. To much Yolo-ing going on, instead of taking responsibilities for our actions and bettering ourselves.
          My recent post I get so lonely

        4. I think its different for men and women. Women do this stuff all the time. But, from my observations, men aren't really in each others business like that. They can be the best of friends and still keep certain things very private.

    2. "well there's more women then men so we can do what we want to do"

      I used to always get that response from a few of my male family members until I told/showed them that women don't begin to outnumber men until 50 and that's because the men are dying but 50 and under there are more men than women. Funny how all of the male cousins I told that to are partnered up now. :/

      "We both need to hold our genders accountable. Men should tighten up, just as much as Women should."

      I agree with this but you gotta admit, if you get in a relationship treat the woman like ***** then she leaves and SHE gets told what SHE did wrong, what's wrong with HER, what SHE needs to change about HERSELF and gets told that SHE can't keep a man, why would you want to do better if she's getting all the heat?

  6. I’ve noticed a general trend of focusing on a woman’s rights and a man’s responsibilities when it comes to relationships. If a woman asks for advice on a troubled relationship she’s told what she deserves vs if a man asks for advice he’s told what he should change or what romantic gesture he should make.

    A common requirement women I know have for potential suitors is that he make more money than them. Women have won the the right to make the same amount of money and often make more than men (esp among black people). But, that right seems to have come without the responsibility of being a “provider” that men still have. Just a couple examples of differences in accountability I’ve noticed from the male side.

  7. There is a country for men to give advice to men, but it's usually not something I see a lot in the Black community. Like for example, GQ and AskMen are great sites for advice on a myriad of topics for men. They'll teach you how to dress, how to talk to women, which issues are pressing in today's news, and a whole lot more. There isn't a source of information like that for Black men.

    1. Those are outlets for men period.
      I've never understood the need to have a "black" version of everything.
      Of course some topics can only be properly addressed by members of the black community
      but many other things are universal between races and ethnicities.

      1. I ain't really finish my comment. The thing is that Black women have similar version of those sites that are targeted towards them and produced to give them that information. They have Essence, Ebony, Clutch and MadameNoire. There's nothing that big on the side of men for advice for men.

        I agree that those are outlets for men, period. I go to those sites and read them, but the point is… it really is a Black male issue. I don't think you "need" to have a Black version, but if you're wondering why this situation is going on… there's your answer.

      2. " I've never understood the need to have a "black" version of everything."

        Sooo…they changing the name of this site to 'Single Male' then?

        1. Of course not. This is a place for black issues. I just wrongly understood his comment to mean that for every white product their must be a black equivalent.

          @Dr. J I see what you mean. Articles written from a black perspective for a black audience, specifically a black male audience. Maybe SBM should launch a magazine?

  8. I've always noticed that men are more critical of women and seem to be absent minded when it comes to holding themselves up to that level in which they expect their women to be. I never understood that. How could you point a finger at someone and say their acts are wrong but you commit the same acts. And yes, some women have foolishly fallen into "If he can do it, why can't I"…also crazy!

    I've been telling men and women…treat the person that your dating with the respect you would want a man/woman to treat your own child. Don't try to always judge or characterize people unless you are going to do some self reflection. "If she sleeps with me on the first date, then she's not good enough for me"…well honey, you've also just stated that you're not good enough for the woman who chooses to abstain. That's my take….

    Oh, the other thing that urks my nerves is when parents are raising their children to "do right" and they say "My daughter can't stay out late because there's nothing but corner boys out that late"…but then you send your young son out…guess he's a corner boy and you're pro-corner boy!

  9. To your last paragraph of your comment, it is called double-standard. It isn't fair, but that's just how it is.

  10. great post tunde!

    its always disappointing to see that much of advice that men have on relationships is about what women are doing "wrong" and why they don't have a man – and that men are gonna be who men are, so women should be the ones to adapt, and meet a man where he is. men almost never get the same level of critique about the way in which they pursue women or how they might not be doing something right. and in the rare instances these things are pointed out about men BY other men, its somehow a man "breaking guy code". and dont ever let a woman tell a man how to be a better man in relationships because she will either be ignored or berated by how she knows NOTHING about what it takes/means to be a man.

    on top of the fact that relationship advice is not one size fits all – everybody is different. we all want different things out of our relationships. so most of it i overlook anyway. because if i'd listened to even half the advice i've received about relationships, i probably would not be in the awesomely happy and loving relationship i am in today.

  11. I feel where you're coming from. I personally think the reason much of the advice is directed toward women is because most of the people writing, giving, or speaking it are men. By and large, we're more prone to look at what someone else needs to do, versus what's wrong with us, so you taking a different stance is admirable.
    My recent post When Trusting God Is All You Can Do…

  12. I'm sorry, did I miss something? Most of what I've heard for the past 20+ years since the inauguration of Oprah, is how jacked up we men are, and how women should stand and find their voice (at the expense of men's voices might I add). I agree on the premise that us brothers need to hold ourselves more accountable, but unless women are willing to do the same, I don't see this issue getting fixed anytime soon. As long as we continue to flag wave and point fingers (I'm guilty too), we both are losing as far as I'm concerned.

  13. Tunde, neat article here and I think the take away is to more or less focus on the positive times with your partner. It's hard to give advice when everyone is unique and every relationship will have it's own memories and challenges. The real deal comes from taking advice and comparing it to your own experiences so you have an ideal on how to approach your next relationship. Looking forward to seeing what you write next Tunde! Thanks, Brian

  14. This was much better than that VS post you wrote last time. You needed to be shot for that.

    Anyways.

    You only give men advice & constructive criticism only if he asks.

    Men are supposed to be independent thinkers and it is in their best interests to be stubborn & hard-headed.

    And if a man is getting women & getting all his needs met. You can’t tell that man sh*t.

    It is the men that are too nice, and indecisive & treat women well who need reform.

    Men & women have reluctantly come to that conclusion.

    Good day

  15. Great article, I think part of the problem in trying to hold men accountable to a degree is the conflict of ideal vs real. When you have men that are simply results driven, whatever advice/accountability you give is going to have to achieve that result or better to get his attention, as a rule. It's about what gets the job done in his eyes. We can tell other men they need to treat their women better, but if being trifling got those women in the first place and gets them more women in succession, guess whose advice they're' not going to take?

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