Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Happy Tuesday!

I have a guest blogger today! She is a co-worker of mine who has an awesome blog called To Whom It May Concern - a blog for the "everyday aspirational woman." She is beautiful, intelligent, funny, stylish, successful and just straight FLY. She is the fabulous Rashana Hooks! Show her some love!


What about US (Unofficial Singles)? ...by Rashana A. Hooks

Before I begin my news update on the under-representation of the unofficially single population I want to thank Ms. Brooke for allowing me to share my thoughts and views on her site. You rock BD!

Now on to the matter at hand - As you know the media has had a field day capitalizing off of the “singleness” of successful black women (i.e. Dateline/Nightline). They've led many to believe that if black women have an education, their own money car and home then they are destined to be alone. They even make tons of money in advertising revenue selling stories on how to find a man, how to get that first date, etc. Most notably Steve Harvey continues to chart the NY Times best seller list advising women on how to act like lady so she can get a man. All of these ploys cater to the officially single woman, but what about all of the unofficial single women? Women who are successful and have great an equally successful man - but just not married yet. What about US?

Being a part of this population I felt the need to raise this question and ask why the media chooses to ignore us. Do they believe we don't exist? Is a successful black woman with a man foreign to them? Or has society once again dismissed all of our worthy accomplishments because none of them measure up to the accomplishment of getting married? We (the officially single) would like to see stories about committed couples who are building for their futures together and books being written about the value of commitment way before you say I do. Although I know finding that perfect person can be challenging at times (we the unofficial have been there) I do believe there should be balance in the media along with the awareness that it is possible. Both the world and the media need to recognize that there is such a thing called black love and black women can have that and success too. And that's the true story about US....

-Rashana A. Hooks
http://www.rashanahooks.blogpsot.com/

31 comments:

Latinegro said...

first bitches!!!!

Yolanda said...

I can honestly say, I have never given thought to the "unofficial" singles since most of my friends (including me) are OFFICIALLY single...as in, nothing popping worth any substance on the man front. Dare I say, I wish I had this 'unofficial' problem.

Once you find love, keep it. Who cares what package it comes in!

Anonymous said...

Sarah said....

Not sure that this is a "black" issue. I remember turning thirty and having a total freakout that I would be alone forever because of some "rule" that said so. It's a female issue, we need to stop buying products that sell us this crappy idea and speak with your wallet if we want to change this. Making it a Black issue separates us as women rather than encouraging us to join together.

What if all of a sudden, all the products that push this crap on us, whether directly (like that book) or indirectly (think Michael Kors ads) just stopped selling. What if we all started to only make purchases with companies that show empowered women. Boy this would all change really fast.

Stef said...

Sarah,

Great point! I speak to alot of my non-black friends and they all seem to be having the same problem finding a good man (of any race) as us black women. While I agree we have it the hardest, it's a universal problem among ALL women.

As for "unofficial" singles, I never really gave them much thought either when listening to those reports. They make it seem like all the single, black women of the world are at home crying about it - not that they're out with their man (who is not their husband). I don't recall any stats on THOSE women. Thanks for raising that question Rashana!

Jaz said...

While most of my women friends ARE officially single, they're not at home crying into pints of ice cream either. They still date and have a good time with the men who ARE in their lives. Just because we don't have husbands doesn't mean we don't have fun.

We probably have MORE fun ;)

Yolanda said...

I often wonder if it is a racial thing though. I just had this conversation with 2 of my Black female friends on Sunday and we were noting that all of our white friends in our age range are either in serious relationships or married and on baby #2 or 3.

Grant it, a handful of the ones who did things the traditional way and got married in their 20s are now getting divorced. So it cuts both ways.

I just stick to my mantra: what's for me is for me. I can't look at what other people have and cry about what I don't have.

Anonymous said...

First off: Cry me a river. Please. Cry now. LOL! Girl, you have a man. Be happy with that. I wouldn't however be cheering from the rooftops about being committed to some man who you aren't married to unless you are headed down the aisle in the foreseeable future. Black men are notorious for not marrying black women. I suspect that problem started way back when slavery broke our families apart. We've been struggling to regain our families ever since.

The media caters to populations that move the needle. They feel that Black people in general don’t matter; it’s not just towards single black women who haven’t found their soul mates. We are officially underrepresented in every facet of media.

Hate to break it to you sister, but you are not Unofficially Single. You are just Single. You have a man, great. But till he puts a ring on it, you are just like the rest of us: single-black-successful-women. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’ve won the big prize, but you are close. Good luck getting to that goal line!

Latinegro said...

Sorry of my late post after the first one..I had a fire drill to deal with...

The Media will never represent any of us in the way we want unfortunately. It is almost like we are branded to be a certain way so ads can be sold.

Not to mention that society seems to tell us that we need to be married and live life a certain way so when we are not we feel bad about it.

Stef said...

I wonder if white men are more marriage minded than black men are - cuz Yolanda (and anonymous) have a point. Like I said, I believe we have it worse...and while I have a handful of single white friends, the majority of the ones I know are married with kids as well. Whereas it's the opposite for me and my black friends.

Let me ask you all this - how long should you wait before someone puts a ring on it? I ask because I think of that movie "He's Just Not That Into You" where Jennifer Aniston was with Ben Affeck for 7 years and he never wanted to get married, yet they were more like a married couple than her married sisters were. Is the commitment enough, or does that piece of paper make it "official"? I know couples who are married, but their spouses cheat on each other.

Being married doesn't make the commitment, having that piece of paper doesn't make the commitment, and having a ring doesn't make the commitment. The PEOPLE involved make the commitment. Single or Married is just a title sometimes.

Latinegro said...

I agree with Stef. I just that movie for the first time this weekend. It has really made think about a lot of things

Rashana A. Hooks said...

Well I'm glad I sparked some thoughts - whether good, bad or indifferent - lol


@Steph - I agree with you - I don't think this is just a black issue, however the media seems to highlight it as such. Have we seen shows about successful white women looking for a man?

@Anonymous - It's not about winning a "prize" it's about letting the media know that there are black women who have men whether they are married or not. It's purpose is to counter the fact that we are all at home wishing on a star. When we or I choose to marry is our business but the media and world should know that black love does exist with or without a ring.

Yolanda said...

That ring and piece of paper sure come in handy for health insurance and other more business-like things though.

Not that THAT's a reason to get married, LOL.

Latinegro said...

Rashana - Wasn't Sex and the City about white women looking for a man?

Ms. Penn said...

I agree with you Stef and Rashana - I know couples who have been together for over 10 years, but for whatever reason, marriage isn't something they want or feel they need. If you want to get married, then get married. If not, then don't. I think more couple are going in that direction, regardless of race. I just don't think people view marriage the same way they used to...and it's not the main focus for most people anymore.

I have nothing against people who want to get married and have kids and the picket fence, etc. Everyone is entitled to their own desires. But just because a woman chooses to date a man for years without hoping for that ring doesn't mean anything is wrong with her (or him). With the divorce rate the way it is, marriage doesn't seem that appealing anymore, and hopefully it's causing some people to re-think their idea of marriage before they just plunge into it.

Rameer "The Circumstance" said...

We've dealt with this topic before. I won't go deep into it, but I'll say this - the fact that all these Black men and women are discussing and debating this shows the media wins in this scenario, like they do most times. Why are WE having the dialogue about this? Most know this isn't true and/or grossly exaggerated for attention. Why entertain it and stay on this subject so long?

Black women knew the dynamics of their relationships well before this became the topic du jour. Every time these topics are brought up, there are no real solutions or answers to any questions. It's just talking to reinforce the image of Black women as alone and unable to find a mate/marry (again, grossly exaggerated and sometimes flatly lied about, depending on the report).

No disrespect to you at all, Rashana. But I personally get sick of the media determining what is the topic on convo in my community at times.

Annamaria said...

@Anonymous: what if she doesn't want to get married????
What if her man loves her & accepts this fact & they've decided to live their life together without getting married???
Marriage doesn't make you love someone or stay committed YOU DO...
A ring is a piece of jewlery... SHIT I got a beautiful band on my finger right now and GUESS WHAT...I'M NOT MARRIED AND I HAD A BABY OUT OF WEDLOCK....OH LORD CALL THE COPS...lol
Guess what I love him & he loves me & we are building our life together REGARDLESS of what anyone thinks or feels...If we chose one day to get married we will...If we don't soo be it.. My parents have been together 40 years this August they have raised great kids together & are inseperable & in love...AND YOU KNOW WHAT THEY AREN'T MARRIED..... Both of them decided they didn't need the piece of paper & called it a day... They still don't rule it out but it doesn't change who they are or what they mean to each other....

Everyone needs to stop worrying about what everyone else is doing..
For those of you that are single: Be yourself & be happy especially cuz I don't think you are sitting home crying either...
To us Unofficial Singles stay focused in what's best for both of you & keep on keeping on...
And to those married readers: Congrats & keep it up also

Brooke said...

Great discussion today, and Stef raises a good point. Do some of us want to be married just to say we are, or do we really want the commitment that we think only comes with marriage?

Sometimes I think of all the hard work involved and wonder if it's something I'm up to. I've never been the one to dream of my white dress and wedding day, but like Yolanda pointed out, it has its benefits. Just makes you wonder...

I think the institution of marriage can be great with the right person who is on the same page - but you have to be realistic about why you think marriage is something you want.

NightFall914 said...

I think the it shouldn't be left to the media to define society either way. I guess they go by stats like the Census or don't feel like polling for "happily involved" couples.

They just want ratings. Their not helping, aiding or enlightening anyone.

LuLu said...

Personally, I don't just think this is a topic that the media "created" - but moreso a topic they got wind of. Me and my single friends have been discussing this LONG before Nightline and 20/20. And while the reports might be exaggerated, it's not something that just popped up to make us feel a certain way. My girls and I have asked the same questions these news outlets ask. We've raised the same concerns they have. And while I don't believe everything the media says, I can't say that I and my friends don't feel the effects of what they talk about. It's real. It seems to me that they're just now catching up to what we've been talking about for at least a decade now, and are maybe embellishing it enough for it to be sensational. But it's not like I look around and see all my black community happy and married and the news is making up something else as false. Depending on where you live or what circles you travel in, all you have to do is look around to see that maybe some, if not most, of what they say is true.

Anonymous said...

Sarah Said...

It's absolutely not true that white men are more marriage minded. I have a hundred white girlfriends that will confirm this.

The media is just focusing on black for the moment because they have already sucked all the white girls wallets dry with the Movies, Books, and Products to get a man. Now they see black women with money and are targeting them.

Latinegro said...

More and more people get married because that is what they are supposed to do. It is the next logical step. At times, the thought process is..."well I don't want to break up"

Geeque4u said...

Annamaria summed it all up!!!

Annamaria said...

The funny part is I know MORE successful HAPPILY married black couples than any other race!

PS-Thanks for the blog Rashana

Geeque4u said...

Stef is right, Single or Married is just a title sometimes. We can discuss this topic until we turn blue in the face and we won't have an answer..
Those who do not have a man, live your life and enjoy it. Those who do have a man, pray for a healthy relationship. If you move to the next level and get married wonderful, if not live your life and enjoy it!!!

Divorce said...

Hi my name is Divorce an I am right on your Ass!!
I have known many people who were in long term relationships and everything was fine. They are pressured into getting a married and guess what happens? The marriage and the relationship ends, so be careful what you ask for because sometimes if it’s not broke then don’t try to fix it.
Remember my name is Divorce and I am right on you Ass!!!

Maria said...

100% agree with this. Also agree with the comments pointing out that this is not a black issue, but one that affects all women. I got so steamed about this that I wrote a book in response to Mr. Harvey's; it's called Act Like a Gentleman, Think Like a Woman.

Geeque4u said...

@Maria - Let's get this book on the Kindle, so I can read it.. :-)

Brooke said...

I read the excerpt and I'm totally intrigued Maria!

Stef said...

I was wondering when someone was going to write a response to Steve Harvey's crap book. He didn't write anything most women don't already know. Even if you use that book to reinforce what you already knew, he wasn't shedding any light on anything really...except that we have to think like THEM in order to get them. Why aren't there any books on how to think like US to get US?? (well, Maria wrote one, so there's one)

It's all a load of crap. We need to stop playing these games and assuming we know what the opposite sex does or how they think all the time. Everyone is different, we should start by accepting EACH person as they are instead of our preconceived notion of how they are and then go from there.

Jay said...

I'm all late, but here is my response anyway - Live and Love and let the rest fall into place. No matter what your "status" is - the grass will always be greener on the other side and your life and the love in it is what you make of it. If you're officially single, unofficially single, married, or "it's complicated" - have faith and know that whatever God has planned for you will simply be what it is.

Maria said...

Hi Brooke! Great conversation in this thread. Stef, your comment is AWESOME and exactly what my book is about.

Geeque4u, my book is indeed available on Kindle. I'd love to hear what you guys think of it.

Related Posts with Thumbnails