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Media Wages War on Single Black Women

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The media has waged a war on single black women. Historically black women have been portrayed as ignorant, loud, lascivious and harsh toned, swivel-necked hens. We've also been depicted as intimidating and unapproachable figures. Now the media is attacking us for being single. According to the media if you're a successful black woman with standards, you may just not "get a ring on it."

Articles like "Black Women Should End the Blame Game", generalize the complaints of why so many black women are unmarried. The article on thegrio.com states that black women's standards are too unreasonable, a sentiment echoed in a various publications, including Essence magazine, which is by and supposedly for black women. Hard to believe that one of the goals of Essence magazine is to empower black women when they run articles suggesting black women engage in acts of desperation and go to strip clubs to meet men. (What kind of quality woman wants to meet her future husband while he's shoving a dollar bill into "Cabernet's" g-string?)

Even mainstream media outlets like ABC's Nightline are adding all kinds of combustible fuel to the fire with their feature titled, "Why Can't Successful Black Women Find Men". Gee ABC, thanks so much for your concern and for coming up with a title suggesting there's something wrong with being successful and single-and that it's only a black problem. (I think the high profile white women publicly going through it with their men would agree that a good man is hard to find no matter what your ethnic background.) I find it very interesting that ABC chose to feature comedian turned "relationship guru" Steve Harvey, (who has been married three times), and actor Hill Harper, (who has admitted to having commitment issues), to expound upon the mistakes black women are making in relationships. Really? Both wrote books on black relationships, but a portion of their rhetoric still seems to blame black women without taking into account the actions and responsibilities of black men.

To paraphrase a line from my favorite movie Love Jones, "Let's break this all the way down, so it is forever and consistently broke." It's as if the media at large is saying: "Listen black girls, first we're going to do our best to make you feel unworthy and unlovable. And when you prove us wrong and lead happy, emotionally healthy and empowered lives, we're going to bombard you with messages indicating all that education and self affirmation will backfire, because no decent black man will want you now! Yeah, it's gonna get so bad you'll be looking to one of the "Kings of Comedy" to remedy your relationship woes!" If single black women are being geared by the media to seek counsel from a comedian for relationship advice then maybe things have gotten critical, but this strategy of attacking self actualized black women is not the answer.

Jimi Izrael, who was also on the Nightline panel and Harper both suggest that most black women are looking for an ideal black man. Izrael says, "Women are looking for men who don't exist," and Harper says 95% of black women are looking for the top 10% of men. (Is Harper saying 95 % of black women are gold diggers?) Izrael says black women want a Denzel Washington fantasy and wrote a book, The Denzel Principle, (even Denzel has admitted he's been no fantasy in his marriage), and goes on to spout the ridiculousness that "All black women think they're Michelle Obama." Both comments have sexist and insulting connotations.

It's insulting to say all black women lack a realistic and compassionate view of what it takes to have a substantive relationship. And since the frame of the conversation regards successful black women, the mere fact a black woman has worked hard to create a bountiful life for herself completely disproves the theory she's waiting on a man to save her. Mr. Izrael please check your perspective (or just talk to more black women) on what you think black women want.

If in fact the success of single black women will inhibit their ability to find a black mate, the media should shift the focus and examine the security/commitment issues of the black men who are supposedly so intimidated and address the socio-economic/political and psychological factors that play into a black man's feelings of emasculation when confronted with a "strong black" woman. Black women should not be vilified and victimized for creating good lives for themselves.

So single black women, keep achieving and keep it moving. A good man wants a good woman -- period. Do not take to heart the shallow criticisms and explanations of the media and its players. It's all game and propaganda to again try and trick us into believing we are unlovable. Don't believe the hype.

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