a thousand words

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"FEMALE" TROUBLE FOR "GOOD" BLACK MEN


SOMETIMES, IT'S NOT THE
WORD, IT'S HOW WE SAY IT.

"You just can't reason with these females...."

I can't say how many times I've heard the word female used in this way. Several years ago, I wrote a mean little book which I still have yet to release.  It is about a particular problem in Black relationships.  Anyway, during the writing of the tome, my protagonist (a woman) noted that many Black men like to refer to women as "females" and that it felt condescending.  If you think I am splitting hairs fellas, then how would you feel if a white man called you a Negro?  

Here is the passage from the book:

I hate it when a man says female like that.  For many, it’s just a nicer way of saying bitch.  As if any of them understand the scientific nature of the term.  I had a random thought about a scientist yelling: “Bring in the amoeba-- and the females!”

Why do we, Black people, who are so creative, waste our time finding ways to put each other down?  It's beneath us fellas and you know what?  Women can be unreasonable, too.

And ladies, the often used "Good black man" reference is similarly condescending. I hate it. It assumes that "good" is an aberration and I am happy to report that it is not. I get a lot of angry notes from men sometimes and it occurs to me they are upset because they are good men and they think I am talking to them.  

You say you need a good man ladies but it has been my experience that many of you (and please, spare me the "not me" post) use the term "good man" because you've intentionally spent a lot of time with men who are not good. You cannot indict all men because of your poor choices.  

To this end, also from the unreleased book:

Black women were wonderful, he thought, but so many had little time-bombs in them, a nasty little belief that all men were fucked up and would prove it sooner or later.  It was a hard, Impenetrable knot of sentiment built by bitter mothers, absentee dads and bad boyfriends who had failed to heal their wounded souls.  

It is so easy to be a provocateur in Black relationships. People are frustrated for themselves and their friends.  What's hard to do is to be curative, or at least try.  We can do better but perhaps it is best to start with the little things we can change.  These are two of them.  

No more "females" unless you're in a lab coat.

And try to just need "a man" and leave the color out.

copyright 2011