The Successful Black Woman and Black Courtship

Feb 15, 2011

Recently I have been reading a series of blog entries that started off about the The Plight of the Successful Black Woman and grew into a discussion about black dating and chivalry. It started here, and here is response #1, response # 2, and response # 3. I couldn't resist adding my $0.02, so here I am. Let me start by saying that this is a very simplistic approach to a very abstruse topic. By no means is it comprehensive, so please keep that in mind when you are reading.

Men are accused of the sole demise of black courtship and chivalrous love. I beg to differ on the grounds that women, much like men, want to have their cakes and eat them, too.

The emergence of the “successful, independent black woman” coupled with the collapse of traditional gender roles, has played its part in the demise of black courtship. Black women are more career-oriented than ever. They are earning more, and becoming better educated than most of their male counterparts.

These changing dynamics aren’t a problem though. It’s fine that women are leveling the playing field, assuring that they can stand alone financially. You’re an independent woman? Cool. However, the problem is that...these women have not figured out how to strike a balance between their evolving roles and the dating scene. Aside from the fact that most women nowadays have chosen their careers over romance and just do not have the time to fully commit to dating, there are those who do have the time but are not able to express their expectations of men in a way that seems RATIONAL to us. By this I mean…

These women are crying out that they want that old thing back. Yet they want to pick and choose which parts of traditional courtship they want to hold-fast to and which parts they want to do away with. For example, successful black women have yet to break the social custom of men footing the bill during the courting stages. Despite the fact that women are making more money than they ever have, and in some cases, more than the men they are dating. The financial burden of traditional courtship is…and will always be on the man. Women want to have their cake and eat it, too, weaving in and out of traditional and contemporary expectations of what the dating scene should be nowadays. All the while, the new role of the successful black woman renders no resemblance to traditionalism.

So while women's ideas on men continue to oscillate between staunch feminist ideals such as “don’t stand up on the bus for me, I am fully capable” to old traditional views such as “you should pay for everything"…men are left in limbo trying to figure out what responsibilities to assume. Do away with the misconceptions that men are intimidated by female success; we are more so confused by their inability to clearly express what their expectations are. Both in way that seems fair, and rational.


Connie said...

These problems can be avoided with open communication. I don’t understand what’s so hard about that. Everyone woman is different; you need to know what a woman wants when you’re courting her. Example, I consider myself independent, I work, I pay my own bills. But I have a traditional relationship with my BF, he’s the man, he makes the man decisions. My friends on the other hand are the ‘too independent for their own good, but I still want him to buy me dinner and a new pair of shoes for no good reason’ type of girls. But the men they date would know this from jump street if they open their mouths and asked.

Dub said...

Very very true, Connie. I totally agree that a lot of these issues could be bypassed if people just communicated EXACTLY what they wanted from the start. Explicitly. It's so difficulty, nearly impossible to guess what someone expects from you...especially today when things are nothing like they used to be.

it'sok2bu*nique* said...

I totally agree with this post and the comments above. I would consider myself as a black, independent woman, and I do have time for the dating scene. I am very traditional, but it can come across as wanting to live in the day where the man made all the initiatives...and was the man in every aspect. I think that sometimes "us" women don't really know what it is we really want because real men arent dominant.

A little sidenote: I assume that guys view my independence in a negative light because just to be honest, I dont get any "play." I know my position based on the Bible, but it just seems that men in general not as a whole nowadays wants the quick, fast even when things are expressed...idk


NelMonroe said...

Hey Dub! Just read your blog and enjoyed it. Glad to see you jumping in the conversation (we need more male opinions!)

I posted a "semi-response" on my page. Let me know what you think!

Don't watch me, w-w-watch my feet....