Why Do So Many Black Men Think Black Women Hate Them?
Get over yourselves, there isn't a war against Black men lead by "bitter" Black women
When I was 15 years old, I went through a streak where no one in my 8th-period science class would sit next to me. Every day, I would enter the classroom and look for my friends; they would smile, say hello, and then immediately shift to the other side of the room. At first, I thought this was just a coincidence, but after a couple of days where people who I considered close friends and even a couple of enemies, were going out of their way to sit somewhere else, I realized that something was wrong. In order to address my deep and growing abandonment issues, I decided resentment and pettiness were my best options for a response.
At first, I was determined not to let it bother me. If people didn’t want to sit next to me, I wouldn’t be upset about it, I would just live my best life, get great grades, graduate, and go to Morehouse college where everyone would think that I was amazing and want to be friends with me. This strategy lasted for about five minutes. It might have worked if I tried it, but that would have been a drama-free solution, and my life needed chaos. I started talking aggressively about everyone within earshot. If people weren’t going to sit next to me, I was going to let them know that I didn’t like it, and was going to tell them that they were “corny for acting funny.” This plan went on for three days, and after a peculiar five-minute rant, in which I interrupted a lesson to tell my classmates that “None of them could hold my hand” my teacher, Ms. Banks took me outside to talk. At the washed age of 34 and 3/4 years old, I will not try to recap the entire conversation verbatim, instead, I’ll give you the cliff notes. Ms. Banks wanted to know why I was stumbling into her class “rambling like Mel Gibson.”
I calmly informed her that I was upset because no one wanted to sit next to me and that I believed this was happening because everyone hated me. Ms. Banks didn’t say anything for a long time, then after a deep painful breath, she looked me right in the eyes and said something that would change my life.
“Your Classmates aren’t sitting next to you because they hate you. They’re not sitting next to you because you smell like a full-court game of basketball”
I probably failed to mention that the period right before science was the gym. I would usually spend that hour playing actual, full-court basketball with all of my friends. At the end of that period, I would throw my clothes back on and go straight to my next class. The moral of the story here is simple. Take a fucking shower.
Ok, so that’s not the actual point of this story. I mean, yes. Absolutely take a shower after working out, or sweating a lot. Do it for yourself, and the people who have to sit next to you in poorly ventilated spaces, but know this as well. Sometimes the people closest to us will start saying, or doing things that don’t make sense to us, and while it’s easy to assume that their change in attitude or behavior is A. New, or B. a sign of their own trashness, the real problem might actually be you.
Are you still with me? Good, stay strong. Recently there has been an uptick of black men on my social media feed complaining about the way black women talk about them. I’m not sure when it exactly happened, but at some point, it became normal to see black women expressing their displeasure about the way the men in their lives show up in romantic, parental, professional, and platonic relationships. Get on any platform where black people exist, search #Menaretrash and you will find more than your fair share of content. Hit up your googles, and type in “Black Men” and at least 83748378782 think pieces about the role that black men play, or have abandoned in the lives of black women will pop up. For a lot of people, this has been hard to deal with. As a regular-ass negro trying to be an ally, even I have had trouble not feeling a-way about some of the stuff flying out there. The two things that have kept me from wilding for respect are this:
The frustration and criticism that many black women have for us right now aren’t new at all. It has always existed; but because of the way that privilege is set up, no one was really trying to listen to, or even amplify the voices of black women. As a result, we never had to pay attention.
If I believe that all Black women are Queens (And they are), and all of a sudden, my Queens seem to have a litany of grievances with me, or people who look like me, why wouldn’t I want to do some personal assessing?
Here’s the ugly truth. Black men are a lot of things to black women. Their partners, lovers, friends, father, sons, brothers, and protectors. But we can also be some of their biggest oppressors and adversaries. This isn’t something that a lot of black men like to hear, but it’s true. Let’s dig into this a little bit. We’ll start small. How many rap songs can you list that talk about how wonderful black women are? Not one that talks about their bodies, or how they’re good at sex. But songs that praise them for something tangible, not “Being strong” or “Holding it Down” but actually acknowledge and spotlights something about who they are? Sure, those songs do exist, but they are few and far in between, especially when we’re talking about the mainstream artists.
What you’re more likely to see from an artist are comments like those from rapper Kodak Black, who proudly stated that he didn’t date women his complexion because light skin women were “Easier to break down” But it isn’t just colorism, the safety of black women around black men isn’t even guaranteed any more.
“Compared to a black man, a black woman is far more likely to be killed by her spouse, an intimate acquaintance, or a family member than by a stranger. More than 10 times as many black females were murdered by a male they knew (492 victims) than were killed by male strangers (48 victims)”
Listen, I know this is a lot to take in, and if you’re like me, and it’s the first time someone is having this conversation with you, you’re probably feeling like I’m putting the blame squarely on your shoulders. I’m not, and it is not all, or even specifically your fault. I think if you polled every single black man in this country, and asked them if they “loved black women” the overwhelming answer would be yes. I don’t doubt my, or your love for black women. But what I do know is that we live in a world that has trained us to view “Manhood” in a certain way, and “Womanhood” in another, and like it or not, this socialization has directly impacted the way we treat the opposite sex. It means that whether you know it or not, mean to or not, you may have at one point in your life, said or done something to negatively impact a sister in your life.
Does that mean you’re out here beating women up, bashing them in your music or art? Probably not. But it might mean that you know someone who does. You might also know a few men who are a little too aggressive or has even “slipped up” a time or two and put their hands on a woman. Have you called them out on this, or was that none of your business? Maybe (hopefully) you don’t know any abusers, and you have never received any complaints about the way you or any of your friends treat women and that would be great. However, if none of us have friends who are abusers, or assaulters, who the hell is doing all of the abuse and assaulting of Black women?
Additionally, do you make space for black women, do you purchase books written by black women authors, would you listen to female rappers that weren’t half-naked and talking about sex, can you appreciate a woman without factoring in how she looks? If you saw someone harassing a sister in the streets, would you come to her defense? Think deeply about your answers, and when you’re done, ask yourself another question. Does every black man in your life feel the same way? Finally, be honest with yourself about this. Because sure, it sucks to see and hear our sisters saying things like “Men are Trash” or “N*ggas ain’t shit” but those feelings didn’t just magically appear. Even if she’s not talking about you, someone or someone’s helped her feel that way.