Why Can’t A Successful Black Woman Find A Man?
In recent years, there has been an onslaught of magazine & newspaper articles and television specials/segments with the above or very similar titles. Here is a link to one such discussion: (http://abcnews.go.com/nightline/faceoff). These specials (disproportionately) focused on successful black women who are unable to find black men of their educational & financial status to date/marry.
These women are reported to have trouble finding black men because the pool that they have to choose from is more like a small pond than a sea of opportunity. The reason given is that there is an insufficient supply of (suitable) good black men.
What is the cause of this shrinkage of black men?
There are a growing number of black women that are experiencing higher levels of success that, in former years, was mainly enjoyed by black men. These successful black women drive luxury cars, own homes in nicer communities, and enjoy the fruits of labor that their newfound success has afforded them all with one exception-a black man of the same ilk to be in relationship with.
Success should not create a barrier for a woman trying to find love but a bridge to cross over. Why then, hasn’t it? Could it be that the focus is all wrong? Is a successful man a good man and the man to be sought after? Is an unsuccessful man a bad one and to be avoided? The answer to either question is dependent upon how either term is defined. No concrete definition has been applied to any of these terms. They’re mainly assumptive. It’s assumed that the term successful has a universal and static understanding based upon its implication.
True indeed, a successful black man capable of conquering the business world is worthy of mention but, this feat says nothing of his ability to navigate through the maze of a successful loving intimate relationship with a woman. These are two entirely different worlds that operate very differently.
Absent from the discussions were relevant topics such as values, religious beliefs, upbringing, interests (personal/business), future goals, etc. These items give insight as to who this person really is. These are the foundations upon which a man’s worldview rests. Yet, there was little to no discussion of these at all. Compatibility shouldn’t rest solely on academic or financial achievement. Although, they have their importance; more like the proverbial ‘icing on the cake’ not the cake itself. No one buys cake for the icing. The icing is the added benefit, if you will.
To add fuel to an already wildly burning fire, the topic of black women finding black men is usually presented in forums that tend to pit black men and women against each other whether intentional or not. ABC’s Face-off,” Why can’t successful black women find a man”, was presented as a debate which by its very nature makes the two sexes opponents rather than partners. Neither side wins in this type of exchange; both lose.
Passionate, heated debate is great for network television in terms of generating buzz and ratings which, in turn, generates income for the networks which are primarily concerned with their bottom line not whether or not a successful (or unsuccessful for that matter) black woman can find a man. It’s no coincidence that they choose well-known celebrity hosts and panelists some of which have very little to offer to the discussion other than comedic banter. This too adds to the confusion.
The question arises; “does the media have a real interest in answering a question that is more profitable unanswered”? Treatment is a much more lucrative enterprise than prevention or cure. Think about that one. Could it be that black male and black female relationship issues have become the proverbial ‘fodder for the flock’ or something even more sinister? How much of what has been televised or written in mainstream media has really helped the cause?
What then is the answer to this ever-prevailing question, “why can’t a successful black woman find a man”? Maybe the question itself is misguided. Are her needs really any different than that of any ‘normal’ black woman? Does her status in life reshape what is needed inside a loving relationship? Women need (or ‘desire’ if a more suitable term) men who will love and cherish them, provide support, and protection. Success should be the goal of the union of man and woman itself not a definition of a good man.
Let’s begin there. Determine that it is a good man who you seek (to be found by). His ‘goodness’ should not be measured by your success or even worse, diminished by it. Incidentally, there are many relationships where one spouse may be more successful than the other whether it is the man or the woman. The beauty of lasting love is when that success is shared by both equally, though it may be generated primarily by one.
There must be truthful, heart-felt and yes, painful dialogue not entertainment. These issues are too vital to the welfare of the black community. It’s not an easy answer or a quick fix but, how black men and black women value one another has everything to do with the success or failure of their relationships.
Until both sides see the true value in the other and pursue that, the question of “why can’t a successful black woman find a man” will be just another pop topic that generates ratings for the networks and media while simultaneously placing black men and black women in opposing corners for the next round.
“A woman is a treasure to be found by a man who recognizes her incomparable worth. This quest belongs solely to the man to find her.” -Derek Q. Sanders