Look at you; you're black, you're poor, you're ugly, you're a woman. You're nothing at all.
-Mister, The Color Purple
Now for all you folks who have not seen or read the Color Purple. SHAME ON YOU!!!! That movie is wonderful, and I think within it, you will see the dynamics and animosity that some black men and black women have towards each other. The animosity that still exists to this day.
Mister to me represent the black men who fall under the "black women ain't shit" category. These are the same men who always want to point out that 70% of black women are single, but fail to mention that 65% of black men are single. The ones who believe that black women are loud, rude, fat, fake, and only want thugs. The ones who exalt white or non-black women as the only choice for good eligible black men.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of men like this in the black community, and they along with the black women who believe "black men ain't shit" are what is wrong with our community.
These men have fallen victim to "keeping up with the Jones'". They want the "traditional" roles of men and women, but they don't realize they aren't part of the tradition. Much like black women have a hard time relating to the feminist movement, these same men don't realize they can't adhere to the traditional roles that existed within white america. Our roles since we have been here in America are vastly different.
Slavery was a bitch, there is no nice way to say that. Slavery was not only a cruel, barbaric practice, it is why the black family has suffered even to this day. The value of keeping families together was never emphasized by the folks who owned us. It was good for them, but not for us, as we were just livestock. Daddy, momma, and the children could all be sold off at any time. It wasn't that Daddy, or momma, and the kids wanted to go off, they had no choice, and like we always have done, we just kept moving on, we adjusted. Even once slavery was over, the opportunities for both black men and women were bleak, and even when we were able to keep our families together, the gender roles didn't equate to the roles of our white American counterparts. We both had to work outside the home, there was no woman stay home and take care of the kids in the majority of black households for a very long time, but the division of labor was split. Everyone worked, everyone helped raise the kids (not just mother and fathers, but grandparents, aunts, uncles, and neighbors). We still managed to marry and we still managed to work it out, even in these non traditional roles.
The start of the modern downfall was a little bit of everything. It has become all the rage to refer to marriage as simply a "piece of paper". Men and women of all ages are waiting later and later to get married. More people are opting not to get married at all. This isn't just black folks, but folks of all races here in America. People are slowing down the number of children they have. More women of all races are becoming educated and entering the professional work force, and the concept of marriage for financial stability has fallen to the wayside for the most part. Then in the low income black community there is the issue of welfare. The way the system exists now benefits single mothers, but married folks or men inside the home hinders the benefits available to you. This is where you see the increase of single black mothers raising black children all alone without a black male figure. For some who see this, and this is the norm for a child, when they get older,they will assume that is how things work. The belief will and has become you don't need a man to raise a family, and men who see this think they have no obligation to be in a family. The cycle has started, and it looks like there is no end in sight.
Within the black community we then have this belief system that due to our legacy of slavery, racism, and oppression in this country, we must protect the black men who were victims of this, as it appears they had it worse than black women, and even though black women suffered right along side with black men, our role is to support them come hell or high water. Los Angelista did a great post on this a while back. This has been a double edged sword for us. On one hand, since black women have kind have been on our own, many of us have become educated and hit the work force full throttle, more so than black men on average. The downfall of this, is this educational and professional success comes with backlash, which is why now we have the "black women ain't shit" brigade popping up all over the place.
These men use fear tactics and stats to prove "black women ain't shit". 70% of black women aren't married. True, but 65% of black men aren't married. The white, asian, and hispanic women are still the majority of time marrying folks of the same race, just like black folks are. Most black women are overweight. Welcome to America, most women of all races are overweight, for that matter so are most men. So we all have a little work to do in terms of eating right and going to the gym. Black women are fake with our hair, contacts, and nails. Most women are fake. How many natural blondes exist in America? I don't have fake boobs, or a nose job, or even a fake booty. I'm guilty of wearing make up. I'm guilty of wearing bras that "lift and separate" to give the illusion of perky DDs (which naturally does not occur all that often). Most black women want thugs. Just because you as a black man made a bad decision and dated a fool that left you, does not mean we are all fools. Why are you attracted to women who like thugs? Are you a thug?
Black women are well aware of their status in American society. It appears our status is changing. As we become more educated and more successful we will mainstream ourselves into society. Yes, that even means dating men who it has been told by us many a time that "don't want us". Some of us will marry those "who don't want us". Some of us will continue to marry good black men, and have wonderful black families. It scares the hell out the "black women ain't shit" brigade, and it should, as it shows that some of us black women know we are the shit, and we don't believe the hype the "black women ain't shit" brigade is blowing up our collective asses.