A man that I’ve dated off and on for the last ten years recently dumped me (again). This time, he said that it was because “you are clearly only focused on your goals and ambitions. You don’t need a man.”
This is the kind of rhetoric that gets so exhausting.
- What does it really mean to “need” a man?
- What if I don’t?
- Does that make me a bad person?
- A bad woman?
- A bad black woman?
Black womanhood is so challenged. Oppression, like shit, rolls downhill. While Black men are oppressed and #BlackLivesMatter rally’s hundreds of thousands in our communities, it is mostly the black lives of men that get national attention. Black women, who are also incarcerated disproportionately and are most affected by incarcerated black men continue to be overlooked.
The expectation in our community is for us to be “Strong, Black Women,” who suffer in silence, accept mistreatment, and better be able to cook the bomb fried chicken.
While I can whip up some delicious yard bird, I still have hopes and dreams. I want to cook because I want to. Not to keep a man. I don’t want to, and refuse to shrink myself down to make a man feel good about himself.
It’s a hard place to be in, because while independence is valued in our community, too much of it, and you will become a bitter pariah (another trope in and of itself.)
So, where does that leave me?
Well, not with that guy anymore.