If I Were A Boy….: Is Chivalry Dead and Did We Sistahs Kill It?

My so-called dating life is often a platform for improvisational comedy, so I am careful not to extend my romantic foibles and fouls to the whole of Black sisterhood.  Yet listening to my gal pals has revealed a pattern that I cannot ignore.  It seems chivalry is dead and according to Dave Chappelle women killed it.  In general, many guys—not all mind you—are not interested in courting us anymore and this saddens me.

First, I recognize this is not entirely the guys fault.  Why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free? Frankly, it may simply be more efficient in today’s economy to skip the wining and dining.  Yet, I yearn for the days of flowers and chocolates.  A little romance would go a long way for the scorned and broken hearts out there. In fact, there are some real incentives to be had, if Black men and women decided to kick it old school style in terms of relationships.

You see I like classic  R&B groups like the Dells, Heatwave, and the Mighty, Mighty O’Jays.  These cats knew how to woo a lady.  The lyrics of love songs like “Stay in my Corner“, “Always and Forever“, and “When a Man Loves a Woman” illustrate what relationships should look like.  There was a time when a man would sing about taking the stars out of the sky for his girl, and now what do we get: “Blame it on the a a a a a alcohol” and “Why Would You Wanna Break-Up?

The once cultural norms of the guy paying for dinner, driving, and generally putting in work to get a ladies attention has been replaced with us doing all the work. We are chasing the guys down like the last pair of size-7, heavily discounted Tory Burche’s at a Nordstrom Annual sale. I see women driving around men.  I’ve been there.  I see women paying for meals.  I’ve been there too.  This role reversal does not feel natural to me and I think it emasculates men to the point where they no longer feel a desire to be the provider. Frankly, they do not put in work because there is no need.  The marriage statistics treat good Black men like a commodity on the dating market, while they simultaneously devalue  Black women.  Moreover, a lot of guys in my generation did not grow-up with  their father’s in the home.  These momma’s babies are so often ruined that by the time they get to us ladies, they simply expect to be catered to.

There is also the matter of the nookie and the cookies.  Guys will tell us, if you want to be chased then don’t give it up too soon.  Noted.   Yet, the sexually liberated among us will argue that we have the right to get ours, just like the fellas do and there is nothing to be gained by waiting.  Their motto: “if you don’t give it up, another girl will”. Yet if you subscribe to the anthropologically  proven notion that men are by nature hunters, then you must acknowledge there is a strategic advantage as well as a valuing of self that comes from resisting sex earlier on in a relationship.  All of us take an L in this arena every now and again, but when it gets tough I like to think of Anne Boleyn.

History buffs among you will know Henry the VIII became so enamored with Boleyn that he went on an unrelenting  pursuit to make her his mistress.  Yet she steadfastly resisted his attempts to seduce her.  He became so obsessed with Boleyn, he broke the entire nation of England from the Catholic Church to have his marriage to Queen Catherine annulled, so he could then marry Boleyn.  Moral appraisals aside,this man seceded his entire country from an entire church, and not just any church the entire Holy Catholic church, thereby changing the annals of history forever…and all because one chick would not give up the cookies.

Only thing guys will break-up nowadays is the dinner bill for us to pay our half.

I find myself sitting in the car watching my dates walk all the way into the restaurant only to find that I am not beside or behind them.  Many are shocked when I insist they not only open my car door but hold the door when I walk through the restaurant, as well. Most cats have so much swag there is no hand holding; or public displays of affection.  Moreover, they also want you to call them and text them, and we run the pace with a smile on our face because hell, a half a man is better than none…right?  I’d venture to say no.

I think there is something to be said for letting a man feel like a man.  This of course does not mean unwittingly meeting his needs—  i.e. cooking and sexing ’till the cows come home without acknowledging your own needs. It does, however, mean raising your level of expectation from what think you can get to what you truly deserve.

All of us deserve to be the princess sometimes and sure we will kiss some frogs, but when true love comes a knocking and you walk through the door, chances are he’ll be holding it for you.

Relunctantly Tweeting @thekabosh

Hello sports fans!!!  Okay so I’ve succumb to the social pressures of the web universe and I am going to try (gasps) Tweeting.  Tweeting to me is like everything that what was wrong with my high school experience made virtual and I am desperately self-conscience about the whole thing.  While I have my witty and insightful moments, I am not convinced my life is interesting enough to be announced like NFL play-by-play. Also, the whole following me has a sort of fish and loaves disciple connotation to me, and while I won’t make you fishers of men; I hope to provide you with some delicious food for thought.

I am told that Tweeting has numerous benefits, as one seeks to expand their social networks, body of knowledge, and real world connections.  So okay Twitter Nation here it goes….as I am forced to lay all my dignity on the line and resort to begging…..

I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.

Oh actually that was Julia Roberts in  Notting Hill, however….

If you like what you read on The Kabosh and you find it insightful, informative, and interesting; I mean hell even if you think what most of what I spew is inane dribble ….pretty puullleaaaase follow me on Twitter.  I am tweeting @thekabosh.  I hope to get some dialogues going with our readership to gather content ideas, hear different perspectives on blog topics, and form connections in cultural and literary universe.  Thanks for all the kind words, support, and insightful comments. I look forward to meeting you all soon.

The Kabosh is a place where we address the politics of culture and the culture of politics. Exploring the spectacle of celebrity in both arenas, it seeks to confront and critique dominant narratives and explore intersections of politics, race, gender, identity formation, and consumerism.

Come Here Baby: You Sexy Motherf%#$@

Maybe it’s because growing my hair out makes me look like Frederick Douglass or because I have been feeling just a bit unpretty lately (need to get my eyebrows waxed), but I was all fired up today when I stumbled  upon a post entitled “Let’s Wait a While” on Sister Toldja’s blog The Beautiful Struggler.

The  talented and—please note—extremely attractive blogger was addressing her dismay at being referred to as “sexy” by a man she just met. In the post, her basic premise was that the term—as an immediate moniker—was too forward and a bit too tawdry for her taste.  She suggests the brothas need to slow the sexual innuendo down until a real connection is made.  To affirm her opinion, she asked her Twitter followers, “if they were cool with being called  sexy by a man shortly after meeting him.”   Many responded that they were in fact not comfortable with the term sexy after an initial meeting.

Guess I am an outlier here, but I love being called sexy.  And the closer I get to thirty, I notice this becomes a less frequent occurrence.  So now when it happens—call me a trash-box hooker a la Ne Ne Leakes to Kim Zoliak—but I am flattered.  Many men in the professional circles in DC are either so politically correct,  taken, disinterested, or otherwise neutered that good old fashion cat calling has gone the way of the 8-track. Quite frankly, you have to go to the hood to hear the long forgotten “heeeey seeexxxy” or the somewhat refined alternative “aaaay shawwwwty”.  I guess it’s just the DC in me, but I am not offended, insulted, or otherwise put off by the term sexy.

I’m the cutish funny girl in my group, so the late bloomer in me cannot tap the resolute feminist part of myself when it comes to this question.  Many of my far more gorgeous sister friends were really put off by the idea of a virtual stranger calling them sexy.  They suggested that it was too forward or made the guy seem like he was after one thing.  One friend suggested that a guy who called her sexy of the top could not get any play at all.  Yikes,  brothers I feel sorry for you because these girls are playing hardball, so chose your words carefully.

However, a few equally divalicious gal pals suggested they had absolutely no problem with the term “sexy”.  They considered it a compliment.  To them I say here, here.

The  informal poll among my friends based on Sister Toldja’s  question on the acceptability of “sexy” was about an even split between the ayes and nays. Yet, my suspicion is that the real answers for both groups lies somewhere not in the black in white but in that ever-present gray area.

Now…..if this guy calls you sexy after the initial meet; your probably going to be a little put off:

But somehow I suspect your tune changes, if this guys text you “hey sexy”:

Sister Toldja argues “sexy” is inappropriate on the jump because as a potential suitor  “sex is a space you should be invited into”.  On its face, I agree with that point.  Many of us have long grown weary of having are hands or worst yet behinds grabbed in the alcohol drenched atmosphere of a bar or club.

Nevertheless, part of me feels with the “sexy” bruhaha that we are being just a tad bit overly analytical ladies. I highly doubt most guys who refer to you as sexy are looking to bed you in side of a minute–albeit the exception for the nasty uncle types.  I mean most of the guys are insecure and probably think they are being flattering, when the acknowledge your desirability.  That is of course not to say that men are not carnal, sexually driven, visual creatures by nature; yet I’m not convinced at least for me slowing down is the answer.

Over here, as thirty is getting the reach on me and I get a little more sore and a little less sexy each day; I will take all the sexy I can get.  Bring sexy back, as far as I am concerned fellas.  We rock are “very sexy” Victoria Secret under armor, stilettos, and any number of sexy enhancing accouterments to bring the guys to the yard.  Yet, when they get there we have a lot of rules and hang-ups about what they say. In its everyday use,  I’m not convinced sexy is not necessarily  synonymous with wanting to lay it down.  In contrast, I would argue that the term has become increasingly innocuous over time.

So what do we think ladies?  Is “sexy” off limits or does it matter who is saying it?  If your boothang calls you sexy is that cool?  What about the guy at the bar or bus stop?  Please take the poll below.

Upcoming Book Says: Bitch is the New Black

Anyone that has been around me for more than five minutes knows that I have been bemoaning the lack of SINGLE, educated, successful Black men in the DC metropolitan area, compared to women in the same demographic.  The ratio of available high achieving Black women to Black men has given the fairer sex a disadvantage in the game of love.  However, like a song written off my heart comes the soon to be published book by Helena Andrews: “Bitch Is the New Black”;   the book is a collection of essays chronicling her experiences as single Black female dating in Washington, DC.  The book is due to hit shelves in June and has already been optioned for film. 

Last month, Andrews along with Hill Harper  and Jimi Izrael were featured on a an episode of NPR’s Tell Me More “Black Writers: Where Is The Love, Communication?”.  I would encourage everyone to download the podcast of this radio story because perfectly encapsulates much of the miscommunication that has happening between the genders within our race.  One particularly infuriating moment in the interview comes when Izrael suggests that the reason so man Black women are single is because of our own poor choices.  He suggests in his new book The Denzel Principle that: 

“Sisters decry the shortage of good men and say there is no way she is settling for less than a good Black man. Not just a good one, but the BEST one: Denzel Washington. She, of course, has no idea what that means, what she wants or what a good Black man truly looks like.” –from The Denzel Principle

The thesis of the book –the Denzel Principle–“is the belief that the perfect man—in the form of Denzel Washington—actually exists off-screen and that all Black women can snag a Denzel of their very own.”  With the caveat that I have not yet read Izrael’s book, I–for one–do not know any women for whom this holds true.  I know women with high standards and I know an equal amount who are constantly lowering the bar, with the expectation that real love knows no particular salary range, profession, IQ, or level of physical attractiveness.  These women are phenomenal in their own way–not perfect by any means–but still good catches if you ask me.

Perhaps we should be held accountable for the choices we make, but lets be fair.   The confrontational nature of Izrael’s argument suggests that veiled misogyny  may be at play in his book.  However, we will never know unless we read it. 

I am going to be hosting the first Kabosh Book Salon towards the end of March.  We will be reading and discussing The Denzel Principle.  If you are interested in participating please drop me a comment.  I encourage ANYONE –men and women– to feel free to participate.   I do not want this to be a Waiting to Exhale moment, but a dialogue, a conversation. 

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