I was embarrassed when friends and I left the theater after just seeing Beauty and The Beast 3D. Not because I just saw Beauty and The Beast 3D, I love the movie! But because of all my friends I was the black one who had to hear: “Is that another Tyler Perry movie?” We were all faced with this movie poster display:
|Don’t all the women in this poster look crazy? Don’t all the men look scared and confused?|
I cringed inwardly because I was the only informed one to know it was a Steve Harvey joint, directed towards black women to become better partners. This could be another blog post in itself, the fact that blacks on a movie poster must be advertising a Tyler Perry movie. But that will be for another time.
I was weirded out by this movie when I heard of its production. Based on his self-help book, Steve Harvey is going to give me advise on how to be a better black woman? This coming from the man who cheated on his wife? It wasn’t until I read Ms Magazine last night at Barnes & Noble, that I understood what was really going on here. The article called “Singled Out,” by Tamara Winfrey Harris, illustrates the new problem in America: Why can’t the black woman get married?
Movies like this one, plus books like “The Denzel Principal” show that black women are too picky and don’t see the good black man right in her face because she’s hung up on a Denzel Washington or Barack Obama. There are a lot of men who have an opinion on this, including R&B singer Robin Thicke:
- Men don’t like smokers.
- Neediness is a turn-off.
- You must take care of your home, (I assume that means keeping it tidy)
- Grooming is very important. Harvey specifies hands, feet and unwanted hair.
- Don’t try to fix things around the house
- Don’t be afraid to make a meal or two
- Don’t wear a T-shirt to bed every night
There are a lot of factors that go into Black women not getting married to Black men. And besides who said every woman wants to get married? What journalists like Tamara Winfrey Harris and myself are frustrated by, is why keeping the black family unit together is my responsibility? Has it gotten to the point that black women have to shoulder this burden as well.
The things Steve Harvey is asking from Black women are all superficial and harken back to a time before women were allowed to vote. My fixing things around the house isn’t going to turn a man off. When I first Noah, I fixed the handles of his skillets because I thought it was going to kill himself the next time he made an omelet. He didn’t take it as an attack on his manhood, he was just thankful. Noah cooks most of the meals for us. Not because he’s a sissy boy and not because I’m a bleeding heart liberal femi-nazi. He does it because he thoroughly enjoys cooking!
And hell! I’m wearing that T-shirt to bed, dammit! Wearing a T-shirt to bed doesn’t make me frumpy. Just ask Noah, I can wear the hell out of a T-shirt.
Point is, women having standards aren’t a bad thing. Settling down doesn’t mean having to settle. Women aren’t dumb in thinking there’s another Barack Obama out there waiting for us. We’ve worked too hard to take a back seat to old patriarchal life lessons given from a hypocrite.