Thursday, July 17, 2008

Do We Raise Our Sons to Anticipate Marriage?

As my cousin, daughter and I drove to get crabs at "Ruff & Ready" this Sunday our casual conversation turned into a heated debate. As usual I was the odd woman out. My daughter was discussing the fact that one of her very best friends is dating a white boy and I casually made the off the cuff comment that "if she (my daughter) had any sense she would too". I really didn't think I meant it until I was forced to defend why I made such a comment.

Being a mother who wants only the best for her beloved little "mini-me", I want her to date and ultimately marry someone who is going to value her and love her as Christ loved the church. I want her to be with a man who understands the institution of marriage who will put her needs before his own. Now, I certainly do not think that white men corner the market on husbandtry-- but white men generally start looking for a wife in their late 20's to early 30's and that is not generally the case with black men. I have been told by many of my friends and family members that I place far too much emphasis on marriage so my natural conclusion is that we don't really value marriage very much in the black community and therefore we don't encourage or son's or daughter's for that matter to marry. With every fiber of my being I believe that therein lies the problem. It puts us at a natural disadvantage in terms of asset and wealth accumulation because how much more can two people accomplish than one -- TWICE AS MUCH!!!! (Assuming of course that we are talking about two enterprising and productive people). So am I a horrible, bourgeois, elitist because I want my "mini-me" to be loved, covered, valued and appropriately partnered? Or am I just pragmatic to a fault because I'm calling a spade a spade (oops, no pun intended) If she limits her dating pool to men who are more concerned with being "ballers" than with starting a family and building a future with one woman then isn't she setting herself up to be yet another "single, black women" getting things done (albeit quite well) on her own. Why would any mother in her right mind want her daughter to struggle through life alone (Yeah, I know she'll have Jesus -- Don't we all )?

I ultimately did not win this argument with my dear cousin and daughter as I wasn't able to effectively communicate my point with all the screaming going on between us. But hopefully this will all be a moot point because "mini-me" will meet one of those black man who actually wants to take a wife and build a life and legacy together-- but I think chances of that are as good as "mini-me" buying a million dollar lottery ticket. If I'm wrong then why are there so many single black women? By the way, these women are lying if they say they don't need a man. While we may not need a man to take care of us financially or even physically (some of us can do a better job of that ourselves anyway) on an emotional level our deepest human need is to love and be loved in return.


Bookworm Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Worthy said...

Interesting post. Reading your comment on who looks to marry, I have to disagree. Not all Black men are running from marriage but many are open to it. Also, going white does not guarantee a better lasting relationship as it appears you have an overall negative attitude towards Black men.

When I was younger, I looked forward to being married and defintely thought about it in my early 20s and conservative values. Many of the college-educated sisters at the time were more concerned with doing things on their own, careers, etc.; and NOT wanting a man. As I have aged, many of those women picked men who obviously were no good from the start harbor negative attitudes towards us men. With that going on, who wants to deal with it?

If anything, you should have told your daughter to choose carefully and not take the ,now-common, line many sisters tend to say "I'm gonna get me a white man as life will be better." as it prevents the embittered feeling some sisters harbor later in life.

Conservative Black Woman said...

You are right Steve. I certainly don't want my daughter to be bitter. I just want her happy.

Smashed The Tiny Black Box said...

Wow! I know this is an older post. I found your blog though a reference in someone else's blog. I feel compelled to comment.
I too, want the best for my son and daughter. I agree that the black community is largely anti-marriage. The religious leaders perpetuate this attitude. The single slutty mom is glorified to no end. I can go on for days about the crap I got from his family and min when I married a black man who WANTED TO MARRY ME. Many, Many years later, we are still joyously married. Why? We ignore the "world," we don't listen to "preachers," and we try to follow the gospel.
I can also tell you from experience that dating white men is rarely the solution. I say rarely because like in all populations, you once in a while find a stand up man who lives by his own principles and desires. He makes the decisions on his personal life, not his mom, friends or society. I found that white men may want to date you out of curiosity or fetish. That's if they're not too scared of their friends, family or society to ask you out. If he does bring you home to meet his family, the relationship almost always ends thereafter because of the social pressure. "I'm sure she's a nice, smart girl. But you've got to think of your children. How will those mixed kids be treated. You two are really selfish to date. What about everyone else?" This is one of the more benign comments. Sometimes, these relationships work out. This is very rare as I have experienced it myself and observed this in my own family several times. Rather than hoping for white men, we women should be asking ourselves if we are indeed the Proverbs 31 example for our daughters. Are we preparing them for marriage? Would we want our sons to marry someone like our daughters? Are we teaching them manners or to be a loud mouth harpie? Are they dressed as young ladies? Chaste? Are they educated in academics, business, as well as home arts? Are we also the example of a good woman for our sons so that they know what to look for when it is the appropriate time for them to get married? It is ridiculous to tell a man in his 20's that he is too young to marry and that he need to "sow his oats," or be immoral, more bluntly. That's what goes on in America, not just in the black community. There are black men that want to find Christan wives. Few, they are in number, but they do exist. There are still non-bastard kids in two parent married homes. Not step-parents mind you. Going white is not the solution, but changing our individual attitude and behavior is.

Todd said...

Interesting...I'm a white guy who grew up in very white world who dated a 24 yr old black mother of a 9 yr old (yes, 15 at birth), who's still one of the neatest, sweetest, prettiest girls I've ever met...and it's now 13 yrs later & I'm married to a Mexican and father of 2.

I didn't know about the black tendency to avoid marriage - interesting cultural difference. Keep up the good work with this blog, I found it through another conservative, anti-big govt blog that I read periodically - Chicagobluesgirl. My own blog talks politics, sports, music, financial markets, and more.

Keep up the good work, and hey Kena, if you're out's life? We got a lot of catching up to do...