Black Ministers, Pastors, and relationship columnists and authors of both genders frequently lay responsibility at the feet of Black women for the demise of the Black family and Black male/female relationships. One of the chief reasons given for such failure and for what they perceive to be the justified abandonment of Black women is that beautiful Black women “don’t know how to make a a Black man feel like a man.” Is such a thing possible? If a Black man doesn’t feel like a man, isn’t that HIS fault, and shouldn’t it be HIS responsibility to correct? When did women get the power and responsibility to care for and uplift Black men, and make them feel something for themselves that they apparently do not and cannot feel without a woman’s intervention. When did this happen? Do Black women really have the power to make a man that doesn’t feel very manly, “feel like a man” all by herself?
Why is it a woman’s responsibility to “make a man feel like a man?” In my opinion, this mode of thinking in the Black community has encouraged Black men to become dependent on women for validation of their manliness, self-esteem and sense of worth. It is easy to avoid self examination and doing the work required for development of one’s self, when one has a convenient scapegoat for all your failings.
Feeling badly because your friends have a better job than you do, better homes than you do, better cars, more money, or fight less with their woman are issues a man should put the shoulder to the wheel and do something about. However, too many instead blame their woman for how they feel about themselves, charging her with the crime of “not making me feel like a man.”
In magazine after magazine, book after book, dozens of people tell beautiful Black women what is wrong with us and why we need to help the Black man. I have yet to read even ONE article that tells Black men how to make themselves feel like a man. Instead the onus is always placed on the shoulders of Black women to do the work for them.
Why are Black women expected to assume responsibility for grown men like they are children? To prop them up, coddle them, flatter them even undeservedly, and pretend to be weak so he can feel strong? Why must we downplay our wonderfulness in order to make him falsely believe he is more or better than we are? Why can he not tighten up his game, develop himself as a man, and rise above us if it is so important to him to believe himself better or more in some way?
I’ve heard hundreds of times how a man needs to feel like a man, but I’ve never understood this assignment of blame. Especially confusing to me is when I have specifically asked men “what it is that makes you feel like a man?” and they have nothing to say! So, that leaves me in a quandary: if you cannot tell me what manhood is and the things that make you feel like a man, how is it you figure I’m supposed to magically know this? And if a man cannot articulate what qualities, behaviors, thoughts, actions or mentalities in him or others create manhood, how will he know that he is a man?
Sadly, it appears that many Black men are deeply insecure. For a woman, it becomes an exhausting nightmare trying to please them or stroke their fragile egos. When a man is insecure about himself, nothing you ever do or say will be quite right, or quite enough to satisfy him. It’s like throwing dirt into a black hole trying to fill it up. Such a man has no real standards for behavior and instead waits for a woman to TELL HIM that he is a man, which means she is defining his manhood – not him.
Modern women refuse to demote or demean themselves for the benefit of Black men, and will never dumb themselves down or negate their accomplishments. Instead of expecting or even demanding women downplay or discount themselves, Black men would do better to get on the stick and elevate THEMSELVES.
A woman in love will do all she can to support her man in his dreams and his quest for greatness – but he has to have his OWN dreams and put the moves in place to achieve greatness HIMSELF, not wait for her to do it for him.
If your woman has a Bachelors degree and you feel bad about yourself because she is more educated than you are, then you go get a Masters degree and make yourself feel better. He is making himself feel like a man, but she is definitely there as his cheerleader and partner.
That’s the kind of thing I’m talking about Shadid! Why can’t Black men assume responsibility for uplifting themselves and making themselves feel more like men? Why do they demand that women do that for them? Is being a man really that difficult?
You are asking how hard it is to be a man? Its not hard for me to be a man because that is what I was born to be and that’s what my father raised me to be. Being a man is just like breathing air, you just do it, you don’t even have to think about it.
Your second question “can a beautiful woman make a man feel like a man? is also a good question. You are absolutely correct in your assessment – a man must first know he is a man. It is not something that a woman can define because a woman is not a man. Now a man can define a man because he is one and he knows how one is suppose to be and what he is supposed to be doing.
I watched and learned about manhood from my father, grandfathers and uncles. They had clear guidelines on how and what to do. Defining manhood is not difficult. First, man is a protector and a provider before he is anything else. That is at the core of a man’s being. You can’t go out and seek this from somewhere else. Some men are born to know what to do and others have to learn from another man. A woman teaches a man how to treat a woman and how to love a woman, but everything else must be already in him and sharpened by another man.
A little secret that men don’t reveal to women is that, sometimes we don’t feel like a man or that we are living up to the standards of being a man as defined by our community, fathers and the men around us. A woman can make or break a man just with her mouth. The tongue has the power to uplift or tear down. When a man is feeling down, most women have not mastered the art of how to talk to him and lift his spirits. Women tend to cringe when she see’s her man is not feeling manly.
Many things lead to a man feeling this way, but mostly its economics. So, a man who maybe working for peanuts but has a good woman at home who doesn’t look down on him and she builds him up, that will make him feel more of a man despite his economic handicap. Women just don’t know how much power they have in the relationship. Men don’t revel these secrets because they don’t want to give the woman a weapon to us against him.
I watched my mother make my father feel like he was the the shit, even when he was laid off from work. She never talked down on him and when she felt the need to be quiet and not say anything, that’s what she did. As a result, my mother got anything she wanted, literally. I watched my pops work four jobs one summer, only getting 4 hours of sleep a day, just to buy my mother a brand new Cadillac and build her a hair salon.
A beautiful woman can either make a man feel like he is a god and a mans man, or she can make him feel like the devil and a little boy. So in short, yes, a beautiful Black woman has the power to make a man feel like a man even when he doesn’t feel as such on his own. HOWEVER, there is an exception to this rule… if a man is psychologically scared from childhood and he has hangups about himself, then the answer is no, she can’t do it because he doesn’t have the capacity to believe in himself from the beginning.
If the potential for him to be a man is already there, a tactful woman can bring it out; but if it’s not there, then Jesus himself can’t do nothing about it.
Category: Men's Issues