The Challenges of Being a Black Man

| 12/18/2011 | Comments (9)

Being minus a penis, I have to speculate what it is to be a Black man in a society created to cater to their egos and feed their dysfunction. I can only suppose that because I am a woman and a feminist woman at that, because I’m such a keen social observationist, and because I can recognize the failure of the “system” to raise emotionally mature Black men, that my analysis of Black mens challenges will probably not be reflective of what most Black men think, feel or believe are their challenges. That being said, I think, as a Black woman, I must acknowledge the struggles that Black men face that keep them, in far too many instances, from self actualization and wholeness, which is probably not the objective of more than a handful of Black men anyway.

I can’t say that these are in order of importance but they are the ones I feel I can best articulate, or at least try to articulate.

  • An inability to communicate emotions. Being socialized to suppress emotions, feelings, and not being taught how to communicate other than aggression, I would imagine that a great many black men feel silenced when they feel frustration, disappointment, sorrow, longing, loneliness and a host of other emotions because they can’t even identify what they are feeling, let alone how to express it constructively. I suspect it’s why so many black men create phonetic, hieroglyphic, ebonic ways to communicate because without an emotional outlet, they must feel like a mute person trying to speak a foreign language. Because, however, you can’t articulate a problem you don’t know you have, a great many men must feel angst and frustration and be unable to pinpoint why or most fail to even acknowledge the sensation as a problem. As human beings, the need to be understood, to release your emotions is there but the socialization of our men is such that they equate sex with emotional release.
  • Living up to the Mandingo Myth. I would almost guess that most Black men don’t think that this is a challenge, they think it’s some sort of rite of passage or it’s the natural order of the universe. Unfortunately, the Mandingo myth is a creation of the white man and living up to his expectations is dysfunctional at best, and harmful at its most effective juncture. Far too many Black men have bought into the myth, believing that they are sex gods whose sole purpose in life is to spread their seed. Society reinforces that Black men are superior athletes with big dicks and doesn’t leave them room to be anything else. It creates a sense of inferiority in Black men who don’t have a twelve inch d*** and who can’t slam dunk and it paralyzes those who are packing and ballin’ to believe that they are capable of nothing more.
  • Being as good as the white man. The white man is all powerful. Anything he says or does is beyond reproach. He can commit crime and get a slap on the wrist. He can be a total idiot loser and have inherited money and affluence pave the way for him in life. He makes the most money, he has the most power, he has the most influence, and he gets the most beautiful women. For a Black man to look in the mirror and see himself as a man and not have the same autonomy as white men must be terribly crippling. To add insult to injury, the measure of manhood is SUPPOSED to be d*** size and sexual skill and to have that and NOT be able to navigate life with the ease of a white man must create an ache inside the likes of which I will never know. The constant struggle to prove that you are as good as a white man must consume all too much time and energy. The fact that there’s virtually nothing a Black man can say or do to give him equal footing to the white man in society, to know that he will always be seen as inferior to the white man regardless of his accomplishments has to be frustrating.
  • No viable role models of Black manhood. With so many women in this, “I don’t need a man to raise my son,” kick, the inability of those women to foster and nurture responsibility in their sons, and the entire social structure being catered to tell men that they can do no wrong, that women are the creators of sin, you have generations upon generations of Black men that haven’t been raised to be good Black men, they’ve been raised to be males. Being a man is far more than p****** standing up. Manhood is having integrity, fulfilling your responsibilities, being honest when you realize that it’s not the easy way out, and being able to release patriarchal roles and treat people like human beings and equals, not as objects to manipulate. We don’t have Black role models to teach men how to be good fathers and husbands. We don’t have Black role models to teach men how to have integrity and pursue excellence above all else. Without these role models, we are replicating empty, shallow, superficial models of manhood that are based on sexuality and aggression and not what a man is truly supposed to be.

If I were to repeat the rhetoric of the chest-thumping masses of Black men, their biggest challenges would be not being able to find a good black woman, too many gold-digging Black women, women not being supportive, being pulled over by the police unjustly, and not being able to be the head of the household like a man should be. Those are the empty frustrations of men seeking validation for their dysfunction. The biggest challenge of us as black people is to get Black men to see that their perspective is flawed and that their penis doesn’t give them the right to come and go as they please without respect or regard for anyone else other than their own selfish desires.

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  1. parker143200 says:

    I can agree that black men face challenges in today’s society — there are challenges for all black people. However lumping all black women together as gold diggers, bitter, and nagging women who don’t know how to say NO is unfair.

    Here is what I believe when it comes to sex. Sex is for RESPONSIBLE adults not adults who act like children and have the mentality that sex is an entitlement or somehow free.

    Sex is not free — and I am not talking about money the price you pay is on a spiritual and emotional level and women bare the brunt of that consequence that is why I feel that women should deny men sex. Be celibate. When she meets a man she should hold off on having sex with him until he can prove to her what sort of man he is. Jeffery Dahmer can fake for a few months. But she needs to assess what he has to offer her – is it substance or is he just trying to get laid? She needs to be able to observe him in several different settings and prove himself worthy of being that intimate with her.

    I can admit that women have given themselves away too easily and men have forgotten to be gentlemen and be respectful of a woman. Instead they seem to believe that they are entitled to sex and that all women are put on this earth to be walking receptacles for their penises. That is not a woman’s destiny in life to lay on her back for a man. Most men don’t deserve sex with any woman. And the responibility of bringing children into this world does not rest on just women or just men. It is both of them who have to be adults about the sex they are having.

    Women need to understand that they should not allow a man to set the tone in her life. She has the right to set a standard – and women should not be afraid to do this. A man is not the end all to be all in life.

    Women need to know who they are – when you know who you are you know your own worth – when you know you own worth – you don’t need validation from a man. Women need to empower themselves and stop listening to society that tells them they are nothing without a man. Develop who you are as a woman and become a woman of subsance.

  2. parker143200 says:

    I can agree that there are challenges to being a black man — there are challenges to being a black person period. As a race we are constantly fighting stereotypes and it can be frustrating. However lumping all black women together and saying that we are all gold diggers, bitter, and nagging women who can’t say NO is unfair. Perhaps that is the type of woman you are attracting because you lack the ability to be a man of substance and you are seeking women who you can manipulate according to what you believe their weaknesses or vulnerabilities are.

    Most men don’t have the guts to step to a woman with something real it is always a strategy, a line, a trick, a game, or some ulterior motive he uses as his ticket in with the woman. I think that women should refrain from having sex with men altogether because they don’t deserve it. Be celibate. If not that then she should hold off from having sex with any man for at least 6 months after meeting a man so that he can prove to her what type of man he is and whether or not he is worthy of becoming that intimate with her. Women need to understand that they need to protect their spirit from exploiting men who are only seeking their own selfish sexual desires. But if you want to stop having babies men can make that choice before the sex act occurs — Keep it in your pants.

    If you don’t want a baby don’t have sex. Don’t cry once you have had your fun and say “I didn’t want a baby, how could she do this to me?” As if you as the man played no part in it. The responsibility is not solely on the man or the woman that is why sex is for RESPONSIBLE adults. Not adults who act like children and think that sex is an entitlement and somehow free. Sex is not free and I am not talking about money — there is a consequence and the payment is on a spiritual level as well as emotional and more of a consequence for women.

    That is why women should deny men sex. In the end we have to pay a higher price and watch our children pay too. Also to avoid all of this women need to know who they are when you know who you are you know your own worth when you know you own worth you don’t need validation from a man. Develop who you are as a woman and become a woman of substance.

  3. jazmin1957 says:

    This is true, the final decision is on the woman. However, in general, character has NOT been instilled in black men, since you think you can spread yourselves around, while expecting a woman to be virtuous. The things I hear some black men bragging about are things most people have learned to be ASHAMED of. Besides lying to countless women, and to yourselves, it becomes a way of life, as you mess yourself up emotionally. Then you are no longer of having any relationship, except with porn pictures. I have learned that truly great people (Oprah) are not the fakes, but are givers, not users, and they aren’t finding any time to brag about it.

  4. blackcaesar says:

    Deb, when you ask for directions you want the quickest route from point A to point B. The quickest route to no fatherless homes in the Black community is to stop Black women from having babies. All the points you made were valid and I agree with you 100%, especially the condom part. But birth control for men, outside of condom use, has more to do with changing their attitudes and that takes time. With women, it’s simply about providing a morning after pill, abortions services, in other words, simply more birth control options. A pragmatist is going to look at this problem and say, “O.K., where are the babies literally coming from? Oh, THE WOMEN ARE DECIDING to have these babies. Remember Deb, you all have ALL OF THE POWER with respect to having or not having babies; therefore, THE ONUS of birth control is rightfully placed on YA’LL! I remember this comedy skit Chris Rock did and he said all he could do when his girlfriend got pregnant was say, “So, whacha’ goin’ to do?” That’s really all men can do legally, is say, “so whacha’ gonna do?” As men, we have simply tow the line as to whatever the decision the woman makes. So, yeah, the onus is on women. If men had the option to legally abort, then the onus would fall on us a lot more.

    • Deborrah says:

      The onus is on men to keep their dicks in their pants if they don’t want to be a father. Men think they can have free pussy with no repercussions, and I’m saying that is not happening obviously! Look around guys, don’t you see all the millions of men before you that were playing it loose and easy with their penis and sperm, don’t you see them in jail and broke from getting their paychecks tapped into by the government? Why would you do that to yourself for 5 minutes of fun?

      There is no need to put the onus on women to protect men from paying child support or from being fathers. If neither of those things are exciting possibilities for you as a male, the only person responsible for protecting you is YOU.

  5. jazmin1957 says:

    I personally don’t know that many black men, but don’t know any who can say NO. I have had black men flirt with me, ask me out, make sexual gestures,etc etc, even though they are married or living with other women. This is the behavior that causes the disrespect some of you get. Personally I have no problem in thinking as much of a black man, as a white man. I do not want to think someone is inferior because they are black. That is stupid, unfair and judgemental. But refusing to think, and the ability to say NO has become a real challenge for both women and especially men. How childish it is to base your value on how much sex you get, acting proud of your immorality? Brilliant, just brilliant. Now men and women blame each other for their messed up lives. Personally I would never choose to fuck up the first half of my life, only to spend the second half paying for it.

  6. blackcaesar says:

    When Black women say that their biggest problem is not being able to find a “good black man” is that just them seeking validation for their dysfunction in not being able to attract a good black man? Are there actually gold-digging black women out there. Hmm, seems like there ARE a lot of incarcerated (usually for drugs) black fathers in jail. Oh, so those black women got with those gold-blingin’ black men for their stimulating intellectual conversations, I’m sorry. Oh yeah, and all those black women who show up at the hotels of N.B.A. teams aren’t goldiggers, they’re just there to party with whomever happens to be at the hotel that night. The women not being supportive part I tend to disagree with. The problem is that the women are supportive of black men who choose to do illegal activities, precisely because they’re goldiggers. One of the reasons why so black men sell drugs is so that they can attract black women to have sex with them. Wow, it sure seems to be working, so I think black men who complain about gold-digging black women have a valid point. Being pulled over by the police unjustly is not seeking validation for dysfunction, it is simply a reality. The Seattle Police Dept. was just determined by the Feds after an extensive investigation to have used excessive force against minorities, many of whom were black men. I mean really Scottie let me explain it to you like a five-year old. Black men really are pulled over unjustly by the police, and that is wrong. The police are the ones who are dysfunctional. I haven’t met any black men complaining that they can’t be the head of the household. Most black men don’t even live in the same home as their baby mommas and kids, and have no interest in being the head of those households. Maybe that’s why there are so many fatherless homes. So, I don’t get that one either really. I agree with your last point. Too many black men father children that they don’t take care of, but then if we could just get these knucklheaded black women some better contraception access and abortion services or the will-power to abstain from sex all-together until an appropriate time in their lives and a proper suitor came along, then we could solve the problem of all these fatherless homes in about a generation.

    • Deborrah says:

      I was with you until you said this:

      Too many black men father children that they don’t take care of, but then if we could just get these knucklheaded black women some better contraception access and abortion services or the will-power to abstain from sex all-together until an appropriate time in their lives and a proper suitor came along, then we could solve the problem of all these fatherless homes in about a generation.

      You place 100% responsibilty for men’s failure to father the children they fucked and made on the shoulders of women. You put all responsibility for contraception on women when men can handle that. You put all responsibility for abstaining from sex on women, when men can stop begging for pussy and whining or leaving women when they don’t get it. You put all responsibility on women for having sex at “an appropriate time in their lives” when no woman makes a baby by herself and men need to think about the appropriate time to have sex when they could become a father. And you put the onus on women to seek a proper suitor instead of on men to BE a proper suitor instead of a dog. Because if men did all the things you describe and took responsibility for their penis and what comes out of it, we could solve the problem of all these fatherless homes in 10 years.

  7. joeclyde says:

    You forgot to add bitter women constantly nagging you and never expecting to do anything to deserve your respect. Besides having the same skin color, and some stories of their grandmothers slaving away.

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