It’s Not a Woman’s Job to Earn a Man’s Respect

| 02/27/2013 | Comments (5)

a womans job to give him something to respect?
The other day someone sent me a clip of something posted on Baisden Live.  It pertained to the graphic at right, which has been posted all over Facebook hundreds of times by naive people that I’m sure meant well.  Baisden had something to say about it which he says was one of the most-commented posts on his page.

The quote below about respect was the most viewed (over 500,000) and the most shared (over 6,000) in the history of Baisden Live on Facebook. What surprised me most was how many people believe that respect should be a given. That may sound good, but in the real world you must not only make yourself worthy of respect …you must demand it; that goes for both men and women. Yes, you should always be courteous and never Dis-Respect anyone, but R-E-S-P-E-C-T is something that must be earned! That’s the problem these days… women ruin men by treating clowns like Kings! And just because you are a female doesn’t automatically make you a Queen. Labels mean nothing without the character, hard work, consistency, and class to back it up! ~by Baisden Live

Now, the young woman that sent me the post felt that for the first time in his entire life, Baisden had it right. Intrigued, I read the post to see what he had to say that she felt so strongly about. Historically, male “relationship experts” and me do not see eye to eye on much of anything, and rarely have I seen anything that I believe they have “right” when it pertains to women, and African American women in particular.

The trend was not broken.

I disagree completely with his statements. His logic places women in the role of having to jump around and bend over backwards to please men (once again), and model themselves in a manner that meets male approval. All women have the right and should exercise their right to do whatever she wants to do without doing a thing to seek male approval. The only approval a woman should ever seek is her own. Because no matter what a woman does or does not do, there are going to be people (male and female) that don’t like it, don’t understand it, and therefore do not respect her choice OR HER.

The young woman in question wasn’t clear on what I meant, and asked me for a breakdown.  Here goes, line by line.

—That may sound good, but in the real world you must not only make yourself worthy of respect …you must demand it; that goes for both men and women. —-

People either give respect to you or they do not. If you are in a relationship (personal or professional) with someone and you feel they are taking advantage of you, taking you for granted, or being out and out disrespectful for whatever reason, then yes, it is up to you to tell them about themselves. But do they have to give it to you? No. No matter how “worthy” you may be of respect, it is the other person’s decision whether or not they give it to you.

—Yes, you should always be courteous and never Dis-Respect anyone, but R-E-S-P-E-C-T is something that must be earned!—

That is a stupid statement. There is only up or down, in or out, back or front, top or bottom. You cannot be “partially” pregnant or “kinda” have sex either. Therefore you either respect someone or you do not – there is no middle ground. If you are not disrespecting someone, then you are respecting them.  No woman has to earn a man’s respect.

And what is it that someone must do to “earn” your respect anyway? What is it that you expect them to do or say or be or acquire in order to earn it? Is there a list? Are you materialistic and only respect people with a lot of money? Are you an intellectual snob and only respect people with a lot of letters after their name? Are you a sexist pig and only respect virgins? Or do you only respect women that agree with everything you say and submit to your maleness?

You see what I mean?

The “qualifiers” to earn respect of men is a losing game and a set-up for the woman to be wrong. And then if she is wrong on one little thing, the guy feels right in taking away his respect of her in every aspect. Such an unrealistic expectation makes women walk on eggshells out of fear of losing his respect. That is no way for one half of the human race to live.  Women should not every try to earn a man’s respect, its a losing proposition.

And what qualifies as “respect worthy” behavior varies from man to man. A woman walking down the street minding her business and dressed conservatively, totally “giving men something to respect” can still be talked to in a manner that shows marked disrespect. What has she done to “unearn” respectful treatment? A woman cannot allow herself to be batted around like a tumble weed, always bending and flexing trying to “earn” people’s respect.

The best and only way to do things is to follow The Golden Rule and treat others as you would like to be treated. That is respect, consideration, kindness and all that rolled into one.

— That’s the problem these days… women ruin men by treating clowns like Kings! And just because you are a female doesn’t automatically make you a Queen.—

Why blame a woman for “ruining” a man? He ruined himself! This is another set up. Black women that don’t give blanket respect to black men or bow down to black men in submission are seen as “damn feminists” and “the destroyers of the black community!” Yet if she does respect men and ends up giving her all to her man then she is “treating clowns like kings.” That is because her man has not earned these OTHER MEN’S respect, even if he has earned hers. Again, it’s nothing but a set up for the woman to be wrong.

– Labels mean nothing without the character, hard work, consistency, and class to back it up!–

Again, class, character, hard work, consistency and every other judgment about behavior is in the eye of the beholder. As such, an assessment of what is just okay and what is exceptional also varies from person to person.

A woman has to be who and what she is and should not ever worry about doing anything to “earn” a man’s respect. Just be yourself at all times. Somewhere out there are people that appreciate you exactly the way you are. Fuck anyone that doesn’t.

So no, he is still as usual wrong.

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Deborrah

Veteran social researcher, relationship advice columnist, author and radio host. Author of hundreds of articles on American and black culture, gender issues, singles, dating and relationships. Author of "Sucka Free Love!" , "The 24 Types of Suckas to Avoid," and "The Black Church - Where Women Pray and Men Pray" all available on Amazon.Com. Her unique voice and insightful commentary have delighted fans and riled haters for 20 years. Read her stuff on Examiner.Com, SurvivingDating.Com and AskHeartBeat.Com.

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Category: Date Smarter, Not Harder

5 comments
fluffoid
fluffoid

Quite honestly, no women has to bow down and pay homage to shameless misogynism. Remember that men are like sand on an ocean beach. You can choose whomever you want and it can be a choice where the woman has the maximum compensation and validation. Respect comes from actual supportive actions and not a volley of words and or shamings.

mgii
mgii

This quote plays on the polysemitism of the word "respect" to force women on submissive and unatteinable position. "Respect" can mean "not to cause prejudice to somebody" but also "to give an uttermost consideration, a great moral value to something". As phrased in the original quote, for men not to "cause prejudice" to a woman implies that she have to "be worthy of uttermost moral value". This sucks. This can go as far as impliying that, for any woman to be safe of sexist attacks and even rape, every single of them must be in every moment absolutely virtuous and admirable.

Got some news for you, men: you got to "respect" every woman however "respectable" she might be! Even the most drunken slut should not be denigrated, attacked, raped, whatever you might think of her. "Respect" as "safety and integrity" don't have to be earned, it is due to anybody!

Then, and then only, can you work as to earn the respect of the people who surround you and whose opinion you value.

Amuro
Amuro

@mgii Respect can be given in a lot of ways. If a "drunken slut" you speak of is at a bar my way of respecting her is ignoring and acting like she doesn't exist. Now if some other dude decides to take advantage of her then it's not my job to go and tell other people about it.

tiredofthegames
tiredofthegames

@Amuro @mgii so we need to applaud that you didn't take advantage of her because she was drunk? Alrighty then...

Razzy
Razzy

@Amuro @mgii  

If the woman isn't paying you any attention in the first place, How is ignoring her and acting like she doesn't exist, showing any kind of respect to 'her?'


   

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