Friday, June 8, 2007

Is There REALLY a Black Man Shortage?

I don't think there is. There are plenty eligible professional black males out there, but it seems that women overlook us in search of that six-figure brother who owns several properties, looks like Denzel Morris Underwood, drives a 5-Series Benz, wants to have 1.5 children, who goes to church every Sunday, who totally honors commitment, who puts it down in the bedroom, who's sh!t smells like Kenneth Cole Black, etc. ---and the list goes on and on.

...Or on the flipside, a thug dude who they KNOW is no good, yet offers that "bad boy" excitement and can... you guessed it! Hit the bottom.

I know Brothers on both sides of the spectrum. Even Brothers that are making that six-figure salary tell me how they are annoyed when they are at an event or function, are about to engage in a conversation with a young lady, and the VERY first thing she asks him is "So what do you do?" The continuation, or ending of that conversation hinges on the next few words that come out of their mouths. For my six-figure friends, they have told me that they either are 1) turned completely off by having to go through the interview and cut the conversation short or 2) use it as leverage to have a quick physical relationship with that woman. They KNOW the are in demand and unapologetically use it to their advantage. For my brothers that are in that 50K salary range, a lot of times, the conversation is cut short by the woman and she moves on to the next "eligible" brother.

To make it even more interesting, it seems that many women will accept Denzel Morris Underwood's infidelity and knowingly compete with other women to get this man. Some will essentially put themselves on standby for this guy while he does his thing in hopes that he will choose her. It then seems like there is a 3:1 Black women to every Black man ratio.

The outcome is that women are passing over "average" brothers and playing themselves by chasing the brother that SEEMS to complete "The List." As result, perception becomes reality, and there is a so-called Black Man Shortage.

It seems like brothers in the middle get no love.

Or so says my boy Solo, who wrote a brief response for me to the so-called "Black Man Shortage." Read his response, soak it in, and sound off! Is there REALLY a black man shortage? Or are brothers just not stacking up to "The List"?


As a black male who has spent a great deal of his life single, I don't believe there's a male shortage, but I do think that timing is off between some men and women. For instance, I consider myself a gentleman and a scholar, have never been arrested and am educated. In college I never had a girlfriend because I didn't have a car or a lot of money. I got a lot of attention from white women and Asian girls for some reason, even though I never dated any of them. Black women were angry with me for that, even though I never did anything and they didn't seem to want me in the first place, so basically I was just stuck.

Fast forward almost four years later. I have a decent job and wear nice clothes. I have an old car, but it's payed for and the only debt I have is my college loans. I help take care of my mother who has had a hard time finding work. I don't drink and have never done drugs. I have no children and I think I'm reasonably decent looking.

All that being said, the only difference between me now and back when I was in college is that women have changed. My personality is the same, my character and integrity are the same. Black women have changed. They want different things when they "grow up". Men like me have a difficult time when we're younger, because we're not "cool" and don't know how to "spit game" and whatever else makes a man attractive to a young black woman.

I turned 27 this past November and quite frankly feel no loyalty to my so called sisters, since I feel none was shown to me. I would eventually like to meet, date and marry a nice black woman, but the fact is at this point women who would have been eligible when I was younger are no longer eligible. They either have kids now (a no-no) or haven't healed from a bad relationship in which they chose the wrong guy on purpose (I've never been sure about what women's problem is in choosing a man...). NOW they want a man like me. The bottom line is, brothers like me woke up and decided not to wait on black women to notice us, so we either decided to be alone, raise our standards even higher, or date a different race. Me, I have decided to raise the bar, and am prepared to be alone if I don't meet the kind of woman I like.

I'm not putting all the blame on black women, because most of the stuff about the so-called Shortage is true (homosexuality, prison, etc.) but the fact is women tend to make bad choices in men. I know too many women who prefer "thug" types, and would consider young men like myself "lame" (I have been called lame to my face on more than one occasion by black women), or "white" if we do things a little differently. By the time these women (which unfotunately seem to be the majority) wake up, it's too late and there's a bunch of bitter black men who want nothing to do with them for different reasons. That's not the whole issue, but that's a major part of it in my opinion. Men need to carry themselves to a higher standard and women need to make better choices and realize that they are the ones who change, not men. Recognize a good man when he's right in front of you, not when he's far ahead of you and out of reach.


Make no mistake about it. This is merely a generalization and a look at the other side of the coin as some eligible Black males see it. Not all women are overlooking good brothers. But there is definately a large population out there that could have the pick of the litter, but let other factors outside of compatibility dictate who's good enough to be with them. Usually they are the first ones to scream that there are no good Black men left.



JustMeWriting said...

HE-DOUBLE-HOCKY-STICKS YES... YES...AND YES, Now, I'll go back and read more then the title...LOL.

JustMeWriting said...

I personally think the days of looking for mr. big-bucks are over, but there are too many mr. big-bucks running around flashing their wallets at you, thinking you'll bite.

Women just want to be treated like Queens by a King, and most of the Black men have been plaqued by the 'bad sista' run-ins that they come equiped with attitude..."I don't have time for games...I've got this , that and the other,'d betta recognize"

The effort, care and creativity of approaching a woman (Black on Black) has become a lost art. I don't really think it's a shortage of good black men, but I do think there a plethora of Good Black Men who just don't care enough to give a Good Black Women him best. A real women, a Queen will acknowledge and appreciate a King when one's before her.

JustMeWriting said... post for today is pretty much what I just not to approach a woman, sadly, but too many fall off those the smallest reason...

A Beautiful Life said...

I agree with your point that many women make bad choices. Some say there is a shortage of black men, and one can find many statistics to support that, but I say ALL I NEED IS ONE ELIGIBLE MAN, JUST ONE =), so I'm not concerned about the stats.

I do think that SOME women get caught up in the money,looks, the way he dresses, etc. I know a few who are being cheated on, but deal with it, because they want the status associated with marrying their boyfriend (i.e. the future politician or doctor and the pro athelete). In the end these women will be very unhappy. I got past how much money a man makes and how he dresses. Seriously, I feel that if he has a great heart and is somewhat attractive that I can help him fix his appearance. I know many married men who are fine now, but when I look at their single pictures they didn't look too hot. With the help of their wife, they dress and present themselves better.

The days of looking for mr. big bucks are over. Money is nice, but I don't expect him to make six figures now. I may marry a man who makes in the 30s or 40s. I feel that there are other sources to gain wealth besides income. Now that I'm more mature, I'm looking at his heart first.

Anonymous said...

What both sides - men and women - are dealing with is immaturity. Think about it...we started the dating thing in high school. Young and naive, we let the media in general and later, hip hop in particular tell us what a good man/woman looked like, smelled like, earned like...

So, the boys who, in high school and college, didn't have money falling out of their pockets or didn't walk with a thug swagger developed bruised egos from all the rebuffs. This is all while little black girls were chasing dreams. We remembered those "prince on a white horse" fairy tales. And many of us, without fathers, had nothing to look forward to but that or the fine thug from the block.

Truly, once we all grow up - men and women - we realize what a good man is and it often starts with what's inside. On the flipside, men, much later than women of course (lol) realize that a good woman is not that chick with the light skin, big booty and easy-access.

We all got standards and we all had to grow up a little. There is no shortage of good black men or good black women. It's perception meeting reality that is in short supply.

Gene said...

I agree with Anonymous regarding the comments on immaturity. The fact that we spend so much energy on this shows a lack of growth. Too many of us are focusing on being with somebody instead of fixing ourselves up.

And it's painful that "shortage" is being defined only quantitatively within black culture. If we were honest with ourselves, we'd realize that there is a GOOD PEOPLE shortage. There are far too many trifling black men, black women, Jewish men, Jewish women, Taliban men, Taliban women, etc. It's not a black thing and it's DEFINITELY not a male thing.

Don't let the plethora of single black women convince you that half - or even most - of them are marriage material. Available does NOT mean acceptable.

And the number of options shouldn't affect you if you focus on being with who you are SUPPOSED to be with opposed to just being with somebody. You can only marry one person. Doesn't matter if you only have access to 2 single brothers or 1000. If the one for you is in one of those groups, you'll find him. If he's not, you ain't missing out on nothing but an experience that will you cause you to join the "there are no good black men" choir.

Andrew The Asshole said...

There is not a shortage of men or black men. Every woman needs or is attracted to a different type of bait. Some like the thug others like the flashy(you can buy in thing on credit) type. Women deal in the here and now,becase they don't like the nerd until his company is successful. By then he's no longer interested in you because you didn't pay him any attention when he was a nobody.

Both men and women like "bait" guess what it still works when your an adult. High school they were atheletes, college atheletes or if you couldn't make the team they pledged, as an adult you buy the right car, right country club etc. Or you could just be known for HITTING The BOTTOM. Women want to be the one to say they man that man change.

Ticia said...

Thank you for this blog... I really appreciated. I just wrote one myself.....check it out---

I do think there are good black men-- I just don't know where!?!?!?!

All the man I meet are intimidated by me or what I am doing. Its almost like I have to hide my life to be accepted, and I am sick of it.

My other biggest problem is that they want to have sex with you immeidiately, and I choose to wait until the appropriate time. I don't want to give my body over, b/c I think a relationship should be built on more..and sex in the beginning can lead to something you don't want initially, and then it turns out to be a booty call and that is definitely not what I want or who I am. So I am punished mostly from men, because I will not open legs---

Saun said...

First let me say, I'm tired of men thinking a woman is looking at their wallet when we ask, "So what do you do?". If I didn't know you, what would you want me to ask you? "Where are you from?" and "What do you do?" are the standard conversation starter questions of the world (male/female/white/black)

I think there are a lot of good black men and women. The problems is that you have to wade through the large amount of bad ones to get to the good ones. I also think that after dealing with so many bad ones, that both men and women get jaded and have a harder time seeing the good in folks. Bad experiences can negatively influence your future perspective

There is not a shortage of good black men. However there is a limited number of compatiable matches within the group of good men. I know quite a few good men and there isn't anything wrong with them, they just aren't a good match for me. You can't always take it personal when things don't work out. Folks are always quick to claim it's because a woman doesn't know a good man when she sees it. Sometimes it a simple as seeing that you are not going to be a perfect match for everyone you date.

Gene said...

Asking people what they do from jump is a problem. We make too many conclusions from that question, which ironically doesn't tell us as much as we think it does. There are far more important questions we can ask if we really want to know something about somebody.

Ticia said...

@ Gene...

Hmmm...when I ask folks what they do, its just a simple question and to me its harmless.....

Just like you think you have a good job, so do I.....

I never thought abt it in the way you all are referring to---

Gene said...

I don't think most think about it the way I do. But I think we make even minor subliminal messages about an individual based off of what they do for a living when in reality it doesn't tell us as much about the person as we think.

Brandon said...

Thanks for your comments. Everybody has made valid points. I think that Black men and women are frustrated on both sides. A lot of the good brothers are frustrated because they've become conditioned to have to sell themselves to women before they are taken seriously. And on the flipside, the good women out there are so used to being approached by men with bad intentions that their guard is up to the point where they are heavily screening men before they put down the wall. I feel your pain.

I can only speak from the male perspective. Yes, there are wolves out there, but while you may be successful at weeding the wolves out, you might also be eliminating the good ones. Unless a guy approaches you incorrectly (shouts out to JMW) converse with him casually without trying to figure him out in 5-10 minutes. If he's no good, the truth will come out in casual conversation.

I don't have a problem with the "So what do you do?" question because it is a fair question that you will have to find out eventually, BUT when it's the very first thing asked, it puts men on guard. When asked too early, it says "I'm screening you!" and like Gene said, it subconsciously (or consciously) taints your image of who that person really is before you get to know them. I personally know women that will say in their most uninterested voice "well it was nice meeting you" to that brother that works for UPS. After 5 minutes, they feel like they would be "settling" if they gave him a shot. That UPS Delivery guy may be the best thing that ever happened to you, compatibility-wise. His profession is a small piece of the puzzle.

And to ticia's point, you shouldn't have to hide your success to find a good mate, but just like with the "what do you do"-question, when it is volunteered too early, he may feel like you're putting that out there for competition. Unfortunately though, some men will be intimidated whether it's early or not...

I ain't scurred tho! ;-) lol

Gene said...

Don't sleep on the UPS man! UPS drivers in the DC metro area START at $75K! Dude might be delivering EVERYTHING you want AND need!!!

Rell said...

UPS men make stacks...

I have a masters degree and I won't be making nearly as much as them...

They get props.

Anonymous said...

I am a female in a good relationship with my black man.
I personally dont like the "what do u do?" question when it comes from a man either. I may be in bet jobs or not in the career i want, jobs dont define me and i feel its a question that can be left for later on.

Before meeting my guy, i felt like the picture was bleak, i wasnt gona find luv, my ex was the epitome of selfishness and i had had enuff. but i took a chance on my recent guy, not knowing exactly wat his occupation was when i met him and even thinking he was a lil on the corny side. but after letting that go and getting to know him, we cliked and the rest is history.
I think us black women need to let those hang ups go. so wat if he works for UPS (they do actually make good money) or a Cravath, Swaine and Moore. give the blue collar dude a chance.
My bf used to be a personal banker and left his job becuz he was unhappy and he was making good $ when i met him. Personally that wudnt have made a difference, he is still the same person now working for a cable company.

Ivy said...

First of all, there's nothing wrong with asking a man or a woman you just met "What do you do?" or "Where do you work?" Like Saun said, it's a conversation starter. I think anyone intimidated or annoyed by that question may be feeling a little inferior about their professional status. It's ok to answer that question with "I gig" or "A lil this, a lil that", if you don't want to ante-up the real answer.

I'm wondering about this Black Man Shortage statement. There's plenty of Black Men walking around. Question is: Are they good? Are they available? Would you want them even if they were good and available?

I find that most of the time when people say, there's a shortage of men/women, or that they are having a hard time finding a good one - it's because they are constantly attracted to the wrong person. Or, they are extremely picky/war-wounded.

Pink Ink said...

Real talk. Good black men are out there. However you are right: black women aren't picking their men properly...I honestly think many of us are waiting on a prince in shining armor, and miss the prince in jeans and a t-shirt.

Anonymous said...

ni66ers are a sub human species. Treat ni66ers like you treat dogs!
Racist enough!

Becasue ladies, most of the womens mainstream rags have, at one stage or another , told you that men are a sub human species and that you should treat your man like you treat your dog.

Plenty of women try to laugh this off but it's anything but funny. Same as ni66er jokes arent funny.

And this is the real cause of the black man shortage.

White women treat white men like dirt cause they think it's normal. Black women treat black men like dirt for the same reason.


White women do not treat black men like dirt because that's considered racist.

So, then, who does the truly color bind black skinned man choose to date? He dates the girl who doesn't treat him like dirt. The fact that she's white is irrelevant.

Xcentric Pryncess said...

Letter to a Black Man

Who told you that I was mad?
Was it CNN or ABC News?
Cause you know they don’t always tell the truth
Half-truths only tell a piece of the story.
They told you I was loud too?
Well sometimes I can get loud, but only so that people in the back can hear
What I am trying to say.
You keep on believing those lies.
Cause they told me something about you too and I was too smart to believe them
They told me that you didn’t want me anymore.
Yeah they did. They told me that you were tired of
My mouth and my ability to tell you about yourself when you are wrong
They told me that you said I was fat and that I had no clue on how to
Treat a man. Imagine that.
You keep on believing what they say cause they told me that you
Were sorry and a bad father, that you don’t work and you stay up in jail.
They told me that you didn’t finish school and that you sell drugs.
They told me that your clothes hang off of your ass and that you recite
Raps like you wrote them yourself. I didn’t believe them.
Cause I saw you reading Cornel West and holding your little girls hand when
You were getting on the bus. I saw you listening to Miles Davis and reciting
Langston Hughes. I saw you working everyday, two jobs sometimes and when you got off
You had on this fly button down and a derby.
I didn’t believe them.
Copyright B. McCrary (aka xcentricpryncess) 2007