A Black Man’s Guide to Black Women
They’re People Just Like Us
I don’t understand Black women.
This is a sentiment many Black men relate to, repeat, and converse with each other about daily. We do this by ourselves, amongst ourselves, and even, on occasion, with complete strangers in social media reply chains. I used to do it, too, and I’ve lived with a Black woman for the better part of the last three years of my life.
Because as human beings, when confused, we do what all human beings do. We define things, places, and especially people we don’t understand, or don’t feel like understanding, even when they don’t need to be defined in the first place. We place them in boxes, we tack on labels — as many as we think will fit — and, most of all, we make generalizations. Then we completely and totally forget that we just came up with all of this hot garbage and decide that the best thing to do is treat it as fact.
For the sake of scientific accuracy, let’s call the boxes that we’ve created “Good Black Woman” and “Bad Black Woman,” because obviously only two are necessary for an entire group of people.
Now that we have universal definitions that we accept as law, we put them to use — even though they never really seem to quite cover everything, so we constantly have to update and add to them in order to remain correct.
Then we decide that the best thing to do, as a collective, is to go forth and use these guidelines to shame, police, and correct Bad Black Woman behavior and uphold, reward, and respect Good Black Woman behavior. We meet any opposition to the unofficial official laws that we’ve decided on, through the aforementioned collective consciousness, with discontent.
We classify this opposition as either insubordination or something some people call feminism — another thing that we don’t fully understand, nor care to understand, and if we do kind of understand, believe is unnecessary vigilantism against men.
And here, even though it already was from the very jump, is where we officially get the game entirely fucked up.
I need to be clear on this point. This is not redemption, my G. The fact that this is something I had to tell you, and be told, is not a reason for any of us to receive, or deserve, pats on the back, or positive recognition in any form, because I tried that too, and it didn’t fly.
The reason you don’t understand Black women isn’t because Black women are confusing. The reason you don’t understand Black women is that Black women, whether you believe it or not, are people, with differing ideologies, thoughts about life, and different moral constitutions.
They even have different names, bro.
The only way to understand Black women, like all individual people on the planet earth, is to get to know them — one at a time.
The sad fact about all of this is that you knew this already, but I would challenge you to seriously ask yourself:
did you act like it?
If you didn’t:
Stop putting Black women in boxes in your conversations, in your thoughts during toilet time, and especially in your tweets because nobody wants to see that shit, brodie. Stop twisting statements made by other women and co-opting them as slogans and PSAs for your illegitimate, nonsensical Good Black Woman/Bad Black Woman police force — I’m looking at you, with your y’all should be more like Ayesha Curry face ass. Consider this my Christmas gift to you along with the lump of coal Mrs. Claus told Nick to leave in your stocking.
If you did:
Regift this to your homeboy who you know still, for some reason, does not understand what’s going on here in 2017, but you’re too — insert here — to tell him that he’s tripping harder than Jeremy Lin on a one-on-one fast break.
That’s all folks.