This posting is in no way intended to serve as a broad stroke that depicts all African-American women in a negative light, you know its target.

Bag lady you gone hurt your back
Dragging all them bags like that
I guess nobody ever told you
All you must hold on to
Is you, is you, is you…

Bag lady you gone miss your bus
You can’t hurry up 
Cause you got too much stuff
When they see you comin
Niggas take off runnin
From you it’s true oh yes they do

I recently received an on-line communication that provoked reflection. The meme carried the following message, “A woman will never submit to a man she doesn’t respect.” Considering the present plight of Black Male/Female relationships, I never casually pass over such messages as if they do not matter.

Naturally, the writer/meditator in me focused upon the words; “A Woman will never submit to a man she doesn’t respect.” The phrase is peculiar as it seems to place the onus of forging relationships and making them work solely on the woman’s shoulders; an assertion that is simply unfair for many reasons. The phrase caused me to ponder if Black women were indeed the primary catalyst behind the epidemic of failed relationships and marriages within our community. I quickly abandoned my oversimplification of what I personally knew was an incredibly dynamic process. However, the phrase ‘A woman will never submit to a man she doesn’t respect’ caused my mind to focus on the following question; what type of man are the droves of career-minded, well educated, fine African-American women seeking. Put simply, what are the prerequisites that a ‘brother’ would need to meet before a ‘sister’ would “submit”?

The primary impetus behind this communication flows from a personal disbelief that professional Black women cannot find a single brother to marry. My disbelief is compounded by the realization that I personally know hundreds of eligible (gainfully employed, sane, good-looking, religious/spiritual, and financially stable) men who are marriage minded and willing to enter into a monogamous long-term relationship with an accomplished sister; truthfully, what sane Black man would not desire to come home to a pretty, curvaceous, fine, and intelligent sister. More bewildering is the fact that I often hear professional sisters relate that they are being approached by male suitors; however, they apparently find them unsuitable for some reason. I wondered if the key to understanding this matter lay in investigating what type of ‘brother’ these ‘sisters’ desire?

While performing preliminary research for this blog, I came across several videos featuring Black America’s newest relationship guru, Steve Harvey. Truthfully, I pay scant attention to ‘relationship rescue shows’ as they are usually too sophomoric for my tastes. Hence, I began viewing Mr. Harvey’s video montage with tempered expectations. However, my expectations were exceeded when Mr. Harvey offered sound advice to a group of highly accomplished, downright fine, educated professional sisters who had grown frustrated with their failed attempts to find a suitable mate. It did not take much time for Mr. Harvey to uncover the primary flaw in these women’s strategy to “hook a man”. Each of these women was not only unrealistic in regards to the type of man they desired, but also were individually suffering from a critical character flaw that is best termed self-centered narcissism.

Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with a healthy dose of self-esteem; however, these women had exceeded the recommended daily allowance and overdosed on, of all things, themselves. This overdose caused uncontrollable displays of abrasiveness and condescension; conditions that behave as an allergen to most people, particularly marriageable Black men. I have learned that self-centered narcissism is a peculiar personality disorder that causes the afflicted to develop a heightened sense of self that obliterates any need for self-reflection beyond a superficial evaluation of their physical appearance, an event that ironically further bolsters their uncontrollable sense of self. Put simply, personal examination is darn near fatal for self-centered narcissists; they find it too painful to honestly assess their flaws and shortcomings. Very quickly, it became obvious that if the physically stunning women discussing this matter with Mr. Harvey were evaluated according to their moral code and personal values, they were ‘beautiful monsters’.

Interestingly, each of these women had much in common, they each held graduate/professional degrees, were highly successful in their professional careers, had money, owned homes, had access to a bounty of girlfriends, and carried passports that indicated their regular enjoyment of exotic vacations; however, none of these possessions/achievements freed them from their most significant commonality, loneliness. Now this is not to insinuate that just because you are single that you are lonely; however, these particular sisters verbalized their loneliness. Ironically, the silence provided by their loneliness allowed them to hear the “tick-tock” of their biological clocks. It was their desire to become a wife and have children that caused them to press Mr. Harvey for an explanation of why they could not find a man.

Predictably, these narcissistic women front-loaded the issue with the usual assertion that there simply are not enough “eligible” African-American men. I giggle internally at this half-truth that is routinely bantered among professional African-American women, because I know, and they know as well, that there are droves of brothers for them to choose from. What they are actually saying is, ‘why can’t black men measure up to our standards/demands.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III


  1. With respect that Dr. Jones will add a part two this piece; I must say that Allison raises an interesting view point, but I have to disagree. For at a majority of universities women out number men from class room attendance to participation in organizations, therefor women have more opportunities than ever to obtain that self-contentedness, that Allison speaks of. The next leading Presidential nominee for the democratic party is a women, and the current minority leader in the House of Representatives is a woman. Black Entertainment Television now airs “Black Girls Rock”. My generation is saturated with the wealth of women and their dominance in this time period. It is more than unfair to benefit from that wealth of exposure and education, then cry poverty of the hardships women have traditionally faced in the past.

    Moreover, a relationship requires no dominance, just two people who are equally yolked, and who leads that relationship is between those two people. So I do believe marriage will never be obsolete for Hebrews 13:4, Proverbs 31:10, Matthew 19:6, and Proverbs 20:6-7 all speak to blessing it is to find marriage despite how difficult that might be.

    Additional, for African Americans at least, the family structure has already changed with at least half of African American children being raised without a father present, I would dare to say that was not for our benefit. Even though times are changing, not all change is for the better and not everything good to you, is good for you.

  2. I agree with Allison … to put it in more contemporary terms, may of us single mother career women are REQUIRED to develop a “Jordan” (Character from teh Best Man movie) persona to not be knocked over, over looked and overly attacked. The “Mia” in us would love to live in the light but it is difficult to find a “Lance” who is willing to stand by his woman and tenderly love her while she sheds the person she has HAD to become. As far as self-centered … if we have no MEN looking out for us and we are pouring out nurturing the next generation… who looks out for us but us?!

    1. Unfortunately, one of the primary problems with your analysis of this matter is that you, and everyone else, have only read Part 1 of this discussion. I will wait until Part 2, the final part, has been sent out prior to discussing these issues.

      However, I must reiterate, that this article was aimed at some, meaning a few, sisters in regards to their demands for a mate. In regards to the character “Jordan” I believe that her problem was not found in the qualities/pre-requisites for her having a mate, rather, she was so busy and driven in her career that it flowed over to her personal relationships and she nearly drove that man away because as she put it, “I simply don’t need you.”

      1. I agree with this, it’s true that black women in America struggled the most when they declared their independence and getting into the mentality of “I don’t need a man to take care of me”

  3. I love your thoughts here but I disagree. Women should develop and maintain self-centeredness (which is often labeled narcissism by men) in a world that constantly tells her that she is ugly, undesirable, pushy, and ovrrsexualized. This is how you flip the script on that. When a woman has fought to make a place for herself in this world, she gains confidence. Many successful brothers don’t want that level of confidence in a woman because it makes his dominance less automatic. Personally, I think marriage is becoming obsolete…..there is nothing a single woman can’t do when she is single. You don’t have to be married to co-parent a child, but a house, travel, promote on your job, etc. The family structure is changing again! Embrace that change. Be safe, but be adaptable to different lifestyles. You don’t need someone else to be the head of your household. You are the head of your household! We can still love each other though…..serial monogamy, co-parenting, adoption, etc. There are new ways to define relationships and new forms of happiness on the horizon. – Allison

    1. I do not dispute any of what you just stated; keep in mind, this was only part 1 of a much larger dialogue. Please look for part 2, coming this Thursday where many, if not all, of the issues you highlight are addressed.

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