For the past few months I’ve been silently watching the fallout since the disaster that was Straight out of Compton the Gutter and black women’s “rabid, knee jerk support” of all things black and phallic. And I’ve also watched passively and bemusedly, at the sudden torrent of outrage after a black female student was assaulted by a white officer. And through that amusement I watched as, again unsurprisingly, the news broke that there was a group of black teenagers who actually protested the firing of said racist, violent officer. But it wasn’t until a post on For Black Women ONLY that I finally decided to address what I’ve known for a while and continue to see evidence of daily.
There. I said it. Ya’ll know me. And you know I’m extremely blunt. So I won’t even bother to mince words with you guys and make you feel better when I say this again: The vast majority of black women have no idea of what love is.
I’ve noticed a lot of black women, like the ones mentioned by commenters in the post above, claiming that they love black men, that they “love” their allies, that they “love” their families, and that they “love their sons” et al. But the fact remains, and you can’t convince me otherwise, that MOST black women do NOT understand the concept of love. Since the MAJORITY of the silent readers on my blog have probably never had their warped concept of “love” challenged, I’ll share the insights and observations I’ve collected from working as an advocate for women who’ve had their lives torn apart by “love”.
- “Love” is not accepting physical, verbal, emotional or psychological abuse.
- “Love” is not supporting anything and everything that black men produce.
- “Love” is not sacrificing your wellbeing on the altar of love.
- “Love” is not lauding any misogyny, abuse, degradation and humiliation to “lift up” groups of people who claim to love you.
- “Love” is not giving the shirt off your back without reciprocation.
- “Love” does not equate sex, “friends with benefits”, or Netflix and “chilling”.
- Love is not begging, protesting, rallying, creating signs, and guilting people into returning some semblance of the same feelings.
- Love does not NEED to beg.
- “Love” doesn’t mean never asking for anything in return.
- Despite the popular phrase love DOESN’T mean you never say you’re sorry.
- “Love” is not acting like a lady and thinking like a man.
- “Love” is not acting as a baby incubator for men.
- “Love” is not simply marrying a “rich” man
- “Love” is not automatically guaranteed with “rainbeaus” and “other brothers”.
I’m sure I could go on, and I’m sure you’ve got examples of your own that you’d love to include in the comments section (and probably will) but I’m going to leave it there while tell you that the overreaching point I’ve noticed in all of the above is a desperate and cloying (and usually futile) attempt to hang on to anything with a phallus.
These women black women, like the legions of women I deal with every day, are desperately searching for something. Sure these women are claiming to search for “love” but there is something more to it than simple romantic fulfillment.
I’ve noticed that the majority of the women I’ve encountered don’t love themselves. How do I know? Because they give away all the classic symptoms like someone in the final stages of a disease.
- These women are surrounded by dysfunctional relationships.
- These women don’t take care of themselves. (And I mean on every level)
- These women are unable to even contemplate putting themselves first. (See some of the twisted responses in the last post at the mere *hint* that black women might look out for themselves.)
- These women come from mass generational familial dysfunction.
- These women can’t seem to recognize the difference between love and sex.
- These women support any and everyone who has a nice word regardless of whether the fruit ever matches the vine.
- These women usually spend an inordinate amount of time on social media self-promoting in the hopes that someone will approve of them. Because in their minds, “Likes”, “reblogs”, “retweets” et cetera all equal some sort of substitute for love.
- These women usually support systems that directly work to destroy them. (I.e. Straight out of the Compton the gutter.) Newsflash: for women who *truly* love themselves there would never be any debate as to whether they should see a movie like that or not.
- These women are usually promiscuous.
- These women are usually “serial monogamists.”
- These women usually throw themselves at the altar of any two bit, half working phallus.
Listen, I don’t say these things simply because I enjoy stomping on other people. I say this because in my profession I’ve had to watch silently as women with the potential to be so much more than what they find themselves stuck in crash and burn.
I say this because I’ve watched as these people have destroyed the best parts of their lives to fulfill a part of themselves that other people can’t fill for them. And because of that I’m going to take the time to point out, for those who may be confused, that there is a vast difference between attachment and *actual* love.
What is the difference? Attachment is usually about the person who’s claiming to love someone. It is about their, wants, desires, needs, etc. Basically, with attachment, it is about someone putting their wishes for a relationship onto someone else, *regardless* of whether the person returns those same feelings or not. For example, see the crazy black woman the commenter in the For Black Women Only FB page posted who was holding up a sign claiming to “love black men”. This is attachment at its best.
Black women like this, regardless of all evidence that supports the fact that black men are not that into you*, lack the self-esteem, self-motivation and, yes, self-love to pick themselves up and find someone that loves them for who they are. Instead they’ve hooked their validation onto the hopes that these random black men who’ve done their best to tell them they ain’t interested will love them in return and validate them.
Because with a crazy scenario like this, these women are silently asking with signs like this and their unwavering knee jerk support, that the objects of their affection return their support and come out with signs of their own. They NEED to believe these men love them because they don’t feel worthy themselves. They’re begging for a response to affirm their existence and their worthiness as a human being.
I have noticed that many black women when talking about their relationships fall on the unhealthy side of the coin instead of healthy love. In fact the links above go in depth on the difference between love and attachment. Specifically the article from myhealthlivingcoach.com did a very good job explaining the difference between love and attachment that I see in many black women.
Of attachment they write:
But when attachment becomes dependency, it is no longer healthy. When people believe that they need other people or things to be happy, they are in danger of unhealthy attachment. Unhealthy attachment is a form of displacement and delusion. We come to believe that the source of our health and happiness is outside of ourselves. Then our identities and senses of self, our ability to feel pleasure, happiness, and other positive emotions becomes dependent on the words and actions of something outside of ourselves. When we believe that a person must remain in our lives or a situation must remain as it is for us to be happy and stable, regardless of whether the situation is actually healthy for us, then we are unhealthily attached.
Unhealthy attachment is a form of disconnection from self. We become so wrapped up in other people or things that we lose our connection to our own centers. A form of distortion clouds our perception, and we believe that our joy and essence stems from that external source – that someone can “make” us feel a certain way, and can take that feeling away. When we are attached, we give away our agency, our power, and our freedom.
You can tell you are probably attached when the idea of a relationship or situation ending makes you very uncomfortable and triggers primal fear. This is not the normal sadness that can happen when we imagine any good thing ending. Rather, attachment triggers irrational terror on a subtle level at the thought of the object of attachment leaving one’s life, which is related to the fight-or-flight sympathetic nervous system activation that happens whenever we perceive potential danger. This type of attachment and fear of loss can trigger all manner of unhealthy emotional states, including depression, anger, chronic stress, terror, jealousy and vengeance. It can cause us to do terrible things, from speaking cruel words because we feel hurt to martyring ourselves trying to make our partners stay with us. It is beyond logic, beyond sanity, and requires both vigilance and kindness to transform.
On a daily basis I these exact scenarios and it’s actually quite jarring. Not only is it jarring but I think in some cases it’s a symptom of some larger mental illness. So what is my point? I’m sure many of you are wondering that by now.
My point is that for black women looking to better their lives and move up and ahead it is absolutely critical to thoroughly consider the emotional entanglement you’re about to find yourself in. It is absolutely critical for black women to not only be strategic in who the align themselves but to also learn to love themselves. (or at the very least learn how to identify what love isn’t.) For some therapy might even need to be an option to free yourself from the baggage that many black women find themselves encumbered with. There’s nothing wrong with that. And I think many will find that when they’ve taken care of issues such as self-esteem, self-love and self-worth all the other issues start to solve themselves.
Until Next Time,