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Archive for the tag “men’s roles”

‘Make Your Own Damn Sandwich’ and Reasons Why We Can’t Surrender to Love

Man, I have been so inspired by a recent article in the New York Post.

This woman’s situation raises so many questions and thoughts and the reaction of some readers also raises thousands more.

I was particularly touched by the story because I totally know the power of sharing and showing love through cooking food for people. It just feels good, you feel good doing it, you feel good seeing and hearing the reaction and seeing a plate picked clean by your loved ones.

A few days ago I made the most awesome turkey wrap ever, and as I ate it, I thought to myself, “I’d love to make this again for my man after we’ve made love. Well, after my post-coital nap, THEN, I’ll make it.

So seeing this article today, had me beside myself in laughter, because while folks were raging on about it, I had a good laugh and I understood.


Long story short, this woman happened to make her a very tasty sandwich one night and he loved it. So she started making him more awesome sandwiches and one day he blurted out that if she made 300, he’d put a ring on it.

So of course, people started tripping off of what was probably originally just a funny in-the-moment comment and began to go in on this dude, for “demanding” she make 300 sandwiches.

Homegirl took it literally and started her quest to 300. She’s somewhere around 127 and counting. I have to say after seeing some photos of these sandwiches, I like men very much, but if she was making those kinds of sandwiches for me everyday, I’d switch teams for a minute to reap the benefits. I kid.

But the sandwiches look original, creative and delicious. I actually want to try some of the recipes myself.

So I read the article from Facebook where a number of black women sounded off. Even in the article this chick is catching a bit of hell.

I’ve mentioned before I believe in feminism and I stand in solidarity with black feminism and all of its nuances and complexities. It’s some other ish, and the people I follow on twitter who are part of the black feminism movement have really educated me and gazillions of others.

Most people agreed aiming for an arbitrary number of sandwiches to get to 300 specifically just to get a ring isn’t a good idea.

And under most circumstances, looking at that idea at face value is ridiculous. What does making a great sandwich over and over have to do with marriage? Isn’t it about love and reciprocity and respect and loyalty and honor and discipline and responsibility and maturity? Yes, yes and yes.

And through this sandwich-making, this woman is actually showing all of those qualities.

If you read the description of their relationship, she says she adores him. She says he cooks amazing things for her (a perfect filet mignon), they travel together and they have been accepted and loved by both families. They live together and seem insanely happy.

So what is making a couple hundred sandwiches?

And trust, if their relationship is solid, and she really loves this man she’s got thousands of sandwiches to go. She’s not going to stop at 300, just because she’s got the ring, or 301, just to be on the safe side.

Love is built on various unselfish acts that we do for one another every single day.

But people can’t see past the sandwich, or the fact this intelligent, attractive woman is taking time from her day to do this.

I guess they want her to cure cancer or something instead.

She’s been called a Stepford Wife and accused of setting women back.

Women who attack other women for consciously wanting to reciprocate love to a man that’s treating them well, is what’s setting women back. REAL TALK.

The majority of women responding in the negative on the Facebook post were black women.

This is part of the reason why we aren’t winning. I’m not going to get on the already beaten and bludgeoned dead horse about why black women– particularly successful black women are single. But these kinds of attitudes contribute.

I’m going to add another layer to this. If you haven’t read the article, the woman featured is African-American and her boo thang is a white man.

So, some black women may be up in arms about this educated, attractive sister making sandwiches to “earn” a ring from a white man (who has clearly shown that he’s probably going to marry her anyway), but already planning “Scandal” parties for next week, making sandwiches for their girls, drooling while a married, white president Fitz, fabulously sexes down the brilliant and gorgeous Olivia Pope.

American black women can be a little touchy about relationships with American white men, due to our horrible history together in this country through sex and slavery.

The venom is misplaced.

I think there’s some hate and jealousy in the mix. This woman is getting what she wants. She wants to be loved, she wants to share her life with someone who appreciates her.

And isn’t that the goal? They share a lovely home together, they travel, he cooks. Like he really cooks. Shiiiit. 300 sandwiches ain’t nothing. If Idris Elba asked a black woman to do it, she’d do it in a heartbeat.

We have parameters on who we love, and a dysfunctional sense that if we consistently do something nice for a man like cook or clean or iron or sew a button, we have demeaned ourselves. We’ve made ourselves lesser.

I’ve told you all the story about my sister bringing my brother-in-law his dinner, on a tray to his man cave. The younger me hated it. And I thought she was being weak and a Stepford. But that was her style of giving love and making him happy and making him feel like the man of his house. I know my brother-in-law to be a very hard worker, often working two jobs to support the family and give them everything they need. He adores my sister and you can feel it the way they laugh and joke and play with each other.

In order to enjoy mature love, both sides have to be vulnerable and show a lot more humility and not be afraid to do so. Many of the black women I know, we want to be in control, we want to know what’s going to happen in the future and we want an established record of good behavior from a man in order for us to completely give ourselves over.

But it seems us expecting love to work that way is not working FOR us. That attitude is working against us. We should be cautious and discerning when we pick our partners. Yes, but we have to trust we’ve done a good enough job in the selection process, that we should want to show love in ways others might see as domestic servitude.

We want men to fix things for us, to get up in the middle of the night with a baseball bat against a potential gun if there is a home invader. We want men to lay down expensive blazers in a puddle and or get rained on so we don’t get our hair wet; we want them to kill bugs and remove critters and dispose of garbage— things that an educated man could scoff at, just as educated women could scoff at cooking and cleaning and declare as things a man can “do his damn self” — but would we do all of those things our damn self, if we had a good man who doesn’t have to do it, but chooses to make us feel safe and loved and appreciated?

It’s something to think about.

If I know that I have a great man who loves me, I want to want to do things he likes for him even if it may inconvenience me from time to time, because I know he’s doing the same for me. I’m not going to keep score and with hold my love or positive loving actions because I’m waiting for him to do something for me that I consider equal or greater to my action. That’s not love.

Soon as I get home from work. Babyface

People hated Cater to You by Destiny’s Child. But basically this is the point of today’s blog. If you grown, you get it.

Confession: I’m A Sexist Against Emotional Men

I have a confession to make. I’m a sexist.

What’s worse is I’m harder on men about traditional roles, while I’m way more flexible when it comes to what women can or cannot do, their abilities, etc.

Part of the problem is because there has been such a seismic shift in these roles, and as a woman, I’m proud that we can do so much. But God, we really can’t do it alone. We need help. In our march to be the best women we can be and compete and be just as good as and better than men, we were quietly letting them slip.

Men started relinquishing certain aspects of their manhood, things that were innately in their makeup and now because society has told men over and over, women don’t need you, your money, your protection, a lot of men have taken a big gulp of that kool aid and started to believe it themselves. They went slinking away, for fear of retribution, law suits and being considered sexist. (Save the Males: Why Men Matter and Why Women Should Care is a great book that explores all of this stuff.)

I won’t front, I want it both ways. That’s wrong. It’s completely unfair and ridiculous.

What is probably even worse, is in addition to me wanting a man to know who to cook, clean, fix things, do yard work, take out the trash, discipline children, be there emotionally for me, compliment me, cuddle on the couch and then put some monster lovin on me in the bedroom, and bring home a nice paycheck (preferably equal to or more than mine), I tend to think I’m the only one entitled to get emotional.

I often forget men have feelings too, and they are just as sensitive as women (another stupid statement, we all are human and are built with feelings), and they often have a hard time feeling comfortable about expressing when their ego and pride have been hurt because society and women are telling them to suck it up.

But I don’t want no punk.

I think about when my nephew was about 5. My sister and brother-in-law felt they had to be careful about how they handled crying and certain tantrums. My sister naturally wanted to coddle and protect him, but my brother-in-law also had to step in from time-to-time, with a stern face and yes, tell a 5-year-old boy to stand tall. Once the little boy straightened up, and stuck out his chest, my brother-in-law wiped his little tear-stained face, gave him a hug and sent him on his little way. You could tell the boy was proud of himself after his dad gave him those strong words, but still showed him love.

This is the message we need to send to little boys from men. It’s okay to react, and have emotions. Don’t hide them, address them, but don’t run back to mommy either after the speech.

I make assumptions especially within the confines of my romantic relationships.

I assume that as a woman, I automatically care more about our relationship than he does.

I assume he has shrugged off a certain situation or a spat.

I assume when I’m complaining and he’s quiet, he’s ignoring me and he wants me to shut the hell up.

So I shut down. I say things like forget it, when I know it’s far from forgotten.

I’ve been told, men who love you want to solve your problem. In fact, they want to solve it right away. If they love you, they are quiet because they do want to process it and figure it out to give you a good solution or, they really do want you just shut up because they have problems of their own and are trying to figure those out too.

I foolishly think that men don’t care, that their feelings rarely get hurt, they get should get over stuff quickly, they should suck things up and that my words and action or inaction couldn’t possibly hurt them, meanwhile if the roles were reversed I’d be an emotional, raging nut-bag, complaining to any girlfriend who would listen and then consider not being in the relationship anymore because he doesn’t get me. And she’ll probably co-sign and say I should leave.

Well ain’t that the pot?

Where the hell did I get this from?

My dad is one of the strongest men I know, but he does not hide when he is emotional (happy, sad or frustrated) and he doesn’t have a problem with saying, “you hurt my feelings” after humbling his offender by running off a list of very recent, unselfish things he has been kind enough to do when he didn’t really have to. So I’ve always had a great example of a self-aware, strong yet sensitive man in my life.

So why am I so hard on the men I’m romantically involved with?

I told one of my good male friends about this and I said, there are times i just honestly feel like things don’t matter to yall.

I often take the approach to act like things aren’t a big deal to avoid being an “emotional female” thinking I’m saving the man I’m dealing with a lot more drama, and in his mind, I’m cool and I’m not dramatic like all of the other women.

Even in the beginning of a relationship, I’m breaking my neck to play it cool, to not seem too interested. I’ll say I’m busy even if I’m watching Sex and the City reruns in my old university sweatshirt. I’ll keep track of how often I’m contacting him, and make sure he’s contacting me just as much.

What a lie. And how exhausting.

As much as I like to consider myself low drama no drama, I can’t avoid coming home and talking about how much work stressed me out, or going on about why I feel like my more high maintenance friends misunderstood me this week and I’m tired of being the bigger person, always protecting their feelings, and if I give in again, I’m just allowing them to think they were right, thus exacerbating the problem.

That scenario just made me tired.

I can’t imagine being a man sitting across from me, loving me and having to hear this and hear me talk through it, knowing I won’t even begin to feel better about it until I’ve talked all. the. way. through. it. and knowing he’d be a jerk if he doesn’t look like he cares. He has to pay attention, because I’m going to ask him, (especially on the phone) “are you still listening to me?” “Then what did I just say?”

LOL. I just made myself laugh. Am I really that bad? Ugh…

Apparently I am. I have more work to do.

That’s been the major critique of men who have dealt with me. They said, I assumed they didn’t care, or assumed they didn’t want to attend a certain event with me and I didn’t ask them to go, or before asking about their day, I went on and on….and on about mine. They said I was not selfish, but I could go on and on and I made assumptions about how they felt and responded according to that rather than asking them and responding to their real feelings.

To me, it was staying a few steps ahead, knowing my man and anticipating his moves and not asking him every five minutes are you ok? Is everything all right?

I got to the point where I wasn’t asking at all, which can be just as dangerous.

So here’s to self-improvement and to the men brave enough to share their sensitive side and call my “know it all, read it all, I Googled everything there is to know about the male ego” ass out. This one is for you.

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