Once again I begin at the source. Where all good things come from & where most of my ideas spark, that’s right … Facebook. No its not a joke, I’m being serious. Once again my boredom led me back to my news feed in search of entertainment and funny memes to kill some time before bed. It’s funny because although everyone has pretty much abandoned Facebook for Twitter I always start there by default, programming much? I digress.
It was during one of my aforementioned Facebook sessions that a friend shared a blog piece entitled ‘Why the the hell am I still dating black women’ from a writer by the name of Ebrahim Aseem the title alone had me annoyed before I even read the thing but I rolled my eyes, sighed deeply and plunged in. What I found was refreshing, honest and dare I say … nothing new. Not that it was un-interesting or I didn’t like it, quite the opposite in fact but I had heard these very lessons before. He ventured into an experience he had while in the barbershop and the title stemmed from the question the woman in the piece asked him & his response to said question. A must read by the way!
Now I would LOVE to sit here and say I scoured the rest of his articles, Twitter and Facebook because my natural journalistic skills were coming to the forefront. I would relish in the thought that these past few years studying for my journalism degree suddenly made sense and those qualities came pouring out of me, when the reality is … I’m just nosey! Ha!
I found an array of pieces & quotes on relationships, men vs males, speaking life into each other having a king/queen mentality and why men cheat. Things such as “In his mind, he thinks one day she will mentally awaken to the realization she deserves better than him & leave him. This is why males cheat on a woman, to have POWER over her. He cheats on her to boost his ego.” Most of which was well articulated and agreeable but again nothing new.
I then think back to the LONG conversations I used to have with my dad about everything from politics to family. Now that I’m older I have a different appreciation for those moments and his was the voice that came to mind when I was reading these pieces not on everything of course but the majority. So why in this day and age did it take a man to tell women what most of us already knew or I have heard other women give whole seminars on? Since these articles have gone live Ebrahim has received an outpouring of support and fans. Perhaps it coming from a man added validity to his points after all as much as I hate to admit men in the main, hold the power. Perhaps it was the way in which it was articulated his use of metaphors and uplifting rhetoric. Or as sad as it sounds, perhaps not enough of us have that figure in our lives to tell us these things in the way my father is to me, maybe it was their first time hearing these things, honestly who knows.
I most recently listened to a radio interview in which Ebrahim answered questions and heard view points not only from the women desperate for that compassionate male opinion but also from the ‘kings’ who echoed many of his sentiments. What I heard however was women longing for hope in the form of a man, telling them that they don’t need to compromise their values, stifle their opinions or change who they are & I don’t blame them in their sigh of relief. Everything in our modern society is geared towards aesthetic improvements largely targeted at women. Make-up, fashion, cosmetic surgery you name it. In addition we are constantly shown imagery and messages that objectify and promote submission & obedience. I don’t begrudge these industries & marketers after all it is a direct result of years of conditioning and now very much apart of our culture, but its no wonder why his words have been so well received. Especially with vloggers like MrMadness Sotomayor who openly critises and mocks women, black women in the main. Usually with sentences starting with “See this is why I have a problem with black women … ” Although I must confess to hearing a FEW utterences of truth from the likes of he. Its namely the broad generalisations and sweeping statements that annoy me.
I reflect on speaking with a female friend who for the sake of this article we shall call her Sam. Sam is beautiful, Sam is smart, she is driven and she has more compassion in her big toe than most of the people I encounter on a daily basis. She is by no means perfect sometimes a little insecure and not always patient. But yet I would spend many a evening listening to her practically in tears about her no good boyfriend cheating, playing games and not doing anything with his life. A woman who I’m my opinion could have her pick of the litter. I would BEG her to let him go, I would spend hours telling her the same things my dad used to say to me. I.e A man will not change unless HE wants to, always remember your worth and stick with your convictions. Now while I was on the phone she would agree and say she was going to let him go, the following day they had made up and she was sticking with him … can you say frustrated?!
Every instinct in her body was telling her he was no good, but like many she chose to ignore it in hopes of him changing, which although admirable, its not surprising it didn’t work out.
Conversely ladies, let us not forget a few lessons that we need to take heed of like depth of self, compromise, developing confidence, healthy self image and mutual respect. I have many a male friend who have felt the spurn of rejection, the infidelity of his lady or the sting of a woman’s tongue. There are more and more defying the stereotype and are ahead of the game. Too often we play the victims whereby all women are saints and all men are sinners. There’s no more truth in that, than there is in the line that all blondes are bimbos! Its the merit of the individual.
I suppose in essence what Ebrahim has done with his works, whether intentionally or not is to give us a universal lesson in self worth, love and personal development. There is nothing at the heart of what he has said that could not be implemented to all relationships not just romantic ones. Certainly not just heterosexual ones either. Gay & lesbian civil partnerships (marriages most recently) according to the UK Office of National Statistics “The provisional number of civil partnerships in the UK in 2012 was 7,037, an increase of 3.6% since 2011.” and cheating, game playing and like are less common than in homosexual relationships than in heterosexual ones. According to self proclaimed ‘Gay Love Coach’, Brian L. Rzepczynski “Men in particular (both straight and gay) tend to be more at risk and susceptible for cheating on a lover because of the tendency toward being able to separate sex from emotions during sex.” Despite the flamboyancy and clichéd mannerisms we’ve been exposed to, it goes without saying that we all have the same insecurities and many of the same areas to work on.
My one small hope from this ignition of conversation that has arisen as a result of this viral hit, is for us ALL not rely too heavily on others to tell us what we intrinsically know to be right, don’t doubt yourself. To take his words as a reminder and not a bible of do’s and don’ts. Develop the correct mindset to implement these changes and hopefully have more fulfilling relationships as a result, myself included. Whatever the source I’m still glad we have the likes of Ebrahim & other young speakers to share it because they certainly are needed. Even if they aren’t an entirely new concept to me.
I hate to say it but thanks dad … I guess I’m ahead of the curve.