Black Women : What do you mean when you say ... "Be a Man"

Discussion in 'Black Women - Mothers - Sisters - Daughters' started by Destee, May 26, 2003.

  1. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2001
    Messages:
    34,787
    Likes Received:
    8,982
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    betwixt and between
    Ratings:
    +9,680
    My Sisters ... (of course Brothers are welcome to comment too) ... what do you mean when you tell a "man" to "be a man?" I don't know what made me just think of this, but i did. :)

    I'm wondering how we can suggest for a man to be a man, when God made him a man. Are we any less a woman because we may not live up to the expectations of others? I know there is no single act that can take my "woman-ness" from me. So why do we sometimes suggest that a man can be less than a man? Should we challenge ourselves not to attack our Brother's very manhood? And, if there is any truth to the cliche, it takes one to know one, aren't we the last ones to be suggesting that a man isn't a man?

    Just wondering what yall think ...

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  2. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2001
    Messages:
    6,375
    Likes Received:
    1,430
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +1,862
    Des, great topic and it should spark some interesting discussion. I'll join Keme and get the ball rolling.

    First, we don't live in an androgynous society where men and women are viewed as being "equal." I think that paternalistic (male dominant) societies (like America) and some religions (like Christianity) have set the standard by which men are thought about by themselves and by women.

    American society dictates in a number of ways the roles it assigns to men and women. For example, television in the 1950s and 1960s showed what America thought about the acceptable roles of women as nurturers and men as providers. (I won't bother to make the distinction about race differences at this point). The Bible describes roles and duties of a husband and a wife. That belief is woven in the fabric of our society.

    So, I think that when some women say "be a man," what they're saying is, what the Bible describes that a man should be like in every way.

    "Should we challenge ourselves not to attack our Brother's very manhood?"

    I think you're right. Women shouldn't strip her men of their manhood no matter how angry or upset she might be. And also, women shouldn't dehumanize men and then EXPECT them to be understanding and willing to work with her on relationship problems. Once the words have been put out there, you can't take them back.

    "And, if there is any truth to the cliche, it takes one to know one, aren't we the last ones to be suggesting that a man isn't a man?"

    Yeah, I think there's truth to that cliche' Des, however, maybe it doesn't apply in all things. You know as well as I that Black women have been forced to wear both hats in her family since coming to these shores. It's not her fault nor is it the Black man's fault. It's the affects of a racist society. So a Black woman has worn a Black man's shoes before and I think she can relate to his struggle. But that's not to say that Black women wouldn't willingly give up a man's role and turn it over to her man but I think what happens sometimes is women want to see men take responsibility for things they do in relationships. And yes, that pendulum swings both ways and should.
     
  3. ZeroGravity

    ZeroGravity Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2002
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    10
    Occupation:
    System Administrator
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Ratings:
    +11
    I think it's more like...

    "be like I want you to be" :confused:

    Men (as well as women) have a multitude of character, some good...some bad. So what is saying to someone "Be a Man" really mean? What part of "being a man" does that implies? Man is defined as a male adult. So the implication is not on the "man" part but, I would venture to say, more on the "adult" part which is subjective to say the least. This is why I say what they are saying is "be more like I want you to be" :)

    I further believe that saying something like that to a man can possibly be construed as an attack of "manhood" only because society has been conditioned to group behavior into defining the sex of a person. Saying that is not being very constructive, it probably does more harm than good, imho.

    NNQueen quoted:
    Could you please elaborate on your statement, particularly on how black women have worn black men's shoes? I understand who women can relate to the struggles of being black, but I just want to be clear on how women have worn our shoes :)
     
  4. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2001
    Messages:
    6,375
    Likes Received:
    1,430
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +1,862
    ZG...Ooooo...I feel a challenge coming on and me thinks I have struck a nerve *lol*

    First let me qualify my comments to state that I'm not coming from some lightweight perspective that incorporates the unyielding drama that exists in a lot of superficial relationships today. I'll let someone else address the senseless "stuff" that happens when people are immature and seem to thrive off hurting each other.

    So having said that, what I meant WAS . . .when a man is thought of in a "traditional" sense . . . head of the household meaning that he provides for the family, acts to protect and defend his family, helps to guide and live by example . . . etc., Black women, in the absence of a Black man present in the home, have had to share that role, AS WELL AS, be the "traditional" nurterer of the family.

    I don't think this is a novelty experience confined to modern times either. I think from the time that we stepped foot on these shores, Black women have worked side by side with the Black man in many ways. Neither one of us have had the luxury of being "privileged" in our roles in this society. When the Black man was stopped and shut down by Jim Crow, the Black woman stepped up and took over many times to keep the family going.

    I don't intend for my opinion to demean the Black man in any way or strip him of his manhood. I don't find fault nor place blame on him when a Black woman has had to do what a woman has had to do to survive. So, that's what I meant when I said that Black women have worn Black men's shoes. And I still think it's wrong for a woman to tell a man to "be like a man," and yes, you're correct that what she means is "be like I want you to be." That notion leads me to another thread about how we "choose" our mates, but I won't bother straying too far from this topic.

    Hopefully this is clearer and I'm open to different opinions--as always!! :)
     
  5. ZeroGravity

    ZeroGravity Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2002
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    10
    Occupation:
    System Administrator
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Ratings:
    +11
    LOL! ... nope

    Queen...you didn't strike a nerve :)

    I just wanted to be clear on your meaning or better yet ... my interpretation of your words.

    Your qualifying comment really addressed my concern in your statement, and I concur with your position on [the senseless "stuff" that happens when people are immature and seem to thrive off hurting each other].

    The intent of the hurting of others was what I needed to be clear on, because I think the words "be a man" is about that and not one of an uplifting nature (i could be wrong about that). Sometimes you might hear a woman say, similar to what you said, to a man in a not-so-flattering way as well. I thought you might have been addressing that from the perspective of the thread as a further demonstration.

    I'm clear.
     
  6. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2001
    Messages:
    6,375
    Likes Received:
    1,430
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +1,862
    I'm glad I could be of help, ZG!! :)

    P.S. You're far too busy these days and I miss your posts! I hope that duties will permit you more time in the future!
     
  7. monetg

    monetg Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2003
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ratings:
    +2
    Of course Queenie is speaking figuratively, Keme.
    DDDUUUHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
     
  8. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2001
    Messages:
    6,375
    Likes Received:
    1,430
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +1,862
    Shaddup Keme and put a sock in it!!! Ignat!
     
  9. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    69,983
    Likes Received:
    3,978
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    BUSINESS owner
    Location:
    Da~WINDY*CITY //CHICAGO
    Ratings:
    +4,178
    point is one can't judge of man as man nor woman
    yet forth the judge is cast by the Father only whom
    is the judge
    when one speak of be a man as to pose grow up
    some down the manhood of a man's beings
    once man is molded he is to be not judged
    nor can woman be of higher speed
    yet in today's world man & woman is sought to be equal
    by the same jobs the same pay scale and yet very different
    wo-man cannot fill shoes of man ...............

    now tell me how do u define MAN ????
     
  10. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2001
    Messages:
    6,375
    Likes Received:
    1,430
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +1,862
    Keme, you must try harder to control your tirades. Please explain why you think a woman can't "wear a man's shoes"?

    And stop attacking Scorp (monetg)!!
     
Loading...