On Men's Social Immaturity and Women's Suffering
Women should not have to suffer for the social maturity and development of men. The Bible says, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Clearly some of ya’ll didn’t get that memo because ya’ll will always be on some childish shit. And when I say “ya’ll”, I mean “men”. It is not a woman’s lot in life to be responsible for any grown ass man. In a relationship, we are not supposed to be your mothers, grandmothers, handlers, teachers, etc., and we're certainly not responsible for teaching you right from wrong.
When Ariana Grande first broke up with Mac Miller, she stated that the split was amicable and that she would always be his friend. A few days later, when Miller was arrested for a hit-and-run DUI, some folks took to Twitter to blame it on her. In a fresh iOS press release, Ariana gave the following statement:
“How absurd that you minimize female self-respect and self-worth by saying someone should stay in a toxic relationship because he wrote an album about them, which btw isn’t the case…I am not a babysitter or a mother and no woman should feel that they need to be. I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety and prayer for his balance for years (and always will of course) but shaming/blaming women for a man’s inability to keep his shit together is a very major problem...”
Listen, Ariana didn’t tell any lies here. It is NOT okay to blame a woman for a man’s inability to get it together. The fact that it is common rhetoric to automatically place blame on a woman speaks a lot about the culture we live in. Why is it always a woman's fault? Furthermore, why is it her duty to put together the broken pieces of a man who refuses to figure out what the hell he's doing with his life? I understand that women are the nature caregivers of our society, but that does not mean that they should sacrifice themselves for the growth and development of men. It's something that happens way too often, and it must be stopped.
As a black woman, when I think about women staying in toxic relationships, I think of the ride-or-die mentality that is pervasive in our culture. Women are supposed to stick with a man through the good, the bad, the ups, the downs, the beautiful, and the ugly. However, this concept never addresses the mental, emotional, and physical toll that it takes on women. I think about my own past relationships and those of my friends and how often they were expected to stick around when their man wasn’t worth a pot to piss in or the window to throw it out of because they made that man “better.” I have one friend whose family absolutely loves her because they know that when her boyfriend is with her, he will stay out of trouble. Every time they have a fight or an argument, his mother is the first person to call to figure out what went wrong and how they can fix it. It doesn’t matter that this man has put her through the ringer, hurt her, neglected her, and called her everything but a child of God. She’s the only one that will make sure that he’s doing the right thing so they don’t have to worry about him.
I have several other friends in similar positions. Friends that have done their man’s homework so that he could pass his classes, monitored his drinking to make sure that he didn’t get out of control, bailed him out of jail when he was doing shit he didn’t have any business doing, taken care of kids that didn’t belong to them while he was out partying, and provided gifts on his mother’s birthdays because his dumbass forgot. These are the same women who have cried when they caught their men with another woman, took him back every time he promised that it was a mistake and he would do better, forgiven every indiscretion or words spoken in anger, and loved him through thick and thin.
Why should women suffer for the better development of men when the same is not reciprocated? Furthermore, why must we go through this shit when we know that nine times out of ten, that man won’t choose us to be his lifelong partner? I have to put up with your shit only for you to decide to turn over a new leaf and act like you’re saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Spirit as you marry another woman? Was I nothing but a starter pack to you?
Men are always talking about “Don’t save her, she don’t wanna be saved” or “I’m not Captain Save-A-Ho.” Well guess what? I’m not either. I don’t have to put on a Wonder Woman cape to pull any man out of the hole that he dug for himself. It’s not my job. Furthermore, why do men feel that it is acceptable to do so and then offer weak ass apologies years later? Last night, I was scrolling through Twitter and I saw Ne-Yo’s promotion for his new song, “Apology.” In the post he said, “A lot of women had to suffer heartache they didn’t deserve in order for me to become the man I am. I can never undo my wrongs but at the very least I can say I’m sorry.” I’m not listening to that shit. One, the only apology I want from Ne-Yo should be an apology for ever taking his hat off his head. Two, what is a woman supposed to do with an apology? Sorry doesn’t make up for the tears she’s cried, the sleepless nights, the weight loss and gain she’s experienced or the psychological damage that you’ve inflicted that can only be mitigated by years and years of therapy. You can keep that shit, you emotionally dense asshole. Also, side note, it’s not okay to hurt people then try to turn it around in your favor when you’re hoping to make some album sales.
I remember listening to “4:44” and having a physical reaction to Jay-Z’s lines that hinted at Beyonce having multiple miscarriages. Even now, just thinking about it, I want to curl up into a ball and cry. It should not have taken this man 44 years to realize that he shouldn’t cheat on his wife. It should not have taken multiple miscarriages and threats of divorce for him to get his shit together. It surely should not have taken “Lemonade” for him to realize that this grass isn’t greener on the other side and he needs to stay his ass at home. A song, an album, a sonnet, a diamond, and a sky writing plane could never be a big enough apology for some shit like this.
I hate the fact that most men will just wander through life, fucking up the lives of almost every woman that crosses their path and not looking back until the reach a certain age where they decide, “you know what? I can apply for social security in less than 5 years so maybe it’s time to get my life together.” Women have never been allowed that luxury. It’s not fair that there are so many of us walking around with psychological trauma from horrible relationships with shitty men, and we still have to attempt to answer the question “who hurt you?” with a straight face.
We, as a society, need to change the narrative around men, personal development and relationships. We should teach our young boys that it is not okay to use and abuse women in effort to fix their own inner turmoil. Furthermore, we should encourage open communication and therapy for mental issues when necessary. Let’s place more emphasis on forcing men to take responsibility for their own actions and dissuade any attempts to play the blame game. We should also teach women that this ride-or-die mentality is dangerous and unhealthy. Women should know that it is okay to walk away from a toxic relationship and we should not shame them for doing so. If you are putting more into a relationship than you are getting out or if you feel that the relationship is taking more out of you than you can give, it’s perfectly fine to walk away.