"Sister, you've been on my mind
Oh, sister, we're two of a kind
So, sister, I'm keeping my eyes on you..."
-"Miss Celie's Blues", The Color Purple
The topic of womanhood has been a hot one throughout the blogosphere as of late. Particularly popular has been the argument of women being desperate and doing “any and err’thang” to keep a man and that this behavior by said desperate females only makes it harder for women who set standards when it comes to dealing with men. According to these blogs, men are becoming accustomed to women bending over backwards for them and doing everything just short of catching a case (although, according to some bloggers, they are doing that too), and all while the men give little to nothing back in return as far as love, affection, and respect.
One post that I agreed mostly with is that from a wonderful young lady, JJ, on her blog, Brownsugar28. It was recently reposted on another wonderful sister’s blog—A Belle in Brooklyn—and the comments from the women reading all equated to the same thing: “Amen!” to the sentiments of JJ, saying that no self-respecting woman would allow herself to be treated in such a manner, nor would she do any and everything to keep a man who just isn’t worthy.
And that, my sisters, is exactly the point. Cue Mary J. Blige:
“How can I love somebody else if I can’t love myself enough to know when it’s time…time to let go?”-MJB, “Be Happy”.
I think the issue is less about desperation and more about a lack of self- worth. Women who don't have positive self-esteem will take anything that is thrown their way in terms of "love" and "affection" and will, in turn, do whatever it takes to keep even the smallest bit of “affection” they receive in their lives because it is all they know. If you don't love yourself first, you will take some man's 10% because you don't believe that you are worth more than that.
It would be beautiful if all women had the self-confidence and self-assurance that Belle, JJ, and all of the ladies who have posted comments on that blog do. Sadly, it's just not the case. For some out here, it's all about being able to say they have a "man".
It is for those sisters for whom I agree with JJ 100%: “To all the desperate women out there: Stop it.” You are worth more than having to resort to measures that cause you to lessen your self-worth to have a man in your life. You are worth more than allowing yourself to be placed in precarious situations, and all to have a man who may or may not be worth it (note: a real man isn’t going to give only 10% to your 90%).
Why can I speak on this matter? Believe me, it is not coming from a “holier-than-thou” judgmental eye. You see, for awhile, I was one of those “desperate sisters”. I had a knucklehead who I was craaaaazy about. Loved him to death. Looked past the fact that he found it better to make money in the streets than at a 9-to-5. Ignored the little lies and half truths that he fed me about his whereabouts. Allowed him to play mind games with me, praising me for being in college and trying to get ahead, and then, sometimes only hours later, would get into screaming matches about how all of my time was devoted to school and how I “never had time for him”. And was completely okay with the fact that I knew that he had a woman on the side that when he and I would “break-up”, he would go running to in a heartbeat.
Being in that “relationship” only helped to weaken what was already a pretty low self-esteem at the time. So much so that when the perfect guy who loved me, flaws and all, came my way, I let him get away because I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that he saw so much in me that, at the time, I couldn’t see in myself. I like to say that I was “young and dumb” at that time, but truth be told, I think just “dumb” would more than suffice. I also wish I could tell you that after my dealings with Knucklehead, I quickly got wise to the game. I am wiser now, but not without bumping my head a few times.
Learn to love yourself first. No, it’s not as easy as 1-2-3. But in taking the time to learn to love yourself, you will learn that having a man is not the end all and be all of the world. There will most certainly be times when you get lonely. But that doesn’t mean you are alone. If you can’t stand being with yourself, then why would someone else want to stand to be around you? The more you learn to appreciate you, the easier it will become to find a man who will appreciate all you have to offer.
Peace & Love,
Ms. Aja B.