"Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it..."
As a result of my inexorable involvement with the world of Social Media - and more precisely its Black variant(s) - I've had the wonderful opportunity to bear witness to a number of very interesting developments along sociosexual lines.
One of the consistent themes I've been seeing of late, is the open lamenting on the part of Sistas, quite a few of whom are attractive and accomplished, about the dearth of (read: eligible, attractive) Brothas, and when they are in the round, why they won't make any approaches. Such topics are, as many of you well know, are right in yours truly's wheelhouse, and I was quite keen to weigh in and give my take on why the ladies were seeing what they were seeing. If they're reading this right now, they might consider reviewing this and this for more on my arguments regarding this point.
But to expand on the above links, and to sum up my view (and what appears to be the accuracy of my predictions along these lines): simply put, all of the campaigns to get Men, in this case, Black Men, to "act right" have actually...
...wait for it...
Contrary to what we've been led to believe along these lines by an increasingly irrelevant mainstream media, the facts of the matter are, that in so many ways, it's never been a better time to be a Woman - White, or Black. Forcible rates of rape have dropped like a stone since stats on the crime have been reliably recorded in the early 70s; efforts to address date/marital rape and other forms of sexual assault have also made a huge impact, in large part due to the raising of social and legal costs for offenders to engage in such acts. The American public, of which Women of all colors and backgrounds play an increasingly active role, have made it clear that they will not cotton to the "bad behaviors" of notable Men, such as Anthony Weiner and the like; sexual harassment and now in more recent years, street harassment campaigns, have indeed made an impact - fewer Women are being put upon on the job or on the street and other public places, markedly less, than they were, only a few decades ago. All of these developments, many of them due directly to the efforts of Feminists of varying stripe and their allies, quite of few of themselves being male, have proven successful. Sure, we all can point to sensational cases, like what happened earlier this year out in Ohio, or we can lament the number of assaults, attempted or completed, that go unreported - granted. Nevertheless, the fact that Black Women are openly bemoaning the absence of (read: eligible, desirable) Brothas to chat up and dance with, to say nothing of those who will "show up" to take them out on dates and the like, are reflective of what I have long argued and is no stranger to regular readers of my humble missives:
The "mission" has worked - *too well*. Men, Black and increasingly White, have gotten the message.
What "message" am I referring to, some of you may ask?
By now, surely you've heard, if not seen the famed Saturday Night Live skit, written by Tina Fey and starring NFL legend Tom Brady. The message is undeniable, and it has gotten and continues to get millions of YouTube views and laughs, because its so bracingly true:
"Be handsome; be attractive; don't be unattractive.'
And what that means, is in the eyes of the (lady) beholder, so no there is no one way to "know" beforehand...sorta.
In truth, we all DO know what is deemed to be attractive to the Sistas, now don't we? How many of us don't know about the "lists" that so many Sistas - and let's put a finer point on the spear here, Sistas of a particular cohort (upwardly mobile, professional, educated Black Women) - have and are only too eager to inform you they have, when it comes to the (Black) Men they wish would make that approach? Black Women of this particular cohort have been quite vocal and crystal clear, as to what they find desirable in a Brotha, and what they definitely do NOT find desirable in a Brotha, and if you happen to fall into the latter category, you need not even apply - doing so could land you in a world of relative hurt - from being "creep-shamed", to losing your job, or worse.
What many of my Sistas need to understand is that the changes that they and many other (read: White) Women have wanted and clamored for along these lines have indeed worked - fewer and fewer Men, and that includes Brothas, are acting outta pocket - less sexual and street harassment, less rapes and rape attempts, less "creepy" behaviors - but it all comes at a price. And that price is fewer Men, in this case, Brothas, bothering to "show up" at all due to all the "messaging" they've gotten: "Be handsome; be attractive; don't be unattractive".
Now, many Sistas reading the above will rightly point out that there's a middle ground between acting like a creep or a douchebag, and acting in socially appropriate ways when dealing with Women in the social spheres like work, school and even out on the street, and I wouldn't disagree - but here's the problem they're either not seeing, or perhaps won't see:
For many Men, and this includes Brothas, you really don't know what you're dealing with in terms of interacting with a Woman, until you, you know, interact with a Woman - and what if she deems you to be the Wrong Kind of Guy to be stepping to her for any reason? For every Woman out there who will respond by saying that they wouldn't flipout on a guy for merely interacting in a socially appropriate way on the job or on the street or even at the club, every Man here knows what I'm talking about - you are literally taking a roll of the dice everytime you open your mouth (and in some cases, depending on the Woman in question), or even just look at a Woman - in many ways, you are gambling with your life, because it has become increasingly ruinous for a Man to make a faux pas these days.
Sure, many Sistas will see the above as an excuse for being a weak-willed sap and having no backbone: "Man Up!" many of them will exclaim. No doubt, such Men exist. But the larger point is that there are at least as many Men out there who will rightly look at the changing sociosexual landscape and get the message that they might as well not even bother, since they lack that which many Women, in this case Sistas, have made repeatedly clear they desire, and just stay home altogether. Simply put, there are increasingly fewer incentives for most Men to interact with Women in our time, and a growing list of disincentives, for merely being the Wrong Kind of Guy.
That leaves the small pool of highly desirable Brothas left that the Sistas have made clear they wish to interact with - but that presents a problem as well, albeit one that, at least to date, the Sistas haven't made too much of a stink out of:
Simply doing the math, there just aren't enough of these Brothas to go around; indeed, at organized "meet market events" arranged by various well-known Black relationship experts, it is not at all unusual to have a Sista to Brotha ratio of 6 to 1(!) - or to put it another way, you can have as many as 300 Sistas and only 50 Brothas showing up at all(!!) - and assuming all of those Brothas are the Right Guys, that means that some 250 ladies will go lacking altogether...unless they're willing to share and share alike.
And all the available evidence we have on that score seems to suggest that quite a few Sistas are willing to do just that...for the Right Kind of Guy.
To be sure, there are other reasons as to why Sistas of a particular cohort are finding themselves in an increasingly difficult mating market these days: effective sex ratios relative to their geographical location plays a role, as does age, not just of themselves but of Brothas as well, and of course their own market value with which to barter in terms of the kinds of Brothas they can attract, to name just a few factors, play a role as well.
But the point IS made, and let's not fool ourselves: the goals of Feminism, not only have worked, they've worked almost too well. The idea that Men, in this case Black ones, don't or aren't listening, is patently untrue.
The disappearance of Brothas from Black social life along these lines, proves it.
Now adjourn your arses...