Regular readers of the O-Files will recall my recent thoughts on both of the aforementioned
gentlemen; for those who may not be familiar with all of that, and/or may be in need of a refresher, just keep reading along. Although I have yet to read Prof. Banks' book
(and I hope to very soon so that it can get the reviewing treatment it deserves), I have been able to get the gist of what he's saying via a number of articles he's written that have appeared in such places as the Wall Street Journal, and various media appearances where he has granted interviews such as the Jesse Peterson Show.
The latter in particular is what I would like to examine, opine upon and respond to in this post. Since my last post on Rev. Peterson, I decided to subscribe to podcasts of his radio show so I would be more familiar with his thinking and stances on various issues, and while I have areas of considerable disagreement with him, I must also be candid in saying that there are areas where I think he's spot-on in his assessments. His Sep 7, 2011 interview with Banks, is one such instance.
For those who may not be familiar with Banks' book, its the usual boilerplate tripe on the state of Black America, which is really about the state of Black Women - woe is me/I can't find no Man/Black Men Ain't Sh*t and so forth. Banks gives the whole thing the patina of academic respectability by bringing his formidable ivory tower credentials to the table of discussion, but when you really boil it down, what I noted above really covers it. Indeed, the book, again, based on that which I've been able to glean thus far, doesn't cover any new ground, and right out the gate you hear this point loud and clear in Banks' interview with Peterson: he (Banks) states that he started out by interviewing both Black Men AND Black Women, but eventually settled on just focusing on the latter. When asked why by Peterson, Banks responds by saying that basically, Black Men's responses were too straight-to-the-point and that Black Women elaborated a lot more.
Now, let's start the examination right there. How many books have been written about this topic either by and in any event, FOR Black Women - and how many have been written by/for Black Men? To ask the question is to answer it - yet Banks, a verified academic, doesn't actually DO what academics are charged to do - which is to take the road less traveled and to dig deep into perplexing questions that no one's really given a heck of a lot of time to or about; but rather, he merely retreads the same, old, tired stuff that we've all heard a thousand and one times at this point, while completely (and based on the interview, I would dare say deliberately) sidestepping some of the most obvious answers as to why (some) Black Women find themselves in the pickle that they're in.
If Banks really wanted to contribute something legitimate and meaningful to the literature surrounding Black issues like these, he would have focused his book on why Black Men think and act as they do when it comes to relationships, sex and marriage, and so forth. But he didn't - he sticks to the staid and safe, and one can't help but get the distinct impression of opportunism with the entire enterprise - the book is entitled provocatively after all, and aimed at an audience that is well known for their interest in and purchasing of, such tomes.
As I listened to the exchange between Banks and Peterson, I was reminded of another well known talking head who hyped a book by sending a piece to the WSJ - Kay Hymowitz
. Her "Manning Up"
article created such a furor in response by pissed-off (White) guys that the WSJ server crashed and became, and from what I understand remains, the most commented-on article in WSJ Online's history
(my good friend Ms. Susan Walsh covers the whole thing over at her excellent blog effort, Hooking Up Smart; see here
). Indeed, in many ways, it can be said that Banks' book is a kind of "Manning Up" in Blackface
, because both he and Hymowitz
start out from the same premise - a deeply flawed one in my view.
What is that premise? Well, among other things, that "accomplished" Women have some kind of right to an equally (read: MORE) accomplished mate.
When you really sitdown and think about it, that's what they're both saying in their tomes, articles and interviews. Of course, no one but The O-Man himself will have the presence of mind or the testicular fortitude to pose the question: where is it written in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights that says, that these ladies have a right to Mr. Big - or any other Man for that matter?
I thought the American Experiment granted each and every one of us the right to PURSUE
Happiness - not the right TO
Happiness - correct? I mean, Prof. Banks is a law professor of some repute - clearly, he can correct me if I am wrong here. In any event, the very premise reeks of an entitlement mentality that would not be countenenced for one nanosecond if the the roles were reversed
- how many Women would be completely cool with the idea that, since a Man has paid for a night out on the town, he is then entitled to sex with his date? Or that Men are entitled, because they are "Nice Guys (TM)", to Dimes? Again, as I always say, to ask the question, is to answer it.
Yet, our society seems to have no problem peddling in these entitlement notions for Women, and the reason(s) for doing so will only continue to befuddle you if you haven't taken the Red Pill
. But for those of us in the know, we understand exactly what is going on, and have found ways around the system, so to speak; there is no spoon.
The other flawed premise that both Hymowitz and Banks proffer, is the notion that Men are somehow "wasting their lives" - I don't buy the assumption a priori - but even if that were true, so what? I thought people have the right in America to conduct their lives as they see fit - not to make them subordinate to the whims and wishes of others. I mean, wasn't that what the Women's Lib Movement was all about - giving Women choices? If so - and I for one have no problem in the least with that - then why can't that same choice be extended to Men? If a Man wishes NOT to go on to college, etc et al, isn't that his choice? And if he decides that he wishes to spend "x" number of years as a slacker, or the entirety of his life, again, isn't that his choice? Why do we say it's OK for Women to have "choices" but for Men only "duties"? I say what's good for the gander is good for the goose.
And that is what this whole ball of wax is really all about. Banks attempts to use an Econ 101 reasoning on the Black mating market when it is clear just by listening to him that he's better suited sticking to law and education. For example, and again - just because you "deserve" something, does not mean that you will get it, or that you should. Accomplised, educated Sistas should simply understand that merely being that does not entitle them to Brotha Mr. Big - and to even suggest otherwise, is like me saying that, because I'm a great guy, I'm entitled to an Audi A6. Try that on your local Audi dealer and report back the results.
Audis, like any other product or service on the market, go to those who have the means to acquire them
; as Snoop
so famously said in The Wire
, "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it".
if these Sistas are finding themselves coming up short, perhaps they might investigate the reason why from their end of the spectrum.
"But wait Obsidian", many of you may say, "isn't Banks right to note that there are more Black Women than there are Black Men? Aren't Sistas just dealing with basic math here?" - to which I would reply the following:
NO. And here's why:
1. While it's true that there are more total numbers of Black Women to Black Men (as there is in the White society and many other places in the world sans China and perhaps India, for manmade reasons I might add), such a stat is misleading: it is only true in the upper ages, and by that I mean, after 30.
The ratios are a lot more even the lower in age you go. So, what it means in reality is, that there are more OLDER BLACK WOMEN OVER 30, THAN THERE ARE BLACK MEN.
This is a huge modifier to the roadworn trope about there being a "shortage of eligible Black Men"; it brings a much needed perspective to things. As we Red Pills know and know well, a Woman's "shelf life" is considerably more limited than a Man's, ceteris paribus - and, as OKCupid has clearly shown
, most Women have literally aged out of the dating/mating singles market by the time they hit 35
, because most Men simply aren't attracted to such Women as they are to their younger counterparts. Call it what you will, but them there's the breaks, the free (sexual) market at work - and I for one see nothing in the least wrong with that (after all, consider the fact that most Men don't get laid AT ALL
- more on this point below...); why Banks, who in his interview with Peterson makes clear that he not only focused on Black Women for his book, but Black Women in their upper 30s, 40s and 50s, doesn't seem to understand this, is the real mystery - NOT why Black Women seem to do so poorly on the interracial dating market.
2. Banks is woefully ignorant of HSD, which is the underpinnings of Game, and what some refer to as the Apex Fallacy
- or put another way, a Woman's natural impulse and real psychological/biological need towards Hypergamy.
As any Brotha can and will tell you, there are scores of Brothas out there for Black Women, but most Black Women aren't attracted to them for various reasons, legit and not-so-legit.
Like all Women, Sistas tend to be attracted to the uppermost echelons of the Male hierarchy of their social/ethnic/racial milieu; that they do this doesn't automatically then mean that there aren't enough "good Brothas" to go around. It simply means that there aren't enough of the kinds of Brothas Sistas want
- in this case, since we're talking about a rather small cohort of Sistas to begin with (since most Black people, Man or Woman, DON'T
go on to college), the Obama-type Brothas (highly educated, suave, smooth, gainfully employed in a white collar professional capacity, etc.).
But should this really be a problem though? I mean, there is a limited number of Dimes at any given time, too - but Banks didn't see fit to write a lengthy annotated tome about the woes of Brothas being upset about there not being enough Dimes to go around.
Again, since the good prof wants to suggest using an economic lens through which to see all this, there will always be a "shortage" of highly valuable goods and services - simple Suppy & Demand
at work here, folks. Yet Brothas (as do all Men) seem to get on with the business of living, knowing that the supply of Dimes is rather small (Women exceeding a pure "8" on the physical attractiveness scale, physical beauty being a key consideration in terms of sexual attraction for Men) and the demand high; they either have the means to win the Dimes of the world, or calibrate themselves accordingly and either settle for the sub-8 ladies in the round, or they sit it out altogether without much ado or fanfare. Why can't Women simply do the same?
Why all the need for books, blogs, articles, seminars, workshops, etc, et al?
The question posed above is purely rhetorical, of course; we here who know the real deal already know the answer: we as a species pander to the Female because at bottom, she has possession of a highly valuable and, at least up to this point in human history, non-renewable resource - wombs.
For his part, Peterson straight up pinned Banks to the wall numerous times throughout the interview; for example, when discussing the plight(?) of Sistas being single mothers, Peterson makes the point that if a Woman wanted to get married, she undermines her own stated goal of making that happen by sleeping with a Man beforehand, and therefore has no one to blame but herself if and/or when things don't lead to marriage as she hoped; the same can be said for the Baby Mamas. Banks of course, balked, and tried to offer as a counterpoint the example of being mugged at gunpoint - to which Peterson simply said, that none of those Black Men forced those Black Women into marriage or commitment-less sex at gunpoint.
No response from Banks.
At another point in the interview, when Banks laments the marital woes and prospects of Black Women while at the same time noting the somewhat high percentage of Black Men "marrying out", Peterson simply responds by saying that one of the reasons why this is, is because many Black Men are deeply turned off by the attitudes and anger/bitterness so many Black Women have and portray
, reminding them of the matriarchs in their early homelives
, and they want no part of that. Banks again wobbled on his rhetorical knees from receiving such a body-blow, but Peterson makes a powerful point and one that is never addressed when discussions like these come up - no matter what one may think of absentee/deadbeat dads, the fact remains that the kids are under the purview and guidance of Women; it all went down on their watch.
So maybe, jusy possibly, one reason why some Black Men act or react as they do towards some Black Women, may indeed be due to longstanding issues they had with Black Women in their younger years as children and more specifically, boys growing up.
Of course, Banks never saw fit to investigate that angle for his book. Hmm.
Even more to the point, and which was amazing to me given that I couldn't believe my ears when I heard it, is the fact that Banks knows that marriage rates are and have been dropping off for Whites, not just in the USA, but throughout the Western world
- so, if that's the case, and it is, how in the hell does he think his "solution" is gonna actually work? If White Women are beginning to have a tough time out there on the marriage market, what makes the rank the file Sista think she can do better, when it comes to snagging a White guy?
Moreover, what is the evidence that Brothas, by and large, will give one whit?
Since Banks likes to try his hand at divining the SMP for the benefit of his lady readers, I'll do both him and them a solid by mentioning two words: Thomas Sowell
, someone who's right in Banks' neck of the woods. If they take the time to read Sowell's works, they will find that he discusses the concept of tradeoffs
quite a bit, and just how little we as Americans truly understand it. When it comes to Sistas, they need to understand that they are the double beneficiaries of the Civil Rights and Women's Movements, and as a result have achieved and done great things, which are to be lauded - but it does come at a price.
One of them could just possibly be, that they have "priced themselves out of the market" when it comes to relationships and marriage.
Nor is there likely to be any artificial market "corrections" forthcoming, for the very reasons noted in this post; Sistas will simply have to accept that this is the way things will be for a considerable number of them, get over it and find other things to do with their lives - Gardening, perhaps.
After all, plenty of guys who drop out have their Xboxes - right? A big part of being an adult is in understanding - and accepting - that not only is life often unfair, but that you cannot and will not always get what you want, no matter how "deserving" you may feel yourself to be. Nor is that something that is or should be taught in the ivory tower - it should be taught in the very homes where Black Women preside. That so many Sistas don't have this basic level of understanding about life, despite their "accomplishments" in my view calls into question much deeper questions as to the very real hold on reality so many of these ladies actually have - something that merits much deeper examination, to be sure.
As you might have guessed, I'll have more - much, much more - to say about Prof. Banks and his writings including his book in the days and weeks to come, because there really are some serious canards that he posits that call out for an equally serious skewering, so take this as the opening salvo if you will in that regard. In the meantime though, just consider Rev. Peterson's interview with Prof. Banks one that is rarely discussed out in broad daylight.
Let the sunshine,
Let the sunshine in,
The sunshine, in...
Now adjourn your asses...