Common Sense Doesn’t Mean Compromise
As we continue to expand our minds about what is doable and who we can do it with (pun intended) let’s not forget the conversations we may be having require subtly, nuance and as always are best applied by an individual what will and won’t work best for them in the long run.
Since we’re focusing these evaluations on black women and in particular AA women we have to weigh the collective behavior of the majority, take into account an increasing minority who are doing the polar opposite and find a balance in between. BWE messaging has always encouraged ALL black women to be their best, live their best lives and seek out the most viable mate (exercising their right to marry where applicable), if only for the sake of their children should they also be(come) mothers.
Last October Khadija, blog host of Sojourner’s Passport wrote this essay about encouraging black girls to marry the world’s most dominant men. Nowhere was it suggested that a majority of black women should limit themselves to an “alpha male”. I mention this post as other bloggers have certainly read it and had their own discussions about “alpha males”. Some of whom are NOT BWE bloggers and explicitly state so. It was one of the reasons why I felt compelled to publicly mention that not all BW who circle BWE blogs and messaging are BWE bloggers or are fully encouraging BW to consider every option available to them.
Common Sense Doesn’t Mean Unrealistic Perspectives Either
Of course we do not all agree – nor should we. I won’t link to the other blogger who had a conversation where she offered a definition of “alpha males” and asked if BM could be categorized as such, lest I be accused of picking on her again. Besides, if you’ve read this forum long enough you already can guess what my answer to that question is.
It isn’t about race it’s about quality and in making sound choices that you stick with. Most black males are not adequate partners for the collective of black women (for numerous reasons we’ve extensively covered with repeated real-life examples of the type of unfit behavior [historical and current] displayed against us). Not to mention the sheer numbers makes it impossible for every BW to have a BM as a mate regardless – but many exert their right as individuals to continue hunting for needles in haystacks and looking for unicorns.
Stop being a doormat! There came a time where some of us agreed it was long-overdue that we needed to state the obvious: those black women who want to exist in the real world, have standards and expect higher-caliber relationships within the world’s population of available and amenable males must only choose higher-caliber men. That means focusing on white males as potential mates, then further evaluating for the right fit. Exceptions may occur but they are not the rule.
Common Sense Is Practical
We need to be friends, to be able to share our hopes and fears and display our genuine selves in order to be in an enduring relationship. We have to set standards, enact boundaries and be able to communicate effectively. We need a realistic view of the male/female dynamic. We need to know what our bottom line is, what we can live without and how to roll with some of life’s unexpected twists and turns. We need to be honest. Looks fade, money can be lost and youth is fleeting. Of course we have the right to choose a mate based on anything we want. After all, it can be argued that men of varying quality eliminate a lot of kind-hearted women by appearance alone.
Make a choice and stick with it instead of looking for the next thrill around the corner. Stop looking for “shiny objects” to distract and define you. If you we are afraid of truly connecting with someone and being intimate we are not ready for for a long-term relationship.
As an aside, blog host Melina of the now-archived Art Of Being Feminine blog had a series on how to attract an “alpha male”. Her definition may not be yours. Her audience is different than this one, so obviously any woman reading would need to make the necessary adjustments. She also wrote a very detailed article on identifying and eliminating mentally unstable males that I think is worth a repeated read – as well as avoiding “alpha males” who are players.
The equally fun and irritating thing about the English language is our propensity for using different words interchangeably while they have nuances that make one word more applicable than others. To a non-native speaker that must be difficult. Likewise, when some of us have ongoing conversations that may originate from blog posts or comments readers have to remember to take everything with a grain of salt for goodness sake! Discernment is key and it seems we must constantly remind each other of this.
Evia, blog host of Black Female Interracial Marriage Ezine just wrote a disclaimer distancing herself from any such steering of BW in a limiting way to “alpha males” based on appearances. I’m not exactly sure who has been encouraging BW to limit themselves in such a way. We could remove the “alpha” and refer to the male as “tall” or “under 35” or “extremely handsome” or “wealthy” or “famous”. Who would recommend that the collective of BW limit themselves to only those men in sound judgment? If so, why would any of you listen to someone who had? Again, this is about projecting and bastardizing the germ of what was a good idea.
Common Sense May Be A Bit Lofty…For Some
There are many black women who have achieved a great many things, have high public profiles, are well-educated and have access to certain social circles OR are positioning themselves to do so. To use a real-life example, a Naomi Campbell can choose men from the 1% of the world’s wealthiest/famous group. In fact, she does so consistently. Whether the relationships are fulfilling or viable is another discussion, especially as it takes two to make one. She moved to Russia to be in an open relationship with a very handsome billionaire…who is still married to his wife. Let’s remember that many BW think nothing about man-sharing an ex-con or high school drop-out before we tsk tsk Naomi for her choices. Still, that’s not something I’d be willing to do. The point is I believe in her younger years she also briefly dated Mike Tyson so there’s no accounting for taste or discernment.
There are a host of talented women moving up in the world who could be selecting men who may have achieved great career success, run countries, etc. who also adore them but people in those positions are rare. The point is many of these women are still circling ex-cons and other wholly inadequate males INSTEAD of trying to connect with the others. Their mentality is so skewered they can’t use sound judgment.
The problem has been and continues to be a gutter mentality for far too many. Such women limit themselves by race in only considering males who are black and often exclusively in their ethnic group – usually AA. Skin shade and shared victimization mentality are the main sources of evaluation, not the character of the male involved. I think it would be great if more BW decided emphatically they were only going to consider the top 1% of the male population instead of the bottom for a change. I believe this is where some women are considering an “alpha male” in theory. Yet, there are the specifics that must be evaluated. Those women would have to be able to reasonably appeal to such men as well. Eventually things would have to balance themselves out for the sake of common sense and in not foolishly discarding other viable and available men. That would still be an improvement amongst certain women’s choices even if not sustainable for the long term.
Common Sense Is Not Embarking On A Fool’s Quest
I nearly had a mini-rant about yet another foolish BW who despite trolling the BWE blogs for months was still focused on becoming the next sperm dumpster for a man who was (“sexually” involved with but not in a relationship with – his words) another woman. But she figured “she could love him better” so she put placing the barrel of a loaded gun to her head rather than date interracially. Oh well.
Not that any man can’t behave in such a way (using other women). There are plenty of males of all races and ethnicities who are jerks. Do I need to state the obvious? I have been linked to forums run by white males who are rape-disclaimer advocates and generally hate women. Obviously those are NOT the type of males we’d consider adequate. We must be clear in who we are as women and have the confidence to root out the lesser-thans. Being unrealistic in who we can have access to does us no good either.
Let’s also be clear that a lot of people do consider “alpha males” to be part of small number of men in the world. They tend to run everything. They may be workaholics. They may be very good-looking. They may have gaggles of women after them. They may have roving eyes. They may be wealthy. They may be older men. They may be married. They may have disdain and contempt for women. They may have fame, but no moral or ethical center. Like John Edwards. They may be rather spoiled from too much boundary-free access to women and slip in and out of relationships. Like John Mayer. They may be young billionaires who are by all accounts humble and shy. Like Mark Zuckerberg.
I think there may be some confusion or cross-pollination between “successful males” “alpha males” and what I’ll call the “nurturers”. At the end of the day, I think what most women want is someone who loves them, supports them and has proven by their actions they are trustworthy and reliable. I know I do – and that is what I encourage ALL women to go after when seeking a mate.
There’s no point in being with an “alpha male” who is never around because he’s chasing business deals and putting your needs last. A very “handsome male” may be extremely selfish in and out of bed. A male with no ambition or execution skills may never move beyond a dead-end J.O.B. and in this economy we all need to be thinking outside the box. A man who didn’t have a daddy won’t have all the relationship coping skills you may need for an effective relationship. Insecure males need constant attention and external validation.
Not every person is a nurturer or has a moral center. Go read Melina’s article on men to avoid again for reference. Not every man makes a million dollars a year – or in a lifetime. Yet, it is still a patriarchal society and there’s nothing wrong with an individual woman striving to mate with the best of the best (based on her station and temperament) provided she has positioned herself and can fit into that world accordingly. Clearly not every woman can or is willing to do this.
Common Sense = Temperence
Those men with honor, compassion and a drive come in all physical packages as well. Sometimes they need the encouragement of a woman to become their very best. I once dated a man who was a computer programmer. He enjoyed his position at the company he was with. Three dates in I had mentioned some of my life goals and months later he told me that one conversation served as a huge impetus for him to reevaluate his life. We weren’t even dating by this point but he told me afterwards that he’d accepted a new position with a different company that paid nearly double his former salary. I was in shock because he came from a more upscale background to begin with and I’d presumed he was already living at his highest level.
He was someone who still lived at home to save money to buy a house when we were 25 – in New York City. I remember being annoyed that he didn’t have his own apartment at the time but he was preparing for the future and to be able to provide a home to his future wife and children. In his world that was standard along with many things that at the time I found unfamiliar. Though some of his standards set him apart by his rigidness and made me uncomfortable at the time – it was a valuable learning experience.
Which brings me to my other point: we are the sum of our experiences. We can change our circumstances by expanding what we consider our “normal”. One person’s settling is another person’s leap. Being underexposed or looking at the wrong things can mean eliminating yourself from a good man – so be careful.
Here are some core traits I think women should be looking for in a viable mate. Nowhere on this list is an income requirement, a particular look, height, age or race. Some of those things are nice perks – like a corner office. They won’t make the relationship more fulfilling. Whatever you want to refer to him as Alpha..Beta..Gamma..Martian is up to you – just make sure he LOVES and RESPECTS you as you deserve.
1. Has a Life plan
2. Working towards (achievable) goals
3. Has an engaging life with proper emotional attachments
4. Uses his brain first but won’t leave you physically unprotected
5. Emotionally mature and perhaps even intuitive at times
6. Says “no” to obstacles and failure (not blaming the “man” or women)
7. Has compassion and understanding for others
8. Willing to take chances