Let’s Remember To Use A Little Common Sense Where Men Are Concerned, Okay?

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

12 comments to Let’s Remember To Use A Little Common Sense Where Men Are Concerned, Okay?

  • Faith

    I just wanted to add one more thing —
    — many black women are still reacting to the poor behavior on the part of black males instead of being proactive about seeking out the high-quality relationships that would likely have eliminated most of those males to begin with. Coupled with their work at dismantling their white hegemony battles and hyper-sensitivity to the possibility of racism on the part of white males, they grossly overcompensate by seeking the “alphas”. They also want bragging rights that not only he be good-looking but wealthy, tall, etc. He has to be the “exception” that justifies their choice. Bascially, these women are still quite a long way off from being prepared for IRRs and dating well-adjusted men. Despite all efforts at stating we’re discuss QUALITY & CALIBER they are still reading WHITE. Not every white male is a viable mate for a black woman (or any woman), but they’re ignoring that important caveat. The indoctrination that has been deployed to keep black women from freely choosing any man and in identifying/eliminating QUICKLY the DBRs and Lesser-Thans is buried deep in the psyche of many BW. I know writing about and having these conversations helps me in keeping my own head straight, so I can imagine many BW who’ve not been given any solid advice and are just coming into these forums are still confused – to an extent. After a certain amount of time has passed some women are remaining willfully ignorant. Some will cling to their “Black Love” fantasies while other will chase after “Alphas”. Either way they remain alone or in compromising situations. Perhaps they really cannot withstand the rigueurs of a relationship and are looking for males who are obviously incompatible so when things don’t work out they can blame the guy instead of themselves. This isn’t any different from racism, sexism, etc where those who may have solid examples of the contrary still react with such a mental defect problematic with such brainwashing. It must be acknowledged, monitored and discarded with periodic check-ups to ensure it doesn’t creep back in from time to time.

  • ForeverLoyal,

    I agree that a lot of folks are deliberately getting it twisted. That's what I find annoying about this—a lot of these women are totally dishonest in their discussion of these issues.

    However, I also believe that far too many AA women have been programmed to suffer a sudden IQ reduction of at least 40 IQ points whenever they encounter an idea—any idea—that's contrary to "Black love," "help a brotha out," "wait on Negroes to do better," etc. ideology.

    Whatever. The vast majority of these "deliberately getting it twisted" BF Dead-Enders will be left behind.

    • Faith

      I'm glad you were able to log on again. There will continue to be a marked separation between the thrivers, the survivers and those "caught out there".

  • foreverloyal

    I just think people are gettng it twisted on purpose. I don't believe for one minute that the people speaking this foolishness honestly believe Khadija et. al are saying "Go only for the CEO and COOs of companies", bypassing the Head of HR, Tech Support guys Contractor liasions, Marketing managers, new product developers and the many other productive members of the company, possessing the necessary character traits of course.

    Honestly some people are just looking for reasons to fail (or why others will)

    • Faith

      They're not that confused -- and if they were then there's little hope for some women. They shouldn't be solely reading blogs for their dating advice anyway! Not even the BWE blogs. Come on! There are books like The Rules and other dating manuals and professional counselors that focus on these strategies. Some women are also being lazy in not making every effort at elevation and are trying to take the easy way out.

    • Faith

      I also wanted to add a link to your blog post http://foreverloyal.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/wait… that also covered this peculiar choice of some BW at engaging in the ultimate dating fake-out activity.

  • Evia

    Yes, thanks, Khadija for being more precise (smh), and thanks, Faith for bringing this topic to the forefront. You are so right when you say that we can all be using the same term, but have different meanings in mind.

    It's severe foot-shooting when AA women discount the so-called "beta" man when the betas represent MOST of the men in the world by far. By the very definition, there can only be a tiny minority of "alpha" men. MOST women of all races and ethnicities are married to and raising families with these so-called "beta" men. That's why this is so silly. AA women and similarly situated cannot afford to be talking silly stuff these days. We've had several presidents of this country and lots of very rich, influential men who would perfectly match the description of the "beta" man for the simple reason that MOST men in the world are "beta" men.

    Also, I want to point out that some bm also don't stand up to defend their wives from their family members. This is widespread and almost a standard operating procedure among some black ethnic groups. For ex., my ex-husband assured me that he had my back with his family and his people, and he always did, but I knew several Nigerian wives and AA wives of Nigerian men who lived in terror of their husband's mothers and other family members. They knew he would never go against his family on their behalf. This is fairly common.

    I don't recall the Croonquist case, but this is an example of poor vetting on her part.. I know that hindsight is 20-20, but she should have seen that coming. She should have found this out BEFOREHAND. This is why a bw should make sure that a wm takes her around his friends and family members as much as possible. She needs to observe him and his reactions against various backdrops. But this is what an AA woman should do anyway, with ANY man, even with an AA man. This is why I've talked so much about the curious phenomenon of AAs and "perpetual surprise." This is a common element in the lives of way too many AAs because they are far too naive.

  • Faith

    Comment from Khadija:

    I wanted to say that I use the term “Alpha man” because it automatically eliminates the 2 types of inferior men that most African-American woman are programmed to gravitate to.

    First, it eliminates males who are economic FAILURES when it comes to providing and protecting a wife and children. Second, it eliminates the sort of men (including some non-black men) who might be good financial providers, but are too emotionally weak to protect their Black wives from hostile relatives and friends who might disapprove of their marriages and act in ways that are disrespectful to their wives.

    For this second prong, I specifically had in mind the Black woman comedian Sunda Croonquist who was sued by her Jewish mother-in-law. From what I recall reading of that story, the mother-in-law had engaged in a long history of mistreating this woman. And the comedian’s wealthy-but-spineless White husband failed to nip that mess in the bud before it escalated to the point where his mother felt comfortable enough to actually sue. his. wife.

    In short, when I say “Alpha man” I’m not referring only to the top 2% of the male population. That’s crazy. I’m referring to a man who is dominant enough to be:

    (1) a winning provider when compared to many other men; AND

    (2) dominant enough to NOT be a follower who’s too emotionally weak to look out for his wife’s and children’s interests (like Sunda Croonquist’s emotional weakling of a husband).

    And I must say that I’m amazed at how so many AA women are so quick to take a concept and automatically twist it into something dysfunctional. It shows just how clueless so many modern AA women are. And since so many AA women are clueless enough to need a specific template, here’s a handy one for the confused: Look at the type of WM that educated, everyday Asian women marry.

    I’m not talking about the men that Asian female supermodels marry. I’m talking about the type of WM that the educated Asian women—the same Asian women that some of y’all see all day everyday with you in grad school or at some white collar job—marry. The WM that educated Asian women marry aren’t all in the top 2%. They’re not even all in the top 10%. They don’t all look like Brad Pitt. And they’re not all billionaires. However, these men do tend to be winning providers and not so weak that they fail to look out for their wives’ interests. If I had to assign an estimated percentage, I’d say that—when they choose non-Asian men—educated, everyday Asian women tend to pick men from among the top 30% of men. The top third should be achievable for a woman who has a plan and has herself together.

    Asian women aren’t doing the sort of binary, idiotic thinking that Evia correctly criticized in her comment. Asian women aren’t zeroing in on the top 1% and bottom 1% of men.

    • Faith

      Khadija: Thank you for the detailed explanation as I believe this will help defray some of the confusion that abounds (for some) about who's a viable male. I wrote a blog post about the Croonquists back in the day because he was a perfect example of whom NOT to marry -- or set and enact standards with upfront. I know some people think our discussions about BW dating WM means we're putting WM on pedestals, which is NOT the case at all!

  • Evia

    Faith, this is a surreal situation. So, it's come down to a large portion of AA and similar other bw either mating with the lowest 1% of men or the top 1%??? Whew! That leaves approx. 98% of men who are not considered mateable by these women??? That's such BINARY and failure-prone thinking. The overwhelming majority of people in the world operate more in the middle--toward the average and have done that since the beginning of time. However, it seems that so many younger (and older too) bm reject bw who are not near Beyonce lookalikes ( since Beyonce is that top 1% woman in their opinion) and so many bw are after the younger equivalent of Denzel (whoever that is) or Brad Pitt (if they date IR). That's unspeakably foolish. That's why I distanced myself from this "Alpha" male talk and search. I don't want anyone to ever say that I advocated that bw in the NY tri-state area should be trying to find one of the 46 Alpha men in the state of NY, one of the 29 in NJ, and one of the maybe 14 in CT.

    Based on some of the notes I've received about this issue, this is exactly how this issue is shaping up for many underexposed and therefore clueless bw with zero or minimal vetting knowledge/skills. They want someone else to PRECISELY describe the man or virtually pinpoint the guy they should seek, and they're hearing (not saying that's what's being exactly said) that he should be an "Alpha" man. So when someone describes that "Alpha" man, they start fishing for that type of man who fits that description, and reject the others who don't match that description. Younger AA men are doing the same thing ISO Beyonce. Whew! It's really going to take DIVINE intervention to remedy this for most of them.

    When I pointed out to a woman who'd written me a note the other day that vetting is 90% plain ole common sense, she became annoyed and said that I should understand that so many young bw do NOT have that common sense because their mothers and other female relatives obviously didn't exercise common sense when selecting their mates, so why would I even expect any younger bw to have plain ole common sense vetting skills. She said that she needs very PRECISE tips--not generalized info.

    Unfortunately too many AAs are binary thinkers. I wrote a post about that a couple of years ago in which I pointed out that so many AAs either think that something is GOOD or BAD, IN or OUT, UP or DOWN, BLACK or WHITE, etc. A lack of nuanced thinking is the real issue. Nuanced thinking tends to rely heavily on common sense. Vetting well relies a lot on nuanced thinking because no one of us can tell every individual bw every precise detail she should or should not consider in every individual man she meets. Nuanced thinking/common sense in selecting bm has not been practiced by many AA women. This is due to historical reasons, but these days, the daughters of these women have been caught out there like a deer in headlights because times have changed. My vetting materials provide broad info to a cross section of bw and other women, but short of actually sitting on an individual woman's shoulder 24-7, there is no way that I can think of to give her PRECISE, nuanced and detailed vetting tips she needs to effectively evaluate every individual man she meets. The devil will always be in the details.

    • Faith

      Evia: You said, "When I pointed out to a woman who'd written me a note the other day that vetting is 90% plain ole common sense, she became annoyed and said that I should understand that so many young bw do NOT have that common sense because their mothers and other female relatives obviously didn't exercise common sense when selecting their mates, so why would I even expect any younger bw to have plain ole common sense vetting skills. She said that she needs very PRECISE tips--not generalized info. Unfortunately too many AAs are binary thinkers."

      Yes, nuance and common sense ARE lacking. BW do NOT have enough good examples to guide them so most are going to fumble their way through life and mating. I just had to respond to your comment immediately as I saw it was part of the larger ongoing issue with BW who are either scraping the barrel or expecting to hit the "jackpot". There has to be balance and realistic expectations, but many people could use a dose of reality these days across the board.

      • Louisya

        I think a bigger problem is there is no passing down of dating experiences from older AA women to each other (than complaining) or to younger women. No one educated me and I had to learn the very hard way one important FACT. That is if a mans heart is not captured from the beginning it never will be captured. And only the man is capable of the capturing his own heart not women. So it does not matter how you dress, how educated, what you own, what your likes or dislikes are. Those things are just extras, icing on the cake for men. Any man who is focused on the icing is NOT lasting relationship material.