A few days ago, I posted a Facebook status about the trend that I am seeing with the latest shows on television that feature Black women as the main characters. Shows such as VH1″s Single ladies, ABC’s Scandal and BET’s Being Mary Jane all depict single Black women who have successful careers and, by society’s standards, are gorgeous women but when it comes to their love lives or their romantic relationships, they are all “a hot mess”.
My Facebook post basically questioned why there is a constant push-back about how Black women are being depicted as desperate and single when a lot of Black women actually claim they want to be single; don’t want to be married and actually are single and not married. I put it across that rejecting marriage and family life is like rejecting The Cosby Show’s Claire Huxtable and embracing Olivia Pope (Scandal) and Mary Jane. What I was questioning was why, when many women reject marriage and family life, is there so much complaining when the very life that many women “choose” is depicted on television?
To me, marriage is a potentially beautiful thing and I believe that it is the backbone of society. I believe that healthy and functional marriages are the best environments to raise children who grow up to positively contribute to their communities and society in general.
While I understand that marriage may not be for everyone, I believe that many people who say they choose to stay single are not really making a choice. I think there are many people who have made several attempts at building relationships that they hoped would lead to marriage but ended up disappointed instead because the relationships just didn’t work out.
A great example of this process is someone who says that they want to go to college and they start taking classes and keep failing them and eventually drop out. They probably fail so much because they may have gone to a very poor public school which did not prepare them for college and they struggle much more than everyone else who may have gone to better public schools or had tutors or went to private schools. They may also fail because they lack the focus and discipline it takes or they are just not adapting to a new environment.
A person who has failed repeatedly to get their degree who then starts saying that “school sucks” and they don’t think that school is necessary because Bill Gates dropped out and became a millionaire does not fool anyone. Are there people who never stepped foot in college and went on to build successful careers and build wealth? Of course there are but we can not confuse them with people who may have lacked the discipline, focus and preparation that it takes to get through four years of college.
Just as with the college example, where someone decides against college and builds their career and wealth without it, there are people who honestly have had great relationships and just know enough about themselves to know that marriage is just not the path that they want to take and I can respect that. The person, however who has a series of train wrecks that they call relationships and then says “I choose to be single” is however usually a person who is having the same relationship over and over again and would rather say they are “happy” being single than just facing the fact that a change needs to take place and that change needs to take place within them.
I have often heard it said that “you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge” and some people do just that; they don’t acknowledge that there is something they have to change and it becomes easier to just say they don’t want something that they may desperately crave.
Of course there are women who are in marriages and relationship that are miserable and they too would rather suffer through it than acknowledge that a change needs to take place. The are not fooling anyone either!
The bottom line is this, every person must be honest with themselves about what they truly want and they must be willing to go through the growth and transformation that it takes if they currently don’t have what they want and are struggling to get it. Saying you are fulfilled by something while you suffer through it is an act of violence against your soul. Even if you can fool everyone around you, you know, deep down, that you are living a lie and until you start telling yourself the truth, you will be in a prison of your own making.
Ladies, free yourselves; tell yourselves the truth…whatever that truth is.
Nomalanga helps Black women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , a former College Professor and Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s Facebook page or Follow her on Twitter