Black Women's Improvement Project (BWIP)

Attack on Education: Poo-pooing of College-Degreed Black Girls a Sinister Conspiracy?

We’ve heard the stinking boatload of bat guano aimed to discourage black women from bragging so much about their degrees so they can snag man. One group of male bloggers even wrote a book, some tripe about your degrees not keeping you warm at night or some such nonsense. Admittedly, I haven’t read the it, wouldn’t spend my husband’s hard-earned money on it, and if I got if for free I’d like use it to line our guinea pig’s cage (have SEEN how high pet bedding is getting???)

But I can just about guess what’s in it.

The author(s) probably advise black women not go around blabbing about their degrees, lest the man with an inferiority complex might get upset because he didn’t even bother t0 finish high school. Your degrees are all well and good when the fruits of that degree keeps the lights on, fruit on the table, and him driving your BMW, though.

We have clowns like Steve Harvey piling on about how black women should lower their standards until they float in the gutter the cat just peed in. While seemingly just mildly annoying, this is a form of control.

The people who do this have two motivations:

1.) They want to put you in your place. Just because you got a degree, you still ugly! It’s a form of manipulation and emotional abuse geared to deflate your hard-earned accomplishments. I just finished writing a book, and all I can compare that feeling of peeling the monkey off my backside was when I heard, “Christelyn Russell, with honors,” by some Loyola Marymount mucky-muck. (I still have nightmares that I really didn’t graduate–some craziness about a class I registered for but never showed up because I had so many gee-dee units I couldn’t keep track–but that’s an issue me and my shrink will have to work through.)

2.) They feel inferior. Let’s face it: our counterparts go to college at a rate of 2 to 1 (the “two” is us wimmins). Simply put, the message is tailored to communicate that men really don’t care how smart and accomplished we are, it’s all about whether you can ride them like they’re Arabian horses, make them a sandwich, do their laundry all at once while looking like Gabriel Union the WHOLE time.

I’ve got news for you: My husband outright told me that he probably would not have dated me seriously had I not gone to college. And you know why? He said that we’d be on “different planes.” It didn’t even matter if my degree was in flowers and candy hearts, because to him, the message was that I could commit and see a thing through to the end. College also opens you mind and makes you like stuff like international travel, museums and wine tasting.

Could it be an issue of class? Probably.

And if you confine yourself to dating and mating with people who may not appreciate your degree in rocket science, chances are you’ll have to dumb yourself down in order to fit in. This goes for every race in America; I’m sure white folks in trailer parks don’t look too kindly on the fancy doctor who has the best looking double wide in the place.

Our country is terminally classist, and we live by a meritocracy. The good news is, unlike the color of your skin, you’re free to rise from your station.

The dude that yells at you for using too many big words like “prosperous,” “equanimity,” or “bovine” is a man you should keep at LEAST a 30-mile distance from. I once dated a guy who called me a know-it-all bitch because I knew how to use the word “literal” in a sentence.

We didn’t make it.

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