Gender Conflict

He Said, She Said…A Discussion About Street Harassment with Dual Perspectives

Editorial by: Howard Tyrone Smith II
The murder of Mary “Unique” Spears and countless other women that have died at the hands of men who were angered by their rejection speaks to a greater issue within the black community. 

I of course speaking am of the horrible way we as black people socialize our young men. The whole practice of “putting boys on game” and giving ingraining them with atrocious senses of entitlement towards women’s bodies as a whole.

I get that as men, particularly black men, we do not like to see our sons go into the world uneducated on its pitfalls. But of all the things I’ve seen done that scares me is this constant practice of teaching men about interactions with women from what seems like a contentious standpoint.

One thing my father and I bonded over growing up was the confusion and sometimes frustration of being raised in an essentially all female household. But the thing I never understand is this epidemic of young boys being taught by older generations the ideas of being a “pimp” or a “player”.

This philosophy, as glamorous as it sounds, is anything but. If I had to say how this negatively affects the black community, I’d say look around at every black man or woman that was raised without a father.

Moreover, look at the women who in some cases find that their kids share classes and schools with their half siblings due to the child’s fathers Philandering ways. look at how it makes men view and treat black women as “hoes” and “THOTs” that are always plotting on them to trap them with a child THEY made.

And where does this come from? I believe it stems from a distorted idea of masculinity that exists well beyond the black community. In mainstream American culture, it’s hyper-masculinity that causes things like men being praised for and encouraged to have a long list of sexual partners. 

In black culture, such things carry over in the worst ways. Black women report rapes less than their white counterparts due not only to the stigma of being blamed for said rape but also dealing with the guilt of being known as a black woman that caused another black man to be sent to prison. Incidents such as #Istandwithjada and the backlash it received shows black women are further damned by an equally damning indoctrination of black men into what almost seems like institutionalized sexism.

In this practice, black men are taught that being a man means that, in terms of interaction with women, they should be in complete dominance. That they should hold no emotional attachment to women whatsoever. This idea of masculinity, along with the label of being called a “simp” or a “punk”, does not create real men. Instead, it creates what can only be described as sexual sociopaths. And thus begins a vicious cycle that remains in our community to this day.

Now, when I say we should stop this practice, I do NOT mean we should raise our sons with a sense of shame attached to their existence as men. We do that with women, and that needs to not be done as well. What should be taught is the idea that women are their contemporaries. That a black woman in terms of opinion and skill set stands to bring as much to the table as any man.

But still, we keep teaching our sons that the idea of being a Casanova is something to be desired. I’m not saying we should teach our sons to marry the first girl they fall in love with (I almost made that mistake). I’m saying they should not see every girl as a sexual conquest. That as a man, you shouldn’t feel comfortable talking with your buddies about your sex life like hunters in a bar talking about the big game the bagged in the field.

This injurious practice of teaching our sons to “play the field” and “sow their wild oats” is something I never understood. Mostly because I was never taught such a practice. I have confidence issues when it comes to talking to women, but that stems mostly from self-doubt. But as for the issue of interacting with women, I will say this: I’ve made mistakes and gone against everything I’m arguing for right now. But you know what? I’ve learned from my mistakes.

And for those of you reading this who is calling me a “Simp”, a “Pussy” or saying that I’ll never get women with this kind of philosophy, I want you to think about something as you state that fact: You are saying that I, Myself, will not have luck with women because I consider them my equals in terms of social and professional interaction. 

If that is what you are honestly saying, I want you to think about this as well: These hypothetical women you speak of will not be attracted to someone that treats them as human. Not as a sexual conquest. Not as an equal. Not as independently thinking.

Now, I want you to think about what that says about you as a man: you, yourself, would rather accept a woman who exists as nothing more than a pretty face and a warm place to rest you Member in times of arousal. You have no aspirations for a Relationship beyond physical. 

Now I want to pitch another point to you: you know that friend of yours? The one who has the kind of sexual conquests that only happen to Barney Stinson? The guy who claims to live an awesome life of no strings attached sex with women you only see in King magazine? 
Yeah, that guy? He’s lying to you. ALL of you. There are many things he could be trying to hide from all of you by doing such things, but I’ll just point this out: the guy is clearly mentally unsound. He’s insecure, so he goes from woman to woman to prove to the world that he’s sexually verse. He tells you and your friends about a sex life you can only dream of.

And yet, you indulge him. You and your friends invite him to your weddings and watch as he makes his way through the bride’s maids and the like. You say nothing when his relationship status always reads “It’s Complicated” at best when he meets a woman. yet you wonder why that guy when he hits his 40s and can’t score with the ladies like he used to be buying Hookers along with Cocaine and the Viagra to counter one of its unfortunate side-effects.

If you, yourself can have simple, sex-only relationships with women and they agree to it, then fine. But all I ask of you is to stop acting like it makes you a man. I’m 23; I’m not even all the way there in that area. But I’m pretty sure that part of it is not and should not be exploiting women for sex in any form or fashion.

I don’t care what player or pimp taught you about how to treat women. You really need to take into account that that guy was a EFFING PIMP! This is a guy that forces women to sell their bodies for money that HE KEEPS! If this man were in a movie today as opposed to the 70s when such professions were glamorized, this man would rightfully have his neck snapped by Liam Neeson. 

So, in short, I just want to say we should teach our sons, brothers, nephews, and grandsons that being a man is not being the man. It’s being able to have the knowledge and skills to provide for himself or his family. And we also need to teach our daughters to not only NOT accept such behaviors from men, but to definitely not encourage or indulge it. That includes associating with anyone that does.

And we also need to teach our daughters to not only NOT accept such behaviors from men, but to definitely not encourage or indulge it. That includes associating with anyone that does.Yes, your children will be labeled every insult I’ve stated thus far, along with “uppity” and “bougie.” But at the end of the day, do you want to have your children be accepted amongst the crowd that thinks such behaviors are not only normal but right?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

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