Before going any further, if you have not, please read the first part here.
Why do black men continue to come up as a topic in non-black male-oriented spaces such as this one? The first part broached the issue, giving people the chance to weigh in with their theories. Some were accusations and others, justifications. In truth there were a fixed set of reasons that I had in mind when I wrote the first part, which will now be discussed in full.
REASON NUMBER ONE: LIFE EXPERIENCE AS APPLIED TO A DISCUSSION TOPIC
When we are talking about the things we experience in life, when it comes to relating to other black people, it is inevitable that black men will come up. We both make up the same ethnic groups, so it’s only logical to consider that there’s a very strong likelihood that if you weren’t adopted by a white family and raised completely surrounded by non-blacks all your life, you have interacted with a black male at some point. It’s also very likely that a black woman has had at least one unpleasant experience involving a black man or boy. So if the topic of relationships comes up, either where family or romance is concerned, a black male may be used as an example. This is not to say that ALL black women have these experiences. Some have never dated a black man (*raises hand*), some do not have black men for fathers, and some are in a place in their lives where they do not interact with black men in any capacity. But, for those who do, that’s pretty much the main reason: As an example relating to the particular topic.
REASON NUMBER TWO: AN OBSERVATION ABOUT BEHAVIORS THAT NEGATIVELY IMPACT BLACK WOMEN
When you are talking about OOW birthrates among black women, rarely are you discussing any group of men other than black men. When you are talking about the danger to the safety and wellbeing of black women, aside from black women who protect and enable predators, you will likely be discussing damaged and unstable black men. There are some really backward and problematic beliefs and actions that occur within the so-called black community that negatively impact black women. It’s hard to gauge how badly this problem affects us as a gender without comparing it to relations with black men in some vein, because aside from racism, how these problems affect black women is largely due to adjustments made for the benefit of black men, and black men alone.
Again, these scenarios do not affect all black women everywhere, but the affected and the observant may want to discuss these things. Sometimes to vent, but also a fair amount of the time to call out the behavior and try and discuss how to bypass and avoid associating with it.
REASON NUMBER THREE: NOT EVERY BLACK WOMAN WHO WANTS TO ALLEVIATE HERSELF OF BLACK MEN AND OR THE BLACK COMMUNITY FINDS THEMSELVES AT THE SAME PLACE DEVELOPMENTALLY AS OTHERS.
This final point has been brought up multiple times, and it’s felt that some do not quite understand what this means in terms of black women and our individual paths.
You are at Point Z. You may have come in at Point P and kept it moving until you got there. Someone else joins you from Point F and you see someone waaaaaaaay in the distance standing at Point A. There are many paths to Point Z, and not everyone is going to get there the same way. Indeed, not everyone is going to get there at all. But, let’s say for those who seriously intend to reach Point Z, the path chosen to get there takes one through various lines of thinking. There are different facts and truths to which one is not privy based on their life experiences. But one is learning. Can one learn if the discussion they need is omitted because it’s not relevant to other black women? If a topic is not relevant to your life experiences, why feel that you need to involve yourself or worry? You at Point Z do not need to concern yourself with whatever is happening at Points A-Y. And Points A-Y may very well involve the topic of black men in the capacity of reasons mentioned earlier.
These are the strongest reasons for why the topic comes up, though I’ve also heard it said that some black women who continue to bring black men into the discussion do so for black-male identified reasons. There may be some truth to that, but I think that is specific to circumstances having nothing to do with the betterment and concerns of black women. However, it’s also very possible there are other reasons I missed (reasons you’re more than welcome to bring up in the comments).
The next and final installment of this brief series will attempt to tackle the subject at hand once and for all: Should we who do not intend to share our lives with black men, who are mainly concerned with our own welfare as black women just shut up about them altogether?