4.24.2013

"But Does She Have a Man?"

If I wanted a dude that 
badly, it would be done.
Really?  Seriously?

So...I'm talking to a relative who remarks in passing that another relative of ours wonders why I talk so much about work and writing and never men.

Really?  Seriously?

Being the diplomat that I am, I kept the conversation light, but in the back of my mind I was like, "WTF???"

Um...I am Ankhesen Mié.

I finished graduate school at 26, where I one of 10-15 students accepted out of hundreds. By day, I work at an insurance company where, once again, I was one of 15 chosen out of over 600-800 applicants. By night, I write and moderate for six blogs - four of which I founded alone, two of which have had over a million views each. I have published several books.

I have kept my knees together and don't have any kids I can't afford; I've never been in an abusive relationship, and I've never let man threaten my job, my money, my home, or my schooling.  So for someone to overlook all that and wonder instead why I'm not boo'd up is the ultimate insult. Last I checked, this is 2013.

Granted, the people who typically try to steer the focus back onto men (or women, since I'm often presumed a lesbian), are often single themselves, and have neither my education nor my accomplishments.  And unlike me, most of them look back at their major life decisions with regret; I don't.  That all being said, it's still exceedingly irritating that women are still focusing on this in 2013.

For the woman raising her kids alone and cursing the man or men who didn't stick around, this is the type of thinking which got her in that mess.

For the woman clinging to some man who is the living definition of "deadbeat", this this is the type of thinking which got her - and keeps her - in that mess.

For the older woman looking back on her life wondering why her career didn't go further despite the opportunities which came her way, or why she didn't invest more time and energy into herself, or why she didn't strike out on her own sooner and enjoy her freedom longer, this is the type of thinking which caused her to waste precious decades of her life.

I am Ankhesen Mié.  I have things to do.  I did the dating scene, the party scene, the bar scene...I've loved a man here and lusted after another there; I've lain in the big strong arms of a well-built man, I have gotten gifts, been flattered, been adored, been bought drinks, taken to dinner, taken to shows, and even been bickered over, and I have found that none of that compares to when I publish a book and a fan gushes to me in an email, on Facebook, or on the blogosphere.

My gods, women...we need to get our shit together.  We can't have it both ways.  We can't keep complaining about the oppressiveness of men one minute, while bending over and handing them our ovaries the next.

32 comments:

  1. I'm going to praise my personal god that my relatives have better sense than to say such shit within my earshot.

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  2. I think it will always be like that especially in a black community. I remember when I was in my teens a girl in my neighbor became a lawyer. I was in awe because she was a lawyer, had her own house, and car. I was impressed. I noticed though that about five years later when she got married most people were MORE impressed by THAT fact. It was like she was worthless until she got a man.

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    1. I think it will always be like that especially in a black community.

      OMG I wondered about that. What is it with us and the aversion to single black females?

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    2. Girl, if I knew that I would have hit the lottery by now or found Bigfoot! Its one of those questions you never will have the answer to! I do have friends of other races who get asked the "where is your man?" question, but I do not think its as extreme as in the black community.

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    3. "I think it will always be like that especially in a black community."

      Actually that's all cultures, I wouldn't say the black community is any worse.

      I am lucky because I was never pressured to have that (Where yo man at) married and have kids. But if I were raised on my Nigerian side like my sisters than I would probably be married with a child or two.

      I remember when I first visited my sisters in Lagos and the whole time I was there I was bombarded by family members on why I wasn't married yet, to them since I already had my college education I should now be married with kids. It was a culture shock to me because I was never pressured about that.

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    4. One of my friends who finished our Ivy League University in 3 years and got a law degree from the same school said that when she was growing up, her dad (a doctor) was always taking her to the museum, or science fairs, or things to stimulate her mind.

      Their neighbor(an awful man in many ways who I have met), also a doctor who had a daughter and son (my friend also has a brother) told her father that by "overeducating that girl" she was never going to be able to find a husband.

      For the record, she's been married twice and there was another ex-BF that wanted to marry her many years ago. None of them found all of that "learning" to be a turn off at all, and she doesn't play June Cleaver after work for anyone.

      The attitude about women having little value or having their accomplishments trivialized if they haven't been picked by a man may be cross-cultural, but I'd argue it has not damaged as many cultures as much as it has damaged black females.

      B/c white girls and Asian girls are not typically supporting man-boys and deadbeats, or having children by men who can't take care of themselves, the women, or the babies they make. They aren't typcially sharing (and lowering themselves to fight over) said man-boys. They just aren't. They might get the same hassle when they bring home a law degree instead of a husband, but they still aren't getting run down by losers the way that black women do.

      I have several cousins who are well-educated, have great careers, have bought themselves beautiful homes who have either let themselves get knocked up by some loser who was never seen again or who have what I call "Freeloader Willies" who live in their homes, sleep in their beds, in some cases have made babies with them, and who offer nothing but a penis. Boys who would be homeless if they weren't living rent free with my cousins in exchange for their "services." My parents told me that one cousin just had a 2nd baby by her Freeloader Willy baby daddy. Ugh. Just ugh. Her older sister got her deadbeat to marry her loser(after dating guys that she gave money and credit cards to that they used to buy things for), but he finally decided to run off with his side piece. She's left with a baby from the deal but she's the lucky one. I'm pretty sure he tried to get money from her in the divorce too. (Another thing you should think about before hitching yourself to a deadbeat is that if you marry him, the courts might make you pay him alimony, which also means his court costs).

      And yet, before she died, God rest her soul, I can remember our shared grandmother asking me why I never had a man, and she might have even slipped in there if I liked boys.

      I went to a family wedding where another cousin brought her deadbeat boyfriend and had been complaining about failing to meet her financial goals. I'm thinking, there is several thousand in wasted money standing right next to you, b/c she is buying the plane tickets and paying for hotel rooms when they travel.

      We have collectively told our girls that they have a right to expect nothing and to tolerate anything just to have someone stick his penis in you.

      It's funny how the women who have made so many regrettable decisions think that not having a man someone makes you equal. I really think a lot of them, even when they are family, are saying "Well, she might have done X, Y, and Z, but she's not better than me b/c she doesn't have a man either, so none of that other stuff matters."

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  3. Ankh, you are a force to be reckoned with. I am in much appreciation to you, my sista.

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  4. Yeeesss! This needs to be read and heard! I hope that by the time I'm 26, I can feel more accomplished. I hope I can resist falling into that mess. If I can find a keep a good man that comes along, cool. But to have a man just to have? I have things to do. lol and am not impressed enough to just bend over and hand out any ovaries. 0.0

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  5. GIRL!!!!

    I HEARD THAT AND I AM HERE FOR IT! I've clocked in!

    When I was a few years younger, one of my cousins said some shit to me about marrying. But a bit of backstory: all my aunts have been married multiple times and were shacking up with common-law hubbies at the time. All of my female cousins had been married multiple times (one, six; three, three; one, two). My mother was the only one who married once and stayed that way until death parted. So when my cousin said that shit to me (we were all in the kitchen), I said:

    "Who the fuck are you to tell me I need to get married when you're on your 6th husband? Clearly you don't know anything about it. Ain't none of y'all in here with the same man you started out with, so can't none of y'all say shit to me about marriage until you get yours together."

    I had no microphone to drop, but I strolled off anyway and the room was SILENT. Mama told me later that she was so proud of me for sticking up for myself. Folks ain't had too much to say to me since then but I don't give a solid, liquid or a gas fuck.

    It's been probably ten years since that day and I'm still single and very much accomplished. I won't bother to do a roll call of my achievements, but suffice it to say that being manned-up isn't one of them. And with what Lor said about the black community, I believe that's right. It's not fair but it is a fair assumption. I don't see it changing, because in spite of accomplishing so much, we're not really recognized until we're attached to some man.

    Fuck that.

    The problem is this antiquated ideal that marriage is duct tape and WD-40; that it will "fix" certain things. People need to stop perpetuating that bullshit and be honest. Marriage is only as good as the people who are committing to it, and that's all I have to say about that.



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    1. I don't see it changing, because in spite of accomplishing so much, we're not really recognized until we're attached to some man.

      I'll be honest. It's so depressing.

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    2. Isn't it? But we'll persevere.

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    3. @Amaya-SIX HUSBANDS!!!!!!!!!!!!! WTF!!!!!!!! Is she trying to be the black Elizabeth Taylor or Zsa Zsa Gabor who had nine a piece! Okay I can see getting married young and chalking it up to being young and stupid. I can see getting married on the rebound, but damn! After six times its not the people you are marrying its YOU! No disrespect to her. See I could never attend a wedding for someone like that cause I would be out in the audience and when the preacher gets to the part about, "does anyone know why these two should not be married?". I would be yelling I CAN THINK OF FIVE REASONS WHY! Probably why I don't get invited to many weddings!

      I tell people I have too much respect for marriage; to treat it so casually.

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    4. I am so glad that you did that. Kudos to you.

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    5. @Lor, one thing about white women who marry 6 times is that they are usually marrying to get some cash. Zsa Zsa Gabor and Liz Taylor were getting wifed by men who had plenty of money until their last husbands, both of whom were much younger and pretty much broke (Zsa Zsa's last husband is one of those penniless European "counts").
      If a black woman has had a bunch of husbands, you can get that she's likely left with a few more kids and a lighter wallet. It is not a cash-generating endeavor. If you are going to get wifed 6 times you need to marry up not down. We have missed that memo (not that marrying a man is a sound or sustainable financial plan but you can at least not marry one who leaves you POORER).

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  6. I'm Haitian and in my culture, it's so expected to get a man before/during/after college. My auntie asked me a question like, " where your man at, why don't you have a boyfriend"?
    I definitely let her have it in my feisty manner, I said "If I wanted a man I could have/get one , I can go down the street and get one right now. Auntie do you see all of this, this is some double Aplus packaging right here and frankly I don't want a man right now". She stopped after that but I had to let her know that not every female is looking for a man/boo/husband right now. It's sad but true,in my family it use to be " when are you graduating, now it's when you gonna get a man"? Mmm when I'm good and ready to not when y'all tell me to ,SMH ( aww family, we didn't choose them but somehow we have to love them :D

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  7. "It was like she was worthless until she got a man."

    That just breaks my heart, because you know what? 2013 or not, that ish is sad but true.

    Could be our Black community. Could be this patriarchy we living in seeping on down into everything.

    There is such contempt for women in general, WOC in particular, and never might if you are smart, successful and kicking butt and taking names all on your own terms. It means nothing. Less than nothing. Because if there is no man in the mix it give it context then why did you bother?

    This sort of thing just makes me blind with anger and K, I am so GLAD you wrote about it.

    I saw symptoms and weird permutations of this early on in my life, and thank goodness for that, because who knows what might have happened if lessons weren't learned at that time. In high school. I remember that weird thing how the second you got a BF, you had to beat guys off with a stick - you were of no value until you were juxtaposed with a guy - then woah look out! Weird. Clueless movie illustrates that phenomenon by way of her sending flowers to herself to underscore her desirability and attractiveness - not on her own rights, but because attention from a boy or boys.

    This girl on my floor in freshman dorm in college. Fellow females couldn't tell her anything. Self esteem in the toilet. But the second she got a compliment from a GUY well she would brighten up and shine like the sun. Mope around feeling all worthless until she boo'd up - then it was all smiles and sparkling eyes. I wonder now what her life has been like and I can easily see her with a six husband track record too.

    I never wanted any of that for myself. I never wanted my worth to be only tallied up because I had some random male attached to my life. I never wanted my own self worth to be tied to whether or not I got attention from a male or males. I fought tooth and nail to be recognized for who I am, what I have accomplished.

    I see absolute RED and become incoherent when I see my fellow intelligent, strong and accomplished sistas like our K, have everything they are, and everything they've done be reduced to ashes blowing away in the wind because of "But does she have a man?" and "When are you going to get married?" and "I see there is no man in your life" and so on.

    Happy to see so many of you sticking up for yourselves and refusing to hand over your ovaries.
    GOOD ON YOU.

    and THANK YOU.

    and NEVER STOP.

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    1. "Could be our Black community. Could be this patriarchy we living in seeping on down into everything.

      There is such contempt for women in general, WOC in particular, and never might if you are smart, successful and kicking butt and taking names all on your own terms. It means nothing. Less than nothing. Because if there is no man in the mix it give it context then why did you bother?"

      ALL OF THIS!

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    2. Hell, even Oprah can't escape it. She's one of the wealthiest and most powerful media personalities in the states, maybe even the world, and folks are still grumbling about how she's not married 'at her age' or a mother. I mean, come ON!

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    3. And no matter how many rights we gain, how many opportunities we have, or overall how much progress we make, so long as women keep doing this to one another, we'll always be oppressed.

      Because if you think about it, the declining quality of men in the dating scene has a direct correlation to this sort of self-destructive thinking. When you're a straight man, surrounded by straight women who ultimately determine their own self-worth to whether or not they're with you, you have No Incentive Whatsoever to being a decent human being. You're not motivated to be educated or have a good job or be responsible or respectful or a gentleman. And why should you be, when grown-ass women who can take care of themselves are satisfied with simply having you around?

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    4. so long as women keep doing this to one another, we'll always be oppressed.

      Every single word of this and the rest of your comment is GOLDEN TRUTH. We do this to each other. Why? What's the point? What does it serve?

      "I'm better than you cause I got a man!"

      "Bitch, you can keep that sorry-ass motherfucker. He ain't shit."

      When you're a straight man, surrounded by straight women who ultimately determine their own self-worth to whether or not they're with you, you have No Incentive Whatsoever to being a decent human being. You're not motivated to be educated or have a good job or be responsible or respectful or a gentleman. And why should you be?

      Why, indeed.

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  8. I worked 2 jobs to put myself through college. Brought my own house before age 30 and run my own shit. No kids I can't handle, no drama I don't want and I still get the obligatory "When are you going do something with your life and get married?"

    WTF?

    Women are branded as "barren" "eccentric" or "undesirable" if they're not attached to a man. That's the harsh reality.

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    1. @Truthbetold-Do it! You know my sister was told my our mother to WAIT to buy a house (she also told the same to my sister's best friend) until she got married. Guess what? If my sister had waited until marriage she would STILL not have a house! I do have a friend though with two master degrees and a good job, but she won't buy a house until she gets married....AGAIN!

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    2. @Lor, was she told not to buy it so she wouldn't look like she didn't "need" a man...b/c I've heard that one (luckily 2nd hand...I would have to punch someone over that).

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    3. Nicthommi, GIRUYL!!!! Somebody would have got cussed the hell out that day.

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  9. I once had a classics professor who talked about how she didn't get dinner invitations to her "friends'" until after she got married. When asked what was up, she was told, "Well, now that you're respectable, we're more than happy to have you over for dinner."

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    1. I hope she invited them to kiss her ass.

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    2. I think some of those women think that everyone wants their tired ass man. I hate being someplace and have women who want to shoot eye daggers at me b/c their husband/boyfriend says hello. I'm like bitch please, I do not want your man. But they all have the same way of peeing on their territory like you are throwing panties in their man's face.

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  10. I've been lurking around this blog for months now and I just need to come out of hiding to say THANK YOU FOR THIS POST! Here I was in my crappy neighborhood in Florida thinking I was odd as hell for not being on the hop up on a man agenda-the same agenda my family continuosly shoves down my throat when I speak of my dreams of being a strong ass black woman with an degree or severalwith my own things.honestly the mentality here of men are your be all end all has me wanting to catch a case at every family function.
    the sad part is I've only been eighteen for six months and my damn highschool class hasn't even graduated yet and I hear the 'you need a man to put a ring on it' speech!
    In conclusion I thank all of you ladies for being awesome roll models of the "whats a man got to do with me" agenda cuz God knows I'm gonna have to refer to this page when I tell my mother I aspire to be a doctor >.<

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  11. http://abcnews.go.com/US/gang-leader-impregnates-maryland-female-prison-guards/story?id=19033048#.UXrs6LVaxic



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  12. lol...Sorry forgot to post my comments with the link.....my thoughts after reading this were 'many Black families would be okay with this'. I guess a piece of a man is better than no man.....o.0

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