The conflict between Black men and women is old. Even older than the advent of Black Feminism which people generally believe began in the sixties and seventies. In conversations with elders the issue goes back to at least the earliest part of the twentieth century. The central issue has really been one thing when one cuts through all the extras. The issue has always been one of control.
Black America has always existed as a subculture within the mainstream of American society. The government, economy, and social mores of America have always been dominated by white men. In this environment Black men as a collective have had not have any real power. True there were instances where a particular Black man may had control over a business, a church, or even his family but overall Black men lacked power. Indeed an argument many Black men had used against Black Feminism is that Black men have never had the power to effectively oppress Black women. Black women have always asserted themselves. Black men of course have asserted that they should be leaders of at least the Black family. If anything Black Feminism made the battle for control more overt. Several dynamics have emerged from this conflict.
Black men feel they should be leading the relationships. This comes from the fact that men in every other racial and cultural group lead their women. This also comes from being raised in Abrahamic religions which are unapologetically patriarchal. If nothing else Black men are very religious with their actions being influenced by their particular religious and spiritual paths. Either through nature, culture, or religion, Black men collectively feel like they should be leading. Only problem with this is that a critical mass of Black women don’t agree with this line of thinking.
The major issue with Black women is that far too many are raised to be independent. That in itself isn’t a bad thing. Every human being should be able to be functional enough to live on their own in any culture. The problem comes when these same independent women want to be married or even just have sex with a Black man. These independent women are used to directing their own lives which is understandable. When, however, these women get into a relationship with Black man many try to direct his life as well. This leads to conflict.
A Black man who is doing what any normal man is supposed to do which is work to take care of himself is not going to be dominated by a woman. This is especially the case if his religious beliefs require him to be the head of the household. A woman trying to lead him will only irritate the man and in most cases he will stop dealing with her.
In response a Black woman will seek out a Black man who will allow himself to be dominated by her. Hence why many Black women are with men younger than them or making less money. Even then many women are not satisfied with the arrangement.
The thing to understand about any relationship is a root word in the term, “ship.” A relationship is the coming together of two people who form a third entity which is the metaphorical ship that’s sailing on a river. That ship can only have one captain. Otherwise the ship will crash. In plain terms only one person can lead the relationship. That person should always be the man. There are several reason for this.
By nature a woman wants a man to protect her, to provide for her, to make love to her, and most importantly see the path ahead. A man cannot protect a woman if he is following her. He doesn’t need to provide for her if she is leading which women primarily do with more money than the man. Most women are not sexually aroused by a man they can control. The final task a man needs to perform is the most important when it comes to leadership.
The man is supposed to see the path ahead. A man’s nature is to not only see the path but navigate the path. The nature of women is to be in the moment. They may fantasize about the future but it’s the man who figures out how to get there. He can only do this properly if he is leading.
For Black relationships to become functional on a large scale the fight for control will have to end. There can be only one captain in a ship. That captain needs to be a man.