The Sadie Hawkins Dance For Adults

“Contrary to the popular opinion of thought leaders, academics and activists, I argue that the single biggest problem facing Black America in the 21st century is NOT racism; but rather, the sobering fact that Black men and Black women simply don’t get along.”
-Mumia Obsidian Ali

We’re well into the fall season of 2019 and yet, my mid-summer missive, “All The Crazy Ladies” continues to spark much conversation online and in social media, especially among the ladies. In a recent “closed doors back chat” discussion, a number of ladies brought up my articles and live shows on the topic and asked if it applied to venues such as nite clubs and singles bars – something that I had not thought of earlier this summer. It gave me an excellent opportunity to address something that I’ve been observing for quite some time now – how Black women and Black men, were allowing their antisocial ways to destroy the social fabric of what is left of Black American society – and now is the right time to go there.

As I’ve said many times in this column and will reiterate quite a few times more before I’m done, here in our dojo, we gentlemen have a social life. This means that we are conversant with the “rules of the road”, so to speak; we study the social graces and are willing and able to do our part in the mating dance with the ladies. However, it has become quite clear that in modern day Black America, such norms and graces have gone by the wayside, on both sides of the gender aisle – Black women AND Black men, seem to have lost the fine art of socializing these days. In today’s article, I will attempt to forthrightly address this seemingly growing problem.

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THE SADIE HAWKINS DANCE
A tradition going back some eight decades, the Sadie Hawkins Dance got its start from the Lil’ Abner comic newstrip that was syndicated across the country. Women and girls would approach the men and boys to dance, instead of the other way around; the guys couldn’t refuse. Also known as “Ladies’ Choice” dances, the practice not only remains strong among the junior high, high school and even college crowds, it has spread to far away lands as Australia, where it is known as a “Spinster Ball”. The event is held every November and can be seen in depicted many times in Hollywood films, perhaps the most famous example being the 1955 Oscar-winning “Marty”, starring Ernest Borgnine.

Most Black Americans, men and women both, will know the Sadie Hawkins Dance well – often with memories of teenaged awkwardness, LOL. Yet, that early introduction to the social graces in connection to the mating dance, served as a powerful tool in teaching us the ropes of socialization. Those lessons seem to have fallen by the wayside in an era of “hooking up”, “Netflix & Chill” and documented evidence of the decline of couples’ venues like movie theaters, singles bars, lounges and nite clubs, both here and abroad.

But more than that, in today’s Black America, we have a very curious – and deleterious – state of affairs, expressed more recently on social media, where both Black men and Black women, seem to go out of their way NOT to “play ball”, so to speak. Please allow me to illustrate…

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WELCOME TO THE “RESTING BITCH FACE”
Although it must be said that such behavior can be observed in White women as well, the truth simply must be told: many Black women seem to excel at being downright antisocial. They will go to singles bars, lounges and nite clubs – all venues where single men and women go to hopefully meet each other, often within a short term casual sexual context – and act an utter fool. They will claim that they want to “dance with their girlfriends”, have haughty and nasty attitudes towards those men they deem unattractive and merely show up for the “free drinks” – indeed, it is not at all unusual for some Black women to DEMAND that a Black man buy them a drink(!). WTF?!?!?

As noted, such venues above are by design those where it is EXPECTED that the sexes mingle and socialize – so if you are a Black woman and you only want to “dance with your girlfriends”, GO TO A DANCING GROUP. Every major city has some form of dancing outfit, from “Chicago stepping” to square dancing, to swing dancing to salsa dance and more. The major aim of these groups is to teach its members how to do these dances effectively, with the socializing as an added benefit. Going to a singles venue where Black men will approach the ladies while you only claiming to just want to dance with your homegirls is antithetical to that goal.

The same is true about singles bars and lounges. Many Black women will show up there with bitchy attitudes, snarky one-liners and closed-off body language, yet still expect (read: think they’re ENTITLED to) Black men’s MONEY in the form of drinks. Worse, some Black women, after having a Black man buy them a drink, will immediately leave said Black man and return to their friends; or demand that he buy all her friends a drink; or even go to another Black man she found more viscerally attractive(!).

To make matters worse, many Black women will defend, rationalize and justify their antisocial and “resting bitch face” behavior on Black men themselves: “He was a sucker so he got licked”, or “He should have taken no for an answer” and so forth. While there is definitely something to be said for Black men who are giving too much unwanted attention, or Black men who are naive and “thirsty”, the fact remains that the vast majority of venues have bouncers and security to take care of that should it get that far; they are only a shout or gesture away.

Even in speed dating events that were organized and arranged to ensure there would be enough eligible Black men to go around, Black women will maintain their bitchy demeanor – being so with the Black men they deem unattractive, which, as we’ve recently seen in my Mon, Sep 30, 2019 column, “Black America Confirms ‘The 80/20 Rule’ Is Real”, is roughly 80% of them.

The practical result of all this antisocial bitchiness on the part of Black women well into middle age(!), is that Black men have voted with their feet – indeed, Black women-focused publications, such as Ebony, has documented the “Curious Case of the Manless Meet Market” phenomenon – and, according to the Restaurant & Bar Association, a marked decline of such venues has taken place – not just stateside, but in the United Kingdom as well. Simply put, (Black) men do not think it a wise investment to attempt to chat it up with bitchy, uncooperative and combative (Black) women, who are only checking for a small pool of (Black) men to begin with – only to get the easily predictable disasterous results that they then bemoan about in the Black Vaginavision Media.

Over roughly the past half a year alone, your correspondent has taken it upon himself to attend as many social events as possible here in my hometown of the City of Brotherly Love; I have consistently observed that at least half of the attendees, are single Black women ranging in ages of 30-somethings to their early 60s(!), often attending events ranging from NeoSoul concerts at upscale wineries to high-art gallery openings in groups, sometimes with little children in tow. Quite a few Black women wind up attending events where it would be expected that couples show up alone. Moreover, the relatively few Black couples that I DO see out and about, don’t seem terribly happy with each other; they appear as if “going through the motions”. Black women have a huge role to play in all this, whether they want to admit it or not.

A simple fix to this problem is as follows: ladies, if you do not wish to socialize with the fellas; if you only want to hangout with your homegirls; or if you simply want to dance the night away in as nonsexual manner as possible, DO NOT GO TO SINGLES BARS, NITE CLUBS OR LOUNGES, because these are places where Black men will RIGHTLY expect you to be nice to them, friendly to them and be willing to at the very least, dance and talk to them.

In a word: either leave the resting bitch face at home or just stay home altogether, because no one likes having a bitchy wet blanket around.

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WELCOME TO THE BROKE, STINGY, CHEAP & LAZY BRIGADE
On the other side of the aisle, is a growing number of Black men who not only are quite antisocial themselves, they like to wear it on their sleeves, as if some kind of perverted badge of honor. They can be heard bellowing on Black social media justifying their antisocial ways saying things like, “I ain’t spending no money on these hoes/bitches!”, or, “That’s tricking!”, or, “She’ll take your nice time and money and then get with the guy she really wants” and so forth. While I’ve observed this behavior among a not insignificant number of Black men online in particular, it has only been since my hanging out a shingle as a dating coach for “non-select guys” that such behavior has really ramped up online – largely in reaction to my argument that there are in our midst broke, stingy, cheap and lazy Black men, who find any and every excuse under the sun NOT to be outgoing, engaging, sociable and successful, while at the same time, DEMANDING that the best Black women entertain them (read: bang them for free). These are Black men who honestly believe that “Netflix & Chill” with a side order of nachos is sufficient to woo the ladies, regaling us with tales to astonish about silver-tounged devils right out of central casting who are just bedding down Black women left, right and center, merely by showing up, as if they’re the Black Fonzie or something. “Ayyyye!”.

Riiight.

These are the guys who, on the off-chance they do show up at social venues like singles bars, nite clubs and lounges, plying their highly inept “game” and annoying the fuck out of the ladies, which necessitates the bouncers and security stepping in. Not content with merely having light conversation, paying attention to the subtle social cues the ladies give out as they’re interested or not and being brief with shooting their shot, many of these guys will “hold on” way past their sell-by date.

The sobering truth is, that many of these Black men have simply “failed to launch”, still living at home with their mamas, or living a stone’s throw away from them; others, while higher earning, are severely socially inept, again owing to their being sheltered and coddled by their single mamas; while still others are thoroughly jaded by being burned in a divorce, past relationship or the like, going as far back as high school(!). To be sure, EVERY SINGLE MAN ON THE PLANET has been rejected, scorned and even burned badly by a woman; but that is no excuse to be an unmitigated, unwarranted, stompdown jerk.

But wait, there’s more!

Not content to merely “go their own way”, these fellows feel that it is their appointed duty to go to venues where Black men hold a differing view on life and the ladies, in the guise of “educating” their fellow wayward and naive brethren. The simple truth is that misery loves company – and these guys ARE miserable, make no mistake about it. The want to denigrate and derogate any Black man they see as willing to make an effort at mating be that short or long term, in an attempt to appeal to the crowd looking on that it is a fool’s errand and that “real men” such as themselves have made a much more daring choice of going it alone. While I certainly do not wish to attempt to lecture any man as to how he should live his life, how dare those LOSERS attempting to lecture the rest of us, on how to live ours? If they have indeed made the right choice and decision, time will have vindicated them; they need not go hither and yon on an misbegotten crusade.

A simple fix to the fellas for whom it applies: if you do not wish to socialize with the ladies; if you do not wish to adhere to the time-honored rules of courting; if you don’t want to participate in the mating dance but instead would rather “Netflix & Chill”, great – STAY AT HOME. Please don’t show up at venues where it is expected of you to pay cover charges, pay for the drinks and be interesting, engaging and socially skilled, whether you get a number or not. You have every right in the world not to want to be bothered; you DO NOT have a right to make everyone else in the world miserable with your very presence. Be miserable alone.

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THINGS FALLING APART IN BLACK AMERICA
Lest anyone think that this is merely a trifle, a series of personal failings on the part of some Black men and Black women and has little to do with the Black body politic at large, please allow me to disabuse you of such fanciful notions. Despite the umpteen allusions to “da communitah” that self-styled online activists and “conscious Blacks” preen on about, the truth is that a community is a collection of families; and families, are made up first of couples. With the current Black American society being one that is currently at all-time lows in terms of marriage, all-time highs in terms of divorce, as well as all-time highs in out of wedlock births, confirmed bachelors and baby mamas and spinsters, one must honestly ask: how can a community be reasonably expected to function under such circumstances?

Even more to the point, how can Black men and Black women come together, when such a significant portion of both, are so inept, jaded and mean, to each other? When neither sees much value in appealing to the other? When neither thinks much of social norms that benefit us all? If a Sadie Hawkins dance event were held across Black America next month, how would it go? Would it be something nice that we all could be proud of – or would it be yet another slow-motion train wreck social pathology lionized forever on World Star Hip-Hop and DJ Vlad TV?

Look, everyone reading this column knows well the legendary levels of sheer acrimony between Black men and Black women. It is the stuff of novels, panel discussions and seminars, stage plays, movies and now, a multibillion dollar a year business of self-styled “experts” who purport to save “Black Love” while pandering to the worst impulses of bitter, lovelorn Black women – all while we continue to circle the drain. One must ask, in light of the sobering facts above, what is the endgame?

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A MODEST PROPOSAL FOR BOTH BLACK WOMEN – & BLACK MEN
Perhaps a way out, so to speak, is to take things back to that Sadie Hawkins dance that we all know so well in our younger years. Ladies, if you wish to attend venues where it is expected for the sexes to socialize – especially those that are “meat markets” – you must be prepared to act accordingly. No, this doesn’t mean that you are obligated to suck and fuck every Tom, Dick and Harry that approaches you – but it DOES mean that you are expected to entertain a man’s attention should he be willing to buy you a drink – five minutes at bare minimum. That means that you aren’t crowding him with your homegirls. That means that your face isn’t glued to your smartphone. And that means that your “resting bitch face” stays at home. Yea, yea, there are guys who are socially awkward dunces and others who are dyed in the wool assholes – again, there’s help for that. IT DOESN’T GIVE YOU AN EXCUSE TO BE A BITCH, END OF. I don’t care what you’ve been through. If you cannot or will not be on your best behavior at these venues, please do us all a favor and stay home. The world will thank you, believe me.

And for the fellas: if you wish to hit up the bar, lounge, nite club or any other venue where Black men and Black women are expected to socialize and mingle, YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO PAY TO PLAY. These venues ain’t free, they have overhead, employees to pay and inventory to stock. And these establishments rely on MEN to pay for all that. Yes, I am well aware of the “Men’s Rights” arguments – I actually worked in that sector for six years, remember – but making that case while on the dancefloor is a smoking gun of you being a socially awkward ponce if there ever was one. There’s a time and a place for MRA talking points and now ain’t it. If you feel that strongly about the matter – and hey, I feel ya – then do us all a favor: just stay home.

Similarly, your stepping to a lady and offering to buy her a drink is the socially acceptable way of saying, “I’d like to shoot my shot”. That shouldn’t take more than five minutes, ten at most. SHE ONLY OWES YOU THAT MUCH. NOTHING MORE. That is what you’re buying and if you don’t think it – or she – is worth it, that’s completely fine. STAY HOME.

If Black America – men and women alike, can’t or won’t do these simple things for each other, what does that mean for it’s future – for our future?

I leave that, dear reader, for you to mull over.

Now adjourn your asses…

MOA

Mumia Obsidian Ali is a citizen journalist, podcaster, talk radio show host and newly minted dating coach. You can catch his daily live shows on Mixlr, and his podcasts on YouTube and Black Avenger TV, as well as his weekly dating coach column at the Negromanosphere website. He’s also a semi-professional pest.

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