Wednesday, January 6, 2010

do tha numberz

Business Statistics was the class...

Dr. Beraho was the professor...

He uttered these words on the first day of class in his African accent

"Numbers...statistics...can be manipulated to display any medium that you want to work in your favor."

Those words always stuck with me. I'm not saying that numbers don't lie. However, you can make the numbers say whatever you want them to say. Just the other day I was surfing the 'Net and came across a header that read...ABC NEWS : Why are 42% of Black Women Not Married?

Hmmm. The title alone was intriguing to me. I proceeded to go to the website and watch the 7 min video segment on youtube. They proceeded to throw out even more BLACK WOMEN OUTNUMBER BLACK MEN BY 1.8 MILLION.

Word? No kiddin'. Gee...I didn't know that.

The man focus of the piece was to focus on 4 black women, all of whom reside in the city of Atlanta, as do I. Each woman was well educated, successful, young (early to mid 30s), driven, ambitious, and attractive. Qualities that most men would want (black or white). The one thing that these women had in common is that none of them were married and they were concerned that the prospect of them getting married is dwindling away. Does that sound familiar to you? It does to me. I know at LEAST 10 sistas who are JUST like these women. We've talked about this subject so many times that I'm almost tired of it. My perspective may seem somewhat skewed because I am married but I can speak from the conversations that I've had with single bruthas. We're talking about sistas between the ages of 25-34. Let's take a look at the numbers...

42% of Black Women are Not Married. many women did they poll to come up with that number? Did you survey regions of the country? Did you use consensus numbers? Call me crazy but you can't just throw numbers at me and exepect me to believe them unless you explain HOW you got them. Just because you may be between the ages of 25-34 and a single black female doesn't mean that you fall into this category. For example...the government doesn't define someone who doesn't have a job as being "unemployed" unless they are ACTIVELY seeking employment. If you don't have a job and you are not looking for a job, technically you're not unemployed. The same goes for this "study." Not every black woman who is single is looking to get married.

I think that another reason why SOME sistas aren't married is because they are too picky and have unreal expectations. I said SOME because the ones that I know have those qualities. There is nothing wrong with having standards. We all should have standards. But are they fair to you. If you have a Master's degree, should your man have one to? If you're 5-8, should your man be 6-5 and have the body of a linebacker? We all should pursue what we like. However, if I said that I wanted a sista who had to have a Masters Degree, size 4, no kids, making 6 figures, cute face, and big that realistic? Probably not. There's nothing wrong with knowing what you like but you have to be practical about it. I'm not exaggerating, tho. I remember trying to hook up one of my female friends 5yrs ago. She told me to introduce her to one of my former college teammates. They were both single and didn't have any kids. I told her that I was hesitant about it because I knew how picky she was. Before I introduced them, she asked if I had a picture of him. I emailed her a picture that we took in college. Her response..."He's cute...but his ears stick out kinda far." Whut? Are you kiddin me?

That was five years ago

I never introduced them. He's about to get married to someone else

And she hasn't had a man since that day!

The moral of the story is that you can make the numbers to say what you want them to say! Is there a shortage of good black men? Hell yeah. Is it hard out there for sistas? Hell yeah. However, I think we all need to be more practical and definitive about what we want and then we'll get to where we wanna be.



Anonymous said...

Black women aren't as picky as you think. Not by a long shot. Most of us just want relationships that showcase how smart we are.

12kyle said...

@ buttaflychronicles
Good point! However, I wouldn't generalize this post by sayin "all black women are picky." Let me clarify...I'm speaking of SOME black women that I know.

I also understand that if I did my own "poll" that my numbers would be skewed b/c the black women that I know in Atlanta may not fit into the national average of where sistas are socially, economically, and educationally.

Kay C, The Quiet Storm said...

*side-eyeing Kyle as I put my business in the blogland streets, LOL*

I am in my early 30s, live in Atlanta, and have a B.A. degree. I do not make six figures nor am I an exec so not sure if I fit the category. I am divorced but would like to be married again one day. Wonder if they included divorced women like me in that 42 percent?

I am picky in that I do have a physical type I prefer but I also give men a chance when they approach me. I don't have a laundry list of physical attributes and must-haves. My bottom line is that I want to be treated well. No BS and no half-truth telling.

I haven't given up that I will find real love one day but it does get frustrating wading through the muck and games. I'm sure the men in Atlanta feel the same way. The city is built on materialism so people buy into it.

12kyle said...

@ Kay C
LoL @ the side eye

The "study" spoke of 42% of Black women who have not been married at all. I'm sorry if I didn't put that in the post. Mah bad... LoL. I included the link of the video. It's 7 mins long.

I feel where you're coming from, tho. I'm not saying that you should just pick Bingo Long off the streets. You should have a list. But if it's a laundry list of might wanna re-look at it

and1grad said...

Great post. Stats are commonly manipulated such that they benefit the viewpoint of the author or study so its best not to blindly agree with ANY of them. That said, when I first came across this stat & video, I thought they'd undershot it by a lil bit. Almost every black woman, in that age range, that I know is single and for the most part, its been bc of what you said earlier. Too picky, unrealistic, etc.

Tyrone said...

Great post - first off, you're correct about that 42% number - I don't know how they came to that.

I also believe that the ABC piece is fabricating a problem - this assumes that all black women want to be married. It also doesn't take into account gay women.

I do know some overly picky females - we all do. If you have a list that a man has to measure up to, you're being far too shallow.

And anyone with sense will tell you that not every man or woman is marriage material.

Marriage is not the solution to a problem; not everyone needs it (and that includes some people who are married). The focus should be on happy marriages & long lasting marriages.

rashida said...

I wanted to watch the youtube clip before I commented, but this computer sucks and I can't.

I have to agree that you can never really get the full story just from the numbers. Unless they only surveyed 24 women, those 10 women aren't a true representation of 42%of black women.

Like Kay C said, cities like Atlanta are built on materialism, so it makes it hard for people to get past the superficial BS. But both men and women are picky. You have men who buy into the need to have a "model" type on their arm in an attempt to flaunt their status. Women who try to be that "model" to get a man with status and prestige. Men who say they want an independent, strong, educated black woman, then prove to be intimidated by the same type. And women who are beautiful, educated, with professional status who believe the deserve a certain type of man. It's a viscious cycle. A viscious, viscious cycle.

Marriage seems to work when there is a balance. A highly educated woman making 6 figures may need a man who makes less to keep her grounded. But that generally doesn't happen, because we women are crazy.

Besides, isn't Atlanta like 65% gay men. Those women need to move. (See how I made the numbers work to prove my point ;) ).

Anonymous said...

"If you're 5-8, should your man be 6-5 and have the body of a linebacker?"

Eh..@thejadednyer would say yes. LOL!

The Jaded NYer said...

Like I said on Twitter...I have nothing to add because this doesn't apply to me; I'm not single, I'm divorced. There's a difference.

*sticks out tongue and sashays away*

*comes back with soapbox*

And FURTHERMORE I need for everyone in blogland to STOP talking about this ABC news segment- it's perpetuating a non-problem, causing perfectly normal and happily single women to panic for no reason and giving men carte blanc to act a damn fool because now they think the odds are in their favor.

So just STOP IT! STOP letting these magazines and news programs tell us about OUR lives and just live, DAMMIT!

If I hear from one more single friend about this damn segment and how they're all down about not having a marriage prospect I'm gonna freakin BLOW!

That is all.

*takes soapbox and goes home*

The F$%K it List said...

I agree with you on this post. I've read a million articles stating the huge percentage of Black women that are single and have wondered who they were polling. What's troubling about this is that so many of my single friends are living on every word written in this article. That is why this issue won't go away.

I've walked through this picky vs. standards thing with my best friend for two years and she refuses to believe that she is picky. For example there was a really good looking dude on the train that was clearly into her, but she heard him give directions to an older woman and promptly sent me a text saying "She couldn't be bothered because he was too ghetto sounding". But when I asked what he said she couldn't recall. I mean really!

I believe that if you start out with a list of MUST HAVES in the end you either end up alone w/ your list.

Smarty Jones said...

OK, so, this argument could go on forever. I'm tired of hearing about it, but I will offer my $.02 as a single, black woman in this age group.
I think expectations and standards are being used interchangeably or they are being confused with one another.
First of all, no person should EVER lower their standards - period. If your standard is a financial stable man with his own shit, don't lower that.
If your expectation is for him spend all his money on you and still be able to maintain, you need a damn doctor.
I think romantic comedies and Disney movies are to blame for all these great expectations. People are people and people are assholes. If you go into any relationship thinking that this person is going to be the same forever, you have unrealistic expectations.
You need to go into all situations, i.e. relationshits, expecting the unexpected. Those should be your only expectations.
And broaden your horizons. Saying "I'll only marry a black man" is limiting yourself.
The man God has for you could be white with pink polka dots and you won't look at his ass because you've got your heart set on a black man.
Keep on with these crazy ass specs and you gonna miss your man!
The bottom line here is figure out what it is that you value most in a man and a relationship, I'm willing to bet that none of it is superficial. If it is, you need Jesus!

Kay C, The Quiet Storm said...

Had to come back to say i admit to not watching the segment..can't stomach another "whoa is me-single-black-woman-all-men-are-dogs" mascarading as a documentary.

I have standards but they are mainly character standards and I'm picky when it comes to those. (You've seen my Love List :-)

I agree with Tyrone...not everyone should be or needs to be married. Not everyone WANTS to be married.

I'm also agreeing with JadedNyer when she climbed on her soapbox.

I find it interesting that the single women here are mainly divorced. Maybe they need to do a 'study' on that? Wait, nevermind...then we'll be bitter old hags who hate men, LMAO!!!

Reina said...

I've managed to avoid seeing this newsclip so far thankfully. I'm pretty tired of hearing about it.

I don't believe there is a shortage of men. I believe there isn't a plethora of men that meet the stringent standards of some women, but that's the risk you take by daring to have them. If you're going to complain about it, lower your standards. If you won't do that, just accept your lot in life.

Rashan Jamal said...

Reading SOME black women blogs, you can tell they have mad unrealistic expectations.. It's even worse when you meet people like that in real life. I hate to hear them talk about what they don't want, but then don't have anybody. I guess some men are the same, but I think we are less picky.

I never believe the numbers. The numbers said Al Gore won the election in 2000, but you see how that worked out. LOL

12kyle said...

@ and1grad
Great point, fam! The funny thing is that if you find one that is 34 yrs old and she hasn't had a man in years...ask her what was she doing 5 yrs ago?

@ Tyrone
Marriage is not the solution to a problem; not everyone needs it (and that includes some people who are married). The focus should be on happy marriages & long lasting marriages.

AMEN! Couldn't have said it better myself

@ Rashida
Well Atlanta is a different city. It's a black mecca. It's filled with successful bruthas and sistas. So, you can't really base a study from that city. Great points, Ra. I agree with you

@ Irene
I agree!!! LOL

@ Jaded Santana
Get off the soapbox before you fall down.

Seriously, I feel where you're coming from. I a point. We gotta talk about it to get the facts out and weave through the bs! LOL

@ The F$%K it List
Your friend will be by herself...forever! LOL

@ Smarty
Mannnnnn, you got me crackin up.

@ Kay C
I've seen your list! It's not bad. Not bad at all

@ Reina
Dopeness! I likes!

Felicia|DaLipstickBandit said...

hey kyle, it's @lpstkone, lol

anyway, you're right. until i heard about it, i didn't really think of uneligible black male batchelors as an epidemic. Save Our Sistas was about to be on and poppin.

I'm 23 (will be 24 next month...) and I'm a business owner, have some college under my belt and I do well for myself. The rule that I grew up with is that the man I meet should be able to match my lifestyle or upgrade it. Even at the level that I'm on, I've had to upgrade some people in the past. I'm not doing it anymore.

Not saying that in 5 yrs if I'm hopping out of a Maybach, your whip should have suicide doors...I'm saying that if I live alone, have cable, food in my fridge and clean sheets on the bed, you should too...

I've dated brothas (ok, like 2)that have gone to jail and are out now. We have to give these dudes a shot as long as they don't have a shank in their socks.

Also, I think black women should feel free to date and marry other races instead of getting mad when brothas do it.

Where my vanilla swirl at, my yellow dip, my red velvet?

Bottom line is, I've been dating for 10 yrs, I know I'm exhausted. Men, do you guys get tired of the chase, too?