Seriously. I mean, why not? Have you seen the people claiming to be macking experts on the twittah, facebook, myspace, etc? Almost without exception, they’re complete assclowns.

Take this guy for instance.

Is that an Affliction T-shirt?

I followed dude on twitter (back when I was actually on twitter for whatever reason) for a second because a couple of my friends did too. Against my better judgment, I hoped that perhaps there would be valuable relationship/dating advice, or at least interesting commentary. ENHHH! He has a blog called “Breaklamps” (see here for rules to twitter pimping) and Buddy’s entire persona and life is based on berating “myspace models” and bitching about groupies. My guess is, and I could be wrong, is that his borderline sociopathic obsession with girls that take lingerie shots of themselves in the bathroom:

Personally, shit like this here worries me far more:

Why, dawg, why?

is predicated entirely on frustration with his lack of ability to actually have sex with these women. Look, I’m frustrated that I can’t tomahawk dunk like Dwight Howard. But life goes on. For most of us, at least. However, buddy has attempted to create a cottage industry of simultaneously downing internet models, while at the same time, going in on #bathwaterslurpers, which is a phrase he’s codified for male groupies of these internet models. Let me get this straight, slim. You spend four hours a day posting pictures and links to myspace models’ pages and you talk about other people being obsessed with these chicks? Say word. Now, I talked to a fairly popular internet model who had been tweeting her about him. I assumed they knew each other. Apparently, not so much. He just showed up at some event he knew she was hosting, undoubtedly trying to get at her. If she’s telling the truth, he did not succeed. Which doesn’t much sound mackish to me.

Then there’s this fella here:

Now, in fairness, I’ve had dealings with this cat before, and he’s a fairly intelligent guy, and I believe a reasonable man. We had some unpleasantness in certain dealings, but I’ll just chalk that up to him being trying to negotiate the best deal he could. So my beef is not so much with the man, as it is with this character he’s created. He goes by the name “His Royal Flyness” which tells you 87% of the things you need to know already.  He’s written a book called “Myspace to My Place” I shit you not. Planned followups include “From Facebook to Face Down” And “Using Twitter to Hit ‘er.” Kidding. My homegirl he sent the book to said it could have been written by a five year old.  Dude joined a group a while ago that may or may not have been started by yours truly and mentioned in a new book that rhymes with “Snitch is the Few Crack.” Needless to say, when it came to back up the expertise, a lot of excuses were made.

So given the competition in the world of being an internet macking guru, I’ve decided to throw my hat into the ring. So, since we’re always talking about people’s dating issues, let’s try a couple dating solutions. And for all of its negative connotations,

"You's a rest haven for Hoes!"

Craig Sager, er, I mean Willie Dynamite

the truth is: The road to happy comitted black people always starts with macking. In order for a relationship to form, someone’s gotta nut up and open the conversation. Successfully. SisterToldja said as much here in lamenting the dearth of type A males who go out and mack to women. So here’s a very brief, unscientific set of pointers from your new internet macking guru:

1. Just do it. You can justify to yourself a million different reasons not to approach a woman. “She’s surrounded by her girlfriends”, “I’m shy”, “There are too many people around”, “It would be awkward”, “Them light skinned girls think they better than er’body”, etc.. But like a jump shot, if you don’t try, you won’t score.

2. Just do it alot. 1, it’s good practice, so you’ll get better at it. 2. A lot of relationships come indirectly. You may not make a love connection with old girl, but when her and her crew come to the barbecue you invite them to, her homegirl with the curly fro might just be choosing. Just talk to people without an expectation of an outcome. A lot of time, just being more social leads to good things.

3. Speaking of Choosing…That’s women’s work, not men’s. How many times have you locked in on that one girl in a crew, tried with her, and then crashed and burned. What you didn’t know was that her friend was eyeing you and has low moral standards. When there’s a group of women, actually talk to them before you figure out whether you’ve fallen in love yet.

4. All you have in this life is your word and your balls…And since she doesn’t know if you’re honest or not, all you’ve really got at the opening is your balls. so let em hang low. Mack hard, with pride and confidence. Without apology or doubt. The night I got the most positive female attention in my life, I was wearing a dress. A short dress, at that. When I asked the women I met why they were initially attracted to me, the answer was always something to the effect that they were intrigued by the confidence it takes a straight man to wear a dress. In the same vein:

5. Separate Yourself.. The Phrase, “be yourself” is always thrown around by us internet macking gurus while we’re trying to tell you to do everything different than you normally would. There’s not as much dissonance there as you might think. Because who you “are” and what you show may be two very different things. You may be an artistic, spiritual left of center guy, but standing somewhere in a button up, some loafers, and a low caesar, you kinda fade in with all the other non-artistic, areligious, right wing assholes vying for the same woman’s attention. You’re wearing their uniform. You’re probably using the exact same approach. So, and this is where you have to figure it out for yourself, you’d probably be better off letting a potential mackee know from jump what it is about you that’s not like the others. Are you safe and secure, like a Volvo?  Thrilling and dangerous like a Ferrari? Tough and industrious like an F-150? What’s your value proposition? If you know this, it’s pretty easy to articulate it. Hell, you probably won’t even need to. people will just recognize it. If you’re a little confused, figure it out.

6. Wear an Ascot….I’m fucking kidding. You like a complete dickcheese wearing an ascot. There are three peoople in the world who can get away with wearing an ascot without irony. Two of them live in Monaco. The odds are not with you here.

7. Mack with honor: Don’t sell these hoes dreams. If you know she’s looking to land a husband, and you just want to see what she looks like tied up, don’t lead her on. You may miss out on some tang, but in the end, you’ll be a better person for it.

Happy macking

Happy Black Girl Day

Posted: March 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

So today is apparently Happy Black Girl day. I support this. Bitter Black Bitch Day was earlier in February and the Hallmark cards really didn’t sell well for that event. Apparently today, it also was noted on the Root that nearly half of black women have Herpes.

Way to be a downer. But in the spirit of good news, I went to a lovely Engagement party on Saturday for one of my best friends on Earth and his lovely Fiance. Now despite the never-ending parade of doom and gloom that black women’s relationship prospects are worse than the chances of a woman going unmolested by Ben Roethlisberger at a kegger, I have news for you: It ain’t so. Besides the lovely bride and groom to be (shown above), there were a myriad of married and probably soon to be married couples in attendance

1. Kelly and Melissa: They’re putting the finishing touches on the house they’re building together in DC

2. Scott and Jen; They’ve been married for years now and are still going strong.

3. Henry and his wife (I just met her) They just got married this year.Last year, that bamma was single, so clearly, he chose and chose hard.

4. K & K: They ain’t married yet, but he’s unlikely to do any better, so I’m expecting a ring anyday now.

5. O & C: They seemed real snuggly, so I approve.

Also, my sis Lauren has a new gentleman courter she’s very excited about, who even took her on a helicopter ride. I don’t have pics of everybody, nor would I want to put everyone on blast without their approval, but suffice it to say, the idea of black people in love and matrimony is not that far out of the norm. Just thought y’all should know. Also, this gentleman was single and looking, so ladies if you’re single, choose Jody

I make the fun, but he’s actually cool as shit, and all the girls loved him.

So my mom asked me the other day whether I’d read the Washington Post article advocating that black women date outside their race. Of course, not everyone was thrilled with the idea that the magic solution to the problem (real or imagined) of black women’s shortage of marriageable partners comes in an off-pink package that tans poorly. See @sistertoldja’s feelings on the matter here.

My mother being every bit as ignorant as me, but smarter, says “How come people just don’t do polygamy?” As a Ph.D in sociology, she was able to follow up the comment with some reasonably articulated statements as to why it might work too. And it got me to thinking…Why not polygamy? so let’s look at the Pros and Cons

Pros

1. Duh. Numbers: If we start at the basis that there are more marriageable black women than Black men, irrespective of height, status, wealth, etc, then even if every black man in America married a black woman, there would still be black women left out. Thus, we’re not talking about women being damned to singlehood because they’re too loud, or too fat, too intimidating, or any other manner of blame we heap on black women to remind them their romantic woes are all their fault. it’s just an unfortunate case of a numbers mismatch. The solution: Those black men that could take a second wife should.

2. The kids. Everyone knows kids thrive in a two-parent household. imgine how well they’d do with three or four. No more worrying about whether little Javarus gets picked up from soccer practice or if anyone can help Keisha with her economics homework. Chances are, someone’s schedule will open up.And with the ability to marry one’s multiple baby mamas, we could end the sniping and negativity that sometimes accompanies “baby mama drama.” They’re wives now.

3. Money! We all know how much people save by doubling up on expenses. Think about it. It’s a lot cheaper for a whole mess of folks to live in one house than it is for everyone to have their own contemporary two-bedroom condo in a trendy neighborhood undergoing “urban renewal.” Couple that with Costco memberships, being able to borrow clothes, and there’s so much wealth-building ability, it’s be unreal.

4. Guys would go for it When you hear men talk about the reasons they don’t want to get married, a lot of it stems from this fear that thye’re going to choose the wrong person. Well, what if you could rectify that potential mistake without a costly and painful divorce. I mean, let’s consider old buddy from Oracle:

Yeah, that guy. Let’s face it, this dude had no interest in a monogamous marriage. But it wasn’t like he was out running the streets whoring it up either, as far as we know. He just wasn’t a one woman man. Clearly, he could afford two wives, and effectively, he basically had two wives. So why turn this into some big scandal where everyone’s pockets and feelings get hurt. Why not just take Ya’vaughnie (such an unfortunate name) and make her his second wife? Who loses in that scenario? No one!

Cons

1. Logistics Everybody knows, if you get two women in the same room and leave, 30 minutes later one is crying and the other is holding a knife. OK, maybe that’s a bit stereotypical, but still, women being competitive, things could go South real fast in this situation

2. Christianity A lot of y’all New Testament folks gonna dig up some passage or other bout how it’s supposed to be one man and woman, ya, ya , ya. Just saying, them folks who look a whole lot like you and lived in warmer climates somewhat South of Europe who DIDN’t Enslave your monkey ass in the name of Jesus thought different.

3. You ain’t fina do that shit. Let’s face it, people have egos. Especially these days. And people’s expectations for what a monogamous marriage will be like are already so unrealistically rosy that to tell a woman she’s going to have to share a man isn’t gonna get you too far. even if she’s already sharing a man.

4. Y’all equal now and shit. Polygamy at its core relies on a fairly patriarchal system to work. It’s hard enough keeping a housewife happy and in line when you’re bringing home the bacon. I imagine it’d be well nigh like herding cats if you have three women in the house who don’t need you to provide shelter and buffalo meat. Hell, depending on the ownership structure of the house, they may own more of the roof than you do. Polygamy works real well for lions because they have a pretty clear delineation of responsibilities. Lady lions hunt Gazelles and provide food for the family unit and man lion protects she-lion from bigger meaner animals and other he-lions. Real simple. Everykitty stays in their lane. But with our gender roles pretty much up for grabs these days, this isn’t really going to work for the upwardly mobile professional female.

In any case, I think it’s a fine idea for those who want to pursue it. I realize that may be a small segment of the population, but hey, some dude had to be the first to say “I’m fina rock these tight ass jeans and it’s not gonna look gay”

So if you follow me on twitter (I don’t recommend it, I’m banal and highly annoying), you might have seen me going back and forth with a number of other twitterers about gender, male privilege, and some other highfalooting concepts with which I’m sorely underqualified to deal with. I’m a very tactile person. I deal best with what I can touch, taste, smell, and feel. I like the feel of boobies, the sound of a Hemi exhaust, and the taste of bacon. The conceptual and theoretical, I sometimes have a hard time dealing with because I don’t necessarily see how it relates to the real world. That said, there are people far better than me at explaining the theoretical, especially in terms of race and gender politics. I present:

Saida

SisterToldja

R. L’Heureux Lewis: Who wrote this treatise for the existence of Black Male Privilege

Here’s Brother Lewis speaking at Morehouse’s Founder’s Day Symposium:

If you’ve been an unfortunate witness to my sloppy back and forths with the above folks, you’ll know I carry a certain amount of skepticism about the concept of “Black Male Privilege.” I’m not saying it doesn’t exist. I just haven’t necessarily been sold on the idea that there’s something particularly special about Male Privilege as it relates to Black men.

What’s more interesting, I think, is how we address these concepts in reality, and in particular, in relationships. What a lot of my intellectual friends have suggested is a pathway towards making men and women more equal. Reducing the negative effect of male privilege and patriarchy on women, so that they have greater opportunity, safety, and stature.

I fully support this. But one of the things that I think will make an interesting sideshow to this is the fact that:

women still want a man that’s more powerful than she is!

Even a couple of the women I’ve mentioned above have had conversations with me saying that they either want or expect either an Alpha Male, or for a man to contribute financially to a relationship on a higher level than she is. If that’s the case, isn’t that a huge disincentive for men to give up what privilege they have from a socioeconomic perspective? After all, if women typically want a man that has more power/money/status than they do, why would men want to dismantle the power structure that provides them with these traits? I ask this as a means to discussion, not to prejudge an argument. Seriusly, I really think this needs to be talked about. I find it especially interesting that even very feminist women who rail against patriarchy are often themselves still somewhat tied to gender roles in their personal lives. I was watching Millionaire Matchmaker the other day (which probably deserves its own slice of the gender/socioeconomics discussion as men who have some kind of male privilege basically get to pick and choose from throngs of young, attractive women) and saw this:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Ain’t it wild to see women pushing for what many consider to be antiquted gender roles which clearly label the man as the stronger, protective party and the woman as the person to be taken care of while the man argues against it? I mean, think about that for a minute. Who’s right? And where does buddy’s hesitance to engage in chivalry come from? Is it a legitimate attempt to treat women as equals as opposed to being patronizing, or is it just laziness and narcissism? And is Patty right? If gender roles HAVE worked for millions of years, what happens when those gender roles change? How do both men and women adapt successfully to these changing roles? Or is that impossible?

As women and men: how do you deal with these sometimes conflicting issues? Discuss.

Hello all. I know it’s been a while. It might be a while before I blog again.


So “Breathe it in, n****!

Bask in it!”

I’d actually been thinking about this for a while when a certain unnamed hyper-feminist female blogger asked:

What the hell happened to alpha males? This is a serious ass problem and I can’t address it but I need answers.

Ironically enough, this is the same blogger who felt that this wonderful commercial was somewhat sexist:

There is a problem with this commercial, I’ll admit. But it’s not that it’s misogynist. It’s that they showed the bitch ass 5.7L Charger R/T instead of a real man’s Charger: A 6.1L 425HP SRT-8. That’s how you do it, son!

Another friend recently asked me to help her move some stuff because I have a rather large Sports Utility Vehicle. She said I was the only one of her male friends in DC manly enough not to drive a Honda Accord coupe. I found this extremely funny, but I think she raised an interesting point. At what point did it become taboo to become a man’s man? When did the hairy chested, mustache sporting, V8 driving, man that tells his sons to “man up and take out the garbage” become an out of vogue dinosaur?

When men were men and women knew their place

At what point did a boy’s desire to become the man above fade into the desire to become, well, these douchebags:


The worst part is, some of these people might be straight

See the difference? The guy above (The legendary Steve McQueen), now he’s a man. You see how he has his arm around his dame?

That’s protection, loyalty and love.

You know, man qualities. You see what’s going on in the second picture? I don’t either. That shit just looks like some assclowns trying to be sassy so people will pay them attention.

Now, it’s just my opinion, but I think the difference illustrates a lot of what’s wrong with black relationships today, especially in that rarefied upper crust in which I pretend to be a member. The homette Belle had an interesting post today on what the “angry and bitter black woman” is doing wrong. Well, let’s not just throw stones at the women, let’s also examine what we’re doing as men to feed into this continual mess of relationship atrophy.

1. We treat women as equals

We’ve also given too much ground to the idea that because women may be equal as colleagues at work, they’re the same as partners in relationships. They’re not. You’re the man! You open that door for that woman! You pull out her chair and you walk on the outside of the street. And stop whining that women don’t appreciate these things. You do them because it’s your fucking job, not because you want kudos. Frankly, some women may be uncomfortable at first with chivalry. That’s fine, they’ll just have to deal with it. And fear not, the woman also has woman’s work to do. If we’re going to make this work, she’d better find something thoughtful, nurturing, or delicious to contribute to the relationship. This is why relationships work. It’s not two people who are equals doing the same shit. It’s two people who complement each other bringing their own unique strengths to share with the other.

2. We have allowed style to reign over substance

From a technical standpoint, the man’s man has never really left us. There are plenty of men on any given street corner who are tough-looking, moustached, and scowling. These attributes do not a man make. Being a man is really about the hard things no one gives you credit for, not the testosterone-laced shows of force. Being a man means that when you don’t want to get wet, you still hold the umbrella over the woman. When you wan to sleep in, you still wake up to go walk the dog so she can get a few more minutes rest. Even when you’re exhausted from a long week, you still show up at Junior’s game to cheer him on. In this image-is everything world we live in, too often the temptation is to do what is necessary to look the part, but not make the sacrifices to do what needs to be done. I’m looking your way here, John Edwards.

3. We have allowed Feminism to trump Masculism

Feminism, womanism, and other iterations of such are not a bad thing. Most of their loudest promoters are somewhat annoying, but such is life. Women’s lib is just an extension of opportunity for women to achieve their dreams and their goals. Unfortunately, we still haven’t really been able to reconcile the idea of an academically and careerishly powerful woman with traditional gender roles. In many ways, this is because we’ve given ground economically to women. It’s not unlikely that if you and your mate went to similar schools and took similar career paths, she’ll make just as much as you, if not more, maybe have more degrees than you, or even be smarter. The great thing about masculism is that it renders these seemingly man-threatening issues moot. Because if you’re the MAN, it doesn’t matter whether or not your woman makes more than you. You can survive perfectly well on your own and you do what it takes to save up, work a side gig, or be a gigolo so that if need be, you can provide for another person (or persons like children).Her income or education isn’t a threat to you because you have something valuable that she can’t contribute to the relationship: Being a Man

4. We have allowed women’s petty trifles to overtake manly endeavors

Too many of us spend too much time engaging in womanly foolishness and not enough time in manly creation. The creation of wealth, empires, buildings, and organizations has since the dawn of time been man’s work. It has been our mark on the world, what we proudly show off to friend and foe alike as our legacy. Imagine Henry Ford next to his Model T or the Maharaja next to the Taj Mahal. George Washington Carver next to peanut butter. These lofty achievements were the source of their self-worth, pride, and fame. But if you look at the gentlemen above, you’ll see that pride in achievement has been overcome by pride in such womanly trifles as fashion, social popularity, and other crap. Even for lowly men of a certain time, their pride came from providing for a family, protecting their children, and ensuring that their wife had  nice dress or two so she could feel retty. Nowadays, men let their children go hungry so they can buy bottles at the club to impress idiot women. And this is a shame.

So gentlemen: embrace your manhood! Be not ashamed or shy about it. Go forth and be the man your father’s father’s father would have wanted you to be. This man:

After all, something tells me this woman doesn’t really go for the guys in skinny jeans and ironic haircuts who can’t change a tire:

Disclaimer: This post doesn’t apply to gay people. They have their own rules. So if anyone’s gay and is all like, “BSR is saying I’m not a real man”, not the case at all. Just that you’re not a real straight man. Which is probably more than fine with you, so we’re still cool. Cool?

So I wrote a comment on Belle’s blog and it was spun off much like the Cleveland show into its own entity. The subject was what men want in a relationship and why they stay/leave. An excerpt:

I usually don’t break out comments and such, but two posters just had an insightful exchange about yesterday’s post that I think is a turning point in the discussion. I think highlighting it is most appropriate.

From Brandon St. Randy (ie. Male POV):

Although the commentary here is interesting, a lot of it smacks of an innate distrust of the opposite gender. Women don’t trust men to be able to be the “manly man” provider/protector and and feel they have to hedge their bets against him potentially abandoning them/their family. Men don’t trust women to respect them as a man or let them play their “manly role” and there’s an undercurrent of fear that if their money gets funny, their woman will abandon them or try to emasculate them (Hence, the waiting until pockets are right to settle down mentality)….

Read the rest here: I imagine the commentary will get pretty good.

Donate to Yele to help the victims of the earthquake

Happy New Year!

Posted: December 31, 2009 in Uncategorized

Here’s to 2010 beating the shit out of 2009. Better Luck Tomorrow. And the next 364 days!

Had a good weekend this weekend. Very good weekend actually. And I chalk that all up to the fact that I’m a man. Yep, a dude. Hombre. El Vato Loco. Big Bwana. And as a man, nothing is better than being around a bunch of pretty lookin’ women. Especially when you have a chance at a lot of these pretty lookin’ women. I mean, that’s a good weekend. Simple and plain.

I bring all this up because there’s been a lot of yackery over the past few days about how hard it is to be a black woman in the dating game, especially as it relates to more educated, upwardly mobile (read bougie) sisters. The dam broke with the Helena Andrews Wapo article about her new book, “Bitch is the New Black.” This was emailed around, forwarded, tweeted about, and ended up on VSB’s Blog and The Beautiful Struggler. As predicatably as crime returning to a newly gentrified neighborhood in a recession, the conversation split into either people telling women what they’re doing wrong and why their oafish behavior is the reason they don’t have a man or men explaining why women don’t have the monopoly on difficulty in dating. Same story, different blog.

Update: A Belle in Brooklyn has also gotten in on the Bitch is the New Black Game

But see, here’s the thing. I actually try to put myself in the shoes of my female counterparts (if you saw my halloween costume, you’ll of course get the irony of this statement). And Frankly, I would hate to be a chick in these DC streets.

Let’s take Friday: I started off at a friend’s networking event/toy drive. When I got there, there were about 10-15 women sitting in small groups, eating hors d’ouevres and drinking sassy cocktails. There might have ben three guys there, and two of them were clearly with their woman or on a date. So I was essentially the only single dude there mingling. And I did mingle. I sat at all the tables and talked to pretty much everyone. And they all asked for the male opinion on what their situations were. Thing is, their situations were all universally fucked up. One girl had a string of dates where the guys were in relationships, knew they were on a pedestal, and one was even straight up married. One was trying to figure out how to snare a guy that she essentially threw a house party so she could spend more time with him, made out with him, and hadn’t heard from in a couple weeks, and another one who just admitted she didn’t even ask questions anymore that she didn’t want the answers to.

But let’s turn this on its head. Let’s say I go to an event and there are 15 dudes there and three women. And only one of those women is single.  She can basically peruse the lot, kick the tires, ask the salesman questions, and test drive all of us all she likes. She doesn’t have to make a decision. Choose? Who the hell are we to ask her to choose when there’s so little competition. And would we even want her to choose just one? Wouldn’t it be better if she spread herself around a little so maybe two or three of us could get some time with her as opposed to just one. And what if you weren’t really the best model on the lot. You were a little older, maybe didn’t have any options or were a minivan shape in a sports car world. Then, what can you really expect? Do you really have any choices at all? What do you have to compromise not just in terms of who you’ll date, but what you have to compromise of yourself just to get a date? What if I had to spend Ruth Chris first date money to go out with someone who in any rational dating economy would only warrant a Starbucks/Barnes & Noble meet-up? I might get a little bitter.

If I were a chick, I’d be infuriated by this. I mean, I get infuriated when a top notch best of the best woman doesn’t want me. If I go out on the town and I don’t receive interest from several women, I wonder what the hell is going wrong. Imagine if I had to lower my standards to deal with women who were substantially flawed. I’m six feet tall, weigh 180 lbs. and have next to no body fat. What if I had people everyday telling me that I’d better get used to the idea that my mate should be 5’3″ and weigh above 200? Do you know how livid I would be? I would literally slap someone if they told me something that ridiculous. Not because I was angry with them, but because I wanted to knock the early dementia out of them with love.

I have degrees from some pretty decent institutions of higher learning. I enjoyed my academic time and am proud of my alma maters. What if someone told me I HAD to date a woman who didn’t go to college? Or worse, if it was constantly implicated that because of my looks, I wasn’t up to the level of standard of what college educated women would want? What if women all of a sudden stopped valuing education, despite the fact that I’d been told basically since birth that the right thing to do was to load myself up with degrees like a Ghanaian immigrant fresh off the boat. I’d be jive pissed.

And the reality out there is that as much as we can tell women in the micro things that they can do to increase their chances or ways to stop scaring off men, the reality is when the music stops, there just aren’t enough chairs for everyone. Someone’s going to be left high an dry.

I can’t really fathom a situation in which I would have to deal with that as a reality. I mean my worst case scenario is basically, if I get a certain amount of old, I can basically pick out a woman who’s looking to get family life on and say “look, this is who I am and what I got, let’s get married and have some kids.” Now, this might not work the first time I ask it. But I doubt I’d have to ask it more than three or four times before I found  a taker. And this is the WORST case. The failsafe. Even in that situation, I still have probably at least a fairly attractive wife and some kids. The best case is that I basically get to have free rein in trying out every type of woman under the sun. I don’t have to worry abotu making a bad choice,  because there’s always the potential for another choice if the one I make doesn’t work out. And I don’t take that for granted as a luxury.

So Women, just from me, Brandon St. Randy feels for you.

So I figured I’d break my little hiatus to talk about something that was on my mind. A couple Saturdays ago, a friend of mine hosted a gathering in the community room at her complex to ostensibly talk about Hill Harper’s book, the conversation. Since most of us had only gotten halfway through the book, the actual conversation kind of went off on its own accord. But it was a really good conversation as these things go People were honest, candid, and upfront. People disagreed and cosigned, and did both respectfully for the most part.

And while there was a lot of singleness in the room, I think there was also a lot of opportunity for people to create connections in that environment because of that word: RESPECT. People listened to each other, heard each other, and got to appreciate each other’s point of views as people, not just as cute faces, good resumes, or sweet, sweet pieces of ass candy.

The homie April mentioned the other day that she has started to notice more men seeking what she calls the “Michelle Obama” type. I don’t know that it’s that more men seeing that so much as many of us are starting to get to that age range where we are seriously considering people as partners. It’s just the natural shift in priorities that happens as people move through different stages in their lives. I think, if anything, Michelle Obama gave a face and a name brand to something most of us were lookign for in the first place. Someone we can respect as a person and a partner.

To some degree, we as men haven’t really seen a partner to someone that we idolize that’s really an awesome woman in her own right since Claire Huxtable. And Claire was, well, fictional. I  mean all respect to Juanita Jordan, but she wasn’t that compelling. Neither is, say, Denzel’s wife. You could argue for Jay and Bey, but they were both superstars before they got together. There was no real sense of building there. Probably the closest we really see to the Obamas as far as a respectful loving relationship is Will and Jada.

The thing is, this may seem somewhat novel because many of us have been raised or lived in situations for a long time that were devoid of respect. Both respect for others and respect for ourselves. To a large degree, society teaches us to be disrespectful of others and ourselves. Think about the last rap album you heard. I’ll bet 70% of the songs contained a reference to belittling someone, or making someone feel inferior, or labeling someone less than the rapper.

Cashmere sweats,They come out next year, but they my last year sweats
And my hoe’s so sick,
Your new chick can’t fuck with my old bitch
And you know this shit,
I’m professional, they novices

-Jay-Z, Off That-

You see my point? We’re so used to treating other people as our inferiors that it’s difficult to just go ahead and treat people as equals. And this carries over into our relationships. What is dishonesty? Disrespect. Lying to someone is probably the greatest form of disrespect out there. Because not only does it steal someone else’s ability to make informed decisions, it implies that you’re too weak or stupid to handle the truth. and this is easy enough to attribute in obvious situations. Infidelity, lying about how much money you make or whether you’re really still talking to your ex-girlfriend on IM every night, these are easy things to peg as lack of respect because they’re so obvious.

But there’s an undercurrent of not respecting people that also runs through the rest of many of our dating interactions which we have to stop if we want these things to work. Think about all the little games we play where we kind of toe the line between being up front and respectful and not.

When you’re fucking a girl who you have no intentions of wifing but you know that’s what she wants. Now, you never tell her you’re going to, so I mean, it’s not like you’re lying to her. But are you really respecting her? And is she really demanding the respect that she wants. She knows there’s all this ambiguity in the relationship, and yet she continues to follow through with it. Because respect is difficult. It means doing things which may be painful. Or telling people truths which they’ll get mad a you for. Or take the case of the woman who accepts drinks at the bar from some guy she has no intention of giving her phone number to. I mean, she doesn’t owe him anything for that drink. so her taking it shouldn’t be a signal to him that she likes him, right?

From a technical standpoint, sure. You can justify a lot of shit that you wouldn’t want someone to do to you because it gives you some advantage. But you’re also not giving yourself full credit. You fucking that girl or taking that drink or necklace or whatever, that’s just you selling your moral standing as a person. And for what, a piece of ass or a $9 Apple Martini? Can’t we do better? Don’t we have to do better? I know what you’re saying. Well, you can’t trust anyone else to do the right thing, so why should I? Well, sure, I’ll admit, it is a battlefield out there. And a lot of people aren’t playing fair. But it’s up to you to decide whether you’re going to play at their level or not. And I’ve failed at this probably more often than not. I’ve done things not because they were the right things to do or the things that would lead to  greater outcome, but because they were the easy thing to do. they were the non-confrontational things, the things that kept shit smooth, the things that didn’t force me to explain myself. But as someone who’s experienced the flip side of that coin, I try to not put other people in that situation, because, personally, I don’t really like the feeling

Give you an example, someone once not so long ago showed a huge lack of respect for my time, and by extension, for me. And had they just told me what was going on, shit could have very well been cool. Whatever it was, I can accept and respect someone being honest and forthright with me even if they think it’ll hurt my feelings. You’re just not that into me, I can respect that. Your old flame is in town and you’d rather stay in and  have sex with them, I can dig it. You’d rather watch paint dry than spend time with me, hey, it is what it is. Having that info, I could have gone off and done what I was originally planning to do anyway. There would have been no hard feelings. But when someone doesn’t tell me the truth, it tells me that in their eyes, I’m not worthy of being honest with. I’m someone to be lied to or dismissed casually. And that’s not really a feeling I enjoy. I imagine some of the women that have dealt with me in the past may have had to deal with similar slights. But I should do better. So I think I will.