Posts Tagged ‘master’s degree’

She was gonna get with the other black guy worth $400MM, but, oh, wait, there wasnt one

She was gonna get with the other black guy worth $400MM, but, oh, wait, there wasn't one

So yesterday on twitter, had a great little back and forth with some of the homies and homettes about paying for dates. As one might expect, the discussion split among gender lines pretty quickly. The guys all said they appreciated when a woman actually pays for a date. Not the first date, mind you, but somewhere during the courtship, it was pretty much unanimously agreed upon that it’s a good look to “get this one”. at some point. The ladies were atually a little more fractured. You had the fundamentalist hardliners, who like Hamas, refuse to compromise and believe the male should always pay. They argue that by paying for a date, the woman is:

1. Emasculating the guy, since that’s traditionally his role

“@bsleet definitely not about you being less valuable, but it is about some gender roles that predate us all. no woman in her right mind pays”

“@FarajiFTW i think your bar is set pretty low. only men who fuck with lames expect to be paid for. ..”

“@cakemama cake should not be money. let cake be how you spoil a dude with care, not how you emasculate him by paying for shit”

2. That fly, educated, fine women shouldn’t have to pay because the man will want to take care of them:

“@farajiftw at the end of the day no man expects a fine/fly/smart woman to be paying for their dates. now if she’s not fine/smart/fly…”

“@farajiftw when you know what you’re bringing to the table, you don’t pay for a dude to stick around and find out. period. only a lame pays”

3. They bring value to the table not in terms of monetary contribution, but other shit:

“@farajiftw my value is my company and these dope assed titties you ain’t seen naked yet. hate to sound prostitutional but thats the way it b”

“@FarajiFTW you don’t know what i bring. i bring some shit too the table that niggas didn’t even think to ask damn she that AND that”

@farajiftw its not about abilites, she can pay for her own meal, but would u rather her cook or u? something to b said for…

RT @CharnikaMonique:im allabout traditionas well @adwoa14 i believein him playin hisrole and meplayin mine somewomen take indepdent thng2far

But then there was the more pragmatic side. We’l call them Fatah. They’re a little less traditional and more prone to being financially invested:

@farajiftw i’ll be crucified but…any guy that i have let pay for *everything* i didnt really feel too much

Icon_lock@farajiftw never tried it…we both just took turns taking each other out…a dutch hybrid. that worked well

@adwoa14 i’d assume that most men don’t date just to have another mouth to feed…if that was a case they could just have a child

me NEVER paying is like cooking while you’re at my house and only making enough for me…it’s just rude

@adwoa14 dates too…not the first few but eventually something has to give if y’all keep on going out

I think its an interesting conversation and speaks to how the shifting role of gender in the workplace, academia, and real life is impacting dating. As far as my take, it comes from experience. My relationships in which a woman has been willing to pay for a date have given me a certain comfort level that she’s not just there for free dinners or to leach me dry. They’ve been on the whole longer and more productive relationships, and they’ve also been the ones in which I ended up comiting to and putting a title on it. The relationships in which the woman has never paid or never offered to pay were typically ended up as jump-offs or casual side deals. I also typically ended up being much more willing to invest financially in a woman who showed a willingness to do the same. It may be just a byproduct of them being more involved relationships, but they got trips, gifts, and Morton’s. The ones that never paid typically topped out at oh, maybe say Mexican Cantina. Not saying that’s the final word or everyone’s experience but that’s mine. I think there are both men and women on both sides and I respect it both. If you like it, I love it.

That said, if you’re a “traditional” woman in terms of the finances of dating and you’re in the upper income stream, you’re gloriously fucked (Assuming you’re banking on dating a black man). Here’s why. The whole women’s lib and women’s rights movement has been predicated on the advancement of women toward equality with men in terms of education and career achievement. The idea is that there should be no income differential between men and women. For the black community, we actually may have overshot. Black women may be actually wealthier and have better paying jobs than black men when taken as an aggregate. A Brookings institute study in 2005 found that the individual income differential between white men and white women ages 30-39 was almost $20,000. For Black men and black women, the difference was less than $4,000. Since we’re talking about the upper middle to capitalist class here, those numbers are going to skew differently, but let’s take a look at the education statistics:

In 2005, only 28.6 percent of Black students enrolled in master’s degree programs were male, and Black males constituted only 3.1 percent of all master’s students in the United States

Read that shit slow so it sinks in. Only 28.6% of Black Master’s students are male. That means roughly a 3:1 ratio. I hate being the guy to harp on the “shortfall” as my female friends call it. I think it’ s unfortunate, but I see lots of women making it through that and finding a man all the time. I have tons of friends with advanced degrees or bachelor’s but make advanced degree money who are single. It ain’t like they don’t exist.

Theres a brother! Nope, Indian, theres one.. no, Greek, theres, janitor

There's a brother! Nope, Indian, there's one.. no, Greek, there's, janitor

But here’s where the screwage comes in: If you believe in the “traditional” method of “Man always pays”, you pretty much NEED to be with a man that makes more than you. It’s really that simple. Here’s why. If you make the same amount of money as the guy you’re dating (Women’s lib worked), by engaging the traditional “man pays” model, you effectively make him the poorer party in the relationship, simply because his expenses are higher. How much this actually eats into his wealth is a direct function of how much money he makes of course, and what his other expenditures are. But if you go out twice a week during the initial courtship stage, at an average of $60/event and go out 6 weeks before you make the go/no-go decision to be in a relationship, he’s in $720. Let’s assume since this is just the courtship stage, he’ll also see other women, using the same pricing model, but less often. If he goes out with two other traditional women, maybe once every two weeks, that’s another $360. That’s a total of $1,080. Let’s say for whatever reason, the decision at the end of that 6 week period is a no-go. You decide to not get into a relationship and so the cycle gets repeated. If he really has bad luck and runs through this cycle say five times a year, that comes to $5400. Let’s also say that you and this guy have similarly active social lives. I men, you actually have to go out to meet people since there are likely few eligible blacks at your workplace and you don’t shit where you eat.  You both go out to lounges, clubs, etc. As a man, his expenses are going to be higher as well. I’d guess unscientifically, a man spends twice what a woman would have to spend to have the same time. So let’s say you spend $200/month just going out to lounges, clubs, happy hours, etc. To have the same quality of time, he’d have to pay $400. He’ll have to pay covers where you don’t, buy drinks where you don’t, etc. Now this figure varies. I know guys who spend $200 the first 45 minutes they go out and I know guys that well, they don’t go out. But let’s say the $200 differential is accurate. You both make $100,000 a year, and pay 35% in taxes, so your take home is $65,000. You effectively make $7,800 more than he does. Having kept all that dating and meeting people money in your pocket. And let’s further assume, that like most of the midde class, he basically lives this lifestyle on credit. So he’s paying let’s say 9% interest on that figure, bringing the yearly outflow with financing costs to $8,502. This money’s gotta come from somewhere. It either means his savings and investing, his home, or his car are going to be at lower levels than yours. Further making him less attractive to you. So you NEED a man that makes more money than you! Which further limits the number of men in that category. And these men are also subject to the most competition. And you’re not just competing with other advance degreed women. He can date younger women, women with bachelors, etc, while you basically can only date up. His pool is virtually unlimited, while yours is very finite.

Now, you can argue that dating doesn’t have to be expensive and there are all kinds of sweet, thoughtdul things you can do that don’t cost a lot of money. That’s nice in principle, but hard to execute. Things that are nice by their nature typically cost more. Otherwise they wouldn’t be able to justify their price tags. If an Aston wasn’t a better car than a Toyota, no one would pay the $120,000 premium to buy one. If a dinner at Morton’s wasn’t better than a dinner at Chevy’s, no one would pay the $150 premium. There’s only so many times a guy can do the whole picnic/museum/walk in the park thing without being called cheap. That’s just reality.

If it sounds like I’m putting blame on women for this situation, I’m not. I think women ave done the right thing, which is to achieve academically and pursue lucrative careers. The stats above indicate just how much many of us as black men have dropped the ball. I think it’s an utter embarrassment that we’re being so outdone by women especially in traditionally male dominated fields where we should have a natural advantage. It’s also an embarassment that we spend 32% more than white men on “visible consumption” (think clothes, shoes, cars, watches, bottle service). Even when we get to income parity, we end up keeping less because of our expense structure. I think those of us that do have some means really need to redouble our effort to try to get the next generation of black males on the right track. As a mentor to a high school kid, I take some responsibility there but I’m not doing nearly as much as I could.

If you were looking for a solution here at the end, I don’t have one. To some degree, I think the traditional gender roles of dating and the reality of black upper class demographics and economics are just too far apart. It’s essentially a crapshoot for a lot of women who are looking for this dynamic as to whether they’re able to get it. To some degree, given the above stated assumption, there’s much more of an incentive for a man to date “down” the economic spectrum than across, especially if he’s a traditional man and equates taking care of a woman financially with a man’s role in the relationship. So for a man to date “down” to the level where many professional degreed black women are simply requires earning power that very few men have, period, and then much less so in the black community.  Discuss.

Also, if you’re a traditional woman in a relationship or marriage with someone who makes less than you, I REALLY want to hear from you!