As a Black Woman I’ve long been part of a group that has been called to support Black Men. Not only have I been called upon but I’ve also made the call. Black Men continue to get looked over for jobs in which they qualify, stereotyped by law enforcement, and assumed to be more like sperm donator opposed to present and active fathers, husbands and/or dedicated partners. So yes, I do what I can to show my solidarity, my support, my encouragement, my belief in greatness.

There are many women, however, that find it easy to disrespect the men in their lives. Require way more than they can provide for themselves, and put down men who haven’t achieved a desired financial and/or educational status. But I wonder if those women are merely responding to the years of blatant disrespect to their gender. I feel like this is especially true of Black Women. I mean after years of being called a hoe in music, portrayed as a concubine or an insignificant extra in film and television, being reduced to sexual tryst or a bitch when she uses her brain and speaks up for herself, how do you think women would combat that?

For one, standards. You want some ridiculous ish from me, well then this is what I want from you. Some would own whatever it is they’ve been labeled and make no apologies for it (as seen with many femcees of the last decade). There’s also the women who push past the stereotypes and earn their degrees, climb the corporate ladder, and refuse to entertain any man who hasn’t at least done the work she has. Furthermore, she has no time to wait for you, raise you, or allow you the three hundred passes it takes for you to get your ish together. But men still continue to call these women out of their names. Assume that any woman they haven’t gotten to know or that won’t allow them to live rent and duty-free in their spaces are bitches and hoes. It’s freaking 2018 and I’m still hearing it in the first 30 seconds of a song.

So why you mad you can’t find a supportive, down for whatever, stay by your side kind of woman. As a man, you’re contributing to the shortage. The down for whatevers continue to be left in the aftermath of a man’s achievement. They continue to receive phone calls from wives and side pieces. Resented for encouraging the pursuit of education. Embarrassed on social media and even on prison grounds. Do you know that I know women who stood by imprisoned men and got cheated on? WTF? You got your wife and another chick coming to see you, writing letters, and accepting calls all in the name of wanting to be “the man” who entertainers present themselves to be for having the same lack of respect. Honestly, it’s stupid strategy against a group of women who will not only support you, but push you forward and be your most reliable ally in your fight to become your greatest self.

Now you want a woman to be Beyoncé. Sexy with her pain hidden and only open to talking about it when it’s believed that she has gotten over it. First of all, you’re not Jay, don’t have Jay resources, can’t provide anything to the degree he can, and you must have missed where he said he went to therapy. Second of all (which is more like fifth of all but whatever), I doubt Beyoncé would have put up with most of what she had if it had newly come across her plate as a thirty-plus woman. Particularly if she had become a mother before her current situation. Something about motherhood teaches you that you ain’t gotta take everyone’s mess. It shows you how resilient you can be. It also takes a lot of energy and once a grown person’s bull gets coupled, the grown person is the one you can now do without. If you’re looking for a thirty plus woman to enter a relationship and entertain your lack of loyalty, physical and emotional abuse, absent ambition, and ease of calling her out of her name, your complaints will remain.

Brothers, you’ve got to help each other out. Display and encourage respect. Support your friends who aren’t afraid to show the love they have for a woman. Be the man worthy of what it is you want from a woman and/or stop pretending you aren’t. You do your following brothers a disservice. Don’t just look to the woman to hold you up, but please hold each other up.

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