So I'm making my way through cyberspace, and I come across this blog on Essence magazine's website, devoted to Single Mothers. I'm not a mother yet, but the blog tickled my fancy. One of the entries discussed the issue of men not bothering to see their children once the relationship with the child's mother has ceased...and it wasn't so much the blog topic that interested me. It was more the subsequent comments made by the readers of the blog. There was a mixture of women. Some were married and some single, some with children and some without. I noticed, though, that there was a lot of cattiness going back and forth, especially after particular readers began to go against the grain and point out that maybe single mothers are responsible for their situation, as they chose to procreate with men who they knew, for lack of a better term "weren't shit" when they laid down with them.
This gave me a couple different reactions, actually. First off, are we as women really so judgmental towards each other, that we jump to conclusions as soon as we hear about what we think is "just another baby mama"? I know there are women out there who epitomize the "baby mama" stereotype, but what about mitigating circumstances? There are women out there who did all the "right" things (had a relationship, got married, had babies) and STILL ended up as widows or divorcees. There are women who adopt children even though they're unmarried. There are women who opt for artificial insemination, because they're involved with a woman romantically. So why do we, as sistahs, let our minds immediately go to the image of child-support-collecting, club/bar-hopping, welfare-line standing females the minute we hear about someone being a Single Mother?
On the other hand, as soon as the single mothers of the blog audience read these opposing comments, they rose to the occasion. They were having none of that judgmental, lecturing, finger-pointing ish. Rightfully so, because there's a way for everything to be said. The comments that came across as judgmental actually held some merit. Not generalizing, by any means, but there are many women in the world who DO end up having children with men they KNOW aren't even mature enough, available enough, or even care enough to raise a child. Hell, some of these men can barely wipe their hind parts right, and probably shouldn't even be in a relationship with the woman, let alone putting buns into her oven...but she lets him.
We as women need to take responsibility for our actions, but we also need to start holding men accountable for theirs. Call it intuition, premonition, or whatever you want, but more often than not, we see women ending up taking on the role as a single mom, when she knew (whether beforehand, or in retrospect) that the man who impregnated her wasn't father or husband material. Some innate part of us knows this, at some point in the relationship (or lack thereof). We could male-bash all day, but if we really look inside our souls and minds, we'd realize that we as Black women are so much smarter than we give ourselves credit for. And guess what? Many of us have our own single moms to thank for that! We can usually spot BS a mile away, but what makes us turn a blind eye?? Is it love? Is it lust? Is it stupidity? Is it our desire to be loved? The roots of this discussion are soooooo deep....
One thing I’ve noticed is that Black women may throw shade at our male counterparts, but we’re actually very protective of them. It’s our instinct to want to help and nurture them. Although some of them hurt women to their core, the Black Woman still has so much love for the Black Man that she forgives him, and buries the hurt into her subconscious and struggles to move on and give him a pass. I love that we have so much love for our men, but we need not love them at the expense of loving ourselves. Part of loving someone is being able to acknowledge their flaws and mistakes. Not dwell on them, but acknowledge them. Sweeping everything under the rug doesn’t make your house clean...
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