Now, I have been writing this blog for seven years. I started with just a few readers. There are many readers today, but in a world and society that overvalues the trivial and ill-relevant while dismissing the serious and necessary, I get very few comments about my writings. So, I don't know what to expect here, but I'm very hopeful that I can hear from women. No offense to my LGBTQI folks, but I'm interested in hearing from women who connect romantically to men because I'm a cis or heterosexual man. Also, although I am interested in hearing opinions from non-African (Black) women, I'm especially interested in hearing from African women, particularly those over 40 years of age, who have a Pan-African consciousness and are interested in strong, serious men with vision and compassion. But, I digress. I'd love to hear your thoughts on what I'm writing here and I've love to hear them anyway you feel comfortable sharing. Either by direct response here, Face Book, Twitter, psycho connection, anyway possible. And, please share, share, share, this article. Please let it reach as many people as possible (I've never asked anyone to do that in the almost 300 articles I've written and posted on this blog so there!)
My perspective is that of a man who all that know me have to acknowledge is selfless, compassionate, dedicated, confident, but not egotistical, courageous, and dependable. That means I mean what I say and say what I mean. It means you can depend upon me to have your back and give effort to be there for you when needed. I say all of that not to brag, but to give context for the comments I make here. I make every effort to be accountable for mistakes I've made in my life and my consistency in doing that has provided me a sense of purpose and determination. What I mean is often, women say they desire a man who is honest, who knows how to communicate, and who can be depended upon to do what he says he will do. I think my history confirms that I am not perfect, but I'm all of those things, but my experience has shown me that most women actually don't want all of those things in a man. Most of the time when I'm talking, most women have nothing to say. Most don't seem to know what to do with a man who is ready to be a real man. What is a real man in my view? A man who admits he is wrong and that he is afraid, but who never lets fear stop him from doing what needs to be done. In fact, a man who is a leader in doing what needs to be done. A man who keeps his promises. My experience is when you have those attributes, most women, most people, are intimidated of you and don't really want much to do with you. For example, I've had many instances where I've been told by women that they appreciate feeling like they have someone who will stand up for them in me, but then having those same women crumble and disappear when I actually do stand up (which I'm going to do).
I'm often wondering what's going on here. I'm an easy person to communicate with. I'm open and willing to share and be vulnerable, the cornerstones of good communication. I work on myself and I do implement changes when identified and needed. I'm dedicated to my beliefs, but I'm far from dogmatic. What I mean is I can work with anyone on beliefs who's willing to work with me. I have an acute sense of justice and to a fault, I'm always willing to place myself in harm's way to do the right thing. I believe those to be good values and attributes, yet they continually scare off women in one way or another. Either they feel like its too much or they don't think they can live up to something, what I don't know. I don't mean to imply this has been an issue in every relationship. I am human and have made mistakes that helped dismantle good relationships. I'm not saying the failure was all my fault, it wasn't, but I acknowledge my share, meaning I realized I wasn't ready for those situations. In each case (there are two of them), I've acknowledged my shortcomings to those women and apologized to them. And, I'm happy to say I have healthy relationships with both of them today, but again, I digress.
Without continuing to share too much information (I already admitted that I have no problem being vulnerable and sharing - and that means listening also), I'll say that my main point is with all of the terrible and destructive behavior by men taking place in full view of the world today, I'm disheartened by the many accounts by women, particularly African women, who are expressing their pain at feeling disrespected and abandoned by men, particularly African man. I have no intention of making my blog a dating site, but I'm just trying to say to those woman that there are some of us out here who try for you. Who care about you. Who are responsible and dedicated. I wish nothing in return for delivering this message. I've learned quite a bit about myself in recent years. I don't drink. I don't smoke and/or get high. I exercise daily. I watch very little television. I'm a prolific writer (meaning I spend quite a bit of my time loving the art of writing). I'm a warrior for justice. I don't celebrate any imperialist holidays, but with all of these things, I still feel like I'm as fun to be with as anyone who does all those things. Ten years from now I have absolutely no intention of living in the U.S. My life is focused on and dedicated to liberating the means for material production, not acquiring material items. I recognize that all those characteristics are going to be buzz kills for a significant portion of the population that identifies as women. If that's true, so be it. I'm happy as I am, but I do hope that we can do some work on this disconnect. As I tell my 30 year old daughter everyday, if you are a serious person, and you project that confidence and self assuredness, you are going to attract the same, but its going to take time. Those types of quality people don't drop from trees. You will make many mistakes as I have, but I tell her that the important thing isn't the mistakes you make, but the things you learn and implement from those mistakes so that you can improve. I believe all of that so I also believe things will work out just fine for me. Not worried about that at all. Still, I am an organizer and I firmly believe that problems go away only when we do the necessary work to solve these problems. So, women, I'd love to hear from you. Its time for a positive dialogue where we as man are accountable to the methods in which we have contributed to patriarchal behavior. I'd love to know what you think. And, honestly, I'd love to debate some of you because whether we admit it or not, at least a part of our problem is we have accepted many of the capitalist values that are contributing to our oppression. For example, many of our African men are raised by women so who was it that passed on all those negative anti-women values? Its not blaming African women (or all single mothers) who do the best they can while the man does nothing except possibly contribute money - the absolute minimal contribution a man can make to his children. So, its not blaming women, because women are not to blame for these issues because these problems are systemic. That means we can't just blame men without addressing these systemic problems. We have to change the system and with it men and many women. We also have to continue to challenge and work with men on a daily basis, which I have been doing for years, and will continue to do. We have to create a culture where disrespect and negative behavior is not acceptable, but all you have to do with watch youtube to see that we have much work to do in our African communities. I want to change all of this, but I can't do it alone so I'm raising these issues. Hopefully we can start a positive dialogue about all of this. I believe our future is at stake. I'd love to hear what you think. Do we have a future? What are we willing to do to address these contradictions? What are you doing? What work do you do? How do you see having a healthy relationship with African men? Is such a thing possible? If so, what ingredients are necessary? As I said, I do my work on myself so I'm not looking for anyone to do my emotional labor. I'm just interested in hearing and discussing how I can get better. How we can get better together. I'm really interested and I hope you are too.