Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dear Mr. Harvey- By Toya

Well you know what they say: Don't talk about it, be about it. So I decided to be about it and tell Steve Harvey exactly how I felt about tonight's Nightline panel discussion "Why Can't a Successful Black Woman Find A Man?" Those that really know me may read this letter and notice that I walked on eggshells in expressing my opinion. Reason being, for one, I didn't want to be long-winded. And two, I love Steve Harvey to death but he can get a little emotional and put people on blast if he feels the need to get defensive. I mean, have you heard his Strawberry Letter segments? So here it goes...

Dear Mr. Harvey,

I love all that you do for our community, specifically in the area of trying to help black women find love. I admire your genuine concern and it means so much. And although I have come to trust your views on the matter of relationships, when I found out about tonight’s Nightline panel discussion, I wasn’t sure if I could take hearing anymore about why so many black women are single. I am glad that I did though and would like to share with you what I thought about it.

I am a 35 and single black woman. I know plenty of women in my age range of different races that are single and come up against a lot of the opinions expressed on this show tonight. This isn't JUST a black thing. I am starting to think that this is a generational issue and until there is more male accountability, it is only going to get worse. There were two opinions that I wish got more than the 30 seconds it took to express them. One was by you who said that until we start producing better men we aren't going to have better men. Hill Harper added that happily married men need to express more to single men that they are happily married and that there are great benefits to being married. To me, all of this boils down to male accountability. Women can read your book and every other book backwards and forwards, pray for men and follow "the rules" but at the end of the day men are the pursuers. They are born leaders and I think a lot of them have forgotten that or don’t know what that entails. We need to stop asking women why they are single and start asking men why they aren't looking to get married. We need to stop asking women to not be intimidating and start asking men why they feel intimidated and then show them that they shouldn't feel that way. You have said that a man needs to know where he fits into a woman’s life. Some of them don’t feel like they have anything to add and that is not always our fault. That’s an esteem issue. So many men disqualify themselves based on that a lone. A lot of these men are dealing with issues that need to be challenged and dealt with by another man. I understand the importance of mentoring boys but I think some grown men need to be mentored too because so many of them have not a clue as to how to treat women. I am talking about GOOD men. They simply haven't been taught and women are complicated. So instead of having all of these discussions to teach women how men think, how about helping men understand how women think?

We live in a society where women are constantly being told that they are too much and not enough all at the same time. Hearing these statistics about black women being single day after day is tiring and at times hurtful. We can only do so much and trying to figure out what else we need to do to correct what is happening in our society feels like an overwhelming losing battle. We need men to help men.

Thank you for all that you do,
Nashville, TN

1 comment:

AlongCameStacey said...

I dig your letter. I too am tired of being told that we have to make men feel good about their short comings. I'm also tired of hearing about this issue as if its exclusive to black women. Honestly, I don't know a lot of people around my age range (I'm 27) who are married and the ones I do know that are married aren't so happy. There are A LOT of people out there "fakin the funk." They'd rather tough it out in a sucky marriage than end up alone. I'm not saying there aren't any marriages that work but to me they are few and far between.