Volume Thirty-Nine: Dear God, I need a man!

Posted on 07/13/2010

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Good people! It’s that time for another installment of SillE Thoughts. This post was inspired by the main topic of discussion on the 3 Degrees of Separation Talk Show this past Friday. If you don’t know, we did a remote show at CLOUD IX in Atlanta’s Castleberry Hill area. Our main topic for this show was based on an article/blog written by a woman making the argument that Black churches are especially responsible for keeping African-American women single and alone. Whaaaaaaaa? Really? I read the blog; and, as a former scholar, I can attack it purely on its scientific merit – or lack thereof. However, as a blog writer, I understand that your opinion is not strengthened by scientific data and logical conclusions. No, our strength is determined by how much our reader agrees with our premise, and how cleverly we can articulate our position. Yes, we live in the sound-bite generation; and, a cleverly concocted quote will go a lot farther than logical scientific data. Sad, but true. So, I am giving African-American women the male point-of-view of this discussion. This is the blog called: Dear God, I need a man!

Church Lady?

Deborah Cooper wrote the blog The Black Church: How Black Churches Keep African-American Women Single and Lonely. Her site, survivingdating.com seems to have a strong following as there were many comments on this particular post. Many of the comments I read were in support of her stance. In summary, she says:

“It is my belief that the Black church, structured around traditional gender roles which makes women submissive to and inferior to men, greatly limits females. Single Black women sitting in church every Sunday are being subtly brainwashed, soothed and placated into waiting without demand for what they want to magically come to them. Who is doing this to Black women? The male standing at the front of the Church in the role of spiritual leader, that’s who!”

In addition to the supportive comments on the blog, there were women present at our radio remote that agreed, in part, with her statement. Our audience agreed that there are not that many eligible single brothers in church that are worthy of dating. Some stated that their criteria of selecting a man at church is the same as it is in the club. WOW! Really? There is no sarcasm here. It’s just that I’m deeply concerned by both Ms. Cooper’s assertion and our audience’s acceptance. I wanted to scream (and at some point did) that you have to be worthy and ready to find a mate – be it in the club OR church. Now, either my opinion was not popular because  there were more women in the place, or because it appeared that I was blaming the victim.

Perception IS Reality

My sister was in attendance at the radio remote. She is a faithful church goer, and even sings in the choir. She had an interesting take on this debate. She simply stated that she doesn’t go to church looking for a man. She goes to church for the Word, fellowship, praise and prayer. Does she notice the single men in church? Of course she does! However, she has never gone to church with anything other than praise and worship on her agenda. Pew pimpin’ is one of the farthest things from her mind and heart on a Sunday morning.

I’d like to add to that the phenomenon known as selective attentionAttention is the cognitive process of selectively concentrating on one aspect of the environment while ignoring other things. Ms. Cooper suggests that there are only certain types of single men available in the church. I would assert that her processing resources have ignored the other factors while she looked for examples to support her argument. In short, if you’re looking for bums, or have preconceived notions of the type of single men in the church; then, that’s exactly what you are going to find. The Bible says, “Ask and it shall be given unto you…Seek and you will find.”

Conclusion

There was a statement by a male at the remote of a fear of dating a woman from church being too “churchie”. He said it’s easier to be sexually free-er with a woman from the club vs. a woman from church. This can be true. However, that suggests that church is only with you at certain points of the day or week. God cannot be turned off and on like a faucet. Plus, knowing and living your truth should allow for you to be free with your partner – wherever you met her. In fact, it’s more likely that the “churchie” girl was just in the club the night before, so she may have already been there and done that. Bottom line is that single Black women have it hard when it comes to finding a good man. Disconnecting from the church in order to find one seems counterintuitive. Besides, instead of having to drag him to church once you get him; wouldn’t it be nice if he was already there?

That’s just my three cents…

SillE

“Peep my ver-na-cular cuz I don’t know how to act…”

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