In the wake of Beyoncé’s big reveal of her pregnancy on last night’s VMAs, there was much talk on Twitter (amongst other social networking platforms) about the expectant singer and her husband. As a fan, I enjoyed Beyoncé’s performance and then took to Twitter to bask in it with other fans.
It didn’t last long.
Before I knew it, some tweet about what Beyoncé “did right” was being retweeted onto my TL. I saw it no less than 5 times (from 3 different “original” accounts) in the span of 3 minutes. It said simply:
“Beyoncé dated, married, then got pregnant….LADIES #takenotes.”
Do you all want to know how offended I was? Don’t worry…I’ll tell you.
There were multiple layers to why I was offended. To begin with, Beyoncé is obviously a Black woman and there was an undertone as to the fact that Black women ALONE were doing “it” wrong. It being “bearing children.” But that’s not all. Upon my RTing the very biased statement while adding my two cents: “Bey was courted, proposed/married to, then got pregnant. Men take notes!” some woman took my tweet and ran in a preachy direction with it. Her subject — what women need to start doing. Unfortunately, a quick search of “Beyoncé pregnant” showed that she wasn’t the only woman bashing single Black mothers. Finally, I was rubbed the wrong way by the seemingly “Good Black Men” who were agreeing with the Black Women Bashing.
Are you serious?
So let’s point out something obvious here: Black women are bearing children alone because most of their partners, who happen to be Black men, make the decision to leave the picture.
Barring trips to fertility specialists (which many women can’t afford), it has been proven time and again that women do NOT make children alone. We do not impregnate ourselves. So why aren’t men being chastised for not stepping up to the marriage plate? Because it’s easy to blame the woman for her decision in choosing a “mate” (or simply exercising her sexual freedom to have sex) and then making the decision to not abort the fetus upon finding out she’s expecting a child.
Why aren’t we holding our Men accountable?
People say a bit too freely, “She should have known better” or “She should have waited until she saw a solid sign of commitment from him before opening her legs.” Valid points but what if that man showed a solid sign of commitment? What if he was monogamous and committed to their relationship? What if he talked of a future with this woman? Or what if the “Good Black Men” began to hint that there were other women who would do what she wouldn’t when she said she didn’t want to sleep with him? Many men do it. We know they do…yet and still, we blame the woman for an out-of-wedlock child.
It’s a modern-day version of the Scarlet Letter.
Too many people agreed with the Beyoncé did it right sentiment and gave no credit to Jay-Z. That sickened me. But I understand that we have this issue with not allowing Black men to be intellectually competent in choosing a mate. If he marries what we deem a “good woman” it’s because someone somewhere else pointed it out to him. If he gets with a woman who is not a “good woman,” then good for him for not being trapped with that (if they happen to have kids, we pity the guy and pray the children have more sense than their no-good Mama). I think the issue is that for us to call Black men out about their behavior, we’d have to point out all of the “good” Black men that haven’t stepped up to the plate. These men exist. They are successful, unmarried, with a brood of children but we don’t make men the villains unless it happens to be an episode of Maury and the child is CLEARLY his. The question why still remains.
With respect to Black romantic relationships, it’s possible that Black men get such a bad rap in this country and our society that we’ve moved from holding them accountable in our community for their actions to providing them with excuses as to why they behave the way they do. Sadly, it always comes back to how a Black woman couldn’t do something right to keep him or make him want to say “I Do.”
I’ve said all of that to say that people need to sit back and evaluate their prejudices against women — especially single mothers who happen to be Black. Remember, they didn’t do it alone.