According to Shawn Garrett, a single and successful thirty plus African-American male, there are no “real” black men today because there are no “real” black women. Of course, Shawn considers himself the exception to his own rule, though his argument is no excuse.

His theory regarding the lack of black love and marriage is a result of the low standards some black women have consciously and subconsciously set for themselves. He believes women ultimately hold all the power in a relationship and can easily “teach” a man how to treat her. He further admits a man will do anything for a woman that he values, which always leaves him questioning why some women don’t raise the bar. As I proudly digested his philosophy on the power women hold, I began to wonder how many of us are actually aware of this power and more importantly why don’t we exercise it more often.

Although Shawn’s theory does not excuse black men’s relationship behaviors or lack there of, it does give question to some of the “standard practices” we black women often communicate.

What are we really saying when we accept the title of baby mother instead of wife? Or what does it mean when we take him back after numerous cheating acts and discrepancies? Or even worse, continue to date him even though he is “unhappily” married or committed to someone else?

Are we settling for less for the sake of just having a man? Are we like candles, sensual and alluring only to be burned? Has the self-esteem of our women fell so low we accept little to nothing just to have something?

Regardless of the reason, our overall standards always have room for improvement. Whether they are currently high and need to be maintained or temporarily low and need to be uplifted; developing the habit of possessing and upholding standards should be customary in everything we do.

Either purposely or inadvertently, our tolerances become our standards. Our leniency ultimately dictate the treatment we receive, often resulting in bitterness, pain and mistrust. To combat mistreatment and disappointments we must set standards and communicate them without shame or insecurity. Our standards are ultimately a direct reflection of our self-esteem. When they’re set low, we invite less than average treatment and destructive and toxic relationships. We can’t always play victim every time we get “played” or when our expectations are not met. We must begin to write our own script, practice playing the director and set the stage for the performances we want. As we direct our show, we must be sure to create a cast of honesty, respect for self, worthiness and communication. The entire production is completely in our hands, how we present it will determine the audience we attract.

In gaining this director seat power Shawn Garrett so affectionately bestowed on us, our theater of esteem will produce nothing less than a Broadway hit!

Just remember at the end of each play when the curtains come down to give yourself a Standard Ovation!

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  • Very well said and I totally agree with him.

    And @soul kiss – I think it was a play on the title and a reference to a standing ovation. =)

  • krianne

    I THINK THAT IT GOES 50/50 WHEN IT COMES TO RELATIONSHIPS. YOU GOT TO GIVE A LITTLE TO GET A LIL AND THIS GOES FOR BOTHE SIDES OF THE TABLE YA DIGG!! WOMEN DO NEED TO RAISE THEIR STANDARDS BUT MEN ALSO NEED TO GET THEY ASS ON A STRAIGHT LINE AND NOT EXPECT TO BE SPOON FEED EVVERY 5 SECONDS. MEN AND WOMEN NEED TO START TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOOUR OWN SHIT. YES HE/SHE MAY HAVE DONE THAT AND THIS BUT YOU MUST REALIZE WHAT DID TOO AND TRY TO BETTER YOURSELF.IF YOU FEEL YOU WERE ALL YOU COULD POSSIBLY BE WITHOUT SWEATING BLOOOD THEN SHIT MOVE ON AND TRY AGAIN. I DO AGREE WITH MARIA BUT AGAIN THIS ALL STARTS WITH A WOMAN….GUESS WHO…MAMA!!!!
    SO IT MAY NOT BE YOUR FAULT IT MAY BE MAMAS FAULT SO NOT ONLY SINGLE WOMEN WATCH YOU ACTIONS BUT MOTHERS WATCH YOURS TOO CAUSE YOU JUST MAY TRAMATIZE UR POOR BOY INTO.. GOD KNOWS WHAT. BUT AGAIN ALSO 50/50 IF MAMA SPOILS YO ASS YOU NEED TO GROW UP SOME DAY AND STOP BLAMING YO GIRL 4 HER ATTITUDE…GET YO ASS UP OUT MAMAS HOUSE THEN DAMN.

  • Great article! Very interesting.