I came across this interesting (why do I hate that word) blog posting from a sister I met on Twitter. The blog post is entitled “Never Satisfied: Why Nerdy Black Men Can’t Find Happiness.” As those of you who follow my writings know, I don’t attack people, I murder mindsets.
I honestly ask that you read the post. It is well written and passionate to say the least. I didn’t want to bias my response with my own emotions because, well, the piece is personal enough in my opinion.
What we are discussing here, or rather what the blog post in question theorizes “nerds” and their inability to initiate romantic and/or sexual encounters or relationships with desirable women, specifically desirable Black (American) women. The author states:
Well, hell, let’s end the discussion right there, right? Here we have it: The non-ALPHA MAN, who wants to be appreciated for abiding by the societal script of being the “good black man” that we all read about in our fairy tales wants to be with an attractive woman. But he can’t. Why? Because they lack “swagger.” They lack a personality. They are awkward (as “fuck”, I must add), and they are not used to being at “parties & clubs.” They are often broke (as “hell”, I must add). They don’t dress in a fashionable manner and they don’t know the first thing about charming a woman out of the club into the backseat of a rented Lexus, or even over his or her house later in the week for sex. Am I reading too much into the statement?
I don’t have a problem with this actually because I feel it is simply a description. However, what I get out of it may be offensive to some. Many men who have a solid sense of fashion, who do have a great and winning personality and who enjoy themselves in clubs also have a difficult time securing a sexual encounter with the same desirable black women. I am not even discussing a full-fledged romantic encounter, or a relationship. Why do you think guys like Tariq Nasheed can build a career off books like, “The Art of Macking?” I mean, seriously, there is a whole field of guys who go around teaching men how to approach women. I’m also seeing a breach of interests here. Everybody’s not comfortable in clubs or social settings. There is a reason why alcohol consumption is so high in clubs and social settings, because people like to get comfortable with intoxicants, what many refer to as “liquid courage”.
Let me get back to a line I just wrote. I stated there seems to be a disconnect in interests. While taking a break today, I was discussing boring hobbies with one of my friends on campus. We both enjoy writing but he doesn’t enjoy graphic design. He thinks Photoshop and Illustrator are boring. I agree. He also said that most people have boring hobbies though. I tend to agree with this as well. The degree of persistence it takes to learn something can become cumbersome to an individual with no prerequisite desire to learn said thing. You have to push through many boring and seemingly redundant moments to learn things, this takes a high level of drive and desire to accomplish. Even those who have an enormous degree of joy practicing certain things can experience what is known as “burn out” after a while. So, what if we don’t like the same things? What happens when your skill set doesn’t allow you the opportunity to develop certain social skills? Then you are probably going to become labeled a “nerd.”
She continues to write:
First off, I really wish this sister wouldn’t have said “high school.” The first thing that I thought reading that was, “Oh, so we are discussing high school practices. High school, like back when I was a juvenile? So could this be considered a juvenile mentality? Yeah, great. Your standard is an immature social paradigm. Great. Thanks…but no thanks. When I was a child I thought and acted as one…”
The second thought that came to mind was a historical one. One which made me wish she didn’t use this particular historical reference. The author may not consider Barack Obama a nerd, but I wonder if she would consider Michelle Obama one.
If we can still recall the Inaugural Ball, we witnessed the lack of grace and rhythm of the first Black (American) First Lady. We know that Michelle is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law. We also know that she grew up on the South Side of Chicago. That she skipped the second grade and by the sixth grade she was in gifted classes. That she attended a magnet high school, Chicago’s first. She took advanced placement classes and was a National Honor Society member as well as treasurer for her student council. Damn, Michelle, too bad you couldn’t have been the president, you would have been a bad ass dime dating the head of the football team.
A brilliant woman in her own space, we also have pictures of Michelle Obama as a juvenile and we know that she is not the coveted “dime”. By the way, that is slang for a woman who is a TEN on the attractive measuring scale… yeah, the same one used to describe Bo Derek’s character in “10” circa the early 1980s. Oh, yeah…”10″, the movie about the nerdy screen-writer who seduces the woman who is a dim. Eh…
So, we have the president of one of the most powerful countries in our time being involved with a nerd. This is, of course, because the baddest man on the planet, the capital lettered “ALPHA MAN”, wants to be with… er … uh, um …a woman who loves him for him, appreciates his interests, can hold a conversation beyond “America’s Next Top Model,” and would make a great mother for his children?
Alright, I think I’ve beat that up enough. More fuel to burn:
“Just as brilliant and nerdy.” He “stuck to the rivers and the lakes that he was used to…” Yeah, the elite and extremely successful ones. And now I need a drink. Oh well…
Once again, I’m at a loss for apt analysis, mainly because, I don’t know any black men or women who date without having a social interest that at least brings them into proximity with one another. If I am a club type dude, then I’m going to meet a woman at the club that at least likes to go to the club every once and awhile. Michelle met Barack when he became her assistant. He took her to an art museum – common interests or at least one she was able to appreciate – and then they went to go see School Daze. Spike Lee’s classic movie that has a dime having sex with a nerd because her alpha male – my fault – her ALPHA MALE (did you hear the echo in the room? Read it again, I swear it’s an experience!) boyfriend tells them to…before he dumps her for the next dime. I’m just not getting it.
I’m on campus at a predominantly white university, so I understand her point about there being more black women on campus. Very true. Of course, I see the same pattern here as what I’ve discussed earlier. Most of the couples I see here are people who shared a class with one another, met in an organization or played sports together. Hell, people can’t even meet long distance without some social medium and an interest. If everybody meets and forms relationships in the same way, then what the hell makes the nerds any different?
Most people are single because they are either too picky or don’t get around enough. So, either I don’t know any nerds, or the nerds that I do know have all met people on the job, in classrooms or through an athletic association just like everyone else… whoops. And this is my point: not only do the people that I refer to as nerds have women in their lives, they also play ball. Distinctions are so important.
Okay, I better deal with this now. Beauty standards aren’t natural occurrences and they change from culture to culture depending on the decentralization of the country’s media with the world. Considering that most countries, including the U.S., are more insular racially, most people base their standards on women who look like those found in their race.
Which sort of leans on my point. Ideally, what is a dime to one man shouldn’t be a dime to another, but conformity and ego will set in and most of us are drawn to the women we see on television and in magazines. With the advent of hip-hop music videos, the desirable physical features of black women has changed from what was desirable in the eighties. One case in point is the oft-debated definition of “thick”. What was “thick” in the eighties for most Black men might be consider skinny, possible even petite now.
Given that most of our media is owned – excuse me – all of our media is white-controlled, the images of women will reflect that.
What we also know about media representations of women as sexual objects is that the models represent an almost impossible standard. This is what white women are saying. As far as what black “nerds” are passing up, I seriously question if this is a national pattern. And the men that are considered ALPHA MALES (did you hear it?) are even dating white women. And so are the so-called thugs.
As a total critique of the piece, as a literary element… I’m in love with it. Unfortunately, I’m one of those guys that “dumbed” down conversations in school to avoid problems with being labeled a geek and/or a nerd. My response to this piece is possibly due to that. I don’t take personal issue with it; I have many more demons to deal with than that. But I do wonder how many other brothers or sisters might be doing some of the things I went through or witnessed attempting to avoid that label.
Even Barack Obama is touted as the “hip” president (e.g. “he plays basketball!!”). Which is funny to me, because I realize that Barack probably couldn’t handle the same level of ball game that most young black males bring on the average ball court in “Any Black Neighborhood”, USA. You would have to be a blind and naive person to think that he would have been accepted as a child growing up in a Black community. He was not accepted when he first came to Southside Chicago. Michelle – that nerdy black chick he was theoretically supposed to pass up for Beyonce – had to stand up for him.
I don’t know. I’m really lost here. I have had a lot of growing up to do since I was a child and one of the major things I had to deal with was authenticity. I don’t think it is wise for anyone to adjust themselves for anything, really; let alone a mate. If all you want is sex, then I say work the room like all the other guys, including the ALPHA MALES (I know you heard it that time!!). If you are looking for a relationship beyond one night, excuse me, beyond two hours, then I suggest you attempt to at least be honest about your interests and abilities. Life can’t be hidden and we are all a part of that life.
There are no real skills that one can develop to impress a person that is not impressed by you. None. You can be a great actor or actress, but one day, you will have to drop that shield. If you are someone that enjoys sitting in front of a computer for hours, then the person you decide to be with will have to accept that and in some ways, appreciate and admire that about you. I don’t think these to be ideal considerations; in fact, I know someone in a great relationship just like that.
I would be completely amiss as a hater for hire if I didn’t mention the author’s underlying sentiment. I don’t seriously think every woman thinks like this sister does, but I would imagine quite a few do or have. As vibratory beings, we are all attracted to those with the greatest degree of vibration. Like peacocks, we scramble to show our colors (vibrations of light) when mating. I don’t know if @BlaqueConscious is attempting to address a concern about Black women who are overlooked or what.
Any sincere and reasonable message to any sane and rationale man that I know was lost in her beginning paragraph. The incendiary commentary that we American blacks love to refer to as “real talk” is really ineffective as a tool for change. And just because black males don’t have the same record as other ethnic males for shooting up schools when they are treated like social pariahs, I’d still be careful with that as media communicator. Not saying that it is the responsibility of the blogger to be socially responsible, but I’d think if I was black and had conscious (aware) thoughts about the plight of black people in this country, I’d try to be a little careful with my writings.
This post is pregnant with various topics that need to be addressed, and I should probably end here and tackle another later. And with that… later.
For more J. Farand and The Owl Asylum please visit owlasylum.net.