I finally decided to address a topic that I understand, but truly drives me to unprecedented levels of frustration at times. It’s a question I’m asked very often by black women. While I do understand where it comes from, I believe the feelings associated with the question are misplaced, and often asked without fully understanding the psyche of the black men in question.
Are (black) men intimidated by black women?
The answer is no.
Let me rephrase that.
You’re intimidated by a nail sticking out of wood, a Tiger bearing down on you, an unrecognizable entree — but not a beautiful woman.
Every time I see that question pop up in my social media feeds, inbox, email, or in conversation I cringe. Not because I’m offended or can’t handle the truth about us (black men). It’s because I believe the social construct in place that creates these ideas — continues to widen the gap between black men and women. A construct I’m devoted to tearing down.
Are Black Men Really Intimidated?
In an article by The Matchmaking DUO Tana Gilmore, there are reasons given why black men are intimidated when it comes to approaching black women. Reasons such as, black women are not supportive, inhibited sexually, want what they want and that black women put pressure on black men that other races of women do not (or don’t do to the same level).
Well, for one — black women are very supportive. I know this personally because I was raised by three. Furthermore, I also know plenty that support their own black man or others that they know (including myself). I’ve also been in relationships with black women that were not inhibited sexually. That being said, I don’t believe that black women push us harder than any other race of women, or that they have some sort of “settle-level” that other women don’t aspire to. This is insulting to other races of women and I can’t cosign on that statement.
Ultimately, it does come down to one’s personal experiences and truths. Nevertheless, I believe the misconception and the missing link in understanding the experiences of our individual selves (and each other) is a major problem that black men and black women have. As a result, leading to misdiagnosis, sharing inaccurate-contagious information and, emotional malpractice.
black men are not intimidated by black women
Insecurity not Intimidation
You could easily say insecurity creates intimidation. I would have to agree with that statement. On the other hand, I could also say — the initial emotion [is] insecurity, not intimidation.
Without going into too much detail, the perception is that black women are out-earning black men in 2019. This is actually false. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, black women earn 89% of what black men earn annually. This has a lot to do with gender earning equality and the like. However, perception is the reality for most and myths spread like wildfire on the internet. So this “truth” has become a reality for many black men (and women).
As a result, many black men have birthed a whole baby called, “wage/status-insecurity.” Or, we (black men) see how well you’re getting yours and it’s a constant reminder of how unsuccessful we are.
Many black women call this, intimidation — but no matter what you call it, the result is the same.
It’s us, not you — well maybe it’s you too
We are not intimidated by you. (Please stop with the memes)…
We are not afraid of your success (Please stop with the memes) and really don’t care about your degrees, money or car…
But some of us, are insecure, a little bitter, and not happy with where we are.
We have been taught and socialized since we were boys, that we need to provide for you…
Now that you provide for yourself, we don’t know what to do.
I wrote that mid-2017. It still applies.
With that in mind, black men (and men in general) have been taught to take care of women. When we are in a position where the woman we are courting seemingly doesn’t need us, it tears at the ego. It breeds insecurity. Furthermore, if she’s successful, a public figure, very attractive, driving a nice vehicle, etc… certain men will immediately become insecure and begin to unconsciously assume things in order to not approach.
- She’s probably married.
- What could I offer her? She has it all.
- She looks stuck-up.
- I don’t think she wants to be bothered.
Remember the article I mentioned above? The one about the Top 7 Reasons Why Single Black Men Don’t Approach Black Women.
Reason #3 states:
We’ve heard men tell us that Black women often come across as if we don’t want to be bothered when we’re out and about in public. Whether in a store or leaving the office, we often appear more focused on what’s ahead or the next stop and not on meeting someone new.
This is pure facts. I’ve even found myself thinking this in the past.
Step Your Game up
I always hear women say…
Men enjoy the chase. Men are born hunters.
I don’t agree with that. Hunting isn’t instinctual, it’s taught and learned from association, socialization, trial, and error. We don’t even know how to skillfully defend ourselves until we are taught or learn how to do so.
Additionally, things that are taught and learned can be suppressed and blanketed by insecurity. Being unsure of yourself can throw you off your game.
Furthermore, men that aren’t raised by their fathers (which happens more often than it should) don’t learn the basic skills needed to court a woman. Father’s instill confidence in their sons. They teach us the basic skills needed to navigate from the male perspective.
When you add it all up, you see the results which appear to be intimidation (but they are not). We’re not happy with where we are in life — coupled with the constant struggle and obstacles will destroy the confidence of many men.
Some men may even tell you they are intimidated. In some cases this may be true, in most cases, they don’t even know what they are feeling and believe it’s intimidation when it’s a lack of confidence or deeply burrowed insecurity within themselves.
No excuses, but you wanted to know if we’re intimidated, so I’m giving the real reasons.
It’s on us
Much love and praise to the black men out there with no chill. The ones that have zero problems with approaching and courting any woman properly.
On the other hand, to whom it applies — when all is said and done, as black men, we need to rise to the occasion for ourselves (primarily) and because there are a lot of black women waiting on us. Approximately 90% want and prefer black men. However, they will not settle for mediocrity and a lack of mental fortitude, ambition, and drive. Most of all, they don’t want a man that seems intimidated by them. I don’t care what personality type you are, no woman (black, white, or otherwise) wants a man with a lack of courage, tenacity and the ability to stand up straight.
It’s on them
(Needle scratching the record sound) To whom it applies,
Ladies, no offense intended but some of you all are absolutely unapproachable. I’ve seen some of your comments on social media (whew). Downright offensive. So it isn’t intimidation. He’s turned off by you or taken back by your demeanor. Also, some of you act like you are God’s gift to men. Or, you feel like a man must come “get you” with some Herculean effort. Guys get tired of that schtick… not intimidated.
Others of you hold yourself in a way that would make any man feel as if he isn’t needed. The proverbial, “I don’t need a man attitude.” Some men find that attractive and a challenge. Others find it downright repugnant. So, there’s some adjustment needed on your behalf if different types of men keep telling you the same thing. Or, you can wait on the man that will accept that aspect of you. However, positive change is a good thing. Evolution for the betterment of yourself can yield amazing results and possibly the man intended for you.
It worked for me. It will work for you.