Relationship problems shouldn't be portrayed as a Black problem
More literature and movies are coming up, highlighting the problems of black women who more often than not are portrayed as the direct opposite of the ideal woman in terms of beauty and womanhood in general. And don’t get me started with the estranged relations between Black men and women. As the stats get more depressing and alarming, more black men and women are getting tired and angrier about this portrayal and they are speaking out about it.
The educated black women of today are also speaking out in resignation about the scarcity of similar well-achieved men and on the other hand... the married men and women are voicing their dissatisfaction and disappointments, and infidelity in their marriages. But are these problems exclusive to the African American community?
According to M. Belinda Tucker (professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral science) and Orland Patterson (Sociologist), gender relations among Caucasians may also grow to be increasingly strained for the same reasons African American gender relations are.
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Patterson thinks, “In many ways, what has happened to blacks is a precursor to what will happen to whites…Some of the trends are clearly in the same direction. Whether they have the same disastrous effects remains to be seen.”
More black women worked away from home in 1910 in comparison to white women. 20 years down the line, white women were doing the same. And because of the new gender roles and responsibilities that come with this, there is more tension at home as men and women (black and white) struggle to adjust.
Let’s look at census figures on children born out-of-wedlock. Between 1990 and 1994, the percentage of black women in this category fell by 5% while that of white women increased by 23%. And much as we have to admit that the percentage of black families being headed by women is higher, figures suggest that the number of white single mothers is twice as much as that of black single mothers. Much as the problem of children being raised without a father present disproportionately plagues the African community, white and black kids, poor and rich kids now have to struggle and learn to grow into adults without them.
We have seen social and economic revolution affect marriage and families within both the black and white communities in a few decades. But even so, the effects seem to be more prevalent within the black community. For example between 1950 and 1995, the percentage of married men (both black and white) dropped. But the drop was friggin high for black men (from 64% to 43%) in comparison to white men (68% to 61%). And a similar scenario applies for women.
Truth is, both black and white men and women are experiencing a similar crisis – A crisis in gender relations. And as Tucker puts it, “what has happened to blacks is a precursor to what will happen to whites”. Do you agree with Tucker? Kindly give reasons.
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