‘Signs A Man Might Be On The Down Low’ Demonstrates How Women Create Their Own Fears
When Madame Noire, a website that describes itself as the “Black women’s lifestyle guide,” publishes an article called“Signs A Man Might Be On The Down Low” its intent is clearly not to help women to spot a cheating man. An article like this was created to fuel the ever-evolving self hatred and self degradation of the Black woman.
This article is serving up a brand new fear.
If you ask a Black women what her biggest fear is concerning a relationship, she will probably answer that she fears being single forever. Add to that the fact that she will haphazardly attempt relationships and marriage only to be left high and dry, her hopes for happily ever after dashed by reality as she tries to hold on to a faulty pipe dream of ’til death do us part.
But, she is resilient. She is ever strong. She can work through anything because she has to. She knows this. She believes in herself, even when she doesn’t. And that is why she keeps moving forward.
Yet, when articles like this one surfaces to whisper into the Black woman’s ear that she may be strong, but there is one more obstacle standing in the way of her happily ever after, it is clear that it is the Black media that is creating the villains of our nightmares.
First it was her hair holding her back from being loved; she had to straighten it, lengthen it and lighten it to be considered beautiful. Then it was her education level and achievements that were intimidating to men, keeping them away from her. Then the enemy became the myth of the white and Latina woman, stealing her men away and leaving her holding the baby carriage, with a fresh set of stretch marks.
Now, there’s a new monster coming out of the closet and he’s a man who is only in a relationship with her for show, because he secretly wants to be with another man. Once again, she isn’t worthy of real love.
Besides the fact that this Madame Noire article is outright disgusting and insulting to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community because it treats certain personality traits as symptoms to be feared, it is also ignorant, depicting down low men (men who are in relationships with women, but secretly sleep with men) as ultra chic decorators with straight hair, who are overly interested in the way women dress. It is beyond devastating to think what these types of editorial offerings are doing to the Black woman’s psyche on the most fundamental level.
When does she ever win? When can she do something besides shake her ass and be called a supreme goddess? When will she star in a Tyler Perry movie and not be slapped around? When will the time come when all threats against her progress and hopes be eliminated?
Everywhere you turn there’s another strike against her. She’s too fat. She’s too Black. She speaks too “white.” She’s not educated enough. She has too many children. She’s not in the “right” sorority. She isn’t well traveled. She is not so many things and then she can’t be loved either. What is the latest reason? Oh. Because her only option for love is probably gay.
So here’s a new fear to lose sleep over. Here’s a new hurdle to make her want to throw her hands up in the air and give up.
The truth is, there is a team of Black women at Madame Noire sitting in a room, throwing around ideas for articles that they know will impact every Black woman who reads them. They understand that their voices transferred onto words on a screen will seep into the minds of their readers and they use their voices, occasionally, to incite fear and panic instead of empower and elevate.
It seems, these women who look just like you, want you to feel fear, to feel inferior, to worry and doubt your relationship, your life and your value, all because they want to increase their page views.
Woman to woman, there is no fear real enough to stop you from realizing your ultimate dream of contentment, self-pride and fulfillment, especially those fears you create for yourselves. Recognize these type of articles for what they are: simple drivel created to garner page views and incite water cooler discussion among those women who are too ignorant to know better.
Don’t exhaust your brain looking for symptoms and signs that your love isn’t real. Everything done in the dark will come to the light on its own. If for some reason you do find out that your partner is attracted to men, it’s not the end of the world and it doesn’t mean that you are a failure as a woman. It is scientifically supported that sexuality is fluid, and it is possible to love more than one person at a time, respecting both individuals equally.
This one man/one woman rule was socially constructed long ago in an attempt to offer guidelines for living. Yes, someone, a person just like you and me, created that concept, much like someone created the rules for Spades. You can always follow the rules, add your own twist or decide not to play altogether.
If your ultimate fear is that you’ll be left all alone, confront that fear and realize that just because your partner is (admittedly) 100 percent heterosexual, doesn’t guarantee that he won’t leave you. Be your own best friend and you will never be alone. Love who you want to love. Accept the love offered to you. Make adjustments as you grow as a woman. Be open to the adjustments and self realizations that others go through as well.
Be confident, but be flexible, understanding that you do not own any human being on this planet and no one owns you. You can make it through anything, history has proven that. Stop remembering what they told you to remember and remember what you need to remember to move forward.
You are worthy of love. You have probably already experienced it but you didn’t recognize it because it didn’t show up the way it does in the movies. That’s okay. You will get another chance. Just look for it.
Do not fear the worst case scenario, because the worst case could likely be the best case in disguise. Love fearlessly and believe in your wildest dreams coming true, because no matter what the tabloids say, no matter what the horoscopes read, no matter what the statistics preach, you can have the life you want, which is really a specific FEELING you want to experience.
Choose the feeling you wish to experience and decide to feel it right now, regardless of what you see around you.
Ahh. Here it is. PEACE.
Yes. LOVE. It feels nice.
Wow. BLISS. Thank you for coming back to me.
Yes. PRIDE. I am awesome. I always thought so.
Replace all fears with the feeling you would like to experience and never allow anyone else to create new ones for you.
You are the creator. Create for yourself.
Originally Posted on The Huffington Post