Tyrese Mansplains To ‘Too Independent’ Women

By Guest Contributor Tami Winfrey Harris, cross-posted from What Tami Said

For the past few weeks, as part of my project exploring black women, relationships and marriage, I’ve been immersing myself in books, films, blog posts and other media on the subject. Last week I read Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man and am still trying to wash off the film and stink of patriarchy. I told my husband over the weekend that I am unbelievably proud of black women. As a group we are able to hold our heads high in the face of the relentless narrative that there is something wrong with us that needs to be fixed; that, for us, admirable qualities like independence, only make us more unlovable–a narrative not only championed by the mainstream, but, too often, by members of our own communities.

So, singer, actor and (God help us) author Tyrese decided to drop a little wisdom on the black lady folk during a recent interview with NecoleBitchie.com. (above) He warns us about being “too independent.”

Huh.

There is nothing about the descriptor “independent” that is negative on its face, at least not based on Merriam-Webster’s definition above. My parents taught me to be independent. When I became old enough to drive, my father taught me how to check my tire pressure and oil and how to change a tire. I keep my AAA membership payed up, but I know if roadside service can’t get to me, I can take care of myself. To be independent is to be free. Because I can handle an auto emergency, I’ve felt free to crisscross the country on road journeys points southwest to northeast.

What could be wrong with being free? Nothing, unless, of course, you believe that it is not advantageous for women to be “not subject to control by others” or “not requiring or relying on others (as for care or livelihood).”  Would Tyrese caution men this way? Would he warn them against not needing women.

Sexism lies at the root of the actor’s monologue. In the regressive language of modern black relationship advice, it is not enough for a black woman to want a man deeply, with all her heart and soul. Male egos must always be fed with the idea that women are unfulfilled and incapable of living without a man. We must avoid being uneducated free-loaders, sayeth Tyrese, while being sure to remain needy and helpless enough to be attractive to men like him.

Tyrese’s “helpful” advice carries the condescension and arrogance typical of mansplaining, plus a dash of amorphous homophobia. What was that weird sidebar about homosexuality? No doubt, some ill-spoken repetition of the idea that gay black men harm black women’s marriage chances with their gayness. Silly.

But here’s another thing Tyrese’s advice is: racist. It is specifically black women who are singled out for some of the most dehumanizing and denigrating messages about their lovability and marriageability. Indeed, Tyrese directs his comment “especially” to black women. Our culture remains in a place where it is acceptable to assume black women, apart from other women, are intrinsically wrong and in need of correction. It is not just mainstream sources like ABC News that serve up “What’s wrong with black women?” programming. Black men like Steve Harvey, Tyrese and Jimi Izrael are getting in on the action. And no one blinks an eye.

Can you imagine comedian Jeff Foxworthy holding on to his largely white audience after penning a book and taking to the airwaves telling white women how their faults are keeping them single? Would Josh Duhamel, who appeared with Tyrese in Transformers, be getting many calls in Hollywood after, apropos of nothing, derailing an interview to to talk about how white women are too damned self-sufficient for their own good? Could Ira Glass say: “[White] women’s unrealistic standards are probably born of bedtime stories about handsome, rich men on majestic horses delivering damsels in distress. Girlfriends often tell similar apocryphal tales about the friend of a friend who nabbed a rich, hung sugar-daddy who saved them from a life of dishpan hands and lower-middle-class drudgery. Through the influence of popular media and the misguided advice they give each other, sisters combine these images and presumptions to draw a composite of a perfect [white] man.” and keep his job at NPR? His coworker Jimi Izrael wrote that and more about black women and is not only featured on National Public Radio, but was excerpted on The Root, where he once penned a column.

Sexism is real for all women. But the combination of femaleness and blackness is particularly devalued, sadly, too often among even black men. Tyrese reveals his expectation that women must bend to meet male needs. I don’t see in the above video a man who values black women and loves them. I see a man concerned that black women might be too capable, too free. Independent women have options and demands, as men do. Independent women are choosy, as men are. A strong man has no problem meeting partners on an equal playing field, but a weak man needs a weaker partner to feel strong. Any man preaching against independence for women unwittingly lays himself bare.

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  • IncredilbleMrsis

    What a moron. He makes a rambling argument for what exactly? Why is he being given a platform to share his hollow ideas? I feel dumber having listened to him drone on about nonsense. We should all be able to live our lives as we wish. Does everyone need to do what everyone else is doing? What does he have to say to black men who feel like they don’t need anyone? Who want to be unfettered and independent? Are they the only ones with that birth right? Plenty of them end up alone too. And so what? Does everyone have to get hitched in order to feel successful? Who’s measure of success is this anyway? Live and let live people. Your problem with me is just that… your problem.

  • IncredilbleMrsis

    What a moron. He makes a rambling argument for what exactly? Why is he being given a platform to share his hollow ideas? I feel dumber having listened to him drone on about nonsense. We should all be able to live our lives as we wish. Does everyone need to do what everyone else is doing? What does he have to say to black men who feel like they don’t need anyone? Who want to be unfettered and independent? Are they the only ones with that birth right? Plenty of them end up alone too. And so what? Does everyone have to get hitched in order to feel successful? Who’s measure of success is this anyway? Live and let live people. Your problem with me is just that… your problem.

  • IncredilbleMrsis

    What a moron. He makes a rambling argument for what exactly? Why is he being given a platform to share his hollow ideas? I feel dumber having listened to him drone on about nonsense. We should all be able to live our lives as we wish. Does everyone need to do what everyone else is doing? What does he have to say to black men who feel like they don’t need anyone? Who want to be unfettered and independent? Are they the only ones with that birth right? Plenty of them end up alone too. And so what? Does everyone have to get hitched in order to feel successful? Who’s measure of success is this anyway? Live and let live people. Your problem with me is just that… your problem.

  • Myklmusic

    Well,
    Now that I’ve seen the entire video, I must adjust my perspective…
    Here I was, thinking Tyrese had been dumped on or abused by a lady, thereby precipitating this sad, silly, and oh so general condescending statement about what ‘Men’ want, what independence means ‘for’ women, and demonstrating his inability to say anything about himSelf.

    He chose to be very general with every perception shared and each perspective demonstrated: Again… I must adjust my perspective.

    He’s advertising his CD… Wtf?
    Who expects anything but this response?
    He is only looking for sales… Duh!

    I commend Him for knowing His Audience… I ignore His point of view because I Do Not Share It!
    I Love Women… Independent or not.

    My strength is demonstrated by my ability to accept and withstand the tremendous challenge with exists with and because of the opportunity to respond to the Love of a Woman.

  • BluMaterial

    Oh please. 

    Imagine if some white guy went on video saying black people need to stop being so ghetto and speak proper, and then maybe white people will respect them more.

    And then imagine that someone posts this comment: “this white dude put himself ‘out there’ and shared how he feels about black people and how he thinks black people might be more appealing to him…and what happens? Black people get all defensive and confrontational! I wonder what would happen if black people learned to stop, take a deep breath, suspend their reactions and just pondered his message…”

  • Khujeci Tomai

    Wow. Tyrese. Epic Fail. Please don’t speak. For. Us. Thank you.

  • Khujeci Tomai

    Wow. Tyrese. Epic Fail. Please don’t speak. For. Us. Thank you.

  • Khujeci Tomai

    Wow. Tyrese. Epic Fail. Please don’t speak. For. Us. Thank you.

  • Khujeci Tomai

    Wow. Tyrese. Epic Fail. Please don’t speak. For. Us. Thank you.

  • j smith

    It is so disheartening to hear a black man,
    disempowering black women from achieving feats already predetermined for them
    to never obtain.  Women in general are constantly presented with a
    double-edged sword… be dependent and we’re labeled, lazy gold diggers.
     Be independent and don’t exercise or demonstrate a need for a man, we are
    labeled “too independent” and destined to be lonely and alone with
    our dogs and rabbits.  

     

    When will it be okay for black women to be strong,
    empowered and independent, without being doomed to a future of loneliness, and
    deemed incompatible with a man?  Instead of urging women to not be
    “too independent” there needs to be some form of encouragement for
    men to uplift independent women.  Not shun them due to their personal
    goals or their exceptional level of achievements.  I am seriously disappointed
    by Tyrese’s words.

  • Anonymous

    What did Tavis say??? I don’t think I’ve recalled him making disparaging remarks about black women. While there are many black men who fit the bill of Tyrese above I do think some of the comments are going off the deep end when they suggest all that is wrong  within black communities is caused by black men and generalize Tyrese and other personalities’ public rants about black women to black men as a whole. It’s just as wrong when single black mothers are blamed for whatever issues plaguing black Americans is in vogue to discuss at the moment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kim-Akins/694459632 Kim Akins

    Listening to this makes the perfect argument for why kids should stay in school.  He has no idea what he’s talking about.  Being a golddigger is not being independent.  Being gay has nothing to do with hetereo -dating.   Being able to maintain oneself is not the same as being aggressively independent.  He’s so confused he can’t even  recognize that he’s rambling about a bunch of unrelated concepts. 

  • C W

    “he probably knows ONE woman with a rabbit who otherwise fits his general sense of what he is complaining about”

    All women fit the general sense of what he’s complaining about, because that’s how he views women. You don’t even need specific examples to justify a terrible worldview, because “examples” are wherever you create them.

  • Anonymous

    First of all, it’s Tyrece. Second of all, it’s Tyrece. I’m sorry but I simply can’t be aggravated by a rant coming from someone that can’t conjugate a verb. My main concern is not actually Tyrece but how prevalent this thinking seems to be amongst WOMEN in the black community. I stopped going to Essence.com because of all of the “women today have lost sight of letting a man run the household” comments that are so incredibly prevalent there. Tyrece has over 2 MILLION followers on Twitter, which means there are a LOT of folks out there that don’t have a problem with the ignorance he spouts. It’s easy to attack someone that’s obviously ignorant. Why isn’t anyone asking why these ideals are held dear by some-though not all-of our women?

  • Anonymous

    First of all, it’s Tyrece. Second of all, it’s Tyrece. I’m sorry but I simply can’t be aggravated by a rant coming from someone that can’t conjugate a verb. My main concern is not actually Tyrece but how prevalent this thinking seems to be amongst WOMEN in the black community. I stopped going to Essence.com because of all of the “women today have lost sight of letting a man run the household” comments that are so incredibly prevalent there. Tyrece has over 2 MILLION followers on Twitter, which means there are a LOT of folks out there that don’t have a problem with the ignorance he spouts. It’s easy to attack someone that’s obviously ignorant. Why isn’t anyone asking why these ideals are held dear by some-though not all-of our women?

    • Khujeci Tomai

      Love it! “First of all, it’s Tyrece. Second of all, it’s Tyrece.”

      Preach.

    • Khujeci Tomai

      Love it! “First of all, it’s Tyrece. Second of all, it’s Tyrece.”

      Preach.

    • Khujeci Tomai

      Love it! “First of all, it’s Tyrece. Second of all, it’s Tyrece.”

      Preach.

    • Khujeci Tomai

      Love it! “First of all, it’s Tyrece. Second of all, it’s Tyrece.”

      Preach.

    • Gggg

      ” My main concern is not actually Tyrece but how prevalent this thinking seems to be amongst WOMEN in the black community.”

       THANK YOU!!! I actually think the reason so many Black men feel free to say all this ignorance is because so many Black women condone it. We are our own worst enemies.

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  • http://twitter.com/KimaleePhillip Kimalee Phillip

    Seriously Tyrese!!??! One less potential for my baby daddy!So Tyrese places in the same category, women who go around professing “Ah ain’t need no man” with a woman who has chosen to become self-sufficient and not rely on a man to validate her self-worth. He then goes on to blame black women for black men being ‘confused’ and ‘resorting’ to homosexuality WTF!? Of course, insidiously condemning any relationship or affair that falls outside of the traditional, monogamous type of relationship. BUT don’t worry, he ends it with ‘God Bless Ya’ll’ so it’s all good. He’s only doing it for our own good #pokemeinmyeye

    • Jay Dub

      He was rambling a lot and his argument wasn’t really cohesive. He was so much blaming black women for black male confusion and “resorting to homosexuality” as he was blaming black male homosexuality(or bisexuality) for why black female independence. He seems to think that, you ladies only claim independence because you’ve run into so many gay black men that you prefer to stay independent(i.e. “independence”=”alone”)

  • http://profiles.google.com/kaila.heard Kaila Heard

    The relationship advice career track has to be one of the easiest fields to break into. 
    If you have been in a relationship and feel like talking about male/female relations. 
    What’s curious to me, is how often the experts don’t delve into their own personal relationships – you know, the basis for their expertise. I wouldn’t mind if they said ‘you know this is what happened to me, this is what I’ve learned from it, the end’ Instead, they (ok, right now I’m only thinking about Tyrese and Steve Harvey right now) prefer to make broad generalizations. 

    • C W

      “If you have been in a relationship”

      I doubt even that’s required, with some of the stuff they spew.

  • dersk

    I have to admit I’m such an NPR geek I read that in Ira’s voice. “Tonight, on This American Life, Making Mr. Goodbar. Stories of women who thought they’d made the image of their perfect man and found…something else. Our story tonight in four acts…” Wow, I really listen to too much TAL.

  • Dhall

    Oh, here we go again!  I just wonder will Black women ever be “right” or ” fixed”. Obviously, we must collectively pose some sort of threat (financial, intelligence, etc.) if weak men keep vilifying us.  ‘Tis the season…

  • Matt Pizzuti

    I’m watching the video and while I can pick out some anti-feminist buzzwords, I honestly cannot pick out a central point or picture the ideal woman he wants all women to strive to be.  It seems like his general message is “wait for my further instructions.” I may be missing some context here. 

  • http://twitter.com/RVCBard RVCBard

    Genesis 2:4d: And the LORD said unto Adam, “Now shut the fuck up.”

  • http://molecularshyness.wordpress.com jen*

    Wait. What?!

    That wasn’t even fully coherent. He didn’t actually *say* much for all his digression. (and what was that about a rabbit?)

    Eh. Ima let Tyrese be. He is not apparently capable of stringing words together in a competent manner, and while he has managed to “preserve his sexy”, I just don’t see him as having enough to offer for me to pay him any attention.

    Let’s just remember him as the boy with the golden pipes singing “Always Coca-Cola”.

  • Anonymous

    it kills me. I hear this argument from black men on a near daily basis. It makes it honestly, discouraging to date THEM. nobody else seems to have a problem with the way I am. It’s not a black women’s issue, it’s a ‘black guys won’t date you cause.. x’ issue, and so I think eff it. why change me when I can change who I date?! much easier. I get approached by all kinds of men. and black guys are the ONLY ones who eventually get around to saying this. and I’m wondering if it’s even true (since, honestly I recognize in myself, and some boyfriends have as well, a submissive nature..) I feel like it’s just another way for black men to make their issues, YOUR issues and if you’d only change your self a sliver more, we’d love you.. maybe..

    reminds me of jane elliot in blue eyed when she was talking about oppression and how it’s mostly maintained by CONSTANTLY changing the rules. It keeps one group confused, stationary, and heaps all the social responsibility on this one side while the other roams around callously and irresponsibly. If you’re unmotivated as a black person you’re stupid and lazy.. if you are motivated.. well you’re an uppity ni***r. same goes for women, If you’re dependent like they want you to be you’re clingy and desperate and a drag. If you’re independent, they don’t feel needed, they feel neglected, it’s far too much ‘masculine energy for them’. If you dumb it down for them (as some of them like) you’re a bimbo not worth more than a night, if that. If you’re too educated’ OMG you intimidating, show off, bitch.’

    That’s the name of the game. and why cosmopolitan is a magazine that won’t ever die. the rules are ever changing and you’re a worthless woman if your whole life doesn’t depend on catering to LITTLE BOYS.

    This dynamic is bothersome because it’s weirdly allowing men to stay in this infantile state for all eternity. A 10 yr old girl will already be concerened about her image and not coming off as a slut. While we make excuses to this day (penn state) FOR GROWN MEN. men never have responsibilty in human interactions .. especially of a sexual nature. You’re an old maid or spinster if no one wants you and a bachelor or playboy if a single male (according to carrie bradshaw). I hate the condescending way that men tell you you’re really in control of the relationship (as long as they call the shots). ‘it’s your choice if we have sex (but know i’ll never speak to you again if you don’t and I’ll probably send angry texts and stalk you if we don’t)’. If you want to be more we can definitely talk about it! (but no. we will never be. so just ask me so I can say no)..

    so yeah I went on a tangent.. but it’s basically men holding the strings and looking you in the face and DARING to say they’re no puppeteer.

    • http://soyluv.wordpress.com/ soyluv

      All this. A million frustrating times over. Especially the last section. 

      Le sigh.

  • http://www.facebook.com/galiotica Nejasna ちゃん

    Have there been any reactions from feminist writers out there or did it get written off as another “black on black=not our problem” issue ?

    • Matt Pizzuti

      I think that’s an interesting situation because I think a lot of white feminists don’t want to come off as “piling on the black guy” for something that white men also do; they’re afraid of expanding an existing stereotype that black men are more sexist than white men which is used to justify racism. 

      But I think what I assume you are saying is correct. As a gay guy I am often frustrated by straight “allies” who refuse to call out homophobia or transphobia that comes from within the gay community – which is really rampant – thinking they have no right to comment or ought not to comment since they are straight. There’s a well-intended principle behind their philosophy but in the end it’s the wrong philosophy. Anti-oppression isn’t some abstract or elusive goal to simply to humble the dominant group and achieve sublime moral correctness. It’s a means to an end. That end is improving the lives of those who are oppressed. And for LGBT people, it’s quite common that the most hurtful and damaging forms of oppression and prejudice you are daily exposed to comes  from your own community since you are around them and they play a significant role in mediating your language and experience –  and straight allies are complicit in their silence. 

      Thanks for posting that comment, it’s making me think. My question is, if we could all be more confident to weigh in and criticize members of groups we aren’t members of, how do we put the breaks on when we inevitably at some point do it wrong? I don’t want to see white feminsts creating some anti-black meme that ultimately hurts black women just as much as what the thing they are trying to call out hurts them. 

    • Anonymous

      I agree. I remember when Ashley Judd was called racist for calling hip hop/rap music for encouraging a rape culture. White feminist and even black feminist (ironically) are accused of “oppressing” black men’s free expression(among other things) by complaining about sexism not just in hip hop but among black men and boys. 

    • Anonymous

      I agree. I remember when Ashley Judd was called racist for calling hip hop/rap music for encouraging a rape culture. White feminist and even black feminist (ironically) are accused of “oppressing” black men’s free expression(among other things) by complaining about sexism not just in hip hop but among black men and boys. 

  • Anonymous

    I did not listen to that video because I don’t want to ruin a perfectly good evening with bullshit. Men with this type of mentality feel emasculated by society and take that out on women because we are an easier target than, you know, actually challenging the system! IMO, for black men in particular, I think many have not been able to live up to the societal standard of manhood (for better and worse) for whatever reasons and thus acquire this hyper-masculine view of maleness and how women are supposed to respond to it. The funny thing is, for all this caterwauling about how “unfeminine” black women are most white, asian, latina, middle eastern, etc. do not fit the counter of all negative that black women apparently embody. I don’t see all these deferential, subservient, accommodating light women that some black men (and shit, other men too) seem to place high on pedestals above black women.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SDA5J6SN6LSBZCHIEV4X6JADXA Keke Woodman

    Oh, and I just reread part of his rant….I mean monologue.  Sooo….gay Black men can’t be gay?  I suppose gay Black women shouldn’t be gay either?  I suppose they should just hide in the closet and never let anyone know who they really are.  You know…like the good old days before all this messy gay rights stuff.  Oh silly me, I thought marriage was supposed to be based on truth and honesty and stuff.  My bad.  And I suppose all gay Black men should immediately declare their straightness and marry Black women even if those women don’t want marriage and they have nothing in common, because, after all, marriage isn’t really about being in love and loving someone, right?  All sarcasm aside, this sends bad messages to little girls, little boys and those who are coming to terms with their sexuality.  It’s bad all around. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SDA5J6SN6LSBZCHIEV4X6JADXA Keke Woodman

    Oh my.  I’m just washing down the last of the Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing and here comes Tyrese telling me (and every other woman) that we are somehow wrong for wanting to be independent?  Dang.  We can’t get a break.  Even during the holidays.  This is my take on this:  this is all about men who fear that they will not be able to control women’s movements, dress, money, time and any other thing associated with them.  This in an economy where one household needs TWO independently working individuals to make it work.  So what I get out of this is that they want a woman to pay her own way, but still be needy (what?!), have her own career (as long as it doesn’t overshadow his), still come home after working a twelve to fourteen hour shift to cook, clean, do childcare, take care of whatever a guy may think he needs and still look like a fashion model afterwards.  I look at this in another way.  All the guys who complain that they can’t find this mythical Black woman are single for a reason. This life style sounds exhausting.  Any woman who tries to do this and maintain her sanity will surely keel over from fatigue and sheer disenchantment. 

  • Val

    “…a weak man needs a weaker partner to feel strong.”

    That pretty much sums this up.

  • PRo

    Tell Tyrese how you really feel, everyone: @Tyrese 

  • Anonymous

    …did he seriously just insult more than half the population (women and non-hetero men) and then try to plug his album?

  • Alicia

    Whenever I read or hear about men blaming a woman’s independence for her singleness, I want to tear my hair out. I propose we create and promote a “Men, STEP UP!” campaign. Statistically, more women are going to college than men, and therefore earning more as a collective in the work force. If we follow Tyrese’s (and the countless others’ argument, not just black men) theory, can’t it all be blamed on men prioritizing the less important things in life? Maybe if they spent less time blowing hot air about female success, they would be going to college in larger numbers and stop feeling inadequate next to their female peers. Just a thought.

    • k.eli

      Didn’t you get the memo? We’re not allowed to criticize black men for any of their shortcomings. Therefore all the blame must lie at the feet of black women. How dare we be educated, upwardly-mobile individuals capable of taking care of ourselves. The gall of it all.

      • Lailajjohn

        i got the memo.  i’m just waiting for a big strong man to read it for me

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000064498787 Hasanda Stevens

          HA HA~!!!!!

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000064498787 Hasanda Stevens

          HA HA~!!!!!

      • Jay Dub

        Of course you’re allowed to criticize black men for their shortcomings. You just have to be willing to accept criticism in return.  Just as you’re offering it, be willing to accept some blame too. And if that black man can’t or isnt willing to, bear some criticism, then just stop pursuing him, stop supporting him, stop accepting his bulls#!t. And teach your daughters to do the same.

        And teach your black sons to appreciate, not just you, but black women like you.

  • D. Potter

    …a weak man needs a weaker partner to feel strong.

    That needs to be a sampler.

    And it needs to be taught to young women.

    • Facebook User

      AND young men.

  • Jessicarevo

    “His comments are just atrocious. Classic example of “I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about.”

    • C W

      “I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about but i sound confident soooo” is how life coaches make their living :)

  • BluTopaz

     
    “I see a man concerned that black women might be too capable, too free”

    And there you have it. For all the chest thumping and bragaddocio, males of this ilk prove themselves to be the most insecure  around.  Free, independent Black women have known this for years. But for the life of me I do not understand any woman who made 3X married Harvey and his afro toupee rich by purchasing his book, which basically tells them to stop thinking they are worthy of high standards for a man. 

    There is no other group of men who publicly degrade and insult the women of their own race the way many Black males have done consistently; but is that a surprise? It’s much easier than stepping to other men and telling them to get their shit together, and is one of the biggest reasons many Black communities are in the state they are in.

    • NYCTA

      I’m sorry but you’re mistaken. White men publicly degrade and insult women of their own race all the time, they just don’t use race-specific terms. They don’t say “white” they just say “women” more often meaning “white women”.

  • http://twitter.com/screwdestiny screwdestiny

     Izreal’s comment is killing me. Well, the whole post is killing me, but this quote especially. Black women have to be independent enough to know how to run an entire household on their own because apparently easing her load is too much to ask of a black man, YET we’re supposed to be dependent enough to say it’s all thanks to this man that we’re able to do this?

    Look at the specific things he mentions. Washing dishes and living lower middleclass? This is the mark of a proper dependent woman. One who knows her place is in the kitchen without lofty career goals. I read these and I feel like the men who say these things want a woman like their (single) mothers who did everything around the house and took care of them hand and foot. Like, they think that’s normal, that’s how it should be. And I’m sorry, but no one wants to go around being your mother. Because your mother? Was OUR mother too and we saw how miserable our mothers were when you weren’t looking.

    Also, I looked up the book and found an excerpt of it…I can’t believe it got published and this dude is on NPR, for serious. It is steeped in homophobia and sexism, the whole excerpt is him crying about the rise of the “feminine men” and homosexuality, blaming them for twisting black women’s ideas for how a real, masculine black man behaves.

    http://www.npr.org/books/titles/138109815/the-denzel-principle-why-black-women-cant-find-good-black-men#excerpt

    • Winn

      I am sooo disappointed in Michel Martin for giving him a larger forum for his foulishness.  I assume he’s still leading “The Barbershop” on Tell Me More?  For goddess sakes, why???  He has no credentials to pontificate on any topic, especially politics and public policy, and sounds like a ignorant tool next to the other guests.  He’s also all up and through the Tell Me More blog, mascarading as a film reviewer, cultural pundit and social critic.  I don’t see Tyrese’s movies or listen to his music, but I love NPR, and hiring Izreal  in the first place, and retaining him in the wake of the perpetual idiocy that emerges from his mouth and computer, takes its place in the ever-growing list of bone-headed decisions that has been eroding NPR’s reputation.  

      • Anonymous

        He is definitely still leading The Barbershop. I don’t get to hear Tell Me More as often as I would like, but I have heard him on it.

    • Winn

      I am sooo disappointed in Michel Martin for giving him a larger forum for his foulishness.  I assume he’s still leading “The Barbershop” on Tell Me More?  For goddess sakes, why???  He has no credentials to pontificate on any topic, especially politics and public policy, and sounds like a ignorant tool next to the other guests.  He’s also all up and through the Tell Me More blog, mascarading as a film reviewer, cultural pundit and social critic.  I don’t see Tyrese’s movies or listen to his music, but I love NPR, and hiring Izreal  in the first place, and retaining him in the wake of the perpetual idiocy that emerges from his mouth and computer, takes its place in the ever-growing list of bone-headed decisions that has been eroding NPR’s reputation.  

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SDA5J6SN6LSBZCHIEV4X6JADXA Keke Woodman

      I know right?  I used to see women in my own family who tried desperately to cater to their households and husbands while sacrificing their own needs.  Many of them ended up with lots of health problems, some have mental illnesses and most of my aunts and cousins who have done this are now divorced(because the husbands they devoted themselves to left for women who have more time on their hands)  and are simply just lonely and have not gotten a chance to go out  in the world and explore.  Many of them still have these man-children sucking the life out of them even after these men have reached their 30th birthdays.  While the daughters are told to get out and live on their own.  And they wondered why I ran far, far away from commitment my entire life.

  • Rachel Balsham

    Excellent post. I agree on all points, but have a minor quibble – why did we as feminists/womanists/anti-sexists go with coining “mansplaination” instead of the way-zingier “manswer”?

    • Anonymous

      Ooh, I like “manswer.” But you can’t interchange “white,” “cis” and “straight,” like you can with
      ”splaination.” Sounds like ‘white sir,’ ‘straight sir,’ and ‘scissor.’ Bummer.