For Your Daily Dose of MbA

Microblog on Facebook so follow today :)


"Culture is the heritage of us all. some may be more interested than others in the treasures of the past, but no one can fail to take a pride in his country's participation in the story of mankind, as represented in carvings, sculpture, music, paintings and the other arts. And there is a personal commitment to this, for no man can really say he is alone: we are all joined through our identity, with the cultures which are part of the mainstream of life"
- Simon Kapwepwe, Zambian Independence Freedom Fighter

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill

"Try to be the rainbow in someone else's cloud" - Maya Angelou

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition" - Steve Jobs

Friday, 21 May 2010

"You are so beautiful, how come you haven't had anyone's babies yet?"

At this point in my life, I am old enough that it is expected that I should have settled down or be actively searching for my white picket fence.  Instead I have been educating myself in true African fashion, to the point that I'm now educated up to my eyeballs, with just enough space to achieve more certification in the future, if I feel so inclined.  It seems people at home are waiting for me to get over this phase and forget pursuing my dreams  after all this school and come home and marry some eligible bachelor from a good family.  I just aspire to make something of myself and would like to be able to not settle, but to marry as part of my evolution as a human being.

Recently, a 15 year old boy said to me "You are so beautiful, how come you haven't had anyone's babies yet?"  That seems like a compliment, but really it's a backhanded way of asking what's wrong with me.  NOTHING!! I just haven't found that someone.  And I'm okay with that. I am not ready to have children - I am not in the emotional, evolutional, or financial position to do so and do not expect the father of my children to carry that burden alone.  What is something happens to him along the way - he dies, he finds a younger model, I get bored of him :}?

This isn't just an African problem,  I have a lot of Indian friends who are avoiding being set up in arranged marriages and fending off family members who put them up on online marriage sites and expect them to participate.  Thankfully my immediate family is not pressuring me at all to tie the knot with that special somebody.  They just want me to be happy.

I think what frustrates me most now is that with the education and life I have had it seems that men are either intimidated or uninterested in someone who has achieved so much no matter where they are from as a general rule.  Or worse, they are not ready to be with the kind of woman that will challenge them to be the person they are meant to be, they are still in the "playing around" phase.  Most of the women I know who are like me from other parts of the world seem to be facing the same predicament. Why is it that men seem to be assuming that educated and confident women want to be serious in relationships?!  Of course ALL we are thinking about is settling down and having your babies.  I don't think that there is anything wrong to want to do  that.  I just think that this need that women supposedly have is highly played up.  Some women it seems get married and have babies because they feel they have no other recourse.  Which makes me sad.  You should want to get married and have kids for all the right reasons.  It seems more and more to me that this is a luxury or an ideal to aspire to, it is not something to expect is the norm.

At home, men seem to wonder what they can offer me, what they can provide for me.  I have been told not to drive the car I have access to when I am home for the holidays because it sends the wrong message - how will you find a guy if you are telling him you already have everything?! And it's even worse in America, because you are burdened by the race politics that are particular to this part of the world, and when they find out you are a foreigner they get even more confused as they don't quite understand how you are the way you are and consequently what to do with you. Money (and power) can buy you a woman, but love is priceless. However funnily enough the one place I have found dating easier is London. Unfortunately I no longer live there :(.

Dating in America reduces everything to blackness.  At home its more cultural, if you are from Senegal marrying a Ugandan there are going to  differences that the families have to overcome.  Whose tradition will be followed or how how can the two be reconciled through compromise?  Race does come to play, but in a different fashion. Of course South Africa has a very unique history that is somewhat comparable to the American condition but even there it seems they are making an effort to bridge the gap by focusing on similarities, and young people are more open to learning about others from what I have seen and heard.

However in America, black women seem to be very loyal to their black brothers, and are not very open to dating outside their comfort zone.  This has spawned articles such as these from MSNBCNewsweek and The Economist that are heavily skewed to the African American experience but are labelled as black issues. They are also highly conflicted with opposing views, especially when referring to educated women.   This has also been addressed in movies and the difficulties address in Something New make it seem like sticking to your own race is easier, even though the movie is supposed to show that love conquers all. The loyalty I feel to Africans is out of pride, not out of fear of selling out due to a perceived or latent shame of my people.  My education is not considered a hindrance back home.  It is considered a bonus, my family can ask for a higher dowry: lobola he he he...

What the problem is for those of us who have found ourselves in the far reaches of the earth is trying to date in a country that sees you in a certain way and applies history to you that you do not have an adequate understanding of!  No one, not even the black men i.e. African Americans want to date us in America, so being an equal opportunity dater is of no help if you are.  We are an entity they are not familiar with and men of all shapes, sizes, colours and backgrounds are too scared to venture to try.  And unfortunately I'm personally not a fixer, I have no desire to coach and man into loving me.

When a man is ready to find his way to me he will. Just as I am finding my way to him :)

1 comment:

  1. Have not finished reading yet, got stopped at the image/thought of the 15 year old boy..asking such a question and smiled at the thought of your response. will finish reading now.