Mixed Messages

There’s a cartoon going around the Web, that, at first glance, I almost agreed with. A black family is depicted, with a man walking toward the door. The comic is demonizing the woman for sending the message that she doesn’t need a man. It’s a comic, though, and I don’t care about most of the things that get passed around on the Web because it’s just someone’s opinion. And an opinion, like my mother used to tell me, is like a butt hole: everyone has one.

Then, yesterday, I overheard a black man talking to a teenage black girl who was saying that she didn’t need a man (boy) because she was only interested in “doing her.” In other words, she was her focus. This man told her that there was something wrong with her view. She would not be able to achieve the epitome of happiness, he told her, if she remained alone. Me, being me, I need to process information before I speak on it. So, today while I was cutting the grass (yes, I love cutting the grass), I started to wonder if he’d tell a young black male the same thing. Because if you’re not telling the males the same thing as the females, you’re sending mixed messages.
As I was doing yard work, I wondered what that meant for my single self? Am I not happy? I know I wasn’t happy in the last few relationships I was in, not even my marriage. Is there something wrong with me? Was I supposed to try and make these relationships work, with people I clearly didn’t need to be with, so that I can try to achieve this epitome of happiness? Do I have to stop smiling because I’m single? Am I supposed to be crying myself to sleep every night?

With 72 percent of black households being led by black women, it seems to me someone didn’t send the message to men. In that comic, that man is choosing to leave. And, quite possibly, it’s not because she said she didn’t need a man. More than likely, she decided she didn’t need a man after she got tired of dealing with men and their shit. I mean, how much time should a woman waste on men who don’t mean well, men who take her heart and play with it like it’s a yo-yo because she learned how to be strong in his absence? I will never say that a person should stay in a relationship when he or she realizes the relationship is clearly a bad one for him or her. I don’t think it’s the epitome of happiness to be with someone who abuses you, someone who uses you, someone who manipulates you, someone who only wants you for their needs and desires, etc. Hell, I don’t need a man. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t want a man. I do. But there is a hell of a big difference between wanting and needing.

I have been told numerous times that I am a strong black woman. Yet, when I love, I do so will my whole heart as well as my words and actions. I don’t’ go into relationships wanting anything but mutual love and respect and friendship and a chance to grow together. So, why is it wrong to say you don’t want or need a man? There’s so much more to life, so many things that can be done. So, don’t tell my daughters that they need a man to achieve the epitome of happiness. I tell my daughters, if you can find a good man, one who doesn’t play with your heart and life, then maybe you can be happy together. If you don’t, don’t let that stop you from being happy. Find ways to nurture and love yourself. Enjoy spending time with yourself.

Mixed Messages

“You’re the strongest woman I know.”
I guess ur right, I did come from
women who bore the lash, had their bodies
slashed open violently so master could plant
his seeds in her body. Slave women were viewed
with the same disgust as men cause of their strength.
Amazon blood runs through my body, courses
through me, makes me strong. Sister Sara stood
there, watched without a word as master tore flesh
on John’s back, then that night in the shack she
rubbed his back down and tried to make him forget,
at least temporarily, the lash. She opened her
body, received him in a way she would
never receive master. Love-making and rape
are not interchangeable. I thought you knew that.

Like master, you penalize me for my strength
walk out on me and my kids, and my strength
grows, so you tell me I’m not good enuff to be
a woman. Because the memory of lashes lives in
me, you treat me like a mule. How many times
we got to tell you, “I’m a woman too.” Give me
equality but give me sensitivity too. For centuries,
we’ve been rubbing ur back and having ur
back. So stop penalizing us for that. I’m tired of
telling you that a strng blk woman isn’t a man.

I can lean on you and let u coax out need, bt
will you b there when I really need you? Or
will you keep choosing to walk away? And, if
you walk away, am I supposed to stay down
looking around for someone to take ur place or
can I use my strng woman genes to move on up
without you? If u decide 2 come bk I’ll be
waiting. If nt, I’ll keep being a strng blk woman.

I will not apologize 4 learning 2 live w/out u
n my corner & I also will nt stop wanting u.

So, no, I don’t need a man to take advantage of me. I don’t need a man who doesn’t really want to be with me. I don’t need my heart broken again. I want a man who loves me and who I love. That’s it. So, there. Happy Independence Day for me!!!! Now, I’m off to go ride bikes with my kids. And I will be smiling. Thank you very much!

Peace & Love,


About Rosalind Guy

I'm broken & my soul is weary/ my weary soul rebels, fights/ anything & anyone who tries to heal me/I beat my head against a wall of memories/ trying hard to break free from the chain of memories/ I can only be free by saying it so/ i weave a necklace from words and finally/ I find freedom/ free free free. As you can see, words are powerful to me. As Maya Angelou said, words are wallpaper of the soul. I have lots of nightmarish memories that threaten to break me, but I learned a long time ago about the power of words. They can be used to heal and destroy anything that threatens to destroy the person. Words coupled with love have the power to save and heal. I am author of three books: Skinny Dipping in the Pool of Womanhood, Tattered Butterfly Wings, and Blues of a Love Junkie. I am a high school English teacher. I am a former reporter. I am a mother. I am a woman. I am a fierce advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves, those who's voices go unheard. Check out my Amazon author page at the following link: http://www.amazon.com/Rosalind-Guy/e/B00BGH5F88/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1432491754&sr=8-1.
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