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Archive for January, 2013

With the new year upon us, many women are noticing a disturbing, new trend brewing among men at a ‘Happy Hour’ nearest you…

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Though it may be tempting — this time you most certainly can’t blame the black guy.

If my selective testosterone-induced memory serves me correctly, it all began somewhere around the fall of 1993 B.C. (short for Before Carrie Bradshaw of Sex & the City fame). 

Back then things were simple: As far as we knew Gina still loved Martin; Clinton was the ‘Black’-est President to grace the Oval office; no one had smartphones so daters actually had to painstakingly describe how they felt for one another without the use of emoticons; and Arsenio Hall was the undisputed king of late night. (And, in case I forget to mention…he’s baaaaack.)

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It was that same year the names Khadijah James and Maxine “Max” Shaw became permanently etched in the annals of 1990s pop culture; and, in 1998, after echoing across urban living room spaces for five seasons like plastic wrap wrapped around Black matriarchal couches, it was essentially a rap.  By that point, everything that was anything had in essence been turned on its proverbial ear.  And ever since then there has simply been no turning back for this generation’s male/female relations.

(**For those 25 and under, I’m referencing the hit 90s TV show Living Single–the lesser known pop culture precursor to Girlfriends and Sex and the City series.**)

Khadijah James, played by the inimitable Queen Latifah aka Cleo, was the editor and publisher of ‘Flavor’ mag, an urban independent monthly.  And Max Shaw, played by the Cosby Show’s Erika Alexander, was the quick-witted, sharp-tongued attorney and best friend from Howard University.

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On so many levels the show was a new frontier for TV, and these two women were its Captain Kirk and Mister Spock.  Never before had (Black) America witnessed young women, let alone black women, single yet dating, taking charge and making moves (and dare I say “I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T”), forging ahead on their own terms without the aid of a boyfriend, husband or Huxtable. 

Now in my younger days, the thought of a woman being CEO of her own life was a no brainer.  Why shouldn’t any woman be able to pursue her own dreams, OWN Network, and shape her own life as she see fit?  Isn’t that what men were supposedly doing?

To me, any nod to the contrary seemed terribly anachronistic, abundantly anti-American, or a unhealthy recipe for what I suspect it would feel like to be Stevie J. on the set of ‘The View’ after the first season of Love & Hip Hop aired: Michael Jackson Dangerous.

But after a couple of decades and Sex & the City movies later, I’m honestly afraid that what was once thought of as a step in the right direction years ago: i.e. the idea of a little scripted show depicting the lives of young, urban professional ‘single women’ has unfortunately — like VH1’s current primetime programming — come back to haunt today’s women.

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For those on the dating scene in 2013 A.D. (short for After Darnell, the embattled and outnumbered husband of Maya Wilkes on the show Girlfriends), the social gender snow ball of Living Single, Sex & the City, Girlfriends, and now Single Ladies has fundamentally changed the dating landscape.  Today, many men like Darnell have grown accustomed to a more proactive and emotionally aggressive female: one that wants things but doesn’t necessarily seem to be sure what those things are or in what order but definitely WANTS THINGS.

hjklhAnd this new phenomenon has given way to a new class of males,  ones (though not all) that have been groomed to be more accepting and expecting of a woman being a go-getter in almost all areas of modern life.  So as a consequence many guys have receded from the traditional male approach and their best Charlie Wilson pick-up impersonations like, “Hey girl, how you doin?  My name is ______, last name ______ ” leaving female daters to have to get the ball rolling on their own if they so choose.

But instead of welcoming this new found freedom to pursue a less burdensome love life, one with less commercial breaks from random suitors (that used to annoy them), several ladies like a few of my female friends seem to be turned off that today’s dating is requiring more personal effort.  Some have even been led to believe nonsense like “men are lazy” or my favorite, “men of today are just intimidated by strong women” lol!  What they fail to see is that men are neither “lazy” nor “intimidated” but have adapted.

Like the giraffes of the African wild, men have adjusted their necks to survive in their new environment.  And why?  Well, because in the jungle, the mighty jungle, men are facing a new breed of woman that doesn’t necessary believe in the ‘Lion King’ anymore but Lion co-Kings.

  

Understandably, many males no longer see the need to spend half of their night gambling, approaching female after female, until ONE woman is not only interested but single and emotionally open for business as their predecessors once did.  The changing gender dynamic has made men more concise with their time, questioning time spent approaching larger groups of women, when more than likely the one who is interested and probably willing to engage in something strange for a small piece of change will undoubtedly make herself known through a lingering eye or seductive walk to the bar.

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Now I can understand if this new reality is frustrating for single women, especially the more traditional ones. But the next time you’re out at a bar or lounge, and feel the men are once again acting indifferent, instead of getting mad at the fellas for eyeballing you from afar — just ask yourself WWJD: What Would Joan Clayton Do?

You can follow me on the Zuckerberg book @ http://www.facebook.com/HesGottaHaveItBlog?ref=hl, http://www.GoodLooknout.com, and on Twitter @hesgot2haveit

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