Podcast: Wailing On These Hoes

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Survey: Why Black Women Love Tyler Perry

For those of you who pay attention to trivial matters such as my lackluster blogging efforts, I haven't touched this bitch since November. It may not have had any effect on you kids whatsoever but it's left me to feel somewhat deficient in the area of continuity. I get going real good with this blogging shit and BOW... LIFE. Next thing I know it's 2 or 3 months later and I haven't written a damn thing on here. Then every time I fall into such a slump, I read something in the news, see something on television or experience something in my own life that gives me that Bloggers' Itch to pontificate on the literary tip; here we are again at such a turning point in my neverending cycle of waxing and waning interest in legitimate authorship. Here we go...

So I'm doing my thug thizzle at 8AM, reading the news first thing in the morning (because my iPod refuses to let me get out of bed until I do) and I come across a Washington Post article pertaining to a purportedly "extensive" survey conducted by the aforementioned party and the Kaiser Family Foundation.


Overall I found the results of survey to be like most other studies of that genre and that is overgeneralized. Yes we can see here what most of a SAMPLE of black women think about very specific criterion on a decidedly liner scale in comparison to their black male, white female, and white male fellows but...eh. Why be impressed by the findings of such conditional research? Some of their findings did jump out at me like these:

"... a complex portrait emerges of black women who feel confident but vulnerable, who have high self-esteem and see physical beauty as important, who find career success more vital to them than marriage."

"Religion is essential to most black women’s lives; being in a romantic relationship is not, the poll shows."

"Nearly three-quarters of African American women say now is a good time to be a black woman in America, and yet a similar proportion worry about having enough money to pay their bills."

"Eighty-five percent say they are satisfied with their own lives, but one-fifth say they are often treated with less respect than other people."

Honestly the whole thing read like a Tyler Perry a production to me. I guess this survey would better depict the reasons why his plays/movies are so popular than the current state of of black womanhood in Amreica. The black women who have made him quite wealthy (who, in spite of the fact that they have a hard time paying their bills, have the disposable income to do so) enjoy taking two-hour mini-vacations into fantastical lands where black men are throwing themselves at black women's feet and drastically changing their lives for the better in the process. These same women, who pour their efforts into maintaining their physical appearance and demanding work/social/family lives, are knee deep in the church praying for a man while they deny their desire to be in a committed relationship in order to save face.

I can dig it, girls. No one wants to admit how disheartening it is to think that most of us black women (most of us with goals anyway) might "end up" manless because either there just aren't enough black men to go around or worse that they don't really want us (black women) anyway. It's a dismal view to have of black on black romance when everywhere you turn other races seem to have no problem "sticking together" in matters of love and as black women we're left to wonder "Well, Brotha what the hell is wrong with us?" (I personally think it's sad that the black race in this country will eventually die out but this is the ebb 'n' flow of things. We had a good run, right? Bout 250 years of slavery. About 100 years of brutal racism. Then roughly 40 years of passive-aggressive discrimination. That's a solid record for any minority in this country. They just killed off all the Natives.)

As for this black woman, I've never really been interested in the whole marriage thing but that's because I've seen what little it can do to improve the overall quality of person's life; not because I'm more interested in having a successful career and "getting saved" than I am in romance. As far as simply being involved in a committed relationship (sans contract), I could probably swing one if a viable opportunity presented itself... but so far none have. Does it bother me? Sometimes. Mostly when I wanna bone but truthfully it does get hard every now and then to toil land all by one's self. There may be some shame involved in admitting this, but most of my apathy toward finding a working relationship with a black man (or any) comes from my belief that it's something out of my reach. My motto is: Why waste time missing something I've never had? That shit would just drive me crazy with loneliness and who needs that kinda stress when the bills are due? I might just be postulating here, but I think many of the (heterosexual) black women participating in this survey might have felt similarly about the specter of having a loving, successful and long-lasting marriage. With that in mind, many have decided that it would be much more advantageous to seek fulfillment elsewhere (religion, career, family). Meanwhile... Tyler Perry capitalizes on the black woman's suppressed yearning for "the one with the ring" who'll love her for a lifetime.

*VOMIT INTERMISSION* (I'll wait til you get back. I might be a minute my damn self.)

(Jesus... what did I eat?)


Regardless of black women appearing to have something of a disinterest in romance, the survey shows that we feel like now is a good time to be a black woman in America... As unsound as the foundations of this "truth" may be, it is what it is. (I say considering what we've had to endure the whole while we've inhabited this country, that's a dumb ass question to even put on a survey. This shit beats the hell out of working in fields and kitchens with no agency whatsoever over our sexuality. Comparatively speaking... this is the shit right now.) Before this "age of Michelle Obama,” what were we as black women really given to look forward to? Now, not only do we have a sophisticated, intelligent, fine specimen of black womanhood as a first lady, but also our brethren rapping and singing our praises in songs about "independent women" and "bad bitches" where we are lauded for our ability to strip our way through college. We have successful TV series dedicated entirely to glamorizing the emotional immaturity and materialism supposedly inherent of our demographic. And what's more, we have the likes of Tyler Perry around to stroke our egos and make us feel as though we can do little to no wrong. All is well for black women. We don't have to be ashamed of the fact that so many of us feel compelled to use our bodies as a commodity just to earn a livable wage or simply live the consumer-driven lifestyles we might have been denied in prior eras. We don't even need a real job to live well anymore--just behave like children with high-limit credit cards and short tempers on national television and fame and fortune will follow. America is LOVING us for that shit right now. We don't have to play maids and hookers and ignorant welfare queens to get roles in major motion pictures (but if we want an award, those roles are probably your best bet) because Tyler Perry lets us be whatever we want to be in HIS movies. First Harriet Tubman and now this Negro. We's free nah...

There may be plenty of other black women who feel similarly about these things that I do but such nuances weren't covered in their "extensive" survey. They just asked separately about the overall importance of certain aspects of one's life such as being married, having children, being successful in one's career, and religion and drew comparative conclusions based on those results. This survey all by itself doesn't quite delve into the reasoning behind the responses given, but no research method is perfect by any means. The quantitative intent of a survey is to get a broad-sweeping general view of a particular demographic which is exactly what we see here: The Reasons Why Black Women Love Tyler Perry.

Of course I had to SEE this survey for myself since it's so telling of the black female state of affairs in this country. You can do the same here and see where you fall in as a black/white man/woman