Double Standards

Men can say no too... really, it's okay


There was a blog with an article (not linking to it cuz I don't want to) where a double-degreed professional black woman shared a recent dating story. She went out to dinner with her ex-boyfriend and after a pleasant meal and chit chat, she asked if he would like to sleep with her. He declined. End of story?

Ur... um no. She was tart. She asked him why not and he said he didn't want to "go there" with her again. She asked him what that had to do with the itch she wanted to scratch that evening. He kinda fled after that. The writer went onto say how irritated she was that he turned her down, in a very "how dare he" way. She also had some yada-blah about how discriminating she was about her sex partners and didn't get the opportunity to swirl the cocoa that often so she was extra tart about dude saying no.

This confused me. First, if you are just looking for scratch-an-itch cocoa why are your standards so high? Let's be real, if girlie is only trying to get down with 7-figure double-degreed brothers with 1000-thread count sheets... her cupboard is going to be bare for a while. Seriously, if she's just looking to get done you don't need Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech will do. (No shade to VT bruhs cuz really in this scenario, Virginia Avenue round-the-way will do)

Next, there seemed to be an expectation from this writer (and in many of the women talking about it) that if a woman asks a man for sex, he is obligated to say yes. There also seemed to be a pervasive attitude that men are passing it out with double coupons anyway so why not give it up when asked?

Isn't that kinda like someone rolling up on a rich guy saying, "You have plenty, let me hold a few thousand?" Beg pardon?

Let's look at it like this. If the genders were reversed in this story and a guy was complaining about his ex not serving up the cocoa just because he wanted some, we would be calling him the worst flavor of objectifying hound dog. 

I understand that the vijayjay is a commodity which some consider a form of legal tender, a bargaining tool, a most coveted prize in some cases. Where as those manly bits tend to be nestled together in the "buy 3, get one free" bin at the discount store. As one comedian stated, "P! is expensive but d! is free." 

But are ladies so deep into their own entitlement that they expect hot bubbling cocoa on demand from whomever they've chosen to delivery it? We would beat a brother down who acted like cocoa was a right and not a privilege. Even if you're in a relationship, there's no cocoa guarantee. As a friend of mine told her husband,"You'll get what I give you and you'll like it or get none." Boom. Imagine if dude in the story had said that to old girl? Whoa.

One of the most telling comments came from a young lady who said, "I've never had to ask. But if I did and he turned me down, I'd just ask someone else." And there it is.

Don't men have just as much right to say "No thank you" as women do? Can't they withhold, lock it down, go celibate without women putting them on blast? Do women just assume that if they are offering, men are saying yes? Fellas, have the tables turned? Are you getting pressure to give up the good-good? Is that what's hot in the streets? Please discuss...

Bitter looks bad on boys too…

Long story short… I'm a member of the Fresh Xpress, a blog that gathers the best and the brightest (I'm modest too) black bloggers' most entertaining blog posts and puts them all in one place. Carolyn Edgar's post on Hustlin' Hoes was picked up and posted there yesterday. Shortly thereafter, people started weighing in with their opinions. A few comments in, a gentleman calling himself Bitter Black Man said 85% of all women are groupies and only date for the 'come up'. I took offense (of course) and made the mistake of disagreeing with him publicly.

What is wrong with me? Have I not learned from this very blog that you can't take the bait? Generally the most abrasive and argumentative commenters want attention and are just dying to start something. Like fire, they need oxygen to grow and do real damage. Some folks live for conflict. I do not. His premise was that (in the words of Biggie) chicks were trying to stick him for his paper. And the more paper he stacks, the more chicks were rolling up. He considered that groupiedom. [Laser beam side-eye] Again, I disagreed and wondered where he got the 85% from? Scientific research?

In passing, I mentioned the back and forth conversation on Twitter and all hell broke loose. It started as a brief not and 216 tweets and 46 people later it was a Battle of the Sexes. The ladies said it's always the broke, broke-down, bitter brothers whining about women who only want ballers. Brothers started going in on materialistic women. And so it went. One brother asked me why his personality wasn't enough. My response – when mine is, yours is. Then the brothers (some claiming proudly to be dollarnaires) started listed their requirements in a mate: banging body, ambition, A+ sex game, accepting him for him… the list went on and on and on. Finally I said, "Fellas doing the most today. If I have to be Michelle Obama, you can't come like Pookie from the corner." This set off a whole other flurry of tweets and emails.

I'll address the ladies in a second. Right now, let me say this to my brethren… you know I love ya'll. But I don't even like my chocolate bitter okay? Sweet and smooth is the best way to go. And okay, I'll say it: Bitter never bagged a babe. Bitter + broke = no bueno. Fellas, do you. Whatever it is you do, get on out there and do it with a smile on your face. I guarantee whether you are banking $12k or $1.2 mil, if you are out there hustling and putting your best face forward, women are going to notice and appreciate it. Now let me quantify this – a hustlin' smile will only get you so far as you get older. There is an age at which it's not a good look to still be "aspiring". Particularly if the noun following that adjective is rapper, athlete, or entrepreneur. Please don't be 40 still talking about getting your LeBron on. No sir. Jay-Z and LL Cool J are the only 40-year old rappers I know, and they've been in the game a looong time. You are only an entrepreneur if you actually own and operate a business. Last I checked, "Dreamer" didn't pay no bills.

Let me get back on track. For the brothers that feel beat down, bamboozled and led astray by the womenfolk… my sincerest apologies. Sorry someone did you like that. Now, get over it. Double check that you aren't more concerned with bra size than IQ. Triple check that you know her history instead of her hip size. Does she have some brains to go with the booty beauty? Dammit, is she even a nice person? Okay, just checking. Now if you did all that and still got wounded on love's battlefield, dust yourself and try again. Because as much as I can't stand the bitter broads talking about "men ain't shit"; I triple-quadruple dislike guys telling me there are no "good women" out there, all women are "pay for play", "most the women I meet (insert negative yada-blah here)" – to that I say, "Boo!"

Every person that's single and wants to get married knows it's hard out there… none of them became less single by being bitter about it. Seriously, some of the effort you guys put in to tweet, message and email me about the raggedy women in the world could've been better spent saying three-dozen "Woosah's" and learning to relax, relate, release. If you need to vent THAT much about women, start a blog. Bitchin' about the triflingness of females is what's hot in the streetz anyway; you're liable to have a book deal and a radio show in no time flat. {Shots fired. That slipped out. My bad.}

Point blank. I can't convince you. The only thing that will convince a man that there are good women out there… is a good woman out there checking for him. Since all I see are stats about how there are a great deal of available viable females out there, I encourage you to get out there find one. And if she's not it, onto the next. Continue cycle until Ms. Right (not Ms. Perfect) shows up.

Ladies, I've lectured you a plenty about the bitterness and the mean-muggin' so I'm sure I need not repeat myself. What are your thoughts on the Bitter Black Male? Fellas, is it really that bad out there? A bougie chick wants to know… the floor is yours.

Why the Double Standard? Issue #5: Vixens, Victims and Villains

Quick: what is the male equivalent of jump-off? Side-piece? Other woman? Chick on the side? Yeah, there aren't any readily coming to mind. When you think of the term home-wrecker, do you think of a male or a female? Why does the scarlet letter get pinned on the woman and not the married dude? Why is that? Methinks I smell a double standard.

Let's just consider a few of the high profile cheatin'-ass-cheatin' stories of our time.

Jenn vs. Brangelina summary: Brad Pitt, ½ of a Hollywood "golden couple" goes off to film a shoot-em-up flick and loses his mind with the Lara Croft chick. They fake like they aren't doing each other until he can bail on his wife and now they are Super Philanthropist Couple of the Decade.

Vixen: Angelina

Victim: Jennifer

Villain: Brad

I am so baffled as to why Brad Pitt gets a cheater's pass because of the perception that he upgraded the mate. That's just tragic. Here's a man who took vows with one pretty good-looking woman, broke those and bailed to be with another good-looking woman. I hope he has taken a moment to apologize to Jennifer Aniston because I've never seen him show the slightest bit of remorse. Worse yet, popular culture appears to have deemed that "he who ends up with Angelina Jolie" wins. On the flipside, Jennifer is portrayed as some pitiable loser who can't hold on to men. Has anyone ever thought that she was so betrayed by Brad that she doesn't trust another of these entertainment fools with her heart? I wouldn't be surprised if she ended up going Julia Roberts (a whole other cheating story) married to some dude no one has ever heard of, living on a farm in the middle of nowhere.

On the third point of this triangle stands Angelina who had cultivated this "bad girl, I'll take your man" vibe from way back in the day. Wasn't she wearing Billy Bob's blood around her neck a minute ago? You think she forgot Brad had a wife? Did it bother her? It sure didn't stop her. Sure she was called a home-wrecking, husband-stealing tramp but then she adopted the next cast for a Colors of Benetton commercial, gave away a gang of money, spent time in Africa doing something charitable and now all is forgiven. She and her man are the toast of Hollywood. Moral: If you're going to steal someone's man, be prepared to go Mother Theresa for a year or two after. Oh, it also doesn't hurt if you're hot and look really good in all black and 4-inch stilettos.

Meg-Dennis-Russell summary: Meg Ryan, formally America's Sweetheart, went Down Under to shoot a (bad) suspense film and lost her mind after getting a taste of the Gladiator dude. They fake like they aren't doing each other until they were outed by the tabloids and D.Quaid said, "Eff this, I'm going to get me a Texas girl." Dennis is re-married, Russell is married, Meg is still single.

Vixen: Russell

Victim: Meg, Dennis, Meg and Dennis' son (but mostly Meg)

Villain: Russell

Russell Crowe appears to be such a flaming a-hole that even breaking up the ten-year marriage of America's Sweetheart and Remy McSwain (If you haven't seen the Big Easy, shame on you) doesn't harm his reputation. He clutched Meg's hand for a minute or two (so it wouldn't look like a complete on set fling) and bailed at the earliest opportunity. You think he forgot that Meg had a husband? Did it bother him? It sure didn't stop him. He was on to the next and throwing punches at random photographers in new time flat.

Meg did not fare so well. The news outlets made it sound like Meg was a weak-willed, whipped woman willing to toss away her life as she knew it for a renowned bad boy. And that whole "sweetheart" thing was out the window. She made a very disturbing movie (in the Cut) and hasn't really regained her movie star stature since. On the third point of this triangle stands Dennis, who came across completely shell-shocked. There were so many pictures of Dennis with a WTF-just-happened look on his face that I had to feel bad for him. He rebounded and married a Texas girl (should've done that to begin with) and his re-emergence as a big budget picture dude was sealed by the success of G.I. Joe this summer. Moral: If you are going to cheat on your husband, don't do it with one of the biggest celebrities on the planet and oh, don't get caught.

Mashonda-Swizz-Alicia summary: Already so over this story but it fits my theme so here we go... Super Producer Swizz Beatz meets superstar Alicia Keys and they decide they can make beautiful music together in more than one way. They fake (not very well) like they aren't doing each other until confronted by his wife (and mother of a child born in 2007) R&B singer/model Mashonda. Now Swizz and Alicia are officially a couple and everyone's waiting on his remix of her hit song Karma (which she should really go back and listen to).

Vixen: Alicia

Victim: Mashonda and child

Villain: Swizz

Apparently, the affair between Alicia and Swizz was a "known" secret in the black music community for months. Let's cut to the chase, no one considers not working with Swizz or buying Alicia's new album. AGAIN, I am so baffled as to why Swizz gets a cheater's pass because of the perception that he upgraded the mate. That's just tragic. Here's a man who took vows with one pretty good-looking woman, broke those and bailed to be with another good-looking woman. He has shown a wee bit of remorse (I didn't make my relationship with Alicia public out of respect for my wife)… classy. But then he pens Drake's unfortunate tune, Best I ever Had and infers that it's a tribute to AK… tacky. The situation continues its tacky twists as Alicia has been tweeting about herself and Swizz and their love. She hasn't shown an iota of regret for her contribution to a marriage's dissolution. You think she forgot he was married? Did it bother her? It sure didn't stop her. Yeah, yeah bloggers are calling her a tramp on one hand while vowing to buy up her next CD when it drops.

On the third point of this triangle stands Mashonda, best known for singing hooks on songs by Eve, Cassidy and Mya. However, all the Alicia Keys tweeting prompted Mashonda to fire back a public letter to Alicia, calling her a home-wrecker and all level of incorrect. This woman is literally battling for old boy to pay the light bills and has to see her husband's mistress tweeting about how happy they are? All the drama has netted her a few interviews and I understand she has a new album coming though her first solo album was greeted with poor sales in the US. Be that as it may, she is facing single-motherhood and daunting task of dating with her entire history in the streets. Moral to the story: If you're going to steal another woman's husband, make sure you are more famous than her and have sung a lot of female-empowerment tunes. Also, it doesn't hurt if you're hot and can rock a mean fedora.

All of this to say, the woman always takes the hit for these things, one way or the other. Do you feel bad for Elliot Spitzer or do we all remember the numb wife looking like a deer in the headlights behind him? Elizabeth Edwards, Mrs. Sanford, Hillary Clinton, I could go on for days. They have to spend the rest of their lives with people wondering what they did to "make" their husbands cheat and how they are so brave to pick up the pieces and keep living. The mistresses get a book deal and the talk show circuit, the husbands say mea culpa and get a slap on the wrist.

Point of fact, in these triangles there are two people who took vows and one who broke them. There are at two people at fault, sometimes all three. But the finger pointing should start with the blatant vow-breaker in my opinion.

Okay BougieLand, whatcha got? Can anyone tell me that there's no double standard in infidelity? Doesn't it seem as though the man always gets off easy whether he's the cheater or the cheatee? Can anyone actually "steal" your s.o.? Or don't they consciously make the decision to cheat? And can we make that word "jump-off" go away?

Why the Double Standard? Issue #4: B!tchy vs. Aggressive

Okay, today's post is mostly stream of consciousness OneChele randomness… stay with me and dig in. It's the old semantics game on Double Standard Week.

Strength, Courage & Wisdom is not only the name of one of my favorite songs by the incomparable India.Arie, it is also a list of attributes that are often assessed differently in men and women. What is perceived as a positive in men can sometimes be considered a negative in women.

I'm just going to pose a few questions/make a few stereotypical generalizations first:

Why is it that if a woman is really strong, she's labeled "too independent for her own good" but if I man is really strong, he's a great leader?

Why is it that if a woman has a weak moment, she's "emotional" but if a man has a weak moment, he's sensitive and in touch with his feminine side? (But then again, when was the last time we saw a whiny, sniffling male [who wasn't just jailed, attending a funeral or holding up a championship trophy] and thought that was okay? Just food for thought, people. )

Why is it that if a woman is really smart, she's the intimidating brainiac but if a man is really smart, he's the Chairman of the Board?

A woman who gossips is a nosy busybody; a man who gossips is just sharing information.

A woman who keeps her own counsel is aloof and hard-to-know; a man who does the same is circumspect.

A woman who points out a perceived slight is insecure and irrational; a man is "justifiably upset"

A woman who speaks her mind and shares her honest opinion is a ball-busting bitch but a man who does the same is a take charge go-getter. Where's the line between bitchy and aggressive?

I could go on for days, but let me share a BougiePlantationTale:

For a little while, BougieSis and I worked on the same paycheck plantation, a consulting company. We travelled 90% of the time, worked 90 -100 hour weeks, managed teams upwards of a 100 people each and regularly commiserated on the fire and brimstone that rained down on our heads. The Talent Acquisition team was run by an Irish cat who was off the chains with the "old school-ness" and reporting to him where a catty klatch of women that BougieSis and I reported to. The dynamics in the department were always a little skewed. Human Resources has historically been a female-dominated profession and the insertion of a Vice-President (with no recruiting experience) over a recruiting-centric woman-filled department was… troublesome at best. The Sr. Directors that BougieSis and I reported to leaned heavily (way too heavily) on their Directors (BougieSis and I with a few other folks) and the VP recognized this. Soon, he circumvented the Sr. Directors and came straight to us. That man blew up my BlackBerry morning, noon and night including one memorable occasion of my birthday (which I was taking as a personal day). It also happened to fall on MLK Day (which I always take as a holiday) and I had made myself clear that unless the 68 offices where my staff was housed nationwide simultaneously burst into flame, I wasn't to be disturbed on my day off. So when the work BlackBerry rang and rang and rang again, I was annoyed and turned it off. Then my house phone rang.

He said, "I just need this one thing, you're the only person who can do it."

"Of the 4200 people in the department, I'm the ONLY person who can pull together this presentation for you?"

"Well yes."

"You do realize it's my birthday?"

"Yes."

"And MLK day?"

"Yes."

"Okay, how about I call you on St. Patrick's Day, would you like that?"

At any rate, the next day, I was asked to join a conference call with him and the Senior Directors. They wanted to know why he was coming directly to me instead of going through them. His response, "She thinks like a man." **crickets**

Finally one of them jumped in, "What does that MEAN?"

He said, "It means she takes direction without asking a ton of questions, she doesn't get emotional or hysterical. And she dishes out as much bullshit as I give her."

The conference call disintegrated from there, they verbally abused that man about the head and neck. Less than a year later, he bailed to spend some time sailing around the Gulf of Mexico and was replaced by a female. (She actually didn't last much longer but by then BougieSis and I had thrown the deuces and broken for freedom). The point of the story is that beyond my ability to manage teams, dazzle clients, create hiring strategies and analyze data; the thing that impressed my male VP more than anything else was that I acted like one of the guys.

Fact: Women outnumber men 1.85 to 1 (depending on studies) in higher education yet 83.7% of CEO's are male. Somewhere between getting the degrees and reaching senior executive level (an average of 22.6 years), the numbers get terribly skewed. And don't even get me started on equal pay.

But enough of corporate America, let's talk about the real world. For years, I regularly was the one chick hanging out with my S.O. and eight to twelve of his posse. They would embark on guy's outings but said, "Chele can come, she's cool." So, I asked about it one day… how come I get invited along on the no-girlfriend weekend? They answered, "You mind your own business, understand SportsCenter, roll when it's time to roll, and don't nag about unnecessary sh!t. You're a dude with lady parts." Wow, is that plus the ability to pee standing up what "manhood" has boiled down to? Okay then, if I can do those things, let me ask you fellas a few questions:

I can kill my own spiders, why can't you change a roll of toilet paper?

I can mow the lawn, why can't you buy new bath towels in ten years time?

I can install my own stereo equipment, can you re-introduce your shower ring to Scrubbing Bubbles?

I've learned when to pass you the remote control and a beer and leave you in peace, can you walk through Macy*s shoe department for thirty minutes without acting like I've staked you out in the Mojave desert (naked on top an ant pile, drenched in honey, at high noon)?

And one last point: Since when does a woman being able to do things for herself mean she doesn't need (or want) a man? A point brilliantly broken down by Jill Scott in her song: The Fact Is (I Need You). When it's all said and done, we do love the XY chromosome. (We'd love you more on a more even playing field). Here's the song:

So I ask you, Bouge Nation? Am I wrong, am I only seeing the Double Standard from my side? I'm willing to admit that I'm looking at this based on my decidedly female experience. So share and enlighten me: Do men get stroked for things that women get knocked for?

Why the Double Standard? Issue #3: Cougars vs. Foxes

Cradle-robber, crib-snatcher, May-to-December, Oedipus complex, Electra complex, chickenhawk, manther, Lolita, jailbait, MILF, cougar and cubs, silver foxes and sugar babies. All terms used to describe people/relationships between one older and one much younger person. Did you know that there is an actual rule of thumb about age disparity? Supposed it is socially acceptable to date someone who is half your age plus seven years. I had no idea until I researched for this post. Lemme get a calculator… hmm, interesting.

To start, let me say that I didn't know what the heck a "cougar" was until a girlfriend of mine called me one-in-training (a puma – seriously). I had to look it up. It seems that the definition has varied but apparently if you are a woman near or over 40 dating a man over 8 years younger than you, that makes you a cougar. And you stay a cougar unless you date someone your age or older… how depressing. Being a cougar always has the connotation of a sexually voracious female reaching back to a more virile (supposed) male to keep her satisfied. I ask you, would Stella have gotten that same groove back with a 55-year old stockbroker or is more compelling to bring in a young, toned dude? And speaking of Stella, let's just pause for the cause with the movie trailer (we're gonna ignore how this turned out in real life and enjoy the fiction, mkay).



Someone said there was a reality TV show about cougars and now a sitcom called Cougartown? I haven't looked at it yet, I think I'm mildly offended by the entire concept. Women get the predatory name of cougar while men are called silver foxes. The foxes are hunted and revered as a prize. The cougar is a feared carnivore. I smell a double-standard.

Men "of a certain age" are lauded and revered for getting the youngest women possible to hang on their arms, sleep in their beds and wear their rings. It takes a case as severe as Anna Nicole before people even come with the obligatory, "Eeew!" It is a literal cliché that the older some men get the younger and more blonde their women get. Please check the picture I embedded today and tell me that Mariah and Demi aren't MUCH better preserved than Larry and Donald? Shouldn't you expect women who maintain their looks and vibrant personalities to attract men of all ages? Conversely, aren't you looking at those Barbies on Larry and Donald's arms and thinking, "I hope he has a pre-nup and Viagra?" Of course you are.

Moving on, the theme of the week is live and let live. The only problem I have with age differences are when there's a creepy sex offender vibe to it. As much as I loved Aaliyah the late songstress/actress (RIP); every time I hear the song Age ain't nuthin' but a number I think of R.Kelly and his urine issues and I get a little nauseous. Don't judge me, you know R. is nasty. The whole Mary Kay LeTourneau vibe freaks me out too. Even when I was fourteen, I didn't think fourteen year old boys were sexy. Someone from yesterday's post commented that they knew a man who had his first sexual experience at eight with a sixteen-year old girl but didn't consider that molestation. Again, I gag a little when I hear stories like that. Whole different issue.

But if a 62-year old man finds a 26-year old woman willing to love him up, (eww and ick) I say go for it (get a pre-nup and don't change your life insurance). If a 72-year old woman (a la Joan Collins) can keep finding 35-year old men to give her sponge baths, (blocking the visual) I say go for it (get a pre-nup and make sure you recognize the subtle signs of arsenic poisoning). Seriously though, what have I been saying all week? Get love where you find love (or whatever passes for love in your mind, Amen).

I'll share an interesting tale of some folks I met recently. We'll call them Steve and Tina. Steve and Tina were married for ten years, divorced quite bitterly and moved on. Steve was 42 when they split, Tina was 38. Steve moved a 22-year old girl in with him soon after the divorce. Within six months of that, Tina started seeing a 25-year old male. (Can anyone else say rebound relationships?) Since Steve and Tina had children, there were those blended family outings that always seem like a good idea ahead of time but really play more like a Lifetime Movie of the Week. One great story I was told involved them all going to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas for Christmas. At one memorable dinner, Steve's girlfriend was carded and the waitress asked Tina if her son (her date) wanted dessert. The evening deteriorated in an epic shout match, "You're dating the babysitter!" "Well you're dating the pool boy!" before their seven and nine year old daughters had to intervene and send them to their rooms. (Parenting FAIL)

Steve sued Tina for full custody claiming she was an unfit mother for having the pool dude in the house. The judge actually said it showed "an appalling lack of judgment" for her to be dating someone so much younger than she was. Yes, Mr. Judge completely ignored the barely-outta-high-school-chick coming into court on Steve's arm. Ironic twist? After being thrown together time and again, guess who ended up hooking up? Yep, Steve's chickie and Tina's boy-toy. Less than one year later, Steve and Tina got back together.

So what's the moral to the story? I don't know I just found it both fascinating and entertaining. So, what do you say? Have you been the cougar or the cub? The fox or the sugarbaby? Any opinion on Mariah-Nick, Ashton-Demi, Larry-Shawn (his EIGHTH wife), Donald-Melania (his THIRD)? Am I right, are cougars given a bad name while foxes are applauded?

Why the Double Standard? Issue #2: Your Magic Number


After yesterday's innocently intentioned post which set off a comment firestorm, I'm a little wary about powering forward with Double Standard Week. However, I have nothing else prepared so we're foraging onward.

I grew up with a South American father who would outfitted my sister and I with chastity belts if he could have. BougieMom handed us the Sex-Ed pamphlet with the following lines triple underlined in red: The best form of birth control is ABSTINENCE. Yes, we got the message. There would be no skankitude in the Bougie Household. As if this wasn't enough, BougieDad made it sound like premarital sex led directly to a life of dunking sliced potatoes and flipping sizzling beef at the local Dairy Queen. Suffice it to say, we were not the ones hooking up under the bleachers at the pep rally.

A few months ago, I was talking to some a male friend of mine from high school. He was a renowned dog back in the day, now supposedly reformed and married with kids.

He said, "Remember when ya'll had the pact that you wouldn't sleep with over x number of guys?"

I nodded.

He laughed, "How'd that work out?"

I raised a brow, "I'm still within the number."

His jaw dropped, "What?! All these guys you've dated?"

"Yeah son, unlike you I don't confuse a date with naked Twister. One doesn't necessarily lead to the other."

"Wow, you're holding down that good girl thing, aren't you?"

"Would you rather I turned skanky? Cuz I think it's a little late for that."

"Well what number is skanky?" he asked.

"I don't know, I think when you get to the point that you can't remember names or faces – that's too many."

"For men or for women?"

"Either, why?"

"Well, I know a lot of guys who can't remember names and never saw the faces. Hell sometimes, I didn't even ask for names."

"Now that's sliding toward slutty, dude. I mean damn, pause for a name, huh?" I teased.

"Shut up, I was a young buck out there doing what I could do."

"No doubt. So what number do you think is too high?"

"It depends on the age of the female but I don't think it should be more than 10 a decade. I think for men, you can multiply that by ten."

"Boy, you are tripping. So when a woman is in her 30s, you think it's okay if she's slept with 30 men but her partner of the same age would have a number between 300 and 400? Where did this formula come from?"

"The inner workings of my mind. But my number isn't THAT high - I left myself room to grow." He smiled.

I shuddered, "Eeew, that's scary and a blatant double standard."

"Don't hate me cuz it's a playa's world."

"Boy, bye."

Okay BougieLand. Play nice. Why is it more acceptable for a man to run up his number and not a female? Why do people even want to know what the number is, does it make a difference? With the exception of a Chamberlain-like number, is there a number beyond which you just don't want to be next? And can there ever be a number that's too low?

Why the Double Standard? Issue #1: Interracial Relationships

Let me preface this post by saying I have no beef with interracial dating, relationships, marriage. Get love where you find love, people. I have the entire United Nations and Rainbow Coalition up and through my BougieFam. As stated in previous posts, that which attracts people to each other is a mystery so I'm not about to judge someone for being with whomever their heart truly desires. Except for you fellas – you know who are, living in the hood perfectly content with cocoa Jacquishia on your arm until you get up out the hood with some change jingling and all of a sudden your arm candy is all flavorful, foreign and whatnot. You make me (and Jacquishia) very tired, but everyone else… go ahead and do you.

However, I have noticed there is a definite double standard with the interracial dating. Sure there are some sisters who throw visual and verbal daggers at a brother when he dates outside the race as in this scene from the Spike Lee classic Jungle Fever featuring Queen La in one of her early film roles (only version I could find, forgive the French subtitles):

All jokes aside, can we talk for a minute about the brothers getting all yoked up when they see a sister doing the same thing? Really though, you are giving us attitude when the whole world is telling us that waiting on a black man we'll never get married? I don't buy into it but I don't see sisters getting a ton of positive reinforcement. My own BougieYoungerBro told me JUST LAST WEEK, "The brothers aren't really checking for ya'll right now. It's kinda the day of the Latina or exotic babe." HOLD UP, he followed it with, "But you are cute enough to still pull something." **crickets** Yep, I threw him up out my house, slinging expletives and side-eyes the whole way. BougieMom should have beat his narrow behinds more when he was a child.

Let me share yet another BougieTale (I have 'em for days, folks) to illustrate my point. (names changed to protect the innocent… and the guilty)

The other evening I ventured out for a meal and movie with a gentleman not of African descent. We rolled up into a local jazz/supper club spot that I adore and were enjoying martinis and appetizers when a male acquaintance of mine from back in the day rolled up. More of a friend of a friend that I haven't seen in over five years.

"Michele, is that you?" He asked all loud, pulling me out of my chair and holding me close for an extended hug. I leaned back and gave him a patented OneChele "U don't know me like dat" look.

"Hey, Rick – what've you been up to?"

"You know me, just chillin'. Who's your friend?"

Hard side-eye, "Rick, Julian. Julian, Rick." I watched while they did the Black Man-Latino Man What-Up head bob. I sat back down next to Julian and we both looked up at Rick.

He stood there for an awkward moment before saying, "Have you seen Gene lately?" Foul on the play bringing up the ex.

"No I have not, have you seen Karla?" Karla was his ex-wife who booked out two years ago with all his money, his two kids and (we suspect) the contractor who was hired to lay tile… well, he laid something well. Moving on. I fight evil with evil.

He face got tart, "No I haven't. So this is how you roll now, huh?"

"What are you talking about?"

"I'm so disappointed. I mean of all the sisters, I never thought you-"

"What IS your problem?"

"You just gave up on the brothers, another lost to the other side. Brother can't get a shot?" He was talking very loudly and furthermore, his ex-wife was Filipino. Hello Pot, meet Kettle.

Julian gave me a 'should I handle this fool or will you' look. I raised my hand in an 'I got this' gesture. "Rick, I'm confused as to why a wave across the restaurant would not have sufficed. I'm confused as to why you are talking so loud? And I'm really confused as to how this concerns you? We are not friends."

"So that's how it is huh? Ya'll sitting up here eating smoked salmon and sh!t."

"Basically. We'd get back to it if you would leave."

"You ain't all that." Le Sigh.

"You never were. Hey, stay classy!"

He stormed off. Julian and I looked at each other before he said, "Would he have felt better if I ordered the nachos?"

We broke up laughing and went on with the evening. Unfortunately, Rick's hard glare was not the only one we got that night. So I called around to some of my friends, both male and female to see what kind of reactions they get when they date outside of race. The stories were as mild as whispers and glances and as bold as fist-fights and public cursing. And yes, the most bile was directed at the sisters. This is not a scientific poll by any means but it did reinforce some of the drama I've been a witness to. Is it because I'm in the South? Is it because Michelle and Barack are looking all black and beautiful in the White House and everyone figures if they can do it, everyone can? (FAIL)

It's 2009 people. Grow the F! up. As it happens, Julian and I did not have a ton in common so I probably won't go out with him again. I have a date lined up for this week back in my chocolate milieu but allow me to quote the ever-interesting Bobby Brown, "It's my prerogative. Let me live my life!"

What say you, BougieLand? How much drama is still associated with interracial relationships? Do sisters get more heat from the brothers? When do you think we will all just get along?