Double Standards 2

Double Standard? The Nice Guy

I distinctly remember a guy that my mother wanted me to go out with in high school. He was in Jack & Jill with me as kids, his dad and my dad belonged to the same tennis club and my mom played bridge with his mom. He was a "nice guy." He asked me to a school dance, we have the obligatory pictures of the two of us with corsage and boutonnière (I had to look up how to spell that!) smiling insipidly under a paper mache moon. We were two nice people who bored each other to death. My father loved him, referred to him as "son" regularly and asked me until the day he died why I didn't marry "that nice boy."

Two weeks later I met this track runner from the iffy side of North Dallas, he was funny and rough around the edges and completely foreign from all the other guys I'd known growing up. I was head over heels. My father never let him in the front door, referred to him as "that kid" and asked me until the day he died what I ever saw in "that kid."

Then there came the concept of the Corporate Thug. Polished enough to meet your boss and parents, thuggish enough to stir cocoa the right way, throw a punch as needed but still diverse enough to enjoy your dual love of hip hop and classic jazz. This has been my niche for years. 

But what about your basic nice guy? He has a bad rap. People think he's "corny" or "too nice" and tend to try and walk all over him. They say he finishes last and never wins. If he's too nice, they tell him to grow a pair. Shows too much emotion and he's überEmo. And then there's the whole concept of street cred.

This has got to be a double standard. The nice girl gets all props. If she's too nice, people feel protective. If she shows emotion, that's just hormones. Rarely are young girls told - you need to up your street cred and get a little gangster.

I recall just acting out a little bit with an ex-fi of mine, a notorious "nice guy." Everybody that meets this guy is like he is the nicest guy they've ever met, oh my goodness, what a gentleman, how lucky I was to have him! Um-hmm. Side-eye. Let me continue. So one night I was teasing him about being Mr. Nice Guy and I was just real, real snarky with it. He went dead silent, looked me straight in the eye and said, "I'm nice, I'm not new, you want to keep it up?" Um... no. As my late great Aunt Violet used to say, "Even the prettiest roses have thorns, you keep playing in the bushes; you're gonna get scratched." Well there you go.

Let's take for instance the 44th President of these here United States of America. By all appearances, Barack is a nice guy. He's more of an intellectual than a street scrapper and even I have made jokes about how I wouldn't mind seeing him show a little more South Side Chicago and a little less Lakeshore Drive. Do nice guys have to reveal their inner tough guys in order to be taken seriously? Nobody thinks Michelle needs to be a little more street to be effective as First Lady. 

So I ask you BougieLand? Is it a double standard? Are nice guys misunderstood? Fellas, do you wince when someone tells you "you're such a nice guy"? Where's the line between nice guy and doormat? Nice and naïve? Is there such a thing as being too nice? What's wrong with nice anyway? I could use just a regular nice guy, no drama, all smiles, just-wants-a-good-woman-to-love-him-back now that I think about it. Oh... pardon me... I digress.

Moving on. People? Your thoughts, comments, insights? The floor is yours...

Double Standard? The man with bad cocoa (yes, it's a euphemism)

Well here it is... the obligatory double standard post about bed game known affectionately in BougieLand as hot chocolate/cocoa.

Guy meets girl, girl has it all going on and is smoking hot. One thing leads to another, they stir the cocoa. Or rather he stirs the cocoa and she just is kinda there. Does she get another shot? 

Girl meets guy, guy has it all going on and is smoking hot. One things leads to another, they stir the cocoa. Or rather he attempted to heat up the cocoa and nothing really... boiled. Does he get another shot? 

Sadly, I believe that the girl with bad cocoa probably gets another shot if she's cute enough and a man deems that she is "trainable." The guy with bad cocoa? Had better have already made a heck of an impression on his cocoa partner. Unless she's not in it for the cocoa. If Peaches is on the come up, she'll no doubt overlook lacking cocoa skillz for pocketbook prowess.

I don't know about this one... a guy who has a terrible time with a girl generally does not go back to his boys and say "That's the worse I ever had" lest it be his fault the experience was lacking. Women? We tell each other about terrible cocoa ALL. THE. TIME. And they tell two friends. And so on. And so on. And so on. Does he even have a shot with anyone in the extended crew? 

Chris Rock once said that a man sleeping with a woman for the first time is like stepping up to the plate with only one at bat. You better knock it out the park the first time out or you will never get invited to play again. True or no?

So tell me, BougieLand: Does dude with bad bed game get another shot? Does girl? What does it depend on? Emotions involved? Time in relationship? Other factors (looks, money, potential, ability and willingness to learn)? Seriously, isn't everybody teachable? Okay, the floor is yours... try and keep it PG-13 as much as you can.

I'm scared. 

Double Standard? The Unambitious* Under/Unemployed Man

*Note: The keyword is unambitious before y'all start quoting unemployment rates to me.

I don't know, the women may have an advantage in today's double standard. Let's just go straight no chaser - is a woman sitting on her hindparts waiting for someone to pay the bills cut more slack than a fella doing the same thing?

Face facts - a man who doesn't bring home the bacon is often considered less than a man. Unfortunate but true. And I don't mean a man who isn't bringing home platinum-coated bacon. I'm talking a man not even covering basics. Very few folks have sympathy if he doesn't appear to be trying to better himself and his circumstances. 

On the flip, a broke woman is presumed to be between people (daddy, significant other, husband) who'll give her some bacon when she bats her eyelashes. [Disclaimer: BnB does not condone the batting of eyelashes, shaking of booty, or jiggling of ta-tas to make the rent. We believe in everybody getting a J-O-B. Trickin' for treats is NOT the bizness. Thank you, The Management] This unfair assumption is also generally wrong. 

Which also leads to the question - are we less tolerant of the gold-digger looking for a sugar daddy or the gigolo looking for a sugar-mama? Is a female on the come up almost expected while a man applying for the Negro Improvement Plan is ridiculed?

I had an ex-SO who was between gigs (but by no means without fundage) come stay with me in Los Angeles for a few days. The first day I got up to go to work and he was still laying in the bed... we made a joke about it. Me being the breadwinner for a day. Ha ha! The second day I gave him the side-eye. The third day I inquired into how he was planning to spend his day. Even though our finances were not intermingled and he never needed a dime from me - the thought that I was getting up and going out to earn paper while he caught up on beauty sleep chafed my nerves. I'm sorry. I'm old-fashioned. To his credit, he knew this. When I got home that third day, the apartment was clean and dinner was served. Sho you right. A minor example but you take my point. 

I'm just wondering how hard this is in these brutal economic times. What must it be like for a man not to "pull his own weight" and KNOW that folks are cutting him the side-eye? (For that matter, these economic times aren't sitting so well with the sisters either but that's not my point today.) What's it like for men who have chosen to be the stay-at-home caretaker while their wife works? Takes a helluva man to be Mr. Mom. So let me discount the fellas who are really out there hustlin' trying to do the right thing for their families and just focus on the Pookies and the Rico Suaves on the come up.

I guess I'm asking - are we more tolerant of Peaches than Pookie? Is Diamond trying to snag a baller more universally "accepted" than Round-the-way-Rakim rolling up on female executives? Is a broke but cute woman better off than a broke but cute man? I had a guy tell me that a woman in a busted apartment with a bus pass was still getting play as long as she was cute enough - can we say the same for the fellas? Color me curious... the floor is yours, BougieLand.

Double Standard? The single man with kids

After yesterday, I seriously wondered whether I wanted to continue with Double Standards Week 2 since folks seemed to take things quite personally. I had to delete about 16 comments that had dissolved into either straight out profane name calling or were just plain mean, we don't play like that in BougieLand. These are just observations and questions for the purpose of discussion and information sharing, people. Okay? All is love... Moving on.

Single women with children are often scorned, demoralized and forced to explain the circumstance by which they found themselves with child and without a man. There's an entire movement out called No Wedding No Womb (which I refuse to go in on) that almost requires a woman to apologize for choosing to have children out of wedlock. One group of NWNW critics call it slut-shaming. Ouch!

I'm not going to argue the issues of single motherhood, it's a well-documented fact that fatherless black children and fragmented African-American families face challenges and disadvantages in health, wealth, opportunity and education. No doubt this extends along racial lines. Although I have to point out that a dysfunctional two-parent family can cause far more harm than a happy single-parent family. Whole other topic.

As far as single parenthood goes, what about the fellas? Not referring to that idiot in Michigan who has 14 kids by thirteen different women, that's just obscene. I'm MERELY asking - are single men with kids viewed with the same level of scorn and derision as their female counterparts? Do as many women say "I won't date a man with kids" as men do? For instance, I know a man who has sole custody of his two kids (from a woman he never married), and the ladies think it's honorable and adorable that he's raising these kids on his own. He's a hero. When was the last time a sister with two kids and no husband was considered "honorable, adorable, heroic"? 

Is there a double standard when it comes to being unmarried with kids? Even in cases of divorce and separation, are men afforded more of a "these things sometimes happen" pass than females? Or has the stigma of having "baby mama drama" caught up with the single dad? And while I'm on it - have a few crazy-assed baby mamas given the rest a bad (BAD!) name? Thoughts, comments, opinions. The floor is yours... but keep it friendly.

Double Standard? The Professional Unmarried Black Male over 40

We've heard all the stories about the professional unmarried black woman over the age of 40 and all the various reasons why she finds herself in this state. It's been talked to death. But what of the male equivalent? In the past few months I've heard of more and more never married forty-something professional black men. And in every case, I've found myself talking in wonderment about these men as if they are unicorns - where do they come from and what's wrong with them?

Depending on which poll you refer to a black man (living in a major metropolitan area) over the age of thirty-five of reasonable attractiveness especially at a certain income and education level has pick of the litter (so to speak) at a ratio of 24:1. In other words, there are supposedly twenty-four reasonably attractive females of similar education and background to that one male. I'm not mathematically inclined but it seems like the pool of candidates is there, the opportunity presents itself and all ratios are in these men's favor. I get that it's not that easy but is it an easier search and selection than women in the same position have?

I find myself wondering what the story is and why a man with seemingly this much on the ball has never been married. Which is funny considering how much I HATE when people ask ME why I'm still single.

So my question is this - Is it a double standard to wonder why a man of a certain age and means is still single? Is he waiting on perfection? Does he have George Clooney syndrome? Is he like that idiot I met a few weeks ago who said he hadn't met a woman who made him want to be faithful? Is it really just as simple as not having found the "right woman" yet? Is it just me giving these gents a side-eye?Ladies and gents, the floor is yours. I eagerly await your thoughts, comments and insights.