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Unpopular Truths According to That Teowonna!

Unpopular Truth #2: Mothers are the reason there are so many single women

To the Virgins, To Make Much of Time By Robert Herrick

Gather ye rose-buds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying;

And this same flower that smiles today, Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun, the higher he’s a-getting,

The sooner will his race be run, and nearer he’s to setting.

That age is best which is the first, when youth and blood are warmer;

But being spent, the worse, and worst times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time, and while ye may, go marry;

For having lost but once your prime, you may forever tarry.

I hope you didn’t loose patience and skipped the poem to get to why I think mothers are the primary reason there are so many single black women. If you did, please go back and read it. I’ll wait. This poem is key to my theory.

I recall the first time I read this poem in the 10th grade. It had a completely different meaning to me then. I thought Robert Herrick was an overzealous young man who was just trying to lay his best rhymes down so a young maiden would feel that “we don’t know what tomorrow will bring; we better live today”. In other words, I thought Herrick was using this poem to coax a young woman into getting their groove on.

But today however, I see the poem in a different light. Not only that, I agree with Herrick 100%. Young women should not put off marriage; they should get married while they are still young, pretty, and marriageable. Getting older does nothing for increasing your chances of being married and having a family.

There are a number of theories as to why young women, especially black women remain unmarried. There aren't very many suitable partners; too many black men are in prison; blah, blah, blah. But let’s talk about root causes here… MOTHERS!

The reason there are so many unwed/never been married/never will be married women in their 30’s and  40’s is because when they young and marriageable, being a wife was the last thing on their minds. They were more career-focused than family-focused. Any why were their priorities all scrambled up? Because of their mothers!

Mothers, especially black mothers, do not train their daughters to be a wives. They no longer teach their girls the value of being a mother. They tell them that there is plenty of time to get married and have children. But guess what mothers, you were wrong. Women don’t have forever to get married and have children. Men do, but women don’t!

Have you noticed that white mothers raise their daughters to go to college to attract a better man to marry, whereas black mothers raise their daughters to go to college to get an education “so you won’t need a man”. Huge mistake. In that statement alone, mothers downplay the importance of men in our society. They are instilling the value of independence. And what a horrible thing to teach your daughter… that she doesn’t need a man… that a degree and career are more important than raising a family. And then when she is 39, not married and you still don’t have any grandchildren, you wonder what’s wrong with her. What’s wrong with her is that you raised her.

I understand why mothers encourage their daughters to be independent. They want them to be successful, and happy, and all the other things that they feel like they missed. But guess what, mamas, when 11:00 pm comes, you have a husband to go to bed with. You have a family. Why should your daughter not have the same? How happy do you think she will be when she is 45 with two or three degrees and no husband, no children, and no prospects for either?  Don’t overplay the value of education, especially at the expense of family.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with going to college and getting an education. I highly endorse education. But I denounce education over family.

It’s time for mothers to retrain their own thought process so they can properly train their daughters to have balance in their lives. To get an education but also seek a suitable life mate. Teach them the value of a good man. That is how we start to reverse this negative trend.

So mother, when you send you daughters, and sons, off to college, in addition to encouraging them to get an education, encourage them to meet someone special and fall in love. Happiness and success can still be found within the walls of marriage and family.

As much as I love Robert Herrick, his poem needs a 2010 update. Who should we ask to update it? Hmm. Me? Really? No, I can’t! Ok, since you insist. Here it is, That Teowonna style!

To The Sistahs, To Make Much of College By That Teowonna!

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, times ain’t like they used to be

Chase a career like your mother say, yo’ ass gonna end up free

Your mother sent you off to school so you can get an education and ‘won’t need no man’

She’s trying to live her dreams through you, but a family, she already has

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no hater; Getting an education is alright

But keep in mind that piece of paper sure can’t keep you warm at night

I’m not saying settle or accept less than you deserve

But don’t wear ‘independent woman’ like a medal; To black men, that’s the new ‘N’ word.

Edit

9 comments

Interesting............and very thought provoking. Delete Reply

Balance is what we are looking for! My husband liked that I had an education. He said it meant that I had something to bring to the table. I was independent when I met him, but I have allowed him to wear the pants while carry the purse. Delete Reply

Kisha: I agree... we need BALANCE. And I understand and agree with what your husband said. Everyone should be able to bring something to the table... but let's be carefyl about raising a generation of girls that are TOO independent; too independent to see the value in marriage and a family... until it is too late. Delete Reply

The author of this blog assumes that being educated and 45 decreases your chance of getting married because what?????. That of course in my opinion is faulty thinking. Personally, I would rather earn an education and become independent before I add anyone to my equation. It's far more important to be happy with who you are before you can make anyone else happy. Not to say that the young uneducated woman who chose to get married early and had 2.5 children and has now reached 45 years of age will be unhappy. But let’s take pride in knowing that women now have the choice to make contributions aside from children. We can have our cake and eat it too. I don't know about you, but at 53 I still feel that I could attract a man, but Oooops, I only have 2 degrees and 3 children. GO FIGURE. Delete Reply

That's really interesting. If that 53 year old think that she can get divorced, walk out her front door and have men lined up, she is delusional. I promise you, men are not just waiting for her to be free so they can snap her up. Perhaps that would have been the case 30 years ago... but not today. When you are in your little married cubby-hole, you are clueless as to what is going on in the single world.

Furthermore, this we can 'have our cake and eat it too' business has put the female gender in a precarious predicament. That's why we are expected to do and give so much... that's why the men aren't expected to do nearly as much... because we have taken it upon ourselves to do our jobs and theirs. This predicament is completely self-induced.

Also, ask her to take assessment of the women she knows who are over 45 and who have never been married. Ask them how many think they will actually 'get' married. Most are hopeful that they will get married, but have accepted that they are single and trying to make the best of it. Delete Reply

To me it says, black women should teach their daughters to stay uneducated and ignorant. The problem is way more complex than getting a college degree. She did everyone a disservice to oversimplify the issue and blame the victim for the condition that they are in. Women can have careers and children. One is exclusive of the other. Maybe I'll quit my job and draw welfare so I can attract my dream husband. Delete Reply

In no way did I say that women should be stay uneducated and ignorant. That is a typical response that I get... people completely misinterpreting my words and taking them to the extreme. In fact, I specifically said that I am an advocate of higher education. I also said we need balance. I also said we can have family and an education. What blog did you read? Surely not mine... Delete Reply

The article is a good conversation starter... and I definately agree.... women have "taken it upon themselves to do our jobs and theirs" (the men)

It's a difficult conversation to have...as people will naturally respond defensively - at first... that is - if they get past the defensiveness.

I wonder.... How many Black women are successful at "allowing a man to be The Man" once they've achieved some career success?? It seems to me -- this is where the problem lies. Getting degrees and being successful in a career.... isn't the major problem... it's how women handle their "relationships" once they achieve that.

Isn't it interesting... white women seem to be more 'successful' at navigating this difficult path?? Delete Reply

You know H, I don't know if women have taken it upon themselves to stand in the role of men, or rather, it has been forced on women to stand in that role.

I think Mother's tell their little daughters to get a good education to be able to take care of themselves just in case the need arrives. Sort of like what I tell my son... "Yes you have a real shot at the NFL, but study hard and get your degree baby, because you never know." Delete Reply

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