Well today has been Christmas Day 2018, and I have been somewhat determined to post a post today! But somehow the hours have just escaped from me thus far…
So I thought I would just write little snippets about issues I have been thinking about…
1. Power issues: I’ve been thinking again about power issues in relationships. When I wrote my initial power post, I know I did not really manage to even scratch the surface of the topic. So I’ve been asking myself, what does it mean to be powerful in a relationship? What does it mean to be the one wielding the power, versus the one who is relatively powerless? If I say I feel powerful, what does that actually mean in practice? What about internal power? What does it mean for both of us to be powerful in a relationship? What does it mean for us to claw power back from one another? I really want to understand this, for the sake of building a mutually powerful relationship. And also for not feeling powerless in my relationship!
The simple fact is that in all my potentially romantic relationships I exert the power. I try to act for the benefit of male egos that that is not the case, but to be candid it has invariably been the case. With the exception of university guy…. In many cases I run rings around men. I myself don’t really know why. The only thing I can think of is that I have a very high level of internal resolve. Men are often surprised that behind my external sweetness and light they cannot really bend my will at all.
Black Brown women and relationships:
I don’t want this to be a “black” – sorry, I mean “brown” blog, because I believe that many of the issues I cover are universal. However I have often thought about questions such as these: are the relationships of brown-coloured people inherently harder than those of lighter pink-coloured people because brown-coloured people typically face bigger struggles, for instance around money etc? So I’ve been reflecting on these issues for a long time. But what recently occurred to me is that brown-coloured women such as I will typically face even bigger struggles than our lighter pink sisters. For this reason, we need more from our men, so we have to insist on even higher quality husbands. However, we are typically offered less in life than everyone else. In many ways people have treated me as if they expected me to be grateful for whatever crumbs they would throw in my direction…
3. Extra addition to “Criteria for my husband”:
A man who understands himself and can accurately explain himself to me.
In my experience, many people do not practice the art of introspection. So then many of these people do not really understand themselves. They have not taken the time to identify patterns in their behaviour, or to understand why they behave the way they do, or to try to devise ways of overcoming negative behaviour patterns. I can just imagine that trying to interact with these people would be so painful, because you never know who they are going to be from day to day, and there is no consistency of values etc. How fantastic to be able to find someone who does understand himself, who is able to say “this is what makes me happy, this is what makes me sad, this is what makes me frustrated!” And for it then to actually turn out to be true, so I can rely on what he says to actually know how to interact with him.
Actually, something just occurs to me as I am writing this: have you ever met someone who pretended to be full of disdain towards you? The thing is, these people apparently did not want to admit the level of impact that my behaviour had on them, because that would apparently give me too much power, so they pretended to be unimpressed, to find me inadequate. I knew that my behaviour was outstanding, so it was very easy to deduce that they were lying – so I ditched them. And how gratifying it was to watch them fall over themselves to try to “win me back”, while still pretending to be unimpressed, as if they were graciously giving me “another chance”. I guess following on from this I want someone who is not afraid to admit that he is excited by who I am, and he respects who I strive to be, and the excellence with which I strive to live my life. Simple common-sense: if you are not impressed by me as a potential romantic partner, then leave me alone to find someone who might be impressed by me, and go to find someone who does impress you!
4. “Two year” men I have escaped from
Perhaps much on this blog can be theoretical. So I had the idea of writing a post about all the men that the “two year idea” has saved me from thus far. That is, even though these men might initially have appeared attractive, because I was following the 2 year rule, I took the time to get to know them. And in the course of that time their real character was made so obvious that I just walked away. For some of these men, I did not even have to invest two years. I think that you should definitely give a potential romance two full years before going ahead, but when someone has conclusively demonstrated their poor character you don’t have to wait a full two years before walking away.
On one hand I would love to really say it as it is concerning these men. However, I’m still trying to work out how to do this in a way that is extremely sensitive, that does not obviously reveal who I am talking about. We are after all talking about real people here, and where I might not have been impressed by their behaviour I would not want to cause pain that is out of proportion to their behaviour.
Conversely, I also have to admit to my own poor behaviour regarding relationships, like men I have hurt through my own ghosting behaviour. Like when someone expressed interest in me, and instead of just saying “No”, I ran away. For months and months and months and months. Until the poor man got the message. That is definitely not good, and I have been behaving in this childish way a lot recently, not just in romantic relationships. My goal in 2019 is to boldly face difficult conversations instead of running away from them. It is like behind all the supposed sophistication and almost 8 years of this blog I am still extremely scared and shy so I have to know someone really well before I can talk to him about these issues, and I find it hard to trust men that I don’t know. It is like when I hid under a desk on the first day back at primary school one autumn after the summer holidays because I was too shy to speak to all my schoolmates – and yes, that actually happened!!!
5. Racial hierarchy when it comes to relationships
Yes, so I’m finally writing this post! Do you know what I mean when I talk about the concept of “racial hierarchy”? People might not explicitly realise they are acting this way, but many people certainly do. It is basically the idea that there is a global, or national “racial hierarchy” where people of my skin colour are invariably at the bottom. It is also the expectation that people should “know their place”. So your “lower” place on the hierarchy dictates the lesser things that you should expect or accept from romantic partners, the lesser aspirations you should cultivate in your life. Conversely, your “higher” place on the racial hierarchy can compensate for various apparent shortcomings when dealing with people “lower” on the racial hierarchy. So people will offer me less in relationship terms than they might offer someone of a different skin colour, or what they might offer to me, and expect me to be grateful for, are things that conventionally speaking you would apparently not expect a woman to accept.
This is one example: There is a man who appears to be chasing me on Facebook, and is just about to get blocked. I have never met this man in my life. He is not even a Facebook friend, as tenuous as that can be. He apparently saw me at church. He is also pale-pink skinned, and middle aged. I would say he is comfortably 20 years older than I am. Dear Mr Much Older Man, why would you think that I, as an attractive young woman – or at least one who looks significantly younger than my real age – would be interested in someone of your age when I can and I routinely do attract men of my own age? I can only imagine that it is because of the difference in our skin colours. He apparently thinks or takes it for granted that the colour of his skin versus my own compensates for the fact that he is middle-aged to the extent of turning him into some irresistible catch in my eyes. I have ignored him but this man is persevering with so much entitlement. I’m sure that if he was dealing with a woman of his own skin colour he would not persevere after being so roundly ignored. He would instinctively understand that his age was a detriment, as well as the fact that I do not know him at all. Ordinarily speaking, would an older man not at least try to find out a younger woman’s attitude to an age gap before starting to chase her?
Well surprise, I do not subscribe to this racist idea of “a racial hierarchy” in the slightest. No matter all the racism that you and your various pale-skinned cultures have invented, we human beings are all completely equal in the sight of God, and please believe me that I am going to insist on the very best from my husband, regardless of the colour of his skin. The colour of your skin does not compensate for *anything*! Now what if I told you that Facebook Man is not the only one treating me like this, even as I type this? There are at least two other middle-aged pale-pinked skinned men who seem to be eyeing me up/chatting me up with that same comfortable, confident sense of entitlement (but smaller age gaps between me and each of them). I am trying to politely avoid them even as I smile at the guys who are actually, you know, my own age, and potentially attractive to me. And there has been one other striking case, of a middle-aged man who apparently thought that his skin colour relative to my own would compensate for every seeming inadequacy that he might have. And he had so many. And that is another thing. These people do not even bother to find out who you are, or who you are striving to be. It’s like their mind simply cannot conceive of anything you could possibly be, as a woman of my skin colour, that could fail to find them utterly compelling.
Now the issue is that some of their seeming inadequacies are not actually inadequacies. The education thing is a big deal in relationships. I know some women who would only insist on marrying university graduates, even though they themselves have not been to university. As it happens, I have been to university. However it would be immensely stupid of me to insist on a “university graduate” when I know that some of the most brilliant people in the world who have made the strongest and deepest impact, are not highly educated in the conventional sense. How stupid to cut off so many potentially excellent men, because of such a narrow and artificial understanding of “intellect”. Conversely many people who have been to university, even Oxbridge like me, are frankly not very bright in real everyday terms…even often in intellectual terms! How about the people who truly are smart and hard-working in even the most conventional academic way, but may simply not have been able to afford to go to university? Are you going to snobbishly reject them too? If I was just turning 18 in these last few years I don’t think I would still choose university now, and saddle myself with all those tens of thousands of pounds of debt! So when I don’t insist on “a degree” from a potential spouse, it is not because I am recognising my skin-colour-conferred status in life and accepting lower standards. It is because I am trying to truly be smart. If I thought that having a degree was truly some reliable and infallible indication of spousal excellence, then please believe me, I would insist on one! But everyone knows that it is not. Common sense tells us that it cannot be. All the same though, Mr Huggie-Wuggie does have to be bright and smart. At the very least, if nothing else, then at least he needs to have solid, reliable common-sense. Some men apparently think that their skin colour compensates for the fact that they don’t have any real sense or thinking whatsoever, whether they are “highly educated” or not.
Conversely if one of these middle-aged pink-skinned men was actually my age, and still subscribed to this “racial hierarchy” mentality, then the “racial hierarchy maths” of that situation might mean that to him his youth would weigh the balance between us in his favour so that it was no longer a balanced bargain, so he might just take it for granted that he was automatically too good for me, or he might expect me to to be grateful for the crumbs of his interest, or expect me to fawn endlessly in gratitude that a young pink coloured man could be romantically interested in me! Once again without bothering to find out who I am, without understanding that I could actually exceed his narrow assumptions about women of my skin colour.
Candidly speaking, I think that many people think in this way without realising it. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt that they are as “woke” as I am regarding racial/ethnic issues. People will often claim to consider everyone as equal, but their actual behaviour will often demonstrate otherwise. Apologies if I am exposing my own prejudices in this post, but no, I am not excited by the prospect of romantically being with a man who is old enough to be my own father! Also for the record, while I have unapologetically been attracted to pale pink coloured men, I’m not particularly excited by the prospect of marrying a pale pink coloured man, precisely because of the levels of ignorance and racism I have experienced from people of this skin colour. If I was a more patient person, then perhaps I could deal with it but I’ve never been the most patient person. Even beyond considerations of racism, as shocking as this may seem! (at least to people who subscribe to the idea of Racial Hierarchies) – I have my own ethnic romantic preferences, that do not include pale pink coloured people – at all! (Because the Racial Hierarchy idea seems to suggest that a brown skinned woman could only be extremely grateful that a pale pink man could look at her, and her biggest romantic aspiration must be to win someone as high up the Racial Hierarchy ladder as possible…)
Please let me be perfectly clear. There is nothing inherently wrong with pale-pink-skinned men at all. They are as equally made in the image of God as anyone else. So they are not sub-human, but conversely they are not super-human either (even though they do have a pronounced habit of depicting all the heroes of history to look like themselves – Jesus, Saint Nicholas/Santa Claus, the Ancient Egyptians…etc…God Himself. Who knows, a few hundred years from now someone might try to depict me as a pink-skinned man and claim that “Tosin” has always actually been an indigenous British name!) The one thing that is strikingly wrong is racism and in my unexciting experience it is so deeply entrenched in British society. I always think to myself that if the man himself is genuinely anti-racist, and one thousand per cent “woke”, if he carefully and constantly monitors his heart – how about his friends? How about his family? What kind of “jokes” for instance might they have made in private about Meghan Markle?
With all that said, to be candid, a truly outstanding man is so rare that I have got to remain openminded about whatever ethnicity he might come from. I cannot afford to write off a whole ethnicity or skin colour, even where I may have experienced unexciting things from people of that skin colour before.