The New American Man Doesn’t Look Like His Father

This summer, All Things Considered is exploring what it means to be a man in America today. In some ways, the picture for men has changed dramatically over the past 50 years. More women than men are going to college, and the economy is moving away from jobs that traditionally favored men, like manufacturing and mining. Attitudes have also changed on the social front, with young men having more egalitarian attitudes toward women and expectations of being involved fathers.

Pedro Noguera, a professor at New York University and head of the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools, says the biggest shakeup has been in education. In 1962, men made up about 65 percent of college enrollees; today they make up about 43 percent.

The other side of that figure is the dropout rate for men. Noguera tells NPR’s Audie Cornish that in some states, it’s twice as high as the female dropout rate.

“These patterns speak to a larger problem, because we know now that the jobs of the future require college degrees,” Noguera says.

The education imbalance between men and women is also having an impact on the dating scene, Noguera adds, something that’s been already true in the African-American community: “A growing number of well-educated, professional women … are unable to find men of similar education.”

But sociologist Michael Kimmel, a professor at Stony Brook University and director of the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities, says the changing landscape hasn’t come with changed attitudes about masculinity.

“Survey after survey shows that 60 to 70 percent of men still agree with the notion that masculinity depends on emotional stoicism — never showing fear, never showing pain,” Kimmel says. “So, the world has changed dramatically, and yet most men still cling tenaciously to an ideology of masculinity that comes off the set of Mad Men.”

But Kimmel says today’s boys and young men have a much better sense of gender equality than many of their fathers did. He sees a clear example in cross-sex friendship. For 25 years, Kimmel has asked his students if they had a good friend of the opposite sex. When he first started asking, about 10 percent would answer yes. Today, almost everyone does.

“Think about that. You make friends with your peers, right? You make friends with people you consider your equals, not your boss or your servants. I mean, my students today are more experienced with gender equality in their interpersonal relationships than any generation in our history,” he says.

Noguera also has seen men become much more involved with raising their children and general housework.

“But what hasn’t come with that is a new definition of what it means to be a man as a nurturer in the family,” Noguera says. “Can you be strong and be a nurturer? Well, many women have figured out, yes, they have to be, in fact. Because they have to raise the kids on their own, and they can’t afford to just expect some man to save the day.”

He says today’s men are searching for a way to reconcile old ideas related to strength with the need to be better listeners, more cooperative and more open to others.

american man

*Article originally published on NPR.

Remembering Alice Coachman Davis, The 1st African American Olympic Gold Medalist (1923-2014)

Track and field star Alice Coachman made history at the 1948 Olympic Games, becoming the first black woman to win an Olympic medal.

Early Years

Born in Albany, Georgia, on November 9, 1923, Alice Coachman made history at the 1948 Olympics in London when leapt to a record-breaking height of 5 feet, 6 and 1/8 inches in the high jump finals to become the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal. She now supports young athletes and older, retired Olympic veterans through the Alice Coachman Track and Field Foundation.

Alice Coachman was born on November 9, 1923, in Albany, Georgia. One of 10 children, Coachman was raised in the heart of the segregated south, where she was often denied the opportunity to train for or compete in organized sports events. Instead, Coachman improvised her training, running barefoot in fields and on dirt roads, and using old equipment to improve her high jump.

At Madison High School, Coachman came under the tutelage of the boys’ track coach, Harry E. Lash, who recognized and nurtured her talent. Ultimately, Coachman caught the attention of the athletic department at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama, which offered the 16-year-old Coachman a scholarship in 1939. Her parents, who’d initially not been in favor of their daughter pursuing her athletic dreams, gave their blessing for her to enroll.

At Tuskegee, Coachman blossomed as a track and field athlete, competing in and winning her first Amateur Athletic Union Championship in the high jump—all before she’d even begun classes.

Over the next several years, Coachman dominated AAU competitions. By 1946, she was the national champion in the 50- and 100-meter races, 400-meter relay, and high jump. For Coachman, these were bittersweet years. While probably at the peak of her athletic form, World War II forced the cancelation of the Olympic Games in both 1940 and 1944.

Olympic Success

Finally, in 1948, Alice Coachman was able to show the world her talent when she arrived in London as a member of the American Olympic team. Despite nursing a back injury, Coachman set a record in the high jump with a mark of 5 feet, 6 1/8 inches, making her the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal. King George VI, father of Queen Elizabeth II, awarded her the honor.

“I didn’t know I’d won,” Coachman later said. “I was on my way to receive the medal and I saw my name on the board. And, of course, I glanced over into the stands where my coach was and she was clapping her hands.”

Post-Olympic LifeFollowing the 1948 Olympic Games, Coachman returned to the United States and formally retired from athletic competitions, but her star power remained. In 1952, the Coca-Cola Company tapped her to become a spokesperson, making Coachman the first African American to earn an endorsement deal.

Later in life, she established the Alice Coachman Track and Field Foundation to help support younger athletes and provide assistance to retired Olympic veterans.

In the decades since her success in London, Coachman’s achievements have not been forgotten. At the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, she was honored as one of the 100 greatest Olympians in history. She’s also been inducted into nine different halls of fame, including the National Track & Field Hall of Fame (1975) and the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame (2004).

Coachman, who married Frank A. Davis and is the mother of two children, resides in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Ms. Coachman

10 “Skinny Girl” Problems

Skinny girl

You all know how much I hate hearing the word “skinny”. (Ew!) But I came across this post & thought it was quite hilarious so I thought I’d share. Enjoy!

 

  • We can barely give blood – We want to do good in the world and give back sometimes. So when we go to donate blood, we often get met with side-eyes from workers who don’t think we meet the 110 lb cut off. And then they make us drink extra juice just so we can get our weight up at the moment and not pass clean out. I mean, yeah sometimes their concern is legit, but I’m saying #doe. I e’em ate a steak before going to make sure I was good. You ain’t gotta look at me that hard. Hmph.
  •  We’re always cold – ALWAYS. Without much fat on our bones, we’re always left shivering. We can have on a tank top, sweater, scarf, leggings under our jeans, and our favorite wool jacket and we’d still be freezing. While everyone else is all “It’s just so nice out!” Lookie here… I have no buffer so ignore me while I shiver.” This is a REAL struggle. Living in Chicago winter is even tougher when you’re skinty. Needless to say, the amount of our electric bill is directly proportional to how skinny we are.
  • We always get reminded that we’re skinny – Folks feel the need to let us know we’re skinny, as if we don’t already know. And they feel no qualms about it. They’re all “Damb you skinny as hell.” You won’t like it if I walked up to you talmbout “Damb G. You fat as shit.” Not ONE bit. So why must you throw my skinty in my face? This is especially true for family members.

Skinny 1

  • And then folks always gotta come up with a plan to “fatten you up.”
  • Our pants get baggy midday – So we put on our pants in the morning, and they’re all fitted and cute. We’re feeling ourselves and going “Heyyyyyyy…” But due to the stretching of the fabric, by noon, our pants are looking like wide-leg. And this makes me sad. How’d my jeans get 2 sizes bigger in 6 hrs??? That’s just disrespectful. It’s all saggy in the booty and our segzy is totally compromised. Then we gotta wash the pants in high heat to get them back tight. And the cycle repeats itself.
  • We make terrible cuddle buddies – Lack of meat on our bones make certain joints and parts of us sharp, like elbows, knees and chins. Have you ever placed your head on his chest and he goes “OW!”

You: “What?” Him: “Your chin just stabbed me” You: *cries in tea*

  • Gusts of winds are dangerous – A really windy day is our kryptonite. Have you ever had to battle a strong gust of wind that almost swept you into traffic? That joint is embarrassing. And let it be raining, so you have a punk umbrella with you and it turns inside out. It becomes a struggle to stay standing. Unless you find a pole or something heavy to hang on to, it might be deuces. REAL struggles!
  • It’s hard to find knee boots that fit our calves without space left – We go shoe-shopping and try on some dope shoes, only to find that we still got a 2-inch gap where the boots don’t touch our calves. TOO disappointing. We look like fishermen in their rubber boots. And then we get sad. This is a REAL struggle. Especially for us shoe heads. I take that personally.
  • People pick us up to test their strength – Skinty girls get picked up randomly by people who want to see how strong they are talk about “Hey lemme pick you up. Bet I could.” Yeah AND? I’m not a toddler! Put me down, fool!
  • We have to prove to folks that we eat – We’ve been asked countless times “Do you eat?” Nawl… I get sustenance off oxygen and the occasional cracker. YEAH I EAT!!! So anytime we go to restaurants, we feel pressured to clean our plates and almost lick them. When we don’t, folks be talk about “See that’s why you’re that skinny now.” HMPH! Can I be great??? How you know it ain’t because my metabolism is on crack? HUH??? And let us not pick a super fatty dish…
  • We can’t exercise without being judged – We mention to folks that we’re gonna start exercising and they look at us up and down with this look O____o. I am skinny and out of shape. YES, it’s possible. So excuse me for tryna make sure my heart is right. Being skinny fat ain’t bout that life!
  • And as a bonus…

Skinny 2

And then folks make us sit in that part of the backseat because we don’t need a lotta space. By the time we get to the destination, we’ve been assaulted by the hardness. RUDENESS!

 

 

 

There are COUNTLESS skinny girl problems! Which ones did I miss?

 

*Article originally published on AwsomelyLuvvie.

Help! I’m A Woman Who’s Afraid To Get Married!

Last year I wrote about things in marriage I don’t think I’ll like. Things like having to share a bank account, taking on a new last name & dealing with in-laws (oh boy!). But there are many more reasons why I am afraid to get married. Here they are in no particular order:

  • Sex with the same person over & over (and over) – It’s no secret that doing the same thing with the same person repeatedly can get boring. Even if it is your favorite thing to do! It’s hard to keep things fresh over the years and even women fear being stuck in a routine.
  • Dealing with his shiftless friends – Every man I’ve ever dated seems to have at least 1 no-good friend. That friend who keeps him out late, tempts him with his bachelor-like ways and doesn’t have much regard for married life. Sometimes that friend can end up in your guest bedroom or unknowingly ruin your marriage.
  • Loss of my independence – Men aren’t the only ones who are afraid of losing their freedom. Before getting married, women can come & go as they want, dress as sexy as they please and spend their money how they want. We don’t have to take anyone else’s feelings into consideration. If I want to exercise every day or cut off all my hair, I can! I can use my vacation days how I want & don’t have to clean anything until I get ready. We can even leave the bathroom door open!
  • Missing my girlfriends – I love my girlfriends! They mean so much to me as a single woman & I can’t imagine the day when I won’t be able to call them at midnight for a little ‘girl chat’. When I get married I can’t talk to them for hours & hours on end like I do now. Not to mention, I would have to be mindful of the information I’m sharing with them & consider my husband’s feelings instead.
  • Adultery – This is probably my worst fear because there is little I can do to keep a grown man from cheating. There are so many stories of men cheating and everyone knows how much that can tear a family apart. A lot of other transgressions can be forgiven but breaking our marriage vows will not be taken lightly. I haven’t stayed single this long to end up with a man who disrespects me & my body so adultery is definitely grounds for divorce.
  • My body – Even the Scripture says “The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband.” This means that when a woman gets married her body belongs to her husband (and his body belongs to her). Whether the couple decides to start a family, or even to fulfill her wifely duties, she is surrendering her body to the marriage. Men don’t seem to understand how serious that is. I don’t think they know how scary that can be for a woman to have to yield what was once hers to someone else. Men, think of it like your bank account: Before getting married, you were the only one who had access to your money & could do whatever you wanted with it. But once you get married, your wife has access to your account and it is no longer just your money. You may not want her dipping into your bank account all the time but in the interest of making her happy, you let her. It’s the same way with our bodies. That’s deep!

Ladies, am I leaving anything out? Do you have any fears about marriage? How do you plan on handling them (if you haven’t already)?

Men, how would you handle these fears that women have? Do you have any advice for women who might be facing these fears? I’d love to hear them, so please share in the comments below -

gamo

Preparing To Become A Husband – 10 Tips For Single Men

Found this great article geared towards men. It seems to be some much-needed and very good advice!

Last week’s article,  Preparing To Become A Wife ““ 10 Tips For Single Women, gave great tips for wives-to-be and inspired me to sit down and write out my thoughts on being a great husband. In no way am I proclaiming perfection in any of these areas, but like any relationship you have to work hard on the positives in order to become an ideal partner.

Prior to my marriage I would’ve never been able to construct a list like this and I hope my experiences can influence someone to develop positive habits prior to saying “I do.”

1.  Develop An Intimate Relationship With God: (as seen on Preparing To Become A Wife ““ 10 Tips For Single Women)
You cannot enter into a successful covenant with a husband wife if you don’t first have one with God. Seek biblical wisdom, study the word, develop a life of prayer and be dedicated to living for God. This will strengthen the marriage covenant when God allows you to walk into that season. A three-cord strand is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

2.  Be Faithful:
Being faithful isn’t just restricted to being a “one-woman man.” You have to be faithful in every aspect of your marriage. Be faithful in the way you budget your finances as well as the time you spend with your wife and family. Your wife will always respect you when she’s able to trust you to be faithful to the life that you’re trying to live together.

3.  Plan Together:
Your wife is counting on you to have a realistic vision for the rest of your lives. Your marriage should include goals and a purpose that you two can openly discuss and achieve together. For example, if you two are planning to buy a house, how are you going to do that? To get the ball rolling, try writing down some short-term goals and post them on the fridge. When a goal is achieved you should acknowledge and celebrate it together.

4.Constantly Remix Your Love Language:
Your wife will appreciate your creativity when it comes to showing her how much she means to you. Remember to date your wife and always keep her guessing when it comes to how you show her that you love her. Get clever with the gift giving and remember that even though it’s the thought that counts they can always tell just how much thought went in to a gift.

5.  PDA Is Much More Than Being “Hands-On”:
Express your feelings for your wife in public often. PDA is more than just locking arms or lips at the mall. When you’re around your friends give compliments to your wife, praise her cooking, her outfit, or how proud you are of her recent accomplishment. Use social media to tell your wife and the world how much she means to you. (I love you @lcnurse10).

6.  Be a R.E.A.L. Man:
Realize that you have a responsibility to set the standard of living inside your household.
Earn the right to call yourself a man by displaying Godly standards of headship.
Always put your marriage first.
Love unconditionally and eternally.

7.  Make Sure Your Roots Are Solid:
Having deep roots makes you dependable and gives your wife assurance. Be rooted in your faith, marriage, and job. Your wife should know how dedicated you are. Having deep roots will show that you are committed and reliable even during adversity. The trees that survive a storm are the trees with the deepest roots. As your roots deepen, your branches will grow and you will bear nothing but good fruit.

8.  Adapt To Your New Environment:
When you’re married the adjustment from the single or dating life can be a challenge. You’re going to be spending more time (a lot more) with your wife than with your friends. Leaving your gym shoes in the middle of floor might have been ok at your bachelor pad but with marriage comes new rules on household etiquette. Adapting smoothly into married living will make your wife more comfortable and ease any nervous feelings that she may have. Discuss with your wife on how your household should be run. This will help alleviate future arguments.

9.  Be A Leader:
As a husband it is imperative that you demonstrate the characteristics of a good leader. You must be patient enough to listen, confident enough to decide, and worthy enough of submission. If you don’t have the right answers, seek them out. If you can’t find the right answers, ask for help. Your wife is your helpmate and her opinion and input is just as important as yours. All decisions should not be left up to you alone. Tag-team often on problem solving and decision making with your wife. Be a president and not a dictator.

10.  Pray Out Loud:
Here’s a quick secret: one of the sexiest things you can do is randomly grab your wife by the hand and say, “Let’s pray.” Having a bold prayer life shows your wife that you’re not the end-all-be-all and that though you are the head of the house you still answer to a higher calling. Your willingness to pray out loud will inspire and increase the faith of your entire family.

What tips would you add to the list for single men?  

Cake topper

*Article originally published on Black and Married With Kids.

When Does Being Single Become My Issue Instead Of Everyone Else’s?

I was talking to a friend earlier today about how I don’t think most people are willing to change until they meet someone worth changing for and not a moment before. He tried to convince me that women need to “fix” themselves first if they wanted to attract the right man. Specifically, I needed to fix the things that aren’t right with me or at the very least the things about me that haven’t worked in the past before starting a new relationship. The problem I have with his argument is that if I haven’t met anyone I want to be in a relationship with, why on earth would I want to change now?

Of course, the argument could be that I might not meet a man I want to date until after I “fix” myself. But unless I was a pathological liar, highly unattractive or just plain crazy, I don’t think that “fixing” myself will help me find a good man any faster. I look at everyone I know who is married & they all have plenty of flaws! They just found people that could deal with them all. It seems to me that having flaws shouldn’t prevent anyone from finding a good mate; after all, how many people in this world are perfect?!

I have no problem bettering myself. I have no problem acknowledging my flaws & working on them. I don’t even have a problem listening to others tell me about my flaws (I may not believe them, but I’ll at least listen). The problem I have is making a bunch of changes that aren’t necessary. Would you throw away a completely delicious meal just because it wasn’t perfect? Or would you allow someone to taste it first, see if they like it & then make improvements only IF they didn’t like it? Well, that’s how I feel about relationships. Why correct anything until you know it needs to be corrected?

I know I’m not perfect – I don’t have a lot of patience, I’m not the best housekeeper & I like my alone-time a little too much to be in a relationship sometimes – but these are the types of things that I don’t  necessarily think should be changed. A lot of people struggle with not having patience. Not saying I shouldn’t work on it but it shouldn’t be a deal breaker. I’m not a good housekeeper, but so what? Isn’t that what maids & housekeepers are for? Surely, a man wouldn’t get rid of a good woman just because she leaves a few clothes & shoes lying around the house. And yes, I like my alone time but that just means I’m not clingy, which I thought most men don’t like anyway. My point is this – why should anyone “fix” themselves when what they’re already doing may work for the right person that just hasn’t come along yet?

My friend argued that as long as I wasn’t working to fix myself then being single will continue to be my problem and no one else’s. I can’t blame being single on not finding a good man because when I meet him I wouldn’t be ready anyway. I can’t blame my ex’s for things not working out because I didn’t do what it took to make myself a better girlfriend. After all, men want what’s already fixed not what’s already broken.

I’m not saying I should never strive to be a better woman, but what should that motivation be? A man shouldn’t be the reason for me to change who I am, so if I am comfortable in my own skin then why change? My future husband may be perfectly fine with me not cleaning so why bother changing that about myself? He may not care how tidy our house is and would much rather pay a housekeeper than to have me stressed out over cleaning up all the time. Because I don’t know what my future husband will & won’t like about me, I prefer to stay as I am.

So, is my friend right? Should I “fix” myself first & then concentrate on finding ‘Mr. Right’?

Or do you agree with me? Should I stay just the way I am and not worry about changing myself until I meet a man worth changing for?

Please share your comments below -

single 2

18 Ugly Truths About Modern Dating That You Have To Deal With

1. The person who cares less has all the power. Nobody wants to be the one who’s more interested.

2. Because we want to show how cavalier and blasé we can be to the other person, little psychological games like ‘Intentionally Take Hours Or Days To Text Back’ will happen. They aren’t fun.

3. A person being carefree because they have zero interest in you looks exactly like a person being carefree because they think you’re amazing & are making a conscious effort to play it cool. Good luck deciphering between the two.

4. Making phone calls is a dying art. Chances are, most of your relationship’s communication will happen via text, which is the most detached, impersonal form of interaction. Get familiar with those emoticon options.

5. Set plans are dead. People have options and up-to-the-minute updates on their friends (or other potential romantic interests) whereabouts thanks to texts & social media. If you aren’t the top priority, your invitation to spend time will be given a “Maybe” or “I’ll let you know” and the deciding factor(s) will be if that person has offers more fun/interesting than you on the table.

6. Someone who hurt you isn’t automatically going to have bad karma. At least not in the immediate future. I know it only seems fair, but sometimes people cheat and betray and move on happily while the person they left is in shambles.

7. The only difference between your actions being romantic and creepy is how attractive the other person finds you. That’s it, that’s all.

8. “Let’s chill” & “Wanna hang out?” are vague phrases that likely mean “let’s hookup” — and while you probably hate receiving them, they’re the common way to invite someone to spend time these days, and appear to be here to stay.

9. Some people just want to hookup and if you’re seeking more than sex, they won’t tell you that they’re the wrong person for you. At least, not until after they score your prize. While human decency is ideal, honesty isn’t mandatory.

10. The text message you sent went through. If they didn’t respond, it wasn’t because of malfunctioning phone carrier services.

11. So many people are scared of commitment and being official that they’ll remain in a label-free relationship, which blurs lines and only works until it doesn’t. I’ve said it many times before, I’ll say it again – “we’re just talking” is opening the door for cheating that technically wasn’t cheating because, hey, you weren’t together together.

12. Social media creates new temptations and opportunities to cheat. The private messaging and options for subtle flirtation (e.g. liking of pictures) aren’t an excuse or validation for cheating, but they certainly increase the chances of it happening.

13. Social media can also create the illusion of having options, which leads to people looking at Facebook as an attractive people menu instead of a means of keeping contact with friends & family.

14. You aren’t likely to see much of someone’s genuine, unfiltered self until you’re in an actual relationship with him or her. Generally people are scared that sincerely putting themselves out there will result in finding out that they’re too available, too anxious, too nerdy, too nice, too safe, too boring, not funny enough, not pretty enough, not some other person enough to be embraced.

15. Any person you get romantically involved with you’ll either wind up staying with forever or breaking up with them at some point. These are equally terrifying concepts.

16. When dating, instead of expressing how they feel directly to you, a person is more likely to post a Facebook status or Instagram a Tumblr-esque photo of a sunset with a quote or song lyric of someone else’s words on it, and while it may not mention your name, it’s blatantly directed at you.

17. There are plenty of people who’ll have zero respect for your relationship and if they want the person you’re with, they’ll have no qualms with trying to overstep boundaries to get to ‘em. Girl code and guy code are wishful thinking and human code isn’t embedded in everyone.

18. If you get dumped, it’s probably going to be pretty brutal. People can cut ties over the phone and avoid seeing the tears stream down your face or end things via text and avoid hearing the pain in your cracking voice and sniffling nose. Send a lengthy text and voilà, relationship over. The easy way out is far from the most considerate.

dating

*Article was originally published on Thought Catalog.

Why Don’t Men Ask Women If They Have Any STDs (Before It’s Too Late)?

6 Reasons Men Don’t Ask Women About STD’s

In my 30+ years of living no man has ever asked me whether or not I have been tested for a sexually transmitted disease (STD), let alone if I actually have one. Can you believe that? I mean it’s not like I’ve had sex with a bunch of different men or anything, but why is it that no one has cared enough to ask?

I have to admit I feel some kinda way if a man doesn’t ask me for my “papers.”  Who wouldn’t be concerned for their own health? I know I am disease-free, but they don’t know that. Why should a man take my word for it – because I “look clean?” Even when I take the initiative to ask a man about his STD status, he still doesn’t ask about mine. And it’s one thing to ask someone if they’ve been tested, but why not get proof? With the latest technology at our fingertips, it is so easy to show anyone your medical history almost instantly. Even Kaiser has an app that sends test results directly to your phone, so there is NO excuse why you can’t prove that you’re STD free.

So what does it take for a man to actually care about his health?! I took it upon myself to ask a few of my guy friends whether or not they’ve ever asked a woman for her STD results and if no, why not. Here are some of their reasons:

1)      “I don’t really want to know” – Who wants to hear bad news? Probably not the best conversation to have right before having sex, I know.  If someone you really like (or at least you like them well enough to sleep with them) is infected & they do tell you, that would just kill the mood. But like the old saying goes, “What you don’t know, can kill you.”

2)      “I assume she’s clean because she made me wait” – Why else would a woman make you wait for sex unless she was clean? People who are already infected don’t do that, do they? Well, just because someone makes you wait for it doesn’t mean that they’re clean. For all you know they could be waiting for their herpes outbreak to clear up. Besides, it’s never safe to ‘assume’ anything, now is it?

3)      “I’m already protecting myself” – If a guy is already wearing a condom, he may think that he’s protecting himself against any disease a woman may have. This couldn’t be further from the truth. For one, there are always bodily fluids that can be spread from a women’s vagina down to any exposed area on a man’s body. Not to mention, herpes can be transmitted through skin to skin contact. Sorry guys but condoms don’t protect you from everything.

4)      “I don’t really care” – I actually had a guy tell me that he would take whatever disease I had as long as it could be cured with a shot or a pill. He said other than HIV or AIDS, he could handle any other STD. He actually said this to me. Can you believe it? Well, if he didn’t care whether or not I had a disease, he probably felt the same way about other women he’s slept with. No thanks; next!

5)      “Wouldn’t you be offended if I ask you?” – Who cares if I am?! Seriously if a woman is offended by you asking if she’s been tested & to see a copy of those test results you probably shouldn’t be sleeping with her in the first place. I mean, how dare you try to protect your own health?!

6)      “I’m just happy to be getting some” – This seemed to be the most common response from my informal survey. At the end of the day most men are just trying to get some so the thought of STDs either completely kills the mood or sometimes may not even cross their minds. I don’t get it – Is sex that hard to come by that you would put your own health at risk just to get some? Nobody (guy or girl) should be that desperate to have sex that they are irresponsible with their own well-being.

The rates for STDs, particularly among African Americans, are staggering. According to the CDC, in 2012, the overall rate among African Americans with chlamydia was 1,229.4 cases per 100,000 people. Also, 63% of all reported gonorrhea cases & 39.7% of all syphilis cases were African Americans.  Not to mention, we are the most affected by HIV, representing over 40% of all new infections. At some point in our lifetime an estimated 1 in 16 African American men and 1 in 32 African American women will be diagnosed with an HIV infection. That’s pretty scary! With these tragic statistics, why would you not shield yourself from something that can be easily prevented?

Men don’t be afraid to ask for a woman’s test results. I’m sure women will respect you even more for prioritizing your health as well as theirs. After all, she may not even know she has an STD. And ladies, if you’ve never been asked before then don’t be afraid to offer. The best ways to reduce your risk of catching an STD are: 1) Practicing abstinence, 2) Using condoms (female or male) and 3) Vaccinating yourself against the spread of any disease. Good health should be your priority, not good sex.

What do you think? Ladies, don’t you think a man should make sure you’re disease-free before trying to sleep with you? Men, have you ever considered asking for proof that a woman is clean before sleeping with her? And more importantly, will you do it going forward?

*For more information on STDs:

CDC National Prevention Information Network
Phone: 1-800-458-5231

Division of STD Prevention – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

std 4

*Originally published by Chocolate Vent (me!) on Single Black Male.