This evening, after turning in my LAST paper of the semester, my one and only (aka My Mama) and I went to have dinner and see "Think Like a Man". I enjoyed the eye candy. I enjoyed every single damn scene Michael Ealy was in..(WHEW!!!)...and I loved Kevin Hart's comedy and vulnerability...I even like Gary Owen (though limited in his role) as the voice of reason.....I loved all the cameos... It was a GREAT movie...don't get me wrong...
But....the feminist in me has some G8damn concerns.
What is the message we are sending to women??
All the women in the movie were pushing the men....pushing them to do the right thing..pushing them to be their best and live out their dreams.. and HOPING in turn they get their dreams. Yo...I am not feeling that. I was married to a dreamer..who, despite me pushing and encouraging NEVER had his dreams materialize…and you get tired.I can only motivate so much. We had the long term talk. We had the short term talk. If a nugget ain't moving...he ain't moving!! YOU, MAN, have gotta MOVE! Which is part of the reason I got divorced....HE actually TOLD ME…."I mean..I have a hard time formulating a plan. Just GIVE ME THE PLAN…and I'll do it." YO!!! That ain't my muthafunking job to motivate you….grown ass man! You need to be a self-starter. I gots no damn time....materialize and act. Have a dream for yourself...and our family. What happens, in reality, is you spend so much time motivating a grown ass man who is playing "lost victim"....that you have no time to realize your own dreams..THEY get put on the back burner (i.e me putting my PhD off for YEARS...)...just so you HOPE your happily ever after occur. Once again....that ain't my muthafunking job.
Seriously... the messages I got from the movie were amazing....
What should women do: Support a dreamer? Be patient with a reformed hoe/player?? Help a man "grow up?" Possible male abuse is funny?? Your female sex is no possession of yours..but a "gift" to give to men in negotiation for a relationship…you have no ownership of it. Mama's boys are a mess (that one is pretty accurate) but just be patient and they will ALWAYS choose you (Yeah right).
SPOILER ALERT: and that picnic scene w/ Regina Hall and Terence J? "Get my hamburger, woman???" *blank stare* Who the fuck you talking to??? Certainly not Mocha Peach! Not even in jest....*smh*So now you grew some damn balls cause your mama finally fucking? *rolls eyes* Dude...get outta here! Then she SUBMITS and says "Yeah baby..what you want on your damn burger??" Ugh...gag me, yo!
AND WHILE I LOVED the Michael Ealy/Taraji P Henson plot. (those love scenes were so classy...)..I didn't like this whole "She acts like a man so she doesn't need a man" type of dialogue. Being at the top of her game isn't acting like a man. It's achieving goals. She wanted an economic and intellectual equal. But whats so wrong with that???? White folks do that sh(t all the time. And while I am not normally for Eurocentric standards of living...let's face it...we live in Amerikkka. It matters a little, man. You don't want a self-absorbed asshole..but you do want someone JUST as driven as you are...who puts you first too..that you can have a conversation with and not have to explain yourself all the time. While I have no problems if I dated a chef (HELLO..I LOVES me some G Garvin..)...what I won't do is date a dreamer endlessly. AND...as I said before. motivating you is NOT my fucking job, son. I understand that most black women (including myself) are really conditioned to be Christian-based, "woman submit....man is the head...you are the neck...you are the helpmate..he must provide..."-type of mentality. But in a job market where most women out earn men...and more women go to college than men...and more dads are staying home with babies or working from home...we gotta be real. Do what works best for YOU and your house!
Now..I am all for the message of courtesy (open the doors, men pay for the dates initially,not asking for dates via text, be patient and not rush into sex and REALLY get to know people....)...some of it just irked me. It was just a reverse-fairy tale I wasn't really feeling I guess. *shrug*..(Michael Ealy...is finer than frog hair ..shit..most of the men were fine...*shrug* )
And I go back an forth with my love/hate of the 90 day rule. I've waited 90 days...and dude turn out to be a fucking ass. I've waited 9 days....and dude was great to me. It's a fucking crap shoot. Look at me now! I've waited a YEAR.........has anything materialized? Hell fuck naw, bruh! (LOL) So look..do what's best for you. Don't have sex to make the man like you. Don't rush in to it. AND even the MOVIE sent a mixed message...Taraji/Mike was fucking out the gate (LOL).... Now that I won't encourage...then again..I am also for sex-positivity (meaning a non-conservative, positive view of sex in a safe space for adults of any orientation or belief and on their own terms). Eh..even I am torn about that whole waiting 90 days..honestly.
I am also wondering...if this cast was all white..and some white guy wrote this book...I think it would have been hailed as very anti-woman, and anti-feminist. What is a "lady" anyway but some construction of "woman" under male patriarchy? What is "thinking like a man"?? Gender is a social construction! Just like race is....Some black women, I also learned, are quite anti-feminist (despite feminism being beneficial to them)..
(Some of this probably will went over your heads and you don't understand my criticism. It's ok...I have a reference list of books for you all to read :)
BUT....all is not lost....
I DO like the fact that the movie made men take a long, hard look at themselves and their underlying issues. You must examining your own faults. Men are quick to be very dismissive of their own issues...examine yourself. Allow vulnerability...allow some patience in getting to know a woman...man UP....and realize it's not a game...It's not a war. It's life. AND not only do women need men....men need women. That I did appreciate...machismo aside.
Once again...my criticism doesn't take away from the sheer entertainment value of the movie. I laughed. I went "awwww". I had a good enjoyable time. There wasn't too much coonery on a Tyler Perry level so I was good!
But seriously...Michael Ealy can spread chocolate mousse cake on me ANY time....seriously..