My Blackgirl Teenage Years – Phase Two, Chapter Two
By the time a Blackgirl reaches teenage years she has already been schooled on various manipulative tactics to sway the Blackman. Where she accumulates this knowledge means nothing to her. Her opinions on life are formed through television, full-length movies, love songs, romance novels and, perhaps, her own emotionally unstable mother. Either subconsciously or consciously she may conspire to manipulate the Blackman. The teenage Blackgirl will do just about anything to have the Blackboy “eating out of her hand”. She believes she must resort to this behavior to be accepted into the mysterious “Woman Club”.
The teenage Blackgirl will spend the majority of her time applying these schemes on the Blackman to test his reactions, sincerity, and level of interest. These schemes may include making him jealous by talking to another man or using her looks and body to flatter or entice. Those lessons advise the teenage Blackgirl that it is, perhaps, okay to lie, toy with emotions or use her body to serve her purpose. She believes the Blackman is both easy to seduce and stupid.
Unlearn Everything You Thought You Knew
Psychologists agree that the reality we perceive is based on predetermined and edited rules and regulations. During our most impressionable years, these notions are amplified by the surrounding adults in our lives and media. How many times have you, or a woman you know – made up stories, played a damsel, demanded expensive gifts or made sexual promises hoping he would swear his everlasting love? Believing that a man is only worth your time if he throws money at you in exchange for something else will prepare you for a life of prostitution.
My mother never talked to me about sex. I knew nothing of the birds or the bees. My first conversation on sex took place in the third grade. Yeah – that’s right. A girl in my class (who was possibly held back) wanted to know if we were lesbians!! She had just seen Love & Basketball. We all know the scene where Monica lies about being a lesbian because she’s a “tomboy”. At this time, I am 8-years-old and had never seen Love & Basketball. I certainly had never heard the term l-e-s-b-i-a-n. Nevertheless here are a group of 8 and 9-year-old’s discussing sexual orientations. Considering my mother and I never had that conversation all of my advice on love and relationships came from everyone else.
Of Course – Easier Said than Done
I believed that I should be a strong independent woman yet date a man with a lot of money; that men can’t be trusted and all they want is sex but never let them get you pregnant. My thoughts and feelings on marriage and motherhood were, originally, not my own. As a teenage Blackgirl, we are compelled by nature to follow the only examples set before us. Sure enough if, and when, the teenage Blackgirl is gassed up to take these practices literally it will influence her into adulthood. Our philosophies on life come from our mothers, peers and WHITE society. It is a tried and repeated process from house-to-house.
My mother made sure I “stayed in a child’s place” to the very best of her ability. A lot of my peers’ parents were far laxer as they could have boyfriends, date and attend co-ed sleepovers. My mother, on the other hand, didn’t find that behavior “cute”. Certain television shows I was simply “too young” to watch, had a strict bedtime and dressed in Granimals. Honestly, growing up I couldn’t stand my mother. I felt like she was so totally cramping my style and spitting in my swag. All the others shopped at Foxmoor, wear kitten heels and rock a crochet weave! I longed to be that girl. Many Black mothers approve of that behavior and do nothing to stop it. Not always because they don’t want to but simply because they don’t know how.
Yet Where There’s a Will There’s a Way
My mama wasn’t going for that shit. Friend’s mothers’ would tell them to“be more like Brittney” hence one of many reasons why I have few female friends. Once that friend fired back, “then perhaps you should parent more like Brittney’s mother”. During my early years she – my mother, made it absolutely clear that we were not sisters nor friends. Of course, she would conclude that “when you’re older you will understand”. I, however, did not care about being older. I cared about the right here and now! Nobody wanted a romantic relationship with the girl who is 30 pounds overweight, wore glasses and a had crooked smile.
I recall, on several occasions, how a family member wanted to introduce to me a “viable young man”. Apparently, he was an original Prince Charming but first, they needed me to shed some weight and “clear up my face”. Every time I saw her, honey, she would pick my appearance to shreds – reading me for complete and utter filth, mmkay?! According to them, I was depressed because I was overweight which resulting in me being “easy” because I had such low self-esteem. Was this family member of mine (female) suggesting that I wasn’t smart enough? Didn’t have enough depth and personality? To this very day, I was never introduced to that man and I carried those teenage insecurities into adulthood…