Are Black Women Really Relationship Abused?

I met a man the other day. Engaged in conversation over drinks and dinner, he explained to me that he was having a difficult time dating black women. I asked him why. His response was, “they’re so abused.” Wow. I was not expecting that response. He went on to share some of his dating experiences with me to confirm this opinion. Even though many of his stories warranted a less than desired dating experience, I sat and wondered how I felt about him calling black women “abused”.

Young woman rolling her eyesI can’t remember a time when I have heard that generalization used to describe an entire group of people. And as I drove home that night, I thought of a million responses I should have given him. Was I wrong for not defending us? Although too late, the thought that keep popping into my head was, “You say we are abused, but  how do you think we got this way?” Not that I completely agree, but if we must use this as an accurate generalization, I want to know how we got to this point?

Let me take a step back and clarify “abused.” Emotionally tired. Angry. Hurt. Insecure. Anxious. Hurt. Suspicious. Non-trusting. Superficial, even? These are words that come to my mind when I try to define “abused.” Again, I raise the question of “How did we get this way?”  I’m not one for making excuses for myself, or others, however all these issues that we as black women seem to have couldn’t possibly have been developed without the help of someone right? Let’s look at this from the standpoint of emotional abuse. People often joke about ‘daddy’ issues, but that is a very real root cause of a handful of the emotional problems that women have today.

Men don’t necessarily contribute to 100% of the problems that women have, but when you look at the issues we have in relationships with men, a bulk of the problems are due to past experiences with men. This isn’t to point the finger or place blame, rather offer the idea that accountability is necessary before women can be labeled as ‘abused’ all on their own.

Men say that women have so much baggage that they bring with them into relationships. They have trust issues, self-esteem issues, and insecurities to name a few. Is this what allows them to be labeled as abused? When women are lied to and cheated on by their men, belittled and told to lose weight, when they are constantly compared to “video girls” and butt injected models on television, where else would these ill feelings come from? All the experiences that we go through as people help to shape us as people everyday. Accepting our faults and acknowledging that we are responsible for how we treat each other as well as the effect that it has on someone toinsecure-women-girl-o.

Sure, it may be a challenge to deal with someone romantically who has been hurt time and time again. It may be a struggle to help rebuild  trust that was lost because of someone else’s actions. To label black women “abused” without at all considering the symptoms of this abuse is beyond me. Not taking any responsibility for a role that you may have played in making loving a bit more of challenge is selfish. The goal of this is not to bash men or to make women feel broken. The point was to acknowledge that a particular group of women is presumably “abused” and raise the question of how they got that way.

Keita Wheats is a frequent contributor to From Ashy to Classy and she can be found on twitter @keitathejedi and her Tumblr Page Keita Wheats.

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25 responses to “Are Black Women Really Relationship Abused?

  1. Unfortunately it is the trickle-down theory. Black Men have been browbeaten by society. Obviously they can’t get back at “society” so they take their anger out on Black Women. Unfortunately, unless the Black Woman passes that bitterness on to her children, that’s where the buck stops, so Black women internalize the vitriol and react (or act out) accordingly. At that point people choose to disingage rather than deal with the issue as it’s just easier- because in order to deal with the issue, you can no longer trickle-down your anger and you have to deal with it yourself.
    And yes, I am a believer in the man being the ‘head’, so when there’s a breakdown I look to the CEO first to figure out what’s wrong.

    • Jesus Christ this article… where to begin… the tone just comes off so passive aggressive and accusatory that it makes me want to ask “do you seriously want an answer?”

      Many black men–and women don’t want to hear this and drown it out way too much–but many black men find it easier to just move on. We aren’t going to take the responsibility to feel the need to heal you, we want to be here for you, but we expect women to meet us half way. Have baggage? Ease me into it as we become tighter and tighter. Hate men? Stop dating till you find a way past it.

      The problem that I personally have dealt with is that women with issues go out into the pool expecting that black men more than other men will be more understanding, more patient, and more forgiving. Most men (not just black men), just want some good conversation, a little sex, and hopefully a partner for life. Women come into it swinging, baggage all up front and then wonder why guys don’t stick around.

      My girl was an “abused” black woman but you know what? She eased me into her damaged past so that when I heard it I was ready to fight her demons for her instead of run for a less dramatic situation. So I understand dudes point in saying that to you… I just don’t understand why he felt the need to tell it to you as if it would earn him points… seriously guys, who does this?

      When a man asks for a chill type of girl, that’s all he’s asking… we don’t need that in the honeymoon phase. If more women would admit that they blow their load for drama too early, they would realize why men choose a certain type of woman over them. It’s not a black woman thing – it’s an “are you seriously ready to be dating?” thing.

  2. Some chicks don’t understand and levels of choosing the right dude cause they never seen the right dude. How you gonna respect a elie man when you can’t see him. AND believe every chick has passed up a few

  3. The biggest problem is that men don’t want to fight for their women and go the long hall for them like in the past. Men want a whole bunch of sex and bs to even want to be with a woman and that’s a big if. It really breakdown to a man not being willing to teach and heal a woman through her pain and Im sure she would do the same

    • Who hurt you? Because the bitterness is leaking from this comment out my screen. You are definitely bitter because you approach any interaction with a man that has a differing opinion from you as a combatant, which gets you nowhere but put out, which reinforces your bitterness, ad nauseum, until you end up on an episode of Hoarders with a dead cat sandwiched between an old issue of O Magazine and your hopes of a stable relationship.

  4. Now, let me get to my comment. This whole post is ridiculous, because she literally contradicted herself within the same post lol. First she says “I’m not trying to blame men or take any personal responsibility away from women, but…” and then proceeds to do EXACTLY that. Like, the mental gymnastics in this post is so amazing, I feel like referring it to the Anti-Doping Agency because it’s gotta be cheating. Not once did I see any personal responsibility taken. Not once. Is she to blame for who she likes, who she invested her time in, nah, that’s all the guys fault.

    This logic is the same as Republicans. When you do well, it’s ALL YOU, when you’re hurt, it’s everyone else that failed you. Nationalize the losses, privatize the profits. That’s your logic. It’s stupid on the macroeconomic scale, and its stupid on the social scale. Some women set themselves up to be hurt for various reasons, and female bloggers NEVER address that fact.

    But hey, keep telling yourself that whatever keeps that whirlwind of misinformation and lack of personal responsibility fed, while also reinforcing patriarchy. Good job.

    • I don’t agree with this comment at all. This was your attempt to divert from the question, “Are Black women abused?” But this is like beating a dead horse. This is where I will be called bitter by men, especially Black men, when statistics continually show that Black women are abused by men (primarily Black, as far as love relationships go). Once again, not attempting to produce any solution to the problem/problems, just simply throw blame back and forth. Same sh**, different day… exhausting.
      To the writer and any other woman, I recommend that you find a man who is willing to address any past and present situations with you where you feel abused and discuss how and what each of you will do for the other that will heal one another’s hurt and pain so that the cycle is not continued. That goes for any man in your life, not just your lover.

      • I never said I disagreed with her question. What I DID disagree with, is the utter lack of personal responsibility, as if bad relationships just happen to women, women just happen to end up with douches and don’t pursue them. She literally did a flip-flop from her opening statement. I do agree with your second paragraph, but I’m not helping any woman through her hurt that isn’t willing to take even the slightest personal responsibility for it.

        • But the question isn’t “Are Black men abused?” So y would she refer to Black men being abused unless she’s using the fact that Black men being abused/mistreated as an explanation y the women are sometimes abused. If the question was, “Are Black men and women abused? And Y?” Then, maybe I could understand your previous comment, but like I said, Ur reply simply diverted from an answer to the questions she asked by simply stating that women aren’t the only one’s who have been hurt. Yes, that is true but it doesn’t help to answer any of the questions she asked about, “How did we get to this point?” “How did we get this way?” The fact that a woman may be insecure, have low self- esteem, etc. Are these the reasons, a woman is said to be damaged? She clearly stated that she wasn’t saying that she didn’t agree (just not completely) and she also said men where not 100% responsible for a woman’s isssues. That wouldn’t be considered taking resposiblity for some of the problems? To make those statements, you have to believe that you too are at fault.

  5. See, I would’ve just put dude in the “friend zone” and kept it moving. Sometimes women, especially black women, place a really high value on the opinion of random dudes. Your view of yourself and your worth matters more than the words of some guy. Don’t internalize his shit.

  6. I get where she is coming from. The relationship game is a cruel world and you have to really understand and see someones earnest before putting your all in. Men have screwed over chicks and chicks have screwed over dudes. Are you going yo let that fuck up your happiness is the question

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