This is a reaction to Annie Brisibe-Porbeni's essay: "In Search of
Mr. Right or Wrong in Diaspora: The Plight of the Young Black African
Woman." The article dwells on the predicament single, educated,
intelligent and fun-loving Black women of African origin face in
North America -- when it comes to the issue of dating and marriage.
These women's dilemma, distress, and anguish are captured in the
following excerpts:

"...How many of you have boyfriends, husbands or even seeing someone
right now with the possibility of a serious commitment…?"

"...Living abroad has put us in a box where men are concerned. You
are forced because of lack of choices and a thin pool of educated,
descent, okay looking and well mannered young Black men to now accept
anything that looks your way…It's even harder finding an African male
of your choice because the ones that under normal circumstances you
won't even look at are running after White women. Even when you give
them a chance to get close they treat you like you should be happy to
have them..."

"...I worry that I may never find a Mr. Right or Wrong. I can't date
an Asian, a Caucasian, or even someone from the Middle East my
parents will kill me… it's not an option; cultures, dealing with
racism, how to integrate into their world or them mine...there are
too many issues to deal with. I am not ready for that. It's hard
alone being a Black woman in this society..." 

In this rejoinder, I make two interrelated arguments: that, generally
speaking, African women in the Diasporas spends eternity waiting and
or searching for Mr. Perfect -- when human perfection is an illusion;
and that a second group allows cultural considerations to influence
their lives. As humane as the African culture is, certain aspects of
it are energy sapping and regressive; therefore, these women shou ld
not subject themselves to its demands.

Most African women (in the Diasporas) put themselves in the situation
in which they find themselves by virtue of their supercilious
attitude. Most can't even tell what it is they want and what they
want in a man and in a relationship. They are confused and can't
decide whether they are Africans or are "non-Africans" living in the
West. These women want to be co-captains, coequals and at the same
time quote Oprahisms or threaten you with the intervention of the
social service or the police if you tell them to behave like a wife.
No man in his right mind will go near such a woman -- unless by
mistake, he was drunk or was desperate for something!

Most of these women spend a great deal of their valuable time
searching for Mr. Right. Sometimes, what a woman need is "Mr. OK,"
and not "Mr. Right" or "Mr. Perfect;" and so they become blind or too
engrossed with their trivial requ irements -- so much so that they
wouldn't recognize Mr. Right even if he came along. Such women come
to their senses only when it is too late. This gives rise to the
phenomenon of women complaining: "There are no good men around…"
Oops, ladies, he was right there all along but was too shallow to
recognize a good thing!

Every Nigerian man I know would rather marry a Nigerian woman. The
same can be said of all the African men that I know. But sadly -- and
this is especially so in the last decade or so -- these women want to
know the type of car one drives, whether one live in a home with a 2-
car-garrage or in an apartment, ones salary and investments and so on
and so forth. They want men with exotic cars, Armani suits, Gucci
watch, Italian-snake shoes and a cellar full of French wines. They
want a ready-made man -- never a struggling man with potentials who
is decent, loving, and morally and ethically upright.

The educat ed African women -- the PhD holders, the lawyers, medical
doctors, masters of this and masters of that and their likes -- are
among the snootiest. These same women complain about Black men going
after White women! The sad truth is that, more often than not, the
White women are ready to "work with you," but not so for the vast
majority (of a small number of African women). And then they wonder
why more and more Black men are ensconced with non-African women?
Their demands have, in some cases, driven feeble-hearted African men
to commit the unthinkable. Today, especially in places like Houston,
Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Los Angeles, we have a
segment of Nigerian men selling their soul to meet the demands of
these unscrupulous and greedy women.

The fault is not our women's alone. Good gracious, Lord knows that
some African men can be and are devilish, conniving, lying and
cheating bastards who will tak e women for the ride and, if need be,
take them to the cleaners in a heartbeat. Besides, some of these men
would commit illegalities even without the women asking. These men
live to please women's narcissism. Still, I don't feel sorry for most
women who complain about the lack of "good men" for relationships or
marriage. My attitude is that of indifference. And in any case, they
don't need my sympathy!

As for some of the women in Annie Brisibe-Porbeni's essay, I wonder
how many men they shunned, dismissed, laughed at and even "spit" at?
I wonder. A woman can't be that smart, funny, educated, sassy, spunky
and fun loving and not have flock of men after her. But
unfortunately, we have a small group of women (not necessarily
Annie's subjects) who, once they attain certain status get greedy and
dream pipedreams -- waiting for Mr. Perfect to sweep them off their

Yes, it is true that as Africans, marriage is highly ra ted and the
unmarried women are generally frowned upon. But the women Annie
Brisibe-Porbeni wrote about live in North America. These are educated
women; these are women who probably believe in the equality of both
sexes. These are women who, at the very least, have spent an upward
of five years in the West.  Therefore, they should know, or at the
very least, should have known that as humanistic and benevolent as
the African culture is, it is also a culture that can be oppressive,
relegates women to inferior and painful positions.

Any critical observer of women knows that, in most cases, women are
women's worst enemies. Most of the time, it is women who are goading
fellow women to get married and have children long before their time
or long before they are ready and capable. In this day and age, do
women really need a man, a ring, partner and the title "Mrs." to feel
complete, happy, and blissful? I don't think so. I don 't because one
need not be married to be happy. One need not be married to have
children. One need not be married to feel accomplished. One need not
be married to have a wonderful life.

To feel otherwise is to stunt one's growth, happiness, and sense of
fulfillment. African women should stop worrying about what society
thinks or feels about them in terms of their marital status. They
don't need men to feel complete! And for those who must worry, well,
they should stop searching for Mr. Perfect or Mr. Readymade. African
women should cultivate their own gardens instead of waiting to be
fed; plant their own flowers, instead of waiting for men to bring
them roses. You are capable; you illuminate the world and give joy to
humanity...Be you!

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