By: Millie Monyo
I recently read an article in UPTOWN magazine titled, “Why White Women Are Winning.” and it made me think… whether or not we will admit to it, we African women generally struggle with admitting to falling short in areas that have proven to be strengths in women from other cultures.
White women, in particular, marry in far greater percentages than we do; and, more and more of them are marrying African men! Thus, we African women who want to get married need to understand that we have to step our game up. Stats and unbiased observation shows that, when it comes to the wives club, white women make up the Winners’ Circle.
Among the first things the author lists as a roadblock for African women is our perception of marriage:
With the odds in their favor, white women will more than likely find who and what they want in partnership. Therefore, they have the luxury of approaching their dating life with a more optimistic attitude and more discerning requirements for potential mates.
Do white women have more options than black women? Yes and no.
As the reigning standard for beauty, there certainly aren’t many groups of men who do not date them. Additionally, white women tend to be equal-opportunity daters. There lies the favor. That said, they are a bit more optimistic than black women when it comes to finding a husband because they don’t fall victim to ‘the shortage’ of available, desirable black men.
We also need to let go of the notion that Marriage is just a piece of paper. Single-parenting and having children out-of-wedlock has not benefited the African community. Some children have no idea what it is like to grow up in a whole family or ever see Mummy and Daddy married. Hence, African women continue to accept being called ‘wifey’ rather than becoming a wife. White women, on the other hand, expect to get the ring and check off spouse. They still view marriage as the ultimate union while some black women refute its importance.
Our lower expectations for commitment is part of the reason there are more (never married) baby mamas than married women. Raise the expectations, raise the results.
The words of one of my white girlfriends from college still rings in my ears. “Well, if I don’t find my husband in undergrad I will just go to grad school – that’s what my mom told me”. Here she is at 19 thinking about a strategy to find her future husband; and there I was rolling my eyes and thinking how trivial and uninformed she seemed. I was in college to get an education, to find a good job (like my mom told me), not to find a man.
Fast forward a few years and here I am, along with a lot of young, African women with a degree and no husband. White women are there for both a degree and a husband. Rarely are they completely closed off to the possibility of meeting Mr. Right. We on the other hand, focus all of our efforts on careers only to be looking down at bare finger years later.
I look at my group of friends and see the same thing. Most of the white women I know in their mid-twenties to early thirties are either engaged or married, some with children. There is a balance that we must find. It doesn’t make you any less driven because in addition to an education you are in the market for a potential husband. Does this fact make them smarter than us? No way! We are just silly for giving them a head start.
Some tips on evening out the pool…
* It’s O.K. to put yourself in good position to meet the man you want, whether it is in college or as a young professional.
* Know the type of men you are interested in dating and put yourself around people in their circles.
* When you meet someone you like, pursue it.
* Don’t immediately put up your blockers because you have yet to conquer the world. Some of the happiest married couples have lasted through the years because they grew together.
* Marriage shouldn’t mean you have to give up your dreams; it just means you have a loving hand there to support you.
White women may be “winning” because they are planning ahead but, the game isn’t over. Before getting angry, try introspecting. What could you do differently or better? Accept the challenge. You still have time to step up to the plate and start swinging for the long run. See you at the altar!!!