Monday, August 15, 2011

What a Man... What A Mighty Mighty Good Man

A little while ago, Hot Biscuits And Gravy wrote a piece on women defining men's standards and the short version is as follows:
“Woman: I have a degree and a good job, so why don’t you like me? I’m attracted to men with degrees and good jobs!”

What a silly thing for women to say/believe! While I understand that it's human to engage in this flawed thinking, I agree with the author of the post; women using their own standards to justify why someone else should be attracted to them makes little to no sense.

But I’ve noticed a parallel phenomenon among men. Many have an attitude that says, “I have my degree, my own car, my own house, no kids [or I take care of the ones I have], and I’ve never been to jail… how dare you not be humbled in my presence?! How dare you not recognize me for the mighty blessing that I am to you females!?” ( calls these men “diva dudes.”)

Let me make something clear.

Earning a degree is no easy feat. It’s quite an accomplishment to be proud of. Financial independence is also admirable. The fact that you’ve avoided to succumb to the evils of the world and become Prisoner #991234-01 l is also respectable. But to me, none of those things make you a man or an absolute catch. Here’s why.

Degrees and possessions are valuable accomplishments. Character and principles, on the other hand, represent something much more significant.

For those of you that have had the pleasure of being in a healthy relationship, what are some of the characteristics or attributes of your significant other that made you really appreciate them? I can toss out some examples for me. I really appreciate someone who:
  • puts others before self,
  • holds our relationship to a Biblical standard,
  • is willing to listen,
  • will be honest, even if he knows I won’t like what he’s saying,
  • will laugh at my horrible jokes in a crowd so I save face, and then gently tell me in the car not to ever get my material from Laffy Taffy wrappers again,
  • someone who will trust me and present himself as trustworthy.
I doubt that many of you will call to mind that bachelor’s degree or their sporty car when considering the value of your loved one. And if you do, well that’s a whole different blog topic altogether.

Men, do you really want a woman that loves you because of your education and “stuff”? This recession has proved that stuff can easily be repossessed and that often, an education won’t save you either. I know folks with JDs who are unemployed. Plus, what happens when she meets someone with more degrees and more stuff?! You’ve lost your trump card.

Women, I challenge you to be observant of characteristics that will hold steady over time, tribulations, recessions, surpluses and other transient circumstances. If you’re searching out a man who meets qualifications based on a surface resume, it’s likely that he’s searching out a woman based on a surface resume as well. And as we all know --Stacey Dash, my mother and Phylicia Rashad excluded-- our surface stock plummets much faster than men.

Men, I challenge you to place your best foot forward, which when dealing with a “good woman” isn’t your Wharton degree; it’s your kindness, your modesty, your contagious laughter, and your consistency. You may be surprised at the caliber of women who take an interest in you.

What do you say? Am I giving men with stacks of education and accomplishments a hard time? What are your thoughts?