Boys Play Games. Men Cut Covenants.

I hate the term “game.” Loathe it. It ignites a visceral reaction in me anytime I hear it. It was uttered in my presence recently, and my attraction had an instant diminishing.

Children play games, and I am of the age when I give rapt attention to Prudential retirement commercials. I am of the age when I have more things to accomplish than I have waking hours in the day. I am of the age when there are a dozen substantial thoughts bouncing around my mind each minute, and there is no time for inconsequential things. And there is definitely no allotment in my schedule for games.

The top definitions for “game” on Urban Dictionary as it relates to the context used in this article are “a measure of smoothness with the opposite sex” and “lines or moves you use to get the opposite sex in bed.” These were more tactful than I suspected; I’m disappointed. For the “game” as it deployed in everyday life seems to involve how to mislead and deceive women without getting caught, how to offer her the least you can for as how long as she allows it. Then when her heart is broken and she is sending four page texts explaining her behavior, a man will just dismiss it because “she knew what the game was.”

That hurts my spirit. It honestly does because I place black men on a pedestal. If I had poetic abilities, I’d write an epic celebrating their power, their sexiness, their resilience and determination. No one could ever hope to duplicate the swagger of a black man in a well-tailored suit and freshly-groomed beard. There is no other set of arms that brings the security and safety that a woman feels when she crawls into the arms of a black man. There is no challenge that a black man will face where a black woman will not stand beside or in front of him.

So it is disheartening to hear that we as women are seen as nothing more than a character to battle, a level to conquer. To hear that our faith and trust in men could be so easily dismissed. Women are real. We breathe. We feel. We exist just as men do. And we are worth far more than to be on the receiving end of insincere BS.

Men are doing us such a disservice. They harm us emotionally, leave damage that takes months or even years to recover from. Why? Because we allow it? Because we dare to fall in love with him and see his potential? Because we believed he couldn’t possibly be holding another woman the way he’s holding us? Because having a woman losing her mind over him increases his cred amongst the “boys?” I believe in personal responsibility, yes. I know that we as women tend to bury our heads in the sand or selectively hear what a man says. Yet I have not seen the crime we as black women have committed that has earned us the punishment some black men have decided to levy against us. They chase IG filters but relegate us in our natural state to the back of the line. Our appearance and our accomplishments are picked and chose over to determine if we are worthy of what we dare to demand. We are constantly reminded that our place is at a subservient level to the black man, and when we dare push against such an outdated mindset, we are degraded and insulted. It is easier to snatch us down then to rise to meet us.

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And for some defeatist reason, it is better to string multiples of us along than to commit and exalt one of us. We are pitted against each other for a promise of what man could potentially be. And I say a promise because we are not shown certain regard and reverence because those things are reserved for his wife. But in the same hypocritical breath, he expects us to show him qualities befitting a wife. Ha! Men shall not hold us to arbitrary standards that they will not even hold their boys to in their treatment of us. The Bible says “Whosoever findeth a wife findeth a good thing.” It does not say to discard women like used trash along his journey. It does not say to view woman as no more than a socket for his plug. Our hearts and our bodies are not a game. No matter if we are heading to the altar or not, we are always deserving of respect.

Women are amazing individuals, and we need far more than what men offer today. Jesse Williams said in his now famous speech from the BET Awards, “Black women, in particular, who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. WE CAN AND WILL DO BETTER FOR YOU.” I daresay the first step is realizing that black women are the reason you exist and treating us accordingly.

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Today’s Soundtrack: Bilal – Soul Sista

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