As I was cruising thru my news feed on Facebook earlier this week to see how everyone was doing, I came across this video that was rather insightful and on point. The lady in the video is named Melissa Ortiz and she asked the question of why Black women are so arguementative and what Black women need to do about it. Although I loved the video and it is a great topic of discussion, there were two things that I found questionable and I will get to that in a minute. But the first thing that I wanna do is point out that I myself get so sick and tired of Black women always feeling the need to argue about any and everything…especially about things that hold NO value.
There are healthy arguments (which are called ‘debates’) and then there are unhealthy arguments (which are called ‘wasted energy’). Unfortunately, many Black women do have the tendency to argue about things that are not important and the end result can sometimes cause a serious wedge in a relationship that can last for years if not handled properly. As I get older, I find that I don’t feel the need to argue much about anything because it stresses me out, ruins my day, gives me a pounding headache, and it will cause my blood pressure to run high as a kite. So I avoid it as much as possible. Besides, once I make my point about something, I’m done with the matter and I walk away, leaving the person to sit and stew in their own anger juices. Trust me, it works.
But there are two statements in this video that she made, that I have to question:
1. Melissa Ortiz asked “Why are Black women so argumentative?…We don’t consider it a good time unless we’ve been arguing and fighting with someone over something.” Well, if she was talking about some of these reality tv shows, she would be totally correct. But her question was “why are Black women so argumentative” which means that she’s talking about Black women in general…and that’s not a fair comparison. I can’t speak for anyone else but as for me, I absolutely hate to see my sistas arguing and fighting and rather see us laughing and enjoy life like we should. This is why I don’t watch fight videos of my Black people because I hate to see us looking like some untamed animals. With that being said, I have to disagree with Ortiz on this statement and say that there are a vast amount of Black women who don’t express themselves in an argumentative way. For those of us who are mature, we try to find ways to handle conflict in an adult manner. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. That’s life. Furthermore, there are those Black “men” who are just as argumentative as a Black woman.
For example, when one of my Facebook friends downloaded this video onto their page, there was one gentleman (and I use that term VERY loosely for this particular person) that decided to challenge two Black women that made comments about the video. Instead of it becoming a healthy debate where everyone would at least try to learn from each other’s point of view, it was more of mud-slinging, disrespect, and name-calling that was actually brought on by this one Black man! How ironic is that! It wasn’t even the two Black women who provoked the argument.
From the comments that I was reading from the two women, they were expressing why they felt the way they felt about the video. They believed that Ortiz had some valid points but they were trying to express their own point of view as to why they disagreed about certain things. Instead of this particular Black man understanding where the two women were coming from or at least agreeing to disagree, he decided to take things to a totally different level that was extremely childish in every aspect of the word. And we wonder why “Black women are so argumentative.” Well, if you have a Black brotha that is blatantly disrespecting you, how else are you suppose to act? Some of the god-awful things that he said were so offensive, that it would’ve shamed his parents and the woman that he claimed he had.
First of all, I said this before and I’m gonna say this again: Men (especially Black men) are supposed to be leaders. So if you are a leader, that means that you have to lead by example. The example that this particular guy was leaving for these two Black women was a horrible one. You can’t expect for certain Black women to change if you’re not giving them a reason to. If you are a man that don’t like women who are argumentative, then don’t be the type of man that starts arguments. If you start leaving better examples, you can best believe that Black women (the smart ones) will catch on and want to be better in how they handle conflict. Trust me on this.
As far as I’m concerned, I LOVE a man that I can learn wonderful things from. Great attributes in a man will make a woman wanna change some things about herself for the better. We all have flaws and need to improve in certain areas of our lives and we all need someone special in our lives that can help us improve in those areas. But how can you be that man to set the example for Black women if you are tearing Black women down and calling them outta their name? If you create a hostile environment, you’re gonna get hostile results. So let us learn TOGETHER how to effectively communicate with each other.
2. Melissa Ortiz said, “The solution is to close your mouth.” Well, I agree AND disagree with this statement. One part of me agree with this because like my grandma used to say, “Only a fool argues with a fool.” Sometimes, when you know that you’re in the presence of a fool, it doesn’t make sense to argue with them. I wish that the two ladies that was going back and forth with this particular individual on Facebook had grasped the concept of that and just left the platform with Mr. Man looking for someone else to argue with. In this case, the solution definitely would’ve been for them to close their mouth because silence can sometimes be the best answer that you can give someone. Truth be told, silence can be louder than any spoken words. Not only that, sometimes you may end up saying the wrong thing that can cause the demise of your friendship or relationship.
I took the liberty of checking out a few more videos from Ortiz and from what I gather, she is a very smart, articulate, and fascinating woman with great points of views on what Black women should do to not only better themselves, but to better their relationship with their significant other. The great thing about her is she actually reveals her own imperfections to her audience. We all need to take a good look at ourselves, be honest about the imperfections that we see, and do something about them.
However, the “closing of the mouth” is not the solution to everything. In order to get to the root of the problem and try to fix it, we need to discuss it. Sometimes, a closed mouth can paralyze you to accept whatever is thrown at you. For example, if a man is cheating on his woman and/or abusing her, shouldn’t she say something? Shouldn’t she explain to him how his behavior is effecting her? Shouldn’t she tell him that his mistreatment of her is hurting her? Or should she just close her mouth and not express her hurt and anger, while continuing to be mistreated? I hope you guys understand my point. Closing your mouth is a great solution to many things but the best solution to a problem is to learn how to communicate better.
Copyright © 2014 by Sonica Jackson
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