Far too often in my conversations with single Black men, the term “gold digger” comes up. It bugs me, because not many of the sistas I know would fall under that category. I asked my single men friends where they are meeting these women with this attitude, and the answer is always the same: these aren’t chicks from the club, but professional, educated women. Nonetheless, the idea that they are trying to stick men for their paper is a real fear.
Of course, Kanye’s lyrics come to mind. I’m not saying she’s a gold digger/ but she ain’t messing with no broke n*gga. True enough, none of my single sister friends are in the market for a man with no money, no job, no ambition and heavy debt. But neither are my male friends. All of them express wanting a women who is independent and financially sound so that she doesn’t depend on them to pay for everything.
I can’t help but single out what I call the Hype Williams Video Movement of the late 90’s and early new millennium as shouldering some of the responsibility for this characterization of Black women. Those videos (i.e. Jigga’s Big Pimpin, Q-Tip’s Breathe & Stop, Ja Rule’s Holla Holla and this list goes on) showcase women of color in droves, half-naked, greased up, popping champagne bottles around men flashing money, cars and jewelry. Now, we are way past truly blaming music videos for all of our drama – after all, Hype’s videography contains much more than these types of videos AND the sistas who participated are definitely responsible for the overall outcome. But I can’t help but wonder if these images are having a residual effect on how Black men and women are relating to each other today.
I have to depend on the experiences of my single loved ones to inform me, as I’ve been in the same relationship for the last ten years. When my hubby and I decided to commit to one another, neither of us came into it with much, but decided to build up our wealth together. Do folks do this anymore?
When I think back on our courtship and how finances came into play, I know what we both focused on was what we had in common in regards to financial goals and how we would go about reaching them. We often spent time doing things that didn’t cost money, and it wasn’t an issue taking turns to pay for things if one of us had low funds.
People, talk to me: Women, are you only checking for suitors with large bank accounts? Men, are women asking for your bank statements on the first date? Sistas, are you down to work with a man who has a plan, but needs time to get it together? And how much time are you willing to put in? Brothas, is it old-fashioned to expect you to be the breadwinner in the relationship? Or are you expecting the woman to pay for some of these dates?
What is a strong relationship based on these days, in any race/culture? Talk to me!