Listen in to a round table discussion as KC and the family discuss the real deal with platonic relationships and keeping boundaries clear. Podcast guests include Chris Lehman, Mr. & Mrs. CEO, DJ A-ski, Dwann Cutler, Toria Williams, Nabil Stevens, Stacee Brewer, Leisha Mack, Inglewood Trizz, Greta Moore, and Obi Obijiaku.
Many sisters could agree that their fantasy man would be something like a man with a body like LL Cool J and a smile like Tyrese. He’d be sexy like Idris Elba and talented like Jamie Foxx. He’d be articulate like Michael Eric Dyson and wise like Harry Belafonte. He’d have swagger, paper, and business smarts like Jay Z. He’d have a voice like Luther and keep you laughing like funny man Chris Rock. He’d be an innovator like Spike Lee. He’d have thug appeal like Allen Iverson and sensitive as Usher. He’d be smooth like TI and write you a rap song that pledges, “You can have whatever you like”. He’d be a powerful leader like our newly elected president Barack Obama. Yes, all of this wrapped into one would be a fantasy man. This man would have you smiling from the inside out. You’d sport him around your family and friends with great pride. Just thinking about a man likes this brings a smile to my face. Then as I allow the fantasy to disappear and I begin to take a look at reality I realize that I don’t desire a fantasy man. My wants and needs from a man don’t at all mirror the qualities of my fantasy man.
While many of us drool at the thought of the “fantasy man” described above, I believe that many of us want something a whole lot simpler. This man that we all want I will refer to as a Real Man. The real man is far more desirable than the fantasy man. The fantasy man is just that…. Fantasy. So let me speak truthfully and hope that these words reach the eyes of a man who has ever asked the question “What do women want?”. Perhaps this can even help that brother who is struggling with understanding what women mean when they say, “ I want a Real Man”.
First off, a real man doesn’t allow his fear of the truth to prevent him from being truthful. He speaks the truth even if he knows that speaking the truth will put him in hot water or make him uncomfortable. He is less concerned with the consequences of being truthful and more concerned with being a man of his word. His word is his bond. He realizes that he is a man and he has no reason to lie to anyone about anything. He values honesty. Therefore he gives it, expects it, and encourages it.
Second , a real man is wise and continuously seeks knowledge. He frowns upon not being educated. This doesn’t mean he is a Harvard graduate and it doesn’t mean he has a collection of degrees hanging on his wall. Instead, it means he has little tolerance for ignorance and would never find comfort in being ignorant. When he is unaware he goes to those who are wiser than he and seeks answers to the unknown. He isn’t afraid to say “ I don’t know” and he would never say, “I know everything”.
A real man is a natural leader. There is something about him that makes his woman want to follow his lead. He makes his own decisions and follows behind no one. His ability to lead allows him to be the head of his household without a saying a word. He doesn’t have to say, “I’m the man of this house”. His woman knows that he is the head of the household without ever hearing him speak. She humbly surrenders to his lead when he is a real man of leadership.
A real man takes care of his babies. He will help raise them. He teaches them right from wrong and showers them with love. His babies look at him and smile. They crave his attention and affection. They call him Daddy and he is the most important man in their lives. His son will want to be like him. His daughter will want to fall in love with a man like him. He protects his babies at all costs. He tells his children that he loves them. A real man never disrespects his children’s mother even if he has little respect for her.
A real man is sexy even with his clothes on. A woman’s attraction to him goes far beyond his physical appearance. He doesn’t work at being “sexy”. His sexiness is just natural. He can arouse a woman without ever touching her. His masculinity is what arouses his woman. His ability to take charge is what turns women on. Being a man of great strength, integrity, and wisdom is what makes him sexy as hell. His skills in the bedroom are just the icing on the cake (Holla!!!!!).
Finally, a real man is a man who prays and isn’t afraid to say that he prays. He believes in a higher a power. On his good days and his bad days he knows who reigns above all. This real man will introduce or reintroduce his woman to God. He will remind her where blessings come from. He may or may not go to church but he will definitely acknowledge his Creator.
So to all of my brothers out there who are in question about what women want, it’s quite simple. We want Real Men (not to be mistaken with men who say “I keep it real”.) Fantasy men are good if your eyes are closed and you’re fantasizing. However, in the real world, real women want real men who can really hold them down.
Listen in to a round table discussion as KC and the family attempt to unpack the question, “Do Black Men and Women Still Like Each Other?” Podcast guests include Chris Lehman, DJ A-ski, Toria Williams, Mike Eagle, Malcolm Darrell, Tash Moseley, Brother T, Jamila Farwell, and Darius Gray.
Listen in to a special edition of the 10 Minute Break! Black Men Speak about the Claire Huxtable prototype and the qualities a woman possesses that makes her a wife. Podcast guests include Chris Lehman, Tash Moseley, Ahshawn James (Mr. CEO), Yohance Serrant of MERC80.com, Aaron Wilson, and Troy Moore.
I know some folks are chomping at the bit for the rest of the love lessons I learned from Boomerang. The wait is over!
11) A woman that truly loves you will not discuss your sex with other women.
My mother was the first to share this love rule with me and the way it plays out in the film is exactly why she teaches against it. The first clue we get that Jacqueline (Robin Givens) has no true intention of taking Marcus (Eddie Murphy) seriously is when she tells Angela (Halle Berry) about their tryst in New Orleans. As expected, Angela’s already developing curiosity about Marcus is piqued and she sets the wheels in motion. When a woman really loves a man she knows that sharing the intimate details about their sex life with other women will only make those women curious. It serves no purpose and it’s none of their business.
12) Sex in the workplace should be avoided. Period.
It’s happened to all of us. You come to work one day and are introduced to your sexy and single new co-worker. No matter how delicious they are, starting an intimate relationship with them is the worst possible thing that could occur. Unless the two of you have concluded that you are soul mates and a long-term commitment is on the horizon, a relationship with a colleague can be a setup for disaster at work. If it works out then you have to try to keep the whole staff out of your business. If it doesn’t, now you have to be cool with this person without anger/disgust/lingering feelings getting in the way of work, otherwise your job could be on the line. Case in point: Marcus’ sabbatical after realizing Jacqueline doesn’t want more than casual sex at her convenience with him.
13) Heartbreak is all-consuming. It takes work to get over it.
Like Marcus, many of us want to “Sit at home, stare at the wall, and listen to Sade” after we’ve had our hearts broken. It’s easy to wallow in sorrow for yourself after you’ve been hurt. It’s worth the work, however, of getting up, getting back out there and trying again in order to move past the last relationship. Besides, what’s the point of dwelling on someone who isn’t thinking about you? It won’t bring them back.
14) Men are hunters; women are prey. Let the man chase…
My grandmother always says, “When a man wants you, he’ll tell you and you’ll have something. If you’re doing all the wanting, you have nothing.” Angela becomes emotionally vulnerable in her relationship with Marcus the moment she is readily available to him at all times. Equipped with the knowledge of his prior player status, she should have known better than to move in with him. Marcus gives her hints of not being on the same page by not acknowledging that they are living together when Jacqueline calls. This also leads to his cheating on her. I’m not justifying his actions, but the moment a woman gets too comfortable in her position with a man (especially while dating), is the moment he gets bored and is back on the hunt.
15) Being too forward is a definite turn-off.
No better example of this in the film then through the character, Strange (played by Grace Jones). Though her forthright nature was appealing to some, like Nasty Nelson (played by Geoffrey Holder), her gratuitous use of the word “pussy” got her nowhere with Marcus.
16) Men, you can never justify cheating to women.
No matter what the circumstances are, cheating hurts and can never be justified to the party that gets hurt. Women will never accept the excuse of “it’s a man thing” and it works only to cause us to mistrust the next man. And when a woman is good to you, she’ll never understand why you strayed. In spite of having a good woman at home, and despite knowing Jacqueline wasn’t looking for anything other than casual sex, Marcus allowed himself to backtrack with her once he got his swag back. The temptation to bed Jacqueline again, this time without an emotional connection was great revenge for Marcus – but it meant losing a lover and friend in Angela.
17) Never mention something your ex, mistress, etc. said in the midst of an argument with your current partner.
If you are already in the midst of a disagreement, this just fuels the fire. It’s beyond disrespectful and it will get you slapped. For Angela, Marcus’ mentioning Jacqueline’s name while they’re arguing is insulting and embarrassing. What Marcus fails to realize before he cheats is that these two women work together. Can you imagine how uncomfortable that first interaction between them will be?
18) Ladies, though some of us dislike saying it, men need to feel needed.
A lot of my single sister friends never want to say they need a man. If they say that and never find one, that means they will always be incomplete. I totally understand their perspective – but what I know after being in a long-term relationship is that men have to feel needed in order to stick around for the long-term. After losing Angela and getting back into Jacqueline’s bed, Marcus finds himself bored once again. Why? Because he’s been here before, been through this before, and knows it’s going nowhere. What’s the point in sexually exhausting himself with a woman who doesn’t want or need him? Jacqueline makes that clear from the onset, and once the novelty of sex with her has worn off, Marcus realizes what he misses: being truly desired and loved.
19) Long-term love requires the couple to be on the same page – and sexual compatibility is a must.
I truly believe there is somebody for everybody and this is best displayed by Gerard’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jackson, played by John Witherspoon and Bebe Drake. Even though Gerard is embarrassed by them, they aren’t at all embarrassed by each other. Their sexual chemistry is so hot and heavy they have to sneak away from the dinner table for a little taste, much to the chagrin of Gerard. And when Mr. Jackson goes into his tirade of “Bang, bang, bang!” all his wife can say is, “Ooh Daddy please!”. They compliment one another perfectly.
20) Life is a journey not meant to be taken alone.
When we find ourselves lonely, we look for something to mask that and we hide behind it. So often my single friends (both male and female) get heavily involved in their work and careers to stave off the sense of loneliness they feel from not having a companion. In the final scene of the film, we see Angela has acquired this ability: she is no longer the sweet, smiling woman we first meet, but a cold, stiff woman who Marcus calls out for “hiding behind her work”. However she sees it as “taking care of her business” – she doesn’t feel she can depend on anyone other than herself at this point, especially not a man. Despite her best effort, she gives in to him because she loves him and misses his companionship. For all the drama they experience, there is something between them worth holding on to. What I took from this scene when I first saw the film and that resonates with me now is what Marcus and Angela understand at the end: Life is that much sweeter when shared with someone else.
From 1992 until now, the film Boomerang maintains its relevance regarding male/female relationships. Though everyone will experience something different, many of these lessons can be applied to a myriad of situations. If you find yourself sharing similarities with Marcus, Angela, or Jacqueline, apply a lesson to your relationship and learn from their mistakes. Good luck in love!
This morning I caught an episode of “Black Men Revealed” on TV One. The segment topic was cheating. Representing black men were an old cheater, a young “pretty boy”, a “reformed” cheater, and a man who is in a committed relationship. They initially began to reminisce about times they were caught cheating and how their partners reacted. The pretty boy bragged about how he had sex with the mother of one of his “Starting 5” ON Mother’s Day. He called it her “present”. Then he was heralded “the man” when he confessed his starter was so angry with him he felt obliged to put her twin sister in the game.
The men also discussed ways to avoid confrontation when their woman suspects them of cheating. One man revealed, quite proudly, that whenever his girl suspected something he turned it right back on her and accused her of cheating. He said she became so obsessed with proving her innocence she forgot all about his dirt.
I could go an and on about the ridiculous inferences made during the show, but it ended with the revelation that most men on the panel had been cheated on at one time or another. It was then I realized these men are no different than all the women who have been cheated on and are jaded because of it. These harsh realities have left men and women furious with one another, questioning the merit of monogamy and naturally mistrusting of others.
Optimistically speaking, the producers of the show had good intentions when providing a forum to discuss issues related to black males. Unfortunately, the show serves as a vehicle to reinforce stereotypes about black men, such as them being pimps, cheaters, users and abusers. The show leaves much to be desired. Rarely if at all was there mention of these men or women being WRONG when they cheated. Rarely if at all did they mention how their families were affected. Not once did one man say to another “we gotta do better”. Not once did they mention the rising number of HIV/AIDS infections and other STD’s. The show glorified cheating and portrayed men on the hunt as a part of natural selection. ANIMALS hunt multiple prey. Doesn’t man possess the ability to reason and control instincts?
Is “Black Men Revealed” the problem or the solution?
Boomerang is undoubtedly a classic Black film. From the all-black cast, to the LaFace-produced soundtrack, the film showcased Black people at our finest. Successful, attractive, and intelligent come to mind when each character enters the screen, and Chantress had to be the most progressive company ever with its all-black staff. When the film dropped in 1992, it was quintessential cool.
Though the film is nearly 20 years old, the subject it sheds light on that remains relevant to me is the nature of Black male/female relationships. I have watched this film countless times, and when I caught it again this past week, I decided to make a list of the relationship lessons I learned from this film.
1. Seeking opportunities for sex is part of a single man’s daily routine. Through the eyes of Marcus Graham (Eddie Murphy) and his buddies, Gerard (David Alan Grier) and Tyler (Martin Lawrence) we see that the search for women and sexual opportunities happens every day for the single man. Marcus’ job has the greatest of perks since part of his position allows him to interview models for campaign ads, i.e. Hometown Buffet for the single man. It makes sense – if a man isn’t married or in a committed relationship, why shouldn’t he be on the lookout for his next great sexual conquest?
2. Sex once had so much value, a man might have chosen it over money. In today’s oversexed society, this rule no longer applies because 1) we are flooded with sexual imagery daily, and 2) so many women no longer believe that their sex has power, so they don’t believe in making men wait for it. In the film, however, Marcus continues to work for the Lady Eloise company after it acquires Chantress in spite of a having to take “a smaller office” just for the chance that he might get to sleep with Jacqueline (Robin Givens).
3. Desperation is never attractive. If a man doesn’t want you, acting desperate or helpless, does nothing to help your case. This is best exhibited by Marcus’ scorned neighbor, Yvonne (Tisha Campbell-Martin) and all of her cockblocking.
4. Beauty isn’t everything. Especially if beauty lacks brains. Marcus displays how easy it can be to get over on a woman who only has her looks to fall back on in his interaction with Christie (Lela Rochon). And having “hammertime in her shoes” did not help.
4. Success attracts success. One reason Marcus falls so hard for Jacqueline is because she’s a woman in power. Despite the stereotype that men find women in power intimidating and/or are uncomfortable with a woman who is the breadwinner, there are some men who find power sexy. It usually helps if the man in question is successful himself.
5. Women drop tons of clues that they like a guy, and men rarely pick up on them. From her entrance into the film, Angela (Halle Berry) is constantly showing Marcus that she likes him. She’s all in his business, going out with a friend of his she’s clearly not into, inquires into he and Jacqueline’s relationship, and attempts to help him get over Jacqueline. Marcus doesn’t take the bait until after Thanksgiving.
6. A man will put in work for a woman that he wants. Want is the operative word here. My grandmother has told me for years when it comes to relationships, “If a man wants you then you have something going, but if he doesn’t want you, you have nothing”. In spite of Marcus’ player/baller status, he was willing to do some serious hoop-jumping and waiting to get Jacqueline in bed. The passion he feels when he finally succeeds is felt through the screen.
7. Never be too available. This goes hand-in-hand with being desperate. If a man knows anytime he calls you, he can reach you and be with you, he knows he has you. The chase is over, and he’s on to his next prey. Marcus having to book an appointment with Jacqueline is an extreme example of not being available, but you get where I’m going with that.
8. Lameness will leave you lonely. Sometimes. Fellas, inexperience shows and it’s unattractive. Marcus’ buddy Gerard acts as his foil in the film. He is so incredibly uncool that next to Marcus, he doesn’t stand a chance. In spite of Angela’s sweet demeanor, why would she ever go for the guy that digs in his ear upon introduction? So lame, and so not booking that second date. As Angela put it, “Gerard couldn’t hit it even if he had a bat.”
9. Your reputation can both help and harm you. Because Marcus’ sexual exploits are office news (thanks to Boney T played by Chris Rock) women are fascinated by him and want to know what the buzz is all about. Even Lady Eloise (Eartha Kitt) had heard about Marcus being “very beguiling to women”. However, when he met his match in Jacqueline, that information was nothing but fodder for her to use to toy with him as she wished.
10. Most players have been played. Jacqueline is not the average chick – and how she handles Marcus lets us know she is no novice to love. If we read between the lines of this script, Jacqueline was gamed by some man before, and that shaped her into the emotionless vixen she is when we meet her. Her life is all work, and men are there for play and nothing more. As hard as she seems, the wall she stands behind to protect herself also keeps her from a man who really wants to love her. It’s a no-win situation.
Women: One of the biggest mistakes a lot of you make early on in a relationship is laying out in full detail all the things you love a man to do for you. Instead of telling him about everything you like, tell him what you DON’T like, and then see how he responds; let him research/dig and figure out how to get to your sweet spot. Virtually any man can follow a road map, but only a dedicated one will find his own way.