Mass incarceration has been noted as a factor in different problems facing the so called black community. However when I mentioned it being a factor in how men relate to and view women on twitter some of the responses prompted me to write this.
PRISON CULTURE IN MEN
Many black men have been to jail, have friends or family members who have been to jail or listen to music that glorifies it. In prison men are forced to get their needs met by other men. Emotional, mental & spiritual needs all have to be met to maintain some sense of sanity. The bonds made there are vital but does this undermine the natural balance of the female/male relationship? Do men then consciously or subconsciously reduces women to physical objects. Is sex the only value men see in women? Does this cause men to feel closer and more comfortable with men in everything but sex? Do men become the preferred confidant and friend? I made the statement that besides sex men are homosexual in every other way. A relationship is more than sex so if you only use women as a type of concubine but get all other needs met by men then is that not a form of homosexuality?
I know men and women associate with the same sex at certain times for certain reason but it seems as if today they only associate with each other in a sexual relationship. The valuing of women as friends and support is nonexistent. I do not believe prison culture is the only reason but it could be a factor. The behaviors and culture adopted to survive in prison do not disappear once a man is released. This culture is then passed on to others. Men are ridiculed for wanting to be around women if they are not having sex. Little boys observe this and mimic the behavior. They are pushed to sexualize girls if they like to hang around them. When I say sexualize I mean told they have a crush or pushed to see her as a girlfriend instead of a friend. Why is this? Do we not believe women and men cannot be friends and therefore socialize our youth to act this way?
Women and men are a natural balance for each other. We are not opposing forces but complementary. We often do have different perspectives and responses to situations and can help grow each others' perspectives but with the division that is being pushed, learned and embraced, both sides are becoming radicalized and undervalue the other side. Society is out of balance. This became obvious when I suggested men need to be friends with women before expecting to have sex and the opinion of men was they are not going to hang around a woman if they did not see a possibility of sex. My response to that is if you are not willing to be a woman's friend without any motivation then what qualifies you as being a possible mate? This was very disturbing to me and shows many men do not see value in women without sex.
We also know that women usually become emotionally attached after having sex and may act insecure and then men complain about that. When the women sleeps with a man before trust and friendship is developed then she is insecure about the relationship and how he feels. However, if a mutually beneficial friendship is established first than the trust naturally forms and if the chemistry is there then it will progress to a more intimate relationship. This helps maintain balance in the relationship rather than a woman feeling completely exposed and vulnerable with a man who hasn't proven he could be a friend or was even interested in it. However women sleep with men to keep their attention and it usually end bad for both parties.
Side note: The "Friend Zone" that men hate is not a friend at all. It seems to be a place women keep men they wish to use for favors and benefits. THIS IS NOT A FRIEND! A friendship is mutually beneficial. However if you are only hanging around because you are hoping to have sex then you are not a friend and deserve the "Friend Zone". Friends do not have ulterior motives.
CHALLENGE TO MEN
In your circles, observe if there is any talk of women that does not place value on sex. Do you all ever discuss women as truly friends or even think it is possible? Is it something you even want? Is there any value of having women friends for receiving a balanced perspective? Do you yourself only value women as sexual objects? Where did you learn this from? Are men with unhealthy or skewed views of women creating the culture in your circles? There are several reasons for this to be a trend in society but we have to look at mass incarceration as one of them.
Peace & love. I share my thoughts in hopes of helping you find your own. They may take many forms from poetry to essays. However the spirit moves me I will share. Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts & experiences. This is my truth.