Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Sista By His Side....

This photo still is taken from the 1974 motion picture, Black Belt Jones, starring Jim Kelly & Gloria Hendry. If you've ever seen the movie, then you would know that Gloria portrayed martial arts expert, Sydney, whose father was killed by the mob so her and Black Belt Jones set out to exact revenge. That's a typical set up for a Blaxploitation-era film. Nevertheless, in studying this photo some thirty something years later, the most striking aspect about it is the power stance of both Jones and Hendry. As you can see, neither one of them are cowering in fear as they willingly take on enemies stronger than the two of them. In the context of Black relationships, this photo speaks volumes. For one, Hendry's positioning beside Jones allows us to reason that she is far from being a damsel in distress. She doesn't need her bills paid, her children cared for, nor does she need to be wined and dined. In other words, she doesn't need saving as she has the ability to hold her own. Most importantly, she is standing side by side with her man, ready to fight with him.

The latter is the reason why I think so many men dig this picture. Countless rap and R&B songs have been made by male artists referring to the kind of woman that they want in their lives. She is almost always confident, independent, and more than anything, supportive.

In intimate conversations with male friends, they often lament about Black women and their lack of support. Any Black man worth his salt is fully aware of the odds against him and while he is more than eager to suit up in his armor and prove as many people wrong about his Black man-ness as he can, the war would be a lot easier if he had a woman by his side, ready to engage in battle with him. In that sense, many brothas feel like they have been let down. Oftentimes, they meet women who exhuberantly dole out their demands in a relationship without leaving much room for men to have their say. Most men know what's expected of them and tend to move directly into that role, but many of us, on the other hand, assume that we know what our men want.

Yes, cooking, cleaning, and giving him great sex is most appreciative, but....do you support the man's dreams and goals? Are you willing to go the distance with him as he embarks upon a destiny that will be difficult alone? Over here at the Lifestyle, it is our belief that even if a woman can't boil water, if her man knew that she was down for him like four flat tires and will ride with him no matter the season or the reason, he will happily eat take-out every night for the rest of his life....or else, he won't have any problem with doing most of the cooking.

So, why is this kind of support so important to a man? We'd love to hear some feedback from the brothas.