Season 2 of Insecure is barely in and I’m already picking up on a trend that’s all too familiar to myself as a black woman. We are expected to wait for everything. We’re expected to wait for the perfect man. We have to wait to be fairly recognized and promoted in our profession. We have to wait for our hair to grow — well, some of us.
But you get the point. We have to wait.
And that shit gets old.
The waiting game is no fun. Take Issa, for example. For two years, she waits on Lawrence, her college sweetheart, to get his shit together as well as give her other things that she desires and feels she should be getting from her man. His prolonged attempt to make those necessary changes causes her to withdraw from the situation and ultimately cheat on him, which, according to most non-black women, is the reason for their relationship’s demise. Now that Issa is no longer hopeful for her and Lawrence’s relationship, she wants to be a hoe — and people are blaming her for it. No one wants to credit Lawrence’s complacency for the demise because Issa should have just patiently waited for him to do right. *rolls eyes* Waiting patiently for Lawrence does not guarantee that the circumstances would have been different, so it’s not fair to say that she should have waited on him. If Issa would have never acknowledged that she was fed up with Lawrence’s unambitious, lazy lifestyle, he’d probably still be sitting on her couch, and she would still be unhappy.
*sidenote* cheating is not the answer but one person checking out physically is just as much to blame as the other person checking out mentally. #NoTeamIssa #NoTeamLawrence
I’m baffled by the expectation for black women to remain stationary in situations that they no longer desire, that they’ve outgrown, or situations where they deserve better.
Let’s talk about my girl Molly, for instance. Molly is a hard-working professional. If nothing else is right in her life, you can bet her job performance is on point. So why is she waiting for a raise that her white, male colleague has already received. Furthermore, why must she go above and beyond to prove that she deserves said raise and promotion? Don’t get me wrong, it’s one thing to be a top performer and go above and beyond because your employer respects and treats you like you’re valuable to the organization. However, why must black women be forced to go above and beyond just to be considered for a raise or promotion versus a non-black woman who does the bare minimum and reaps the best rewards?
All of that to say this: Stop telling black women to wait patiently — FOR EVERYTHING.
It enforces the idea that we have no control over our lives and must settle for whatever we’re dealt. Most of us already know that we have to work twice as hard as anyone else to accomplish what we want. There is no reason black women should be stigmatize by the idea that black women’s standards are too high and must be lowered for us to be happy.
Our standards are high because we’re amazing. We’ve freed hundreds of people from slavery, initiated the largest civil rights movement in US history, refused to “go low” even when people ridiculed and dehumanized us for simply being black. We’ve been named the highest paid black artist of all time, created your favorite television shows, contained the cells that have been one of the most important tools for medicine — and probably saving your life today, AND we’ve birthed nations. BIH, WE’VE BIRTHED NATIONS. So yes, our standards are high.
While I understand that waiting is a part of life, and is inevitable, I cannot support the idea that black women must idly wait, hoping that one day things will get better. If your man can’t understand your wants and needs, you don’t have to wait on him to get it together. If your boss keeps promising you a promotion that doesn’t seem to ever be coming, get a new job. You don’t have to wait, sis.