Maybe You’re Single Because You’re…Wait, Who Gives A Fuck? » VSB

Dating, Relationships, & Sex, Featured, Theory & Essay

Maybe You’re Single Because You’re…Wait, Who Gives A Fuck?

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Last week, we published “Maybe You’re Single Because You’re Wack” — a piece from Dustin Seibert articulating possible reasons why some of the more physically attractive and financially fit women in his sphere of influence seemed to be perpetually single. Like the rest of Dustin’s work on VSB, it was a long, verbose, and admittedly entertaining read. (“You can dress like a bag of shit and not be a wack person” made me laugh aloud.)

It — the piece itself and the response it generated — also reminded me why we don’t publish this type of content anymore. Not because it was controversial or offensive or insulting or anything like that. The title of this post has “fuck” in it, for chrissakes. We’re generally not in the business of minding whether people’s sensibilities are aggrieved when they read our content. Because fuck you. But because the premise — both structurally and conceptually — is ancient. And not ancient in the way that a Christmas standard that still makes you feel good even though you’ve heard it 20,000 times happens to be. But ancient like a VHS player. Or a Von Dutch trucker hat.

Creating a platform where one person (usually a man) tells other people (usually women) exactly how fucked up their dating and relationship lives are is a dependable way to get a consistent reaction to what you’re writing and/or saying. And, to be honest, this is one of the reasons why VSB started off as a place where most of our content was dating/relationship/sex centric. Both Panama and I knew that it would be the quickest way to cultivate an audience and amass a following. Sure, we attempted to add some nuance and wit and balance to it — and I believe we were better at it than most — but ultimately we weren’t much different than the dozens of blogs, pundits, and personalities also building a brand off of this.

In the past few years, we’ve been very intentional with expanding our content and changing our editorial focus. And a byproduct of this change has been us writing and publishing progressively less and less and less of that type of content. Because if we wanted to be considered a progressive and relevant and unique space, we couldn’t continue having our brand defined by those types of pieces.

Most importantly, while there’s nothing wrong with responding to a query from an individual woman — or perhaps addressing a question about a hyper-specific situation — there’s just an inherent uneasiness and off-putting hubris in guys volunteering “how to get chose” advice to women collectively. Even if it’s not intended to be interpreted this way, it often comes off as “Listen to me, foolish women, so you’ll have a chance of getting with a guy like me.” Also, racial and social context matters. We (Black men and women) have heard and read and watched reports and blogs and specials and stories and plays and movies about man shortages and uneven ratios and Kim Kardashian ad nauseam. We know that, for myriad reasons, the numbers are skewered in Black men’s favor. Which is why a Black guy getting on a platform to tell Black women why they’re “failing” at dating is specifically reductive, myopic, and even, at times, cruel.

Even as Dustin pointed out in his piece, “wack” men don’t seem to have much trouble getting chose. Or, specifically, being the chooser. And this status is in large part due to this numbers inequality that everyone already knows about. Which is why “Maybe You’re Single Because There’s Just A Lot More Of You With Your Shit Together Than There Are Of Us” or “Maybe You’re Single Because Slavery, Structural Racism, And The Criminal Justice System Has Combine To Created A Society Where Millions Of Black Men Are Permanently Disqualified From The Dating Pool” or “Maybe You’re Single Because There’s Nothing Wrong With Being Single” or “Maybe You’re Single Because You Were Raised Right” would have been much more appropriate and relevant angles.

The best one, though, would have been — and will always be — “Maybe You’re Single Because You’re…Wait, Who Gives A Fuck?” Because there are so. many. fucking. reasons. why someone may or may not be in a relationship. And one of the biggest factors is something we have absolutely no control over: sheer luck. Unless you believe that life is like The Adjustment Bureau, where our relationship fates are predestined (and partially controlled by John Slattery), something as small as a decision to catch the 9:50am bus on September 14th, 2012 instead of the 10:15am bus that day could have made the difference between you being single or married. Or married or single. Or alive or dead. Or whatever the fuck. And because of that inherent whatever the fuck-ness that ultimately determines whether you will happen to meet a person you happen to be compatible with and happen to be interested in and you both happen to be available, trying to break down why person A is single and person B is not even though they share the exact same traits is a fruitless exercise. It like trying to determine why one leaf blew onto the street and another blew onto the sidewalk. And when that is your question, the answer, again, is always “Who Gives A Fuck?

Again Dustin is a very talented writer, and I look forward to him continuing to write long-winded, passionate, and hilariously inappropriate pieces. I’m beyond proud that we’ve evolved to this ambiguous but conspicuously Black place where people like him and Natalie and Alex and Jozen and Shamira and Agatha and whoever else contributes to VSB can be, for lack of a better term, free. But evolution also means you leave some shit behind. And “Maybe You’re Single Because You’re Wack” should have been left in 2010.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • In short, bye Felicia.

    • Dustin John Seibert

      Grown men write “Bye Felicia” in late 2015? K, carry on.

      • Grown men still talk about what “grown men” do in late 2015? If you don’t carry your a** in back to the year 2009 where you belong

        • Baemie St. Patrick

          I’ll be in back sweepin….waiting for someone to get froggy, bae.

      • QueLoQue

        Dude, policing the comments like this is extremely unbecoming and you’re really showing your a*s at this point. Just take your lumps and move on, it happens to the best of us. You’ll get ’em next time.

        • Dude is really upset…isn’t this your trade? It happens, get your bars up Dusty.

        • Damon Young

          we encourage our writers to get in the comments if they can. if dustin believes people are taking shots at him specifically, he has a right to respond.

    • Damon Young

      no need for that.

    • PDL – Cape Girl

      or Felix?

      • Phillipe?

        • PDL – Cape Girl

          I was going for the “F” LOL

  • Dustin John Seibert

    Irony: 2010 is the year I got out of the game. Next column: “Maybe You’re Married Because You’re a Fuckin’ Nipplehead.”

    Diversity of opinions! Thanks again, Damon.

    • TrayBay

      What’s a nipplehead?

      • PDL – Cape Girl

        sniggles

  • Nick Peters

    So I shouldn’t write my article 26 reasons why I’m single? By the way Creed has a 90 rating on rotten tomatoes…I know what I’m doing Wednesday..

    • Its a Rocky movie… With a dude who can actually act… I’m so here for it

  • Agatha Guilluame

    Sometimes you gotta take the L and move on. This would be the time to bow out gracefully.

    • Dude been babysitting his post for like 3 days now…go check on that “non wack” wife of yours

      • Agatha Guilluame

        My thoughts exactly.

        • Baemie St. Patrick

          I feel like I should go back and read the comments. I think I checked out after a while.

          • Agatha Guilluame

            It got really nasty. I got into it with someone named PinkRose (defending Andrea who I don’t even fuck with). I’m not proud of it but it happened. I feel like Dusty’s post brought us together as a family. #brightside

      • TeeChantel

        Listen, chile.
        I’ve been here almost two years. Never seen anything like that before.

        • Kim

          I’ve been lurking for 4, I think, and somehow I ALWAYS miss the drama.

      • ParisBrother

        You’re gonna save all of them aren’t you?

        Captain Tristan to the rescue!

        • Go read a book you ashy stupid motherfucker

          • any insult w/ ashy in it is a win lol

    • panamajackson

      Everybody who writes gets a turn in the fire. It was his time.

      • Agatha Guilluame

        Welcome to VSB, Dusty.

        • *snatches welcome mat and hands Dusty a luke warm styrofoam cup of water while glaring*

          • panamajackson

            No need for that. Hugs all around. And put some lean in that styrofoam cup. Let’s all pitch in on a party.

            • *places one lone ice cube into Dusty’s cup*

              There.

              • QuirlyGirly

                lol- give that man at least 2-3 cubes to make his drank cool. No one should have to drink luke warm water-if they don’t want too.

              • sewit_be_like

                Ruby Woo, I think I love you!

            • Brass Tacks

              *pulls out Actavis from coat pocket*

              • Pinks

                thought it was a drought, though.

            • 2011k

              Shid, I thought it was a drought *sips Durty Sprite after smashing in Gucci flip flops*

      • Ari

        VSB haze.

      • Oh, but when your turn in the fire comes, tis the MFing worst of times.

        • panamajackson

          Right. But all you can do is take those lumps and learn. Damon and I have both been dragged, ceremoniously, on VSB. It happens.

          • LMNOP

            I feel like you generally handle it with humor and grace. Maybe you could give lessons to other writers. Do a webinar or something.

            • Lesson 1: quit responding to comments by the end of Day 1.

              Lesson 2: VSB is (mostly) forgiving and will let past draggings stay past… Unless you don’t learn lesson 1.

              Lesson 3: learn more ya mama jokes before submitting VSB articles.

              • LMNOP

                My gif skills are lacking, but imagine right here there’s a picture of Elsa singing “Let it Go”

                That could be the title of the class.

            • panamajackson

              Yeah, honestly, we probably could do a webinar on handling web criticism. Thing is, it wasnt always easy. It took time and some situations to get us to that point. We’ve been doing this long enough to realize that everything isn’t a big deal. That’s a lesson folks have to learn.

        • Roast you like a marshmallow.

  • the nature boy

    personally I don’t think you should ever negotiate or give in to terrorist but here we are huh?
    Lots of folks that are LOOKING for a relationship and can’t find one, I’m sorry, but it’s because some of yall are Wack. Accept it and work on you. If it don’t apply let it fly. But the hit dogs hollering cease a hilarious display.
    Some are in desperate need of a brother Wayne hug
    https://img.4plebs.org/boards/pol/image/1408/00/1408002420878.gif

    • Lakyn

      Wack people get chose everyday so why is wackness only a no-go when it’s wack Black women?

      • the nature boy

        I said lots of folks are looking and some of those folks are Wack. I said nothing about black women. When I read the article that’s what I came away with. The cover of the article is a black
        Man sitting on the ground. I took it as the title stated, maybe your wack. Man woman and child can all be wack. Why are YOU acting like he’s talkin to you when he may not be. Are you wack? I’m sure you know some women and men that are crying about being single and they need to be told this tough love. I know I shouldn’t disagree with you here on this platform, it’s an uphill battle for me but its how I feel. Maybe I’ll learn something new.

        • Lakyn

          I’m not crying about being single, or anything, really. I mean, I’m 22, single is all I see right now. But you can’t deny that article was majorly aimed at Black women, with a little side note about Black men. If you deny it, you ain’t read it close enough.

    • bossman

      lol VSB folded big time to the female backlash. Too many hit dogs hollered

    • Asiyah

      yes, SOME of y’all. not all. and again, lots of wack people are married.

  • cakes_and_pies

    I don’t want to see anymore articles that solicit brown nosing commenters to call women thots.. Keep that mess on bossip.

  • Bie

    ” We know that, for myriad reasons, the numbers are skewered in Black men’s favor. Which is why a Black guy getting on a platform to tell Black women why they’re “failing” at dating is specifically reductive, myopic, and even, at times, cruel.”

    FUCK YES!!! I saw that other article and didn’t bother reading it because it’s essentially pointing/wagging the finger at Black women like it’s completely our fault! Thank you for owning and discussing this. Maybe there are some Black women who are focused on building a solid foundation for themselves professionally before a relationship and that’s ok too!!

  • uNk

    What…..happened lol

    • Brick killed a guy. With a trident.

  • TeeChantel

    Thanks for this, Champ. I think we have to realize not everything works the way WE intended. We have to accept it and move on. Real talk, I’m glad you and Panama realize this, even when the OP still does not realize it did not work for this particular audience.

    • panamajackson

      Just to be clear, Damon and I actually disagree on this particular post. But, VSB is our shared space and we both take ownership and accountability and if we feel a need to address something, we do. Damon felt a need to address it.

      VSB isn’t about just writing what the audience wants. It’s largely been about creating a conversation around ideas we have. Sometimes those ideas land terribly. And dustin caught the L of all L’s on that one. At least here at VSB.

      • TeeChantel

        Gotcha. Edited my original comment.

        • panamajackson

          LOL. Cool.

  • Kim

    So this is, in essence, a long disclaimer and redaction of an article that you obviously approved to be on your site, but because it got too much backlash you’re now against it?

    Nah.

    There was a deeper message of introspection in that article that was overlooked by mostly everyone. And yes, the delivery of that message should have been more focused and that’s why he got the response he did. But to write a full article about how now you’re against it? I don’t know it just doesn’t seem genuine. If you really felt that way it would’ve never been posted in the first place.

    • You see that jig too?

    • panamajackson

      Just to be clear: I, Panama Dontavious Jackson (not of the Gary, Indiana Jacksons) am not against it. And was against a “redaction”. Dustin took an L. For me, that was the end of it.

    • TeeChantel

      “Playas fcuk up”

      I do think it was a slip up on the editor’s part. However, PJ and Champ evidently realized the post slipped back into the “old times” They owned the mistake, end of story. I’m not feeling slighted towards PJ and Champ. These brothers work way too hard. Dustin, however, gots to take his L and move on.

    • Damon Young

      that’s fair. and without going into detail about how/why it was published, I’ll say this:

      you ever date someone, break up with them, and then get back in contact and think “you know what. this person wasn’t terrible. maybe we should date again”? and then you go on one date…and midway through that date they do/say something that makes you think “holy sh*t. i remember why we broke up now.” that’s what happened on friday, at least with me.

      also, while there obviously is an audience for the “this is why you women are single” conversation, this reminded me why I don’t want VSB to lead it anymore.

      • bigheadbaby

        Think I am glad I missed the convo on this one. Seems that the biggest crime had to do with him being married to a Puerto Rican while writing about how whack you might be as a single black woman. I do not cosign on the criminality of this and took the whole piece with a grain of humorous salt, though I see many did not. Black men take their turn roasting on the spit over a hot fire in some pieces, the script was flipped, the ball will get a Serena Williams power-serve back to the other end of the court and the game will continue. Dustin’s previous submission http://verysmartbrothas.com/this-generations-rb-music-is-asswater-stop-paying-for-it/ was all that and a bag of chips. High-octane stuff. While I did think this “wack” piece was far below that level, I for one can give people room to gorge on some low-hanging fruit sometimes. But I am not the editor and I can see how editorially, you want to put this kind of thing in the rear-view mirror more and more. It wasn’t my bag of chips, but I saw the humor in it and not even one time felt put down by it. Just say no next time…LOL

    • Asiyah

      “There was a deeper message of introspection in that article that was overlooked by mostly everyone.”

      No, there was no such message. If there was, he wouldn’t have glossed over at the wack guys. I expected a deeper message of introspection but read something else.

      • Wild Cougar

        The post was another version of lemme drag Black women on the thing they are most sensitive about as revenge for all the curves they’ve dealt us. Men never get over rejection because they bank their whole manhood on getting nani and when it’s refused, they vow revenge on all womankind. These posts are irresistible to Black men because Black women increasingly don’t feel the need to get a man by any means necessary. It’s patriarchy’s last stand for them. They gotta yank down the self esteem of the last few Black women who haven’t figured out that these “harsh truths” are actually passive aggressive attacks. If they can make a few of us regret denying the nani to one ugly, broke dude or nice guy, their mission is complete.

        • Asiyah

          “They gotta yank down the self esteem of the last few Black women who
          haven’t figured out that these “harsh truths” are actually passive
          aggressive attacks”

          It took me soooooooo long to know the difference between a harsh truth and a passive-aggressive attack. This is something we need to be on the lookout for so we can know when to reflect on our shortcomings and when to defend ourselves.

          • Wild Cougar

            if the result of the “advice” is that you lower your self worth with regard to the men around you, that was the objective.

    • i had that exact same feeling initially

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