Dear Black Men: Black Women Always (Always!) Show Up To Events. Why Don’t You?
In 1999, girl group 702 (which included my boo-in-my-head at the time, Kameelah Williams) released the song “Where My Girls At?” It is a great song from a great group from the ’90s that brings me much joy and happiness.
Well, it’s 2016, and I’m asking, “Where my dudes at?”
Why am I asking this? I’ll tell you why I’m asking this. Here’s why I’m asking this.
In Washington, D.C., I have the good fortune of being able to curate some events from time to time. Currently, I am on the books for three monthly events; two are parties and one is a literary karaoke of sorts called Lit.District. It is an offshoot of an event started in Atlanta called Lit. The purpose of this event is to be a monthly book club of sorts, except this one includes a DJ, lots of liquor and readings based on a theme. This event has been pretty successful so far, in terms of participation, save for one extremely noticeable issue: There are almost no men.
The last event had about 60 folks in attendance, six of whom were men (one was the photographer and another was the DJ, so I’m not even sure they count). The dearth of men at events like this is something that’s pretty common in most major cities, I’d wager. While women come out in droves to attend events that aren’t typical club fare, men are almost nowhere to be found unless they’ve been invited by a homegirl or girlfriend, and they almost always remark about the fact that it’s a chick buffet.
I mean “buffet” in the nicest possible way, dontchaknow. As an enlightened brother, I realize that referring to women in the buffet sense is probably sexist and treats women like objects—food objects. And I’m sure most of us like food, but objects nonetheless. Rest assured, I mean a good buffet, like, one with waffles and fresh fruit and produce, as opposed to, say, Golden Corral or Cici’s Pizza, which, while satisfying, isn’t exactly where you’d take your boo on the pivotal third date.
Let’s just move on.
Now, I know I’ve read articles in various places with titles like, “Great Places to Meet Women,” and numbers 1-9 are typically “not the club.” It’s great to meet women at places like church, poetry slams, open mics, etc. And those things are all true to a degree. But even at those places, there are still usually way more women than men in attendance, and it always leaves me wondering, where the hell are the men? It’s not like they don’t know about these events, but it seems like women’s interests tend to be piqued much more by different types of experiences than men’s. I have no idea if this is actually true, but based on my scientifically anecdotal observations, it would lean more toward true than false.
This wouldn’t be an issue if there weren’t hordes of men on message boards and in places like VSB comments wondering where to find a nice lady. Of course, you don’t really know what kind of woman you’re meeting just because of where you meet her, but since so many people (stupidly) view the club as not the best place to meet a potential suitor, the fact that men are effectively ghost participants in alternative events is baffling.
If I were a dude looking to meet women who I assumed had more to offer than their T&A—again, a stupid assumption (some of the most interesting women I know were cocktail waitresses at popular nightclubs; they were just hot and used it to finance their foodie habits)—the first places I would go would be events that involve books and art and artists who don’t say things like, “That’s why my bitches love me.”
Yet and still, like clockwork, I know that if I choose to either curate or attend an event that offers more than just a DJ and bottles of Ciroc, there’s a better than 50 percent chance that the room will be full of women, probably largely single, who would happily engage in a conversation with a nice fellow in a safe space. Shucks, it seems like when there are men at these events, there tend to be conversations happening where the men end up being the central figure.
But I feel like I’m preaching to the choir. We know where all of the women men claim to want to meet are; the question is, where the hell are the men who claim they’re looking to meet these women?
That’s what I want to know. If I could magically figure out how to even out the ratio of men to women at these events, I’d be a millionaire and people would write articles and books about my genius. I’d be the king of eggs and sausage. For now, I’m just as curious as everybody else.
I mean, the Golden State Warriors don’t play every night, ya know?