Archuleta A. Chisolm
We May All Need Therapy
In case you missed it two weeks ago, Psychology Today published an article about how men are lonelier than ever because they lack the proper emotional skills to have healthy relationships. More specifically, they are finding it difficult to get matched on dating apps.
This article was interesting, because generally they are about women - particularly Black women - how we’re lonely, and due to our lack of being able to think like a man, we are unmarried and doomed to hell. Even those of us who are in relationships but not married yet, something has to be wrong. Soon we become the “special friend” that everyone thinks is so nice.
Men and women are different, for sure. We can talk about our origins; how we were raised, and the expectations society holds over us. Despite that, we have the opportunity to establish new, healthy boundaries with one another starting with hello.
Shawbree Rawls, a Black therapist, has been fired from her job after her TikTok video about Black men needing therapy went viral. In the video, she urged Black men to expand their emotional vocabulary and seek a therapist.
Well, I can’t quite figure out what she did wrong. First, she was on her personal TIKTOK and was not operating in a professional capacity at the time. Yet, we see medical professionals on social media every single day, as they explain health and mental health conditions that their patients have as a whole. She didn’t violate any laws.
So, let’s go ahead and say this: Could Rawls have gone about this differently? Sure. But her being fired was not necessary. This knocks on the door to a deeper conversation.
We’ve talked before, on the blog, about the war that’s happening on women - particularly Black women. We are in the midst of discourse in Black relationships. We are not exploring how relationships can transform our very being. Instead, we’re trying to one-up each other; prove that our values and expectations are the best. Yet, sometimes those truths are built on trauma, poor examples, and just plain ignorance. None of it leads to prosperous, healthy relationships.
Anytime a man can create videos on the Internet and push a narrative that Black women are unattractive, have no value, too fat, and too old to meet any man’s standards, it’s a problem. Especially, when that same man can rally a legion of other Black men to feel the same way.
Let’s be clear. A good job, house, money and nice car don’t make you a “high-value” man or woman. And the unrealistic expectations that we are placing on one another do nothing but cause a wedge in Black relationships. They divide and cause us to develop animosity towards the very people we’re supposed to love and protect.
There’s an expectation that some men have: “If I’m doing everything for you, then you need to act right.” Well, “acting right” means different things to different people. “Everything,” means financially taking care of a woman.
The priorities we have when we’re young, get caught up in naivety and lack of experience. Even as we get older, some can’t seem to evolve and grow. In other words, we don’t heal and become more aware of ourselves. The good sis therapist was doing her part in helping Black men, and therefore Black women, develop to better versions of themselves. Now, she has no job. Make it make sense.