by: Cathy Foreman
On Saturday, I ventured to the barbershop for a haircut. Nothing out of the norm but I was not prepared to have to go on the defense and validate myself or my fellow sisters about a woman’s desire to be acknowledged or complemented by other people outside of any relationship she’s in. I already had a rough two weeks and I was not in the mood for this foolishness. That’s the thing about the barber shop, for all the comedy, educational moments and crazy antics sometimes there are topics that, as a woman, you clearly need to be the voice of reason … offering an opinion and perspective that clearly is contrary to the general population.
it’s always a pleasant ego boost to know that you still got it to the world outside.
So I’m sitting there, like I normally do and like most times, I’m the only female present. The things you pick up on being around your brethren are truly astounding. I remember learning so much, in my college days, just hanging around the guys – especially when they had been drinking. Talk about mind-blown.
Today was the first day in a while that there were more than a couple of guys in the shop. I expected a lot of sports talk particularly with all the playoffs going on. I was prepared to simply tune them out, plus I was finishing up another article; so, I was preoccupied, sitting in the cut and forgotten about. And that’s when it all went left. Someone asked the question, “What do y’all think about that comment Ayesha Curry made?” My ears immediately became in tune and I automatically went into defense mode. My entire body shifted and I became acutely aware of the male thoughts that I knew were about to piss me off. Woosaaa!
As I opened up my notes app and started writing the comments these guys were making, I became somewhat infuriated. I should have recorded this, but my mind wasn’t there. Anyway, take a look at some of the comments these guys made. Bear in mind some of these are paraphrased as it was so much being said, but you definitely will get the gist of it.
All she has and she’s worried about another man, that’s disrespectful.
Steph needs to get rid of her and find someone who matches him and is not worried about what other men think.
Do you think because she has three kids, that’s why she’s insecure about her body.
She should not be insecure at all.
She did it in public; that’s what gets me. The fact the she felt comfortable enough to put that out there.
It shows her character, you felt safe enough to go on a national platform among people your don’t know. That’s something you keep in your home.
It’s not like she’s living in his shadow. She has her own cooking show, her own cookware, book deals and what else. Why she worried about what some other man thinking? .. she has her own empire.
Stand up with him in public, but stand up to him in private. A real woman will never air her man out in public just like a real man won’t air his woman out.
Now, take a moment to fully take in all of that. If you’ve been keeping up with the conversation external to here, I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg. Like why is this even newsworthy, right? But, these are the times we live in. People are hyper-sensitive about things and feel as though they should have an opinion on everything. What Ayesha said doesn’t warrant as much attention as it’s been given. And I know you’re probably saying then why am I adding my two cents worth? Well, because I was privy to a real conversation between a group a men of whom I generally know and was asked my opinion – and I thought this conversation was noteworthy.
Now, my response to all of these comments initially was ..“all of ya’ll can go to hell.” After I got that out of the way, I went on to tell them, “just like women, men have a need for external appreciation. No matter how good things are with your partner it is always a good feeling when a woman compliments your dress, your style, your beard, your eyes or whatever. That’s not to say that you were out there looking for it, but it’s always a pleasant ego boost to know that you still got it to the world outside. It may not be from someone you necessarily would like, but the fact remains that you step a little higher and a little softer when you are acknowledged in any circumstance.” Ayesha did not say she was out there looking. What she did say is that she wondered if something was wrong with her because she didn’t feel like she was being noticed. Call it vanity if you like, but that is a truth.
Then we started to talk about the platform and her feeling comfortable enough to say that out loud, to the public at large. My response was simply, “She is an icon. Ayesha is someone’s role model whether you like it or not. Speaking her truth is helping someone. This is simply a sign of the times. And with as much talk as it is about mental health and depression, feeling confident and free enough to express yourself and expose your insecurities is huge.” Someone right now is dealing with that very issue. And while they probably knew they were not alone, for them Ayesha was that beacon of light being shone through letting them know, “Hey, you are not alone, I feel this way too.”
One particular barber simply didn’t like that she exposed her marriage and made Steph seem like the bad guy. Oh, and did I mention he said, “especially during the playoffs.” Pffft! I asked, “How so … when she never spoke ill of him or took away from who he is a man, father, husband.” Everything she said was about her. And again, you have to remember this point in time. Things just aren’t kept as quiet or secret as you’d like them to be. To which he responded, “That’s what’s wrong with the world.” True, that may be, but this is what it is … this is where we are right now.
So, then I made the statement, “I didn’t hear any of you comment on the fact that he came to her defense.” This same barber said, “That’s what a real man does; he stands with her in public, but I bet he had a conversation with her at home.” The truth of the matter is we don’t know the dynamics of their marriage. We can speculate as much as we like, but that’s just something we don’t know. What we do know is that the statement is indicative of what you would have done. At that point, the conversation started to fizzle out, thank goodness. Points were made, mutual understandings achieved and agreements to disagree all took place.
The bottom line, no matter how good it is perceived that you have it, no one truly knows what’s going on with you or inside your relationship. Instead of judging and placing our ideals on someone, let’s try walking a mile in their shoes. It’s always easy to say what you would do … that is until you are in that situation. And that my friends is the reality of the situation.