Some statistics have indicated that girls are more likely to graduate from high school more than boys. Girls are also more likely to have a desire to go to college and finish in comparison to boys. With these statistics, girls are almost groomed to start thinking of a career as early as middle school. When it comes to boys, they typically start talking about college well into high school years if they are interested. Around the ages 13-16, boys can start losing interest in school, and getting “caught up” in worldly activities such as gang banging, selling dope, fast money schemes, etc.
Girls tend to stay on a course of study, and mothers or grandmothers will coach them along the way (typically). This is not the same (at times) when it comes to boys. Also, girls mature faster than boys, and we know boys learn best in the morning times. Other scientific studies have shown how boys and girls learn differently. I addressed these points listed to make everyone aware that as a college educated woman, I am more capable of obtaining a “good job,” being more career driven, and having more capabilities to surpass a black man going for the same position I desire in “Corporate America.” This happens on a daily basis, and men know that we as women have an advantage over them in the early stages of our development.
I understood as a child, very early, what it was I was being trained to do. I come from a “traditional 2-parent home,” which is rare nowadays. I always watched my mother work really hard all my life. My father was a truck driver, so when I was little, I did not see him much that I can remember. He was away from home a lot, so my mother “held down the fort.” She was a stay at home mother with us for a few years while my dad did truck driving. As I got older, my mother returned to work when I was able to go to a traditional, all day school. It was not until I was about 6 or 7 years old that I remember my father getting hurt on his job. He ended up having to go into very early retirement due to his injuries.
My mother worked as a manager in the fast food industry when she went back to work. My dad never finished school, and only went to the 3rd or 4th grade. He had to work in the field picking okra, corn, sugar cane, or whatever was in season with his mom and family to have food to eat for himself and his siblings. This was also how they made a living in the “country part of Louisiana”. Mom did finish high school, and was the valedictorian back in the late 60’s. My mom went to school in the “city part of Louisiana”, so she did not have to do work in field like my dad.
In what I saw with my parents, I developed a strong work ethic, dependability, and reliability when it came to working. They both always told me to work hard, and if you don’t know, say you don’t know, but find out the answer on your own. They also
told me never make the same mistakes, and always be the one at your job your supervisor can depend on. They instilled in me that whatever career I pick, do my job well and accept challenges along the way. The easy way, is not always the best way. I took these values to heart. When my dad got hurt at work, things changed in my home when I was a child. My mother began to be the one in the home with the steady income. My father did what he could to make money, but his neck and back injuries caused him not to be able to do a lot of lifting, sitting, standing, etc. Their roles of the duties of a father and duties of a mother began to change. With the change in the home, it became some “role reversal” between my parents. My dad cooked every day, he washed clothes, he checked on me when I was sick at night when mom worked late, etc.
I wanted to share some of my personal experience, because I learned early that I had to support my husband in what he wanted to do to be a provider and hold his position of head of household. There were many times my mom did not agree on how my dad… let’s just say came into financial success J. Sometimes he gambled and sometimes he did odd household jobs for money since he is so good with his hands. For my dad, doing this gave him is sense of natural belonging providing for his family. However, I learned also, that it did not make him less of a man to cook, clean, wash clothes, when my mom was at work. I figured out along the way that my mom showed her appreciation for him doing this in her own way with him by paying bills, planning family trips, etc.
Sometimes, your mate will do business ventures that you as an educated woman, don’t always agree with. You have to support him in his venture, because most millionaires fail several times before having that one thing that makes them financially successful. I have sometimes let my husband make mistakes (even if I knew from my education, that his idea would not work). I have to allow him to do what a man does which is what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad says” The Black Man and Woman learns through experimentation.”
I am fortunate to have a mate who supports my dreams and current career. It was not easy at first. Men can feel very intimidated, if you will, by a college educated woman if the man does not have the same education. They can sometimes be unsupportive in a woman wanting to earn a salary for herself. I have been accustomed to supporting my husband by being his “cheerleader”. I tell him how proud I am of him and that I am his biggest supporter. I say this because this helps him to focus and make better decisions for the family when he has his wife and children to think about. The weight of this falls on him, so to beat him down when he is failing, kills the spirit. This same thing is done when the roles are reversed for my career. He reciprocates the same behavior I do for him with my career. However, as an educated woman, I have to
be as skillful as possible when I go to him with suggestions or corrections to his actions. We as women can tend to sometimes make a man feel inferior when we use our educational knowledge as a weapon against him. We have to be a consoler as the Holy Qur’an states. We have to be so clever in correcting him to the point they don’t realize that they are being corrected.
When you are a supportive mate, you don’t mind, on either side, stepping outside your role to help with your household for whatever this may entail. If the woman works and her mate is supportive of her, he may get the children ready for school, clean up, etc. The same is true for a working woman in that she will share her earnings by paying bills, etc. The two must understand they are only helping that person when needed. Even though the Holy Our’ an says that a woman’s earnings are her earnings, and a man’s earnings are her earnings, but when there are love and support, she is willing to give it to him whenever needed. However, problems can arise when a mate expects the other to step outside their role on a regular basis. If bill paying is an issue within the household, there are resources that can be tapped into to help with bills so that neither is short of money for essential needs.
It’s important to know when either choosing a mate or if you’re in a relationship, you “know your role.” As a woman, even though I have a career, goals, and love going to school, I have my seven units as prescribed by Allah (God) that have to come first. Being negligent in my duties as a woman can be damaging to the home. For a man, if he is not maintaining and sustaining the home and the woman, he is failing in his duty as a man as well. It is incumbent for both to find a balance they can agree on. Each couple will have what works for them; however, no one should stand as judge for that relationship. If all parties in the home are happy and their home is heaven for them, which is all that matters. What works for one family, is not going to work for another. Choose which one you want before you are in a relationship, or if you are in one, sit down and talk to your mate about how you want to have your household structured.
In conclusion, if you are not married and want to have a career, education, etc., it can be done. You will have to find someone willing to allow you to do your experimenting. Remember, the brother that wants a stay at home wife will most likely always have that desire, so he may not be the one for you. Explore and be ready to make sure to balance your career and duties. Most importantly, no one can fall short in their obligation. Your house can fall apart if everyone is not on the same accord. It is a struggle on a daily basis, but make sure you have someone willing to struggle with you for the greater good.
Peace and Love,