MR. MARTIN: Welcome back.
The movie Think Like a Man, Steve Harveys movie based on his book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, has single men and women buzzing, even married folks. Of course, Kevin Hart stars in the film with a cast of some of the top folks.
So, the real question is, What do people really want when it comes to relationships? Men dont understand women, according to women. Women dont understand men, according to men; and nobody seems to get along.
Well, we decided the tr- get get the sexes together to see if we can help things out a bit. Joining me now is Free from WPGC.FM Radio in Washington, D.C.; Janks Morton, producer of the documentary What Black Men Think; Krissah Thompson, national staff writer for The Washington Post; and relationship coach Ayize Maat.
Folks, welcome to Washington Watch.
Its very interesting. A lot of people are saying, Oh, the book I like it, I dont like it, but really, look. The movies a a romantic comedy, but it does deal with this whole issue of how folks look at relationships and how we seem to get along. And so I want to play this clip first off, of Regina Hall. She plays the cara- the character Candice. So, just check out some of the advice she tries to give Taraji P. Henson, who plays the character Lauren.
LAUREN: Why should I have to lower my standards to get a man? Who does that?
CANDACE: Im sorry. Now, what man?
LAUREN: I just want my equal. Okay? Or, at least an attractive, cultured man whos over six feet tall, makes six figures and isnt intimidated by my success.
CANDACE: Okay. Here we go. [Picks up Steve Harveys book.] Lets do a little research here. Ah! This is you!
LAUREN: Please! I dont
CANDACE: Strong, independent and lonely women.
LAUREN: I dont need some bald-headed man on a book telling me that I am strong and independent. Honey, thats [snaps her fingers] a given.
CANDACE: But you forgot lonely.
LAUREN: You are a
CANDACE: Im just sayin. All this waitin for better its makin you bitter.
[END OF FILM CLIP.]
MR. MARTIN: This whole idea of waiting for perfection Krissah, in your reporting, you know, in The Washington Post, this issue of relationships, married, dating, it came up in in those in the series.
MS. KRISSAH THOMPSON: It did. We did a huge poll with the Kaiser Family Foundation and found that, for Black women, this question of marriage versus career does come up. Black women see themselves as independent. They have very high self-esteem, and 7 out of 10 nearly 7 out of 10 say being successful in their career is very important. You ask them about marriage How important is marriage? only 4 out of 10 see say being married is very important. So, those two things do kind of have some tension there.
MR. MARTIN: Whats the deal with this again, this desire for perfection, which is an act- absolute joke
[LAUGHTER FROM THE WOMEN ON THE PANEL.]
MR. MARTIN: because youre not going to find the perfect man. Youre not going to find the perfect woman.
FREE: No, I think theyre not looking for perfection, but something you could tolerate at least
OFF-CAMERA MAN: Ugh!
FREE: cause its a little crazy out here.
MR. MARTIN: [Laughs.]
FREE: Lets be real. Lets be real. I meet so many men who say, Why are you single? and I look at them and say, Why are you married and here hitting on me?
MR. MARTIN: [Chuckles.]
OFF-CAMERA MAN: Whoo!
FREE: So, you know, it goes both ways. It really does.
MR. MARTIN: What ab- first of all, you shook your head when she said tolerate.
MR. JANKS MORTON: Yeah. Well, the- theres this whole concept around, like especially the [premise] of the book that Black men are this less than theyre not equal to po- component of relationships, which I just take great pause and hesitation with. And and when we talk about being single single is a choice just like marriage is a choice, and I think most people, when they are gravitating to these tine [sic] of type of conversations, theyre looking to us married folks for answers.
And heres one that you need to know. Marriage was never designed to make you happy. And too often in the confines when youre single, youre looking for validation, wholeness, completeness and all these other things from another individual. Youre going to come up short every time.
MR. MARTIN: You see, I always ask this question when Im talking to sisters and this whole perfection question comes up. And I always ask them this very difficult question, which actually is real simple.
MR. MORTON: Okay.
MR. MARTIN: According to your perfection and your list, would your daddy make the list?
MR. AYIZE MAAT: Not only should you ask the question, Would your daddy make the list? but, Would you make your own list?
OFF-CAMERA WOMAN: Umph!
MR. MAAT: I think that right there is a pivotal point, because women today are coming to relationships very fragmented, very fractured, and theyre looking for this idea man; but the reality is that they have to work on themselves first in order to be ready to receive a mate when a mate comes their way.
MR. MARTIN: Now, therere some things that jump out at me when I when I look at some sorry dudes. And in the movie, this is a perfect example of what drives me crazy with some guys.
[BEGIN FILM CLIP.]
WOMAN: Steve says you have to set the requirements very high before you even get in the car, because you dont wanna become a chirp-chirp girl.
WOMAN: A what?
[CUT TO STEVE HARVEY.]
MR. air max . STEVE HARVEY: Chirp! Chirp! He just hits the locks, and you hop in. H dont even have to open the door.
[CUT TO DATING SCENE. A COUPLE WALKS TO A PARKED CAR. THE WOMAN STOPS AT THE PASSENGER DOOR AS THE MAN STARTS TO GET IN ON THE DRIVERS SIDE.]
MAN: Its open. [He starts the car and chuckles.] Its open!
WOMAN: I dont go out on dates with guys who dont open the door for me.
MAN: Aw, man! [The car squeals as he floors it and drives off.]
WOMAN: [Speaking to herself.] No, he didnt!
[THE CAR BACKS UP INTO VIEW AND STOPS BY THE WOMAN, STILL STANDING THERE, INCREDULOUS.]
MAN: [He looks at his date and smiles. Just foolin.]
[END OF FILM CLIP.]
MR. MARTIN: Okay.
MR. MARTIN: That was a funny scene.
FREE: Great scene.
MR. MARTIN: A funny scene; but, boy, Im shocked that he actually went to the door, because what kills me are cats today
OFF-CAMERA WOMAN: They just honk.
MR. MARTIN: who will honk the horn.
OFF-CAMERA MAN: Yeah.
MR. MARTIN: And Im serious. I I have nine nieces.
OFF-CAMERA WOMAN: Okay.
MR. MARTIN: I will hurt some lil, young punk
MR. MARTIN: who honk a horn. Just lettin you know.
FREE: Now, do do they go out, though? Do they wanna go out with
MR. MARTIN: Naw, they
MR. MARTIN: aint old enough yet. But trust me.
FREE: Oh [laughs].
MR. MARTIN: Trust me. When they start goin out, somebodys gettin jacked if you honk a horn.
MS. THOMPSON: But thats part of the question, though right, Martin? Because Black women say that theyve been raised to be independent, to make sure that they have their own, to take care of themselves and, you know, with uncles and men like you, whore saying, Make sure that youre treated with a certain level of respect.
MR. MARTIN: Thats
MS. THOMPSON: And thats what they expect, coming to the scene, and what theyre saying in our poll is, If I dont find that, then single I will be.
MR. MARTIN: now now, heres what I find to be interesting. And I kn- and and so when you look at single households, we talk about 70 percent of our children being born out of wedlock, and theyre being raised by single women.
MR. MARTIN: So, are any of these women teaching their sons
MR. MORTON: They cant.
MR. MARTIN: how to act right?
MR. MORTON: They cant. Tha- and thats another thing. We talk about the marginalization of masculinity over the past 50 years. Youre talking about chivalry opening the door, being respectful all that. It takes modeling of behaviors of men to impart that into young men to get that. We[ve] got a generation of kids that dont have this positive, paternal influence to teach women, This is how you you know, like I have a daughter This is how youre sposed to be treated, and to teach your son, This is how youre sposed to treat a wo[man]. Thats not happening right now.
MR. MORTON: Tha-
FREE: It goes by what you see and what you experience as you grow up. I actually I the guy has to be like my dad. My dad is loyal. Hes a family man. Even though him and my mom divorced when I was 11, he never went missing. Hes still here. And so I happen to have great role models as men in my life. So, Im lucky for that, but everybody doesnt have that.
MR. MAAT: And the other thing, too, is that a lot of these single mothers out here, they actually grew up in homes where the father wasnt around as well. So, there was no model for them. So, how can you expect them to actually teach their sons to behave appropriately, when they didnt have the appropriate models around
MR. MARTIN: We did
MR. MAAT: [crosstalk]?
MR. MARTIN: a couple of shows on the whole issue of manhood with Bishop T.D. Jakes in at The Potters House in Dallas. And I do believe that when you talk about relationships in terms of the struggles that were seeing, I believe it is absolutely tied to what has happened with the Black family.
MR. MORTON: Thats exactly right, with
MR. MORTON: the highest divorce rates, the lowest marriage rates, the highest single rates, the highest out-of-wedlock birth rate. You have a fractured community, and we again, from psycho-sociological, we have no models, and we have no imprinting. If you dont have those things, then youre out there rudderless, sail-less, trying to navigate this relationship dynamic from [a] one-gender paradigm, and its going to be a movie.
MR. MARTIN: Krissah, I I[ve] got to go to you and then Free with the last comment. Go.
MS. mbt shoes sale . THOMPSON: You know, there are some real dynamics happening in the Black community, though, when it comes to educational attainment
MR. MARTIN: Right.
MS. THOMPSON: when it comes to the strides that women are making in the workplace. Therere some demographic things that are pulling the community apart as well, and so we have to figure out how to deal with those.
FREE: Yeah. And I think some people prioritize different[ly]. Some peoples careers are their priority. Some people, relationships are their priority. And when it comes to dealing with someone whos not on your level or your equal, theres a whole nother set of issues besides what youre driving. Some people cant handle it, you know, if youre doing better than them especially a man. A mans not going to be really happy if youre bringing in all the money, and hes hes not.
MR. MARTIN: Well, I tell you what, though. First of all, I had I look, I have no I had no issue with that.
MR. MARTIN: We no.
[MORE LAUGHTER, CROSSTALK.]
MR. MARTIN: Look, I di- I didnt have no problem with that
MR. MARTIN: cause my cause my philosophy[s] real simple: Baby, you get a raise, we get
FREE: We get a raise.
MR. MARTIN: a raise.
MR. MARTIN: I get a raise, we get a raise.
FREE: Thats right[?].
MR. MARTIN: Thats why yesterday, I celebrated 11 years of wedded
MR. MARTIN: [bliss]. Robert M Pardes . I dont deal with no drama, because Im sorry it dont matter. You get paid, we get paid. And also, if you comin in with that list, Im tearin the list up. All right?
MR. MARTIN: Panel, we certainly appreciate it. Thanks a bunch. We look forward to having you back.
FREE: Thank you, Roland.
MR. MORTON: Thank you.
MS. THOMPSON: Thank you, Roland.
MR. MAAT: [Crosstalk.]
MR. MARTIN: Folks, be sure to check out Think Like a Man. The producers my homeboy, my frat brother Will Packer. Its playing now in theaters everywhere, so [we] definitely want to get your thoughts on it.