Okay, so, it’s 2014 and I’ve been waiting to write this blog … since 2012. I think that I was waiting for the right time or the right situation (a relationship) to present itself. That, and I was being downright lazy. As we are settling into 2014, I’ve noticed that tons of my Facebook friends and people that I follow on Instagram are getting engaged and married, and I'm here for all of it. Do you understand? ALL OF IT. I am such a huge fan of love. I’m in love with the pure, genuine, and unconditional emotion that two people share. I can’t wait to embark on such a challenging, yet beautiful journey with my future husband. My opinion on this topic may be void to some because I’ve been single for a while, but I’m voicing it anyway.
On social media, the topics of relationships and the roles of their participants have arisen, especially the topic of dominance vs. submission. Who dominates and who submits? Naturally, woman is expected to submit while man leads the relationship. And naturally, there are people who negate this; I’m not one of them.
During one of my trips to the barbershop, the aforementioned topic was visited. A woman with her son was asked by one of the barbers, “Would you submit in a relationship?” Her response was, “Hell naw, I ain’t submittin’ to no man!” After she said that, I immediately chuckled and one of the other barbers noticed, and then asked me the same question. I was secretly hoping that he would. I politely and quietly replied, “Absolutely.” The woman was shocked and the men applauded. Because of those reactions, I felt the need to explain myself. Fortunately, my mom and I had a conversation on this very subject a few weeks prior, so I was well-versed.
When I was a baby, my family attended a church called Bread of Life with J.D. Ford as Head Pastor. One of his sermons focused on the roles of man and woman in a relationship. My mother visited it several times during our conversation. During the sermon, Pastor Ford made it evidently clear that man is dominant and woman is submissive in a successful relationship. He didn’t mean that man is an egotistical bonehead who rules with an iron fist, and that woman is to be barefoot and pregnant all of the time. Man is supposed to be a provider, a protector, and a leader. Woman is supposed to be his support, his strength, and his confidant.
An analogy used by Pastor Ford regarding submission involved the family unit and the human body. The family unit is the body while the man is the head. The head houses the brain, which makes all of the decisions for the body: from involuntary twitches to the complex activity known as communication. What supports the head, though? What connects the head to the body? That’s right: the neck. Woman is, metaphorically, the neck. She provides support to the man like the neck provides support to the head. Without it, the head would have no stability. The head cannot survive without the body just as the body cannot survive without the head. Makes sense, right?
Just in case the head-body analogy didn’t work for you, try this one on for size. Ladies, let’s say that you went on a date with your significant other to the park. You two are wandering with no cares or worries, just enjoying each other’s company. When you have no real destination, you walk beside him. No one is leading anyone. You’re just taking this aimless stroll together, side-by-side. Then, you come to a busy sidewalk. People are constantly walking at different paces. There are people sitting outside enjoying a meal along your path. The people, tables, chairs, and even pets become potential obstacles. What do you do? Well, one may speculate that you naturally step behind him or he’ll step in front of you, if not both simultaneously, and he’ll lead you through the crowd, hand-in-hand. He holds your hand tightly and you pull closer so that you won’t separate or get lost. Without either of you realizing, he becomes your protector, your shield from harm. If anything happens while passing through this slightly chaotic traffic of people, then he'll take the brunt of it.
Think of your relationship in the same manner. When you and he make important decisions of which neither knows the outcome, you explore options together, side-by-side. When barriers pose a threat to you while exploring said options, he takes the lead to provide a solution and to, also, protect the family. He leads; you follow.
I made this same case-and-point during my barbershop visit, which led to a healthy debate. I’m not saying that you must submit to man in every relationship. Not everyone deserves that treatment, but when it’s THAT one, you will, willingly and effortlessly, submit. Keep in mind that he needs you just as much as you need him, and that sentiment is not to be taken lightly.
Some women believe that men being leaders in a relationship means that he is superior. Wrong. Your true mate and you are equally yoked. The follower is just as important as the leader. You’re his support and his drive. A leader would not be without any followers. Think about it. Would Dr. Martin Luther King have been as impactful on American history had he walked alone? Would your tweets exist if you had zero followers?
Your significant other has the weight of the world on his shoulders while you have his weight on yours. If you take care of him, then he’ll take care of everything else including, no, ESPECIALLY you. What do I know, though? I’m just a single, black, 20-something-year old woman who highly believes in empiricism, and that there is still such a thing as true love.
Stay up. Stay you.