In Black Culture News and Opinions.
OOOoooh geez, I sure did light a fire last night on Facebook! So the topic of splitting rent seems to be a hot topic on social media and after growing frustrated by seeing so many Black men and Black women post celebratory posts for splitting bills with their partners and being a “ride or die” and “holding down” their partners, I was inspired to post my displeasure about it. My post was taken to be offensive to many and ruffled up quite a few feathers (What’s new?). Truth to note. I am not currently married or engaged. However, I do date and I have gained an interesting perspective from my interracial, same race and various income level dating experiences. Let me make it clear that I am not one to dub myself as any “independent woman.” I just happen to be a single woman that isn’t looking for a gold star or any brownie points for being grown and handling my business as an adult. The frustrating thing is to see so many Black men and Black women make the concept of “making ends meet” or splitting rent or mortgage as something to exalt and praise and condemn others for not agreeing with the way of life for themselves. Anyway the underlying issue is clear and I want to talk about it.
Why I don’t want to split rental and mortgage expenses with my MAN:
Piece of Mind:
I do not want the stress. I am a capricorn in just about every sense of the sign. Security and piece of mind is everything to me. I find myself sleeping much better at night, knowing that I do not have to make payment on the rent or mortgage when I have a man right next to me. I can have that stress as a single woman (though I don’t), so if I have that same stress in a relationship I would begin to question why I am in that relationship or what’s going on here? I find myself most comfortable mentally knowing that my Head of Household has the ability to cover the monthly mortgage. If my finances are depended upon each month where we live then I feel uneasy about where we live. What if I fall? Can we stay afloat? Can we live where we live? If you fall, the saver and investor that I am, I likely can catch US. Remember I wasn’t paying rent anyway so I shouldn’t be broke correct? As my man’s rib, I desire to be his support and thus take on a supporting role. We are in this thing together and I am there to catch US if we fall but the idea of me not being able to fall or take a step back if desired makes me uneasy.
The divide between the wealth of a typical black family and a typical white family today is vast. A median black family has just $1,700 in wealth—total assets minus total debt. Thirty years ago, that same family had $6,800 in today’s dollars. ~Fortune
From experience a man only requests a woman to help pay rent and mortgage when its a void with him financially. Listen, I understand that life is difficult but I also realize some of us choose to accept poor financial circumstances so much to the point where we modify and adjust to become complacent of where we are financially, especially for our men. Men lie, women lie but numbers don’t. It is true financially, Blacks as a group lag behind grossly disproportionally to Whites and other racial groups. Poor wages, a lack of wealth, systematic economic oppression and poor education are large culprits to the state of Blacks current financial instability. This is true. I would like to believe every man would take care of the finances where he lived if it were his choice unless it was some underlining petty and ego present. The question becomes what are we going to do to CHANGE the financial predicament? I would rather FIX it then accept it and live within it. If I am paying half of the mortgage then when is the end date of this? Is there an end date or is this just the system that we have accepted? How about making a goal for me as your woman to split housing expenses with you for a year and during that year, you get yourself in position to relieve me of my mortgage or rental duties thereafter? In the end are we marrying or shacking up to save money or are we trying to be partners and get to another level. Contributing on a house note while living with a man, would seem more like having a sexual relationship with a roommate not my MAN. Then as a woman I’d have to ask myself how I find it fit to share my body with a man that refuses or is unable to cover the rental payments where we live?
I believe people are not real about the need to split rent/mortgage and honestly in my opinion splitting that expense is not anyones business but you and your mate. If my brother needs me to pay his rent for a year, I am not going to get on a bullhorn to announce that I can afford to do that for my brother. They don’t make no awards for that, nor should I want one. What would be important to me, is to learn as to why he needs me to pay his rent for a year and how we can CHANGE that, so he will not be in that predicament next year. This praising, the woman to save days or pick up for financial voids for men is something I find unique to Blacks and I wish that I could change it.
Money isn’t everything:
Money is important and do not let a person without it tell you that it is not. Sure love and many other things are important and is the foundation but lets not act like money is not an important factor. Love does not pay bills. My mom once told me, that “romance with no finance is a nuisance” and experience has proven that to be true for me personally. Money can be the difference between a Public Defender and a more seasoned Defense Attorney. Money can be the difference between a kidney transplant or dying. As a people we lack generational wealth and we can’t change that fact, accepting our circumstances. If I make more than my man, that’s fine but I would still feel better knowing if I fell than my man could handle our mortgage. If the fact is that my man can’t then I would challenge him and I to make some changes to get him to where he can. I cannot put that any more simpler than that and it is not my intent to come across as condescending or anything negative. I do however believe that we value the wrong things and celebrate even worse things. I do not want to “make ends meet” forever, I want to grow and flourish financially. I do not want to stress about money. I want to grow and flourish financially. If our rent or mortgage is $800 monthly, I’d like to be confident that my Man got that covered with his earnings. As for my earnings, I can go 50/50 on that even and spend $800 of my earnings on food, utilities and towards our portfolio or big picture fund. Being that I can get creative with my earnings for us, I may do $400 towards our big picture account in April and $5500 in May on diversifying on a stock, a real estate deal or flipping our money in something else.
Many people call me a Feminist but I do not subscribe to the term personally. It is true that I want equal pay in my professional life and I would like my gender not to hinder me from accomplishing the same things that my male counterpart may aspire to accomplish. However, in my personal life I happen to have a mixture of liberal/progressive and conservative ideals. Progressive because I do work, conservative because I still happen to believe that MEN are providers and Head of Household. As a woman, I do not resist being a natural nourisher. Does that mean that I will iron your clothes and pack you a dandy, handy sandwich each day for lunch and prepare you a dinner on the daily? Probably not, but it does mean that I will see to it that you are fed on the daily. I have to work remember? But somehow you want me to work, split the house note and cook your food and not deny my body to you, as your wife. For me, its all about principal. I need to feel secure, knowing that my man can take care of our monthly expenses for where we live. If I am submitting to you, that should come with piece of mind. Its the freaking principal! It’s incredibly stressful for me to know that the ship may crash and burn if I lose my job, want to quit and cannot because my household is dependent upon my wages for even mortgage. I much rather my partner’s earnings go towards our roof over our heads and my earnings go towards growing our longterm picture. Meaning my money is a supplement not a depended on collective primary. Sure I will pay some utilities and even buy groceries if need be. But I desire to get a bit more creative and flexible with my earnings. I want to save for a rainy day, I want to invest, I want to have the opportunity to try something different professionally if I so choose. Can I do that being depended on to pay half of the mortgage?
Why I am disappointed:
I am a well traveled person and I’ve been exposed to a lot of different cultures in my adventures and in my dating life. Unfortunately, when I try to share the ways of life and mentalities that I learned from other cultures with my own culture, I am met with high resistance and hostility. It concerns me when grown men can’t afford the house note and expect their woman to be a “real one” and pick up the slack. Do you guys realize that this is something a bit isolated to our culture? Jews do not do this, nor did I grandmothers and grandfathers. I fear that the current attitudes of many Blacks reflect a poor value system and family structure in modern day. It does not mean I wish to “mooch” of a man or be on the market for a “sugar daddy” because I prefer my Head of Household to pay the darn house note” and you cannot play on my psychology to make me feel bad. Why are you asking me to lower what I want? Again it is just a house note or rent. Lets REALLY put that into perspective and get down to The Nitty Gritty of what men not being able to or refusing to really means.
Don’t get me wrong, I honestly do believe that relationships should be teamwork and partnerships. I also stand behind my views and desires of wanting to contribute differently. Your job may be to score, I may opt not to score and be the person that comes in off the bench to clean up the glass. If I have to be KD to your Steph, then that may not be for me and that should be fine. I would like to have the ability to score in bunches like a Nick Young, and not carry the responsibility of having to be KD in this relationship thing. Having to be KD carries A LOT of responsibility and thats not something I am personally looking for in my relationship with my Man. Maybe in my professional life sure. Some months, I may not have the scoring touch and I would like to have the PEACE of mind that its okay not to be on. I understand that its different strokes for different folks but I do find it problematic that so many regard me as “selfish,” “crazy” and “unrealistic” because I do not wish to help my man pay the house note. It is just the house note guys. I did not say I planned to sit up and shop all day. I didn’t even say that I planned to not work. What I said is I want to contribute differently, and I prefer my man to pay for his castle. PERIOD.