The Respectability Debate: Next Generation

Greetings Good People,

I initially told myself that I wasn’t going to address this topic because there’s so much emotion behind it and I wasn’t in the mood for the backlash. However, the events that happened this past week prompted me to open my laptop and have at it. I want to discuss this ongoing debate behind respectability. I touched base on this topic in a previous post by advising that overt sexuality isn’t the definitive for beauty; subjective. Well, it’s gotten to the point where any reference to the opposite sex can lead to a social media beat down. Case in point: Ayesha Curry.

Ayesha Curry is the wife of Golden State Warriors’ basketball player Stephen Curry. As you can see in the video, she was just literally cheering for her husband in the stands when all Hell broke loose on social media. My Twitter feed turned into the battle of sexes where men argued that women should be as supportive as Ayesha Curry and women argued that the times have changed and women aren’t going to be any man’s housewife. And that’s just the gist of the argument. Other topics such as the ideal image of a woman, slut shaming, and sexuality were also argued, but there was one topic that never came across my timeline: the next generation of men and women. I thought about it this past weekend and I’m not surprised that the next generation never became a topic of discussion, because this current crop of adults (my age group in particular) are solely focused on themselves; that is, until the young people following after us grow up to be as contradicting as we are. That’s right, I feel like this argument is just as much of a contradiction as the N-word debate because men and women are still unsure about what they want. Men claim to want an Ayesha Curry to come home to but a lot of them lack the qualities to even attract one, and if they do, a lot of them will disrespect and cheat on her in a heartbeat. Women claim to want the same sexual liberty that men have and to not be judged for having it, as if it garners true power, but will gossip and call the woman who does embrace her sexuality every name in the book except her government. So if adults are unsure about what they want, what message are we sending to the young adults?

Having a real discussion about respectability requires a great deal of accountability and responsibility, two traits that aren’t popular in today’s society. It’s baffling to me how quickly adults will defend the behavior of other adults as if young adults aren’t taking notes. Why are women arguing that men need to have just as much as respect for the woman who chooses to show more skin and practice her sexual liberty, just like a lot of men do, as if every man (myself included) has respect for the man who does those things himself? Why are men arguing about the respectable/ideal image of a woman, when a lot of us openly objectify and lust after the woman that we say we don’t want to marry? We don’t know what we want and we’re telling the next generation after us that they don’t have to know what they want, because mediocrity is socially acceptable now. Young people don’t have to grow up to be the most socially and sexually responsible adults, because there’s going to be a large group of adults to defend their behavior anyway. The message is even in pop culture. Men will say that they want to come home to “wifey” but will support every rapper that calls a woman a b*tch or a hoe. Women will say that they don’t want to be objectified or known for their bodies, but line up in large numbers to support a BeyoncĂ©, Rihanna or Nicki Minaj, as if those women didn’t use their bodies to elevate themselves to superstardom. But, wait, it’s just entertainment and not real life. Right?

As I’ve mentioned before, I purposely don’t take the majority of my generation’s rhetoric seriously and I’m not surprised that the old folks don’t either. We have all of the answers to so many nonsensical arguments but no real logic behind any of them. There’s no challenge in being the bad guy or the bad girl anymore, the challenge is in being a gentleman and a lady. A lot of us say that we don’t need to go backwards 50-60 years, but there are certain aspects of the “old school” that I wouldn’t mind coming back; particularly the respect that men and women had for each other. And as a potential father who may very well have a son and/or daughter one day, there’s going to be a certain standard that will be taught to them because it was taught to me, one that I’m proud of.

It’s ok to get back to the basics, because there is a generation coming after us and it’s our responsibility to set the right example.

Until Next Time…



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