Are There Enough Eligible Men?
By Ronald Yates
When inquiring with women on whether they believe there are enough eligible men, the answer for most is a resounding NO! For those ladies, who have been looking high and low for “Mr. Right” for years, some might think the window of opportunity is closing. For women who are hoping and at times praying to find Boaz, to coin a Biblical term, the prayers become more intense as their biological clock continues to tick louder and louder. For the fairer-sex the prime child- bearing years are between the late teens and the mid-forties. After that, conception is possible, but there are some serious medical considerations. Because of that women tend to be ready to settle down much sooner than the average man. The only problem is where do you find the average man? If I knew the answer to that question, I could become an instant billionaire… just think of how many women would sign up for my services. Hummmm, maybe that’s an idea. A relationship service; only serious applicants need apply. Perhaps I should work on that, but I digress. The question I initially asked was are there enough of us to go around? So, what is the answer to this complex question?
While I’m being somewhat facetious the reality is, this is a serious issue, and not just for the ladies. American birth rates are falling; but not all of the decline can be blamed on men and women not being able to find suitable mates. There are any number of other factors that come into play, but the continuously declining numbers of weddings certainly don’t help. For generations, our grandparents and their parents before them were able to form meaningful and lasting unions. So, what has happened to cause the breakdown in male/female relationships with our generation and the younger generations… for whom the prognosis seems to be worsening.
For communities of color the “War on Drugs” had a devastating effect, the rates of mass incarceration disproportionately affected Black and Brown communities and thousands of young Black and Brown men would reach sexual maturity behind bars. While the men were being incarcerated the women on the other hand were left to take on all the responsibilities of child rearing, keeping a roof over their families’ heads, working sometimes two full times jobs, and on occasion juggling college courses as well. Some ladies decided to wait for their man to come home, but for those who are never coming home what are they to do? Life must go on with or without them. But is that the problem? Being resilient and strong, Black women have typically found themselves and grown even stronger without Black men. For men the ratios are sky high, while for ladies the suitable pickings are slim. Consequently, what happens overtime, women will lower both their standards and expectations. Some women have gone as far as to resort to online dating; but the success rates are dubious. The images you see online are not always the people you will eventually meet. If I sound somewhat pessimistic it is because the issue is a serious one for Black and Brown people, who are fighting for our survival. For this reason it’s important that we begin to reverse the trend sooner than later. However, committing to reversing the trend may require drastic steps.
Ladies I know most of you won’t want to hear this, but maybe polygamy is something that needs to be discussed and considered. Now, before you start cursing and instantly rejecting even the thought of this idea, let me offer what I think is a salient argument. Throughout our history in America, whenever the nation has suffered an economic down-turn we suffered disproportionately. Some used the analogy “If America has a cold in terms of the economy, the Black and Brown communities have pneumonia.” With that analogy in mind, if the U.S. birth rates are falling overall what are the rates of births/conception for Black and Brown people? Biologically whenever a child is conceived, that developing fetus is female. In essence we all start out as female, at some point in the gestational cycle the Y Chromosome is introduced and the fetus will develop male sexual characteristics; but the reality is most will remain female at a ratio of about 2:1. Then, of course, there is the emerging LGBTQ movement that has decreased the pool of eligible men, at least as it relates to heterosexual women.
In this country polygamy is, of course, illegal; but once the government begins to take notice of the fact that the U.S. birth rates are falling, while nations like China, India and some Middle Eastern nations rates are on the rise, the government may change their stance. I imagine they would handle polygamy the same way they did with marijuana. They elected not to enforce the law for small amounts of weed. Governments can always use young healthy boys and girls to fight their wars. For us, the war is internecine; young Black men seem to believe their worst enemies are other Black men. While the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are coming to an end the wars in the inner cities are raging and there is no end in sight. The result is less eligible men for an ever-increasing female population. So, viewed through the lens of survival, is polygamy still such a horrible prospect?