If you’re at all into urban TV, chances are, you’ve caught a snippet of VH1’s crazy docudrama: Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta. Personal opinions aside, the on-screen stories of rapper Lil’ Scrappy, producer Stevie J and the ladies that “love” them, are worth noting as they have sparked a major public outcry. Exploitation. Negative Stereotypes. Yeah, all that stuff.
On screen, we see: stories of battery, cheating and lovesick women scrapping for unreturned devotion. Disrespect. Particularly disturbing though, is the saga of Mimi and her whoremongering creature, Stevie J. His antics are barely believable – so bad you swear the show is scripted. Let’s deal with the obvious. Sure, most partners of high-powered, read: rich men expect to be cheated on. However, most are pacified by the lives of ease and glamour, especially when their men have enough respect to exercise discretion. There goes that “R” word again. Stevie J and Mimi must have never made said agreement. Every week, millions tune in to watch Stevie trample coldly on Mimi’s heart and pride. He cheats openly, and sits back while the “other party” pops-off on her all crazy – sorry, got to me a little there.
And I hear you strong sistas out there. I wouldn’t take that. It doesn’t take x-ray glasses to see why Mimi and so many baller wives (corporate included) put up with this trash: the moolah.
And hence we come to our subject: Madam Beyonce Knowles Carter. Disclaimer: Even if you’re not a fan, do us a favor and pretend. Mrs. Carter is the fabulous wife of Hip-Hop’s biggest icon, the one and only Jay-Z. Where did they meet? Strip club? Probably not. Was Bey the recipient of a “save- a-hoe goodwill project?” Nope. What’s significant is that she brought her A-game to their union. They were both established in their careers, financial gladiators if you will, icons and tastemakers. She may have needed his love, but that was it.
If we look back to the duo’s smash hit, “Upgrade You,” we’ll find that Beyonce dropped clues for wannabe baller wives everywhere. Be smart. Occupy your own domain. Use your single years wisely. This admonition is not to the masses of Black women racking up degrees, entrepreneuring, teaching, excelling in the OR, on Wall Street or just being plain awesome. This is for those girls still looking for a fairy tale. Hint: Create your own.
In a past job, I assisted hundreds of people with federal benefits. Sadly, I met lots of older women, who were penniless because they put all of their trust and hope in some guy. Their exes were high earners, with boats and big names, who had thrown away their “graying” spouses. Some were still clueless to why their unions had ended. They did know, however, that these old hunks now had new hot little mamas to toy around with. Sadly, during what should have been their golden years, most had very little to retire with and would be fully dependent on their adult children. One lady still stands out. She had no I.D., tax records or income and seemed lost. Because we had chatted so many times before, I nudged, “Ma’am? I don’t understand.” Her response was a bewildering one:
“My ex-husband took care of me.”
Personally, I’ve encountered “normal” men with stacks on stacks: inheritances, Benzes, stocks and companies. Because I didn’t meet them with any negative intentions, some shared what type of woman could capture their hearts. One, an older business mentor with a high net worth and passive income of $250,000/yr, said that as a single man, he set out to find a “partner.” The second has an Investment Banking background, NFL friends and lucrative business contracts. When he and his friends hang out, they avoid regular clubs. Instead they go to private parties to meet professional women with brains. He said it, not me. The last, a friend, with his own company and the freedom to spend his days how he pleases, once lamented on his fear of telling women how much he makes.
Golddiggers, huh? We’re not all like that.
Beyonce is by no means, the only wonderwoman example we single sisters could study.
Honestly, I chose her because I knew that the Proverbs 31 Woman wouldn’t get many readers’ attention. Sad, huh? In closing, we could see that Bey was onto something, at least slightly, in her lyrics. In order to obtain a relationship of value, a lady must first demonstrate value.
Bey (Upgrade You):
I’ll follow, this could be easy. I’ll be your help whenever you need me…
It’s very seldom that you’re blessed to find your equal. Still play my part and let you take the lead role…
You need a real woman in your life, taking care of home and still fly…
And I can help you build up your account.
The Good Book (Proverbs 31: 10-11, 18):
A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long…
She senses the worth of her work…
Sheena Davis is the author of “OMG! One Nation
Under God Out of Control.” Her blog, The Urban Prude was created as a discussion forum for topics related to Christianity and popular culture. As a writer and speaker, she explores politics, relationships and media messages through the lens of the Bible. She is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, a former Virginia Governor’s Fellow and U.S. Senate and House Intern. She lives in the Washington, D.C. area.