Dear Jamila, Education Isn't a Last Resort for Black Women

by Jolie Doggett of justJOLIE

Dear Jamila,

First let me thank you for taking the time to research (I use that term loosely) and write your article. You provided eye-opening insight into your thoughts and the thoughts of others. The "issue" you wrote about, however is not as black and white as you made it appear.The idea that black women must somehow "choose" between education and marriage is absurd as if the two are mutually exclusive.

Perhaps your goal was to warn black women about making "bad choices." But I'm not sure if you realize the danger and mental damage you present with these poorly researched facts to the masses of educated and/or single black women. I sincerely hope no woman internalized your opinion (because it is just that: an opinion, not fact).

I'm blessed to be surrounded by educated and loving women of color with degrees, without degrees, in relationships and out of relations and neither are more valuable or better off the other. I'm curious to know whether this is a trend that only impacts women of color. Do white women need to have the same concerns about the value of their education? I'm also curious to know should black men also practice what you're preaching. Are you beseeching black men to also abandon their education and pursue married lives? I doubt you hold the same requirements for happiness for men. So why do you require it of me?

So comical and telling that woman's choices are again reduced to 1. Marriage first 2. Everything else afterwards. I didn't know that my life's plans revolve around being married. When you say things like that, you insinuate that a woman is only valuable if she is valued by a man. (not to mention you set the Feminist movement back at least 100 years. smh...)

How about we focus on some real problems: the retention rate of our young black men and women in school, or the disproportional incarceration rate of the black men who I'm supposed to be setting my sights on, or the high divorce rate among black marriages (possibly resulting from rushed nuptials)

At the end of the day, Haters gonna hate.

Are you assuming that women only go to college as a last resort? Please don't discredit my education.

The pursuit of education represents much more than a piece of sheepskin paper to many people. it represents the results of perseverance, the overcoming of obstacles, the pride of loved ones, the blessings of God, the pursuit of dreams. It means that I and other women can accomplish anything we set our mind to including find a mate but we don't need anyone to provide for us. Your article suggests that women should give all of that up to sleep next to a man at night.

Given the choice, I can honestly say I would choose my career goals over marriage. I'd sacrifice my own sexual satisfaction and perceived comfort at night for the pursuit of my goals and to impact the lives of other people through my career path and education. The thought that I'm achieving my life's ambition and being an inspiration to at least one other person while being supported and encouraged by people who love me is in fact more satisfying than a penis, if I may say so.

So, my degree won't keep me warm at night? Why do you assume that a man won't want me because I'm institutionally educated? If anything, I'm a more viable candidate for a mate because I'm already mentally and emotional together and focused. And if a man doesn't want me because I've achieved my goals, please believe I don't want him either. Not to mention all of the blankets, duvets, space heaters and centrally heated homes I can purchase with my $1.8 million salary difference I'll accumulate with my bachelor’s degree. You can keep your bigoted "soul mate."

This post is not meant to discredit any person who strongly desires marriage for their life. I hope to one day be married myself to someone who respects and admires me and my dreams. Marriage and love are wonderful life choices created and ordained by God and are very beneficial to health and the pursuit of happiness. But I know myself. I couldn't enter a marriage being incomplete. A man will not complete me. Only I can complete myself.

How sad and maddening it is to know that in 2013 there are still people who believe that a woman's life is incomplete until she is married or in a relationship. To quote one of my favorite vloggers, The 1 Janitor: "Finding a mate is not actually the purpose of being alive." I will add that it might be a great perk, though.


Black, Poor, and Woman in Higher Education: What I Learned From Graduate School
In Pursuit of Education: The Fight for Equality In Our Schools

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