The following essay is a part of the No Wedding No Womb campaign. We are not judging, but we are hoping to help to turn back the tide.

I wish I could just say KEEP YOUR FREAKING LEGS CLOSED and keep it moving and that would settle the matter. But if it were that easy, we wouldn’t be in this mind-boggling state that we’re in now where a staggering 72% of African-American children born today are born out of wedlock. Yes, that’s right: 72 percent. But let’s get real here. It’s not just about getting married. The fact of the matter is that some people should not make, or have children. When it gets right down to it, what’s really the issue is choosing the right person who wants to be; is good enough to be and deserves to be, a parent—someone who is absolutely committed to being a good one, and as my mother would say, that is more than a notion.

It’s simple: just know who you’re laying down with because chances are, having sex with you is not going to be a life-changing experience. And when he gets up, he is still going to be the exact same person he was when he crawled into bed with you. So if you’re at the point where you have made the brilliant decision to sleep with someone without protection and his behavior up to that point has already shown you that good parental material, he is not; my advice to you is to step away…from the genitalia. It bears repeating, so once more with feeling:

Step awaaay… from the genitalia.

Oh, it’s easy to tell when you should let practicality trump lust and wishful thinking and run like hell. Here are a few clues:

  • He always wants to (and I have to pause as I write this because the phrase is just so gosh darned eloquent) “hit it and quit it.” See? Any explanation needed?
  • His days revolve around catching up with…hitting up…kicking it with or just plain hanging out with his boys. The activities of the day never progress beyond that. A job you say? Umm… Huh?
  • He is honestly baffled about why so many people cried foul regarding an NFL player who has eight kids by seven women (only one of which he married), and in a pinch, couldn’t name all the kids right away.

The village is burning, people. You know the one I’m talking about. It’s that village that it takes to raise a child. Well, half of that mythical village has been burned to the ground by mythical fire wielded by (and here’s the kicker) real-life pyromaniacs, most of who were birthed or made by parents who didn’t want them. Half the village is burned and those left standing are tired—too tired to take care of anymore fatherless or motherless children. This is the reality we’re dealing with here, and there’s no getting around it. And please note that I said “most,” not “all.” I’m not trying to deal in absolutes, but I will say this, fatherless children (and these are mostly the ones who know that their fathers could be in their lives, but have chosen not to be) make up most of the criminal population. They are also at greater risk for depression, suicide, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, dropping out of school, and a host of other horrible things that make it even harder to survive in this ever-increasingly competitive world. Don’t believe me? Find the statistics here.

There’s no sugar coating it: this is pure insanity. How else do you explain a society where women delude themselves into thinking that bringing a baby into a world in which they can’t afford to support it, the baby’s father can’t support it (and shows no signs of wanting to) will change her world for the better? Or how do you explain a world where a male actually thinks it makes him a man to be able squirt his seed into any willing receptacle and then get up and walk away, never to look back?

Yes, I believe that children are blessings, but I’m sorry, they can also be hardships. But be they angels or bloody terrors, they were not meant to be born to fix broken down relationships, or to make a man stay or to keep a woman under a man’s thumb.

Why bring a child into a world where the odds are stacked against him because of the choices you made? It’s hard enough raising a child in an intact family with two loving parents who can afford him, but to have a child when not even one of these elements is present is potentially dangerous and definitely selfish.

Yes, I know I’ve done men a disservice by focusing primarily on women. And I know there are good men out there and men aren’t the only ones to blame for the current state we find ourselves in. But I wrote the essay this way because women are the ones who can change things. It is a woman’s choice whether or not she’s going to let some male treat her like yesterday’s trash. She can demand better by keeping her legs closed and keeping it moving, like I said. Men can do that too, of course. And who knows? Maybe it will bring about a revolution of evolved thinking.

I can’t be sure about that, what I can be sure about is that you’ve got to love yourself enough to take care of yourself. And if you don’t want to go the keeping it on lock-down route, then for the love of God, use some freaking birth control and know who you’re laying down with! Another reiteration, but I don’t care. It is long past the time to learn how to hate both the player and the game. What have you got to lose? Neither one of them is any good for you. And those truths apply to both women and men.

Almost 100 other bloggers blogged about this today. Please find other essays on the subject here: No Wedding, No Womb

10 thoughts on “THE VILLAGE IS BURNING

  1. “Step away from the genitalia?” Oh, that’s funny. I couldn’t stop laughing for a few seconds. No, but seriously, this is really good and I hope it reaches a lot of people. We can’t even pretend with 72%. It’s an epidemic.

    Thanks for this and I’ll pass it along.


  2. Hi, Lisa. I’m a single mother, and my back went up when I first saw that No Wedding No Womb comment. I was ready to prepare myself to curse you out and stop buying your books, but then I read the first paragraph and calmed down. I agree, it’s not really about getting married, but it is about choosing the right partner, male or female, to have a child with. We must get responsible and choose responsible, loving mates to rear children with so those children will have a fighting chance.


  3. You said a mouthful on this. I am in agreement with everything. Babies should not be brought in this world to fill a void. Women have lots of power and we should use that power to our advantage and not destroy the village. We are supposed to nurture nations not destroy them. If we do our part, then men will wise up REAL QUICK. They usually follow our lead on these issues. If we allow them to run rampant, then that’s what they will do. Not all but some. We (men and women) just need to realize our worth.

  4. Thanks for writing this! It’s very difficult to look at this situation and not see the dangers our children are likely to inherit. Although I’m grateful to be alive, I’ve always thought my parents had no business having kids; they were too young and turned out to be poor parents overall. I hope women think about what type of family life they want their child to have and choose wisely. The African American community as a whole is in jeopardy, however, if we can at least start with the children, we may have a better chance as a people. I don’t blame my parents for everything that has gone poorly in the lives of my siblings, but I can say they never set a good foundation and now I have a couple of brothers in jail and a sister who doesn’t know the meaning of birth control and is on child 11. Go figure! Wake Up Folks!!!

  5. You’ve probably made a lot of folks mad, but this needed to be said! Yes, we all are ultimately responsible for he choices we make, but a lot of the women represented in the article come from homes where having a strong positive male role model would’ve made all the difference in their lives. And the same can be said for the men who like to “hit it and quit it”. I think having a strong family unit, good communication between parents and children, and consequences for unacceptable behavior will help turn this situation around…

  6. Your comments could not ring any truer. Change should begin with the younger generation, teaching them self worth and that life is not about laying on your back because you think it’s the only way to be validated. If your blog has upset someone, good, it’s supposed to evoke some type of emotion, good or bad. Our young ladies need to realize that being in a relationship and having children should not be based on love or being “in love.” Relationships need to have a strong foundation based on compatability, trust, support and common interests. Love grows/matures from that, sex is a perk and children are a bonus.

  7. Hi, Lisa.
    Your blog is right on point. One thing I have a problem with and it’s not you or your blog, but the issue of reproductive health care for poor and minority women. Many insurance plans don’t include birth control let alone coverage for abortion. The new healthcare bill doesn’t include birth control and it sure as hell doesn’t cover arbortion. The Hyde Amendment has taken away any federal or state funding for abortion as well. Many poor women live in areas with little or no access to family planning. Right to Lifers set up so called pregnancy crisis centers that give false information and present non profits such as planned parent hood as an organization contributing to black genocide. Something that is totally false. All women need to have choices when it comes to their bodies. Family planning is very important and that means being able to see a doctor and obtain the right birth control for you and your body. All this can be very expensive. Even with insurance co pays can be very high and prescriptions can be even higher. And obviously you want the back up of condoms. Condoms should be available everywhere. Not locked up or behind the pharmacy counter. Sex education needs to change as well. Birth control needs to be included. Abstinence does not prevent pregnancy. Birth control prevents pregancy. Plus people need to be taught how to evectivally use BC each and every time they have sex. This should be taught from a very young age even if the young person isn’t sexually active. They are never too young to be aware. The shame and sneaking around needs to stop as well. And don’t get me started on religions and their negative attitude toward sex, sexuality, birth control and abortion. So many people and organizations are so against women and only care about the child she is carrying. Until she gives birth and then it’s like sorry you are on your own or hey, give your baby up for adoption because you are obviously an unfit mother who makes bad choices. I’m supporting NWNW even though I don’t like the implication that it is only a man and woman that can get married and raise a child. I know that isn’t the intent. A family unit is important for children to thrive. Along with honesty and love and commitment. The family unit can come in many different forms. Everyone needs to be included and take responsibility.

  8. Very thought provoking ariticle, and yes young people need to find someone that they can respect after the fire of passion dies down, and they find that what remains is a new life, with it comes greater responsibility. I had no idea the statistics of children born out of wedlock was so high in the African American community. I didn’t know birth control was not available poverty stricken individuals, I’m going to have to become more educated I see. From all this he high incidents of HIV among African American women is giving me pause too…so many issues but to be fair it will take a village of people to stamp out the flames of the Village Burning in our communities.

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