Iyanla Vanzant is questioning women’s standards for men. She shared her thoughts on the topic during a discussion with Eboni K. Williams, a lawyer, television host, and the first Black housewife on Real Housewives of New York.
In a now viral clip, Vanzant, 69, asked Williams if she would date a bus driver. Williams responded, “If he owns the bus…if he owns it. If he owns the bus, Iyanla.”
The coach and motivational speaker then replied, “No, that’s the problem.”
She continued, “The standards and criteria that we use to measure men is off for who we are as women and who they are in this society,” she said.
“I would date a bus driver if he loved driving the bus, if he was a man of integrity, if he was good to his mama, if he treated me well, I would date a bus driver,” Vazant continued. “But we think that it’s another human being’s responsibility to give us what we need instead of us building together.”
Data shows that Black women are more likely to get degrees than Black men. In a survey on the Black student gender gap at the nation’s highest ranked universities, more Black women were enrolled at 23 out of 26 of those universities. Emory, Cornell and Columbia were some of the institutions on the list. These types of statistics are reminders that for women who are looking for potential partners who, for lack of a better way to put it, are on their “level,” there simply may not be enough of highly educated and high-earning Black men to go around.
That said, Vanzant said she could build with a bus driver. “I’d have a little stash over on the side and my prenup….but I can build with a bus driver,” she said, laughing.
“So I think some of the criteria that we look for in the reality of today keeps us unhappy, keeps us angry, keeps us imbalanced, and then when the men show up we want to beat them up because they’re not living up to our standard and criteria and it’s not working, beloved. It’s just not working,” she concluded.
“So, it’s not that it’s bad or wrong, it’s obsolete,” Vanzant added. “We have to come up with a new way of being.”
The post attracted over 2,500 comments on the Instagram page The Neighborhood Talk alone with many disagreeing. A common argument was that Black women are always expected to settle, while other races are taught to mate with men who can provide or have high-earning careers. However, some women agreed with Vanzant and argued that women should focus more on the character of a man as there aren’t enough high-earning ones to go around. Where do you stand?