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Real Talk: Tyrese Says You Need a Man

Tyrese catches flack for his latest comments about independent women.
For good reason, Tyrese Gibson can’t seem to catch a break with Black women this year. In an April interview with talk show host Wendy Williams, he caused an uproar when he tried to justify men cheating. “It’s expected of men to cheat… it’s part of our upbringing,” said the actor-singer turned author of “How to Get Out of Your Own Way,” adding, “It’s just a part of what is instilled in us growing up.”

In August, he ticked off his fans again when he debuted his video for “I Gotta Chick,” and viewers discovered there were no women who shared their hue, or Tyrese’s own. His initial reaction to the controversy only made it worse. “I don’t do favors,” he tweeted. “Doesn’t matter the race. I’m Black as s—. Love my sisters!! You do auditions and go for the best. Not the race!” (I gave him a pass on this one, as I don’t think Black would benefit from being in yet another video grinding while half-dressed. Most did not.)

And now it’s November and Ty’s done it again. (I have never in life witnessed an artist so intent on pushing away their core fanbase.) This time he sat for an interview with Jas Fly on NecoleBitchie.com, to save independent women, “especially Black women in particular” he notes, from themselves.

“Some women are so on this independent kick, they end up alone. You’re going to independent your way into loneliness. You go off and buy all the little poodles you want. ‘At least my dog is happy to see me when I get home every day.’ That dog or ‘rabbit’ will never be able to replace what a real man can do for you. So stay independent, get your own, but nobody wants to be alone, period…  It’s a lot of frustration that women have. [But] there’s a lot of man’s man [men] still left; We’re out here, we’re waiting, we’re wanting, we desire you just like you desire us. Just don’t give up on us… Give [us] a shot at your heart.”

The initial reaction from most readers was to attack, probably because they’re tired of being addressed as a problem that needs fixing, especially by a man who has shown he doesn’t have their best interests at heart. But there’s a bit of truth in what Tyrese said, as much as he’s overlooking some important factors about the topic.

This rise of the Independent Woman wasn’t created on its own. A lot of so-called independent women Tyrese complains about feel they have to be independent. They’ve encountered men who are not dependable and learned early that being self-sufficient is a necessity, not an option. Of course, a dog or a rabbit isn’t a replacement for a man, but for some, the substitution seems better than being let down…  again.

I concede that some of the independent ladies need to loosen up, but if that’s to ever happen, they’re going to have to see more men step up, and do so consistently.

Demetria L. Lucas is the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk