By Kee Smith
For as long as I can remember, women have been considered “the prize.” I’m sure we’ve all been taught that notion in one way or another, even if it was used under the term “trophy wife.” I’ve never been married before, but I’d say that both parties are winning if they get to marry their “person.” From the outside looking in, marriage is more challenging now than before; in my opinion, even just getting to that space with someone and allowing yourself to display and receive such a powerful level of vulnerability is an accomplishment.
If you know me, you know that I’m no stranger to reposting outlandish, unruly, or lighthearted yet toxic relationship memes. Quite frankly, I get a kick out of them. They make the internet fun, and sometimes they even make for great conversations. The other day I saw a tweet turned meme that said something along the lines of “the highest compliment a man can pay a woman is to marry her.” BOY, WHAT?! It’s a very rare occurrence, but I was bothered, honey. My first thought was how small-minded of a human the author of the tweet had to be to compose, proofread and then publish such a ridiculous thing. Immediately after that, I thought about how blatantly disrespectful the male author was being.
There’s a lot to unpack in the message, but let’s touch on the easy stuff. Off of the top of my head, I can think of four top-tier compliments a man can give a woman: 1. honor, 2. respect, 3. cherish, 4. protect her. Hell, let’s add one more for good measure: paying my bills without receiving anything but gratitude in return because even THAT would be more of a compliment than marrying me. In my opinion, marriage is a union that represents the soul and spiritual connections and partnership in other avenues of life.
A narcissistic notion is to think attaching yourself to a woman is the most flattering way to display your admiration for her. Let’s play devil’s advocate here and say that a woman doesn’t desire marriage. How, then, would you compliment her in the highest capacity? Marrying her sure wouldn’t be it. In today’s society, where we view highlight reels of everyone’s love life and yearn for the love that we see in the photo’s hashtagged couple goals, black love, and real love, I hope that women remember that your glory isn’t attached to a man’s last name. Your glory is within you. The way that you overcome, your dedication, your ability to create, to love unconditionally, your work ethic, and the very light that shines within you to guide those around you are only a few of the things that a man, or anyone for that matter, can compliment you on. I’m all for giving someone their roses, but sis, make sure those roses don’t have thorns. Women have grown to be protectors and providers in more ways than one. Perhaps any man that thinks the highest compliment is marriage could take on the woman’s last name as her way of saying thanks for the compliment. We love balance!
Sis, if you’re reading this, I want you to know that with or without a husband (or wife), you deserve all of your roses. All of your hard work, tenacity, every accolade, and every ounce of love in your heart is powerful enough to be acknowledged and admired on their own. You don’t need a partner to validate your power. You’re lit, and if you decide to share your light with someone, YOU’RE STILL THE PRIZE! Stand tall, Queen. You are strong. You are powerful. You are worthy.
Kee Smith is a contributing writer and is a homie, lover and friend and always “write” on time. Be sure to connect on IG @_ _ _lowkee.