Watching the weekly antics of the rich and ghetto on T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle and The Real Housewives of Atlanta last week prompted a brief moment of self-reflection and spurred the idea for this article.
During the respective episodes, I watched Tiny stick by her man through his second stint in prison and Cynthia Bailey willingly offer to give $40,000 of her own money to husband Peter. After watching the shows I was convinced of two things: 1. These men must have penises dipped in diamonds to have women who would make such sacrifices 2. I am not now and hand to God will never be a ride or die chick.
Before I begin my rant, allow me to offer my definition of a ride or die chick (just think Yvette from “Baby Boy”). A ride or die chick is the epitome of loyalty and trust and takes her position as main chick, girlfriend, baby mama, and for the lucky few, wifey, very serious. Come jail, drugs, death, debt, drive bys, jumpoffs, and whatever other foolishness the man may pull her into, she’s not going anywhere.
Now for the sake of transparency and a possibly explanation for my mindset, I must state that I am a single, proudly independent, slightly stubborn, 24-year-old female who has thankfully never been in a relationship where a “ride or die” situation or initiation has occurred. Call me naïve, selfish, crazy or just another angry black woman, but I find it mind boggling that women, single or married, are oftentimes expected and celebrated for their decision to put the needs of their mates before themselves. Yes I know to love is to sacrifice, but when sacrificing turns into multiple children by other women, under the table hand jobs in the prison’s visiting room, debt and emotional distress, and the only reward is a designer handbag and a misogynistic, hip-hop title made popular by men and baby mamas; we have a problem.
I have nothing against Tiny and Cynthia, and in fact admire their willingness to stick by their men in tough times, but for me the words “for better or for worse” have a limit and I draw the line at two consecutive jail sentences and a $40,000 loan for a questionable business venture. I’m all for holding a man down, particularly a black man, but when holding him down has the potential to pull me and keep me down, I have to let go.
Let’s be honest, how many women can actually say if they got pregnant by another man, emptied their boyfriend’s bank account or put him in harm’s way, he would stay? At some point you have to ask yourself is this really love, or simply convenience and a safety net just masquerading as loyalty. Being a ride or die chick is just another example of black women once again going above and beyond to support and many times hold up their black men, and I for one will not partake in the trend.
Like I previously mentioned, I am somewhat of a young buck when it comes to love games and realize my entire stance may change once Mr. Right comes along (if so, I will gladly issue a retraction and write a new article titled “How I Became a Ride or Die Chick). But thankfully that day has not come and I have yet to meet a man whose personality, bank account, companionship (*cough* and d**k) were good enough to make me take on the title.
– Chevonne Harris