What you need to know:
Kevin Samuels reminds me of a few hypocritical masculinity coaches on the Kenyan twitter streets – the ones that say things like, ‘men, don’t let your woman call you baby; don’t be a simp’
Kevin Samuels passed away a couple of weeks ago, and ever since then, I’ve been embroiled in consistent conversations about what he was to Black women everywhere: a friend, or a foe? A blunt realist, or a hack who not only did not follow his own advice, but also made money in his career by being deliberately controversial, performative, and mean?
The last time I had this conversation was yesterday, with one of my nieces who claimed to have watched everything he ever produced. She said that if you remove emotion from what you hear, there are a lot of things that he said which made sense (every time someone says remove emotion from it, I feel gaslighted. Isn’t it possible to be emotional and rational at the same time, ama they’re mutually exclusive? And who said so?).
For instance, she talked about women who want to date billionaires but are not billionaires themselves, or bring nothing to the table (which, honestly is a fallacy in and of itself, no? There’s a reason why men live longer when they’re married, and women when single). She said it was unrealistic of an average woman with average looks and an average salary to be targeting someone so completely, and I paraphrase, out of their league. She added that what Kevin Samuels taught was honesty and self-reflection, as opposed to spewing hatred.
I of course, begged to differ – he definitely had a lot of hatred wound up in his spiel, no matter what few gems of logic he might have possessed. The thing is, people date ‘out of their league’ all the time, don’t they? And is the only league that counts the money league? Most people want to date or marry people who make more than them, from Ben 10s to your everyday woman trying to maintain a savings account. Does that make them illogical – especially when these matches happen so frequently? I actually don’t know. I don’t know if wanting a better life that someone else can pay for – in the words of Lil’ Kim, why spend mine, when I can spend yours? – is such a bad thing. Unless aspiration is a bad thing?
It's hard to know the dating formula today, particularly with people like Samuels contributing to the general sludge. This is the same guy who also said that if you are single above the age of 35, then you’re a leftover woman, and men everywhere will steer clear of you because they know something is wrong with you, which is why you are left, over. This, from a 56-year-old twice-divorced leftover (I’m not sure if the terminology also applied to men). It makes you think – maybe we are ‘left over’ because of the men who talk like this!
He reminds me of a few hypocritical masculinity coaches on the Kenyan twitter streets – the ones that say things like men, don’t let your woman call you baby; don’t be a simp, i.e. don’t be seen to be treating your woman too nicely i.e. kukaliwa chapati; the men who believe in archaic tragedies like the importance of a body count and being able to make said chapati as gospel.
You can listen to other people’s formulas, but in the dating game, these formulas don’t necessarily work for everyone – and that’s ok. I think at the end of the day, we have to make your own rules – if we go into the game assuming we are leftovers, and can’t get/date anyone above our social and economic standing, and thinking that we have to do all these things and jump through all these hoops to be worthy of love, then we are set to lose. Be your own relationship coach and figure out what works in your own context – for example, if the guy with the chopper is the one who works for you, you better start hanging around a few hangars.