There have been a number of comments about ride-or-die chicks. In one particular article that I read, the author did not completely demonize the archetype as most analyses do. Instead, the author called for an amendment to the archetype that says the ‘Ride-or-Die’ chick only rides for “a good man.” Hmm…
I get where the she is going with that thought; however, there are two inherent problems with this kind of thinking. It perpetuates pessimistic thinking on the part of Black women and inspires divisions between Black men and Black women.
The ride-or-die chick is a woman who will stand by her man at all costs. The most discussed examples of this archetype are the ones who suffer for their choice. These women end up cheated on, arrested, abused, or abandoned. This has led to the widespread thought (especially among Black women) that this is the only fate for the ride-or-die chick. This focus on the negative breeds distrust between Black women and Black men. The assumption and/or expectation that by the ‘Ride-or-Die’ chick offering her complete devotion to man that it will lead to her downfall, sends the message that loyalty costs a woman her life. That is just not always the case.
The solution of making the ‘Ride-or-Die’ chick loyal only to a ‘Good [Black] Man’ is also problematic because too often Black women place pretenses on what they offer or bring to a relationship. It’s the whole ‘if you do this, then I will do that.’ truthfully relationships are a trade off; however, that trade off is not explicitly controlled by any of the parties involved. The premise should be, ‘because you do this it inspires me to do that.’ The difference is a few words but the vantage point is much different. When relationships come if-then pretenses, they become obligatory, scrutinizing, and dispassionate. For the individual’s involved it feels like manipulation (a form of control). All these feelings and connotations make people defensive and aloof because while they want the person and/or the relationship, they are determined to get it without sacrificing their identity and control to their partner.
A Good Man’ is a subjective concept that will vary from person to person. If we tell women to only do certain things for a good man, we are saying judge all men until you find one that fits an objective definition. As if there are many men that will exactly fit that one definition. When women come at possible partners from that perspective, they sit judgment of every possible partner seeking dismiss if he doesn’t measure up or change him to measure up. Nobody, least of all Black men, are looking for more judgment or manipulation. And certainly not from those that they love and trust to accept them as they are.
What should be done is women should learn the man and see him as he is. If this seems like someone you could ride for, then ride for him. Screw what everyone else thinks. We cannot pretend everyone needs or requires the same things. People, not even women, do not naturally seek victimization and self-destruction. The ones that do have a deeper problem than being single. Those problems cant be fixed by getting with ‘A Good Man.’ In short let the ‘Ride-or-Die’ chick ride for her man. If the relationship is unhealthy, then let’s promote ways that the two can create a healthy relationship and not encourage them to turn on one another. We need all the unconditional love and loyalty we can get.
I’m not Sayin; I’m just Sayin
An Angry Black Man