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By Nika C. Beamon

Tuesday, May 18, 2010.

Contrary to the subject of a new best-selling book, Marry Him!, there's never a reason for a woman settle for Mr. Good Enough. The financial advances have nulified the need for a "sugar daddy." While other  advances have given women the self-confidence to be alone without being lonely; therefore the strength to wait for someone who compliments them and not completes them. Nor should black men buy the premise of "The Denzel Principle," and believe that all black women are looking for the unattainable; that notion sells men short and makes it seem they are unable to achieve in this society or be "good" enough for sistahs.

It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention; that’s certainly true when it comes to women in this country redefining the structure the American workforce and institution of marriage to meet their changing lifestyles. The advancements women have made in terms of education and income have forced numerous adjustments to be made, arguably assisting America, as a whole, to be more competitive in the global community.

According to in the Pew Research Center, single women with college degrees have higher incomes now then their counterparts in 1970 while the wages of unmarried men haven’t faired as well. Overall, the earnings of all women with a college education have skyrocketed by 44 percent between 1970 and 2007 whereas there’s been a mere 6 percent growth for men. Consequently, there are an increasing number of women in the workforce.

In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly half of all those people employed, or 47.4 percent of those employed in December 2009 were women. As a result, women who are also mothers are requiring employers to make significant strides to change the workplace to meet their needs. These adjustments i.e. flex time, compressed workweeks, paid maternity leave, on-site child-care and nursing facilities; job sharing, nursing mother rooms, etc… benefit all of society.

Of course, financial independence all means women have more options in terms of when or if she wants to get married, thereby changing the picture this institution in America. According to the US Census Bureau, just 55% of males ages 18 and older and 50% of women are married.

According to the January 19th study entitled,” New Economics of Marriage: The Rise of Wives” by the Pew Research Center, men benefit the most economically in a marriage. Add to that, the “jobs” women perform around the house such as cooking, cleaning, and rearing the children and it would seem that men are the victors in relationships. But, if this is the case then why did the study also find that marriage levels have declined since the 1970’s while the education and financial achievements of women have skyrocketed?

Perhaps, it’s because men are still adjusting to the notion that 22 percent of women in 2007 earned more than their husbands, while only 4 percent did in 1970. Not being the top earning in a household may be threatening to a man or it could be that being career-oriented is stopping many women from having the time to find a man.

It could also be that in addition to finding women challenging their bank accounts, men are discovering they are being matched and surpassed in intellectual achievement too. According to the same Pew Research study, in 2007, 53.5% of college graduates were women and 46.5% were men while in 1970, 64% degree earners were men and 36% were women.

I look at the rise of singles in this county in my book I Didn't Work This Hard Just to Get Married: Successful, Single Black Women Speak Out. What I found is that while most people want someone to share their life with being about to fulfil your own dreams as an individual has gives women the opportunity get married for the right reasons and therefore have a healthier, better functioning, long lasting union.

Successful, single black women take center stage in my book I Didn't Work This Hard Just to Get Married. Through lively and revealing interviews with women from various walks of life, it explores the challenges and issues affecting single black women, forging ahead in today’s society by defying expectations. They candidly discuss aging without a man and re-evaluate dating, single homeownership, career, and children.

These women speak directly to the female experience, addressing unique challenges such as income discrepancies between genders, the high rate of male incarceration, and the Baby Momma Syndrome. The women discuss the false expectations they face from men, from families, and from friends. Written in the best tradition of girlfriend talking to girlfriend, the book delivers tales of lessons learned, hard times and good times, told by women who found ways to achieve their dreams by defying convention.

While some may see the adjustments in society by women as a downside, it’s clear that women view them as growth; a chance to make their mark on the world in a way that will ultimately make it better for the American family and for them as individuals. After all, it’s also said that there’s no growth without change and we can all agree that the US need to continue to progress.

I Didn't Work This Hard Just to Get Married
ISBN: 978-1-55652-819-4
To read an excerpt:
Available @ Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com
To watch a video trailer: log on to Youtube.com


Nika C. Beamon  can reached at Denali17@optonline.net and on 001973-230-0923

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