Time Magazine predicts women as “The Richer Sex”, but is this old news for black women?

Over at EBONY, I wrote about a recent article from TIME Magazine which suggested that women will overtake men as breadwinners in the next generation.  As a result of this change, according to the article’s author Liza Mundy, traditional cisgender, straight relationship dynamics could potentially shift.  What TIME doesn’t necessarily consider is the fact that this dynamic has already shifted for many minority communities, namely for black women, who have already outpaced men in terms of income and education. Via EBONY:

 While that shift is making headlines in the mainstream the woman as breadwinner and head of household just might be old hat for Black women.

That may be in part because a higher percentage of African American women are achieving college degrees. This could mean that over the next generation the overall shift in female run households, already felt in many Black households could be even more dramatic in our homes over the next generation.

Particularly in the aftermath of the economic crisis that has also contributed to this shift, Black women are the financial lifeblood for families.  The Time piece focused on the next generation being dominated by female-lead households and yet this is nothing new for our community. So what are the social and political ramifications are for Black women as we continue to excel and support ourselves and our families? The gender dynamics may be changing for everyone but Black women are somewhat on the outside of this shift, having already moved ahead.

Certainly the economic crisis has contributed to this change for all Americans of any race, but I think the TIME piece makes a declaration that might already be old news for certain segments of the population.  It’s certainly an interesting take, but I also find it limiting in that it focuses on heteronormative households generally and doesn’t consider that other races of people have been ahead of the curve for some time now, with no signs of going back.  Is it only news warranting a cover story when the shift happens to white straight American women?

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  • http://feministing.com/members/samll/ Sam Lindsay-Levine

    It seems hard to fully disentangle “it’s only news warranting a cover story when the shift happens to white straight American women” and “it’s only news warranting a cover story when the shift happens to the majority of the general American woman population, which is by the numbers majority white and straight”.

  • http://feministing.com/members/tylik/ tylik

    “Is it only news warranting a cover story when the shift happens to white straight American women?”

    Is it even a question?

    Women of color doing well is routinely interpreted as men of color doing badly. Black women leading households is presented as The Collapse of the African American Family. (And then anything bad that happens to black folks Isn’t Really Racism but Indicative of their Community’s Sad Moral Collapse.)

    It being culturally inappropriate to publish the same scripts about white men, well,, perhaps we need a new story.

    (Yeah, I guess I’m feeling a little bitter. I’ve been reading newspapers comment sections again.)

  • http://feministing.com/members/robbieloveslife/ Robert

    It’s been known for a long time that black women are usually the breadwinners in their families. I’d also like to point out that being a latino I know latino women taking care of illegal male immigrants since it’s hard to get a job as an illegal immigrant. I personally like it that women are doing better. I’ve been to poor countries where a man has to pay for everything, not because the girl doesn’t want to spend but because she literally has no money. Also they have to see that you are financially stable before they even consider sleeping with you which really sucks for guys wanting a one night stand. God bless America.