Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Men We Choose. The Women They Want

Woman To Woman
The Men We Choose. The Women They Want.

By: Delores Jones, MSW

For $2,500 dollars a woman living in New York has the option to join The Harlem Club, a private business and social club where college educated, successful African American and Latino men, pay between $5,000 (advisory board member) to $3,500 (general yearly member) to gather to network and talk business. The men have two primary business goals – to marry and have children with a woman who is between the ages of “21 to 39 years of age, college educated, single with no kids and beautiful,” according to the club’s founder Thomas Lopez-Pierre. Lopez-Pierre says members of The Harlem Club believe belonging to the club is the best way for them to avoid “hoodrats rolling up on them talking about “yo yo yo baby, what’s up, what’s up,” and pulling on their arm, as if they are a side of beef.”

For a woman, getting into The Harlem Club is like applying for a job with a modeling agency. After a woman completes an application and submits a full body photo of herself in a swimsuit, the men decide if she is in or out. If she has skills but still has a few extra pounds to work on (overweight women are not welcome) she might be given the option to pay $2,500 to join. Women who are accepted into The Harlem Club receive “respect for their intellect and have a higher appreciation for their beauty,” Lopez-Pierre told one writer.

As unbelievable as the story may sound, it is true and has been the case since 2004, when The Harlem Club was organized by investment bankers, accountants, lawyers and other professional Black and Latino men living in New York. Is this unfortunate? Maybe. Is it insulting? Perhaps. The reality is this is just one group of men who have decided to honestly share their method for choosing a woman rather we like it or not.

Now before you decide to challenge a man with this sort of mindset, consider this. This is “his truth” as he sees it and it becomes “truth” to those who also believe this and accept it. Instead of using your mental and emotional energy to convince someone with this kind of perceptive to change, redirect your focus and become clear about what you value about yourself most and who is intellectually, mentally, spiritually and emotionally equipped to identify, appreciate and co-exist with the true essence of a “substantial (significantly great) woman.”

In order to do this you must know your self worth. “Who can find a virtuous (of noble character) woman? For her price is far above rubies….Strength and dignity are her clothing…...She speaks with wisdom; and her tongue is the law of kindness…..” (Proverbs 31:10, 25 & 26 KJV, NIV). She also realizes that “charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31: 30).

It’s not unrealistic for a man to share his preferences as in the case with the male members of The Harlem Club. However, it is unfortunate when we underestimate our self worth and are not willing to stand firmly upon standards and principles that affirm our true value which can only be defined from within ourselves and not by others personal opinions, advertisements and preferences. If we miss this, chances are we might sell ourselves short. If you have ever made a trip to a museum full of fine art work and statues, you’ve probably noticed that these items are usually not for sale, they are to be admired. Those interested in buying the items may purchase the prints or the look-a-likes but not the original. The original is priceless.

Having an understanding of your priceless originality (“I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” Psalms 139:14) and your role in the process of choosing a man and not necessarily being chosen by one will help you operate from a point of consideration and not desperation. Desperation is about grabbing hold of whatever is available and going through unnecessary changes for fear of not having what you really want and deserve. Consideration is seeking real truth and the supporting evidence before taking action.

Choosing and pursuing are not to be used interchangeably. They are not the same thing. To pursue means to follow in hopes of capturing. A man’s role is to pursue you and a woman’s role is to carefully consider the man in pursuit of her. Let’s not get it twisted.

No matter what his occupation is, what clubs or organizations he belongs to or what clothing designer’s name is written inside his suit or printed on his tee-shirt, know your role and act it out. For help with writing or re-writing your personal script for choosing a suitable man, check out the book, Choosing God’s Best by Dr. Don Raunikar. Don’t forget, the choice is yours. Choose wisely.

DELORES M. JONES, MSW, LMSW is a social worker, radio host, producer and adjunct college professor in Kansas City. Rising out of a childhood of homelessness and candlelit homework, she emerged as an award-winning journalist. She has shared her story on the Oprah Winfrey show and included in the book *Come on People: On the Path from Victims to Victors by Dr. Bill Cosby and Dr. Alvin Poussaint*. Visit her website for more information and highlights of her radio show Woman To Woman Talk. Email comments or questions to


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure whether that club bothers me or not...

I can understand that men don't want women who are only going to be dependent on them and their assets...

but what does how she looks in a swimsuit or whether she is overweight have to do with her bank account and independence?

Anonymous said...

This Harlem club idea is really tacky and these men who are choosing women in such a pathetic way better not get all hurt and shit when the woman leaves them because they no longer have money.

If you are being superficial when you pick your mate, don't get mad if your mate is superficial. That's not really where you find true love. These men need to get over themselves, and the women who choose men based on how much money they got need to stop whining and shit when the man leaves them because they got fat. You can't take what you want and not expect to give what the person wants, that's stupid.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone see the NY Times article about this?

The owner Lopez guy's last comment was something like "I didn't marry my wife because she's kind and sensitive...I married her because she is pretty and she takes her butt to the gym and keeps it looking tight for me"

no comment.

Anonymous said...

I hope the guy Lopez got the hooker he was looking for.

Anonymous said...

Who cares? We spend to much time worried about what other people say and do. It is there money and time. I wish them the best. I won't date a woman with a wild ass weave like yours. Does that make me a bad person. It is my preference. Just like it is your preference to do the things that you say and do.