By Ghadeer Alaradi, Student Life Editor


Photo courtesy of Black Student Union.
Photo courtesy of Black Student Union.

The Black Student Union (BSU) hosted a discussion on different topics surrounding black relationships on Thursday, March 26 in the University Center.

The topics discussed were gender roles, sexuality, family, sex, marriage, lifestyle, etc.

The room was full, with the men sitting on one side and the women sitting on the other side. The moderator, Theresa Somerville, who is President of BSU, started off the discussion with a question, “What do you all think about gender roles between men and women?”

“At this point, they’re overrated. We have two people in a relationship who are both in the workforce, and we don’t have that domesticated housewife that sits at home and watches the kids. It has become unrealistic in today’s standards to live,” said Anaiya Brown-Rivers, a student representative of BSU.

“I think you just have to make choices of what you want your income to be, and it can still be done in the more traditional way,” said a member of the audience.

“I wouldn’t be comfortable sitting back not working while my significant other is taking care of everything,” said Jerel Jones, the Ex-Officio of BSU.

The moderator then switched the discussion to the definition of traditional.

“Traditional is the man working, with the woman staying home taking care of the house and kids,” said Jones.

“If we have children and we’re married, I would expect my wife to stay home taking care of the children. If you have a good enough job, you can survive off one income,” said a man from the audience.

“What if she’s not happy?” asked a member of the audience.

“In the end I want her to be happy, but if you have children, you have to think about them too,” he replied.

“What’s to say we can’t do both?” said a woman from the audience.

Some men replied by saying that the woman can do whatever she wants and have a social life, and she can work from home. The most important thing in the situation is that she has a choice.

The next question by Somerville was, “Who has the right to be sexual?”

“It depends, look at Beyoncé. You don’t see Beyoncé in a sundress on stage, she’s in a bikini,” said a man from the audience.

Some women responded by saying that she dresses like that to perform. They also said that they expect men to make the first move most of the time. When women do that, they are looked upon as crazy. Other women also look at each other negatively.

“It’s a double standard because women are expected to be pure,” said a member of the audience.

The conversation turned to discussing the way women dress and the reasons behind it. A man from the audience stated that women wear shorter dresses to get attention.

“Not all women dress for the same reasons,” said a woman from the audience.

Somerville changed the direction of the discussion by asking, “What do you expect on a first date?”

One man from the audience said he wanted the girl to pay. “Maybe I want her to pay and show how she appreciates me,” he said.

“Personally, I think the man should pay. He should take her out. I shouldn’t be the one initiating,” said a woman from the audience.

The next question asked by Somerville was, “What attracts you to the opposite sex?”

The crowd threw out descriptions such as physical attraction, intellect, friendship, confidence, eyes, teeth, stubbornness, and family person.

“How does your family play a part in who you date?” asked Somerville.

The crowd reached an agreement, saying that the significant other can’t disrespect family. “If my mom doesn’t like you, then it’ll be harder for me in the long run,” said a member of the crowd.

The last question asked by Somerville was, “Who’s supposed to propose?”

Most of the crowd agreed that the man should propose. “I can’t imagine a woman getting down on her knees and proposing to me,” said Jones.

“Would you say no?” asked a member. “I would say, this is not the time and the place, and I’m supposed to ask you,” he said.

The discussion ended with a round of applause and a thank you from Somerville.


  1. There is a typo. My last name is Sommerville, with 2 m’s, not one. A few articles on BSU have my name spelled with only one M.

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