Monday, May 4, 2009

Crabs in a Barrel

Dear Bloggers,

Last week was a hard week for women. We came off looking malicious and petty. While this is true for some women (and everyone has their moments), I’m an equal opportunity blaster. This week is for the men.

Now men, for some reason, you’ve been able to slip under the conniving radar. You’re seen as the more sensible of the sexes, least likely to resort to the tomfoolery that women are categorized for. However, men become self-conscious, and indulge in a different type of behavior that’s not as overt as women.

This syndrome is commonly referred to as the “Crabs in a Barrel” syndrome. With crabs in a barrel or bucket, you could watch one crab try to crawl out of the bucket. Before the crab can complete his escape, another crab grabs him and pulls him back down.

With my friendships with men, I have witnessed men indulging in this syndrome. I would have one friend (Friend A) who was doing well in classes, and had a healthy relationship. Another one of those friends was slowly flunking out, and felt self-conscious around women. Instead of bulking down at the library, and working on his confidence with women, he began to bring the other friend down. He began to encourage Friend A with alcohol, and other women. He held impromptu parties at friend A’s house, and insisted on embarrassing friend A as much as possible in front of women. Now, was friend B the crab trying to pull the other down, or is the adage true (“misery loves company”)?

This week we’re going to explore this syndrome. When one man is trying to better himself, does another purposely try to bring him back down? Or is it that when one man is trying to pull himself out of the bucket, the other man is so zealous to get out as well that he grabs on to help himself escape, but ends up pulling the other man back into the same pit they started in? Why does this syndrome seem so prevalent in the Black community, and even in popular culture?

This week let’s observe and discuss.


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