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Female Issues: Olivia and Mary Jane: The New Generation’s Black Woman and the “Power Couple”

Women everywhere patiently wait for every Tuesday and Thursday evening so that they can watch “Scandal” and “Being Mary Jane.” As much as I enjoy both shows, I dislike their content to the highest degree. Shows like these strip away the morality of successful black women, and women in general. They either are depicted as undesirable, intimidating and “highly selective” or the new common depiction, side chicks.

“Being Mary Jane’s” proceeds to tell the tale of a successful black woman that has affairs with married men. Is there no other route? Is that how the high-salary, nicely dressed and solely independent, black woman finds love? Is she always forced to dabble in another woman’s already written love story?

Olivia Pope’s character from “Scandal” is strong-willed, witty, intelligent and has the option to date single men but refuses. Instead, she chooses to deem the POTUS as her “boyfriend” in many episodes. I am often overwhelmed with admiration for Olivia, but I cannot ignore the fact that morally, she is a woman that I choose to not respect. Olivia had the option of being with Senator Davis, but she did not want him. She wants “the leader of the free world and arguably the most powerful man in the world.”

Mary Jane’s character is a little different;her independence makes her miserable. She longs for the affection of certain men because they fit her lifestyle, whether they are married or not. Every time I watch the show, she’s thirsting for both a family and a relationship. So why is Mary Jane single? I’ll tell you why.

There are millions of Olivia’s and Mary Jane’s today. Not just black, but women of all colors. The media depicts them as women whose careers combat their natural longing for love and affection. Because of their college degrees, they cannot date a man that does not have a degree.

“Standards” is often the word used when describing the love life (or the lack thereof) of professional women. They have “standards” and because of that, they are single. It’s almost as if only professional men are “good enough,” but love is not made to order with a degree or a dollar amount.

The phrase “power couple” has created a frenzy of women and men selectively choosing mates to attain a higher socio-economic status and an almost royal image. Beyoncé and Jay- Z are one of the top idolized couples in the world. To them, their love is their own. To others, their “love” is their image, their power, their presence, their Instagram posts, their Grammy performances and the look on others’ faces when they grace the room. That is the problem. Obtaining a college degree and becoming a professional has changed how people love. This new set of achievements changes people’s dating pools.

It is to the point that women date certain men for their images, and since the chances of finding a “perfect man” are really low, sometimes when a woman feels she has found one, and that man happens to be married, she would rather settle for being a “side chick” then settle to date an average man. It is not about intelligence anymore, but social hierarchy.

Many people throw away great romances because the other person does not fit their “dating requirements.” Not requirements like being faithful, honest, loving and dependable, but other requirements like having a master’s degree, a BMW, Armani suits and Ferragamos.” Some people will get lucky fishing in this pool, but others won’t.

To all the future professional women reading this, find love because it completes you and it makes you happy every day. Don’t worry about the image. Yeah, a picture is worth a thousand words, but what types of words will describe your picture?


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