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Straight No Chaser: Husband, Father, or Child Served First?

Op/Ed By Gloria Winston Al-Sarag


gloria_winston_al-sarag2Writer’s block sometimes goes along with the territory. And, when it becomes a factor for me, I sometimes go shopping on Facebook, looking for topics which may trigger my psyche; topics which seem to beg to be discussed further.

This week, on Facebook, a community organization called, “Black In Public, Black Out Loud, and Black On Purpose!” posted an interesting question for women on its page.

The question read as follows:

“A question for the women: Dinner is done. Who gets served their plate first, and why?”

The responses were varied, and, what I found to be interesting, were the responses from those who said their children should be served first.

In addition, although the question had been directed at women, I thought the most profound response had come from a man. Not only did Keith Charles Crowder, who’s both a personal and Facebook friend of mine, answer as I would have, he took the time to explain his answer.

Consequently, I felt his explanation was worthy of a re-post, and a mention in my column, because the answer had been right on time.

Keith responded with the following: “If you were raised correctly, the husband (head of household), then the father (past head, or head of his own household), then the child (who gets witness the order of respect). This comes from proper family values. If my daughter served me before her husband, I’d refuse the plate to protect her husband’s role. If she fed the child before she fed me, I’d refuse my plate because she just taught the child disrespect and impatience. But, my daughter wouldn’t do that, she’s been raised the right way. Peace….”

I read, and re-read, what he stated, and couldn’t agree more. So many women these days have not been raised with men in the household. And, the absence of men in the household has led to an unfortunate upbringing, which may, at times, have helped placed value, and protocol, in the wrong places. I have often said I was raised during the “Camelot” era, and had been blessed to have my father for 53 years.

I guess the fact that today is his birthday, and the fact that he would have been 94 years old, has made me treasure the lessons I’ve learned about family respect, even more.

In addition, even though I loved my dad profusely, he would have never allowed me to serve him a plate before my husband.

And, children are no breadwinners, so to put them before any man is just wrong.

Oh, I know sometimes we feed the children first, to get them out of the way, but, not as a rule. The correct protocol, as Keith so eloquently put it, should be HUSBAND, FATHER, and then CHILD.

All who do not get that need to go back and re-examine the values which have gotten them here.

And, all who do not get that may be playing into the genocidal tendencies which have been helping to destroy families, black families in particular.

I believe women who do not put their husbands first (if they have one), do not deserve their husbands, and are raising their children to disrespect their fathers. In addition, women who do not get that are usually the ones who find themselves with NO husbands.

As a result, those women may want to consider the fact that their protocols, their priorities, and/or their confused values may be the reasons why.

Some women, no doubt, will frown upon what I am saying, and may be shrugging their shoulders, while at the same time trying to convince themselves they do not NEED a husband. But, those women, in my opinion, would be lying to themselves.

Society, and what we accept these days, has many of us confused about our roles. Many women simply do not comprehend that, the way they treat their men, be it their husbands, fathers, or children, has much to do with something as simple as the word “respect.” When respect is not given, or taught appropriately, we may find ourselves chasing monsters; monsters whose values may spill over into the community, and society, as a whole.

It all begins and ends in the home; those things we have learned to accept, and those which we have learned to teach.

Being old school, I often find myself in hot water with the hip-hop, and fast-food generations. Not only do I believe in husbands being served first, I also believe women should be cooking more. There’s nothing wrong with a night out, and eating in a restaurant every now and then, but I believe REAL men thoroughly enjoy, and appreciate, a home-cooked meal.

Consequently, understanding what the word “submission” really means, from a positive point of view, might help some young folks get a grip on the benefit of family values.

The destruction of the family is a strategy which has been used by our enemies for centuries. Social media has brought it to the forefront these days, but the intent to dismantle black families is nothing new.

As a result, women have bought into trying to be men, not only in the home, but in the workplace as well. Our roles have been exploited by society, and many have bought into the premise that women don’t need a man to survive. However, the truth is, to think we don’t need a man to do anything but help us reproduce has been the biggest lie going.

Our families, and our children, need the influence of both a man, and a woman, as far as I’m concerned. Yet, the strategies certain people have put into place in order to dismantle our family values seems to have been working.

And, the more pregnant teens, with no husbands, our society produces, the more proof positive it is that the strategy is working.

Back in the days, the “head of household,” was the MAN of the house. It was the father, unless the married woman was widowed. Census data will verify this claim.

Some of our past values need to be revisited. In addition,  respect needs to be taught, and never forgotten.

I believe we, as women, need to constantly take inventory regarding how we feel about our men, and what we plan to teach our children. We especially need to lead by example.

When dinner is served, the protocol I have been raised to value, and will always support, is husband, father, and then child. It’s as simple as that.

And, if you think otherwise, maybe it is time to take a look in the mirror, and honestly discover why.