Malik Jones | Associate Editor
To Whom It May Concern,
Hampton University does its very best to uphold the “Standard of Excellence” among the other Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This philosophy is quickly ingrained into all students, male and female, upon their arrival here at the beginning of freshman year. Those core traditional values that make up Hampton’s legacy have given birth to the mythos of the ideal “Hampton Man” and “Hampton Woman.” These individuals are expected to be the best Hampton has to offer, exuding excellent academic performance, a commitment to service in the community, and a particular style, grace, elegance, and poise that cannot be replicated or reproduced at any other institution. “She should be intelligent, have a great personality, and know how to communicate her thoughts and ideas well…” says Alice Plunkett, a junior psychology major from Upper Marlboro, MD, “…she should be classy, involved in her community, and she should have confidence in herself, not cockiness.”
With a roughly 70 percent to 30 percent female to male ratio, it would stand to reason that the Hampton Woman would be in astounding abundance. However, while women do make up the majority here at Hampton, the fabled “Hampton Woman” remains as elusive as ever.
Too often in today’s world, people are constantly bombarded with posts, likes, tags, and tweets regarding other people’s relationships. These can range from a (hashtag)WomanCrushWednesday picture to a Vine proposal, or from copy/pasting break-up song lyrics on Twitter for two hours to a shady, sub-tweeting cat-fight on the timeline. As social media influence grows, so does people’s willingness to showcase the intimate details of their lives. One of the most common social media mantras from young women on Hampton’s campus is the notion that “Hampton N***** Ain’t S***”. This is usually accompanied by a lengthy anecdote from some scorned young woman about what her man has done, is doing, or refuses to do. Not only is the statement unfairly broad, offensive, and comical, but also begs the question of with whom do these young ladies choose to spend their time? Why would they sully their delicate hands entertaining boys who are so obviously struggling to become men? Maybe, the fault doesn’t rest entirely with the male in the situation. Perhaps, these young ladies simply aren’t quite as “grown” as they appear to be.
Now we all know that some males have a tendency to ”wander off” whilst in a relationship. This could mean texting other girls on the side, not completely cutting off that female “best friend” from back home, or just plain cheating. It’s true, these things happen and they are inexcusable. Yet, there are still numerous women, even on Hampton’s campus, who have been caught with just as much dirty laundry in the wind. As difficult as it may be for women on this campus to find “the perfect guy”, these same women should recognize that, despite the numbers, it can be just as difficult for guys when looking for the right girl to spend that refund check on.
(hashtag)ShootYourShot2016 made quite the trending topic on social media earlier this year as people around the world vowed to take a leap of faith and ask out their respective man and woman-crushes instead of waiting around for a moment that may never come. As with all romantic declarations, there is always the possibility of that devastating nine-letter word, rejection, rearing its ugly head. Jordyn Hawkins-Rippie, a junior business management major from Baltimore offered some seasoned advice for guys looking to break free of the friend-zone or impress that after class crush going forward. “Always be genuine and respectful in your interactions. Young women experience enough trying to find themselves amidst everything that goes on at HU [and] taking the time to approach them genuinely and respectfully could possibly set you apart from the crowd positively.” Unfortunately, even with all the physical and mental preparation, “nice-guys” are still finishing last at Hampton.
When “Hampton Women” callously reject upstanding guys in favor of their more muscular counterparts with a Soundcloud mixtape, a marijuana dealing roommate, and a “hood complex”, then wonder why their relationship isn’t moving forward or why Pizza Hut keeps calling his phone at 2 a.m., maybe it’s time for a little reevaluation. Jasmin Jeffery, a junior biochemistry major from Memphis, reveals that instead of seeking the approval and attention of men, a true “Hampton Woman” values her self-respect “and she feels compelled to be herself, not trying to fit into a certain ‘mold’.” The “Hampton Woman” is the epitome of class. She IS “Black Girl Magic”. She IS “Black Don’t Crack.” That being said, isn’t it time she elevated her company to a more suitable match? Sure, he might not be a Boris Kodjoe or Bryson Tiller, but I’m willing to bet that given the chance, he would make her feel like the Queen she was always meant to be. For now at least, the search continues.
A Hampton Man