Former The Real Housewives of New York City star and TV commentator Eboni K. Williams told life coach Iyanla Vanzant she wouldn’t date a bus driver unless he “owns the bus,” sparking a bevy of reactions from social media users.
On Tuesday, Williams hosted a one-on-one interview with Vanzant about femininity and the differences between masculine versus feminine energy, Bossip reported.
As an attorney, Williams shared how difficult it was for her to “show up” in her womanhood regarding her dating life. However, Vanzant said Black women lost their “grace” as a result of not tapping into their divine power.
“I think we’ve lost our grace,” the life coach said. “We move in such a harsh and hard way; grace, compassion, nurturing, nourishing, elegance — how about majesty? How about divinity? How about holiness? This is not a language you hear coming out of most women’s mouths.”
The 69-year-old then said the “masculine aggressiveness” some Black women emanate is “killing us.” She reiterated a recent statement she made on The Breakfast Club, saying that women are “being trained to be men in skirts.”
Williams admitted Vanzant’s statement “triggered” her, as she identified those traits within herself.
“I actually think you’re right, Iyanla,” the 39-year-old said while sharing about her experiences.
“I’ve yet to have a male energy that provided or protected me consistently ever,” Williams said, referencing her absentee father. “I think that I have taken on the reigns to provide and protect for myself. ‘Cause what I’m not going to do, Iyanla, is be without.”
“Be without protection and be without the necessities of life,” she added. “But I say that with an invitation, Iyanla; check me! Show me the error of my ways; show me how I might be missing it — because I might be,” she added.
Vanzant empathized with Williams, stating she is also an Alpha woman. She admitted to being a “terrible mother but a great father” while taking on that role and exuding masculine energy.
She then advised Black women to strip the masculine traits and tap into their “authentic power.”
“I’m still very Alpha, but I’m in my throne, and my crown is straight,” Vanzant said.
During the conversation, Williams brought up statistics about Black women being successful with college degrees and top earners in their chosen career paths. She then questioned how Black women can “position ourselves in our divinity” when some Black men are “not in a position to protect nor provide.”
Vanzant responded to Williams, asking, “Would you date a bus driver?”
“If he owns the bus,” Williams replied. “If he owns it.”
“That’s a problem,” Vanzant said. “Because the standards and requisites, the standards and criteria that we use to measure men is off for who we are as women and who they are in this society.”
She continued, “I would date a bus driver if he loved driving the bus; if he was a man of integrity; if he loved his mama; if he loved me well; I would date a bus driver.”
Williams’ comments have since gone viral, and colleague Marc Lamont Hill defended her.
“Black women are the only demographic of people in this country who are systematically expected to date below their expectation and their income,” Hill said. “Y’all think Black women should have a lower bar.”
My thoughts on Eboni K. Williams saying she wouldn’t date a bus driver unless he “owned the bus.” pic.twitter.com/PX1CVW1YXH
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) May 2, 2023
Williams received mixed reactions on Twitter, with some users defending her and other Black women for their dating standards, while others claimed she had unrealistic standards for herself.
I follow Iyanla Vanzant very close & I’ve read several of her books. Both of her ex husbands were jobless & broke and that is ultimately the reason why she’s not married to them anymore along w/ other reasons of course. I’m not understanding why she said what she said to Eboni.
— Dom (@718domonique) May 2, 2023
So Iyanla thinks poor and unaccomplished males are happy and kind. That they are fulfilled and READY to love, provide and protect. When the truth is they are bitter, jealous, entitled and disrespectful. https://t.co/ElloXo4l3n
— im PERF 🤪 (@backseetBETTY) May 2, 2023
Iyanla is 100% right, and that young woman take is definitely 50% of the dating problem. She wants dude to own the bus but TF she owns?? https://t.co/Ld7SOWpgSi
— The socializing anti social socialist (@shakkazulu) April 29, 2023
Nah.. this woman and the ones that think like her are cooked. Bus drivers make good money. Garbage men even. These women want CEO’s and shit to boast and brag on social media that they have some big boss husband. These types will die alone. https://t.co/O4Jl3nl1Uz
— 🌱🪴•• Kyle Lowry Stan Account. (@simplytee03) April 29, 2023
Williams later responded to the recent backlash and doubled-down on her statements.
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