Monday, January 18, 2010
And the Latina Wins!
No suprises here, but I was recently on an online black forum where they were holding a heated discussion on BlackMen magazine's voting of a Latina Woman as the ‘Sexist Woman of the Year’ (Dec 2006 see image).
Now this site is a very afrocentric one. You know, the ones that in respect to interracial habits of black men, insist on maintaining a deep denial of the severity of the problem, possibly because they want to continue to refuse black women the option of looking out themselves. From what I saw there, the women on that site do indeed abide by the stipulation that, ‘under no circumstances do you consider white men as a valid option’. I must say my visit was a fascinating insight into how black women who still insist on not broadening out because of ‘political commitment’, explain away or handle such issues of black male betrayal (I guess for them it is indeed a case of another day another slap in the face). It was also an insight into how these women (especially the single ones), grapple with the idea that because of the widespread ‘faithlessness’ of bm, they might just not find themselves a mate. I indeed wanted to see if these women employed the technique of ‘waiting infinitum’ which characterised denial (group A), or acknowledging the reality and managing to come to grips with it in their own way (group B).
I think at first there was almost utter disbelief among the women (possibly group A women), and then some of these women did the calculation and realise that this was just consistent with the trends that were evident in general society (group B). However I think bw in denial can still allow themselves a few moments of ‘lucidity’ and let shafts of light penetrate from time to time, or they are not in denial at all, they just accept/normalise the betrayal of bm, and see it as part of the black woman’s cross to bear (true group B women). As an aside I think that bw who are impatient with their sisters who want to broaden out as a result of the dating squeeze, feel that as bw we ought to understand and sign up to this burden and ‘cope’ but still maintain the principle of ‘no outdating’. These women would give a tacit nod to single motherhood as one option left to black women and one much better than dating white.
Well the bm on the site (men who profess extreme afrocentricity), recognised a need to give some sort of response. Their tactic was first to ‘down play’ the issue; to urge bw to ‘deny the evidence of their eyes’. Women were urged not to ‘blow this out of proportion’. An appeal to ‘deny evidence’ is the kind of mind game and twisting techniques that are now required to calm and ‘re-convince’ black women to keep the faith, in these times that black women who want to remain ‘true to black’ are experiencing extreme buffeting.
Some men then proceeded to give all sorts of obvious 'scrapping the barrel' defence as to why the outcome was a Latina winner. One said that maybe ‘three bm huddled in room somewhere’ decided the results, another suggested that white and Latino men constitute a huge number of the readership and thus bumped up the numbers voting for the Latina woman. These two suggestions were quickly despatched with, with the recognition that previous winners had been black and that the readership is widely recognised as black men (should there even be any doubt that a magazine named BLACKMEN would have an overwhelmingly black readership).
The next tactic was a tenuous link of the winner to black. Some men put forth the defence that the winner had, ‘some black genes’ and therefore was a valid choice for a black male magazine (I have seen this argument used before with Jennifer Lopez). The women quickly saw through this as black men defending their white ‘fetish’ by claiming the women for black.
When there was clearly no defence some men changed tactic, some attacked black women in what I feel was their sheer frustration in their fellow black men (displacement), and others as usual decided to put the blame on black women for turning bm into what they had become. The usual, ‘blame black mothers for what their sons turn into’ was then employed. I might add that men who just owned up and said that bm were a lost bunch, got calmer response from bw, who I think know the score deep down, and would like an acknowledgement rather have bm trying to offer defence where there is none. However I think as usual the final, logical step of finally acknowledging that bw have a right to choose to escape the consequences of black males ‘unfaithfulness’ on the dating scene was skirted again.
When there was no more defence left to put forward, someone suggested a ‘campaign’ against the magazine, of writing letters in to express disgust. Apparently this person was loosing sight of the fact that the magazine did not decided the winner and ultimately they have a duty to publish the results as decided on by their readership. Also the underlying and unpalatable implied meaning that BM needed to be forced or arm-twisted into preferring bw seemed to have been missed.
TO BE CONTINUED
Posted by Halima at 1:30 am