Monday, December 20, 2010

What BWE want you to know



Happy Xmas Celebrations & a Great 2011!

I have had a good two months-plus break from bloggin. I really enjoyed it. It helped me stand back and see the work from another perspective especially look into how I can be more efficient and effective rather than do same ol same ol.


It was good to see that BWE has reached a point where some of us can take ourselves well needed breaks, and the message keeps powering through! For me in this was particularly gratifying because it shows the word is out and saturating the atmosphere and the key points and messages of BWE are out there and generating the required discussions. I contrast this with five years ago when just a few were doing the work and how we almost were too afraid to be gone too long.

Efficient use of time will be the name of the game for me in the coming year. We are in lean times and thus we all have to be judicious users of time and resources. Which leads me to my next point:

Things BWE want you to know

Catch a fire for yourself
This time off blogging has helped me also identify and sound out a few more ‘black female life schema’ that is, mental sets, patterns, and attitudes, influencing the way black women approach life.

Last week I was over at actsoffaith blog where a discussion was ongoing about Obesity. One of the comments sent in, got me thinking for a while. I tried to respond but i am happy I didn’t, because I needed to mull over the comment a bit more.

Sometimes people say things and it isn’t really about what they are saying but how the comment is being generated from an ’expectation’ they have on you. One such comment popped up during the discussion and had I hastily replied, I could have stopped my own deeper and expanding understanding of an issue which I think is one of the corner stones issues to black women’s plight.

The first thing I want black women to let sink deep down in their spirit is that nobody is responsible for you.

No one losses out if you never fulfil your potential in life. Well let me be even more blunt and say, if you fell of the edge of the cliff today, I am sure one or two people would put a rose on your coffin, but that’s essentially it! Does that feel deflating? I guess we all want to feel that we are important but there is another side to it that we have to be grounded in reality.

I keep hearing these sentiments from black women. ‘Aren’t you gonna make me like your message?, Aren’t you gonna make it appeal to me?, Aren’t you going to make me want to get up and save my own life?’
These sentimenta are buried in black women’s comments and responses and seems so very strange given that it isnt about choosing the next shoe or handbag or film but about how to take their lives into abundance.

Apparently there are some black women who feel that ‘we’ (other bw or BWE who have come out as bw champions), will be sorry, if ‘they’ don’t make it! Twisted isn’t it. I came across a kids program the other day where a ‘character’ was ranting and stamping his feet about how, ‘Y’all will be sorry, if I run away (or did something which in essence had a net negative effect on him not them)’.

Some black women even go further and seem to have this funny notion that by withholding their acceptance of the commonsense notions BWE and others are trying to pass on, they are denying us something key, some victory, maybe pinching us and confirming their importance in our lives (as if this is about social endorsement and status games rather than their abundant living)! I guess because we have a declared interest in seeing black women win, by withholding their own ‘winning’, they are taking something from us or something!

There seems to be a weird and misplaced boyfriend-girlfriend/you have to court me etc dynamic underlying some of the responses from certain black women.

I might be drowining but ask me nicely or I wont come!
Some black women have got it all confused as you can well see. But how did we get here? I believe it is the symptom of the mis-socialization that black women experience as the community tries to immerse them fully into being the ‘resource’ for their race. One of the results is as we have said, a blindness to their reality and the urgency of their situation and along with this comes ‘misplaced priorities' (e.g. priority on being courted rather than saving their lives), chasing shadows than substance, not being able to focus in on the ‘core issue’ at stake (the whole distorted thinking that the key issue and the opportunity presented to them by these discussions is an opportunity to feel wanted and valued rather than this being about saving their lives!).

One of the key things I want to pass on to bw as we enter a new year is that you have to, ‘catch a fire’ for your own life and your own future. The idea that someone else would/should care more, or would be hurt by your destruction is the height of delusional thinking. When we become adults we understand that ‘life will go on for others even if we die today’. The notion that society should care about black women falling by the way side, and we should devote our energies into making them care and making them (read: government) do right by us rather than ‘sort ourselves out’, is an idea that all empowered black women should leave in the dust.

Does it mean we should not work for a better world? No but we are wise, we know that if white women or Asian women can rely on ’government’ responding to their plight, government has not shown itself to be ’sympathetic’ to black women's situation. We black women ’work out our own salvation’ and we will continue to have to do so for the foreseeable future no matter how unfair that might seem to you.

1 Corinthian 9:24 says:


Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize!

Another translation ends ‘So run to win!

When you see a person who understands that no one is beholden to them in anyway, they have a particular attitude to life. You will notice that they are ‘up and doing’ and laying hold of every opportunity, looking out for an opportunity to prosper themselves, not waiting or thinking someone should ‘do for me‘.

The attitude of ‘society owes me’ will not serve anyone well in these lean times, so you better flee from anyone or anything reinforcing such expectations in you. Note that many of the liberals urging you to ‘demand your rights’ from society (meagre rights at that) are doing so from the comfort of rewards reaped from applying themselves or rewards from legacies of antecedents that applied themselves often shunning their rights and shunning shame etc. Thus they can afford to talk that way, they have a safety net.

But anyone who is lethargic rather than striving in these times will be caught between a rock and a hard place. In case some are unaware of how these things work, you can be all about ‘social justice’ but you must continue to feather your own nest. You cannot let yourself be lulled into any complacent place, feeling that an equal and just society will provide all your needs. It will provide just the basic if anything and at any rate, a just society doesn’t exist. If you want to live above subsistence you must strive.

I want to point out another key thing here. Most BWE are themselves running their own track to get something out of life. Most of us if not all, are coming out of the ‘indoctrination of black women into community service’ program too. Many of us have paid and will continue to pay the price of lost time and lost focus. So stop resenting BWE writers and thinking they by virtue of their ‘better placement’ (so you think) are obliged to chase you down to ‘hear’ the message of commonsense (indeed a lot of this ‘appeal to me’ ‘appeal to me’ stuff demanded of BWE comes from resentment). We are sharing sideways not from above. So if I am a black woman like you, simply ‘running my own life race,’ why should I be required to go out of my way to save you? This is indeed a borrowed attitude often seen displayed towards those who the black community denotes as having, ‘made it’, and thus should, ‘give back’. The black community however does not have genuine intentions towards those giving back, instead it fosters a toxic attitude towards those itemotionally blackmails into ‘giving back’ where the aim is to frustrate them and play sick mocking jokes on them, toying with their genuine desire to ‘give back‘. Indeed the intention has never really been about being lifted out, but dragging these ones down and back to the gutter. Its all a sick sick joke!

The world has shown it is averse to pushing resources black women's way and in additon BWE do not have the extra resources themselves to expend for 'rescue operations' for individual black women who expect to be courted into living well, even if BWE wanted to. We can only put the life saving information out there for you to take charge of saving yourself.

The case of 'living well' is not one that anyone should have to make for another and if such is the case then it reveals the deep damage on the part of the one demanding 'an explanation' or an incentive so they can take up the charge of living well. Purge yourself of any attitude or belief or mental program or peer pressure that makes you place so little on your own salvation that you are willing to joke about with it or become complacent and lethargic about taking conceret steps towards abundant living.


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20 comments:

Nicole Little said...

Hi, I'm here to show you my new post that I made for today about how black people are convincing black women that they are the least desirable to all men.


http://blackwomenselflove.blogspot.com/2010/12/why-are-black-peopletrying-so-hard-to.html

foreverloyal said...

What some people don't seem to get is that the bwe bloggers will not lose anything from their lives if more black women don't "get it" and take better care of themselves on all fronts.

As you said, life will go on for everyone else.

Tee said...

Hi Halima:

Frequent lurker here. Welcome back!

Tee

Missy said...

Halima! Glad you were able to recharge and come back refreshed. You came back swinging, girl! Black women need the message repeated over and over again that there are millions of women in the world living well and that having a nice husband, a nice house, and a comfortable lifestyle is NOT contrary to the word of God. Suffering does not equal holiness.

Khadija said...

Halima,

I 100% cosign. As usual, you've perfectly articulated a dynamic that I felt in operation, but couldn't quite put my finger on.

And the picture you used to illustrate the point was perfect: Some of the BW in various reading audiences are foolish enough to think that BWE bloggers are going to "court them" in order to encourage them to save their own lives. Ummm...NO. I respect free will. Any reasonably sane adult who is making the informed choice to destroy their own life is perfectly welcome to do so.

And---since I'm the main one at the moment* who has currently angered all these "you must court me to rescue me" BW---you know, the resentful BW who are running to other BW's blogs to engage in semi-veiled whining about my blog posts about BW and obesity---let me say this to these angry women:

Life is going on all around y'all. As Halima noted in this post, other people's lives will continue---without missing a beat---if y'all drop dead tomorrow. The world will go on no matter how much damage you do to your own quality of life. It's just that simple. The world does not hand out "I'm a special snowflake and therefore you must cater to me and tickle my ears" passes. Certain basic aspects of reality apply to everybody. Such as gravity and the negative long-term effects of obesity. Reality does not say "Pretty please, may I affect you?" before it impacts people's lives.

[*There have been others such as Evia, Delish and her hilarious satire, who have deeply angered many BW readers by rejecting the fat acceptance dogma. At the moment, it's my turn to annoy these women by rejecting all the obesity-enabling, obesity-accepting slogans that have become popular among too many BW. I'm sure that tomorrow, it'll be some other BWE blogger's turn to anger these folks. {chuckling}]

Anyhoo, Halima, this was another excellent post. I figure that a lot of this "you must cater to me to help me" nonsense will sort itself out as the I'm A Special Snowflake-Dead-Enders watch increasing numbers of the rest of us take off and move on up further into abundant life. As they see themselves getting increasingly left behind, they'll snap out of some of their current mind games. {smile}

Kay said...

Hello Halima,

Thank you for the dose of realism. I think your post is helping me to realize that there's nothing wrong with wanting more for my life and working tirelessly to change things.

Since no one's riding in on a white horse to save the day for me or any other black woman in most cases, it's truly up to us as individuals to hope, plan, replenish as needed, and execute.

Happy Holidays.

Pat said...

Black women are getting it a little but they are not quite there yet. The progressive few will still have to show them.

Faith said...

Thanks for deftly laying out this attitude of resentment and entitlement!

zoopath said...

Preach! I am so sick of people needing wisdom to be sugar coated...whenever I read that kind of nonsense I just write that person off as one of the lost.
@ Khadija: It so obvious that people are referring to you when they go tattling to other blogs. I almost want to call then on it but that would be a waste of effort. I would accomplish just as much going down to yonder morgue and giving CPR to corpses. It would be that futile. If someone wants to die an early death, despite being told how to avoid it that's unfortunate. More air for me.

Anonymous said...

I'm the one who posted about Khadija's blog on Faith's blog. There was nothing semi-veiled about it, and it was no different than Khadija posting on this very blog, particularly since Khadija closed commenting and specifically directed the audience to Faith's blog. Correct me if I'm wrong here.

I recognize that my opinion was not popular and because I'm not interested in futile internet debates, and respect disagreement for what it is, I won't post on the matter further. However, I do not believe I or the poster I was talking about are 'begging to be courted'. The girl specifically said that she reads the blog when she wants and steps away from it when it wasn't for her and she said so...on a weight loss blog. Her comment (on another blog) was clearly *searched for* and found, and I recall her being a called a coward for that. If you can't handle a negative critique of your message, it's no more the audience's fault than it is that you have an opinion that the audience disagrees with. All writers DO at some point. The take it or leave it attitude you have is way more than fair, but when the girl chose to leave it your blog you (Khadija) berated her. All you can do is throw our two cents in the pot. But if the rejection of your two cents doesn't bother you, you have a funny way of showing it.

Everybody who disagree with you is not an enabler. And everyone who comments that most black women are not (and have never been) being complacent or passive about their lives or health (regardless of what they *appear* like to you), or that paint-by-numbers diet advice doesn't work for everybody aren't either. Another poster said, we will see what the future holds and that much is true. I've always been taught to walk alone, which is why it's possible for me to agree with some things a person says and not others-and harvest what will work for me and leave what won't. Nothing cowardly or denial-based about that. If I'm wrong, you certainly won't have to be responsible for me or my life as the result of my shortcomings and I certainly won't resent you for that either.

At the risk of making this way longer than it needs to be, I will leave it at that-for good.

Khadija said...

@Zoopath,

You said, "@ Khadija: It so obvious that people are referring to you when they go tattling to other blogs. I almost want to call then on it but that would be a waste of effort. I would accomplish just as much going down to yonder morgue and giving CPR to corpses. It would be that futile.".

Guurl, indeed. And here's why that sort of behavior annoys me---which is why I periodically call these chicks out:

(1) That "tattletale" behavior is childish and cowardly, and demonstrates a lack of conviction in what the tattletales are saying. When you're a fully-grown adult, you ought to be able to defend your viewpoints. That is, if you're sincere and serious about what you're saying. A belief that's so fragile that it can't withstand questions or challenges is not worthy of being believed.

To rework the quote by Voltaire: believing in absurdities often leads to committing atrocities. Against oneself and others. I've done several posts specifically dedicated to "Reader-Inspired Course Corrections." As I have repeatedly said, anybody who seriously wants me to reconsider a position is welcome to send in some information for me to look at. Of course, there's no guarantee that I'll change my mind. But I do consider the things I read.

But none of the tattletales have taken me up on that offer. Which confirms that they're acting in bad faith.

(2) Too many Blacks (including BW) interpret kindness and generosity as weakness, and an invitation to "dog out" the generous Black person. Which is why I periodically check such individuals. I'm amazed that these tattletale chicks actually expect to be able to backbite somebody without there being any consequences---such as being called on it. As if they expect me to look at that sort of behavior without commenting on it. I ignore a lot of stuff; but I'm NOT required to ignore anything.

(3) At its core, that "tattletale" behavior shows a real disregard for other BW. Many BW are so quick to get offended by another BW who is actually helping them. Meanwhile, these same women take all sorts of malicious garbage off of BM. And they take BM's garbage with a smile. Considering the GREAT value of the information that I freely share---information that is not discussed at many Black blogs---one would think that these tattletale chicks would be able to overlook whatever irritation they feel with some of my viewpoints.

Unlike the tattletale chicks, I tend to have more patience with people---whoever they are---who are contributing VALUE to my life. I don't take help for granted because it's coming from another Black woman. And I'm especially NOT an ingrate who runs around badmouthing and backbiting the people who help me.

There are respectful ways of handling disagreements---particularly disagreements with people who have helped you in important ways.

Evia said...

Considering the GREAT value of the information that I freely share---information that is not discussed at many Black blogs---one would think that these tattletale chicks would be able to overlook whatever irritation they feel with some of my viewpoints.

ITA!! Khadija, this is why I've pointed out to readers that a much more progressive and valuable way of assessing any other person's value is to look at the SUM TOTAL of the VALUE that any individual person brings to your individual life. Focusing on the sum total enables us to disagree with each other sometimes and still embrace each other IF the sum total is high enough. When the sum total is not high enough, just WALK AWAY.

This is a practical, common sense, and effective tool that any bw can use to embrace those who bring a higher or high enough sum total and eliminate those who don't. This is a tool that even young children can use and I've taught my sons to use it.

Instead, many confused bw have been taught to slice and dice SOME other bw who are supportive of them and/or of bw overall over the smallest, flimsiest things while they will defend to the max those other black folks who are socially slaughtering them and bringing them nothing. This is due to foggy, confused, and actually suicidal tracks in their programming. Keeping bw confused presents a gravy train for the DBRs. The Sum Total tool clears up this confusion.

This is why I've often advised my readers to take what they can use and "TOSS THE REST." However, many readers will indeed take what they can use and then backbite and slander about the rest. (Sigh)

Also, I've often noticed that when AAs don't agree with each other, they STILL keep trying to dialogue with the person they disagree with, and this almost always turns into an insult-fest. IMO, this indicates a lack of social skills. Why do they do that? If we don't agree with another person, why not just walk away? Why insult each other and/or fight with them when we can instead choose to avoid each other? That would help ALL of us get along better and would also make us more appealing to other groups because it would show that we have a wider repertoire of social skills.

Some readers have sliced and diced me because I refuse to take comments or won't talk with them. Why would I do that when I already KNOW that we disagree. I have better social skills than that. I don't talk to them because I know the result will be more disagreement and conflict. It seems to me that a person like that is just looking for drama or a fight. If I'm going to be paid big enough bucks, I may engage in the fight, but why would I fight for free? LOL!

Anyway, my continued stance is that bw had better "Prepare themselves in all ways to mate out or prepare themselves in advance to die out!" I won't cater to or fight with a bw to point that out. Those are the only 2 options that I personally can see for the bulk of AA and similarly situated bw. If some bw have other less visible options that I'm unaware of, then I'm happy for them. So, in actuality, there is no reason to have strife about this. Each bw should just do what's best for HERSELF. You, Halima, I, and various other bloggers are just providing info about the more positive, life-enhancing option.

Evia said...

Part 2

Similarly, some readers have sliced and diced me because I refuse to take comments or won't talk with them. Why would I do that when I already KNOW that we disagree. I have better social skills than that. I don't talk to them because I know the result will be more disagreement and conflict or an insult-fest. It seems to me that a person like that is just looking for drama or a fight. If I'm going to be paid big enough bucks, I may engage in the fight, but why would I fight for free? LOL!

Anyway, my continued stance is that bw had better "Prepare themselves in all ways to mate out or prepare themselves in advance to die out!" I won't cater to or fight with a bw to point that out. Those are the only 2 options that I personally can see for the bulk of AA and similarly situated bw. If some bw have other less visible options that I'm unaware of, then I'm happy for them.

So, in actuality, there is no reason to have strife about this. No bw is forced to do anything that I advise. It's HER choice. Each bw should just do what's best for HERSELF. You, Halima, I, and various other bloggers are just providing info about the more positive, life-enhancing option of choosing to Live Well.

Khadija said...

@Anonymous,

The fact that you're hiding behind anonymity to chase this topic says it all...

{moving on}

Halima said...

Anonymous
All writers DO at some point. The take it or leave it attitude you have is way more than fair, but when the girl chose to leave it your blog you (Khadija) berated her. All you can do is throw our two cents in the pot. But if the rejection of your two cents doesn't bother you, you have a funny way of showing it.


Anonymous, i respect the work of Khadija and all other BWE writers so much that I dont like to give any platform for others to say things about how they approach their work. I am more interested in what you have to say about this perculiar feeling that BWE should court the listeners (this is how i see it and not just from this one incident, i see it on quite a few other blogs and blog topics). I need bw to get it in their heads that BWe is not a political party canversing for votes.

Everybody who disagree with you is not an enabler. And everyone who comments that most black women are not (and have never been) being complacent or passive about their lives or health (regardless of what they *appear* like to you), or that paint-by-numbers diet advice doesn't work for everybody aren't either.

Actually anonymous, from all indication bw are passive or they are pursuing a non succesful approach to their obesity situation, which essentially works out as the same thing. We have spent years teasing out why bw are on this fruitless path, it ties in and adds up to the general positionng and self-positioning of bw as community resource within which self neglect becomes a theme with bw.

Re what approach works, I dare say a range of approaches will be effective and bw have to search out the one that works for them (somethimes it is the one that gets your 'back up' that is the one that is touching an issue you need to deal with) thus i see no reason for folk to argue against the validity of the tough love approach as you appear to be doing, is it not indeed one of the necessary approached in a pantheon of weight loss approaches?

The problem i believe comes back down to how many bw view BWE. BWE need to be viewed as what they are, Mentors. mentors have no time to look after your feelings they care about your future too much! They are there to challenge and push not coddle. It is important that bw recognize this distinction so they can 'use' BWE work the way it should be used and not to look to them to be boyfreind and lover to them.

If the method being offered by BWE writers on any particular topic is one that doesnt quite 'gel' with you, then look at it as 'this one not for me' and move on. i dont see why you want the method to be seen as invalid since it will work for some women who need to be challenged in that particular way.

BW also need to be aware that the soft approach and 'feeling considering' approach (if one can call it that for want of a better name), comes at a high personal expense ie you pay good money for a therapist to work with you in those ways and maybe thats why they can afford to 'stroke' bw feelings afterall it is a client-practitioner relationship that requires the client being happy with the work and attitude.

another thing is that many BW have taken on the perspective of self styled modern theorists on this issue and others. Yes they might have a point about the overarching drivers and causes of obesity but many are not in touch with (or indeed arguing for) the issue for minority women who have to depend on self will, no nonsense self talk, and pulling themselves up by their boot straps approach due to how unsymptahetic the general society remains to their plight. This i believe is one of the key messages of BWE, that is for bw to consider their unique situation and apply techniques and methods that take this into account!

Nicole Little said...

Here's my new post about the death of Teena Marie. I'm still emotional about this. It's been three days since her death, and I'm still mourning.


http://blackwomenselflove.blogspot.com/2010/12/rip-teena-marie-march-5-1956-december.html

Anonymous said...

@ Nicole,
No offense, I never could get into her. Maybe it was her Rick James influence. She did have a good voice. Her family does have my condolences.

Peace

Tinu said...

Welcome back.

cherryl252washere said...

great blog halima! btw, this might be a dumb question but, what is BWE? thanks!

Halima said...

Black women empowernment