Monday, February 14, 2011

Why I Love BWE

Well Happy Valentine all!

I just want to do something different this year and ask all of you good readers for feedback on the BWE work. This time I want us to focus on all that BWE has helped you gain, improve and as much benefit as you can detail.

Many of us 'eat' from various free tables and never spend a moment to say at least, 'thanks, I appreciate what you have helped me achieve.' It costs no money and I can promise you that $1000, wouldnt cover for the amount of advice, insight, 'therapy', comfort, consolation, strengthening, reinforcment and reassurance that you have recieved from the broad range of BWE work. Some folks are in new jobs, new careers, relationships (married!), and have even saved their lives out of the work of BWE (and I dont just mean this blog but all BWE blogs)!

The universe frowns on people who do not say thanks in one form or another for the beneftits they have recieved off others. You might think you have gotten over (and I hope BWE women dont think this way), but if you dont pay back into what you have recieved (either by reciprocity or playing BWE forward to other bw including black girls out there who are in desperate need of advice and guidance), these things have a way of squaring themselves up!

I want to say that I have been 'blessed' by the work of BWE myself even as a writer and an early proponent of this philosophy. I think I have recieved more benefits out of the work and I can actually say that I am operating on a different and higher level as an individual, all because of the work of BWE; the sharing, fine tuning, eye opening that has gone on on the various blog. In fact it is now noticeable to those around me who have known me for a while, that I operate with keener insight into life and life as a black woman and many want to know what I have been drinking! In fact I think they have been raiding my trash can at night to find out what (lol!) -just joking. In terms of presentation, fitness, attitude, outlook, I am in a different league (yes we are all a work in progress but a lot has been sorted!).

I think for me most importantly the 'knowing' that there are a community of brillaint minded and forward thinking bw out there (virtual journey sisters) is so comforting.

So the floor is open, this is the time to say what you have recieved through BWE work, we definitely appreciate the feedback (anonymous comments welcome!).  


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53 comments:

Nana said...

BWE really opened my eyes to what I was experiencing as far as "working in the interests of the black community", and made me even more passionate about working solely in the interests of black women.

Someone here even referred me to a book "A Taste of Power", by Elaine Brown. If you know who you are, thank you! After I read it, I got a better picture of the black nationalist movement and black women's role in the "upliftment of the community".

The information presented on this blog as well as other BWE blogs has played a large role in my creative inspiration, and I am currently producing a documentary film on racio-misogyny.

When I first visited this website, I was somewhat shocked by the title, and I had my own reservations about proclaiming support for interracial dating as a black woman in a racist country. I admit that I did have a somewhat defensive approach (as I was trained), yet I quickly disarmed after some contemplation and research.

I realize that I have always preferred to date white men, particularly Europeans. I have always felt somewhat bullied into remaining open to black men. I now realize that there is no point in wasting my time with them if they are not truly what I want. I have made the choice to focus my dating choices on white men, and I am no longer ashamed of it.

Realizing what I TRULY want has also made me realize all the things I was setting aside just to "give a black guy a chance". I mostly dated black men who were not up to par in terms of education or class (attitude-wise) and who did not share much in common with me other than our skin color. I set higher standards for myself than I did for them because I had been conditioned to expect less from them. I find I have much more in common with white men besides the obvious fact that I'm black and female.

Lastly, BWE has provided a space where I can find other black women who I don't usually encounter in my day-to-day affairs. I am thankful to find a blog that is dedicated solely to issues that affect black women, and that provides and attracts an educated opinion on these matters.

Thank you for this blog, Halima and all other BWE bloggers!

Nana said...

P.S.
I want to add that I am only 20 years old, and this blog along with other BWE work has served as a tremendous contribution to my personal growth. I know that we all continue to grow (if we choose to) at any age, but I think it's very important to have enriching experiences during your formative years. This has definitely served as a stepping stone for me, personally. Thank you again!

Oshun said...

Thank you Halima and all BWE bloggers!

I will say right off the top of my head BWE has impacted me the most in my relationships and getting an accurate picture of myself as a person.

Before BWE I used to think something was wrong with me and I judged and blamed myself harshly - due to all the DBR experiences that I was having.

But reading your essays Halima and listening to other women and girls share their experiences I realized that there were something outside myself that was at play.

As a result of being able to better sift through the my stuff vs their stuff I am better able to care for myself as I no longer assume other's burdens as I used to.

I can thank Evia and Khadija for putting an end to my perpetually being surprised. I can recognize certain dynamics and modify my behavior and respond in more effective ways.

I also want to thank Khadija for giving me permission to be flawless.

Dr. Igia said...

I'm coming out of my lurking status-and to say thanks! Honestly BWE has opened my eyes alot. The advice that you various bloggers give/gave has helped redefined my perspectives; particulary about black women helping one another (it's unfortunate that I only see this being practiced through cyberspace). I personally can't thank you women enough-now is the time to do so. I'll try to contribute more. Once again-thanks. You women have paved the ways for us younger generations to learn to care/assist one another.

ak said...

I would like to thank you Halima, Evia, Khadija, Sara, Faith, and Rev. Lisa Vazquez, just in case she's watching LOL, for opening up my mind and my eyes specifically and in general.

Especially in regards to introspection so that I could work on my own issues and tackle them without avoiding them, procrastinating about them, etc. I also thank all of you for confirming for me the issues I saw with black people who are/were NOT me! And you all confirmed what I saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears without berating me, tearing my head off like a pride of lions, or ignoring what I had to say. The BWE blogs on the internet are the only place with the exception of one or two offline others, where I can express myself the way I do without a headache of some sort.

You've all been great and I have learned and gained from listening to you all, and not only from you but to your other lovely BW guests! Thanks again.

Khadija said...

Halima,

Please excuse the length of this comment. You've raised several things that I believe need to be said out loud.

First, I can't possibly thank you and the other pioneer bloggers such as Evia, Sara, Shecodes, Focused Purpose (and others) enough.

I also can't thank Gina of What About Our Daughters enough. Her coverage of the Dunbar Village Atrocity is what first opened my eyes and prompted me to look at things as they are. (As opposed to through the distorting lens of ideology, which is what I had been doing for many years prior to finding out about that crime against humanity AND the ethically insane response of the Civil Rights Industrial Complex.)

And so, in honor of the great benefit that I received (and continue to receive) from the pioneers' work, I do what I can to pay it forward.

Again, THANK YOU.

I do want to mention something else. You said, "Many of us 'eat' from various free tables and never spend a moment to say at least, 'thanks, I appreciate what you have helped me achieve.' It costs no money and I can promise you that $1000, wouldnt cover for the amount of advice, insight, 'therapy', comfort, consolation, strengthening, reinforcment and reassurance that you have recieved from the broad range of BWE work. Some folks are in new jobs, new careers, relationships (married!), and have even saved their lives out of the work of BWE (and I dont just mean this blog but all BWE blogs)!

The universe frowns on people who do not say thanks in one form or another for the beneftits they have recieved off others."

Amen! I would also ask readers to think about how they treat the people (BWE bloggers and other readers) who help them. What I see is that too many BWE readers have some peculiar, upside-down inclinations regarding the other BW who help them.

They have oceans of patience and indulgence for the folks who have never helped them (their BM pastors, BET---I know that a lot of y'all still watch that mess, the catty women in their churches/mosques, etc.). But they're so quick to be resentful of BWE bloggers and other readers when they say something or ask a question that they don't like. Too many BWE readers are quick to have tantrums during conversations at BWE blogs.

But they endlessly sit up in churches and other gatherings that DON'T wish them well, and are constantly insulting them to their faces. Without saying a peep. Or daring to frown in response to the ongoing assaults against their dignity in such settings.

Another point of concern is how slow most BWE readers are to respond at all---much less in any supportive way---to the forums that help nourish and uplift them. Tell the truth: When a new music CD by some (often questionable) music artist comes out that you're mildly interested in, many of you PROMPTLY go to iTunes or run out to buy it.

Meanwhile, many of you are VERY SLOW to demonstrate any reciprocal support for the forums that in some cases, have been feeding your spirit for YEARS! And while many of you are very, very, verrrry, slow to actively support the forums that help you, the trolls are always quick to do everything they can to attack these same forums.

This behavior pattern is upside-down, backwards, and ultimately self-defeating.

Anonymous said...

I first stumbled across BWE blogs sometime last year and I was gobsmacked.

I'm not going to pretend I've read them all. So my thanks go out to Evia, Khadija, Halima and Rev. Lisa Vasquez (who I read early on but seem unable to find now). However, I know there are other writer's out there doing really good work and it is a community so I thank you too. Equal thanks go out to the regular commenters.

My list is fairly long but not conclusive. I am constantly mulling over what I've read and trying to incorporate what I've learned in my daily life.


Here then is my list of why I love BWE:

I now look at how things really are rather than what I hope/think them to be.

All black folk are not your kin.

Asking the question "who benefits?"

Challenging my own 'slave' mentality.

Awareness of the dynamics of how BW are positioned to become shemales in the workplace.

I had put aside thoughts of marriage before. Now I expect it and I'm preparing.

No longer feel the need to engage with those who do not reciprocate.

I too need to bring something to the table. I cannot expect help just because someone is in a position to, nor do I desire it.

My relationship with my adult son has improved beyond measure now that I put myself first.

My eyes are open to the overwhelming underachievement of BM.

My eyes are open to the severe damage BM have caused BW and children.

I no longer suffer any pang of jealousy or resentment when I see a BM with a WW. I smile and am grateful when I witness this.

I'm no longer overweight and I'm beautiful.

I filter out inane entertainment.

And more recently; I challenge the idea that BW are the mules of the world. Oh no we're not!

Anonymous said...

To add to my already long list; did I mention an increased zest for life and feeling d**n sexy.

Miss Glamtastic said...

It's been less than a year since I started reading BWE blogs, but oh how much my life has changed since then! I always had the nagging feeling of "something isn't right with this situation", and BWE brought everything into focus. For the first time, I realize that the things that I wanted and that interested me were normal, attainable, and reasonable.

I thank each and every lady who have written the BWE essays, posts, etc., that have helped me to fashion my current life. Without their advice and guidance, I'd probably still be somewhere thinking that I'm "weird" for wanting to put my interests first and for not agreeing with the foolishness spouted within the BC.

Celeste said...

I love and appreciate BWE because they care and tell Black women the truth about all areas of our lives. Thank you Halima, Evia, Khadija, CW, Faith, and all of the others!

Anonymous said...

I love BWE because they are speaking the truth.I didnt grow up in this country so the ABC never affected me.But after being in this Country for 18 years I clearly saw how damaging the fake black community is. Thank you Halima,Evia,Khadija,Faith, CW,Christelyn,Sara and the others. You guys are really making an impact.A girlfriend of mine is getting marry this coming May to a rainbeau guy, that she met online. Actually today makes a year since they met, and he treats her like a Queen. Unlike the DBR she was with for 15 years. Black women are waking up. Thanks a million BWE.

Anonymous said...

I no longer suffer any pang of jealousy or resentment when I see a BM with a WW.

**

That's beautiful. :)

When I found these blogs I already knew what time it was, and I remember thinking... "finally other bw who see the bc for what it really is, a one-sided sexist construct that only serves black male agenda(s)"

Neecy said...

Why do I love BWE? Oh man where do I begin.

You ladies have done what no other BW have dared to do in HISTORY - yes HISTORY. You challenged BW to start thinking with their heads and minds by not simply accepting the "mule, backbone, mammy" role of the BC and BM that we have always been all to happy to accept. You challenged us to accept the reality that we are too women, who deserve to be loved, protected and in search of a full and abundant life.

You not only tell us this, but you provide well articulated commentary for us to ponder and understand WHY this ‘par for the course’ way of thinking and acting (I call it zombie behavior) is detrimental to progressive minded BW.

And yes for 10 years I knew something needed to be done and changed and it was the BWE bloggers who braved the muddy waters and dare go where no other BW has gone before.

You encourage us to look out for self. Something BW have often be told NOT to do. You made us realize that its NOT selfish to look out for our best interests as women FIRST and only deal with people who are willing to RECIPROCATE. This is the biggest issue facing BW today. lack of reciprocation and no demand for it for all of the sacrifices we make for others.

Basically, in a nutshell, BWE bloggers are taking Progressive BW to the next level in life. And any BW that wants a more abundant full life has found the BWE have given their personal time and resources (and often and in many cases FOR FREE) to help BW get to that next level.

You BWE bloggers are what i believe to be a blessing sent from GOD. I really mean it. And for those BW who want to receive that blessing, they are onto a more productive fulfilling life b/c of BWE bloggers. The BW zombies that want to tear down your work and such, well, let's just say not everyone knows and sees a blessing when its put before them. oh well life goes on for us that do.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

I am claiming personally to take the torch you ladies have held for so long and hopefully take it to the next level. And better believe any progress I make I will ALWAYS remember who started this movement and give recognition to those of you who have created the foundation.

I know you ladies have your own lives and passions to pursue and that you cannot do this forever. that is why its up to us other BW who have benefited from this foundation to take it to the next level & heed to the wisdom & necessary survival advice we have been given!

Faith said...

THANK YOU HALIMA!!!!

You continue to offer such insights that often have me exclaiming, "Eureka"!

I really appreciate everything you do as it helped inform me to become a better woman.

Anonymous said...

I am appreciatve of the mind opening information that all BWE share.

lois

Anonymous said...

" I always had the nagging feeling of "something isn't right with this situation", and BWE brought everything into focus.

I 100% AGREE. (On the other hand, you have those who will tell you you are imaging things. Ignore them.)

"For the first time, I realize that the things that I wanted and that interested me were normal, attainable, and reasonable."

Again, I agree. There is nothing wrong with liking other types of music, plays, etc. Difference makes the world go round.

I know this 19 yr. student and she is beginning to blossom. She has dated irr. Lol, she probably did not think of it as interracial dating. Her hair style is more conservative and appealing. Today, a guy complimented her hair style. She even asked me for the The Art of Being Feminine blog address. She appears to be happy and content with her changes.

I am happy that she is opening up her mind to all of her dating options and not just settling on one option.

lois

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being here, all of the BWE blogs. I feel 'comforted' in knowing, that all of you young women who have created these blogs, and the young women who post offering their questions and,concerns, are preparing for Black women now, and in the future to live long and prosper. Peace and blessings..... Oyan

Tee said...

Halima:

I will be eternally grateful to you, Khadija, Evia, and the other ladies for sharing your gifts with us.

BWE has had a tremendous effect on my life these past couple of years.

I am very selective about with whom I spend my time.

I walk with purpose because I am free of the nonsense of the Black Collective.

I recognize when people try to recruit me for mule status.

I also feel that my loved ones have indirectly benefited from BWE.

THANK YOU!

Tee

Anonymous said...

Ce post m'a beaucoup aide dans mon positionnement. Merci pour ces informations

Evia said...

Halima, I wanted to thank YOU for being there one day when I happened to stumble upon you. I knew instantly that you were a circle of light. I am grateful!

I want to thank ALL of you other circles of light who I came upon later: Khadija, CW, Sara, Faith, other heavyweight BWE/BWIR writers and especially the many, many readers for giving me countless opportunities to 'pay it forward.' If you all hadn't given me a way to pay it forward in a way that I know substantively lifts black women, I would have hung my head in frustrated shame.

You ALL gave/give me the OPPORTUNITY to make my mother, grandmother, and other ancestor relatives proud of me. You've enabled me to 'pay it forward.'

Plenty of other bw out there today feel so proud and emboldened by what we do, and numerous ancestor bw would be so PROUD of ALL of us: who are helping bw to soar to another plane of life.

Also, I must specifically offer big thanks to 2 other participants: Felicia for her incomparable researching skills and relentless dedication to this cause and the info guru, Lorraine, for almost causing me to overdose on the info she steadily flooded me with (LOL!) and for her support.

I am grateful!! I am grateful!! I am grateful!!

Altogether, we have PROVEN that black women DO have choices, and multiple options and alternatives. We've provided them with the what, WHY, when, who, and now we focus on the HOW.

We must now ALL work to teach bw to reciprocate to those who lift them up. That's how we each STAY up--by giving to and supporting those who lift us and keep us up. One of my African woman friends asked me years ago, "Why is it that so many AAs will come to your house emptyhanded, but will accept everything you give them?" She said, "Don't they know they should bring something SOMETIMES?"

Anyway, we ARE prevailing because black women are going to ultimately choose life over death. All human beings ultimately do.

palmwater said...

Thank you BWE bloggers for:

Creating a safe space for bw to discuss issues that are unique to us.

Being truthful about the state of bw and girls.

For providing alternative lifestyles, and solutions to the madness that is the Black community.

Speaking up about black women being free to choose men from the global village.

Opening my eyes to some of the zombies that were feeding off of me

I wouldn't consider myself an indoctrinated women, but I realized that I had internalized some tendencies. It's not beneficial to me to acknowledge bm I don't know just because he shares the same skin colour as me. I dropped that habit quick!

Another major important piece is that BWE bloggers killed the notion that it's bw fate to suffer! For some reason so many bw believed it was our fate to carry the burden of black people on our shoulders. At such a young age I took on the burden of helping out some non-reciprocating family members (it was part of my duty according to my culture). I've cut off those zombies.

Although my family taught me to seek a great life, much of the black pop culture I took in started to make me feel bad for dating interracially (knowing that the bulk of bm would not be able to provide me with the life I deserve). I felt bad for being selfish and considering my own needs first. Not anymore!

Thank you BWE for allowing me to feel once again that it's ok to live in a nice safe community, not have to worry about all of our people, and to move on with my life, and live life to the fullest!

God bless you all for your amazing work!

Monique said...

I write this with tears in my eyes. I was a sista soldier. I was trained by my mother and grandmothers to be a mule, to give and to work. I dated DBR BM because I thought it was my duty to stand by BM no matter what. to figh battles with them, to LOVE thm no matter what they did or did not do in return for me. But I learned soon enough the folly of my ways. As a yonger women in my mid-twenties I started reading Black feminist writers and a world opnend up for me that I never new existed and it took me to a higher level, a deeper level of understanding of my self as a woman... as a black woman

When I came acorss the BWE blogs a little over a year ago, I was just amazed at the amount of life changing information that existed. I drink from that cup everyday. It sustains me. It strengthens me, it supports me and lets me know that I am NOT crazy.

I thank each and every BWE blogger out there who teaches and gives soooo much of themsleves to us everyday. I thank you, I thnak you I thank you.

You all make us think, question our existence our needs or wants or dreams; you all make us reason and reach for things we thought for so long we were unworthy of.

All of you have given us wings... to fly to soar higher and farther to be better, brighter and happier. You all have given us the insight and the wisdom to be HUMAN, to be WOMEN to be WHOLE to be HEALED. There are not words to say thank you for that.

May God continue to bless you all and give you and us the strength to continue to grow, evolve, learn, teach, live and love.

KimP said...

Thanks Halima and to all of the BWE community for showing me that there are other BW out there who shared the same world view!

Finding many of these blogs and readings was the nail in the coffin on many relationships/friendships that weren't adding to my life.

I continue to frequent the BWE community for inspiration, education and sometimes just a good 'ol laugh (you ladies are amazingly funny!).

I know a few of you have been discussing organizing a more public movement across a few blogs, and I surely hope that the BWE community translates offline someday. I know there are more BW out there that want in on this transformative community (notice I didn't say need, there is a difference!) and I think the message would translate well.

Anonymous said...

This was a nice article to read, thank you for sharing it.

GoldenAh said...

I am thankful for the BWE forum(s) of forward thinking, intelligent black women open to discussing various issues that solely affect affect us.

I'm especially happy when ladies report on the positive changes they've brought about in their lives. It's good to hear and gladdens my heart.

I agree with Khadija that sometimes the feedback (or shall I call it whining) that posters on some blogs have against BWE are galling. It's fascinating how they never show that kind of cheek or anger against people who humiliate, mock and denigrate black women every single day.

It's always a pleasure to read these BWE blogs to learn as well as share.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Halima asks:

I just want to do something different this year and ask all of you good readers for feedback on the BWE work. This time I want us to focus on all that BWE has helped you gain, improve and as much benefit as you can detail.


My reply:

It has been a wonderful journey, being part of this movement, of taking my classroom teaching into a whole new level, helping educate and articulate perspectives that are black women-centered, first, second and third.

I have also enjoyed reading the other blogs (shout outs to Khadija, Evia, et al.) whose perspectives help inform and sharpen my critical thinking skills...

Truly fantastic all around!

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Some further thoughts:

This is a whole other level of black women's consciousness raising, tailored for this age of the internet.

Forty years ago, consciousness raising was about meeting in each other's living rooms to "talk" about our situations and stories.

Today, consciousness raising is about being part of an "on-line" salon as we meet in our "virtual living rooms."

Felicia said...

I love the BWE movement - and am honored to be apart of it - because it is freeing more and more BW everyday from psychological and physical bondages.

The truth (and acting in one's best self-interests based on the truth) is continuing to set BW free. Young, old, and in-between.

Personally, it has been VERY comforting to realize that I was not alone in my perceptions concerning the dead (on a grand scale) black construct.

Not alone in my belief that the world truly is a black woman's oyster IF she's willing to let old concepts (and outright lies) die and join the GLOBAL community and surround herself with like-minded, moral, normal, others regardless of "race".

We (bloggers and commenters alike) provide a truthful alternative view of life for the modern black woman and are truly invested in and believe in the beauty, desirability, and intelligence of sisters who are brave of enough to step out of the mammy/mule/sister-solider coffin.

We provide hope and PROOF (pictorially and with relevant articles, videos, etc...) that there is indeed LIFE - and a bright and beautiful one indeed including MARRIAGE and motherhood preferably in that order - OUTSIDE of the black construct in spite of what the lying bloodsucking detractors say.

This is vitally important and I also look forward to the day this life-saving message can have a stronger presence offline as well.

We're on our way sisters and we mustn't give up. There has been MUCH progress so far.

GREAT topic Halima and I hope all is well with you and yours!

rainebeaux said...

BWE was my confirmation that it wasn't just me...that everything was amiss in the black construct I was born/raised/educated/socialized in my entire life. Yes, I was angry/frustrated at our (former?) people and said construct initially, but I kept reading. Also, this movement let me know in no uncertain terms that we (bw in general, AA women in particular) weren't/aren't all fatherless; raising fatherless children; and/or perpetually struggling. I can barely talk to the few friends I have now, because they're talking about all the dead stuff. (dunno how I'll pass this message on IRL, but it'll be sorted out soon enough.)

As such, Halima, I thank you, Khadija, Faith, Evia and the countless others profusely for the above. Granted, I've learned nearly everything you've written on/about the hard way, but no setback I'm experiencing (or may experience later, no matter how small) will prevent me from paying it forward in general or via my blog.

Hester said...

Without being melodramatic, the BWE blogs have been the salve for my damaged soul, the soul that was knocked down, beaten and set on fire by so many years in the black community, all because I wanted only to be what other women of other races were - happy, loved, content and enjoying alifetime with a husband that adored me.

For years, I was told that I was just being "unrealistic". I was a black woman, after all. Just who did I think I was kidding, anyways?

Now I know that I am not the odd duck, the freak, the strange one. There are a lot of us.

Anonymous said...

BWE introduced me to the idea of trusting my inner voice instead of listening to or seeking the approval of others.

For such a long time I was an "enabler" and "fixed" other peoples problems. I'd share my resources without much reciprocation at all. Every instinct I had as a young adult was denounced as "uppity", "snobby", "white", "unrealistic", "ungodly" and "selfish." I listened and struggled and tried to figure out why I was so "different" from everyone around me and why I couldn't be happy with "the hand that God dealt me."

When I discovereed BWE blogs last summer my first thought was "Holy cow I'm not crazy!" It was an incredible feeling. Of course, since then I have been working through all the ensuing emotions of changing my life for the better.

Since discovering BWE blogs

I have become serious about my health and weight loss (lost 30lbs and counting)

I decided to finish my education.

Decided to date interracially.

Smile more.

Put thought and consious effort into my appearance and image.

I no longer give/share resources without reciprocation.

I no longer feel the need to accept DBR thinking as desirable or normal.

I absolutely refuse to "help a brotha out."

In the past few months I have learned much from the BWE blogs and I thank all of the ladies who take their time to share their time and knowledge with us.

ValeriesWorld said...

These BWE have been and continue to be a great blessing, and it opens a world to us for possibilities. May God bless and Keep you and continue to do your blessed work!

Adrienne said...

BWE is something I stumbled upon just in just the past few weeks! I want to thank all of the BWE and BWIR writers so much for being an oasis of rational and empowering thought in the sea of stupidity that is tailored for black consumption.


I stumbled upon the world of BWE by accident when researching the idea of "femininity". I wanted to know what it is, and what its usefulness is in society.

I was also researching the causes and solutions for black American women who seem to not be reaping the usual benefits of being women--but suffering from all the disadvantages of being women.


I got interested in this topic while living in Korea for 2 years. There, I observed this social construct of "hyperfemininity". I understood how much of it was a tool to survive and procreate in that society, and that no woman is "naturally endowed" with any more femininity than the next. I also observed how many plain- looking women are declared "beautiful" by men--based solely on context and the feminine energy they project.
The myth that asian women aren't "tough" enough was also exploded for me. I learned that everyone is as tough as they feel they need to be to survive.

It was made painfully apparent that black American women are not given the sort of information that would make life easier for them--not even by their own mothers who in turn were not told either.


This, ironically was true for me as well--and I have never lived in the black community. But I am painfully aware of the chain of non-information extending back through my female ancestors. And I always remember feeling strange, and being told I was strange, and not fitting in. I remember being called a "sell-out", not being "black enough". I remember either being ignored by black men, or them expecting me to worship them because they condescended to aknowledge my appearance. I remember *feeling* as if I couldn't expect to live out my ideals in love and life despite my "head knowledge".



So thank you very much BWE/BWIR bloggers for laying it all out there. For finally, publically articulating what has been floating in the air--and daring to uncouple the destiny of black women from the dead weight that is known as "the black community" or "black culture". It's been an eye-opening revelation of late to understand how toxic it really is. DBR indeed!


BWE has really brought a lot of important issues to light--to those who are willing to listen and take action accordingly. I am pumped up and am making my own contribution. I can't wait for the next step!!


--Adrienne

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your work.

What stood out the most to me was the post showing pictures of various African leaders and their non-Black wives. It was quite eye-opening. I then understood my Civil-Rights era mother's saying, "talk Black; sleep White."

I've felt frustrated with various problems in the AA construct for many years; your work has helped me to better articulate them and determine a way to be minimallly affected by the negativity.

Anonymous said...

Dear Wonderful BWE Bloggers -

Discovering BWE has been great for me. I was always down with IR dating, but I used to do the sister soldering thing on a regular basis, on instinct - I wasn't even really THINKING about what I was saying, just repeating what I'd been told from family - basically spouting the liberal party line, the 'poor black man' script, even though I had NEVER actually really thought about it.

I never realized how silly some of viewpoints I was defending was, how truly awful some of the people were.

That's over and done with now. Now I don’t ‘defend’ black people I don’t know, male or female, and I really wait to hear all the facts about a ‘black man arrested’ news story before I make up my own mind. Mostly though, I just mind my business – what has it got to do with me and my life at this point? Not much. Would that person do the same for me? No. I’m too busy making new friends and forging new alliances –learning and growing doesn’t stop when you graduate school or marry or even after you’ve had a family, you still want to keep up a great, healthy, multi cultural network around you.

Also love all the information about ‘Beauty as a weapon’ on Khadija’s wonderful blog, and all the self improvement and ‘Friday finishing school’ tips – I feel like I’m becoming a much better version of myself – the best version of myself! What could be more beautiful than that?

THANK YOU BWE!

Sincerely,

Ali

Mariposa Linda said...

I would like to acknowledge all the inspiration I've received from reading your work as well as that of Khadijah, Evia, Gina, Roslyn and Faith. I especially want to thank my friend, Forever Loyal for telling me about these blogs so much that I finally had to go see what all the fuss was about! ;p I have been paying it forward by reaching out to those who might take advantage of the information to make their lives better. I also try to share as much as I can with the teenage girls I work with. I'm planting seeds and I can tell that there is some fertile soil out there. I've been especially inspired to step my game up into high gear. There's a big world out there that's ours for the taking if we play our cards right. Thanks again ladies, and may you all be blessed beyond measure!!

Mariposa Linda

apa said...

I first learned about the BWE movement by reading the blog posts at What About Our Daughters. Gina's blog posts really resonated with me and helped me better articulate some of the sentiments about BW in the black community and what must be done to improve our situation. From there I learned about a number of blogs such as Black Women Vote, Black Women Blow the Trumpet, Black Women's Interracial Circle, Evia's site, Muslim Bushido/The Sojourner's Passport, and Acts of Faith. The information that I have received from these blogs has been invaluable. From these blogs and WAOD, I've learned to better position myself to win. These blogs and other BWE blogs were the only blogs that provided strategies BW could use to better their lives. I'm only 22, so I still have a lot to learn, but these blogs and the women behind them have greatly contributed to my continued personal growth.

I want to thank all of the ladies for taking time to write and distribute this information for free. Halima, you are right: $1000 is not enough to pay for the information and advice from these forums. When I think about the people (e.g. Steve Harvey)who have made millions by selling self-help books filled with garbage that's poisonous to BW, I realize the immense sacrifice BWE bloggers make by giving out this life-affirming info for free. I know my New Year's Resolution has been to financially support the efforts of BWE bloggers by purchasing their books, newsletters, etc. whenever I can.

Thanks again to all the BWE bloggers of their great work!

Karen said...

I was blessed to recognize the matrix for what it is at a very young age, and therefore was able to avoid the indoctrination/brainwashing.

BWE Bloggers via their platform have enabled me to pay it forward through sharing my experiences, I hope that by doing so I am able to help Black women (regardless of age) to move forward.

There are so many possibilities for us if we can drop the mental chains and live our dreams.

My personal motto which I am happy to share here has been my inspiraton:

Life, the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of my life. This ongoing mission: to explore different cultures and countries; to seek out new opportunities and new alliances; to boldly go where no AA woman has gone before.


I encourage every lady to develop their own and let it be their guide and inspiration to reach their goals.

I salute the BWE bloggers who have done what our misleaders intentionally chose not do; to show Black women the path to self-determination.

Swirl Around the World said...

Thanks for the love! Haha, no not really, I am an infant in terms of bloggers. But, the BWE is starting to become more well known and I am happy to be a part of the current.

Selena said...

Of course we can never thank you, Evia, Cherilyn,PVW, Sara, Faith enough!

God Bless

EG said...

I am still trying to find my way in life, but the one thing that has stuck in my mind from your blog and others was that No one will care if you die, they will cry a few tears and move on. At first I felt it was harsh, too harsh.

But then I went over times when I thought my very existence was necessary for the world to work and I came back later and some people hadn't even noticed I wasn't there for so long. I also thought about how I was so focused on making others fulfill their dreams that I was starting resent them.
The stark reality that I won't be missed when I'm gone has forced me to look at my life and what I can do to make it better, meet someone and move on. I don't have to expect to die alone being unloved, I can live my life and shape it, and more importantly, not expect anyone to save me from myself.

I always get frustrated when I check and check and no new blog entry is there, but when it is, you make me think and change (or try to justify why I shouldn't change) so much that it's almost a mental workout each time.

Yes, change is hard, but following an ideology tailor made to engineer your own defeat is harder. Everytime I read something, it pushes me forward, whether to finally take losing weight seriously or just going out to meet people. I'm very grateful for the time you and others put into your blogs and I'm glad that I stumbled on to you. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I hadn't.

KM said...

So many people have said what I would have said and yet there aren't enough words to really sum up what BWE has meant to me. So I just want to give a big, ole THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!1!

Anonymous said...

I love BWE because you all helped me (and others like me) to understand that I was not CRAZY and that there was something seriously wrong with the "Black Collective". You all helped me to see that even though I have always been an oddball - the BC was just really abnormal.

So I have to give major love to Khadija, CW, Gina, Evia, Halima and many others - because you ladies truly have raised the bar.

Not only have you all helped myself you have improved others lives through me. I have been able to put words to what I was feeling but could not understand.

Although I'm not good with the online stuff (I'm the first to admit)- I am making sure that your message is getting out into the streets. For example, I have a coworker - who I discuss some of your topics with. Well I try to get her to visit your sites, which she doesn't. But yesterday I just found out that although she may not come to the sites, she has been discussing these topics with young women in neighborhoods that I would never set foot in.

I say that to illustrate that ladies your work is getting movement on the ground - sometimes where we would least expect it! So brava to you all for being so diligent and unwavering in this time when it's so very easy to just walk away. There are special blessings that are just for you.

zoe1231

Anonymous said...

In reference to that Psychology Today's article...she got this part correct.
"And when people discuss "racial issues" or when research is conducted on racial bias, the focus is usually on Black men. Because of their multiple subordinate-group identity, Black women live in the intersection between these two stereotyped groups, and as a result, often fall between the cracks."

Also, there is an interesting article about being an introvert.

lois

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Zoe. The more we talk intelligently about AA women the better for all of us.

Anonymous said...

Also, this comment is in reference to AA women being more feminine.

I know a 20ish aw on campus who is a lesbian(she has no problem saying so), in the ROTC, she has mannerism like a young bm- baggy pants, cap turned backwards, hand gesters and speech. Anyway, I jokingly would refer to her as GI Jane, in the beginning she would laugh. One day she tells me that she does not like being called GI Jane. I stopped. Yesterday, this guy was having trouble opening the front door(its sticks)and she came along and opened the door without any problems. Joking to the guy that it took "Super Woman" to open the door. Again, she does not like begin called Super Woman. However, one day she sees me walking and she comes running towards me and tries to give me a belly or breast bump as if we were two guys playing basketball. Thinking to myself, "What the heck is she thinking?" Unlike her I do not try to emulate men.

My point is no matter how masculine this aw behaves she still barks at being compared to anything that makes her appear masculine. IMO, she knows how important it is to still be considered a female. Get the point young AA woman?

lois

Anonymous said...

I am grateful for these blogs because they reinforce what I have been feeling for years. America is no place for black women, point blank. Sisters need to get in shape, get a degree, then an advanced one, learn two languages other than English and move to Europe. You won't be treated as a mule there. You will be treated like a WOMAN. Heaven for me is the news that 250,000 African-American women packed their bags and migrated to the European Union. That would be awesome. Un-tether yourself from a dying community and and take another step further and leave the society that has enabled your suffering.

foundation forum said...

Well, I need to tell you ladies (Halima, Khadija (muslim bushido/sojourner's passport)), Evia, Sara, Pinky(!), Lisa etc), that your bravery and your astuteness whilst amazing in themselves were nothing compared to you conviction! Your convictions and your ability to convey them with such passion have been like water in a desert for the ladies who are now your ardent followers especially for myself. I found you, Halima, first and from your blog I found everyone else.

Before I found you I thought I was 'difficult' I question everything...I always have. Although, I am not AA (I'm nigerian), I was able to identify actions and behaviours that were solely there to benefit men and I was having none of it.

Moving to london, I saw the behaviour of many BM but I kept trying to convince myself that I was SUPPOSED to be attracted to them and kept trying to find positives...but I just can't fake attraction anymore or respect for that matter. My respect for BM in general has been eroded and that lies entirely on their shouldeers. I'm so over it.

I want to thank you ALL for making my thoughts clearer and giving me so many 'Aha!' moments. Your words have been nourishment and I am ever so grateful for the oases you provide at your online homes when real life is just something hurtful and overwhelming in its frustrations. I am more hopeful for the future of balck girls.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! For over 3 years of pure wisdom.

Blessings.

Duchy

Anonymous said...

I've been trying to figure out something poetic to say to express my appreciation for bwe bloggers but I couldn't.I just want to thank all the bwe blogger for their life saving information.I thank them for caring for the least among us.

I mostly am concerned with ways that I can add value to the lives of the bwe bloggers because words just won't cut it.I am currently doing a lot of things to get in a better place financially and otherwise.I look forward to giving back to those who have been a blessing to me and I hope that other women who have been blessed by the lessons taught by the bloggers will also give back.

God bless you all and thank you so much for spending your precious time energy and resources helping me and other black women.I pray that many blessings and good things will fall from the sky right into your laps.May the Lord be great in your lives.

Truth P.

Out of darkness said...

Thank you for writting this blog. I've been on a journey for over a year now trying to figure out how to find Mr. Right ever since I noticed the change in the dating scene of black women. This occured after I attended a multiracial college and noticed that 90% of the men there preferred non-black women on campus.
I'm from the Carribbean but I've been in the states for about six years now. The types of dating dynamics that go on here do not happen where I'm from pobably because there is less opportunity due to the extremely small number of women of other races. ( I've never even gone to school with a white person before ar any other race until I moved to the US). But there is high OOW rate because the ratio on men to women is extremely small along with a lot of cheating and man- sharing.
When I first realized what was happening I was livid. I too was indoctrinated( when you live in a country thats 95 % black and the only majority contact u have with whites or any other race, is if you work in the hotel industry, all you know about people in the global village are stereotypes) to believe that black men were the only option for black women and I became very saddened at the thought that the majority of the black girls on campus were single, only a small number had black men. To make it even worse non of the black women dated interracially. I hated the thought that this could mean that many of us would end up dying alone.
I went through the motions for quiet a while. I turned to the internet searching for why this was happening and what was the next option. You wouldn't believe the amount of poisonous blogs and youtube videos I went through in a year before I finally found this one......your site is like an oasis in the dessert. I cried when I heard the things they said
" white men only want black women for sex"
" black women are aggresive thats why men don't want them"
I wanted to scrape my skin off my body!!! Not to mention how angry and resentful I became of these interracial unions of other black men. Some of these DBR's even blasted educated black women saying it was our degree that was making us single and I can't say they are lying, since many of the women whom I 've seen ending up single and childless have big degrees and fat paychecks.
Someday I'll be one of those black women and I hope to have children and raise them in a two parent home with a loving husband. I was an OOW birth and my mother never married my father or anyone else. My Aunts never married neither my cousins. My uncles openly have affairs and my grandparent's marriage fell apart before my mom was ever and adult. NoN of my famale cousins are married either. Even my half sisters on my fathers side have ended up with wombs yet no ring. When u come from such a family background of unmarried women and plenty of OOW children u feel really hopeless. My mothers only advice in how to get a man is " WAIT AND PRAY" but no actions. I don't want to join the large numbers of black women in the west who are single or become an OOW mother or jump off. This blog had helped me to open up my options and prepare for the global village of men and has connected me to many other BWE blogger with great advice
You give women hope Halima to someday find true love with a man no matter the color......My future husband and future children will thank You!!! I'm grateful as well
Ps sorry the comment is soo long.

shan said...

Out of darkness,

You have to expose yourself. You have to change your mindset. That's what I did. I moved from the east cost to the west coast (for career reasons though), but the move caused me to be exposed to many different people.

You have to make the decision not to care about black men and their non black pursuits. If you read a few of Halima's blogs, you would see that it's actually a blessing in disguise. I won't get it into details about that. I'll let you read them if you haven't already.

When you stop thinking about them, they'll start thinking about you. It always works that way. When I first went natural, some bm still tried to "holla" but they also offered to get my hair done. LOL Some bm would see me and snicker, but guess what? I didn't care because those weren't the type of men I wanted to attract or was interested in anyway. Of course the nonbm came with bats, hammers, and shovels beating down my door. LOL. But the point is if you have clear cut standards on what you look for in a mate, then you won't be disappointed when most men you meet don't meet those standards because it shows that the standards you set are high and that you are a woman of value. So position yourself to be exposed to men who meet those standards. Ex. If you want an intelligent mate, with values, morals, love of the arts and culture who is an entreprenuer, why hang around a bunch of basketball players? No offense to athletes, but you get my point?

Out of darkness said...

Oh I'm not worried about the dating choices of black men anymore , Shan, I was just trying to describe where my mindset use to be before I found this sight. I've kicked the mammy behavior( though I never realised I had it till it was pointed out) since I jumped on board with BWE
Thanks for the advice though, I have natural hair too...:-)

Anonymous said...

I'm de-lurking. Ya'll have saved my life.

All of the nagging feelings that things "weren't right", you women put into words.

All of the nagging feelings that I needed to "change course" you all wrote essays on. So thank you. THANK YOU. I'm looking at grad programs, have dropped negative people, have honed talents, am dropping the last bit of poundage, am retreating from recruitment of "zombies", etc... ... ... . I'm looking at a new FUTURE, thanks to these websites.

Very many thanks, and future blessings your way.