Friday, July 15, 2011

Dear Halima

Dear Halimah 

I want to first say that I totally ‘get’ what BWE is saying in terms of black women putting themselves first and taking care of their needs, however I don’t think that we need to give up on the community as a whole (and even a desire to make it work with black men because that’s how we have a community in the first place right?).

Black men and women will have to join hands to do what is best for our community at some point or both of us will suffer the consequences even greater than today. I think black women’s lives will be poorer if they don’t at least try their utmost to restore the community. Black women can make it in white society but they will always be limited

Thank you for this email.

Over the last six years we have talked about a few issues on this blog and have in essence begun to repeat ourselves. This email affords the opportunity to speak specifically about this issue of black men and women in partnership over the race.

As I have said before, 'Black women caanot save the race/community (as we currently know it) all by themselves, both genders will have to be equally onboard' (lets keep aside for now the question of why black women would want to save a community in its current anti-black woman set up and formulation and assume that what we mean here is the positive bits of the black community). 

In your email you seem to be suggesting that black men are there for black women to join hands with over the fate of the race. Is this true however?

Let me now state a basic assumption upon which I will tackle this question.

‘Men will always do what is best for them on an individual level’ (a high level of selfishness in their actions)

On the above you can be sure. And thus based on the above it is clear that:

Black men will only do what is ‘good for the community’, when this ‘good’ coincides with their personal benefit.

The next layers to this logical argument of mine is that:

‘Since what it will take to restore the community, requires selflessness and sacrifice (even a fool can compute this), you are not going to get a ‘buy in’ from a critical number of black men towards the black uplift effort that is, not in numbers that will make a difference!

Now somewhere out there I hear someone ask, ‘So how do other men do it then, if it is all about their selfish personal interests and they don’t give a damn about ‘the good’ of whatever community they are born into?’

The answer to that question is simply ‘higher principled living’.

Niall Ferguson expecting fourth child with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born writer

Ferguson dedicated his book Civilization to "Ayaan". In an interview with the Guardian Ferguson spoke about his love for Ali, who, he writes in the preface, "understands better than anyone I know what Western civilisation really means – and what it still has to offer the world".

Not every community faces the situation and conditions of the current black community so on that level most other men will not be required to make any extraordinary sacrifices or efforts to ‘keep their communities alive.’ Having said that however it is important to understand that you get men ‘contributing’ by instilling the ideas, ideals and principles that incline them towards this ‘contributing’ way of life from an early age, if this is what will be required of them (remember the Jesuit motto ‘Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man’!).

When you look at the most ‘basic’ things that black men need to do to uplift community it possibly boils down to this: cut off the option of eternal bachelorhood and having ‘offspring’ all over the place and instead ‘build a nest’ with one woman and raise your children in ‘optimal’ conditions. That’s essentially it. They dont need to make a million dollars or own multiple cars, even do anything beyond make the effort to bring in resources for their families (assisted of course by the efforts of the black female spouse).

The above isn’t even ‘higher principled living‘ by any standard apart from the fact that it isn’t the norm among black people and (this is an important and), the current conditions in the black community allows for black men to contribute little without any kind of social sanction and penalty. Thus it is pricipled living for black men to not want to 'do what is the norm' even exploit their advantages to live selfishly and without concern for the impact of their actions. 

Black unity, ‘black together’ proponents would have you believe that black men will just do what they need to do for their people ‘just because’ or because of the 'goodness of their hearts' or with just a little encouragement from us, as if there hasnt been fundamental and fatal black social shift away from this happening.  
Well I guess black men would lead principled lives if they had been reared in the values of ‘principled living’ from infancy but you see that that boat has been missed up until there is no going back, no possibility of a redress. A generation of self-centred, self-catering black men have been raised and are now in place.
Therefore any black woman trusting that black men will at a point ‘come through’ for their people is in fairy land.

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Jamila said...

Great post. And I appreciate that in your respone to the emailer you were direct, kind, and clear without treating her rudely for what some would call an inane question.

The bottom line is that we are living in an individualistic culture. We don't need to join hands with black men and sing kumbaya for the situation to improve within the black community. We need only do what everyone else is doing--making good choices in terms of parters for relationships, focusing on bringing our children into the world under the best circumstances, creating wealth that can be passed on to our children. If everyone focuses on taking care of their needs and being the best that they can possibly be, then the community has no choice but to improve because the people within it are improving.

White men--and other groups of men--live in communities where it is expected that each man assume responsibility for himself and the people of his household. If everyone is taking care of themselves and their household, i.e., their own immediate surroundings, then everyone just has to do their part--no need for any coalitions or gatherings to improve the community.

Black people, specifically black women, have to begin acting in an individualistic manner, taking care of themselves and the small piece of the world that they can actually control and are responsible for. That's all.

Nana said...

It has come to a point where black women are dishonoring themselves just to get black men on their side, romantically and politically. Women should never have to beg, browbeat, scold, or pursue grown men to do anything for them. It really chips away at the dignity of the woman. This "compassion" and willingness to get men to change who they are is not a trait only found in black women, but it is a sure sign of emotional instability. If you see that one man, or group of men cannot provide what you need as a woman, you have to LEAVE and look elsewhere. While this mostly applies to interpersonal relationships, I believe this blog takes the issue and addresses it on a larger scale.

Either way, interracial dating is not a panacea; the real issue is self-respect. If more black women respected themselves, there wouldn't be any fussing and crying over loving and wanting a GROUP of men who collectively work to destroy their image and don't want them.

Interracial dating won't do jack for black women who do not have any boundaries or self-love because they will just end up with the same old crap they were dealing with in intra-racial relationships.

Saving the black community and trying to mobilize men for "the cause" is only one piece of the pie.

I've seen some black women who attempt to shame black men that prefer white women. Similarly, I've seen some of my black female friends approach/pursue black men, out of perceived necessity. It's all connected into the same web of self-destruction and futility.

Just out of curiosity, why did you post a picture of Niall Ferguson? As far as I know, he had children out of wedlock with Ms. Hirsi, and left his wife to be with her. RED Flag... I hope she is doing well.

Anonymous said...

I also know that women of ALL COLORS are losing their dignity everyday--its the men that keep the family together and the women that keep the culture, when they arent together in a marriage relationship, even one marriage per family, it strengthens the ENTIRE extended family--i know...btw, my cousin married a guy that is Lebanese and Irish (non black) and THEY are the ones keepin the extended family together today--her stepchildren are already married and have children of their own, while black men in general arent marrying ANYBODY period--it has been said that when women especially have sex with too many men, marrige is harder to keep together over the long haul (50+ yrs)WOMEN BY THEMSELVES cannot keep the family or extended family together at all, and kids NEED THEIR AUNTS AND UNCLES as much as parents, especally in teen years

Truth P. said...

It ain't going to happen folks.Give it up. men PROFIT from things being exactly the way they are.

a.rampant man sharing due to black women limiting themselves to black men which means black men are bedding as many women as possible and not getting married.At least not UNTIL THEY GO TO JAIL

b.the entire community has indoctrinated black women against their own and their children's personal interest.I can name MANY women than I know right now who have NOT and will NOT file for child support all in the name of not seeing another black man in jail are held down by the system

c.they make money off of being dysfunctional and anti black woman through rap music and this gives them access to what they really want NON BLACK WOMEN.

Many of them like things as they are.

They have plenty of women,children,a woman's house to lay up in,the majority do not pay child support,and they NEVER have to worry about a black woman expecting them to provide her with a comfortable life.They make sure their black wives continue to work throughout the entire marriage AND she'll do most of the raising the kids and not to mention they will likely have an open marriage.

They are not going to give all that up.They aren't.

In order for people to build functional communities they would have to give up dysfunctional behaviors and thinking.Black men are not going to give up their dysfunction because they would lose too much.They don't care about building good communities only that THEIR individual<-emphasis on INDIVIDUAL) needs and desires are met.

Truth P. said...

"Either way, interracial dating is not a panacea; the real issue is self-respect. If more black women respected themselves, there wouldn't be any fussing and crying over loving and wanting a GROUP of men who collectively work to destroy their image and don't want them.

Interracial dating won't do jack for black women who do not have any boundaries or self-love because they will just end up with the same old crap they were dealing with in intra-racial relationships. "


It was needed.

Black women need to stop playing "how low can you go" with these dudes.It ain't worth it.

I have been single, and I've had a man ,& the one thing about me that remains the same no matter what my relationship status is,is I treat myself well and expect to be treated well by my mate.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post again, I believe this emailer is questioning her belief system. She is being pull by many people. I truly hope she rethink her postion about trying to maintain a community that does not exist. Her focus should be about her wellbeing.I notice men will always make should they will benefit period. As for Niall Ferguson he made a choice to leave his soon to be exwife for Ayaan Hirsi Ali. He met a woman who is smart and lovely. Ayaan Hirsi Ali chose a man who can and will take care of her offspring.

CW said...

Ladies...What if I told you to build a house and gave you blueprints, premium wood, pipes,plumbing stone, drywall, electrical wiring, all the high end appliances.NOW HERE'S THE CATCH: You may not utilize any hammers, drills nails screws, washers, nuts or bolts to complete the project. However, I still expect the house to be built erected proficiently, in a timely manner AND be up-to-code.

Anonymous said...

I wish these women talking about the "community" would get real about the number of black men they know who care enough to engage their peers to get it together.

I WILL NOT BE SAVING ANYONE BUT MYSELF in this environment. It ain't worth it. These women need to take a strong dose of CLUE that if the other productive black men in their areas have decided to just improve them and theirs b/c the "community" is gone, then there is no going back. Not a single black male of prominience came against the study of black women being the most un-attractive (not when they were called the most attractive males, that works to their advantage). Not against Don Immus, not against rap, not against ANYTHING that would help black women and children as a whole. I'm in the "Oh well", camp for those chicks. It's already over for them, they just don't want to admit it. And again, why is she writing to a BLACK WOMEN'S interracial-dating blog about black men? Can't she dial them up? Oh wait, she already knows the answer.

cal said...

Recently, in my searches on Google,I happened across the psychological term, "learned helplessness". I think it applies to black women in many ways. Here's a link to an article I found on this.

GoldenAh said...

A horrible crime in Brooklyn, NY happened recently affecting a little boy from a close-knit Hasidic Orthodox Jewish community. Although the perpetrator of the crime himself was Orthodox, but not Hasidic, one thing about the events surrounding the events stood out to me.

Has anyone noticed that the men are in charge of everything? They make sure they have a rotating crime watch, they drive cars to check up on the community, and they do what they can to keep their women and children safe.

These are unpaid positions, nothing funded by the government, and their women don't have to beg them to perform this service. Their women don't have to beg them to be men. They are not without problems, but they understand what keeping their community safe and whole means.

And they turned out by the droves volunteering to look for this little boy, Leiby K. And they turned out for his funeral. That is what a functioning community looks like. With not a woman begging for anything in sight.

Shomrim Patrols

Community Trust Rattled

Leiby Funeral

Anonymous said...

I always knew that it takes married couples! Not women alone! To hold a community together or 'rescue' it from extinction

Anonymous said...

Here we go again! On oakland thos weekend, they had a cop who killed a black guy....someone said the guy had a gun, others said he was rhe 'community got itself together And wanted to set up mentor programs..and guess who 98% of the 'mentors women (no men) trying to save alla people ...grrrrrrrr

Jamdown said...

Really good post, Halima.

You hit the nail on the head. I loved the part where you said that Black men don't have to be rich to fulfill their duties -- just commit to one woman and have children with just that woman.

Of course, Black women also have to stop allowing themselves to be impregnated by trifling men (of any race) and start demanding marriage before motherhood (No Wedding No Womb).

You are so right that Black men are not being asked to do too much -- just what other men are doing.

And I agree that there only can be a Black community when both sides are willing to pull their weight.

Aimee said...

Anonymous said...

And again, why is she writing to a BLACK WOMEN'S interracial-dating blog about black men? Can't she dial them up? Oh wait, she already knows the answer.

This really says it all. As always, Halima was patient, respectful, and through in her response breaking it down for this young lady. But the bottom line is that this sister has to ask herself why it is that when she wants to discuss the issue of "the community as a whole" and "making it work with black men," she comes to a group consisting solely of . . . black women? Forget for a moment that this is a group of black women primarily FOCUSED ON DATING INTERACIALLY. First and foremost, this is a group of black women. Not a group of black people. And not a group of black men, considering that men are the traditional constiuency in any culture who are the first line in shouldering the burden of community-saving.

Does it not tell her exactly what is wrong, and exactly what needs to be done to redress that wrong, when she must turn to a group of women (and a group of women with an arguably averse interest) to work on making things right in the "community"?

In terms of limitations to be found in the white community, black women are severely limited now within the black "community, and there is no end in sight to the limitation to be found by seeking to join hands with BM. BM are not offering BW their hands, and even if they were--why would we want them now? Be honest with yourself. BW, unlike BM, have been strongly resistant to openly comparing the relative strengths and faults of BM as a group vs. other groups of men. Even BW who date IR often like to pretend that "other" men are a default option that they have chosen because BM weren't available. But in 2011, in making that comparison, what honest conclusion can you come to?

And I actually understand this young woman's interest in community. While America is an individualistic cultre, not all white or non-black cultres are--most are not. I would argue that it is the self-destructive individualism of many DBRBM that has led to the ultimate self-destruction of the black community, and I would argue that a similar self-destruction is slowly (though at an increasing pace) occurring in American society as a whole as the irresponsible, selfish individualism that became commonplace in the black community since the '70s has spread accross our entire and led to the abandonment of institutions like marriage, the family, and a stable economy. If you talk to many Europeans, Asians and affluent Latin Americans, you will find that MANY agree with this assessment, and are distressed and unnerved by how our society is evolving and affectng global society.

But that is a larger issue outside the context of this conversation--selfish individualism and personal responsibility do not have to be the same things, and this is where so many BW get confused. DBRBM have no problem being selfishly individualistic, and BW cannot force them to care about family and community. They have been trying and failing for decades; it's time to get the message and exercise personal responsibility for our own lives by taking action to save ourselves. You aren't demonstrating your loyalty to the "community" by drowning with a sinking ship.

Whatever "limitations" BW may face in "white society," there is no limitation greater than ceasing to exist. That is where the black "community" is going, and BW cannot make it otherwise. It is not "selfless" to die with this community when you can live. It is simply irresponsible and self-destructive. Our first obligation is to always choose life, and NO community should come before that.

Bellydancer said...

I agree with Aimee black women need to seek life elsewhere if we are to survive.
It's too funny now that people are seeing that bw are not playing about their futures and doing something about it,everybody feels threatened by it even other bw.
All this talk about "white men are no better" don't give up on our community" is just nervous talk because white people don't put up with "nigga shit" yeah I said it "nigga shit" decent black people have been corrupted by dumb shit and need to get away from it ASAP.
If you marry with other races of people that respect family , tradition, education, class and culture they do not want people mucking up what works for them and some negroes have too much silly shit to wade through.
Sometimes your own family members have to be avoided because they are on a different program than you.

Toni said...

I've been following BWE for a little bit (lurking), but I've decided to start posting. :)

"Therefore any black woman trusting that black men will at a point ‘come through’ for their people is in fairy land. "


I think the idea that our problems will be solved by "holding hands" is naive to the point of insulting; if it were that simple, we wouldn't be here.

Patience is something that is often only afforded in situations not just where it is required for general peace and calm, but where there is time allotted with which one can be patient. We are pretty much out of time as a community, so patience and waiting and hoping others will "join hands with us and make things better" is just not practical.

I'm convinced that we have already exceeded a time period of crisis where even emergency actions can help: This would imply that there are drastic steps that CAN be taken...or enough people in the community who are willing to take those steps.

I feel very honestly that we are hearing, whether you want to or not, the death knell of the black community. It's dying both figuratively and literally, and rather than stand around and believe that all persons can and want to be saved, black women need to stop neglecting themselves and each other and do what we can do not be lost forever. It's unrealistic that all BW will feel this, and since BM have largely shown they are not inclined to care about the community when it doesn't serve their interests, it falls to us to look out for ourselves.

This doesn't mean "everyone woman for herself" exactly, but rather, going against the ideology that you have to put the needs and wants of the community (however harmful to your person) first, and yourself and your betterment last. Do the opposite of that and learn to cooperate with and encourage other black women who do the same.

This is far more realistic to me than hoping and praying all black men will join hands with us and we'll magically have black men enough for everyone and black men come together will elevate black women rather than use and abuse us shamefully,and black men and women will support the community equally, holding it together forever and ever.

Just not gonna happen.

nut_cookie said...

@ Truth P.

black men PROFIT from things being exactly the way they are.

This is in essence what largely annoys me about the implication that the sinking of the BC is equally our fault as a gender, and responsibility.


If BM as a whole profit from things being the way they are, there is no logical expectation that they will help us. So....why expect it? Why ask? Why pretend that BW aren't already doing more than our fair share?

I honestly think that if the BC fell to pieces tomorrow, the only possible way BM as a whole would grieve it is that it couldn't benefit them anymore. If they experienced continued benefits without it (or BW), I am cynical the BC would get so much as flowers for the funeral.

@ Aimee

I think this person is writing with the subconscious understanding that once the black women caves, either by desertion of the BC or death as a result of being worn down by supporting more than our fair share of the BC that THERE WILL BE NO MORE BLACK COMMUNITY.

Because this person is pretty much admitting that more than half the BC's support comes from black women, and black women alone. Where there is inequality there is instability, and once we go, everything goes, and if they can plea for us to remain calm, and patient, and pull a Mr. Fantastic if we have to in order to reach the hands of black men everywhere, then everything will be alright.

But as I said in my other comment, it's just not realistic and for my person, not palatable.

zoopath said...

@Halima: You're nicer than I would have been. I'm at the point where reading such self-destructive sentiments written by a BW makes a wave a revulsion go through my body.

Cosign with Truth P, Golden Ah, Bellydance, Toni and Nutcookie

Neecy said...

Funny this post came up. I have been recently on a male dominated "PUA" blog (i know im a glutton for punishment) and there was a topic that came up about Socialism.

Well things started getting very racial (this is a very non PC site so not surprising)with the posters (majority white male) and some racial slurs were being thrown around among other "typical" Black/White argument stuff. So a Black guy came in and started heavily on the racists also calling them slurs and arguing against their points.

Having been on this board, the men are aware I am a Black woman but have never called me out of my name racially. So as the Black guy is arguing back and forth I step in at one point saying I thought I stumbled across storm front (a white nationalist site) based on some of the comments.

But I was not allowing myself to get intertwined into any racial arguments about Blacks/Whites (like most Black women would) b/c frankly, I'm over it - they are all pretty stupid uselss discussions and not worth my time anymore. So I played the neutral role saying "can't we all just get along".

Oooh boy. The Black guy (and another Black guy who hadn't even come in to help the other Black guy doing all the arguing) came in just to say to me that my "PC attitude" was "annoying".

The main Black guy arguing with these guys decided to call me out (b/c I wasn't being the typical sister soldier coming to a Black mans defense and fighting his battles against White men). He claimed I was "sleeping with a White person" b/c I refused to "stand up" for myself. I kindly let him know I have no need or desire to argue on the internet with racists, that I am living a happy good life and doing me regardless of how people see me or my race.

(none of the racist men said anything directly to me in the way of racial slur or arguing).

He started in on me again saing I need to have some self respect, blah blah blah. and I finally broke it down to him. That its not my job as a Black woman anymore to fight against white men, white racism and white hegemony - that's the BM's job. That Black women have been looong doing this FOREVER and have received NADA in return from Black men or the BC. That Black men only want to use us as their mouthpieces and soldiers when they are in a "fight" with the White man. I went on to say that I as well as a growing number of Black women have decided we are no longer fighting the BM's battles or ANYONE ELSE'S for that matter. That i am a WOMAN who should not have to be fighting against MEN and that I am going to live my life and "do me" and continue thanking God for my blessings & that no racists have stopped me from achieving good things in my life.

One of the RACISTS responded to me (with my stormfront comment) and said I should be taking my issues up with Black men "who abandon us" and leave Black women to do everything by ourselves in the BC (i couldn't even respond to that b/c even the racists know Black women are doing it alone). A RACIST said this! lol

Another white man jumped in and responded to me and said "its PAINFUL to see how Black men treat Black women" his EXACT quote. He then went on about how when he goes places he sees more Black men with other races or fair skinned Black women but NEVER any the same dark complexion as they are. He went on to say he sees more WM with darker BW than BM. lol He said he has noticed this since the 70's and that Black males preferences (fair skinned BW or Non BW) are very well documented and represented in modern culture, society and media and day to day life.


Neecy said...

I explained that BW are indoctrinated and brainwashed early on in childhood to sacrifice themselves for the community , BM and everyone. That we are raised to see all WM as the "boogie man" and that is why so many BW are always running to the defense of Black men and fighting their battles. even went on to say that BW are manipulated and tricked into sticking by BM and the dysfucntional BC through "racial untiy" and this idea that "we're all in this together" when we're really not - its allll about BM.

One WHite woman (another racist) jumped in and said she never understood why Black women are so loyal to Black men based on how they treat us.

So even RACIST WHITES even see this.

I've just got to the point that its not my fight anymore as a Black woman to go back and forth with racist White men - that is BM's job. I did it for a long time in my life and see now its useless and has garnered NOTHING in return for me as a BW or BW as a whole. Its sad it has come to this individualistic way of thinking but a BW today has no choice. And better believe even the biggest RACISTS even understands and feels sorry for Black women.

Anonymous said...

The black community this woman longs for is dead except for the few folks who want to keep it on lifesupport. And it appears that some bw like her are stuck in the first stage of grieving, denial/shock (I cant believe we were left holding the bag)stage.

While women who participate in bwe forums have progressively moved thru the upward turn (you adust and life becomes calm and organized), working through and setting realistic plans, acceptance and hope (deal with reality because you will never return to the way it was, onward, forward). period.

There should be a call for a "moment of silence" for the death of a fully functioning, vibrant, productive, healthy black community like the woman in the email dreams about. Not possible if most of the MEN have moved on.

Anonymous said...

Invited by the Mayor of London a thousand men have come forward to mentor disaffected young men. I wondered how many black men would be among the group of mentors. To my surprise they were overwhelmingly black. Oh but wait. Silly me. Press conference, invitation from the Mayor and all the razzmatazz is what is needed to make these men do what ordinary men of other races do all the time without a huge pat on the back. Looking after your children emotionally and financially seems such a bizarre thing to do they need to be coaxed with sweeties. I don't see 'good' black men shaming the others into rightful action. There's no public declaration from these men to the others to fix up. There isn't even a substantial group of them being a shining example of what it is to be a man.

Black women need to stop fooling around. Charity begins at home. If you care for yourself and your future children why in the world wouldn't you want the best you can get. When you have sorted your nest then (if you so desire) think about community. If every black woman thought of self first then we would have a healthy community. These men get away with it because black women allow them to. We either have very low standard's, walk around with blinkers, leave everything to chance, or just hope it will all come good in the end. Not to mention the wholesale acceptance of the single, black, work-horse mother assisted by the state and grand-mother. How dare we do this to ourselves and children. In the end, we get the men we expect.

Out of Darkness said...

When Lot and his family were leaving Sodom Lots wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt........... black women need to leave and keep their eyes focused infront of them.

Anonymous said...

@ Neecy,

Interesting story. So glad you did not run to their rescue.

How did the BM respond after reading your dialogue with the others? Did they simply scurry away?

And I'm curious, why are you hanging out with people who openly admit they are racists? How do you protect your spirit?

Neecy said...

@ANON 2:42 am

Of course he disagreed and said everything I said was "bullsh!t" but eventually dropped it. Better believe no other "brothers" tries to come in and deny what i said. They were quiet.

You know the saying goes "idle hands are the devil's playground". Its so true! This is proabbly the worst site for ANY sane decent woman to venture to, but i can't help it. Its very entertaining and laughable at how delusional and damaged so many men are.

But something good has come of my time at that blog. I have started my own and in the process of creating topics that counteract everything being said about women in general on that blog.

IslandGirl said...

Nanonymous: "As for Niall Ferguson he made a choice to leave his soon to be exwife for Ayaan Hirsi Ali. He met a woman who is smart and lovely. Ayaan Hirsi Ali chose a man who can and will take care of her offspring."

This is kind of hypocritical. So it is okay for a BW to be a baby mama if the father is a white man who can financially provide for his offspring but still married to another woman? So no wedding, no womb does not apply to white men?

Niall Ferguson is still legally married to his wife, even though he and Ayaan have been in a relationship for a few years. If he loves her so much, why won't he divorce his wife and marry Ayaan so that she can have the legal protections of marriage?

I like Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Her personal life is her business but I don't think that her relationship with Ferguson should be held up as an example to black women. I don't want to be a white man's baby mama anymore than I want that with a BM.

Halima said...

Island girl believe me when i say that i am not here to preach 'morality' to bw. Who told you that i am holding Ayaan up as a relationship model for bw? Do you think bw are so simple minded as to need such hand holding?

every bw must weigh up her situation and decide the best course of action for herself with the situation she finds herself and the constraints and realities of her life.

Some bw will opt for single motherhood for instance those who feel that time is running out on them finding a relationship before having children. who am i to speak against such women. Life is not always as simple and straight forward as your comment seems to suggest it should be. there is the 'ideal' and there is reality.

I doubt I am in the place to suggest to Ayaan and Niall how to run their lives.

trish said...

I don't think anyone tells Ayaan Hirsi Ali how to live her life. Did you read her book??
She is a very solid woman and a deep thinker. I assume she went into this relationship with her eyes open.

Mochachoc said...

Hmm I don't know but I'm inclined to agree with IslandGirl on this one. Hasn't BWE been about consciousness raising and doing differently so we can lead/have better lives. Life is imperfect but aren't we about seeking the best we can have for ourselves and our children? If I've read the posts on this blog correctly interracial marriage does seem important. So I am a little confused. Maybe I'm confusing your ideas/thoughts with that of other BWE writers.

Halima said...

Mochachoc what the hell has what you have written got to do with Ayaan Hirsi Ali?

Jamila said...

Island Girl: "I like Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Her personal life is her business but I don't think that her relationship with Ferguson should be held up as an example to black women. I don't want to be a white man's baby mama anymore than I want that with a BM."

I think that Ayaan Hirsi and her situation with Niall Ferguson is one of the rare exceptions built of special circumstances. He dedicated his upcoming book to her, so he obviously sees her as more than a baby momma or jump-off.

When they met, he was in the process of getting a divorce. His wife even admitted in one interview that he had been out and about with other women besides his wife long before he met Ayaan.

Ayaan has fatwa on her head and has obviously not been in the best position to meet men. Yet, in her late 30's--she was either 38 or 39 when she met Niall--she managed to meet a man who would commit to her, but he was in the process of divorcing someone else. If she had waited 5 years until his divorce was finalized, she might have missed her chance to have children.

I think the lesson here is that life gets messier and messier as one gets older; if you want the best option--marrying someone with no previous children and then the two of you have your own children--it's best to get serious about creating this kind of life when you are young.

Halima said...

lol at bw comparing Ayaan having a baby with Niall Ferguson with the typical baby mama situation currently in the Black community!

Mochachoc said...

Halima, perhaps (if you so choose) you could make clear the distinction you make. I don't know a thing about this couple other than what has been written by other commenters. I would like to know why out of wedlock childbearing is different for this woman. Obviously what this couple have chosen to do is their business. I'm interested in the wider argument. Clearly NWNW has limitations. Are you saying for some black women it's ok to couple with a married man and have several children if the circumstances permit it?

Nana said...


I understand your point, but I feel like it's such a negative comment to say life gets messier as one gets older. If you live life aligned with your values and grow from your wealth of experience, there is no reason why life needs to get "messier".

Maybe for women who have been digging their own graves since they were teenagers and never recovered-yes, their lives will be messier when they are older. But it's not anyone's destiny. I'm still in my 20s and quite young, but some of the lessons I'm learning now are not yet ingrained in women twice or three times my age.

I can look at both my life experience and that of my mothers' (she is in her 50s, successful, comfortable, and yes also dating interracially) and say with confidence that our quality of life improved SIGNIFICANTLY over time (with age).

In regards to Ms. Hirsi's relationship, I'm not one to judge when I don't know: (a) how the man treats her, and (b) what SHE wants out of the relationship, and whether she is receiving those things. Let's not be quick to make assumptions and say that he is of any quality, or that all she wanted was to have children. Maybe she did want to marry him beforehand.

If I were in her situation, I personally would not want to be with a married man or I'd tell him to come back once his act is cleaned up. But everyone is different, and has different standards. No one is obligated to follow Ms. Hirsi's lead.

Either way, I hate it when women think that being older means you can't live as well as you did during your youth. Honestly, it's a dangerous mode of thought that can lead you down an unfulfilling life path, and most likely into relationships with unworthy men. I'm growing to realize that being single is a much more favorable option than lowering myself to be with someone who does not add significant value to my life, regardless of age.

Jamila said...

Nana said:"I understand your point, but I feel like it's such a negative comment to say life gets messier as one gets older. If you live life aligned with your values and grow from your wealth of experience, there is no reason why life needs to get "messier"."

It may sound negative, but it's true--relationships do get messier as you get older because it more likely that both of are bringing baggage to the relationship--kids from previous relationships, marriage and divorce, child support payments and/or alimony payments, established careers that don't as easily allow for travel to be with a mate who may live cross country or already travels extensively.

Lori Gottlieb wrote a book titled "The Case for settling for Mr. Good Enough". It's how her struggle to find a man to marry in her late 30's. The reality is the same high caliber of men with minimal baggage that was available in our late 20's and early 30's is not what's going to be available in the same quantity in your late 30's and early 40's. I'm not advising women to drop their standards; I'm just saying that we need to speak truthfully about the way things change in the dating world with age.

Nana said...

I will also add, however that this whole argument about Ms. Hirsi and Niall is not that surprising. This is precisely why I said in my first comment that the real issue is self-love and self-respect.

Dating outside of your race will only give you superficial results in life, if you have only made superficial changes (i.e. dating white men who treat you like crap vs. black men who treat you like crap).

I won't pretend that white men don't provide a better overall pool of men to choose from for educated black women in America, but let's be real. People on BWE speak about vetting, but there is no emphasis on what type of mentality you need to have in order to vet and have standards (high self esteem).

I will not sugar coat my perspective of Ms. Hirsi's relationship just because she is with a white man. They are both successful and attractive. And he seems to "like" her to some extent. But these are all superficial things.

My view is that he just got out of a relationship (emotional baggage) and did not clean up his act (get divorced) before he started a relationship with someone he supposedly cares about. If he really cared about her and if she cared about herself, they would both act in her best interest which would be to get married before having children.

My perspective is also about what enrichment the woman (Hirsi) is receiving in the relationship. This is why I said I cannot judge her situation externally. There is every possibility that she feels she is working in her best interest. All I'm saying is that it looks like a VERY messy situation, and I'm surprised that she would get herself into a conundrum like this. You can be successful, beautiful, and have a white man all you want, but that STILL will never dictate your true satisfaction or comfort level in life. All you will get is a lifestyle that looks good on paper.

What Mocachoc is saying is that there should not be any exceptions made for white men, in terms of the type of relationship they offer us. Even with all the BASIC credentials that some groups of men have like the ability to provide, it does not mean they will take serious interest in committing to you or any other woman or partaking in a healthy, loving relationship. Many of us are too concerned with what looks good on paper, and it needs to stop.

Halima said...

Nana you are just speaking like the child you are.

I suggest you give yourself at least another ten years before you propose to speak for and correct those who are twice your age and have twice your life experience.

Nana said...


Well, if you want to listen to people like Gotlieb you're free to do so. I don't deny that the dating scene changes for women as we age. In my opinion, it doesn't matter.

My personal philosophy is that we know what we NEED to feel fulfilled and happy in a relationship. My opinion is that lowering standards and settling is extremely demoralising, particularly for women.

We as women can and DO experience very real, DIRTY consequences when we settle for less. Age should never make a woman feel that she is unworthy of a fulfilling, healthy, happy relationship. I meet plenty of older women who feel that they are running out of options and settle for less because they are older. It's better to preserve your emotional and physical health in singlehood than to be with someone who does not deserve you. Most women would disagree, but everyone has to make their own choices in life.

The side that you are ignoring is that these NEEDS for a relationship vary from woman to woman, and do change with age.

My mother for example is 50 and divorced with older children. She prefers to only date men who are also divorced with or without kids because it increases their compatibility and understanding of each other's situation. So this is not always viewed as "baggage" it is just a part of life.

Bouncing from relationship to relationship, or getting out of a marriage and not giving yourself time to breathe, however, breeds emotional baggage, and this is always negative because it's called a rebound. Rebound relationships (IMO what Hirsi is in) are useless because the man you're with is still not committed to you emotionally (which can spill over into other types of commitment), and may not even have been committed to his previous woman.

Karen said...

I am a bit dismayed at the reaction to what I consider to be a valid point/constructive criticsm about using Ms. Ali and Mr. Ferguson as an example.

To be frank, we as Black women cannot afford to be Baby Mamas regardless of the race of the father (the statistics speak for themselves). Ms. Ali's situation may turn out well for her or it may not.

If constructive criticsm is not welcome here, then please let us know and I will respect your wishes not to post such comments in the future.

Jamila said...


I just wanted you to know that I wrote a post referencing this post.

I wasn't sure if you would get a trackback or not.

trish said...

I am really sorry that the discussion degenerated into something akin to Ayaan being someone's whore. I read her book. She lived quite a remarkable life. She has had many trials, from forced female circumcision, essentially abandoned by her activist father, death of her sister, arranged marriage, thrown out of her adoptive homeland, to the ongoing threat on her life from Muslim extremists. She tried to speak up on the behalf of disaffected Muslim women and her life was threatened for it. She actively seeks to help Muslims question their islamic teachings as it relates to the treatment of women, no easy feat. Hers is a special case as you aptly pointed out. She is certainly not typical of the average black woman. She could be given room to make her own decisions given her unique set of circumstances. As I have said before, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is no one's fool. You just have to check out youtube clips of her debates.

Niall Ferguson appears to be very committed to her and he has chosen to have a child with a woman whose life is under constant threat. I think we could appreciate the nuances of certain situations.

Halima said...

Island girl I am no longer interested in whatever you have to say. You have crossed the line. DO NOT COME BACK TO THIS BLOG.

Take your judgemental, bitter, superior BS elsewhere.

You think you are high and mighty and able to stand in the place of judgment or indeed dictate what others can and cannot say on their blogs. I dont think so.

You might also like to find yourself some psychotherapy. something isnt quite right!

Toni said...

To be honest, I am amazed at how quickly this post was derailed, because that is pretty much what happened. I mean go read the post in question. Remember the letter? THAT was the major point of the post.

Not Niall Ferguson or being "a white man's babymama". That was a conclusion drawn in the comments. One that, to be perfectly honest, had virtually nothing to do with the conversation at hand and was a rather successful attempt to pull everyone off topic and into one woman's business.

I don't think Ayaan Hirsi Ali is "a baby mama" and I do think Niall Ferguson loves her very much. But that's THEIR love and their lives and it was just a passing example.

If you don't agree with their life decisions...fine. Okay.

However, even more "dangerous" than that example was how some women take a simple example and attempt to make it about ALL WM and ALL BW or something insignificant to the much more relevant topic at hand that can be blown up and people will just go off course and be pulled into something ridiculous without stopping to think, "Gee, it's really none of my business. Maybe I'll just focus on the message as it actually relates to me."

Not to say that the discussion ISN'T a necessary one, I just wonder if the heart of the discussion was ever intended to be about BW standards, or just taking a dig at this blog, and other people helping (whether they meant to or not).