Monday, October 24, 2011

Thoughts for the Week

Who is or who isn’t a BWE writer/activist?

I can tell you categorically who isn’t!

If a black woman makes it black women’s obligation to rescue the race or uplift or save the race, that black woman is NOT part of BWE thinking. Don’t get it twisted please. Refer to this blog post for more on the 6 key markers of BWE writing.

Battle of the mind

Watch out for those who want to defeat you mentally, or who sow seeds unknowingly or deliberately that defeat bw in the mind so that they take themselves out of the game of striving for betterment. Evia reminds us that life is a battle of the mind. Some of us think we can consume media and be around certain ideas and attitudes day and day out and be unaffected. Most of us don’t realize that some of these ideas attack our self confidence, we only know there is damage when we find we have high levels of anxiety when we are called upon to do certain things etc. And in a world like ours where a high level of confidence is increasingly required and required to be turned on at the drop of a hat, some of us are seriously undercutting our abilities by ingesting negativity, doubt and being around self undermining chatter. And self undermining chatter doesnt have to be obviously negative of self-debasing, it can be an attitude or behavior that locks in self defeating patterns.

Ever since the issue of bw loving beyond race got given another high profile boost with Richard Banks book, I have been noting how some bw would rather talk about how ‘no one wants them’, and how undesirable they are (in the comment section of mainstream publications) as if they can actually by saying this attemtping to reinforce the idea of bw undesirability that might be 'dissipating' because of these kinds of media highlighting. I have read a fair few comment sections, even commentaries on this whole issue of bw dating out and most often it isn’t even others telling bw they are undesired, it is bw themselves introducing that bit of information.

I know that there are some bw who cant believe any good about themselves because they have been fatally damaged in this regard but I also know that many of these commentors have seen and even experienced white men being attracted to them or their freinds or family members (because these examples are all around us especially given that about 1in every 6 bw who is married is married to a non-black man) and thus to continue to offer the notion of bw undesirability seems quite deliberately about thwarting ‘attempts’ to get bw to break bw free from the notion that they can and should only aspire to be with bm! 

They subtly execute this plan to close bw off within the walls of Black community, reminding others of how bw are unattractive, just in case they have forgotten why they need to keep away from bw or why bw should view the whole debate to expand their horizons as invalid. It is indeed amazing how bw would do anything to prevent the ‘loosening’ of bw from the black pact.  I am convinced that whether these women are aware, they are doing this or not, they are colluding with the agenda of keeping bw from freeing themselves from race conscription (a lot of bw mindlessly drive forward their own oppression).
A lot of bw have become poisonous to bw generally and sane black women need to get away from their company least they begin to mimic the patterns of behaviour and attitudes that continues the self -segregation of bw.

It is clear that self-spite is becoming a common response among black women.

Pretty Much on your own

We all go through life pretty much on our own. In other words no one takes us by the hand and walks us through life, instead we have people who might come alongside us from time to time but ultimately it is down to us to live our lives. Thus I am worried when bw don’t want to put one foot in front of another or take risks but need detailed guidance on how to go about living the suggestions made by BWE etc. Stop asking for step by step guidance. See yourself as an adult who is has to get into the rough and tumble of life. Life is about risk taking about something to show for being on this planet for 80 years and yes some of what you will have to show will be scars and mistakes mixed in with the victories won because you made an attempt.

Continue to side-step

Here are other things you have to side step as black women (continuing on our theme of the last blog post).
  • Side step the matrydom life expected of bw
  • Side step the fact that media doesnt favour and is even hostile to bw by creating your own impression
  • Side step the injunction to be with only black men and if not then alone
  • Side step the push to make you responsbile for black men and for black community

Wondering about Interracial dating?

I have written an E-book e-Book that gives a comprehensive insight into the relationship reality facing black women today, including her Interracial Dating Option. Get yourself clued up!

Questions to be sent to:


Renee said...

Halima, I understand your argument and as I stated before; your thoughts are compelling. However, in the south, white men of caliber are not marrying black women in droves. In fact, they are perpetuating the same patterns as black men toward black women. This I know from experience. The white man that I dated has also said as much. This post is not in any way written to create negativity on your blog. It is merely a fact. Friends who have married interracially have settled for poor mediocre white men. Conversely, friends who have married other minorities have fared much better. Also, most of my friends are married to well balanced, loving, black men.
There is good and bad in all races of men. Dating after forty has shown me that. As far as media influence, I have canceled cable television because of the negative images of us.

Anonymous said...

Good evening Halima:

Enjoying the words of wisdom that you present to progessive black women. I myself evoke a daily regimen of exercise and medations,I surrounded myself with postive people. I am starting the nursing program next year and the help I am receiving from instructors has allow me developed my plans for the future.In order for some black women to survied and grow I would suggect reading "75 Mistakes that Women Make" by Lois Frankel. Basically many women forget there time is money and they constantly donot charge for services that they render to people. That why the so-called black community will try to shatter the dreams and hope of black progessive women.

Anonymous said...

Uh no. I grew up in the South. I was asked out by hot white football players, baseball players, hung out with band nerds, and check this... one of my mom's best friends was married to a white man (in the 80's no less), who was hot, and they lived in the historic district in a registered house. Just because YOU can't pull, doesn't mean other people can't.

Anonymous said...

Renee, you are a perfect example of what Halima was illustrating in her essay.


Anonymous said...

Renee, I here you. We all have different experiences and nobody lives your truth but you. It doesn't matter who you end up with; another minority, a black man, or a white man, just do your due diligence and vet well. I wish you all the best in your quest for love and I know that it will only be a matter of time before you meet the one with whom you will find bliss.

Interesting article.

Anonymous said...

Your blog made me think of Minnie in The Help. Leroy told her he beat her because there was no telling what she would become if he did not. When Minnie decided to get out of the relationship
she said she was going to see what she would become. I think that women should keep their options open for a man who will treat them well regardless of race.

Bellydancer said...

This reminds me of a woman who posts on the IMDB board for the movie Something New.
This woman claimed she was married to a white man, college educated and taught writing and women's studies but came off like a race woman and anti woman.
Depending on the topic she would pander to the black men on the board from time to time. Like she had to apologize for having a good life with a loving partner or maybe she was unhappy but her behavior was erratic with some of the women on the board especially if we took the brothers to task she had all kinds of excuses for them.
It was like she had to see herself as black before she saw herself as a woman. Most of the men she would defend were married or dating white women shamelessly but yet she would talk shit to bw who would make their preference known. There was another girl on there too who had a divorce with a white man so she was trying to keep us in check as well. I thought they were as bad as some of the men on there.

Jamila said...

However, in the south, white men of caliber are not marrying black women in droves.

Renee, white men don't need to marry black women in 'droves'--that wasn't the point of this piece.

The reality is that we all tend to end up with someone who is on our own level. Not all black women are rich, have degrees, or look like Gabrielle Union. There are plenty of average, everyday black women who are dating/marrying Average Joe's.

Male behavior is male behavior and lower class men--whether these men are black, white, or whatever--often get with emotionally and/or psychologically damaged women and they do those women wrong. If your friends are being treated badly or settling for mediocre white men (and I'm assuming that they were dating mediocre black men before that) then the issue is not really the men, it's the woman who is involved with these women!

Wherever a woman runs, there she'll be, with the same problems she was running away from.

Sandra77 said...

Renee, first of all, as someone said before, a bw doesn't need white or other non-black men dating or marrying bw "in droves" for her to find what she's looking for. She just needs one good man - hers.

Second, I don't for one moment believe that white men in the south are a monolith and are all bad. I have friends who live in the south who are dating or are married to white men and they are good men. And these women are well-educated, professional, elegant women who are with white men who are their equal (or even more so for 2 of my friends who have distinctly "married up").

Third, if the white and other non-black men in the south are not dating/marrying bw, then MOVE. If you truly can't find what you want where you are, why would you stay and just settle for less than what you deserve because the men where you live aren't measuring up? If you were at a job you didn't like, that didn't treat you well, didn't pay you what you're worth or wouldn't promote you, would you stay at that job, or would you make a change? I would update my resume and MOVE!!

Evia's latest post warns us to be prepared for a new 'okey-doke' from black men to keep bw from wm and other non-black men, now that bm realize that quality bw are moving on (in droves, even). Let me add to what Evia said that bw need to be on guard against a new 'okey-doke' from black women also. It may be purposely or unwittingly done by black women, but the harm to black women is the same. Don't fall for the latest okey-doke, no matter who puts it out there.

Renee, Halima just wrote about the struggle of life and the need for risk-taking. Please re-read Halima's post, think it through, ruminate and understand what she has just said to you. I promise you that her words will benefit you in all areas of your life.


Toni said...

It's interesting that Renee limited her argument to "the South". That may (or may not) be where she is from, but it's rather telling that this person used the example of a globally-tiny location in order to illustrate her (?) point.

"There is good and bad in all races of men."

I agree, which is why I would not limit my dating options by race, and strongly consider the character of the person I wanted over their skin color.

The fact is, the world is a bigger place than the US South, and the options for an individual black woman looking for love are limitless.

Toni said...

@ Halima

"Watch out for those who want to defeat you mentally, or who sow seeds unknowingly or deliberately that defeat bw in the mind so that they take themselves out of the game of striving for betterment."

I am so happy to hear other people talking about this, especially since some people have this tendency to buy into harmful thinking just because the wording isn't visually offensive; meaning the person isn't overtly rude with their nonsense, but phrases it in a way that seems like they actually care.

It's often gas-lighting at its finest, and it bothers me how many BW and others are prone to buy into it just because it "sounds nice".

Um, no. I could tell someone to go eff themselves in extremely purple prose full of all the nice and polite looking words in the world; it doesn't change the fact I told them to go eff themselves.

MORE critical thinking and reading is needed in order to understand what people are saying to you, in order to not be taken in by poisonous persons.

Kathy said...

Renee dont even try it women who are reduced to marrying poor, mediocre, white men are probably not that much themselves. Give me a break! You are probably a black man or white woman posing as a black woman. I have black female friends marrying white men and they are equally yoked.

You dont need to tell us that rich Southern men are not marrying black women in droves. Do you think that we are retarded? We know that. The fact is that it is happening so go somewhere else with that mess. You are not telling us anything we do not know.

Anonymous said...

To Sandra and Toni.. Bravo!!!

Bravo for pointing out this Renee person's obtuse gaslighting!!!

Thank you for pointing out that there is always a need for us as woman who happen to be black to ACTIVELY engage in critical thinking!!
Again - great job!!!


Anonymous said...


"It's often gas-lighting at its finest, and it bothers me how many BW and others are prone to buy into it just because it "sounds nice".

Thank you for spelling this out. This is the absolute truth. I caught on to this gaslighting. This tells me how much I have grown thanks to BWE blogs and commentors like yourself.

Anonymous said...

Renee has some good points which should not be dismissed out of hand. I am a professional black woman living up North and what I have noticed is that poor, mediocre White guys are the low hanging interracial fruit as marriage prospects.

This was previously the case for black men/white women pairings. Black men used to only be able to date and marry trailer trash. White women from respectable families with inheritable wealth would not allow their daughters to marry a black man. Now that black men/white women interracial pairings are more popular and the image is ubiquitious in the media, you see more upper-middle class white women in interracial marriages. It is becoming more accepted.

I think black women may have to work a bit harder to marry a white man of caliber but it absolutely can be done. And, if you shoot for the moon and hit the stars then you're still doing better than having lowered your standards. These statements assume you are lookiing for a man of caliber because you are a woman of caliber.

My findings come from looking at my family and other similar families. My family is what used to be called "the talented 10th". Doctors and professionals with advanced degrees at 3 generations back. Firmly upper middle class and upper class black folks.

All of the young black women in my family are very well educated (Ivys) and are at marriageable age. Some have started out on their career paths and are very stable. Many have also married interracially. However, they are not marrying their "equals". Their mates are clearly what Renee terms the poor mediocre white men - no college, blue collar jobs. That is not to say that they are not nice people, I am merely pointing out that they are sort of the "new black man", still not educational and financial equals.

While I fully support the young black women in my family in exercising ALL of their dating and marriage options, I do think that they are lowering their standards in order to be married. I am a firm believer that people do what they think they must do given the circumstances. I think these girls are looking at the older generation of single black women and saying to themselves that they don't want to end up like them which they should not want. They would rather take the bird in the hand rather than waiting and perhaps working a bit harder to get the white man of caliber. Note that I did not say black women cannot attract a white man of caliber.

Or perhaps, gasp, they are giving some measure of value to whiteness alone. I think we have all seen this with black men who date interracially. Qualities that they would not accept in a black partner are all of a sudden ok for a white partner, even revered. I call it "giving points for whiteness." I truly hope that black women do not go down this road.

tlynn said...

you are so full of it. First of all if you are an Ivy, then there are some circles you run in that will never cross an uneducated person's if your family married someone beneath them THEY HAVE ACTIVELY SOUGHT THAT PERSON OUT!!!! You wanna make it seem like a poor uneducated white man is "all that's left for us po black women"....get outta here with that mess!!!!