Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy 2013: A Little Review of Where We Are

New year comes just straight after Christmas, before you can even catch your breath, doesn’t it? It's pretty much easier to consider yourself already in a new year as soon as Christmas rolls around. This is essentially how I have come to see it for a couple of year now, by Christmas I am psychologically and mentally a year older and living in the new year.

What achievements, await you in 2013? What have you not achieved but are determined to achieve, is it Marriage? Children? Do you want your own business or house, or maybe all of these!

Only you can determine what it will be for you by this time next year.

By way of review of the BWE work from the start (around 2006) to date, I will say here that it is my belief that a growing number of black women (who prefer to think about these issues as opposed to refuse to deal sensibly with the reality before them) now know or have become aware and sensible in the face of many critical issues affecting black women due to the work of BWE. I believe the work of BWE blogs and proponents has worked its way into the general discussions of black women and into the thinking of a not insignificant number of black women out there in the wider society and not just those of us who have determined to live empowered.

The issue of Black men coming home
A growing mass of black women now know this view is futile. It happened slowly but now I sense the acceptance of this fact when I read websites and blogs that would have previously advocated for black women to sit and wait for black men. While these websites and blogs dont seem to have much by way of 'what next for black women', they seem to have come to the conclusion that all those lofty and ideal promises around black men and black women being together have failed and are irreparable. I see fewer and fewer people try to pretend that, the disdain even malice from black men towards black women 'is just from a small minority' which can be overlooked. Folk know that it is very much a feature of today’s black man. Each act of disdain of black women by men which continues to occur in the media and in the entertainment world, and each violent act or murder of black women reported on the news has nailed home the truth. Within the gap and dearth of discussion on 'what black women might do next' many black women are finding their own solutions and of course taking up the options that BWE has continued to champion and put forward about how black women can live healthier and happier lives.

I think the work of Ralph Richard Banks around his book 'Is marriage for white people?' burst through a whole lot of resistance, denial and refusal of black women, to deal with the reality in front of them. For many it was the shock treatment that finally forced them to confront an issue which they were doing everything possible to ignore, while suffering dearly for it.

In short I think we are moving away from the phase of resisting the reality of this matter in the wider body of black women. Indeed, maybe I no longer visit the same old websites I used to but the sense I am getting is that black women are no longer talking very strongly about black men and women getting together and casting about for ways which black women (of course it's black women, who else?) might make it happen.

Black planet
I think the idea of salvaging our people and lifting us up as a collective is still a hard one for many black women to give up and many BWE proponents and followers also struggle in this area and though they understand that black women must wisely go after their happiness and let go of the futile pursuit of reconstructing the black group, often an incident trips them into 'lets save our group' mind frame again. Many BWE black women cannot seem to uncouple their self elevation from group elevation, even though loads and loads have been written about how black women are essentially drained and destroyed by the 'saving the black community' project because the project is constructed around the idea of black women's health, wealth, their very sanity and well-being, being sacrificed into the effort.

Indeed BWE has always been clear that community salvation requires the life blood of black women and that as long as this is the way it is to be achieved, black women must totally dissociate themselves from that project even down to their immediate family situation if it mirrors this broader demand for black women to self- extinguish.

Some of us are still confused about how 'putting black women first' works and why we say it conflicts with 'saving alla people'. Get clear about the difference between putting black women first (BWE), and putting community ahead of yourself (BCE), here

Government/society owes me a good life
I think the current bad/struggling economy has kind of resolved this one for a lot of black women even though there will always be people caught on the sandy beaches after the tide pulls out.

I wrote the following in one of my previous blog posts:

The case for personal responsibility and common sense in one's dealings is being so effortlessly made as we get squeezed financially and cuts to all sorts of safety nets are being implemented. When there are no more government programs to stand-in for a participating husband and father, many black women curiously become wise in choosing who to bear offspring with, and the conditions under which it will happen!

Self- Advocacy
I think there is an emotional resistance on the part of black women to the idea of being expected to do more to achieve results especially result that others are not expected to work similarly for. I see, hear and feel this resistance in many BWE followers about doing that extra bit especially in the area of interracial dating.

I also wrote the following in one of my previous blog posts:
Self advocates don’t dwell on the fact that Asian women are not being asked to 'pursue' white men, or are not asked to talk to men first, they push all that to the back of their minds and strike up a conversation with the white man standing on the queue.

Self advocates will do all they can to get themselves up and out of the cloak of invisibility that surrounds black women, and to break away from the poor social harvest that many black women are reaping. Self advocates are way too in love with the bright future they could have, to waste a second, complaining about the little effort (which it will amount to when compared to the future that awaits) they need to make to achieve their goals.

For the new year, I hope you the reader will not be too off put by what you see as you having to take an extra step not demanded of others, to refuse to do what you can for your own self-elevation.

Making headway over the age of 35
This is what I wrote a while back:

With BWE I know that those who will make something out of it (all we have preached and put forward re BWE) and maybe in the nick of time are those who have just crossed that age thirty threshold. Anyone above 35 who has just come across the idea of black women living for themselves aka BWE will have to work triple time and put in double effort to secure something for themselves. Those in this age group (over 35) are the pioneer group who have to contend with adverse conditions, with working on a hard land that has not been broken up yet, combating stereotypes that have not been softened and also battling their own self esteem issues and complexes, fears about ticking clocks, self recriminations, self pity etc etc.

By the time the younger groups comes through, a lot of work would have been done to change attitudes about black woman, lifting negative notions obscuring black women's desirability and femininity, and opening up black women's social range (unlimited). The pioneers would have changed attitudes and the word would be out, that black women can and are living for themselves. There will be a better understanding of the silent mistreatment and the particular brand of discrimination she has been experiencing all the while from what appears to be her two main detractors; white women and black men.

Black women not marrying is now a facet of their culture! That’s what it is now given the fact that black women are not marrying in any great numbers. The black woman who pursues seriously the marriage objective, is thus marking herself out as of a different culture to what pertains to black women as a rule, and also has made it her objective to not accept what has received wide acceptance in the broader body of black women, and that is the whole idea of going it alone, accepting a life without real companionship and support. She has a higher expectation for herself.

HAPPY 2013!

Next blog post available from 14th January 2013

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ak said...

Happy New Year to you Halima, all of the original BWE bloggers and their supporters.

Khadija said...


Before I say anything else, let me repeat a heart-felt THANK YOU to you and the other pioneer BWE bloggers like Evia, Sara, Aimee, and others. Your work has literally saved lives.

Praise God, the BWE movement has achieved lasting victory after only a few short years. Like you, I’ve also noticed how core BWE ideas have gone from being perceived as unthinkable to being recognized as common sense by increasing numbers of “typical” Western Black women (African women in general never seemed to have any culturally-induced problems with looking out for their own best interests as women).

In private conversations, I’ve been referring to this as The Shift. As in the huge shift in thinking that many BW have arrived at. Just in the nick of time to literally save their own lives---various long-dead Black communities are imploding in an orgy of murder, rape and assorted other mayhem. Most of which is committed by fatherless Black males who were born out of wedlock. [I mention this for those reprobates who refuse to see the connection between Black oow, Black single-parenting and these Black fatalities.] In my hometown of Chicago, there were 500 murders in 2012. Mostly in all-African-American Rwanda zones.

BWE concepts have entered the mainstream of BW’s conversations and thinking. This shift has forced others to change their tune. Here’s one example: I chuckled as I read this blog post from Black Love And Marriage. "5 Reasons Not To Give Up On Black Men"

My, my, things have changed in the aftermath of BWE consciousness-raising over the past 5 or so years! Before BWE and The Shift that BWE created, a blog post like this would've been aggressively insulting BW by telling BW about how they need to twist themselves into pretzels to appease BM. And how any BW who refused to do so was doomed to be alone forever.

Instead, this post is basically imploring BW to refrain from deleting BM from their dating pools. And the blogger feels the need to (probably falsely, I suspect) claim to be in favor of BW being open to all quality men regardless of race. This post is just under a year old. I didn’t bother to go through this blog's archives. The odds are that if I did, I'd find older posts that use a totally different tone of voice when talking to BW about their dating and marriage options.

As Evia mentioned in a recent post, there will always be another Hurricane Katrina and Super Storm Sandy on its way. In this era of climate change and economic collapse, that’s inevitable. The point is for every sane and sensible BW to ensure that she and her children aren’t caught out in the cold—unprotected and un-provided for.

Those BW who invest their time, energy and money into supporting non-reciprocating others will continue to suffer. Like the many (by definition unprotected and un-provided for) Black single mothers of oow children who discovered that their electronic food stamp cards don’t work (and aren’t accepted in lieu of cash) during an emergency like Super Storm Sandy.

Those self-advocating BW who put their own interests first (and BW’s interests first) will live well. May our ranks continue to increase!

Again, THANK YOU! May you, all the other pioneer BWE bloggers, BWE supporters and all who are near and dear to you have a joyful and prosperous 2013!

Halima said...

Hi Khadija

So good to see you round these parts. May I wish you and yours the many good things in store in this new Year!

Soul Alive said...

I always love a Khadija sighting! 

The tone of that article Khadija referenced still wasn’t friendly. More like badgering and belittling, its interesting that she mentions hype because that’s all that article was, but I digress.

Black women and girls are making better and smarter choices. I see it here in New York. I notice that the young Black girls are slim and well put together, trendy even. Still too much Black, but it is New York. I have also noticed, high school aged Black girls with a variety of bfs who aren’t Black and those boys appear to treasure those young ladies. Its so cute.

I have also seen older Black women with a mix. I saw this gorgeous cocoa lady with a hot a** Asian dude. I said excuse me. I love it. So proud of the women who have gotten the memo and responded to it.

On the flip side we are going to have to charge the ones that don’t get it to the game. At this point they are being willfully obtuse and no one has time for that.

“I can’t help but ride for my race. I love Black men and have seen the good and bad in them. I know the saying is true; every great man has a better woman behind him. I want to see Black men prosper, so I will ride with them. I want unity, that’s all. Trying to save our race; Black woman are ahead of the curve, want our men to catch up.”

This is a quote from someone I tried to hip to the game. I told her its not her job to support and push Black men along. I advised her that better and lesser women have tried. She’s only 25. There is no helping someone like that. These types must get charged to the game.

Happy New Year and thank you for your blog and awesome thoughts and dedication. I really appreciate it.