Friday, February 15, 2013

Notes from the institute of Clear thinking for black women

A few thoughts on a couple of topics

Tip No 2756 on how to make it in the dominant white culture -Smile like a half wit

Dolly 'eternal sunshine' Parton
After many years of working around whites, I have come to the realization that they are deathly afraid of morose, unsmiling black people (black women more so than black men who they can tolerate their 'anger' because black men are justified in their anger because of what white men have done to them – it's not really that cutting and brutal for black women- and of course many white woman want to gather the sad black man to their maternal bosoms and comfort them). An unsmiling black woman; a sure sign that there is a deep well of anger and resentment at white people, which is the stuff of nightmares for many white people because the black woman might suddenly go psycho on them and they want to avoid this by all means!

If you want to get ahead, be bright and breezy, at work and in the company of whites! Be very careful about indulging in moments of personal introspection when at work – which tends to make the face drop and look pensive- because you are being watched closely. Instead think on only nice happy things when at work but if you are suddenly overwhelmed by a need to wallow in something sad and bad please go to the toilets!

It might seem I am joking here but this is my honest advice. If you are as smiley as Dolly Parton, you will find more contracts and opportunities pushed your way because you are the kind of black person they want to keep around!

Discernment is Key

A whole lot of black women do not know how to discern when a black person is looking to make a buck off them and when they are genuinely interested in their helping them.

I don’t think that there is anything wrong in profiting from a service as long as you give real value for the money you receive. I must have mentioned this before on this blog, about a particular black guy who set up a 'black love' and dating 'business', essentially profiting of the endemic singleness of black women in London. Women would be lectured on why they had not found their good black man and there were offers to (for a fee) 'let us find you your ideal black man' etc. I mentioned that this man was 'outed' as contemptuous of black women at one black gathering a while back when he jeered at black women who were complaining about their singleness plight. I don’t think any black woman at that event would have been left in any doubt that this man had a deep seated anger and resentment towards black women and was gloating over their predicament. Yet his business moves from strength to strength with events at some expensive hotels. Now I am no knocking his hustle. I have spoken to a few black women who say the service is so so and they are still searching but they attend his events faithfully, sometimes they are asked to bring along single men (for other women who also bring along other single men).

A lot of black women are wasting time they don’t have, trying to work a formula that just doesn’t compute and whose basic premise is erroneous (there are enough black men out there who are interested in marrying -and marrying black women- for every black woman). Instead of working a formula which makes sense (casting a wider net, going on dating sites/match makers), these women would rather invest money and time in forcing an approach that is clearly (from looking around them) not yielding much.

Anyway as they say, 'A fool and his money are soon parted'

Social Mobility continued...

I was comparing the premise of social mobility and feminism in my last post and I was encouraging readers to make the social mobility model work for them.

It might seem awkward that I would compare social mobility with feminism but bear with me for a second.

From wikipedia

Social mobility is the movement of individuals or groups in social standing/social position [1][2] It may refer to classes, ethnic groups, or entire nations, and may measure health status, literacy, or education — but more commonly it refers to individuals or families, and their change in income.[1] It also typically refers to vertical mobility—movement of individuals or groups up (or down) from one socio-economic level to another, often by changing jobs or marriage; but can also refer to horizontal mobility—movement from one position to another within the same social level.

Mobility is enabled to a varying extent by economic capital, cultural capital (such as higher education), human's capital (such as competence and effort in labour), social capital (such as support from one's social network), physical capital (such as ownership of tools, or the 'means of production'), and symbolic capital (such as the worth of an official title, status class, celebrity, etc.).

Why I say that the social mobility model works over equality (read: feminism) model, so 'work' the former and don’t wait for the latter!

At its basic level feminism is about advancing the rights of women, in other words you could say it is about 'clearing the path' for woman (though I know that it has come to mean so much more these days). In the same way the social mobility is also about advancement but the advancement of the individual. Thus in terms of getting ahead, it could be said that they are rival models. The Equality model which included feminist model, is an ideal and we must in all good sense, and as a healthy society, aspire towards fairness and always work towards a more and more equal society. Yet we have to know that society is geared around enabling the individual rise through the ranks as opposed to ensuring that it works like 'rising water that lifts us all'. An individual will go further if they leverage the principles of social mobility as opposed to wait for a 'fairer' society to kick in. Equality and fairness: who knows if we will ever achieve completely these ideals even though we have a duty to works towards this state.

As I have previous said and want to reiterate:

I think feminism as an ideology is so vital and really comes into its own when addressing the most basic and fundamental rights of women including combating misogyny, the right of women to control their reproduction, equal payment for equal jobs etc etc

Why running your life according to some feminist principles could leave you in the lurch

Many black women have borrowed too many politically correct concepts and ideas without the understanding that these notions are not giving them the victory they seek. I am here to tell black women that utilitarian approaches are better for black women not Politically correct and idealistic philosophies especially those borrowed from modern feminist thought. 'Being fat is fine', 'Be a single mother if you want, its your choice', 'No one should shame a Slut'... I am wondering how have these notions helped the situation of black women as a group?

There are many kinds of 'experimental' ideas out there offered in the name of progressiveness, equality and openness but they will not pay off for black women even if their white counterparts manage to dabble and go scotch free from all sorts of new social engineering ideas. The BWE writer Khadija has said 'tried and tested,' black women must always look to the tried and tested approaches and I agree.

For a little heads up:

When countries are rich and have a surplus in finances (however that is defined), they can engage in endless social experiments around making the society more 'just' and 'equitable'. So there is a robust welfare system, you can do whatever you want with your life like eat yourself to a damaged health, smoke endless cigarettes or be a couch potato. Very likely the government will pick up your health tab and support whatever lifestyle choice you make. Just don’t be caught out when the cycle of boom comes to and end... ah too late! many of us have been caught out with this current recession.

I find it very funny that after years of promoting a 'do as you please' and 'be free and unlimited' when it comes to life choices (because your lovely government will pay for it), now folks are being told in no uncertain terms that there will be no more gravy trains in fact these days the government doesn’t even bother to talk, you just turn up to where you used to be able to get a free service and the door is boarded up with no information about where you might be able to find another service. People are being told that choices have consequences and they will have to underwrite their own choices. This is very much the case in terms of what kind of diet and lifestyle people chose, and simply put, government will no longer pick up the tab for the consequences of your unhealthy choices. Tax payers, insurance firms and companies are all revolting and they do not want to pick up the tabs any more for the excesses of the western individual, who has the choices and opportunities and information to take charge of their lives, but often refuses to do so.

I have told a fair few folks around me that good diet and exercise is no more up for debate for any sensible person, because these days with many hospitals silently withdrawing certain medical options or simply ratcheting down the standard of care, being as fit and healthy as you can be is the best insurance you can take out for yourself.

So many people who cultivated a relaxed and a careless approach to life and living are high and dry at this point. The most troubling thing however as I said is that in some cases where it has become almost impossible to broach some issues because of political correctness or because of election cycles, government is simply withdrawing support and funding from certain projects and changing policies silently and without warning!

As we can see, government seems to be saying they got it wrong in many respects hence anyone who lets government set their priorities, their pace and agenda, will find themselves in trouble when suddenly government decides to do a '180' in terms of their policy. Policys change but acting with common-sense can safeguard your life!

Next blog post available from 1st March

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Lynn said...

Hi, Halima!

I don't often comment on your blog, but I read your articles faithfully, and I love when you post something new. As always, you are right on the money. White people do love a 'happy' negro. And no, you don't have to be a 'steppin' fetchit stereotype either. Just be nice, feminine, and talk pleasantly to everyone.

On another note, I want to tell you that you certainly reach and help a lot of women who read your blog and maybe don't comment on what they learn. We are definitely learning the lessons and applying them in real life. I know the feedback you receive may not reflect this.

For example, on your blogs about self-improvement and expanding your dating set you mentioned a few times about paying for a matchmaking service to expedite meeting Quality men. A few weeks ago I took the plunge and invested a significant amount of money in a matchmaking service! I've been online for years, sometimes meeting great men (usually they lived far away), and I started to get frustrated with the weeding out process. I'm very excited because tonight I have my first 'matchmade' date! So thank you so much, I never thought of taking my personal life to this level until you brought it up.

Ladies, if you can afford (or maybe if you cannot) you should definitely consider a matchmaking service. Yes, it's expensive, but the men usually pay 2-3 times more. I did not know this until recently. Men are not going to fork over several thousands of dollars if they are not seriously looking for a woman who has wife material! These men are SERIOUS! Plus, I know so much about the guy before we've even met.

And yes, I will admit I was initially hesitant because I want to only be matched with White or Asian men. Most matchmaking services are run by (White) women and I feared some sort of sabotage. Well, I can tell you ladies, not all are like that. After some initial surprise, (I was very blunt with my preferences; and on the phone I do not sound "Black") my matchmaker is excited and is making every effort to get me dates with the men I want. I do recommend that you are very blunt with your preferences. You do not want to fork over hundreds/thousands of dollars and get matched with Black men; if that is not your preference. These services only guarantee a minimum number of dates and you don't want to waste a single one!

Again, thank you Halima for that wonderful suggestion. If I may, I will post again this weekend on how my first date went. Stay blessed because you are truly doing great work!

FemmeNoire said...

How does someone figure that White men have not done racist crap to Black women too that Black women have a right to be angry about? Come on! In any event, what you say about how too many of those White people in certain parts of the West think about Black women vs Black males, ie they are more tolerant of/receptive to Black males, backs up 100% what I was trying to point out in the original mother/daughter thread, but people did not want to hear it. Calling me a "troll" will not make the anti-Black women/girl racism that I point out in others non-existant.

Halima said...

note to femmeNoire, it was sarcasm!

FemmeNoire said...

Hi Halima.

Me saying this:

"How does someone figure that White men have not done racist crap to Black women too that Black women have a right to be angry about? Come on!"

Was not directed at you, but at the stupid people who actually think that mess.

~E. Wilson~ said...

Your post points out one of the many things I have trouble doing: smiling often. I work in insurance and run a small company on the side. Much of my work has me analyzing medical documents, responding to inquiries, and writing long drafts. Needless to say, when I'm working at my laptop in public, I get so caught up in what I'm reviewing that I get what I call "my analytical face". This face can best be summed up as a combination between a frown and a look of deep thought. Nonetheless, it's not ugly, but not very feminine.

Thinking happy thoughts while reviewing documents can be difficult when you have to concentrate, so any advice on little ways we can remind ourselves to be cherry when working? (By the way, I love what I do, so the faces I make have nothing to do with my job).

Halima said...


you could do your work away from the public view. also sometimes all it takes is being conscious of how your face appears to make the necessary adjustments. if you rest your chin in a palm (elbows on table), you can actually control to an extent, a drooping expression!).

Mrs. Glam said...

*slow, long clap* This is (ANOTHER) excellent post, Halima! I love the analysis regarding feminism and social mobility. That is the kind of information that I'm always researching and trying to apply to my own life.

I recently started a new job and I decided that I would put forth a more friendly persona. I've found that smiling and being friendly has made people more at ease around me and eager to approach me, and it has gotten me several invites to intramural teams and workplace planning events, not to mention several lunch invites with different coworkers. Being bubbly with everyone WORKS!

If I was still single, I'm pretty sure that my new friendly persona would make it easy for me to find lots of quality suitors, too. Just saying, ladies: being friendly and keeping a happy expression makes you more popular with everybody :)

Lynn said...

Hi, Halima!

I wanted to let you know my first date arranged by my matchmaker went great! The guy is really interesting and we had a lot in common. He's brainy and I love that.

Like a lot of BWE bloggers recommend, I made my dating intentions known upfront, but not in an overly blunt way. I want to set the standard from the first date that I'm looking for courtship leading to marriage. I did not say that in so many words, but I talked about my family and how happily married my siblings are, and how that is my goal in the near future. Just as I suspected, my date had similar goals.
We've made plans for a second date, so we will see how it goes. The only issue that came to my attention is my match coordinator said the guy was 5'11; we was about my height, 5'9". I can definitely work with that, but it will be interesting to see if he's ok with it.

Thanks for letting me post my first experience with a matchmaking service. I was really happy with my first date and I'm looking forward to both getting to know him better and my next matchmaking date!

Stay blessed!