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

My latest e-books are now available on Amazon. Please click on the corresponding links below for more info.
First Steps to Personal Empowerment

Do Black Women in Afros
Date White Guys?

Supposing I wanted to
Date a White Guy...?
Buy Here or Buy at Amazon

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas and a Very Happy 2013

This is wishing all the readers of this blog and all who have been with me on this journey a Very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year full of dreams come true! - Halima

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Online dating: some tips

OK someone asked for me to share what I have learnt from online dating. Let me start with this:

The drawbacks of dating online include:
  • Time wasters
  • men who don’t know what they want
  • Men not on your time frame (happy to chat and IM for the next five years (those misusing the online dating portal for friendship)!
  • Divorcees and etc still grieving over their lost wives (and still angry to boot) and as a result not ready to move on
All the above can be summarised as men who are essentially 'not focussed on the relationship goal' either unknowingly (because yes humans often don’t know their deepest motivations and intentions) or knowingly (because they are on the prowl for sex etc). You have to find a way to eliminate these categories and as fast as possible so they don’t clog up your time (especially as you don’t have unlimited time as a woman).

Drawbacks of Interracial dating sites in particular
One of the clear draw backs of interracial dating sites, is that white men on those sites can often be looking for the stereotypical black woman(whether they realize it or not). Or they may hold a certain 'pieced together' idea of what the black woman they are looking for sounds like. If you are not the type they imagine, guess what happens when you pick up the phone and speak in 'perfect' English? You guessed it, he who was sweating you hard is suddenly no where to be found. For some of these men, black women fit a rigid archetype and if you deviate from this type, they just don’t know how to handle you! Blame the continued segregation of whites and blacks which means that imagination comes in to make up for the gaps and ignorance. Unfortunately some men hold fast to their 'ideals' instead of allowing for the fact that their conceptions need to be transformed by the real experience of meeting and interacting with black women.

Lets follow this issue logically. We can assume that at least half of the white men on these sites have not dated black women and also in the age range that is over thirty five, you often find a number of divorcees. The implication here is that many are looking for something that is not their former partner/s (read: white women). They then piece together an idea and a vision of what they want, and they come up with variants of the following.

'I think I will be needing':
  • A nice African woman who is naïve and less grasping than a western woman
  • A nice respectful black woman because she is motherly and cares for her man and children above herself (an idea pieced together from snippets of information gathered over the years from a wide array of sources; from obscure documentaries, videos, watching church going black women on Sunday or mild mannered Ghanaian women going to their early morning work)
Now it's not that many non-stereotypical black women aren't caring and kind, etc etc, its that the tight and inflexible notions of what a right acting woman would look like is flawed. Some white men on these sites will eliminate a woman for not sounding as they expect this black woman they have essentially formed in their imagination would sound! This is why I advice that you have a chat with any white guy sweating you within two-three days, so he can be on his merry little way as soon as possible if necessary!

Some men are open minded and happy to go along and see what this attractive speaking woman might unravel. Others have been burnt and wont want to give any leeway to the notion of having a quiet timid deeply accented woman. I guess this is one of the reasons why you can't beat meeting at work/school etc (and the reason why you need a face-to-face sooner than later with online dating). There is just something about the medium of the connection that sets things up all differently. When people connect through everyday situations they don’t normally have barriers up or the charm of a person, in person, can slip past prior conceived lists of requirements and preferences. Because after days of brushing up against Miss A or Mr C, the fact that you never liked a 5'9 woman or a man with an Irish accent just isn’t that a big issue because he or she brings so much more to override what was a silly idea in the first place! However if you met them after connecting online, failing in any slight way would be an indicator of a disaster waiting to happen.

We apply a higher standard to our online connections because of the false notion that there are endless men or women to choose from, and also because we still retain an element of distrust of the online medium (who doesn’t think that online sites are full of sex seekers and gold diggers!)

Some tips
  • Each day, set out to make one serious connection (not twenty). If you can have one real connection (one that seems serious and looks like it could go somewhere) a day or even three a week, this is better that entertaining a long list of BS.
  • Get to speaking as soon as is possible (after two days I would offer a number if he isn’t forth coming -its a good way of getting rid of people who think they are serious and ready when they are really not)
  • Don’t be disappointed to find that a man who was so eager has suddenly forgotten your number. You don’t know what he is looking for or how his mind is working around a certain vision of the woman he wants. Yes be disappointed for all of five seconds but quickly move on. Play this game like a pro and not a wimp.
Many people have to go through a learning process, and by trial and error online, before they settle on what they want, what is important or even discover that they are ready to 'get serious with this thing.' Examples of men re contacting women they broke off contact with after a few emails etc abound. It is possibly more of an issue of learning what they really want than of being trolls and time wasters.

My latest e-books are now available on Amazon. Please click on the corresponding links below for more info.
First Steps to Personal Empowerment

Do Black Women in Afros
Date White Guys?

Supposing I wanted to
Date a White Guy...?
Buy Here or Buy at Amazon

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Clear thinking for Black Women

The real 'Body' if you ask me...what black women can achieve body-wise 

I am sure many of you who are trying to be vigilant about what you eat and your general health must have by now come across the story of how government, in collaboration with some very powerful food lobby groups, in particular the fast food folk, suppressed the information about how sugar as opposed to fat is the killer ingredient in our diets.

I was watching the BBC program 'The men who made us fat', a while back and it blew my mind how even government ministers (named and shamed), suppressed thorough academic research! In one particular incident a well known politician in the UK called one of the professors who researched the issue and arrived at concrete evidence about the danger of sugar, for a meeting. He being confident that his realms of evidence about the emerging obesity issue had suddenly broken through walked into the room with every assurance, but in a couple of seconds was devastated when the then minister tapped at his report and said in her very British fashion, “tsk tsk, very harsh aren’t we.”

I would say here that such academics also then suffer career-wise by coming into confrontation with powerful others who don’t want the word out about the dangers of the product/ingredient that is essentially their golden goose.

If you haven’t watched the program or heard about how sugar is the biggest diet issue in the West, visit here

The reports (there were loads of them) never got out and neither did the information that could have saved the quality of life and even the very lives of millions of people today! If confronted today about what was done then, you can be sure that the government will deny the conspiracy to deal deceitfully with the public, they will blame a previous administration or a single politician (preferably deceased), declare it an oversight or say 'we were working with the knowledge we had back then.'

It is a scary thing that the information that could save your and my life can easily be dismissed because a non-scientist or politician/someone who is susceptible to powerful lobby groups has the final say over the release of vital information. Yes we might be in a better place as humanity than half a million years ago when we battled the elements and predator lions, but each and every age has it's deadly issues. Do you understand the pitfalls in today's system and set-up?

Well thank God for the internet I say, and this is why everyone of you must be a researcher. You must devote anything up to and above 3 hours a week searching and researching information that will be of benefit to your life and your social progress. And don’t just research the top ten pages thrown up by google, some neat ideas and theories might be on page twenty because the person producing it doesn’t have the IT skills or money to 'optimize' their information on the web.

Many of us are running aspects of our lives by philosophies and concepts that are not 'mainstream' and they are yielding results! Atkins diet, Paleo diet have talked about the necessity of protein base for diets and many of these pioneers have been mocked by mainstream yet their theories have helped millions. I am the first person who will tell black women that they need to reintegrate into mainstream and stop side-streaming their lives because there are massive benefits and rewards to be had by mingling in mainstream as opposed to occupying side pools of famine (aka the black community), but we must not loose sight of the fact that the mainstream is also being shaped and controlled by those who want to promote a particular brand of life, understanding, news etc etc. It is important to watch how the rich and powerful play the game, because they often have access to vital information that is not common knowledge but which is the reason why 'common folk' are suffering deprivation, lack and poverty. A good number of rich and powerful folk knew about the economic disaster that came 2008, and they got out of the way as best they could!

From diet to career advice, we don’t need to spend hours in the Library yet never even get any significant understanding, these days catalogues are on the net, amazing libraries of information are also on the net. You can find the solution to any and everything if you spend time researching and each one of us can also expand the body of knowledge on any particular subject also by sharing information online as we do with BWE.

I suppose the question to ask is, what would you have done if you happened to have had that information about how sugar was the killer ingredient in Western diet. Would you have adjusted yourself to the vital information or been carried along by the way society was going? This is an important question for each of us to consider because the fact is, it's not just about availability of information, many of us are weak minded and crowd followers and we will not do something different to save our lives. Thats where the issue lies for some of us!

You are required to assist, and to rescue your own life, not follow blindly even the advice given by the FDA/government and other well known opinion formers. That’s the challenge that befalls the twenty first century human.

My Latest e-books are now available on Amazon. Please click on the corresponding links below for more info.
First Steps to Personal Empowerment

Do Black Women in Afros
Date White Guys?

Supposing I wanted to
Date a White Guy...?
Buy Here or Buy at Amazon