Hear me out audience (I wrote this post a few days ago but am posting it today). As the original blogs that addressed the ways black women have been mistreated by black males and interpersonal relationships gained traction the initial pushback served to generate more interest. So like feminism there’s been a 2nd wave, 3rd wave and so on of newer bloggers adding facets to the conversation and expanding this social movement.
I am happy to participate in the BWE initiative. No, we don’t all think alike or have the same agendas. Some are also mostly focused on interracial dating and marriage because it’s the inevitable logical conclusion for those women to choose men globally, irrespective of race. Other bloggers include various aspects by matter of importance to their forum.
This is why it’s good to get an overview of several blogs, find out what resonates based on where you are at during that time in your life and use what will work for you in that moment. Some of the messaging may go over the heads of some women because it’s not a perspective they share. Some we may disagree with. At the end of the day, it’s your life and your choice.
I do think we have to be willing to take some responsibility for what we write and consider who may be reading our conversations. Everyone isn’t a friend. Some people are very vulnerable. We may need to adjust posting criteria or comment moderation accordingly. That is, based on how we define who our core audience is. Many of us may share certain readers while some of us have none in common.
We can have a respect for one another but that doesn’t guarantee solidarity per se. We may also be so enthusiastic to read the contributions of other bloggers we may presume we’re all in agreement about every detail. I mention this for a few reasons. One is to make sure one’s backside is always flanked. The other is to make sure you haven’t unnecessarily exposed yourself by making assumptions.
Since this came up as part of a conversation at the Sojourner’s Passport Don’t Stop Tell The Whole Truth It’ll Set Your Free post, I had to add my two cents. This links back to a conversation by blogger Von at Von’s Black Consciousness. You can read the posts and comments but one of the comments that stuck out for me was regarding the focus of a blogger. The BlogMother can speak for herself, but it is my understanding that What About Our Daughters is not nor ever has been a “Black Women’s Empowerment”-specifically identified blog. This is why we must always leave room in trying to identify people and causes.
Certainly the defense of black women and girls is a powerful message and one that was met with a lot of heat from those who didn’t like being exposed. In fact, Gina’s blog was the first one written by a black woman I’d read and seeing the mistreatment of black women laid out so clearly was initially shocking in light of the utter silence in the (dead) black community.
By the time I continued my search through the blogosphere and found Evia & Halima’s blogs and others I was already primed for continued exploration of these memes when launching my own forum. I don’t always identify myself as a BWE blogger either – though I support the message of uplifting black women wholeheartedly. Shades of grey people. Shades of grey.
My first posts were more politically-oriented because in 2008 that was a big deal and I lived in San Francisco where there’s always a scheduled protest. I was on my way to finding similarly-minded women though because I had already noted how a “person of color” had specifically stated he didn’t believe in diversity when it came to ensuring equal representation and inclusion of blacks. I was livid at the time, but I get it now.
The push by our black male misleaders for integration and rainbow coalitions was all about their abandonment of blackness (women and children) and they had opened the door wide enough so that anyone could come in, take what they wanted (black women’s resources) and leave. As long as black women continue to blindly support these males and their causes without demanding reciprocity we are leaving ourselves in a vulnerable position across several fronts to be taken for granted. To say the least.
I want women to step out on faith so they will have all the love they need and their best lives possible. That’s why I named my blog Acts Of Faith In Love and Life so it will continue to evolve. That may encompass any message or ideology. That also means it’s not one size fits all, but there are some common basics that must be met. We in the blogosphere will simply not always agree what they are.
There’s a blogger who has discussed strategies for black women to divest who ridicules the idea of African-American ethnic pride and recognition. There are some bloggers who regularly seek to encourage black women to live well or attempt course-correction but have invited the participation of others onto their forums who don’t have an established track of doing so. I, of course wholly disagree with tying any trans woman or intersex woman into conversations regarding the potential othering of (cis gender) black women as I don’t think focusing on them addresses our core problems. Of which there are many. Reciprocity swings both ways after all.
Since we’ve already discussed this on Facebook two weeks ago I’ll also add that while I can appreciate Von’s contributions and can see the clear influence of the BWE blogs, the messaging differs greatly for several reasons. I’m in no way trying to disparage the work of that blogger but I must identify key discrepancies that should not be missed.
This is where age and life experiences come into play I’m certain, but also a serious consideration of the overall “big picture” agenda we “need” to have that black women be free to choose what serves their best interests even when those interests are not our own. That includes the uncomfortable explorations into dating globally, being fit, losing weight, not encouraging out of wedlock/never married status as the norm and a host of other topics that have varying levels of contentiousness based on where the blog host as well as the reader is coming from.
In order words we have to take everything equally seriously but always with a grain of salt. Some of us may never meet. We have to do what we think will help us sleep best at night if we feel so compelled. Others are simply not that invested. Oddly enough, that may or not may be a bad thing. We each have our own lives to lead and have our own journeys and destinies. We will carry on the work though.
I have to add a few thoughts below
Black Conscious Thought –
I’m not sure what that is exactly but isn’t the purpose of empowerment to free ourselves from labels such as these? We’re trying to get black women to stop thinking of themselves in terms of race first and to stop being race women. If it’s either the blog host’s mindset or the purpose of the blog to keep others thinking “black”, that means BW will not be positioning themselves globally. Not to mention that by no means guarantees any race or ethnic pride or healthy self-esteem.
The liberal use of foul language is a huge negative –
Haven’t we also had discussions about how black women need to be more careful in their public presentation? My blog posts tend to be very wordy because amongst other things I read posts aloud. I like the feel for syntax and nuance and sometimes you get a better read by speaking. Not to mention the fact that I can’t share posts with young girls if they have to be bleeped out. It is not a feminine image for black women to display such coarseness publicly.
The underlying rage indicates a tie to the DBR/No Value Black male –
I can read the frustration and pain at that blog, which I found more than a year ago and why I don’t frequent it. It’s very centered on what black males are (not) doing. When the comment section is littered with black males who do not want to take any responsibility but the blog host still actively engages with them. When the blog host mentions she’s going to marry a black male (congrats!) and is not actively encouraging black women to expand their dating options to include all men. She can correct me if I’m wrong, but I get the distinct feeling she finds the idea unappealing. This is why we must sometimes put our individual thoughts aside for the greater good and overall messaging of positioning black women across all spectrum. Especially those outside our comfort zones, but I know she is a younger blog host.
It speaks to a lack of certain experiences we all need to have eventually if we are to live our best lives. There has to be a logical progression in these conversations so that women can move forward and not stay mired in the “dead” black community.