How to Handle and Respond to IRR Harassers

Great post that I think everyone should read. I wrote a post similar to this but she also has great responses.


Black Female Culture

black_woman_white_man-hands1If you are in an IRR (inter-“racial” relationship) you probably know that the majority of people you encounter do not care about your relationship. They have their own lives and problems, and you are not even a blip on their screen. In fact, most of the time, you will merely be observed with the intensity of someone under CIA surveillance. Unfortunately, the minority, who do take issue with you living your life in a way that does not benefit them directly or makes them feel some kind of way, will be obnoxiously vocal about it. These people can be strangers, friends and even your own relatives. Regardless of your familiarity with such people, there are only three ways I recommend dealing with them.

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Cost Cutting Techniques For The College Bound Black Woman

A few announcements first. I didn’t forget that June is Black Women’s history and Achievement month during June here at NYGF. (A family member graduated, I had finals and my computer crashed, then I had a writing deadline) which made my posts late. But I will be  be choosing black women I think are interesting  and will be writing about them at the end of the post.
Second of all I will be starting a new series that will be focusing on lifestyle choices for black women. This is the first post.
So here are my ideas for black women to save money during their college years.  As always this is an open forum for suggestions as I don’t claim to know all.

  •  Live at home. Many college students feel the need to live in dorms. Unless your family situation is simply untenable I believe it is a waste of money to live in a dorm.  A great way to save money is to stay at home and communite. At some colleges for people who communte they even do things like Zimride which is a ride sharing. This can save a lot of money.
  • Community college for two years- I started college in community college before transferring. Because of my income I got a grant so this save a lot of money so the only thing that I had to spend money on during the semesters were books. I would suggest every student start there because a lot of times the prices are cheaper.
  • In State- Many people try and go out of state this is extraneous and money wasting a lot of times. (unless you’re getting a scholarships or have a good job opportunity) I would suggest going in state. The tuition rate is lower. For people who live on the West Coast Check out the Western Undergraduate Exchange. You get reduced tuition rates in reciprocal states like California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico(?) Alaska? And yes even Hawaii. The reciprocity means that you pay less money than out of state but a bit more than in state. I have used this and received a grant through this program and along with the (amazing) financial aid I received from my school I save thousands and will leave with few student loans.  And if you got to community college first then transfer to another state (as long as you live in one of these and go to another in that state) through this program you can reduce costs.
  • The website below is for this program and it go here and you can see participating schools and the programs.
  •  Take courses in Community college that will let you graduate with an AA degree or certificate so you can work your way through.  Training as a paralegal or a dental assistant while it may take a little extra time can actually save you money as you can get a real job. In my state a Dental Assistant makes 50,000 a year dollars, and an  LVN can make 60,000 or a physical therapist assistant can make the same amount. and some of the programs only take two semesters. Further  got to public, never private schools.
  •  Community College Only: I am aware that education is important. However, everyone doesn’t have the time or inclination to go through all of that. There are many jobs that make money without having to get a BA or MA. Check these out. As I said there are some jobs like Dental Assistant that can make 50,000 dollars or more.  If you want to be a stay at home mom this may be a good choice because you may be able to get better hours while still having a good income.  My friend did this and she was able to find a job as a medical assistant quickly. Vocational Jobs are a great idea.  Or choose a BA degree that will let you get a job immediately after graduation without having to get an MA. Police officer or Fireman or paremedic may be a choice.
  •  To make extra money you can do online surveys, odd jobs ( I have seen on craigslist) and at one point a family member pointed out  that sometimes colleges in the area will pay people to do studies. Sometimes these can be psychology students doing these simple studies and you can make some money doing it. So check in your area.  Some BWE authors (can’t remember at the moment but if you do please post the link) have even suggested self-publishing books as that can be extra money. If you have the time that is an option. Cash in cans for money. This may sound weird but you can actually get money for turning in cans to a recycling center.
  • (this is the only link I remember at the moment.
  •  If you don’t live at home live with a roommate (that is trustworthy). You can save much money doing this. But I advise only doing this with people you can trust. That have been proven you can trust. Not people who will be dangerous or put you in bad situations.
  • When buying books Use the site Deal They compare prices so you can find the best one. Do not rent books. Re Sell so you can recoup money. Also I need to get a really expensive book (60) for an English class I had to take. I found the same book at the library so  please check there.   Ask your teacher about using older edition. I am always doing this. One book I needed went from 50 dollars to like 10 bucks when I got the (1.) edition earlier version of the book The information was the same.
  • .Take classes with friends/ family that way you can share the book  and get the same classes out of the way. If you aren’t taking the same classes but will be taking it at some point you can trade books Also check craigslist for books my family member got a TI 83 calculator for cheap on craigslist and books from there to
  • Forgo meal plan if possible this may take extra money and it may be cheaper to  make it yourself. And you will have larger portions and left overs. Host meals with friends where everyone only pays for one meal a week. Or buy in bulk with friends ( invest in costco) and split the foods/costs.. Costco (or Sams Club) can be helpful
  • Forgo extras like alcohol, sugary drinks (sodas), and Starbucks and music downloads. These things can zap extra money and the add up and can make you fat. Instead stick with water (Buy your own BPA free water bottle) or make your own coffee. For things like music downloads there are programs like Freegal at the library that legally let you download music from artists Check your local library for that . program.  If you must get fast food remember DOLLAR MENU. They have this at many places.
  • Volunteer while in college this could give you an edge later to find a better job.
  • Shop at consignment shops or, trade clothes with friends.  Some consignment shops have very nice clothes dishes, etc. I mentioned CD’s above. You can also buy those there (for cheap). I wouldn’t suggest furniture (bed bugs) and if you buy clothes make sure to bag them and then put them in hot water when you get them home before placing them down anywhere in the home.
  • For feminine black women who may need there mani/pedi do it yourself. Many youtube videos offer great tutorials to show you how to do your own acrylics, gels/ press on/glue on etc and buy beauty supplies on eBay. Some suggest doing manicures for friends to save money.  Hair tutorials are cheaper than salons and going natural can be less expensive.
  •  Cut extraneous like cable. You know my stance on the black women and the media. Cut the chaos in your life and save money by getting rid of cable see my article below for suggestions.
  • And above all if possible do NOT join the military for college money.  I will be writing a post about this soon. But this is a BAD IDEA. I will expand on this in my next post.
  • As always please add any suggestions in the comments section. As I hope to help younger black women.
  • ****************************************************************************************************
  • This week I chose Cicely Tyson. 79  year old  Cicely Tyson grew up in Harlem. She has been an actress for many years and did such movies like the legendary The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. She won two Emmy’s for this role and was nominated for a BAFTA Award.  She also was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for the movie  Sounder.  She was also married for a brief time to Miles Davis.(Wikipedia)
  • This week she won her first Tony Award for Lead Actress.  Below Is a lovely clip of her acceptance speech.

Note please forgive the formatting. It was off and I was in a hurry. The next post will be more in order

Until next time….

How to respond to femininity haters


This post (which is a response to a comment)  comes at the end of May’s Readers Suggestion month. I would have posted it on the 31st but my computer crashed and I had finals to finish up on and I my brother was graduating, So forgive me for being late.

Anyhoo.  A commenter asked this question:

I want to be a stay at home wife and mother. What resources I can look for that help black
women who desire to stay home. Also how can I respond to haters who don’t want black
women to be feminine?

Well I can’t answer the first question right now, simply because I have to do more extensive research on this topic (and I’m pressed for time at the moment) and also because I have a post of this nature planned for later in the month of June (most likely)But I will answer the question of how to respond to femininity haters.

As many black women know there is a certain segment of people ( that doesn’t stop with one race or gender) that simply can’t stand it when black women are feminine. And by simply can’t stand it, they gnash their teeth, pull their hair out and almost blow their brains in at the idea that black women could possibly want to be treated in any way that goes beyond being a garish

The first and foremost way to deal with these people is to be on your guard.  Here me out. As someone who is hoping that black women can remain neutral some of my biggest advice would be to avoid these people.  I don’t even have to write a full post about the fact that because of your decision there will be guilters, shamers and the like just waiting to attack or shame you.

So one of the biggest things I can advise black women to do is to be on your guard. That means be able to spot a shamer and deal with it accordingly.

How do you spot a shamer? A few ways:

  • Shamers / Detractrers most likely travel alone.  I mean most people who like to attack others are usually cowards (off line that is).
  • Shamers/ Detracters are usually passive aggressive. Because of the fact that shamers are cowards they are most likely passive aggressive. That is most are the type that fall into a few categories (they are usually that woman at work that will make “catty” remarks to you that is layered in something else.  A lot of Shamers usually don’t just come out and create a confrontation they simply want to make you feel bad about yourself.
  • The shamers that have skipped the passive part and jumped straight into aggressive, they are generally  the men that are going to catcall you on the street (women are less likely to simply be violent)
  • The shamers and guilters are also more likely to be supposed “well meaning” family that feels that you should be living the way that they want. Or sadly enough they have their own  agenda for what you should do.
  • The shamers and guilters are also more likely to be feminists that are angry that you jumped ship.
  • The shamers and guilters may also be “Friends” who are simply jealous of you and your life.


Why did I previously say keep your guard up?

Because from these categories it is possible that these people could be surrounding you all the time.

As someone who promotes the idea of being neutral I would advise black women to avoid confrontations with these people. (Online you don’t have to respond at all you can simply leave spaces in which these people habituate and go somewhere else.)  Offline is more difficult because these people aren’t going to be as aggressive because again most of these people are passive aggressive when actually faced with you. That is where keeping your guard up comes from.  Because you need to be paying attention to those “well meaning” friends/ family/ coworkers who could potentially be passive aggressively insulting you. You need to be able to decipher if they are, not so you can confront them( this rarely works)  but so you can avoid them if possible.

For example say for instance someone you know starts going on about how they don ‘t understand *why* any woman would want to be feminine. “Sexism and all that” they say attempting to draw you into the conversation. If you have your guard up,  I would advise you either smoothly change the subject and if you can’t do that, politely excuse yourself. If you know that a person who likes to go on and on about the way you dress for example, spend their time in the break room,  I would suggest going to the break room while they aren’t around.  Or if you go to class and you know someone is particularly randy to engage you in conversations about you dress/ behave the way you do,  you could politely excuse yourself and sit in the front of the class. ( Heck you could even say that you can’t see the board.)

You may believe that I am justifying the behavior of people who choose to target black women for being feminine. I am not. But recognize that confrontations rarely help things (especially since black women in a lot of cases end up being the loser of that.)  This isn’t to say to hide your beliefs or pretend to be someone you’re not. What I am trying to say is that some people, those people who simply can’t *fathom* feminine black women whether white, black, man, or woman,   may try and drag you into their own hate/shame  for you or what you  stand for.  I am simply providing you the easiest most simplest way to avoid such people (who will never change their opinion) is to avoid them or extricate yourself out of situations in which they spend their time. So you can have peace of mind.

Further when dealing with people who don’t want black women to be feminine. I would advise you to keep records of what is going on. Many bloggers have written about the harassment they’ve gotten from women at work who tried to outwardly or subtly sabotage them on the job. I would suggest that you keep records of each time they insult you. If you have to record the conversation I would suggest that to. That way if the passive aggressive becomes aggressive you will have records to take to human resources if you were not able to avoid them.

Speaking of aggression; there are some black women who  live in terrible neighborhoods that might want to be feminine. I am aware that being feminine in *certain* areas may make black women a target of bird brained black people (men and women) for street harassment , assault , violence etc. I would suggest that if you live in a neighborhood that you feel may  make you a sitting duck, that you hold off on that simply so you can stay safe until you can move out of the area.

This should also be how you respond to family that are just adamant about you being feminine. For example if you are  living with your family and they are constantly going on and on about you being feminine I would suggest that you try and either change the subject. Spend as little time alone with them as possible and (quietly) save up money to leave.

Listen, I know that you may want me to give you some sort of reasons to give your family about why you like to be feminine. But the truth is that there is no perfect response to people who feel the need to respond to haters.  That is why they are haters. The best way to spare yourself is to avoid them. Even family.

For example sometimes my cousin likes to talk about feminism.  Instead of trying to rebut her I usually tell her that I don’t want  to talk about that and change the subject.   That generally does the trick and we can move on to other neutral and enjoyable topics. (and my cousin doesn’t push.)

If you have family who does push however that would be the moment to get up and leave the room. Again if they don’t respect your wish to change the topic or keep their opinion to themselves they aren’t going to truly want to know why you enjoy being feminine. The easiest way to handle everything is to simply leave the room when they start doing it. Again as I said if it is a common every day occurrence I would definitely suggest that you save up enough money to (again quietly move out) so that you can limit your contact with such people.

If they are a friend I would suggest you stop being friends with them altogether. Because chances are they are not actually friends but passive aggressive people who fall into one of the categories that I listed earlier.

Finally, let’s move  on to actual responses….

Some of you may find that you won’t be able to take the neutral choice and leave the room or avoid the person altogether. You may find that yourself in a gathering where you are put on the spot by someone. (passive aggressive people love to do this to others.)

I read a very good article on WikiHow about how to respond when someone attacks your convictions.

I think this is a very good article that presents a number of situation in which (if you are cornered) so I definitely think that you should check it out.

Finally, if any other commenters have any other ideas I would suggest that you please leave a comment. I hope this helped a little bit.

Until Next Time…