A is for Anger… And, Why I write What I write…

i.

Today I wanted to discuss the last post that I wrote and some things that have been a long time coming.  It seemed that some commenters  don’t understand why I specifically highlight and focus on the privilege of certain groups and highlight the fact that in some situations black women aren’t going to win.  Some commenters (and some readers) may feel that I focus too much on pointing out the privilege that other groups have that black women lack.

Since I have gotten more than one of these comments on more than one occasion I will spend this post to talking about why I write what I write.

When I started this blog, I knew one of the biggest problems that I had when I looked at the collective lives of black women was that many of them made poor decisions. Now, before you get your panties incurably in a bunch. What I mean by this is whether black women have been (against their will) or not fed a line black a large majority of black women as a GROUP have the tendency to make decisions that go AGAINST self-interest.

Even when  I first started writing this blog I wasn’t sure the reasons for this, if you looked at my early posts,  I did point phenomenon’s that I continually saw concerning black women by I still never noticed the WHY.

It wasn’t until I read numerous pieces of literature by black women authors, like the book But Some of Us Are Brave: All the Women Are White, all The Blacks Are Men and Crenshaw’s very illuminating works on Intersectionality that I started to piece things together.

It was then (and if you look at my posts under the ‘posts you may want to read first’ tab) that you see how I pieced things together, and drew my conclusions, that black women will NEVER benefit from the privilege that is set up to be gained from either black power movements or feminist movements, unless in the barest strictest terms.

Now, some people may believe that write of this is to HARP on the idea or place black women in the position of thinking that they are powerless, but from my point of view I feel that at NYGF it is important to talk about this privilege and point it out in its entirety.

Why? Because most black women from what I am seeing do not understand the name of the game. They do not understand that the game for is rigged in the favor of others (yes based on privilege) and because of this black women do not choose alignments that will have them benefiting.

Why do I emphasize alignments? Because considering the way that privilege currently plays out in the United States, the only thing that black women have left IS alignments.

And don’t mistake me alignments are not something to scoff at. In fact I would say (If I haven’t made this clear to readers before) that alignments are more important than anything else.

Unfortunately too many black women make the wrong ones.  As I said because most black women don’t understand that understanding privilege goes hand in hand with making the right choices.

How? Let me give a few examples before I move on.

Let’s first talk about the “all great” media machine that black women CONTINUAL FUEL and FEED LIKE A LOVING PET.

Recently there were a number of shows featuring black women on them coming out, and as usual many black women, as they always do jumped on the bandwagon to support these shows full blast. Without asking for PROOF that they would benefit these black women have JUMPED at the CHANCE to SUPPORT AND BOLSTER shows, still misunderstanding the fact that the game has been rigged.

In the case of the show Twisted on ABC FAMILY these women believed, truly believed the idea that the media monster would switch things up in the past 100 years and put black women in the role of love interest and not a side kick, and after they’d wasted their money and gotten the show a back order of episodes, that they were again going to be relegated to “token”. These women didn’t understand, still don’t get that in the world of PRIVLEGE the black girl in a love triangle is only there to draw in black women viewers but will never actually get the love interest.  In the world of privilege and the world of media, that white WOMEN are going to be pushed at the penultimate of womanhood, and love.  Instead of black women choosing to vote with their wallets these women got played.  Which they only realized after a series of promotional tweets show this favor for the white female character.

Jumping farther down the media rabbit hole, I continue to see this, the television show Sleepy Hollow on Fox already has legions of black women  orgasming at the prospect of a “person of color” having a  ‘real role”. These black women actually believe that Beharie is going to be a potential love interest and not a FAN WANK. Even if the show starts out strong NOW I guarantee that it’s all downhill from here.

These black women don’t realize that if they even ever intended the black character to be a love interest they wouldn’t have put the Foil of the character having a WIFE that acts as a very effective ****  block.  They would notice that this is cleverly used on almost ALL shows that black women are the major character. Or as someone in a forum once pointed out when it’s time to discourage shipping on a “serious” show a la person of interest they cast a black female character. Because of course we won’t ship them, amiright?

Someone once asked me what I thought about Scandal and I declined to answer the question because at the time I wasn’t sure, but something in the back of my mind has always nagged at me about that show and I finally was able to put into words why I don’t like it or at the very least mistrust the hope of a Happily Ever After for the character:

The show goes out of its way to show this black woman in dysfunctional INTERRACIAL relationship.  Which if you look at almost any show or movie with a black woman in it, that trope is used  ad nauseum.  Aside from the usual **** block trope that is used to keep black women from effectively being put in the OTP  the writers make sure to put black women in shows that either have a LOVE TRIANGLE ( always with a white woman who “wins”)  put them in shows that don’t encourage shipping ( a la  person of interest) or they put them in a relationship that is MORALLY OBJECTIONABLE (For example the man is committing adultery on  Scandal and the man is married on Sleepy Hollow) so that by the end of the show , fans don’t expect them to actually get together.

Now, my point isn’t to go on and on about television shows with black women on them. No my point is that black women DON”T SEEM TO GET THAT privilege in the media almost effectively assures that that black women WILL come out on the bottom. If they knew this black women would PROBABALY choose better alignments.  They would realize that they already lost when they are put in a love triangle to begin with,  or they would realize that dysfunctional relationship is strategically placed  to discourage shipping.

These black women would understand the function of privilege and how it works in Mass Media and keep it moving. Alas, black women don’t not get this and so they keep getting wanked.  Indeed most of the people who were angered by Scandal were upset because the man was white, not because the black character was put on sinking “ship” that viewers would purposefully and instinctively revolt because of “moral objections.”

SMH

ii.

…. A is for Anger

But let’s move on. Because media isn’t the biggest problem that black women have concerning realizing privilege and subsequently getting SCREWED.

In fact I’ve noticed a few things that black women collectively complain about the following things.

  • No Representation in the Media
  • Bad Representation in the Media
  • Sorry love lives
  • Being overlooked in feminism and black power movements
  • The fact that these groups don’t CARE about their problems.

Did I leave anything out?

In every single one of these cases black women’s problems could be solved if they simply UNDERSTOOD THE WAY PRIVILEGE WORKED. Don’t Believe me? Let me break it down for you.

The problem concerning no representation could be solved simply by turning off your television. And rejecting most of forms of popular culture.  It could also be solved by black women making their OWN media.

Make no mistake, this isn’t 1960’s. The internet is in full form and advancing every day we saw how the web show Awkward Black Girl made a new season based simply on DONATIONS, anyone can publish a book on Amazon Publishing that could have black women as love interests in interracial or even non interracial if black women were willing to publish them.

Black women could produce their own (small budgeted movies) if they decided to organize effectively for donations. (Hell the show Veronica Mars is getting a movie simply from this)

Black women would stop getting BAD representation when they VOTE WITH THEIR WALLETS as other BWE writers like Evia have pointed.

Black women’s  sorry love lives would disappear if they expanded their dating pool past the ‘nothing but a black man” check box while dating.  Again this isn’t the 1960’s it isn’t illegal or hard to date someone outside of their race.

Black women would stop losing their resources and effectively cut of the chances that black men and white women have actively taken to crush black women if they’d stop putting ammunition into their guns and supporting their WHINING movements in which they complain they came in SECOND Place and got the silver medal instead of the gold they’ve been coveting.

At this point we are as far as we can go with either, as both have proven they are regressing. You don’t need to be a feminist or black rights activist to have common sense, go to college or make good. decisions. Despite the lies you’re being fed black women CAN live WELL without giving your soul to the devil.   Many of black women’s problems would also EVAPORATE and Do once they escape blackistan neighborhoods and leave deadbeat blacks to fend for themselves.

iii.

So what’s my point?

My point is that I don’t know how much of a connection some of my readers and other black women get, that to be successful in these things.  Black women would have to UNDERSTAND THE WAY PRIVILEGE works in these situations (and yes it is there) To avoid this, to not point out the way privilege would be catastrophic because many black women are paralyzed  to do anything about the problems they have. They may feel guilt at not supporting what they’ve been brainwashed to support, anger that they’ve been screwed again or they may even believe entities like the media do not have an agenda and are actually their ‘friend’.

I at NYGF focus on privilege or the lack thereof for black women because once black women get why they are losing they can choose things that allow them to win. Remember more important than privilege is alignments. Supporting things that truly support black. Women. If you wonder what these things are you’ll know them if they have actual tangible benefits. Not promises of benefits like this is some sort of futurity .

Continual anger is for those who believe that they have no power over the a situation. It is for people who are powerless and have NO Chance of being able to change their status. Black Women are not these people. Black women once they change their alignments or as I have been saying REMAIN NEUTRAL and choose what’s INDIVIDUALLY best for them, they will be upwardly mobile so that privilege doesn’t matter.

Finally,

A commenter once asked me what was the best way to support other black women. I didn’t have time to answer then but now I can answer. What I would say is that  the best way for black women to help other black women is to SAVE YOURSELF!!!! What I mean by this is make sure that you are secured make the best decisions that you can and other black women will see and copy the same way. Don’t listen to naysayers, they are most likely jealous or scared but most people are followers  so if they see a good thing they are most likely to try to get in on the action to benefit.  Show other black women that you can have the courage to leave blackistan areas and expand their dating pool.  Mentor a young girl (if you have the capacity or the opportunity) to  show them how to unplug from the media world. .

And remember that you are NOT powerless, privilege is only a small facet of life.  You can get on top simply by being smart. Once you understand how it works you have unlimited potential.

Basically live by example.

I know I will.

 

Until Next Time,

 

Stay Neutral

 

PS. I’m sorry this is so late and I failed to respond to comments on the last post. My classes started up again, and I’ve begun writing again. I’m just trying to juggle it all…

Please bear with me.

Also please forgive any spelling or grammatical errors, I was in a hurry.

OLS.

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75 thoughts on “A is for Anger… And, Why I write What I write…

  1. “The show goes out of its way to show this black woman in dysfunctional INTERRACIAL relationship.”
    The first thing that came to my mind was boy meets world, If u remember that show…they also always make the two exact opposites, so it’s like a dangerous attraction

  2. I just want to thank you for this post and what you’re doing. I just discovered your blog a week ago there about and it’s so poignant and straight to the point. I’ve always believed what you’re writing about as a black american woman and have felt very alone for the bulk of my life, child and adult(in my later 30’s now). Your blog, Avia’s, the blogger over at Black Women Deserve Better are saying what I’ve been saying and feeling all along. I used to try to talk to black women in general to help them ‘see’ these things I’ve seen since I was young because, I’ve just always been very cognizant and extremely aware even as a child of how I am viewed and treated in this country called Amerikkka and Blakistan. But I wasn’t feeling as empowered as I’d like and need to be. It’s a refreshing reminder for me to continue to do better and ‘align’ myself better, always.

  3. This is a very thought provoking piece. I understand fully what you are stating when you discuss the notion of privilege – the benefits that accrue to a certain group merely by being a member of a collective, that due to historical factors, led to said group having a more dominant position over others. In the case of BM, they are the beneficiaries of patriarchy, by virtue of being males. As such, certain benefits accrue to them just for being male. WW benefit from being Caucasian. Again, due to certain historical factors, more benefits accrue Caucasians collectively, and ww benefit from this by being a member of that group. BW need to be more cognizant of this, and thus be more strategic in her choices. That way, she will not be used to do the heavy lifting of other non-bw collectives in their bid for dominance. She can make choices that will be in her best interests. What is best for non bw collectives (eg BM & WW) are not necessarily what is best for a BW, because the interests of all groups involved are not exactly aligned, or not aligned at all! One major source of power, as you have pointed out, is the spending power of BW as a collective. If many BW, as individuals, wielded this effectively, this would enable BW to call the shots (establishing privilege/leverage), in a way that would force the hands of others to not malign BW, and to promote BW and their interests, if they do want to benefit from the spending power of BW. Money talks.
    ***
    I also had the same reservations about Sleepy Hollow. I too noticed how the show’s directors/writers inserted, as you stated, the foil of the wife to ensure that nothing will come to fruition – or at best, that the main BW character would be embroiled in a love triangle. I am pretty sure the wife will not be killed off to pair the bw lead with the male lead. Admittedly, I do like the show Scandal, but yes, the main character in that show is involved in a 3 way love affair. I am pretty sure the Washington’s character will not have a resolution of this situation in her favour (not until the end of the series, maybe). The second that happens, the show is over, because that is one of the main “hooks” of that show: the need to see Olivia & Fitz finally get together, despite all the drama and tribulations. It is this angst that draws viewers to the show, much like any soap opera, except that this one is much better written and faster paced.

  4. You wrote: “Black women don’t CARE about their problems.” I don’t know about that….I think a lot of us do care but we just don’t know what to do about it. We see no away out of this madness

  5. So when I put things together, love triangles on t.v.: hook black women because we flock to shows were we are featured as love interest (something which even our own men don’t promote), but at the same time are set up to ultimately have the white woman win (naturally), and guilt the black woman for being angry for losing (he’s a cheater, why would you want to be with him?,) but not the white woman who took him back even though he is a cheater (because she won).

    I never saw Twisted, but heard about it, and I must say I felt bad for the young viewers who basically internalized losing, especially since we are trying to encourage young black women to expand their options. The message it gives when we lose is that even if you step outside of your race, you will ultimately end up alone. As for Scandal, I don’t want them to end up together, but I do want Olivia to find her own man, who is committed to her and her only.

    P.S. I hate to sound old, but I am still trying to figure out what ‘shipping’ means, I am guessing it means to let a show tank or not to support a show.

  6. I too had reservations about Sleepy Hollow. Black women need to go on a serious media fast. Good news on my end. My paper work for my apartment is looking good. the neighborhood is affluent and I am getting a studio. I didn’t mean to digress but black women have to leave Blackistan and just start fresh. I feel as Black Women you will have to align yourself up with nice, kind white men who are willing to help you. They know that being in safe neighborhoods are beneficial to the woman well being. You not going to shoot at the white folks and get away with it. I live in Chicago and the shootings that take place are either on the south or west side of Chicago. Mainly your blackistan areas. I am not saying things don’t happen on the north side, but usually where there is white people, there is police protection. Black women need to realize that is what Asian women have done. Asian women reputation early on was depicted in a negative way. They ALIGN themselves up with powerful people mainly the white man, and media started showcasing them in a more positive light. Black women tend to follow examples that are working and get results. I feel that Black women just need to make their own programs instead of being someone third wheel. When the media realize we are no longer supporting those negative images of Black women, then they can rank in the money. The truth be told the media has never been black friends or black women friend. The bm align himself up with becky and since becky father is in media, then Deshawn got his agenda across and bw are just funding it. even though he leaves us out , Bw are making heaven for the non-black woman and making our lives uncomfortable and struggling. Black Woman STOP GETTING PIMPED.

  7. Why do so many BW continue to support groups who continously repay their devotion with contempt?

    In my opinion it’s due to a form of mental illness that I call MammyMaid disease. BW with this disease don’t actually expect any reciprocity in this life because they literally believe that they’ll get their reward in heaven, and are fully prepared to wait and suffer til then.

    In this life they are satisfied with any scraps that get thrown at them, Scraps like Twisted and Sleepy hollow, or the odd shout out from a BM cRapper. They’d rather have those scraps than prepare a fully nourishing meal for themselves by creating or supporting their own media, no matter how easily it can be done.

    The root of MammyMaid disease is self hatred and the placing of ALL others, that is, BM, WW and any other group you can name, above themselves.

    I see it as a real form of mental illness that is rife amongst BW. The best proof is the NBABM attitude towards BW IR dating. If these NBABM BW had even the smallest ounce of logic or self interest, they would be celebrating the increasing rate of IR amongst other BW. Why? Because logic dictates, the more BW date out, the less competition there’ll be for their adored Black Kings, and the more BM there’ll be available for ‘race loyal’ women like themselves. It’s basic common sense.

    But MammyMaid disease ridden BW, don’t see themselves or BW who look like them as fully humans, and completely identify with the desires and needs of other groups.
    So as BM want BW on tap for sexing and muling duties and are threatened by the growing exodus, these BW who simply want what BM want, move in to police escaping BW, even though they are doing so AGAINST THEIR OWN SELF INTEREST.

  8. Thank you! Not having privilege has never stopped BW. I smh when I see BW say that bottom of the totem pole mess. Uh, no, you aren’t at the bottom of any totem pole, you just aren’t a protected/privileged class, so you can’t afford to make any mistakes, whereas privileged ppl can (even BM) b/c they have a support system that will catch them if they fall.

    That’s the key to BW succeeding, don’t make mistakes, but too many BW are setup in the womb to make them. The work is in side-stepping the dysfunctional path that people are so desperate for BW to live to maintain their own privilege, and go down the life path that you deserve. It’s that simple, but simple isn’t always easy.

    You have to ignore lots of people, their advice, even people you love, and their opinion about you and BW in general. You absolutely have to stop consuming mainstream media TV, magazines, movies (that isn’t meant for you) that other groups can consume and come out unscathed. Their context is not your context. That shouldn’t discourage you our make you feel hopeless. It’s the real deal, so act accordingly, and once you figure that out, you’re already miles ahead.

  9. WOW! This article is amazing! So thought provoking! Black women HAVE to create their own media. Then we won’t have to beg for anything AND if outside media wants to compete they will have to bring a better version of what we want.
    I am still not sure if BW know how to work together enough to do that yet. I don’t think BW have learned to be happy for one another’s successes yet. And sometimes the lack of love for ourselves and for each other just oozes out.
    I think I have made a similar type of comment that the author is referring to. But my point was that we have to stop saying “we are at the bottom…” etc. because other groups (I’m not
    referring to WW or BM) may not see us that way
    and people tend to view people the way they view
    themselves. But I do agree that what was written in
    the article needs to be discussed again and again
    until MOST BW get it.

  10. I don’t see the privilege articles as making me feel powerless. I think they are actually freeing because now I don’t have to feel the guilt or burden of getting involved with Black men or feminist issues. Instead I can focus all of my attention and resources on things that benefit me or anything else I care about. There is the hope that by focusing more on things that will directly improve my life will actually be effective in improving my life. It stops me from wasting time on things that won’t benefit me. So I think it is important for Black women to realize these things and to realize that things that benefit White women and feminists may not necessarily benefit Black women (or they will be fine without our help) and things that benefit Black men will not necessarily benefit Black women (and maybe we just have to let go of a sinking ship).

    • >> There is the hope that by focusing more on things that will directly improve my life will actually be effective in improving my life. It stops me from wasting time on things that won’t benefit me.<< GOLDEN!

  11. I don’t make a big deal about TV anymore either. I’ll continue to enjoy Scandal and Sleepy Hollow. I wouldn’t dismiss Sleepy Hollow even if she doesn’t end up with Ichabod Crane or get married or something. I’m watching the show for the scary stuff and the mystery. I just finished watching Southland and it is THE BEST cop show I have ever seen! I didn’t pay attention to it when it first came out but anyone can watch it now and enjoy it. The main female character on the show is Regina King, she dates a few people and at the end it seems like she will end up with someone. But the truth is, none of the male characters got married or had steady relationships either (except minor characters). Regina King being single does not make me feel duped or tricked by the media because I was watching it for the action not the romance. Both Regina King and Nicole Berhaire are both attractive, slim, and datable women so I’m fine with that. I don’t need Black female characters to be perfect. If these were relationship based dramas (I don’t watch any) then I would have different expectations.

    I agree, people need to turn off their TVs or seek out shows on Netflix or the internet for free. I’m very satisfied with the TV I watch and I watch a lot. TV is good for relaxing and distracting yourself, but if watching makes you angry or is so political then people need to turn it off more.

    • OK ok, Regina King’s relationship on Southland was with a married man so very stereotypical and dysfunctional. But I enjoyed the show regardless because that was a miniscule part of the show. I don’t like soap opera style shows that are just about relationships (I wish people would stop calling Scandal a soap opera! It is a political/legal drama!).

    • hey elegance.

      I would agree with you generally. Except that the other groups that are on shows where they are not given love interests have other shows/movies etc where they ARE the love interest. Black women have NO Such option and yet they are being duped by being told that its “better” that they the character “don’t always have to get together / hookup”. I suspect that these black women are purposely hired for these “non sexual” roles because people don’t want to have to make black women as desirable three dimensional sexy, and beautiful characters. This paired with the general push of the idea that black women are anti feminine/ the exact opposite of femininity in mass media this definitely ends up doing damage to black women’s image.

      I would not mind these roles or not think something bad was going on if I didn’t know that they were doing it to benefit themselves and ultimately hurt black women. But like you said, and I definitely agree that it’s just better to turn it off. Which is why i generally dont watch television/ use mass media anymore. But there are many black women who are still getting duped.

      re. sleepy hollow wife, from what i’ve read she may be having a larger role very soon.

  12. THE AUTHOR WRITES
    “Did I leave anything out?”
    Yes.
    – That Black women are never recognized for how they have “overcome” despite their extraordinarily perilous circumstances. Not only are these women smeared, but they are vilified for not only surviving, but thriving on their own.

    • I don’t understand this. Why would black women need to be “recognized.” to make good decisions. while that’s a nice thought, I’ve already said in MULTIPLE posts on this blog that to expect groups that BENEFIT from the downfall and perilous circumstances of black women care much less applaud black women. That is why these groups are privileged. Are you right? Yes. I don’t see what point that makes to the article considering that doesn’t have to stop black women from making decisions to put their best foot forward. This blog is all about that. Further, and on the very important subject of black women being “shamed” I have written long and very numerous posts on this topic and how black women can avoid, identify, or subsequently let go of the shame that people try and push on black women when they do do things that benefit themselves you would have to read more than one blog post to know how much I’ve pushed the topic of dealing with shame.

  13. I agree with many points about black women in the media. i am a huge proponent of Black women making things for themselves. But the author is writing under the assumption that black women stay in “blackistan” and only date black men because they don’t know any better. She never seems to consider the point that maybe black women don’t want to date a fucking racist. Yes you can date white men, Asian men and Latino men all you want to, but let’s not pretend that many of them don’t have some deep-seeded racism within themselves that they keep hidden until it rears it’s ugly head. The white man that understands, respects and cherishes the black woman and defends her is a rare unicorn indeed. And there is a lot of Anti-black racism in The asian and Latino community as well.
    Please stop acting like all a black woman has to do is move and date outside her race. Because getting deep into a relationship with someone only to discover they harbor anti-black racist tendencies is one of the cruelest cuts of all.

    Good day.

    • No I am not writing under the assumption that black women stay in blackistan by choice or that that they only date black men because they don’t know any better. I said it would WISE to improve your chances of finding someone to marry if you expanded your pool of eligible men. Further you’re basically saying “why bother dating outside your race it’s not any better out there.” But i would like to know why it wouldn’t be wise to try dating someone of a different race. I would like to know what exactly black men have done COLLECTIVELY to make black women feel “understood, respected, cherished or defended” because from what I’M seeing black men are not doing any of these things to such levels that you are claiming. It would be dumb and dangerous and a lie that most men besides men besides black men are simply racists that hate black women.

      Further on the issue of moving.
      Um yes, many black women’s issues that I continuall hear about are issues that they are having in dangerous neighborhoods that VANISHED once they left said dangerous neighborhoods.Are you suggesting that they stay?
      Finally you must be new here because you don’t know that I have advocated AD NASEUM on this blog that the BEST WAY to help themselves is to stay NEUTRAL IN most situations. I rarely if ever even talk about interracial dating ( there are other blogs that do that better than i could).

      Finally,

      If you read my policy for NYGF i have asked readers to read MORE THAN ONE POST before making the baseless comments on this blog, and I would appreciate in future if you actually read more than one post before making a summation on my blog.

      • I said you were not considering the point that maybe black women don’t want to deal with racism when making dating choices. I also didn’t claim any levels of black men’s virtue. My comment was about dating non-black men since you are advocating that black women’s problems will be solved once they do so. I did not say that one should exclude all races but their own. You’re getting charged up without cause. Besides there is a tone of desperation about all this that is just sad. It’s like all those articles these white men want to write about how sad and lonely all black women seem to be. Boo-hoo poor us. There’s nothing wrong with being single for a while and marriage isn’t the be all end all in a black woman’s life.

        Now I said it previously but since you ignored it I’ll say it again: it’s fine to date the rainbow or live in a safe neighborhood. But maybe it’s better to wait for the right guy that will do the things I listed instead of being worried about aligning oneself with power. Another poster mentioned how asian women had done this and how great things are for them. Conveniently glossing over the sexual stereotypes and degradation that has been thrust on asian women as a result of their fetishization by white men. That’s not white men sharing power with Asian women. It’s white men using their power to control Asian women and emasculate Asian men. White people are not about sharing their power whether you align yourself with them or not. They will standby while their friends say nigger and shrug it off. It’s not them; they don’t know why you are so upset. Don’t believe me? Ask Nita Jade Hanson about it. Also note the lack of white men condemning this behavior. They don’t have to, their privilege lets them stay silent while black women rush to defend white guys. No thanks.

        And a physically safe neighborhood isn’t necessarily a mentally safe neighborhood. If you’re working on your career and paying dues as a black women 9 times out of 10 you’re probably surrounded by white people day in and day out. Living in a black neighborhood often provides a refuge from whiteness. And if you’re talking about being cat-called or harassed I have had those things happen to me and worse in white neighborhoods. If you’re a black woman walking home at night white men assume you are a prostitute. It happens. I lived in Chicago my whole life and I lived On the Southside, the South-east side and the Northside. I was harassed in all those neighborhoods.

        Sorry but this entire article comes across as respectability politics under another name. I will co-sign on the the point of black women needing to control their images in the media and the only way for them to do that is for them to own something or do it themselves. Yes ma’am I agree with you 100% on that but the rest. Sorry.

        • Ho hum… You need to learn how to read. First of all again this must be the first article you have ever READ by me. Because if you had read more you would know that I tell black women to remain NEUTRAL TO EVERYTHING THAT DOESN’T CONCERN THEM. And to only align with someone if it benefits them. No if ands buts about it. Go back read my archives, my about second that big tab that says “posts you may want to read first”. Again reading comprehension can be your friend.

          Second of all what part of “expanding your dating options” don’t you understand?
          I didn’t say solving dating interracially would solve ALL of black women’s issues I said frequently black women complain of not enough men to date and an OBVIOUS solution would be to EXPAND YOUR DATING POOL.

          Finally please don’t use the cesspool that is chicago as an example of how harassment happens on all walks of life, that place the FBI’s murder capital of the US.

          Finally, You must be a troll, my posts telling in detail what I stand for and what i believe are out there. had you not come in full force while breaking my own policy in which i ask commenters to read more than one post before summing up my blog. I have said before that MANY of my posts are part of larger SERIES or a comment someone else had made and if not read IN CONTEXT do not make sense. I know that is what you are doing because very rarely do i even adress interracial dating AT ALL. NOT, that is to say, that the bloggers that do should have a problem.

          As of now this is your first and last warning you’re coming off as not only a troll, but the things you are advocating like black women staying in shit holes like chicago because “street harassment happens everywhere” is a stupid baseless, and ill thought out idea. If you have a problem with me advocating black women expanding their dating pool or moving away from majority black and lethal neighborhoods. NotYourGirlFriday isn’t the blog for you. Esepcially since you haven’t read more than one post. I won’t let my readers be subjected to your blatant idiocy and black “community” mollycoddling of the rapists/ abusers/ and harassers. And further you haven’t followed the rules of this blog before posting out of your ass.

          Goodbye.

        • OLS – I know you shut Crystal Savage down – rightly so – but I’d like to address some of the points in her comments.
          1. “…My comment was about dating non-black men since you are advocating that black women’s problems will be solved once they do so.” No man regardless of race can singlehandedly solve the problems faced by black women and I am yet to meet, talk to or read about a white/asian/latino man who set out to date and or marry a black woman in order to solve black women’s problems. This is not about scare tactics or ‘band aid’ solutions – this is about providing black women with strategies and tactics to assist them thrive instead of merely survival (existence). Dating and/or marrying non-black men if done diligently i.e the men are thoroughly screened or vetted is an alignment that adds value to a black woman’s life by placing her in better positions geographically, economically, socially and personally. It doesn’t mean black men will stop the dysfunctional street and hip hop video behaviour nor will they decide to change relational dynamics but for that one black woman it doesn’t matter because she’s moved to different and better spaces where she’s not dealing with that particular dysfunction and drama and she can better focus her energy on worthwhile projects. I think as black women we are so accustomedto group think or (saving) the collective that we neglect our personal spaces. E.g. forming a value addition alliance through marriage with a functional/good quality white man creates a social safety net for that one black woman within her nuclear family, friends, extended family and smaller community – those are safe spaces for her where she’s not dealing with poison from black men and the black community.
          2. Yes there are white/asian/latino men who are racist just as there are colourstruck black men – does that mean black women should curl up in a corner and wave a white flag? Black women can and should date non-black men BUT screen them intensely for racism and other dysfunctional behaviours, no need to abdicate common sense just because “he ain’t a black man”. A black woman exercising her option to date non-black men is a black woman trying to ensure her (and her progeny’s) general welfare – stack the deck in her favour not end racism everywhere.
          3. “There’s nothing wrong with being single for a while and marriage isn’t the be all end all in a black woman’s life.” I smoked this brand too until I realised that the train wrecks of marriages and relationships and struggling single mothers I grew up observing didn’t have to be the narrative that kept me saying ‘there’s nothing wrong with being single’. If black women want marriage and children, they are entitled to it especially with non-black men.
          4. “But maybe it’s better to wait for the right guy that will do the things I listed instead of being worried about aligning oneself with power.” Firstly, I didn’t see the list referred to. Secondly, even Cinderella had to do her part (the work) and show up at the ball in order for the prince to see her and place the custom made shoe on her foot and the princess had to do the (yuck read hard) work of kissing the frog to get her prince. To your ‘sit and wait’ policy I say “there is no calvary coming to save black women individually or collectivelly” OLS and like minded bloggers point out throughout the ages, from slavery to the ‘civil rights era’ to date while others have seen notable improvements to their conditions black women have not. In contemporary times it’s still business as usual and we’re saying ‘screw business as usual, let’s try something else’ (apologies if that sounds very Richard Branson). However you’re all for “waiting ‘it’ out” never mind that black women are abused at every level of humanity, black women and their children are butchered, murdered and dehumanised at every turn in black communities and black neighbourhoods and your strategy is ‘wait it out’? (Because in some neighbourhoods white people do it) COME ON! Black women are literally dying and you’re saying – ‘wait’.
          Thirdly, do you not realise that white women and black men have aligned themselves with power i.e. white men? So have asian women. Julie Chen and asian women in tech & software who aligned themselves with Mark Zuckerberg aren’t faring too badly – for instance Julie Chen has a talk show where she chooses her co-hosts and has an audience that she can spew propagandato.
          If you screen the non-black men before serious commitmentyou’ll most likely weed out the fetishists and if you align yourself with so much power that you set up a network or talk show you can counter fetishist/exoticisation propaganda.

    • “She never seems to consider the point that BW don’t want to date a f*ing racist” I think you are glossing over that fact that BM and the BC can be very hateful towards BW, especially if they are darker skinned. To the point where they are abused and severely mistreated. And that’s pretty racist.

      Yes, Hispanic and Asian communities can be anti-black. But again, think the BC can be prettybanti-black as well. The key is finding people who respect and value you regardless of race and who treat you well. Date, marry, and continually keep yourself around these kind of people.

    • So evey single non black man in the world is a racist? Are you on crack?

      I love how women like you completely sweep under the carpet all the anti black racism endemic in the black community that is mostly focused on BW, whilst ranting hysterically about how everybody else hates us.

      I’ve never met a WM or AM who had a problem with my nappy hair and my dark skin and african features are a major attraction to the non black men I’ve dated. How many BW exclusively dating BM in blackistan can make the same claim?

      BW like you need to WAKE THE HELL UP!!!

      • “I’ve never met a WM or AM who had a problem with my nappy hair and my dark skin and african features are a major attraction to the non black men I’ve dated.”

        Thanks for saying that, Sibyl. There are more of us that admire that type of beauty than the propagandists would have you believe.

    • Stick with your black king, because he will not come and save when you truly need help. Black women have the right to be safe from being abuse by anyone.

  14. “The White man that….is a rare unicorn indeed.”

    From what I see nowadays the Black man that understands, respects, and cherishes the Black woman and also defends her is a VERY RARE UNICORN indeed.

    As far as dating someone, getting “deep” into the relationship only to find that they are racist… has this happened to you? A close friend? I would want to know what you consider “deep?” Because it is very hard to hide racist tendencies, if you know what to look for. So vet, vet, vet a man before you get “deep.”

      • It sounds like she recently went through a break up or a deep disappointment. My concern for BW is that because of the abuse we suffer in our own communities and sometimes the world at large, we are not actively loving and caring for ourselves and therefore are not ready to care for or receive love from someone else.

        It is not good to be desperate for the validation of someone else, be they black, white, or the other. I wanna see more BW loving themselves, learning what a healthy relationship looks like, knowing that they are valuable enough to have one, not settling for less than what they want,
        and enjoying themselves! Only after they have
        done these things should they venture out open
        to a relationship. When they are not ready for a relationship then sometimes you get the angry response we read above.

    • Non-black men who respect black women are rare? Sheesh, someone should tell that to the legion of rainbeaus who read and participate in IR blogs for black women. Scare tactic indeed. She might have well has just said, “What are you going to do when the race war comes?!” or “It’s only a matter of time before he calls you a nigger.” How cliche.

  15. I disagree re: Scandal and Sleepy Hollow. I enjoy both shows and I would still enjoy Sleepy Hollow even if Nicole and Tom Mison never get together on the show. I think that all the talk about Nikki and Tom getting together has a lot to do with Tom just being sexy as hell. Sleepy Hollow, in the few shows that it has been on, has always presented the relationship between the two characters as being a friendly one based on having mutual goals rather than be a romantic relationship. The two characters haven’t even really flirted with each other and Ichabod’s wife may still be alive.

    I don’t think black women blindly support shows that have a black female character paired with a white male romantic lead. 666 Park Ave, with Vanessa Williams and a white husband, was cancelled due to low ratings. The Neighbors on ABC, where a mixed race/black woman is married to a white husband, is still going strong. So between the Neighbors, 666 Park Ave, Scandal, and Sleepy Hollow (these are just the shows I can immediately think of where a black woman/white man pairing takes place) I don’t see a pattern where the black woman is ALWAYS in a dysfunctional relationship or relegated to being a third wheel. I think that there are just so few black female leads that sometimes black women have too much riding on one character–if that one character isn’t in a perfect relationship then we feel like black women are never presented in good relationships. I think the key here is that there just need to be more black female lead characters so that we stop resting all of our hopes and dreams on a given character and stop expecting that character to fully represent all of the best of black womanhood.

    • NO.I didn’t say black women blindly support shows that have interracial. Black women support a lot of show simply because they have the draw of a black woman and they think the character may be written well( and many HAPPEN to be interracial). It’s not exclusive. I pointed out that in the shows that have interracial couples they tend to be DYSFUNCTIONAL or put them in “serious” roles so as not to encourage audience from shipping the characters re Person of Interest. Finally You pointed out shows like the neighbors, and 666 park avenue, but in the shows in which black women are in FUNCTIONAL relationships they are usually not popular and are in danger of getting cancelled. I like The Neighbors but I do know that the show is i danger of getting cancelled at the same time.

      I do not believe that black women should immediately put their support on ANY show until they know what direction it is going to take the black character because many times its’ simply a trick to get black viewers. See muslim bushidos post on this topic.

      Finally while the idea of having more black female characters is obvious. I do not think it is realistic considering Hollywood has an agenda and for the longest time black women haven’t negatively been on it. Black women would be wise to avoid the Hollywood scam where they perpetually lose their money.

      • “I do not believe that black women should immediately put their support on ANY show until they know what direction it is going to take the black character because many times its’ simply a trick to get black viewers. ”

        I have to disagree with this point. I think that when a BW is getting a show or movie BW should immediately support it (well you can read a bit about it first to make sure the role isn’t completely horrible). Why? Because if BW don’t make a lot of noise about the show maybe no one else will. Apparently, Neilson takes ratings from Twitter and the Scandal premier was #1, probably having a lot to do with BW tweeting. That info is important to advertisers and keeps shows on the air. If BW wait to support shows then good shows may be cancelled too soon (maybe that 666 & Park show was actually good). Then Black actresses will be out of work because their own people don’t support them. Or the only way a Black actress can be secure in her job is if there is a White actor/actress getting a lot of support from White people on the same show.

        What’s more important, getting and supporting more BW on TV and film no matter the role, or boycotting shows that don’t have perfect BW characters? In my opinion it’s best to get BW out there, in many different roles, good or bad, dimensional or one-dimensional, in a romantic pair or single, attractive or unattractive so that the presence of BW becomes normalized and commonplace. Then BW can sit back and pick and choose what they will support. It’s better to pick and choose from abundance. Of course if it hurts someone personally to see something they should shut the TV off, but if it’s a political thing I think we should support now and complain later.

      • “Black women support a lot of show simply because they have the draw of a black woman and they think the character may be written well( and many HAPPEN to be interracial).”

        I don’t see anything wrong with supporting a show for these reasons–the show/character is well-written and you like something about the lead actors. Sleepy Hollow is also a well-known story, in general; I still watch Sleepy Hollow the movie which starred Johnny Depp because I liked it so much.

        “…but in the shows in which black women are in FUNCTIONAL relationships they are usually not popular and are in danger of getting cancelled.”

        That’s because people don’t want to watch a boring show where nothing goes wrong with the lead character’s life. There has to be a story arc, some problem that has to be resolved. This problem can either be in the work/outer life of the character, or in the character’s personal life, and even if the problem is in the characters’ general life it can only be so long before the conflict bleeds over into the character’s personal life.

        • I’m not seeing where the problem is. I never said that was bad because it’s wrong to want to watch a show for those reasons. Everyone does that. People support their own crap, especially when they are good potrayals. What I said and what i think you’re missing is that because black women do not have certain privileges it is dangerous to do so immeidately because many times they think they are getting good portrayals and it ends up being a bate and switch a la Twisted on abc Family. My point is that black women should wait a while to support stuff to make sure that is isn’t a ruse.

          No i’m not talking about no conflict. i’m saying that the stuff that happens to black women are not just regular old problems they are things that go beyond that to blantant dysfunction as a human being which automatically turns viewers off to the character. In essence they fully fleshed conflicts they are stereotyped conflicts that involve black women.

        • You said: “I’m not seeing where the problem is.” and the you say “My point is that black women should wait a while to support stuff to make sure that is isn’t a ruse.”

          So here’s where I think the disconnect is: My point is twofold. 1) There is no way to know if a story will go downhill (whatever that means) in advance. Sleepy Hollow may become a crappy show after 3 or 4 more episodes; I doubt it, but that’s possible. The creators of a television show don’t offer viewers any promise that a character will get to live happily ever after (see the ending of Breaking Bad, one of the most popular shows on television for the past several years). 2) If a show is good, and a particular black woman enjoys the show for what it is then there is no reason to wait until the second, third, or fourth season (or even later into the second first season) to start supporting the show. If a black woman enjoys the show she can openly enjoy the show without making her enjoyment contingent upon a certain character getting into a relationship with a certain other character. If you enjoy it, then enjoy it; when you stop enjoying it then stop watching. The fact that a show goes bad (whatever you determine ‘bad’ to be) doesn’t mean that the show wasn’t actually a good show in the past when you were enjoying it.

          Basically, as another commenter mentioned, black women should not be living vicariously through black female characters on TV. Yes, black women should be conscious consumers of media and critique the character portrayals of black women in general, but deciding that the only way a show can be a good show is if the black woman gets married and has two kids and a house with a white picket fence is not a thoughtful critique of a television show.

        • Well usually I wait a a season or two before coming into a show. That way i know where my money is going and generally am not surprised. The problem I think is that the many black women do start watching a show based on the idea of one thing and then get baited and switched. I’m not talking about those that have full disclosure or watching for seperate reasons. I’m talking about situations like Twisted where bw tuned in to see a black female as a love interest and then realized that the writers had no plans to make her very fleshed out. Had they waited a while they might have seen what was going on. Usually these woman always feel duped, and used and have waisted their time promoting them. That is who i’m talking about.

          I agree with the idea not to live vicariously through the tv. Because i know that hollywood is mostly a propoganda machine. I would suggest that black women definitely unplug from hollywood entirely. I never said that a show can only be good if a black woman is married and has to two kids but many black women talk about how great a role is when a black woman is shown as “competent, good at her career, etc” this is not necessarily a new concept. Black women have always been thought to be competent. So it’s not necessarily all that great it actually pretty much the same thing that black women have always been pegged as but black women aren’t really seen as love intersts in stuff. Further my point was that they place black women in these roles to avoid having them as love interests. Or throw them in dumb love triangles to pull in viewers but the viewers dont’realize this is a trick.

          .. Actually I’m getting ready to create a post about this topic…. to go more into depth on this topic.

  16. I don’t think that it is fair to believe that a show like Sleepy Hollow is a scrap. Scandal, possibly. Twisted, very much so. I personally do not care if Abbie and Ichabod do or do not get together. And I am a person who understands the privilege thing very well. It is just some sort of chemistry that they two characters have, romantic or not. Plus, the show is corny that it is fun. I don’t want that to end. The simple fact that Abbie is the main character, that they gave her a back story, that they featured her sister, and that they are treating her like a real person is a great step up from the scraps that are out there. The chemistry between Abbie and Ichabod is hilarious, even if it more of a friend thing. Forget the love interest for a minute, and just focus on them as friends. What a great team, so far.

    Oh, let’s not forget Deception on -or was- on NBC. The main character was the love interest. She had both a black man and white after her, even though her black boyfriend had work related issues. Her white boyfriend, eh, I forgot the plotline. It was just it was terribly written show, mainly the dialogue. I enjoyed it though.

    And what about BBC Merlin? Gwen was black. She was portrayed as desirable from season one. Everyone knew, even if they did not like the fact that Gwen was black, that she would end up with Arthur. He even went against his father in the show and married her. There was never much deviation from the beginning of the show that Arthur and Gwen would get together. I wish they would have given their relationship more screen time than Arthur and Merlin, but the show is called Merlin.

    Oh goodness, can I just make a comment on Twisted. They got me. They got me good. I -for the first five episodes- believed that this show might actually let the black girl win. I mean, the show right before was The Fosters, the black and white lesbian couple with a multi-racial adopted family. But, I was duped. I will still watch the show next season, at least the first few episodes to see how they screw it up even more. If anything, to give the actors who play Danny and Lacey jobs… They still need to get paid.

    I don’t watch Once Upon a Time for this reason. That show is disgusting. I did watch the first episode of this newest season, just to see. There was nothing else on either. They killed off Tamara, the black character, so quickly. They did this too her white partner too, but she had more going for her. She was the love interest of Neal, who is the love interest of the main white female character, Emma. They made her the villain so you did not feel any sympathy for her when they killed her off.

    Oh, let’s not forget about Bonnie on the Vampire Dairies. Oh how Julie Plec has abused her. In the books she is suppose to end up with Damon. On the show, she is paired with the brother of the main character (who only wants Bonnie when she needs to use magic) who cheated on Bonnie with a ghost. It’s a shame. A real shame. The actors who play Damon and Bonnie have urged the writers to pair their characters. The writers will not. It’s too bad, because they have a real story going there. Again, I only watch the show to support Bonnie’s actress. Once she really is killed off, I will go too.

    Yes, I fall for the bait, but I am not blind. I willingly agree to watch these shows.

    Really, last comment, I do think that regardless if these shows are bait, they are changing things. Scandal did open the door for more shows to include black women in roles that are more prominent. Not only that, the black female fanbase is one greatly untapped and it does have money.

    • Yes, I agree, I do like what they’ve done so far on sleepy hollow. But I do know that shows have the potential to pull a bait and switch and until I see more I’m going to be immediately suspicious. Until I see otherwise. The truth is many woman like to ship shows but these women while being told there is a “love triangle” don’t realize that the triangle is already decided ( and not in their favor) so they still support the show holding out hope. But i’m also not that impressed that they could write the character on shows like person of interest well, while it’s nice i do know that black women are PURPOSELY these roles in which they may be written well, but I do believe they pick black women for roles that won’t require/ let audiences ‘ship’ them with other characters/ actually be desirable.

      Re. Merlin if i’m not mistaken wasn’t that BBC? a British network? Re. Deception usually shows where black women are the main focus and actually not dysfunctional they are shows that are not very popular with viewers (and i don’t mean unpopular with black women i mean other groups) and thus they get cancelled.

      Finally, i don’t’know how impressed i can be though, it’s not the first time a show has written a black character well, Joss on Person of interest is written well. My point is that a lot of women do want to have the characters have love interests and of course the writers/ producers/ other fans claim that “The show is too good for silly stuff like shipping” or that character “doesn’t need to be defined by a relationship.”

      And yet when black women are given other roles that make them love interests they are cancelled or not supported. Finally I think many shows purposely put black women in these roles to discourage shipping.

      Re. Vampire diaries. I agree. That show is a disgrace, what they’ve done with bonnie is despicable. I had no idea about once upon a time. I dont watch the show and now I’m glad that I don’t.

  17. I think that seeing Black women in romantic relationships is a big deal to many of the commenters here. Is it because you enjoy seeing it and it makes you feel good, or is it because you think it is good for society to visualize BW as romantic partners? Or is it both? For me, I like seeing Black women with hot guys and I imagine it’s me, so yes I enjoy it.

    But I can also really enjoy as show it it’s not focused on romance and the Black women (and a lot of other characters) stay single. For instance, Law & Order SVU has been on for over 15 years and Olivia never had long term relationships and she never got with Stabler (he was married). But that is still a great role for her! The show isn’t about romance. On the original Law & Order, I don’t think any of the female lawyers were married and they rarely dated. Plus a lot of shows get attention because of the chemistry and the “will they or won’t they” atmosphere. I LOVE that. The show usually gets boring or ends when the characters get together or the main one finds true love. I would rather see a BW single most of the time than hopping from bed to bed like White women characters (e.g., Sex and the City). Even that Indian woman on The Mindy Project is sleeping around so much it makes me cringe.

    I think it is good for society to see BW as romantic partners in roles, but I think that as long as the women are attractive that’s good enough. If the women are attractive then men will desire them. Think about all those men’s magazines, do you think it matters if men have seen those women in romantic relationships? No! As long as they are attractive men will try to date them. So as long as men see attractive BW, onscreen, on paper, or in real life, as long as they are attractive they will be desired. It can turn men off to see other men all over their fantasy women. So for a show like Twisted, it’s good enough for me that the girl is attractive and a good person, it doesn’t matter if she doesn’t end up with the lead because men will still find her attractive. Women who are incredibly saddened and disappointed when the BW doesn’t end up with the lead are living too vicariously through the characters, need to turn off the TV, and need to get some romance for themselves.

    I also want to say, I don’t think it’s a good thing to pull support from a show like Twisted just because the BW character didn’t end up with the lead. She has a job. The more popular and long-lasting the show the better it is for her career. If the show gets cancelled then it’s bad for her career and BW will have one less character to watch. The same goes for Scandal. Kerry Washington is super popular right now, getting nominated for awards, and appearing on magazine covers. A lot of this may be due to the support of BW. Plus, the show is produced by a BW. If it get cancelled both Kerry and Shonda Rhimes lose money and influence. The show isn’t perfect but I think that BW benefit more by having the show on the air. BW actresses will not make it if BW withdraw their support every time they are not perfect, stay single, or aren’t the star.

    • I would pull support from the show Twisted because of the deplorable way the represented the character as a human being. I saw it and it was deplorable. I was disgusted. Even non romantically they wrote her terribly.
      Concerning black women being love interests. I don’t think it’s anything new to have black women be good characters on shows like Law and order, it is however not that common to have black women in relationships where they are desirable and the focus so for many black women it gets a little grating.

      i would suggest that black women stop supporting hollywood completely. I’ve said before and I’ll say again that hollywood has an agenda and don’t plan change it anytime soon. I also believe that black women who want to see things where they could potentially be fully fleshed out characters/ love interest should write or read stuff created by other black women as I know there are many black women self published (and successful) authors.

      No, shows like twisted are not helping simply by being on the air simply because the message being pushed out will do far more harm than what not having it at all. At the moment black women’s image can’t take any more hits. Further the message black women send to hollywood by supporting stuff that doesn’t given them anything in return is that black women will support anything and these companies don’t have to do anything to get our money. So they do it again the next time. Negative attention is not better than no attention at all. At least with having the show off the air there won’t be the reinforcements of ideas that have been shoved on black women over and over.

      I agree though that i wouldn’t want black women to hop from bed to bed. That’s icky.
      I do not think it’s wise for black women to sacrafice their wallets so that actresses can have jobs on shows that actually paint black women worse.

      I think that black women need to stop supporting hollywood completely. or at the very least as evia says vote with your wallet. Then and only then will media get the message.
      Further I wouldn’t wait and rely on them to give black women roles/ opportunities or support them. I’d make opportunities for myself. That to me would be the wisest choice.

  18. You know, about Sleepy Hollow, for right now I could and should be paid as a promoter. I’ve told everyone I’ve met to watch the show, is that there is a lot of Abbie and Ichabod fanfiction on tumblr. The writers, at least one, has confirmed that they read these fanfiction. The proof is his tweet. Perhaps these writers will be different, and I know that is a very very hopeful (maybe naive) argument. Perhaps these writers will wise up and see what the audience wants, or that a great portion of their fanbase do ship the two main leads, regardless of their race. It is that chemistry and they are so cute together. How they address the romantic issue, even if the two main leads do not end up together, will be how I judge this show.

    With Twisted, I think it was such a short season that it could not be judge. By episode 5, Lacy and Danny were together. It around episode 8 or 9 that things began to get…lame. It became the Jo show. The season ended two episodes later, so it was such a whirlwind. I believe many BW who watch the show know this. They are waiting to see if the writers turn their act around. I believe somewhere it is said they are employing writers from other shows now. It could get better. If it does not…I am sure it will not see a second season.

    And one last example that is not a BW, but just a WOC: The Legend of Korra. Sure, the pacing of the show seems a bit off from the great Avatar: The Last Airbender series. She is picture as desirable, powerful, and a hothead, which women typically aren’t. Not too many people are happy about her ‘attitude’, but it does make sense.

    • @Ms T, what is it about NYGF’s comment about hollywood’s agenda vis a vis BW, don’t you understand?

      They don’t make these TV programmes for BW, even when a BW happens to be the star. Hollywood’s agenda has always been and will always be to put WW on a pedestal above all other races of women. It is an integral part of the white supremacist power structure and they will push that project until the very end.

      Why don’t BW like you want to see what is right in front of your eyes? Why do you keep hoping and wishing that they’ll change their modus operandi in order to make you feel better.

      They don’t care about your wants and needs. They don’t even care much about your money. What they truely care about is the subliminal power of the visual imagery and narrative of tv shows and movies to shape the dreams, beliefs and core values of the masses.

      That power is real. It’s the power of propaganda. And before you counter with ‘but we live in a free society and it’s only entertainment’, understand that just because you get to choose between 500 tv channels doesn’t stop it being propaganda, not when all 500 channels are peddling the same agenda.

      BW as a group need to stop sucking on the poisonous Hollywood teat, wise up and wean themselves off it for good.

      • Just because I don’t fully agree and am repeating her argument word for word does not mean I do not understand.

        White culture have been pushing anti-black woman images and messages for centuries. And just because I would hope that someone, an individual, would go against the current and write a character who is not a stereotype is my own choice. It does not mean I let my guard down.

        And what is this BW like you business? Will you flog me now because I am not gun-ho on the argument. I watch television. I enjoy Hollywood. Not -every- movie in Hollywood is made for the white supremacist agenda. There are those movies and those directors and those producers who are trying to turn the tide.

        I enjoy what I wish to enjoy. If I don’t like or am fed up with the racist or sexist undertones, I won’t watch it. If I do, so sue me. Regardless what I do these shows will continue to be made.

        And more than you think, money is a big factor. It always has been, and it always will be.

      • Sibyl, I think I’m totally in love with you for this comment. yes, yes yes a million times. This is why i say that black women should avoid hollywood. You basically summed it up in one comment! Thanks!

      • Agreed!
        I used to be a lazy tv viewer. I watched anything and everything and invested in movies and shows without critical thought. Not anymore – not easy – but I’ve been hyper selective about the movies and shows I’ve watched this year. It’s only over the last two years that I caught on to the hollywood game i.e. WW are the standard and pedestal holders (all hail snow white). I’ve occasionally transitioned from sadness to frustration to rage at the (mis)representationand often lack of black women in mainstream media. I remember attending a cinema and during and after the movie, I asked my friends how there could be no worthwhile black female characters in a movie in the 21st century.
        I was naive enough to think that maybe the writers, director, producers and casting agents overlooked black women due to lack of an audience and once they realised there was a significant audience they’d cast more black women in leading roles or write three dimensional characters for black women – nope, not going to happen in hollywood. Their main purpose is perpetuate white superiority and besides the ‘saviour complex’ of the white lead male character the other star is the WW – this is mainstream narrative whether in movies or tv shows and until we black women write, produce, direct our own stories and cast women who reflect black women this won’t change BUT we also have trouble accepting this (or we want hollywood to play fair) or putting in the effort to support ourselves and turn this into reality for a number of reasons.
        As much as I want black women to work as actresses should it involve supporting them in mediocre work? The idea of letting black women fill out mediocre roles in an attempt to normalise black women in the mainstream only serves to validate hollywood’s message – all hail snow white! They can write great characters for black women but they have no obligation to and they do not because we have not voted with our wallets and witheld our support for mediocrity.
        I read an interview featuring Shonda Rhimes where she said every show she’s created prior to Scandal – including Grey’s Anatomy – she had to play by hollywood executives’ rules (she did not elaborate on those rules but one can hazard a guess) but she said when she wrote Scandal she felt she had secured enough support from the same executives to be able to create a show that she felt she wanted the audience to watch (as opposed to playing by the rules and spreading hollywood’s message). I understand Scandal falls in the ‘black woman in a dysfunctional relationship’ bracket but I used Shonda Rhime’s statement as an example of what to expect from hollywood.
        It’s quite like the art of war – it is essential to know your enemy thoroughly, know their tactics and anticipate their moves. This allows black women to develop their own strategies that serve the best interests of black women while knowing how to counter hollywood’s messages.
        I recently spent several weeks with my pre-teen nieces and cousins who’ve already swallowed the hollywood cyanide in terms of beauty standards and bought into the rap misogyny. I began a recaliberation by discussing the hollywood and rap dogma vis-a-vis black women and creating a space where they can discuss these issues and I turned off mainstream tv, instead I encouraged reading and writing with a focus on (a) materials that show women as three dimensional characters as opposed to the jezebel/mammy/sapphire narrative and (b) educational materials that give them a worldview and encourage their sense of adventure and quest for knowledge. I’m starting with my circle of influence … for now and refusing to financially support hollywood’s WW ‘zero sum game ‘ message.

  19. Long comment sorry. I just have a differing opinion, this isn’t a personal attack and I do like your blog and a lot of your messages OLS 🙂
    I don’t feel the need to be so serious about my TV watching because I know that Hollywood and White people will always prefer their own and they are the majority with influence in Hollywood. I do not believe there will come a time when Black people have more influence than White people in Hollywood so I accept that Black women will NEVER be routinely portrayed with as much depth and in as many roles as White women. Because I know this, I can watch Black women in almost any role and not feel bad about myself or get angry. It’s like I can be around smokers (i.e., bad roles) and not be tempted to smoke (i.e., think bad things about myself and BW) because I know how bad it is. But a former smoker (i.e., person who gets upset about Hollywood and has high expectations) has to stay away from other smokers because they will be tempted to start that harmful habit again (i.e., think bad things about themselves and BW). If you are vulnerable then you need to restrict your viewing, I’m not vulnerable to those messages anymore.

    In comparison, people who are still expecting these great roles and fairness are the ones who have to strictly regulate their viewing habits because it gets them upset, angry, and frustrated because they keep expecting more and better roles. I don’t expect that so when I see something that’s pretty good it is a pleasant surprise. You are expecting A roles but I think that we will normally only get C roles, so when I see a B role I think that’s cause to celebrate and I will support that. You also have to remember that many White actresses are in C roles too but no one cares because they have MORE roles period. So I think the focus needs to be on more Black roles period, even if they are Cs, because then a producer won’t be shot down when he recommends a BW for an A role. My point is we should support any C role BW get because we will probably only ever get C roles. Your point is that we should only support A roles so you won’t support any roles that actually exist right now. I don’t see how that helps or changes anything? You imagine that producers will notice…I don’t think they will. You think they will notice and start catering to BW…I don’t think they will. I think they will just write off BW and cater more to WW. They don’t think BW have influence, they can make enough money just catering to WW, and they don’t even know you aren’t supporting their shows!

    I think that with some of these high expectations many of you are doomed to always be disappointed. You will never support anything! Even in things produced by Black people the women aren’t always portrayed well and the movie isn’t necessarily great. Furthermore, my my viewing habits don’t influence Hollywood because I don’t have a Neilson rating box so Hollywood does not know what I watch.

    Let me ask you this, what are the roles on TV that you think have actually met your criteria for “depth” and “positive portrayal”? What shows are you supporting right now? Are those shows that most Black people (or I) would even like? Some women are not willing to do away with all TV entertainment just because the roles are not perfect because they will NEVER be perfect. As long as you understand that most BW roles will be Cs but that is no reflection on your self worth or the worth of BW then you can watch any BW role and not be negatively affected.

  20. This is a really interesting topic! Anyways, here is an article about how TV ratings are generated using Neilson ratings http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/question433.htm. This article says only about 5000 homes in the U.S. actually have the boxes. They generalize the data from those 5000 boxes to represent viewing in the U.S. and Canada. I have to throw in another metaphor for the situation with BW. If you are starving (i.e., not getting enough representation) then you take what you can get as long as it isn’t rotting or poisonous (i.e., horribly bad and racist). But once you have enough food, then you can start being picky, throwing some out, and only accepting better quality food (i.e., once there are many BW roles then you can choose to only watch the best). But if you start being picky in the beginning then you will starve (i.e., you won’t see any BW on TV, shows with BW will not be hyped up to get viewers so they could be cancelled). Then since you will be dead you lose out on life (i.e., BW will have even less of a presence in the media).

    In my opinion, even seeing BW in a boring, average, uninteresting role is positive because it counters the overabundance of negative roles. Being shown as sexy is better than being shown as a prostitute. Being shown as young and single is better than being shown as an old, never married, childless woman or baby mama. Being shown a pretty and attractive but single is better than being shown as full of attitude and unattractive and single. Being shown in a bad relationship on a great show is better than not being on the show at all. Sometimes being single on a great show is also better than not being on a show at all. I don’t think roles for BW will get much better so unless you don’t want to support any BW actresses, then we should support some of these less than ideal roles. Okay I guess that sounds to you like settling that way we are told to settle for a man. But there is a difference between settling for someone that is obviously awful and having unrealistic expectations and deciding to be single forever because no man will ever be good enough. You are proposing the latter choice but in this case I’ll settle because I like so many things about shows besides the perfect BW relationships and I’m not giving up that entertainment experience. There are other things I need and want to do so I’ll try to not let TV distract from that, but I’m still going to watch.

  21. OLS awesome post!

    I actually was going to do a piece very similar.

    I do not understand why so many Black women feel that any kind of representation is great. Notice that Asian women have very few roles as anything (unless its stereotypical) and they still manage to do quite well in love and with images.

    the point i am making is – I’d rather see NO IMAGES of BW in the media than the ratchetness that we see today. This is the main reason why BW have difficulties with our image and negative perceptions. Too much visibility in the wrong ways. With no visibility people can only draw their perceptions and ideas about Black women by the ones they encounter on a day to day basis.

    Hollywood is not here to uplift the womanhood and beauty of Black women. never has and never will be as others have pointed out. There is major dollars and power behind keeping White and Non Black standards of beauty as the threshold for womanhood – including LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS.

    Let’s not pretend that love and relationships and how certain women are constantly portrayed in this arena doesn’t have an effect on the psyche of the masses or how it can affect the desirability in a sense of the women when it comes to be taken seriously for meaningful relationships?. If people constantly see BW as the “asexual sidekick” or the chick always in a love triangle who always *HAPPENS* to lose out to the Non Black woman or the woman that is happily a home wrecker with a boatload of issues OR is just *there* as a prop then why would any progressive minded BW support such images?

    While some people are making light of the very real issue here and Black women constantly being pushed out of being desirable partners in many of these roles, do we not see what the message is being sent here? That BW are NOT desirable mates unless they are in twisted relationships or simply always on the non receiving end of being “the chosen” one. Does anyone see a pattern in real life here with many BW? So why would BW be so eager to support these images that FURTHER push an idea to the masses that we are unworthy of NORMAL and HEALTHY relationships like all other women?

    I agree that BW allow themselves to get bamboozled waaay to often because the reality is BW are just plain LAZY when it comes to taking care of numero uno. Its anything goes when it comes to protecting ourselves and looking out for our best interests and images. Yet with other groups we love to get on our MAMMY broomstick and go to battle for protecting the images of others.

    This is why I say sometimes you gotta just let the sheep, sheep, and focus your energies on building alliances and support within like minded Black women who get it. I’ve decided just recently that some things some Black women just aint ready for no matter how much they claim to want change. They are not willing to take the sacrificial steps to actually make it happen.

    You cannot be half assed when trying to create a new path. There is no room for fence straddling when talking about how Black women need to see the forest and not just the tree. You can’t dibble and dabble in the destructiveness and poison and then also try to create a new healthier path.

  22. Well, commentators are taking all of this seriously because the underlying assumption is that men don’t see Black women as relationship material because they don’t see them in enough relationships (or functional relationships) on TV. I haven’t seen any evidence of this anywhere. That is an assumption and “womanthink” because you don’t know if seeing a single BW on TV has the same affect on men that it has on BW. Just because it makes YOU feel undesirable/undatable doesn’t mean it makes men think BW are undesirable/undatable. That would have to be tested and surveyed before anyone should accept it a truth. No one has any proof that attractive, friendly, yet single BW on TV turn men off from dating BW. My assumption is that seeing attractive pleasant BW makes men want to have relationships with them…very simple.

    I have heard a lot of men explain why they are not interested in BW and “they aren’t in relationships on TV so they must not be datable” has never been one of them. Men have said they don’t date BW because they don’t like our looks, our attitude, or because they are racist. So if a BW role has a woman who is unattractive, has a bad attitude, or it’s racist, then sure, that makes us look bad and should not be supported. But if she is attractive and has a positive attitude then that is enough to make BW seem like desirable dating options. Just do a search online about what men think about BW and what attracts them to women in general. As long as a BW on TV has the positive qualities and doesn’t have the negative qualities then men will want to date them.

    Also, a note to people who have posted about this article elsewhere: I don’t think that someone is being a “slave consumer” or an unintelligent mammy because they make decisions based on evidence of what men like/dislike rather than conjecture. Making sacrifices based on no proof isn’t very rational. No one is saying support EVERY single role BW take on.

    • Hey elegance!
      You know you and I agree on a lot of things, but just not this one 🙂

      I think the reason why OLS wrote the article and others like it is not very many BW see it the way you do. many complain and feel duped and cheated AFTER they have supported a television show or movie that they believed was going to do right by the Black female character, only to be ONCE AGAIN dissapointed about what happened.

      As OLS pointed out many BW take to twitter, facebook and all other forms of media crying the blues about why the Black female character was either killed off, lost more screen time or was never in a relationship. All this after they spent a great deal of time and resources pumping up the show without realizing that Hollywood has a limit as to what they will give Black women.

      that is because the privledge is there for WHITE WOMEN FIRST and all others after.

      You may not care that almost every role a BW is in on TV is always a dysfunctional relationship or love triangle where she is always the loser. Or simply just being an asexual sidekick. But for those BW WHO DO CARE, the message is clear – stop waiting, hoping and expecting. WHY? Because privledge is set up in favor for WHITE WOMEN in Hollywood.

      I think BW who really care about this, do not want to continue to support this. I rarely if ever watch television. Now I do enjoy movies. But if I do go see a movie it doesn’t have to have a BW in it or as a lead. but i refuse to see any movies with BLACK WOMEN IN IT where she is doing the stereotypical thing or being cast aside as a prop or sidekick for everyone else.

      That is why I just stick to movies like action, sic-fi etc.

      i do not need to see BW in a role *just because* or to fill a quota. i do not believe that just because a BW has an acting gig that I should have to feel obligated to support it if I do not agree with her role or how she is being portrayed.

  23. Quite frankly I find it to be downright insulting for us to be having this conversation in this day and age. Black women aren’t “fresh off the boat.” We have been here from the inception of this republic. Our representation should reflect our humanity. But this is what happens when your community does not own anything, when your own men despise you.
    Have you noticed how likeable characters happen to announce that they’re Jewish once the audience has developed an attachment? This is no coincidence. They own Hollywood and use it as a platform as a PR campaign for themselves. That’s called being shrewd, especially with their history. By contrast, blacks are used in an opposite manner. We’re used to attract all the hate and anger so other groups can freely go about their lives relatively unscathed.
    Since we’re aware of the agenda we shouldn’t support anything that’s not wholly black women operated and owned. Regardless of Scandal or whatever else seemingly supports black women. Olivia Pope is still in an adulteress relationship and most black women would be morally opposed to this if black women weren’t so starved for feminine portrayals. It’s really sad. I would suggest you guys watch foreign films for the time being until we can support some serious black women owned and operated entertainment. There is a great selection of interracial novels written by black women on amazon, if you’re so inclined. If you’re not into the heavy stuff there is a selection called Christian interracial romance. I watch a lot of HGTV and Animal Planet as well as History International. This year my nephew was bitten by a recluse spider, his parents thought it was a mosquito bite but I was able to tell them otherwise. The doctor confirmed it.
    In closing, turn off the television or become incredibly selective about what you watch. I find books written by South Asian writers to be incredibly well done. They tend to deal primarily with issues of family and often tackle the issues of colorism in their own communities in a frank manner.

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  25. As Usual EXCELLENT!!! I love the “Love triangle” clarification. It is so true with the **** blocking. What is played up in these shows is that the black woman is “wanted and desired” but she is never in a position of honor as the wife she is still the side/bottom chick. Easily Dispensible! They are never healthy IR relationships always dysfunctional. I read that and a lightbulb went on. I noticed that but seeing it in writing made it all click.

    Thank you for this piece and all the excellent points!

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