Girl, Bye! Episode II: The Necessity of ‘Do for Self ‘

Hello, people if you’re only just getting here you’ll know that this is the second post in my Girl,Bye! Series.

This post, considering my past record is likely to anger or annoy many folks but today I want to talk about the necessity of do for self.

That is, I want to talk about the necessity for black women to create their own media instead of waiting around for others.

For the black women still reeling off the death of Detective Joss Carter on Person of Interest (the only black female character on the entire network and one  of a handful of those on television ). There are some that believe that (as the writers have said) they always planned to kill the character off, and therefore black women shouldn’t get angry because TPH wanted to leave the show anyway.

There are also those who also believe that black women got played yet again, and disbelieve the idea that a middle aged black woman would voluntarily leave a show, and remembered the debacle of the second season mid season finale in which fans were wanked off at the idea that the character could be in love with the main star and then spent the rest of the season out of contact with said character, and then nine episodes later was suddenly  killed.

Whether or not you want to buy the bridge that I’m selling there’s one common problem with this entire bate and switch.. ahem. Situation , the two defining factors that seem to have escaped noticed and been overlooked by black women whether they believe either of the above situations, is the common denominator of Nolan and Plageman et al.

You see Nolan and Plageman are the common denominator because despite whether Henson’s leaving the show by force or plan still leaves the power to terminate the characters and likeness of black female characters in the hands of people who ultimately can do whatever the heck they want.

You see, as long as black women refuse to create their own media they will ALWAYS  be subjected to the crazed and ill thought out “bigger picture” for your character.  In essence the black women who depend on Nolan & Plageman and Shonda and Co, and Mr. Perry, will always be dependent on the goodwill of said “creators” that means when Nolan decides that it’s time to “up the stakes”  well, all the eggs you put in that basket will be cracked and scrambled because there was no back up plan.

Because black women have no said, back up plan, refuse to do for self, or  at the very least  be cautious about the groups and entities they pour their money into, this sends a message.  These groups KNOW the following.

  • They know it only takes another brown face to get black women to pour money in
  • They know black women are easily fooled
  • They know they have the power and can thus pull the plug when they want
  • They know they will get your money
  • They know you will get it yourself without looking elsewhere
  • They know you want into their “club” which makes it that much more exclusive to get it accepted into.

These groups also take a lot of pleasure in twisting the knife once they decide that the expendable character is indeed useless.

Not that Nolan & Plageman & Co twisted the knife by almost giving the character a full story line and then making her a potential love interest only to destroy that hope later.

Similar to mobsters who kill your pet and send the head to you, they did the same thing with the character in this situation with the Character Joss Carter.

And they believed they were completely within their realm to do that.

But let’s move on let’s talk about some more reasons why it’s necessary for black women to “do for self” instead of waiting for others.

Since other blogs have their own score card let’s talk about some of the recent examples of why black women need to create their own media ASAP.

  •  The continued narrative of black women’s thoughts, history, and reflection through that of black men. AL la twelve years a slave and Django Unchained.
  • The continued and perpetual usage of black women’s bodies, minds and beings, as examples ofwhat not to be in the media A LA Lily Allen and her  “ironic” video by doing the exact thing she’s claiming to hate. Aka having black women on display and as props.

  • The continued destruction of black women’s characters on shows like Person of Interest.
  • The continued use ( and defense of ) morons like Kanye West as the speaker of all things “black”  and the defense by mainstream white feminists like the Jezzies.

http://jezebel.com/kanye-black-people-dont-have-same-connections-as-oil-1473958353

  • The use of black women’s bodies as paraphernalia, as this designer below does

http://fashionbombdaily.com/2013/11/19/xojane-com-peggy-nolands-outrageous-oprah-dress/

  • The continued push of (as some women have pointed out) of black women in the media who are “safe” a la, Amber Riley on Dancing With the Stars. (Note I actually like Amber Riley but I do know about the penchant some groups of white women have of fawning over black women actresses as “awesome” who are seen as  nonthreatening to them. ( Or think of the black character on Parks &Rec and the sycophantic responses from white female characters to these same sad trope characters)
  •  The continued bait and switch on characters that black women support. A la “Twisted” style

The use of black female misogynists in the media as spokesmen. I’m looking at YOU General Mills. Who decided to team up with Nelly (AKA Tip Drill Singer)

Unfortunately black women don’t realize that wanting better representation isn’t as simple as asking. Especially  since the groups who wield more privilege benefit from having you on the bottom, or simply don’t care if you ever get your piece of the pie.

Need an example, as peruse the comments from viewers of the new show Sleepy Hollow, I notice the majority of viewers, despite words from show runners believe that Nicole Beharie and her character are expendable. They believe this character doesn’t matter to the show and that Tom Mison’s character is what makes the show (and simply wouldn’t be the show without him while believe her character could gtfo)

These people with these beliefs are have the same mentality as those who watched POI. Who were meh about Joss Carter being killed though she was listed as a star while claiming they would leave if the two white men characters would go.

These people’s only concern during POI was that the other characters  get enough screen time. They don’t give a damn if the character you’ve invested your money and time in ever gets any backstory, or time.  

Unfortunately these morons are who people like Nolan& Plageman and Shonda &Co are servicing. Believe, you are an afterthought  An afterthought only remembered when it’s time to make money and promote the show.

What’s the point of this post. The point is that farther than simply NOT SUPPORTING a show  it would be prudent to support/ create shows that black women have created themselves and actually show some desire in treating black women as a valued customer instead of gum on the bottom of a shoe to wiped off.  Use this latest example as a bought lesson.

Or continue on… but don’t say nobody warned you.

Until Next Time,

Stay Neutral

Next Post in series

Girl, Bye! Episode III:  Let’s Talk About Warning Signs

PS. Ignore the typos I was in a rush.

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14 thoughts on “Girl, Bye! Episode II: The Necessity of ‘Do for Self ‘

  1. Black women need to work on getting their own EVERYTHING. And we need to work together WW, AW, and HS will work together to benefit themselves. Why can’t we? How BW started their own labels like BM did? And now many BW have been shut out of the music industry, accept for ppl like Beyonce and Rihanna.

    That seemed to be a place where a BW’s talent was at least respected. Now BW are struggling to even be seated at the kiddies table….

    BW need to work at trusting each other, knowing who and who not to trust (even if or especially if they are black or BW), and being worthy of each other’s
    trust.

  2. Ding!Ding!Ding! This right here…this is THE point that BW and BP in general do not get. I have been discussing with quite a few people in my sphere recently, particularly with the backdrop of the death of Nelson Mandela that making excuses does not produce results. Now this is a space for us to discuss the issues concerning BW, but I think the life of Mr. Mandela is an incredible teaching moment for BW and indeed all BP. One does not have to rise to the extraordinary level that was required by him. Most of us will not face a fraction of the burdens that he faced. That being said…his WHY was big enough to let him remian focused on his GOAL. There is NOTHING keeping BW from creating web shows outside of mainstream media that WE would control. With YouTube, Ustream, and i’m sure tons of other outlets for film/shows/etc it is far easier to do your own thing rather than waiting on others to include us. For instance, my guilty pleasure is romance novels. I really enjoyed the cheeziness of Harlelquin/Silhouette etc romances. Well, wouldn’t you know it…there are black women who write IR romance novels that feature characters who look like me in regular siuations. So what do I do? I BUY THESE NOVELS!! I AM SUPPORTING WOMEN WHO SUPPORT ME. And I PAY for the priviledge. I would do the same thing if I could find bw who are producing shows that I want to see. Yes, I gave financial support to Awkward Black Girl. Issa Rae does have some elements to her show that I raise an eyebrow at, but I still provide financial support because her portrayal is of a NORMAL BLACK WOMAN doing NORMAL HUMAN THINGS. Not the stereotypes that are so pervasive that I simply don’t watch a lot of tv shows. I apologize for this long diatribe on your comments section but ladies….STOP WAITING FOR PEOPLE TO VALIDATE YOU. Do your own thing and let others figure it out later. Ava Duvernay is a great example of a black woman who developed her own network to distribute her content. It is possible. I haven’t seen any of her films, but at least she stopped crying about how unfair Hollywood is and she made a way when others saidit can’t be done. We are at a wonderfl point in history. The internet allows one to reach myriad niche markets that were difficult to access back in the day. STOP FINANCING PEOPLE WHO DON’T RECIPROCATE. Self preservation 101 ladies. Let’s get to work. BW are resilient, smart, resourceful, highly educated and hardworking. Despite all the negativity put out there about us we still are here and thriving. let’s kick it up a notch I say. have a great day and again I apologize for the rant.

    • “Issa Rae does have some elements to her show that I raise an eyebrow at”

      Yes, so did I. While I liked her initiative and her show ABG (in the whole), there was stuff I didn’t appreciate, but hey, nothing’s perfect. I’d love to see her collaborate with other black women writers, who would have different points of view, from black women from different countries, and then build a network for her webseries. I don’t like her other shows so yeah…that’s why I’d rather see others’ perspective.
      As for inkspotentertainment, I really liked the first season of Unwritten Rules, but the 2nd was kinda meh.

      I’d love to see more webseries that don’t focus (only) on relationhips.

  3. Thank you for this post.
    Slowly but surely, I’m trying to become the woman that does something about it instead of just talking about it.

    If anyone reading is interested in writing black media let me know! Maybe we can start a support group or something…

  4. Hey,

    Thank goodness you are back. You were on hiatus for a min. If you ever do decide to go dark, you can email me at the email address listed and I would love to keep up with you.

    • Sorry!

      I’ve been having problems with my settings and finally fixed them. I hope everyone bears with me. I will let everyone know if I ever truly decide to leave. But I’ll definitely email you. So you can keep up.

  5. I deleted my first two post by mistake WAH.
    I don’t agree with 12 years making the list because if you saw it, I believe that you would agree that it is the ONLY movie that actually shares the stage with black women. I had serious reservations because the director is married to a ww, and those type of men typically have contempt for bw and ww equally, but this director did us justice. NONE of the bw were racially ambiguous, he made the bw whole, he shared their story in its totality and he bucked the trend and FOR ONCE did not portray ww as helpless, fragile, porcelains who suffered along side us. I think McQueen is an example of what an ‘ally’ looks like. The most successful people form allies, and I think that he *may be* one.

    I have reservations with the whole we need to create our own media and ‘best man holiday’ is the perfect example of why. Bw stampeded to the movie even though several of the male leads have been known to trash bw openly and 3 of the 4 are married to non bw. Yet bw made the movie a financial success because it embodied everything that bw have been told and trained to want, a rich successful life with a handsome (dark skin), successful bm and cute kids (racial ambiguity optional). Straying from this is so foreign and frowned upon, that Nia Long actually apologized for choosing a white lead. The irony of that movie is that all of the women (to my knowledge) are single and most of the bm are living that rich and successful life that bw want so badly with non bw (racially ambiguous kids a must). This meme captures the irony: http://media.fyre.co/6eqMBHsnSV6WbFm2Iz3l_taye4.jpg

    The point I am making is that Essence, Clutch, MadameNoire, RHOA, basketball wives (bw), are all more popular and more accepted than all BWE blogs put together, but all of the former spread propaganda/lies/garbage/helplessness most, if not all of the time. I may be wrong, but the average bw is too busy worrying about trayvon, to even realize that she could be the next rashida (the one shot in the face), as a result, the masses are only willing to support bw who promote fantasy, not reality and the people willing to do that do not believe in BWE……OK, that was long.

    • Maybe they are more popular, you nor I have their publication #’s to argue that, but it doesn’t matter. The conversation about BW is slowly changing. I think that BWE has A LOT to do with us seeing more darker skinned black actresses as the lead on tv shows. BW are starting to know they are desired and starting to stand up for their own needs. BWE is responsible for that.

      But the change is slow and happening with the more educated and critical thinking BW first. I also read Clutch mag as do some of the BW of BWE, but if I had to chose I would chose BWE and drop Clutch in a nano sec. Essence is a traditional
      mag, but they are losing numbers, and even they have recently taken to using
      more darker skinned women on their covers. They will also have to change as BW
      continue to enbrace their needs and create their own without apology. If they don’t
      they’ll slowly go out style, and then out of business. But since Essence is owned by
      a WHITE corporation, I think they’ll get with the times, before they go out of
      business.

      I saw Best Man Holiday, I didn’t pay for it, I also want to say 12 yrs so that I can form my own opinion, but I also won’t be paying to see it. I loved the Best Man Holiday. While I do care about the Actors personal romantic lives, I do believe the film showed BW in a positive light. I was also happy that they showed Nia characters interracial relationship. I have never heard her apologise about it. Is that link the link to the apology? Because Nia has said that the world is changing and having a White lead
      was current. I agree.

      I don’t see how this movie doing well should be the reason why BW don’t create their
      own media. If anything this should show BW how much financial power they have. And
      we should invest in telling our own stories.

      I don’t think that the RHOA is the same as (BW) but again it doesn’t matter. Because both shows are damaging to the image of BW and if we continue to suppoort them we are agreeing to collaborate in the destruction of our image. And our “Brand.” Want to know why AW are winning in the dating world? They don’t support those who damage their “Brand.” BW have to wake up and stop being lazy in the media they consume, then complain that the problems that laziness causes. BW can have everything they want, with a little bit of critical thinking, critical planning, and critical execution.

      BW are waking up to the importance of Rashida, actually my sister lives in Michigan and goes to school in Dearborn where Rashida was shot. So I was very concerned. But from what I have seen things are being handled much faster in this case than in Trayvon Martins case. I think its because the police commissioner (?) is a BW. I also saw BW questioning WM as to why their WW/Non-Black women partners weren’t out marching for Trayvon when BW were. This to seems to be a new awareness.

      I strongly disagree that people only support people who believe in fantasy of BW. I think the changes we are seeing show that people support people who support themselves. Nia Long asked for a white love interest, and she received her request and the relationship was treated in a tasteful way. BW made that movie #1. They didn’t come right out and say it. But they did say it did well among with the black demographic and it did well among the female demographic in laymen terms BW. That’s how much power we have, they are afraid to be straight forward with who made that movie #1. It was us. We have the power. But its up to uus to use it to lift and support others or to lift and support ourselves.

      I hope you aren’t a BW. Something tells me you are not. But if you are, then you better quickly take that red pill and get out of the matrix.

      • You hope I’m not a BW?! What the hell is that suppose to mean? Little girl, back the hell up.

        1. I specifically said that my problem was that bw made best man, a movie about ‘fantasy’ life that most bw don’t live a hit, but you think that’s a step in the right direction because we were the only ones swallowing that drivel? I’m supposed to be what?…proud of the irony that all of the women are single, most of the men married non bw, have been known to talk smack about bw, but hey, the sisters in the movie had tight weaves and killer outfits, so this is a step in the right direction? THAT is not my idea of progress. Sometimes people feed you garbage straight from a garbage can (i.e the lily allen video) or sometimes they feed it to you on a silver platter, to me, best man was the latter. Oh….I was going to post the link to Nia’s clip, but you can find it your damn self.

        2. You are so busy trying to dispute what you *think* I wrote that your own rebuttal proved my point (yet again), you wrote….”I don’t think that the RHOA is the same as (BW) but again it doesn’t matter. Because both shows are damaging to the image of BW and if we continue to suppoort them we are agreeing to collaborate in the destruction of our image….” …which is the point that I made/wrote, that we as a collective support things that don’t put us in a positive light to a greater extent than things that do, so I am concerned with which type of bw (you included) that controls our media. While the ex Mrs. O’Neal doesn’t own the network that airs BW, she could have stopped the train wreck in it’s track by either replacing the cast, or not airing that mess, after all, it is not real time…. but she did not, and we could have stopped watching, but we did not…… so I am very leery with who is going to take the helm at controlling our image since we have yet to fully digest what a healthy and positive self image really is. MadameNoire alone has over 250k life/followers, that is a very impressive #, but if you visit that site it is full of negativity and disrespect, Clutch has close to 25 – 30k, while I enjoy the conversations in the latter (I stopped visiting the former), Clutch allows too many male trolls who openly disrespect and stalk bw posters, half of the articles focus on what is happening to bm and I swear someone there is against IR, but, if it wasn’t for a poster there, I would have never known about BWE’s so I visit to see what else I may learn.

        3. I don’t feel like replying to the rest of your dribble, because you are clearly replying to what I did not write. Don’t expect me to read/reply to whatever else you write, I know how to work the ‘page down’ button and quite frankly am not about to start an argument on this site.

        For others who want to have an intelligent discussion (hint: telling me I’m not a BW will lose me and I will not reply) about why you don’t have the same concerns with who controls the helm, feel free to respond.

        • You don’t want to start an argument? The best way to start an argument anywhere is to call a grown woman “little girl” and compare her thoughts to dribble. So imma come over to the kids table and explain to you just like I did with the 13 yr old who was out of line in my neighborhood. To disrespect another BW is to disrespect yourself and if we as BW want others to respect us we have to respect each other. With that being said, we both agree that the media portrayal of BW is awful. Where you and I differ is that I believe we have the power to counter the negativity and you don’t believe in our ability to chose positive images for ourselves.

        • As for this “fantasy life” you speak of, it exists. Just because YOU don’t know any black people who live like that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I know BW who live well, one lives in one of the richest neighborhoods in the US. And yes they are married to bm.

          Killer outfits and tight weaves? There goes your thinking again. I really liked the film because the characters were multidimensional. They were not caricatures. And the issues they dealt with were real issues.

        • I get what you are trying to say. Your concerns are very real. I just think you have an defeatist attitude. If the best we can do is counter negative portrayals at first, I’m okay with that. But we have to do something. If I have someone on my team by default (you as a BW), then I for sure want someone who is confident in our ability to think and act for ourselves.

          BWE is a formidable entity. But we have to respect it and the women who make it what it is. And see the power it and we truly have. I think that as we create the content and images we want to see more BW will cross over from the darkness to the light. If we build it they will come so to speak. As for what we can do to run Mona Scott out of business. That will take some brainstorming.

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