I’m a glutton for punishment. I don’t know why I continue to read certain news organizations’ content, websites or blogs, but I like to see what varying opinions are floating around out there on the Internets.
I stumbled onto a so-called Black Women Empowerment blog called Black Women’s Interracial Relationship Circle (note the clever URL). I like to read these types of blogs to get an idea of what other black women are saying in the blogosphere and to get a feel of the pulse of a certain segment of black women.
The author’s post, “The primary reasons why BWE are the real champions of black women,” caught my eye. The author, known as Halima Anderson, goes into a rant on how and why black feminists and womanists have turned their backs on black women.
Just a little taste:
If you look at most of the analysis for black women out there (whether they are by womanists, black feminsists etc), it still very much considers black women entities ‘the community’. Black women are still enscribed in community and are still analyzed as beings of the black community, community agents, black community bound, their destinies and lives to be traced out only within these confines and terms.
BWE are willing to unyoke black women from ‘community’ if it will save their lives, keep them sane, prevent them from being worked to death, provide a measure of protection, ensure their resources do not become the possession of others, if it will enable them meet their dreams and goals. To BWE the work which bw do or what they are to their community, is not more important than the health and well-being of black women itself!
BWE are willing to ‘loose her and let her go’. Ask yourself, which other justice group even those that claim to be all about bw are willing to go as far as to say, ‘Black woman, you are now more in danger from within so our models and frameworks need to take this into account and to ensure the survival of bw we will be willing to go as far as detach her from our community-bound, and community-based models if necessary’.
True champions of bw put bw first, not behind the use and purpose of black women to their communities. They can imagine bw living a life outside its boundaries. Those unwilling to separate bw from the community role and community locating contribute to her oppression.
A little more:
The question is indeed in need of asking, why hasn’t black feminism brought forth new ways of looking at the black woman’s situation that could be of practical use and benefit to black women NOW in her current situation and with the nature of her current threat. Black women are indeed in a bad way yet all we get is ineffective and outdated theories that do not address the current needs of black women!
From these ‘learned’ women we have nothing but the usual ‘complaining’ about the wider system. There is nothing to address the current nature of black female oppression, the battering of black women’s image and self esteem (this time not by whites but by black men). Maybe this is why they have absolutely nothing to say nor any solution to suggest (because black feminism/womanism was all about facing the outward enemy i.e. the white man and thus has come to the limit of its operation and ability now that the white man is no longer the biggest problem of black women).
So each day the situation gets worse and the black woman is at the point that she rises daily and wonders, ‘who is going to trash my image, today? what next? what is going to be dished at me this time?’
I’ve been reading this and many other so-called BWE blogs over the past five or six years and I’ve never come across anything so piss poor and ignorant. The post in its entirety is worth the read, even though it’s highly and blatantly inaccurate and filled with lies.
This post is so inaccurate that it’s almost laughable and unworthy of the attention I’m about to bestow upon it. But, someone has to stand up in the name of black feminism and womanism against the false attacks and misinformation coming from a so-called empowerment blogger.
Black women have a long history of criticizing attacks on black women from white men, white women AND black men. Paula Giddings’ When and Where I Enter (I strongly suggest Halima Anderson reads this book to understand how extensive black female activism on behalf of their fellow sisters has been) is a damn good example of how consistent black feminists and womanists have been in standing up to the black patriarchal community and to whiteness. bell hook’s book Ain’t I A Woman? is another classic example of black feminists and womanists coming together to criticize and work to dismantle the black patriarchal system set up to keep black women and children in subjugation.
Maybe Anderson is unfamiliar with the likes of blogs such as What Tami Said, Womanist Musings, Shark Fu at AngryBlackBitch, What About Our Daughters, Siditty, etc. Maybe she isn’t familiar with these bloggers’ consistent attacks and criticisms of the current pro-black male/anti-black female community structure, specifically What About Our Daughter’s constant coverage and analysis of the Dunbar Village tragedy. Perhaps Anderson is unfamiliar with my assessment about the pervasive examples of rape culture in hip-hop. Or perhaps my assessment of our community’s notorious behavior of blaming victims of rape, incest and child abuse.
She’s also unfamiliar with the likes of NewBlackMan, who has also challenged the damaging myths and prevailing attitudes about black masculinity and its affects on the community at large.
It was black female bloggers, including feminists and womanists, who came to the defense of the likes of Megan Williams. It was black female bloggers, including feminists and womanists, who came to the defense of the Rutgers University women’s basketball team when Don Imus referred to them as nappy headed hos–and D.L. Hughley’s “joke” about agreeing with Imus.
Black feminists and womanists came to the defense of black women and our beautiful image when Psychology Today decided a racist article on female attractiveness was worthy to be published.
Black feminists and womanists, during the height of the 1970s feminist movement, were faced with widespread criticism and backlash from black men in our community who encouraged women and children to put race first and gender second. Black feminists and womanists were on the front lines, criticizing the current black community structure–and the black men who were in support of it–as mimicking the same white patriarchal structure that brought racism, paternalism, colorism, systematic rape and torture, slavery and racial hierarchy to the forefront of American minds.
It’s nothing short of a slap in the face to have bloggers like Anderson second guess the dedication black feminists and womanists have shown to preserving, protecting and promoting black women AND children. In fact, I will go so far to say that black feminists and womanists, including black female activists who don’t claim either philosophy, have paved the way for these so-called BWE bloggers to freely promote their version of black female empowerment. In fact, black women have never had to claim the title of feminists or womanists to protect, preserve and promote black women and children.
As an aside, I find it interesting Anderson referred to BWE bloggers as the real agents of change among black women, yet the vast majority of her posts are referencing the benefits of black women dating outside of their race. As a person who has been in an interracial relationship for nearly 10 years, I’ve seen my share of black women “dating out” and, trust me, dating men outside of your race does not equate to being empowered. You can date all the non black men in the world and still be one of the most ignorant, stagnant, backwards-thinking black women on the planet.
It’s my hope my fellow black feminists, womanists or any black woman standing up against the black community’s wall of oppression and barriers come together and school bloggers like Anderson on the blood, sweat, tears, prayers and praises many black women have gone through in the name of protecting black womanhood.