black men, black women, Dysfunctional Shit, popular culture, Relationships

Sex and the Single Lady Generation X African American Style

single-black-woman

Often on the social media, when discussions about the dating game comes up and how it truly sucks to be an African American single woman in your forties, marginally attractive black men are quick to chime with “You need to choose better or expand your circle.” Negro please.  A lot of these niggas ain’t worth two dead flies and what is so pathetic is that these men know that already because these two bit niggas are their friends. But these dudes spend their time trying to convince women that it is our fault for not choosing this fabled, little seen creature who is allegedly in abundance but we are too choosy and like thugs to find one: The Proverbial Good Black Man.

I have an eclectic mix of black lady friends on the social media who expand from California to New York. From London to Barbados and all these ladies are saying the same exact thing: it sucks to be a single black lady of any age but in particular for a woman of a certain age because of the social stigma that makes women in their forties crones before their time and because of the lack of quality black men in the dating world.

And it is not just on the social media where black women in their forties are complaining about the availability of black men in their age bracket that are financially solvent, emotionally stable and ready to commit to something as simple as a movie date but offline too. I have friends that I have known for years who are single and fed up with the games, the utter lack of accountability and have surrounded their hearts with a wall of stone.

Two years ago back in August, I got myself out of a long term relationship that was going nowhere because he irritated my soul and made my ass itch. I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life with him, let alone another month so I walked away with zero regrets. But like always, people do not like the idea of a black woman being single and free because a free woman is a dangerous bitch.  So my best friend and my daughter suggested that I try online dating and see what happens.

I am very open-minded so I conducted some research and decided that OkCupid would be the best online dating service for me because for the most part, it’s free and I was not about to spend money that could be spent elsewhere on internet dating services. Shit, I have a child and makeup habit to support.  And Lawd have mercy on my soul why I do that because I have met some characters on that bitch.

Let’s talk about the horny white men who fetishize black women sexually like the old ass Grandpappy that was in my inbox. Looked like a walking skeleton with hair. Old as Methuselah. Old as mummy dirt talking about how he likes “the sisters.” If you don’t go sit your old ass down somewhere Pop Granddaddy.

Or the cute ass white fella around my age who actually could hitch a word or two together and wrote a magnificent paragraph about my beauty, charm, blah, blah, blah but when we actually talked on the phone, told me I asked too many questions. I guess he thought I was going to be discussing how black women suck a better dick than white women. Like I wasn’t going to question a strange man I met online about his life.

And now the brothers oh my goodness. Those horn dogs.  Constantly sending sexually explicit pictures and messages, trying to come over my house for a meal without offering to spend a dime on groceries. Never suggesting so much as a date to a coffee shop because they are some cheap bastards. Always trying to get some coochie and come up on a meal at the same time.  Some basic motherfuckers.

But eventually through all this garbage, I eventually met two cuties but they wasn’t shit either because these men expected me to chase behind them. In this new world of dating, Black men consider themselves the prize and the women are supposed to chase behind them whether these men are blind, crippled, crazy and look like an old sock; they have dicks and women are automatically supposed to drop to their knees and worship the mic, literally and figuratively. These two men in particular never wanted to communicate with me via the phone except for texting and that shit irritated me. I am a relic from a forgotten era: a time in which men asked for your phone number, called you and you talked for hours, having mentally stimulating conversations about life, music politics and all kinds of deliciousness. Not today. These men didn’t want to talk to me on the phone; they just want to text and these fuckers couldn’t t even text properly. Misspelled words, sentence fragments and quick to ask for a nude picture, all kinds of foolishness from complete strangers.

So after all of this, I have taken myself out of the dating game for now because at 46, I do not have time for this bullshit. I will not be chasing complete strangers. I will not be deciphering text messages from grown ass men who should know how to spell. I will not be allowing strange men into my home around my 15-year old daughter because they are too cheap to take a woman on a date. But according to some black men and their band of thirsty Pick Me heifers, I just need to choose better or switch up my circle. Yeah right. To quote a beautiful sister from Facebook name Phoenix Renee, “BM over 40 are tired, emotionally bankrupt, and relationship illiterate and lazy. They’re right where we left them 20 years ago. Only now time (and in some cases, drugs/alcohol) is catching up. Too many didn’t do their “work” for decades and now we’re not settling. So now the cry is “no good women”?”   Yeah right motherfuckers.  How can single Generation X black women who want love and companionship form normal, functioning  loving relationships with a group of emotionally stunted men who are  intent on living a second adolescence? Men who refuse to be held accountable for anything? Who blame black women for everything? Naw bruhs it ain’t happening. So stop pushing this tired ass narrative about choosing better and admit that a large portion of your brethren ain’t shit.

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black men, black women, blacks, Editorial, misogynoir, popular culture, Race

Keepers of Blackness Powers Deactivate!

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The social media can be both a curse and a blessing. It is a blessing because you have the opportunity to read the viewpoints of millions of people and interact with others. However, it is also a curse because very often, you are also exposed to the ignorant arrogance of people. Especially when it comes to defining “Blackness” because some Black folks have declared themselves The Keepers of All Things Black and will attempt to “school” you about how you are not “Black” enough for their “tastes”.  Let me explain.

Every couple of months, a blog written by some random Black person will come out complaining about how Black women should not like Marilyn Monroe and should only pay attention to Lena Horne or Dorothy Dandridge.  Or how pissed off  some Black men are about Black women having a variety of hairstyles they can choose from and accuse them of wanting to be White because they happen to have weave in their hair. And don’t get me started on being a feminist. Some Black people, especially Black men and their merry band of mules have a real problem with a Black woman declaring herself a feminist because feminism is that White chick, bra burning shit and a Black woman is supposed to be down with the Black Movement. How dare she have an original thought in her head that was not placed in there by a Black man!

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This ongoing war about “Blackness” is the silliest shit ever. As a Black woman, I happen to love Marilyn Monroe and have read several biographies and the one autobiography about her life. But I also love Lena and Dorothy and loving Marilyn does not make me any less “Black” than the next Black woman.  And in regards to hair, I have been woven, relaxed, and natural and currently, I am woven to the max with a glorious Chaka Khan look.  Underneath the weave is my crowning glory, a nappy, kinky forest of blackness but every now and then, I want a different look. And that’s my fucking business and does not have anything to do with me wanting to be a white woman. I mean what kind of asinine shit is that?  I could have a long flowing blond weave down to my ankles like Rapunzel complete with blue contacts and I will still be a black woman. Jeez.

And I can be both a Black woman and a feminist if I want to. What is the problem with women having choices in their everyday lives without criticism? That is what being a feminist means to me; I do not want to rule over men (too much work because in so many ways, they are just like children). I just want to be left alone without men trying to tell me something for my own good as if I was a wayward child without direction. I am not turning my back on the Black community by being a feminist; I am becoming a greater person by becoming a better woman through ownership of my agency. Ruling over my own autonomy.

I guess I will never be one of members of The Keepers of All Things Black club because I cannot dance and have no rhythm, I do not know how to French braid hair, and it took me almost ten years to learn how to fry chicken properly. I also have one of the most eclectic tastes in music ever known, loving all type of genres of music from R.E.M to Too Short. I also do not have the proverbial big booty and stood too long in the titty line so I guess I would not be considered “Black” enough for some folks although my brown skin, broad nose, full lips and hair of wool declare me a Black woman every time I look in the mirror. But see how silly this shit sounds? Black people come in a variety of shades and a variety of backgrounds so please open your mind and remember this: your Blackness is not everyone’s Blackness, so stay in your lane.

 

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American Culture, Family, Feminism, History, popular culture, Relationships

The Dark Side of Life in the 1950s

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When looking back at past eras, the 1950s is looked upon by many as an idyllic time in American history. The nuclear family headed by a male breadwinner was the desired norm and televisions shows such as Father Knows Best and I Love Lucy were popular. However, there was a dark side to this lifestyle. Women were treated like second-class citizens and some were living unhappily married because their financial and educational options were limited and they were as dependent on their husbands as their children.

The media, in collusion with the government, and sociologists constantly espoused the virtues of family and children and women, who wanted more out of life were looked upon as freaks of nature. However, some women during that era expressed dissatisfaction with their lives and an inarticulated longing for a life beyond their children and husbands. Some of these women were forced out the workforce after World War II and felt resentment that their only option for financial stability was marriage. This inarticulated longing would lead to a major social upheaval towards the end of the 1950s and would be the beginning of the second-wave feminist movement. This movement caused a shift in family values and altered family structure for future generations to come. The 1950s Family Experiment would be short-lived but fondly remembered.

Several factors lead to the forming of the nuclear family. By the end of the 1940s, the divorce rate dropped sharply; the ages of people getting married fell to a 100-year low; and the birth rate soared. Women dropped out of the workforce as soon as they become pregnant and some young women had two or more children in diapers at once. Also during this time, the education gap between young middle-class men and women increased and job segregation for working women and men peaked. Limited educational and job opportunities for women made them more dependent on marriage for their financial well-being.

Young, newly married couples were encouraged to sever their family ties and put all their emotional and financial eggs in the small basket of the immediate nuclear family. Women were told by experts that all their energies should be used for their husbands and children, not aging parents and other relatives. Psychiatrist Edward Strecker and various colleagues argued American boys were infantilized and emasculated by women who were old-fashioned “moms” instead of modern “mothers”.

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Modern mothers placed their parents in nursing homes; old-fashioned mothers took their parents in at the expense of their own “important” nuclear family. A modern mother was not supposed to have friends, a job, or anything or anyone that would take attention from her husband and children. She was also supposed to grant early independence to her male child. It is no wonder that many women who believed in this advice and put it into practice ending up abusing alcohol or tranquilizers over the course of the decade.

Women were encouraged to confine themselves to a very narrow definition of “true” womanhood by a variety of sources such as family education specialists and marriage counselors, columns in women’s magazines, government pamphlets, and above all television. These experts told women during the 1950s that their greatest role on the planet was to be wives and mothers. The role of a “real” woman was to have no interest in a higher education or a career and women were taught by these experts to pity women who had the nerve to want a life beyond being a wife and mother.

Televisions shows such as Donna Reed, Ozzie and Harriet, Leave It to Beaver, and Father Knows Best showed women how much easier their lives would be if their families were like those families and the I Love Lucy show warned women about the perils of what happened to a woman who wanted a career or if she schemed behind her husband’s back (Coontz, 38), The mothers on Leave It to Beaver and Ozzie and Harriet were immaculately dressed with pearls around their necks. Their homes were clean and their children never got into trouble. However, on I Love Lucy, Lucy usually looked terrible by the end of the episode. Her hair was at times standing on top of her head and her clothes filthy from her weekly adventure. Women and their families watched these shows and tried their best to emulate the perfect and bright lives shown to them on a weekly basis.

Noticeably absent from these discussions are the role of Black women during this era. Black women were delegated to the background as housekeepers and nannies, taking care of other women’s children and then going home to take care of their families. So from the beginning, this image of a beautiful, bountiful lady of leisure that keeps her home, children, and herself immaculate was never intended for Black women because Black women never had and were not given those same opportunities. They had to work. But unlike white women, they received help from their extended family. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family member assisted in the raising of children. Many parents left their children with family members when they made the trek to the North during the Great Migration and when they got on their feet, sent for their children and the family members who helped them.

However, towards the end of the 1950s, a dramatic shift occurred. Cultural values changed dramatically and the children of these women found the social hypocrisy of their parents sickening. Many young adults and some of their mothers would march in the streets to protest against sexism, racism, and militarism. Minorities and women began to receive the civil rights that were rightfully due to them and more and more women entered the workforce, forcing a dynamic shift in child rearing practices. By the 1970s, husbands and wives had begun to share household duties and women were no longer bound to their homes.

The concept of family has changed and although there have been some issues; it was ultimately for the best.  Women have more rights but divorce is commonplace in current modern society and many children live in one-parent households. Despite the gains of the 1960s, women still face discrimination and do the majority of household work regardless of how many hours they work per week or if they have a partner. But women now have opportunities that would not have been imagined sixty-years ago. Children do not have to see their mothers treated like chattel and America is on the verge of electing the female President of the United States. Nothing remains the same – ever. The constantly changing landscape of the American family owes a lot to the women of the 1950s.

 

 

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black women, blacks, Dysfunctional Shit, Editorial, misogynoir, popular culture, Race

White Supremacy, Reality TV & The African-American Woman

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Black women are some of the most versatile and multifaceted individuals on this planet and despite being stereotyped as the lowest of the low, they have managed to become the most educated group in America and are quickly rising in the entrepreneurship field. But sadly, none of that matters to the dominant culture who wishes to keep black women on the bottom rung on the latter of American society.

That is why it is quite suspect that VH1, a major cable network channel has seen its ratings skyrocket since its debut of negative reality televisions marketed towards black women during this era of the rising Black Woman. In an article on The Grio’s website from April 2011, VH1’s VP of original programming and production, Jeff Olde said “We constantly have to evolve and tell our audience different stories. I love that we’ve been able to get more diverse with our audience by — in large part — attracting African-American women to the network. We got them in the door with some shows, and now I’m excited about where we’re going and how we’re telling them different kinds of stories.”

And it has worked. Due to the success of reality shows such as Love & Hip Hop Atlanta and Basketball Wives, Viacom, the parent company of VH1 has seen its ratings go up by 20 percent in prime-time among adults 18–49 in 2014 — the biggest rise among the top 25 basic cable networks. However, the shows on VH1 geared towards the African-American female audience are nothing more than modern day minstrel shows showcasing Black women displaying stereotypical behavior such as fighting, cussing, and showing their asses to the world. Sapphire, Jezebel, and the latest, Gold-Digger for a new generation. One cannot help but wonder if this was a plan.

I have noticed since the election of President Obama, the first Black president who happens to be married to a Black woman, there has been a concerted effort by the mass media to portray African-American women in a negative light. Examples include the rise of Black reality television, articles about how single African-American women’s net worth is listed as $5 dollars, and depending on the news source, African-American women either have the most children out of wedlock or abortions. On a regular basis, the American public is assailed with these negative stories and shows about African-American women which in turn make them become subject to stereotypes as the images presented become fixed mental images and are exaggerated and applied to all Black women as a whole.

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Whites, who are the dominant culture, watching these shows, grow to believe that all Black women are less intelligent, more violent, and generally less human. Additionally, Black women themselves can develop reactions that are turned inward and create a sense of hopelessness, despair, and self doubt that can lead into even more sociological problems in the form of alcoholism, drug abuse, aggression, and crime. Now those white folks who believe these stereotypes are not worth two dead flies but they do exist and are sometimes the very people black women interview with.  I wonder how many black women did not receive a job that they were fully qualified for based on these stereotypes.

I have come to the conclusion that the only solution to the problem of negative portrayals of Black women on reality television is to boycott the advertisers, not the producers of this muck. Black women need to realize how powerful they are and take a stance to demand that these images be taken off television. The advertising industry is a billion dollar a year industry and if advertisers refuse to run their commercials during these shows, producers of these shows will be left with a limited number of options to present negative images of African American women. Television has a wonderful opportunity to present shows that celebrates and reflects the strength and tenacity of African-American women instead of stereotypical portrayals and that tells stories about the lives of the African-American women as human beings, not just as pieces of meat and a source of unlimited funds for greedy network executives.

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Beauty, blacks, Editorial, Feminism, misogynoir, popular culture

The Winter Santiago Complex and Black Women

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Black sisterhood is at an all-time low in 2016. Online and offline, I see black women tearing each other to pieces like rabid dogs over the most mundane and pettiest of shit. If you don’t measure up their lofty standards, there is a segment of black women that will shame your ass to hell. They will shame you for wanting a child without being married because unmarried black mothers make them look bad.  They will shame you for not wanting to date outside your race because black women who only want to date black men and give birth to black children are hood rats.  They will shame you for living in the hood (while not offering a dime in assistance or advice how to get out the hood), for being overweight (while being one cheeseburger from being considered fat themselves), and for not being “feminine” enough by their standards (although their standards of femininity is based on white folks standards of femininity and living by white standards is very important). It is pathetic but the shaming of black women by other black women went to a new level with the public shaming of Patrice Brown otherwise known as #teacherbae.

Ms. Brown is a paraprofessional who works for the Atlantic Public School system whose pictures of herself on Instagram turned her into an overnight sensation and an object of ridicule. She was ridiculed because of her attire, which was thought to be too sexy to be around the 4th grade students she taught on a daily basis.  Although all the dresses that were shown were of knee length, long sleeved and covered her to the neck, because she is a voluptuous woman, it became a problem for many people, mainly black women. All this controversy about her clothing style caused the APS to publicly reprimand this woman for the very clothes they knew she wore five days a week.

This young woman could have been fired because of the jealousy and insecurity of masses of black women who will never meet or have any interaction with her and it makes no sense at all but unfortunately, too many black women do not like to see other black women shine.  Living under a system of patriarchy has conditioned them to be very competitive with other women and anytime a black woman receives so much as a crumb of attention that in anyway involves the male gaze, these women come with claws extended with knives.

I call this mentality The Winter Santiago Complex. Remember Winter Santiago from the novel The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah?  She was truly one of the most selfish female characters written in the history of literature and she has become the standard for female characters in the urban literature genre.  One particular scene from the novel will always stand out in my head. It was the time right after her father had went to jail and her family was back living in the projects. She went to a concert I think and she saw her best friend Natalie in a pink Chanel suit and lost her damn mind. Natalie went off her and told her, quite truthfully, “Nobody can’t have shit but you!”

And there lies the problem with so many black women.  Another black woman cannot have shit without them feeling slighted. She can’t be pretty with a little waist you can span with one hand, big hips and upright breasts. She cannot be an educated sister with the body of a goddess and a face to match. You have to be fat, frumpy, and willing to watch their children when they go out because you know fat bitches don’t have a life.  You have to be an ugly, uneducated hood-rat that they can feel both feel sorry for and contemptuous of.  Because black chicks with The Winter Santiago Complex cannot take competition and need their feet on the necks of black women they deem undesirable. Pitiful.

And Ms. Patrice? You are a bright, beautiful young woman who is out here these trenches teaching black children and for that, I salute you. And if you were my daughter, I would have been on the social media tearing ignorant folks a new asshole for messing with my baby. Shine boo, shine!

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cartoons, popular culture

A Pop Cultural Analysis of Tom and Jerry’s Zoot Cat

As a child, one of my daily pleasures was cartoons. Oh how I loved them! Woody Woodpecker, Bugs Bunny and Friends, Magilla Gorilla, Heckle and Jeckle, Mighty Mouse, Scooby Doo, The Superfriends. The list goes on and on but my favorite cartoon was Tom and Jerry. Everyday I would tune in to see Tom get his ass beat by a clever mouse named Jerry and I would cackle madly but what I did not realize is how funny these cartoons would be when I watched them as an adult.

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This past Friday, I was surfing the Internet and discovered some pictures from the Tom and Jerry episode “Zoot Cat” and I was tickled pink. These pictures bought so many childhood memories so I decided to watch the cartoon in its entirety and Lawd!!!!!!!!!! It was a study in Blackness. The episode starts with Tom getting ready to see a fine little cat he likes and he is slicking back his hair with lard. Not water but lard. That was downright niggerish for real.

Then he go over to the young lady’s house, pours his heart out and presents Jerry as a present and she lights his ass up like the fourth of July. I don’t care what anyone says, that girl cat is a Black woman because a Black woman can cut a motherfucker up like no other. She even called him a corny corn husker.

After his face is cracked and on the ground, and after chasing Jerry in another futile chase that left him dazed and confused, he over hears a radio commercial about how getting a zoot suit would change his life so he pulls a Scarlett O’Hara and makes himself a zoot suit made of the orange and green hammock on the girl’s porch.

He goes back to Toot’s house, all fancy and shit, and she falls in love with him with her shallow, superficial ass. And of course Jerry gets into the mix and he and Tom spend most of the cartoon fighting and tearing up this cat’s house. That typical hood shit for nigglins to come to a person’s house and tear shit up.

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In the end, Tom did not get the girl because he was stupid and Jerry ended up with his suit and probably took Toots disloyal ass too. But this cartoon is one of the funniest because it showed human nature at its worst: trifling.

 

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