Tuesday, October 9, 2007

First, Take Stock

As my fellow webophiles know, IRRs are a perennial favorite topic of conversation at most black message boards and blogs, despite the fact that most posters at such boards regularly express their indifference and disdain towards such relationships. One popular response to the latest breaking newsflash on the sellout of the day is to insist that said black person is “ugly” and the poster “wouldn’t want them anyway,” and that their white partner is “ugly,” “desperate,” a “loser,” etc.

This of course, is an interesting response on many levels, particularly from people who consider themselves so “pro-black,” that they would never “sellout” by dating a white person. They clearly view any black person who dates a white person to be “selling out,” i.e., somehow elevating themselves vis-à-vis other blacks by dating a white person, any white person--otherwise, how else could they be characterized as “selling out,” i.e., compromising their “racial integrity” in exchange for some kind of gain?

By the same token, they equally believe that any white person who dates a black person, any black person—no matter how beautiful, talented, successful, or accomplished--has somehow degraded themselves, reflected in the commonly stated belief that only “bottom of the barrel” whites date blacks, and the extreme aspersions generally cast on the characters and appearances of the white partners of black mates. Despite the overt professions of black pride that often accompany these complaints, such responses betray a clear belief that for black people, dating white is dating up, and that for white people, dating black is dating down. This is not how I define pride.

What often intrigues me more, however, is how common it is for the posters making such harsh judgments about the physical appeal of the couples at issue to include photographs of themselves that make it clear that they are inferior in physical appearance, not only to the couples they are critiquing, but probably to most people in general. This disconnect is particularly striking when the same posters make constant assertions about their “fineness” and desirability to the opposite sex.

We live in a society that has generally elevated “high self-esteem” above all other character traits as a value to be respected and admired. We inculcate it into our children from infancy, and both pity and despise those who do not think sufficiently well of themselves. “You have low self-esteem,” we hiss derisively at those we wish to cut to the quick. Yet, all too rarely do we ask, high self esteem based on what? Why do most people think so well of themselves? Should a stupid person think themselves intelligent? An ignorant person think themselves knowledgeable? An ugly person think themselves lovely? A cruel person think themselves kind? Increasingly, this is exactly the result we are getting, especially among our young, whose “self-esteem” we have so carefully nurtured to be “high,” rather than accurate.

One result is reflected in my last post, about disgruntled lawyers and law students who are embittered that they are failing to earn the $160,000-per year incomes post-law school that they had come to expect. While many of their complaints about the costs of legal education vs. the opportunities for legal employment are valid, the sense of thwarted entitlement that underlies so much of their complaining reflects the inevitable crash that afflicts the high self-esteem generation when they encounter one of life’s unavoidable pitfalls. They experience tremendous outrage, bitterness, and frustration, but they haven’t the slightest bit of initiative to make change or actually improve their lot. This is because their self-esteem is high, but not accurate—they think very well of themselves, but they’re actually quite average, and their lack of genuine specialness is revealed as soon as they have need of it—and realize it isn’t there.

In the same way, many of the women snickering at Venus Williams’ and Halle Berry’s dates have a seriously delusional view of their own relative appeal as women. Certainly, a woman is more than her face and body; but when both your outer and inner package are sour and negative, it may be time to forget about maintaining “self-esteem,” and think about taking stock. This is especially true for a woman who is seeking a relationship.

For black women, who face constant criticism from without, taking such an inventory from within is often fraught with pitfalls. The flipside of the constant hectoring to have “high self-esteem” in our society is the equally constant diminishment of the value and worth of everyone who deviates from rigid ideals of beauty and accomplishment. Typically, claims of “high self esteem” are simply a façade for deeper layers of self-loathing. That is why so many of the same Mammy/Mule types who are quick to crow about their “thickness,” and to laugh at Mike Nilon and Gabriel Aubry, are equally quick to lap it up when chastised for being “WTE/ABW” who are responsible for their own aloneness. They eagerly smile at black man in the street, and always give a brother a chance, even if he's “getting back on his feet,” after a stint in the penitentiary or a long period of idleness. They save their bile for black male sellouts and other black women.

Yet, despite their “high self-esteem” and “racial pride,” their relationships often fail, and they end up feeling like damaged goods—but they have no language for examining themselves critically that will actually be honest and constructive, no process that starts with the premise that they can have value as women, and have relationships that work. All of the criticism aimed their way is designed not to help them improve, but to render them even more vulnerable to exploitation. And since they believe it’s essential rationale—that to be black and a woman is to be worthless—they can never actually be better than they are. They stay stuck in a place where they remain prey, beasts of burden carrying everybody else’s weight and trying to keep other sisters in the same place. Their single “joy” is in the false pride of not having “sold out” because they just have too much “self-respect” for that.

It is so important for all of us who want the most out of our lives to first take stock of ourselves—not based on the destructive messages that so many of us have been programmed with since childhood, but based on the hard-won values and understandings that we have gained through developing real self-esteem and insight into ourselves and our goals. There’s no point in pursuing a relationship with another person without first understanding ourselves, and being prepared to bring the same maturity and stability to the table that we must demand of our partners. Don’t be like too many sisters who stay stuck, stay vulnerable, and hide their pain behind false bravado.

78 comments:

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Excellent post, as usual, Aimee!

A point, can you clarify your abbreviation: “WTE/ABW”

Regards,

PVW

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Thinking further, so true, so true, so true.

So many presume to understand the nature of people involved interracially, and presume based upon superficial assessments--their looks, their status in society, that there must be "something wrong," when in reality, there can be a lot more happening on a deeper level that the superficial folks can't even begin to understand. In reality, nothing is "wrong," and the relationship works just fine.

There's a lot to be said about real ignorance.

Felicia said...

SO TRUE SO TRUE SO TRUE Aimee!

I could have written that post myself. I swear to God. You so eloquently expressed the delusional state that many people (women & men) are currently in.

Most of us BW/WM couples have had (or will have) the displeasure of being on the receiving end of such lunacy and ignorance from these very low self-esteemed (an no self-esteemed) individuals.

Realizing the pathology, delusions, and self-hatred (and often jealousy) that lies beneath the foolishness makes it easy to let their disturbances roll off your back.

When the haters are hating what they're really trying to prove to themselves is that their OK. They're something or somebody. They matter.

Because for some reason, WM/BW couples specifically seem to draw the ire (and attention) of folks. More than other combinations.

It seems that some feel "less than" so to speak in the presence of BW/WM couples. Especially those deemed attractive and who are doing well.

And to overcompensate, the haters thus have a deep need to do a switcheroo...

"You're making me fell less than/angry/impotent/ugly/insignificant etc... I don't like these negative emotions that I'm experiencing in your presence, so I'm going to turn the tables and make you the "problem".

"You're making me feel insecure (and or ugly) so to gain control back, I'll try to make you feel insecure and "strange" instead."

"I'll try to make you feel as lousy and worthless as I'm feeling in your presence."

It's as if "we" make others who are insecure and threatened, feel "less than" in some way.

And the haters mistakingly feel that by berating us, they're damaged feeling of self-worth will be increased.

But in the end, I'm sure they must feel just as bad as before. If not more so.

Because deep down they know that the hatred/anger/snickering, etc... being expressed is a but a lame and pathetic attempt and recovering hurt pride.

GoldenAh said...

>>and the extreme aspersions generally cast on the characters and appearances of the white partners of black mates.

I'm glad you wrote this post: excellent analysis as usual.

I find the criticism of the mates of blacks (male or female) to be rather maen. I don't even like people saying that bm like heavy-set white women (with the usual insults about her looks tossed in). It's not necessary. If that's what he likes, that's his choice.

Even after a positive slide show of IRR couples, people still feel compelled to ding the looks of the wm / ww. It's the heart of the person that matters.

Aimee said...

Hey PVW!

“WTE/ABW” is an abbreviation of "Waiting to Exhale/Angry Black Woman," an insult commonly slung at uppity negresses at sites like BlackVoices. Believe me--it ain't mine! LOL!

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Aimee: WTE/ABW

My reply:

My word...I never go to that site, but I have heard of it. They actually say things like that...unbelievable...Self-respect, pride in oneself=uppity...Too, too much...

Anonymous said...

All I can say is beautiful....just beautiful!!

D said...

Hi, Aimee...

I read a book titled "Secrets of the Millionaire Mind"... and one of the main points there is that "poor" people usually get jealous of, and disrespect the rich people they see or hear of... but in doing so, they are also disrespecting being financially successful as a goal, as a way of life... and after they have devalued this, they mysteriously don't take the steps needed to get to financial success themselves, no matter how many times they say "I'm going to be rich, too", they stay poor and bitter.

Kind of the same concept. : [

I've noticed the same kind of scorn for years directed at Tiger Woods and Mariah Carey, and it never made sense to me. I've heard people say things just dripping with contempt that seemed to me to have nothing to do with reality, and more to do with their own issues and insecurities.

Re: self-esteem, you favor accurate over high... but would you agree the best case is to have accurate AND high self-esteem by earning it legitimately?

Re: the lawyer riff... the same thing is happening to doctors, too... for 50 years, lawyers and doctors were the epitome of the "go to school, work hard, and you'll be rich" American Dream thing... and the doctors and lawyers starting business today are getting a double whammy of skyrocketing school costs and depressed earnings. Oops.

Becoming a doctor or an attorney is not easy, for good reason. When those professions paid really well, it seemed like a reasonable trade-off to sacrifice 7 to 9 years of life for XYZ results at the end. These people all decided to pursue that path before the deal went bad. Of course there's disappointment. I don't think it's a white thing... a black attorney or doctor coming into the job market right now would feel the same way if she/he had used the expected salary as a carrot at the end of the journey, and then it disappeared.

The whole "spending money to make money" scheme just went south on them. So I don't see it as a self-esteem issue... I see it as they made a deal in good faith, and the deal went sour. Hypothetically, what if the same thing happened to (black?) rappers or musicians... let's say for some reason the whole music industry becomes much less lucrative than it used to be, and the new generation of artists can't afford to have a driveway full of whips to show off on MTV Cribs... there'd be a little thwarted entitlement there, too, if they worked their way up the ladder for 7-9 years, improving their skills, the beats, and hooks, etc., then they get a chart topping album... but no cash.

I think in that situation, the musician might or might not have self-esteem... it's a separate thing from the money. But I'd agree that the man or woman with really high self-esteem would deal with it gracefully... either staying in the music business because they love it without the money, or choosing a different career.

So it would follow that not all new lawyers have low self-esteem... just the ones who can't move past the fact that the rug got pulled from underneath them, and they need to make adjustments, but can only whine instead.

Anyway... you're right, people commonly disrespect what they say they don't want... and you're right, it's silly.

Live and let live. : ]

JeffG said...

While many of their complaints ... are valid, the sense of thwarted entitlement that underlies so much of their complaining reflects the inevitable crash that afflicts the high self-esteem generation when they encounter one of life’s unavoidable pitfalls. They... haven’t the slightest bit of initiative to make change or actually improve their lot.

Setting aside the connotations of race for a moment, and in reference to this and the previous post, this is all very true for the latest generation in general, myself included.

Fortunately I've worked past the sense of entitlement and narrowed it down to just... work. You gotta pay the bills after all. :)

Today's kids seem to think they deserve everything without any need to earn it, and the sense of entitlement is still with them even as they grow up and enter the work force. This applies to pretty much all degrees of culture too, not any specific group.

Low self esteem may be bad for the sufferer, but inflated self esteem is just bad for everyone else. Some of these kids need to learn that they're just as "unique" and special as everyone else!

JJ said...

Blame parents for that sense of entitleent. That's something you can easily check in someone's youth.

Hmm...interesting...lace with quite a bit of arrogance...but interesting none the less.

Oh and Venus William's man is a bad example to use. He ain't cute. And his "profession" is questionable as well. Only way I've seen him described is as a failed golf pro. Nothing else.

Strictly from the outside looking in it seems like Venus can do better.

Now that Aubry is HOT. He's gotta successful resturaunt that Halle helped him with and was a successful model before that so anybody complaining about him really should take another look...

gatamala said...

Oh and Venus William's man is a bad example to use. He ain't cute.

Attractiveness is subjective. Sure Brad Pitt is cute, but Robert Downey Jr is fine. Most folks would not agree w/ me.

But the point is, if he were black, would people even care?
*****

The worst comments about her appearance (from people who know nothing about tennis) come from black folks (men in particular).

As long as he's doing something productive I'm happy if she's happy.

Take a look on the discussion on Hallie. Pre-Aubry she was virtually every bm's wet dream and bw wanted to see her get parts. Now, she's a no-talent airhead who got knocked up by some "playboy".


***

Regarding the self-esteem issue, I know someone who was accused of self-hatred last week. Ironically, the accuser picks relationships based on melanin that clearly evince self-hatred.

Evia says : said...

So many black folks would go into a verbal feeding frenzy if a prominent or young not-so-prominent sista married an old white man like billionaire Rupert Murdoch or Larry King or any other prominent/rich wm who married younger ww/aw. I'm sure that, by comparison, barely anyone in the Chinese community criticized Wendi Deng for marrying Rupert Murdoch.

This is why so many other groups don't want to buy stock in the AA community. The type of thinking that passes for normal thinking in big segments of the bc is so distorted and azz-backwards!!

All I have to say is, 'I ain't mad at her. LOL! Money, power, and privilege can be an aphrodisiac!! When I was young and single, my thinking was that if ANY loving,lovable, compatible man could offer me and my future children money, power, and/or privilege, BRING IT!

I said that to highlight something else that I've always thought was SO ridiculous about many sistas. So many sistas are so SCARED about negative things that their friends, sorors, fellow church members and others in the black community will say about a boyfriend who might be really good for her. Many times sistas will break off from men who they feel won't meet the approval of their black social circle. I've seen this happen especially if they think a man might be considered too short, too skinny, too unattractive, too old, broke-down car, bad haircut, bad wardrobe, etc. whereas many things like that can be changed--like the haircut, wardrobe, the car, looks, etc.

When I met Darren, he had a shabby looking car that he loved and his wardrobe wasn't to my liking! LOL! But what else I saw was a kind, loving, lovable, caring, brilliant, soft-spoken, well-travelled man, with impeccable morals, awesome knowledge-bank, distinctinve tastes, a voracious reader, man of means, slim but very virile, emotionally available, and easy on the eyes (LOL), etc.

Small-minded bw pals of mine started right away with, "He's too skinny!" "He doesn't talk loud enough," "He's too hairy!" He needs to get his hair cut!" "He's not tall enough!" and yadda, yadda. Well, all of that stuff just rolled off my back because he's MY man and I like em slim and he talks loud enough FOR ME and he's 3 inches taller than me anyway, which is JUST FINE with me. The point is that bw need to blow off all of that usually jealous chatter because those same sistas are STILL alone and miserable.

It's so interesting that these sistas still don't like it that I married Darren and are kinda mad at me because they feel that I got lucky!

See, by contrast, they'd have no qualms about taking a big, muscular, ex-inmate who got his muscles from pumping iron in prison into any black social circle. LOL! This is one of the issues related to that 70% single figure among bw. Too many bw ALLOW themselves to be controlled by what some in their "confused" azz-backwards black social circle say or might say.
This is one reason why I continue to write about these little narrow suffocating boxes that bw are confined in and refuse to fight out of. I see this so much!!

roslynholcomb said...

Uh JJ, there's no such thing as a 'failed golf pro.' If you manage to stay on the tour, you're guaranteed a certain income. I know of plenty 'golf pros' who are just the pros at their local country club who have a six figure income. It's my understanding that Venus' man is definitely a millionaire. Does he have Venus type money? Nope, but few people do. But he's hardly a failure.

Aimee said...

Felicia said...

the haters mistakingly feel that by berating us, they're damaged feeling of self-worth will be increased.

But in the end, I'm sure they must feel just as bad as before. If not more so.

Because deep down they know that the hatred/anger/snickering, etc... being expressed is a but a lame and pathetic attempt and recovering hurt pride.


The strange thing is that while these types are quite sure they are doing the right thing by foregoing IRRs, they both can't stop thinking/talking about them, and are very insecure in the relationships they do choose to pursue. It's as if there's some kind of weird, unconcious connection in their minds between the existence of other people's IRRs and their own unhappy romantic lives. A psychologist could have a field day with this much dysfunction.

Aimee said...

GoldenAh said...

I find the criticism of the mates of blacks (male or female) to be rather maen. I don't even like people saying that bm like heavy-set white women (with the usual insults about her looks tossed in). It's not necessary. If that's what he likes, that's his choice.

Even after a positive slide show of IRR couples, people still feel compelled to ding the looks of the wm / ww. It's the heart of the person that matters.


It's very mean-spirited. Georg Sanford Brown marries Tyne Daly, and they mock her appearance, despite her talents and accomplishments. Tiger Woods marries a pretty model type, and they mock him for marrying a nobody-nanny.

I understand resentment of black people who have lower standards for white mates than black ones, but most of the people making these complaints don't even know the people involved--they have no idea what "standards" their mates do or don't meet. All they know is what they look like and do for a living. It goes back to the assumption that if a white person is with a black person, there must be something wrong with that white person. It's sad that black people, of all people, would promote such a concept.

JJ said...

Failure is relative and from what I read I said the man was always described as a failed golf pro.

You are a failed golf Pro if you regularly enter the majors and never place or are ranked. If that has been your goal. Reportedly that was Nilon's.

I've never read anywhere that he was a millionaire (and he very well could be) and I pointed out strictly from the outside looking in it appeared some of the naysayers had a point.

JJ said...

It's very mean-spirited. Georg Sanford Brown marries Tyne Daly, and they mock her appearance, despite her talents and accomplishments. Tiger Woods marries a pretty model type, and they mock him for marrying a nobody-nanny.

I don't get your arguement here and it feels like you're conflating issues.

Yes Daly is talented but she also isn't cute. And the fact that people pointed that out doesn't automatically mean they fall into the line of self-hatred you described.

Women are often judged by their looks. Rightly or wrongly and if Daly had say married Brad Pit or Sean Connery you'd have just as many "other" women saying, What the hell?

Tiger Woods married the Nanny. One who reportedly also did some nude modeling as well at one point in her life.

While race is obviously an issue with Tiger's situation there is also a sense of, "Why the hell with all his suceess he couldn't go marry some equally successful chick. He had to go and marry the damn NANNY!"

And that's a common complaint among many professional women (regardless of race) who are successful and independent and they see them men around them (ones they feel they should be marrying) marry nannies,secretaries, maids and strippers.

Saying All ( or most) of the detractors comments are race centerd or based or completely stem from jealousy. I think that is a bit of a stretch.

Aimee said...

D said...

Re: self-esteem, you favor accurate over high... but would you agree the best case is to have accurate AND high self-esteem by earning it legitimately?

My opinion is that feeling good about yourself is the natural product of a well-lived life in a healthy society. I think whenever self-esteem has to be bolstered artificially either (1) something is off about them individually or (2) something is off about the values of their society. My only point is that maybe the emphasis should be on encouraging young people to be the best possible human beings they can be, rather than just feeling good about themselves independently of their conduct and characters.

Re: the lawyer riff...I don't think it's a white thing... a black attorney or doctor coming into the job market right now would feel the same way if she/he had used the expected salary as a carrot at the end of the journey, and then it disappeared.

I didn't say it was only white professionals who feel disappointed; most people coming out of professional schools today are experiencing similar disappointment. The difference is that white graduates have usually bought into the system on a completely different level. They were usually the same people who, for example, adamently oppose affirmative action or trade tariffs, who believed that black people never made partner because they just couldn't compete, and all those auto workers jobs were outsourced because they just wearn't productive. Well, now they aren't making partner, and their jobs are getting outsourced. And they still can't make the connection. They still don't get that a systemic change has occurred, and that they are no safer than an auto worker or the black student they managed to keep out of Boalt Hall.

So it would follow that not all new lawyers have low self-esteem... just the ones who can't move past the fact that the rug got pulled from underneath them, and they need to make adjustments, but can only whine instead.

My point wasn't that they had low self-esteem, but that too many have false self-esteem. They believe that they are smarter and have worked harder than everyone else, and thus deserve the kind of high, secure incomes that they were happy to see other people lose as the economy globalized. Now they're upset because they're losing it--but by their own logic, they only people who "lose" in our system are the inferior--the stupid, the lazy, the inefficient. Why is that when they suddenly fall into the loser category that we have to start reconsidering what makes someone a loser to begin with?


Live and let live. : ]

:-]

Aimee said...

JJ said...

Saying All ( or most) of the detractors comments are race centerd or based or completely stem from jealousy. I think that is a bit of a stretch.

I didn't say that.

JJ said...

Now they're upset because they're losing it--but by their own logic, they only people who "lose" in our system are the inferior--the stupid, the lazy, the inefficient.

And I think that's the main reason why they can't "recover" from the disappointment.

They bought hardcore into that merit based society myth...but in their minds they were the only ones who earned or deserved the pot of gold at the end of the very expensive rainbow.

If your basic belief structure has blown up in your face then you will likely languish because you don't have anything to replace it.

Can't say I feel bad but it is interesting to watch.

Miriam said...

At the risk of sounding like a troll,

I hear /read all these nice analysis of things on various blogs, but I sure hope IN REALITY bw do treat other bw better than the way it was before.

i just don't want all the analysis to be a new way /reason to disregard our fellow bw.

i'd like to humbly suggest that in addition to these analysis, that folks think up a response when met with these vary same things we're complaining about.

for example: say we hear an 'unenlightened' bw making a negative comment about an IR couple passing by. I just hope folks don't think "well, here's a perfect example of a jealous bw!" But instead maybe say. " Hey! another bw is happy, so more power to her!"

roslynholcomb said...

JJ, check out his career earnings, a little over 2 million dollars. He is indeed a millionaire and a close friend of Tiger Woods. He comes from a pro golfing family. His father and both his siblings are golfers as well. He's also one of the hardest hitters on the tour. Again, if you manage to stay on the tour, you are not a failure. Pro golf is no place for guppies.

http://sports.yahoo.com/golf/pga/players/Hank+Kuehne/1209

JJ said...

Roslyn what point are u trying to make? I was very clear that I was basing my comments on what I had read. That's it.

And that failure is relative. If what you wanted to do was when a US Open chanpionship and you've never even been ranked then some may view you as a failure. It doesn't atter that yo have career earnings of 2 million dollars.

Once again I say: I simply based my comments on what I've read about the guy. The failed GOlf Pro comment was not my own but how he's been described in what I've read.

Period.

JJ said...

Miriam

I think the insecurities go both ways or sometimes it's just plain arrogaance.

If you're secure in your choices then you're not so concerned with what others think about what you're doing.

So I think some of the analysis you speak of comes from a place of insecurity as much as the criticism the various analysis' talk about comes from a place of insecurity.

And sometimes the arrogance is, "look at me, I'm so much more enlightened then these other Black women b/c I opened my options and have my White husband and they must have issue with what I"m doing because they're jealous"

It goes both ways I think.

Aimee said...

Miriam said...

i just don't want all the analysis to be a new way /reason to disregard our fellow bw.

i'd like to humbly suggest that in addition to these analysis, that folks think up a response when met with these vary same things we're complaining about.

for example: say we hear an 'unenlightened' bw making a negative comment about an IR couple passing by. I just hope folks don't think "well, here's a perfect example of a jealous bw!" But instead maybe say. " Hey! another bw is happy, so more power to her!"


Hey Miriam!

My point was not to "expose" the jealousy of BW who oppose IRRs, to come up with snappy rejoinders to their attacks, or to label them as "unenlightened."

My point was that no matter who you are or what you want out of life, the way you achive your goals is by FIRST understanding yourself, your goals, and your own inadequacies and strengths. Failing to do so not only leads to false bravado, but internalized shame and vulnerability to failure. The women I used as examples are certainly entitled to their opinions about the appearance of Venus Williams' boyfriend and whether she can "do better." My point is that all too often, they're not doing so hot themselves, and that may well have something do with the fact that they judge the value of relationships between people they don't know on the basis of quantities like skin color and good looks (as judged by them).

You may see what I'm saying here as an unkind judgment of these women, another unsupportive attack on sisters. But I have never told them that their hair is too nappy, their skin is too dark, they're voices too loud, they're attitudes too angry and argumentative; that they have too many out-of-wedlock children, they're too fat, they aren't submissive enough, they're too picky, they aren't picky enough, etc., etc. These are the kinds of attacks disguised as criticisms that are generally hurled at BW that all too many of us are actually vulnerable to because we haven't developed a sense of values and self that are not beholden to a society that inherently devalues us.

I want BW to be able to look at themselves and recognize our REAL strengths and flaws, as WE understand and define them, rather than feeling proud when some fake militant calls us a "black queen" and ashamed and embittered when he dumps us after the baby is born for a white girl.

I want sisters to know that they CAN make themselves better, that we all have that capacity. But improvement always starts with acknowledgment, and looking within. I just don't consider saying this to be disregard; I consider it to be the highest regard and the greatest respect.

roslynholcomb said...

My point is, JJ that the statement that the man is a 'failed professional golfer' is erroneous. If he were were a failure he would've been booted off the tour. If you're still on the PGA, you're hardly a failure. Most professional golfers, indeed most professional athletes period have never won a championship. If the man were a baseball or basketball player no one would call him a failure simply because he'd never won a championship.

JJ said...

Yeah they would. There are those who've won championships and those who haven't.

And those who haven't are often looked at as failures. Particularly if they were expected to have won one.

I'll say it again Faliure is relative. To you being a pro golfer may be enough to others just playing doesn't count, you have to excel. And that's my point.

arthur said...

Evia said:

I'm sure that, by comparison, barely anyone in the Chinese community criticized Wendi Deng for marrying Rupert Murdoch.


If they're anything like the Chinese I know, her friends and family were high-fiving each other and yelling "Way to go, Wendi!"

JJ said...

LOL @ Arthur.

Oh so true. I'd be hi-fiving my daughter.

LOL.

Sandra said...

Also, Venus William's boyfriend, in addition to having made his own money as a golfer, comes from a RICH family in Dallas, TX (and presumably stands to inherit some funds, if he hasn't already gotten access to some via trust funds). I don't know if his family has Venus' level of money, but he is not poor. Also, I hear that while he was off the tour healing from his back surgery, he was charging MUCHO DINERO giving golfing lessons to wealthy corporate types and other monied elites.

D said...

Aimee said...
My opinion is that feeling good about yourself is the natural product of a well-lived life in a healthy society. I think whenever self-esteem has to be bolstered artificially either (1) something is off about them individually or (2) something is off about the values of their society. My only point is that maybe the emphasis should be on encouraging young people to be the best possible human beings they can be, rather than just feeling good about themselves independently of their conduct and characters.

EXACTLY.

Miriam said...

"to come up with snappy rejoinders to their attacks,"

Sappy rejoinders? Why sappy? Is that a put down of my suggestion? Is that to shut me up or is that like an invitation for me to get upset and start arguing????

It doesn't have to be sappy. maybe you missed my point...

Miriam said...

Aimee said:

"to come up with snappy rejoinders to their attacks,"

wow. I have been away. I haven't dealt with this in a while.

JJ said...

LOL.

Well I'm sure Venus Williams boyfriend will be glad to know that he has many supporters out there.

LOL.

JJ said...

Don't feel bad Miriam.

Aimee has a way of making sarcastic remarks at ideas she disagrees with.

She does it Oh so intelligently however.

LOL.

She got a dig in at me in that same comment you're referencing.

Shake it off. Just stick to the merits of your point and ignore her, "snappy rejoinders."

LOL

Miriam said...

JJ,

Yeah, well. Its just depressing. Can't ppl talk civilly to one another? is that too hard?

Aimee said...

Miriam said...

Sappy rejoinders? Why sappy? Is that a put down of my suggestion? Is that to shut me up or is that like an invitation for me to get upset and start arguing????

It doesn't have to be sappy. maybe you missed my point...


Uhh . . . Miriam: what I said was that my point was NOT to try and expose the jealousy of BW who oppose IRRs, NOT to come up with snappy rejoinders to their attacks, and NOT to label them as "unenlightened."

In other words, I was responding to your concern that we NOT disregard our fellow black women. I wasn't trying to characterize what you said as "sappy," or trying to characterize what you said at all.

I think I understood your point and largely agreed with it, and I was trying to explain why I didn't see my statement as expressing disregard. I don't try to shut anyone here up, even people who come here solely for the purpose of arguing with me or trying to make lame attempts to insult me; if they have the time and the energy, I say more power to them. I've always liked and respected your positive spirit, but I really don't know how I was uncivil or rude in my response to you.

And certainly, if we wish to be civil, we should talk to each other, not about each other.

Miriam said...

Then I guess I misunderstood.

and I should have refrained from talking ABOUT you to JJ. Sorry about that.

Sandra said...

JJ - it's not a question of support of non-support. It's a question of checking information for correctness before disseminating it.

Let Love Rule said...

Goodness.

All I can say is Aimee you the patience of a saint. Really, you're a very special woman, and I think everything you've said has been spot on.

Selena said...

Aimee:

They eagerly smile at black man in the street, and always give a brother a chance, even if he's “getting back on his feet,” after a stint in the penitentiary or a long period of idleness. They save their bile for black male sellouts and other black women.

It's a damn shame because its the truth *smh*

JJ said...

What bad information did i diseminate? And last I checked I prefaced everything I said with, "What I read was...."

All u offered was that he was "possibly" from a rich family. How that pertains to the coversation is beyond me.

JJ said...

They eagerly smile at black man in the street, and always give a brother a chance, even if he's “getting back on his feet,” after a stint in the penitentiary or a long period of idleness. They save their bile for black male sellouts and other black women.

Who are these mythical Black women who are this horrible? Is it the suggestion that this is the norm? That most Black women are this way or just some small majority?

Sandra said...

JJ, are you sure you want to be at this blog? Are you learning anything from being here?

JJ said...

Sandra I could ask you the same thing...

Daphne said...

Who are these mythical Black women who are this horrible? Is it the suggestion that this is the norm? That most Black women are this way or just some small majority?

I don’t think the women Aimee described are mythical. I know a fair share of women who are as she describes. I don’t know if that type of mentality is present in the majority of black women, but I do believe that it is prevalent enough to be a problem. A problem that should be addressed.

Aimee said...

Let Love Rule said...

Goodness.

All I can say is Aimee you the patience of a saint. Really, you're a very special woman, and I think everything you've said has been spot on.


Sigh. Thanks for the kind words LLR. I'm certainly gaining more insight into why other bloggers either monitor, pre-screen, or simply turn off their comments. I just find the discussion the most interesting part of most blogs, so I prefer to let people say what they have to say, correct any misperceptions, and ignore trolling. I still believe that a stronger argument ultimately reveals itself, as does a weaker one.

JJ said...

My point Daphne is that the way the argument is framed it makes it seem like that is the case for most Black women.

Are there women like that, sure. But I'm not so sure I believe its the bulk of women out there and that there are definitely socio-economic variables ivolved for the ones who are.

And the idea that, They save their bile for black male sellouts and other black women.

Seems questionable at best. There is definitely a lot of women bashing...no arguements there. But how are you defining sellouts?

Successful....that's a stretch.

The arguemnt itself seems all encompassing and overeaching and a little hostile.

gatamala said...

Thank you aimee for your blog and allowing comments.

I've always wondered why the group of blogs that some of us frequent is always derailed by the same folks. You may have to delete comments, even mine. Please don't use the google acct/blogger thing. My job blocks email related accounts & I don't have a blog.

***
That said: I do see that woman you are talking about. I don't know if they are a majority, my gut tells me they are.

arthur said...

Aimee said:

I still believe that a stronger argument ultimately reveals itself, as does a weaker one.

I agree completely. All of human progress has come from the marketplace of ideas.

Sandra said...

Aimee, thank you for allowing comments. I also think comments can be quite instructive (and provide fodder for new topics you may want to blog about). You really are a patient woman - I know I would be really disappointed if I posted a topic addressing certain negative behaviors that we engage in, and got comments from people engaging in (and then attempting to justify) the selfsame negative behavior that was just addressed! But the saving grace is to see from the vast majority of comments that people are listening, relating and getting the message. So keep spreading the word!

Daphne said...

Are there women like that, sure. But I'm not so sure I believe its the bulk of women out there and that there are definitely socio-economic variables ivolved for the ones who are.

I re-read Aimee's post just to make sure I didn't misunderstand it - I didn't read anywhere that she's attributing those attributes to the majority of black women. She references posters at various boards and blogs in the beginning, which may or may not be a majority. I understand you don't agree with her perspective, but I don't think it's accurate to say that her post is framed to reference most black women.

JJ said...

Sandra...spare me. You know nothing about me to suggest that I'm "engaging in (and then attempting to justify) the selfsame negative behavior that was just addressed!"

I've agreed as much as I've disagreed on this blog. NO ONE comments when I agree but all HELL breaks loose when I don't.

And I'm the one who usually ends up insulted or on the bad end of a bunch of snarky remarks. Most of which I choose to ignore.

So please. Spare me.

Daphne I didn't say that's what she said. That's why I asked, "Is it the suggestion that this is the norm? That most Black women are this way or just some small majority?"

The arguemetn (as I read it)seems pretty all incluse as if most Black women are this way. And that's where I take issue.

JJ said...

That should say all inclusive

Sandra said...

JJ, what makes you think I was talking about you?

JJ said...

JJ - it's not a question of support of non-support. It's a question of checking information for correctness before disseminating it.


JJ, are you sure you want to be at this blog? Are you learning anything from being here?


Spare me the head games Snadra. Or are you, "engaging in (and then attempting to justify) the selfsame negative behavior that was just addressed!"

classical one said...

"Who are these mythical Black women who are this horrible? Is it the suggestion that this is the norm? That most Black women are this way or just some small majority?"

Unfortunately the media and the popular culture propagate the myth of the terrible black woman. T.V. Shows, music, movies, all painting the black woman as less than. It's to the point that many people find it normal, as in, "well, they really are that way right?"


whitemenforblackwomen

Anonymous said...

^^ Am I the only one who finds this guy extemly annoying?? Blog after blog, comment after comment are constant "reminders" on how the world views black women. It really makes me question his "preferance"!

Anonymous said...

*extremely

yet another anonymous said...

Sometimes I too wonder about the comments made by classical one but I would say on the balance he falls on the side of the black woman. Just.

Anonymous said...

The path from victims to victors
Read an excerpt from Bill Cosby and Dr. Alvin Poussaint's new book

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21279731/

----------------------------------

Ladies, Dr. Poussaint and Bill Cosby spent a half-hour talking to Tim Russert on Meet the Press this morning. The discussion was frank, brutal and riveting. As a black male who pretty much grew up with a silver spoon in my mouth, I was isolated and still am to a degree as to how badly are communities have deteriorated.

I support you ladies and your endeavor to have fulfilling lives and loving husbands (regardless of race). I don't know where we as a people will be in a hundred years. There is the possibility there will be no black Americans-- at least that resemble me.

Sparkle86 said...

anon said:
Ladies, Dr. Poussaint and Bill Cosby spent a half-hour talking to Tim Russert on Meet the Press this morning. The discussion was frank, brutal and riveting.
****

Yes it was. Dr. Cosby spoke the truth. The black community has to wake up and make some changes. No one is going to that for us, only ourselves.

arthur said...

.. The discussion was frank, brutal and riveting ..

This ties right into the concept of "Taking Stock" that Aimee has just written about (another HR, btw). That's what the two Doctors were doing, taking honest stock of the current situation. In doing that, the need for change becomes obvious.

I think the rules established in the '60s that have governed how blacks and whites related to each other and to society at large are loosening their grip, and we are entering a period of change, where almost anything will be possible.

The kind of change we'll see, and maybe help create, will depend greatly on how clearly we are able see what it is we want to change from.

'Taking Stock', indeed.

Janice said...

Help me here but did Poussaint say that the condition of black males today is due to black women achivement? In the new "movement" is the black woman the new ubiquitous "white" man? I'm having problems this party line.

classical one said...

Wow, all least I know how ya all really feel

Long Live Evia! said...

Why did Evia put her blog on private :(

Evia if you're reading this please contact me.. lanettaish@yahoo.com

arthur said...

@ Long Live Evia!

See the comments on Halima's latest post. Evia explains it all there.

Aimee said...

gatamala said...

I've always wondered why the group of blogs that some of us frequent is always derailed by the same folks.

Because that's they're purpose: to try and derail our conversation and make themselves the focus of our energy instead, either out of discomfort with the subject matter, their preference for negative attention rather than no attention at all, or both.

Aimee said...

classical one said...
Wow, all least I know how ya all really feel
___________________________________

Oh come on--I'm sure you know that these posters (or more likely, that poster) is just speaking for themselves. They don't represent how "we" feel; they represent how they feel. LOL!

Peridot said...

Hey Classical one,

I agree with Aimee. I get what you're doing and those criticisms never crossed my mind. So that poster doesn't speak for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Wow, all least I know how ya all really feel

_____

I was the the who wrote the 1st comment.... The second one was from someone else who ALSO feels that your backhanded putdowns of black women are wearing a bit thin...

Anyways I made that statement because your blogs seem to be centered on what "soctiey" and others think about BW and IR relationships. What do YOU want, Who do YOU think is attractive?? YOur blog should reflect that... Grow some balls and be a man! You will NEVER have a successuful relationship with a BW if you're to concerned about what everybody is thinking N-E-V-E-R!! All I want you to do is stop tearing at BW's already low self-esteem by commenting and blogging that the world sees [us]BW as inferior. No self respecting sista wants to read that. PERIOD! I cant believe ppl are getting mad because Im telling you this... SAD! I remember some blog that you wrote about men saying that they'd "date anything but a BW" I, for the life of me, dont understand why you would post something like that! What was your ultimate goal!?!?!? Englighten me please!! Also, there are negative sterotypes about white men too, dont get it twisted! But none of these IR bloggers are focusing on that, their focus is what THEY want and what make THEM happy, not society. Maybe you should follow their lead. I suspect that you might be to weak for an IRR with a BW perhaps you should stick with white or asian women because after all it is more "socially acceptable" according to YOU anyways, again worrying about what ppl think...

Anonymous said...

Ouch . . . ease up on the poor guy. He supplies a forum and, judging from the number of comments he gets, it's a welcome one. Thousands of words are written in and about each of his posts. Every reader can find something in there he/she might find offensive/disagree with. I doubt the guy is posting information about how society views black women in order to tear them down. Look at the name of the dude's blog for goodness sake! He's just putting things out there for conversation.

ANGRY said...

If you tell the truth, they erase your comments. how nice.

Aimee said...

ANGRY said...

If you tell the truth, they erase your comments. how nice.


I don't know who "they" are that you're referring to, but no one's comments here have been erased.

Let Love Rule said...

Daphne said...
I will respectfully disagree on the BW as good perspective in Perry's films. Her intrinsic value is directly tied to her acceptance of the struggling black man regardless of his issues, and I've yet to see a woman who was shown in a good light outside of that acceptance.
=++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I didn't know Perry had a tv show and I haven't seen the new movie yet.

But I have to agree with what you said of the BW. His good BW always wind up with basically working class men and in your example one with some issues. As I remember in Daddy's Little Girl there was a particularly disturbing mother figure who basically wanted to prostitute her children. I think that's a reoccuring themes as well because I think in another of the medea films the mom was basically trying to pimp her daughter.

Come to think of it, the women are are either good in their acceptance of lower class BM or they are shallow gold-diggers, druggies, or Medea "herself". All stereotypes.

OK, you right, I'm wrong. : )

But my point was I'm not sure he's uplifting bm at bw expense because he has so many negative portrayals of bm as well.

dottie said...

Trust me, you don't wanna see his show! The movies and the plays are fine enough, I guess...

DJ said...

This has got to be one of the funniest and most truthfull essays I have read in a long time. The statements about "high self-esteem" versus "accurate self-esteem", so true, so true. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Janice, I get that he was saying that too. Just another stupid Black male jerk blaming Black Women for the self-inflicted problems of his loser brethren. Just ignore him.