Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Skills Needed In Order To Move On: An Extended Reader's Money Quote From Evia

There's a very useful quote:

“If you would not have affliction visit you twice, listen at once to what it teaches.” –by James Burgh (1714-1775), a Scottish author.

If you are an African-American woman who is currently displeased with what you are experiencing within all-African-American social and dating circles, you need to "listen at once" to what this negative experience ("affliction") is teaching you.

If you're paying attention and willing to learn, this "affliction" is teaching you to GET OUT, MOVE ON, and EXPAND YOUR NETWORKS to include healthier people and places within the global village. Evia, blog host of Black Female Interracial Marriage Ezine talked about the necessity of moving on in a recent post: http://www.blackfemaleinterracialmarriage.com/2009/08/living-well-marriage.html

In order to successfully transition to the global village of social networks, you're probably going to have to make some adjustments in how you respond to the global village. I notice that people often want to keep doing whatever they've been doing, and yet somehow get a different result. Come on, now. Intellectually, we all know that this does not work.

The Reader's Money Quote is a statement that is of such insight and importance that it merits frequent and loud repetition. During a recent blog discussion, Evia responded to several other commenters and said:

"22!? who the hell marries at 22?? [quote from another commenter]

When, I urge young bw to ***POSITION*** themselves early in their 20s (or earlier) toward marriage, I'm DEFINITELY not encouraging bw to get married at 22! I just want to make that clear. Also, this advice is only intended for those bw who actually WANT marriage. LOL!

As an old-school AA southern women, let me point out that since we were expected to get married, black teen girls (of a certain class--Oops--did I say "class"? LOL) made decisions all along that kept their path to marriage open. For ex.,they guarded their reputation; they put emphasis on looking attractive at all times in public, they behaved with decorum at all times in public, they behaved towards men in a friendly, polite, and definitely flirtatious manner (towards appealing men especially) or were never crude or rude towards men at all.

As a result of my upbringing during that time, I can flirt bigtime with any man because I saw girls and women doing this all the time around me. It was just one of the main ways that women reacted towards men. I'm talking about ***mild*** flirtatious banter which included 'come hither' body language, but not licking your lips or anything overt. ALL men react positively towards a flirtatious woman. If I, even at my age, started flirting with an 18 year old male, he is going to respond positively towards me. Males are wired in this way.

However, it seems--from the notes I get from bw--that this is a lost art. Old school bw (of a certain class) were subtle, but focused on uplifting themselves. There have always been more than enough DBR males of all types around women of all groups. Period. However, we were taught to stay away from DBRs. PERIOD. And were PUNISHED in various ways if we didn't. Old school black people did NOT have pity parties for DBR males. Too much was at stake. They didn't excuse them because ALL black people dealt with the blows of racism. ALL of us. Old school black mothers warned their daughters to stay away from loser men, who they did NOT hesitate to call "NO GOOD." So, young bw (of a certain class) were NOT confused, as so many bw are today."
_______________________________________

"BUT! I have known many black girls at my own institution that were NOT the "nothin but a black man type" and were still unable to get a date. [quote from another reader]


I hear this comment a lot and before I say anything further, let me say that I know that ***some** wm are not asking bw out due to straight up RACISM, but racism is nothing new. And I certainly have NEVER advocated that bw mingle with racist wm.

But the following factors are areas that AA women are going to have to address and work diligently to change.

1. Bw shooting themselves in the foot with their mouths/keyboards. Bw broadcast too many self-destructive, self-defeating messages and it's assumed by folks who hear these messages that many other bw agree. For ex. I continue to read variations of the comment: "I don't want no white boy!" or "I'm not attracted to wm." These proclamations are deadly because wm know that the comment expresses the sentiments of countless other AA women. Also, typical AA women say and do NOTHING to counteract these proclamations. If there were ww making these same kinds of deadly proclamations about the undesirability of bm publicly, even bm who worship ww would never approach ww. Therefore many wm genuinely DO NOT BELIEVE that a typical black woman is interested in dating wm. Wm write to me asking me whether bw "really" like them. Also wm have lots of other choices of women, so they don't need to dig deeper to see how pervasive these sentiments are among bw.

2. Many bw are "CLOSED" to WM. Thanks for that term, Halima. It's something I notice all of the time. Bw are not friendly and flirtatious towards wm. The fact is that MANY bw are not friendly and flirtatious towards ANY man. I know WHY this is the case, but I'm talking about the "WHAT." How many of y'all can just be in the supermarket produce section and make a casual comment towards a wm who also standing there? How many of y'all can smile at a wm and engage in lighthearted banter with a wm? And wm have lots of other choices of women who ARE friendly and flirtatious towards them.

3. Many bw are still not comfortable with wm liking the way ***some*** bw look: big behinds, dark skin, tightly coiled (aka "nappy" hair) etc.

4. Many bw these days have self-esteem issues derived MAINLY from their "black" upbringing. Many bw obviously STILL see themselves through the eyes of damaged bm who worship euro looks/beauty and have decreed that "it's euro looks or nothing!" Therefore many bw CANNOT believe that wm see them as desirable women. Many of these women write to me with questions about their hair, skin shades, noses, lips (well not so much now that Angelina has made "big" lips sexy), etc. Yes, I realize that racist wm started the "black women are not beautiful" MYTH, but it's racist AA men who have carved this in stone in the minds of typical young bw and continue to reinforce it.

Many AA women need to just drop everything and get away from the bc and damaged black social circles as fast as they can because they cannot free themselves of these negative perceptions of themselves as long as they're around other blacks who have accepted these negative perceptions as facts. This is CRITICAL.

For ex., I consider my West-African featured looks to be quite attractive and this has been constantly reinforced by mainly African and white men who've constantly told me this and shown me with their TREATMENT of me that I'm desirable. I've mostly mingled with African and white men throughout my dating life. It's very clear to me that if I'd mingled mostly with AA males, I'd believe I'm unattractive, just as so many West-African featured young AA women do."

Evia, thank you for this extended Reader's Money Quote!

***AUDIENCE NOTE***Please be advised that I WON'T post any anonymous comments for this conversation. Because doing so would be unfair to the people who are being quite brave AND generous in sharing their thoughts and experiences about this very sensitive issue. Peace, blessings and solidarity.

50 comments:

Khadija said...

Reader with the off-topic comment that I rejected (for your own security),

Please be advised that there are a LOT of Internet Ike Turners and other hostile trolls monitoring the conversations here.

When you notify these types of individuals (as you did in the comment that I rejected) that you're having certain types of problems with your site, all you're doing is inviting them to join in whatever mischief other individuals are already engaging in at your site.

You're basically inviting these belligerent (and in some cases, mentally ill) trolls to become copycat criminals in attacking your site. In general, copycat criminals often "pile on" to the crimes committed by the original criminals. They do so because they figure that the presence and activities of the original criminal is a cover for their part of the wrongdoing.

So, I would suggest that you handle the problem with the assistance of a computer person.

Also, the comment section isn't a message board.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Pamela said...

You hear a lot of good parents talking about how they need to be aware of peer pressure and to make right decisions. They advise their children to stay away from the wrong crowd, take time before making a decision, treat others right and live a disciplined life. This is basic knowledge in good families.

People seem to forget that the dynamic of peer pressure amongst adults is as strong or stronger than with the young people. You really see this within cultures, class, ethnic groups and the like. One of the most extreme cases of this is within race, especially the bc.

I am old enough to remember the old school bw that would go after their daughters and the daughters of others if they dared to go out with a thug or a 'bad boy'. I knew if I had done something like that my mom would STILL be yelling at me about it LOL.

I was amazed at how things had changed. I began to notice this as a really young adult. I still have not figured out when or why it did change. I am grateful for how I was trained. Living my life using common sense has been such a blessing to me.

I really feel sorry for those bw that were not raised well. At least when I began to see the madness I had the tools to make right choices and completely detach from the bc as it is known. The blacks I have in my life do NOT embrace that madness or else I would not be around them and they probably would not want to be around me. I cannot be shamed by yelling, cursing and the like. When controllers like that see that I will stand my ground as long as needed they leave me alone. These days in the circles I run in I do not even encounter people like that. Those bw that were not raised by parents with common sense (or maybe grew up in the unhealthy bc) can still make the right choices. I know many that have done so and are glad they did. Those that will not change we must run from.

A minister I know has a favorite saying: Constant change is here to stay. We must realize that in order to get to where we really want to know we have to embrace necessary change at time. Sometimes that change is hard but must be done if we want better lives.

daphne said...

Thank you for the post, Khadija, and thank you to Evia for her sound advice, as always.

I agree with everything Evia said, and I have to admit that subtle flirting does make a difference, lol!

Still, there is a nagging thought for me, and I'd like to express it, if I may. I am concerned about the perception of black women having to be the only side to change or shift their thinking. I realize that BWE blogs are targeted to black women, thus the advice is geared towards tangible steps black women can take to improve their lives. I don't expect posts targeted to non-black men on these blogs.

That said, with the specific context of dating white men, I don't want black women to think it's ALL on them if they're doing everything right, and they do not get the results they expect. I don't believe that the only white men who never make a move are racist - I believe that many of them are just afraid to, for their own reasons.

I fully acknowledge that, collectively, black women have shot ourselves in the foot with regard to dating non-black men. But just as women should individually vet all men, I don't believe a black woman, who's either always been open, or has made the necessary changes to be open, to all men, should feel like it's on her if a man doesn't have the ability to individually vet her and see her quality as well. That door swings both ways, and I don't want black women to feel like that have to twist themselves into a pretzel to show any non-black man, and specifically white men, their interest.

I also acknowledge the precarious position white men are in when approaching black women, given U.S. history. But if a black woman is open, and vetting for quality, any man who doesn't make a move in a reasonable amount of time is the issue, not the woman. I encourage her to keep it moving, and find a man who doesn't allow fear and uncertainty to paralyze him in relationships.

Just wanted to express my view. Hope it makes sense.

Felicia said...

"Many AA women need to just drop everything and get away from the bc and damaged black social circles as fast as they can because they cannot free themselves of these negative perceptions of themselves as long as they're around other blacks who have accepted these negative perceptions as facts. This is CRITICAL."



The above statement can't be stated, taken to heart, and most importantly ACTED on enough.



Black men expect amnesty for slandering Black women

http://www.blackvoicenews.com/content/
view/41496/16/

"I thought, if this boy's mother can so blatantly label herself the 'B' word, there's very little chance that her son would grow up to respect Black women. Surely this young woman, who grew up in the hip-hop generation, has granted amnesty, as Isaiah Thomas suggested, to negative Black male voices of the world, has subconsciously adopted the message of her psychological oppressors and consequently feels she is not worthy to be viewed as dignified."

SUBCONSCIOUSLY ADOPTED THE MESSAGE OF HER PSYCHOLOGICAL OPPRESSORS.

THIS is what MASSES of African-American women are doing by staying in the Matrix. Staying psychologically, emotionally, and physically tied to the non existent (on a grand scale) "bc".

As Evia states as succinctly as possible, BW should MOVE ON.

A POISON has engulfed the African-American collective.

The popular culture anyway.

The cure is to MOVE ON.

Because ANYONE exposed to enough sickness, NON STOP, for enough time, WILL eventually succumb.

For BW to have a fighting chance, they must FLEE to healthier environments and non toxic social interactions.

Leave the Matrix.

Evia has coined the term RUCOSS which stands for Reasonably Uplifting Culture Of Some Sort.

Without this a people are eventually doomed.

The African-American collective currently does not have RUCOSS. Because if it did, these various BW empowerment blogs wouldn't be necessary.

BW would already feel empowered and have lives that reflected that fact.

High rates of marriage across the color/"racial" spectrum, a low OOW birthrate, etc... would be the NORM.

But we all know that what's AVERAGE outside the "bc" is EXCEPTIONAL within.

BM being praised for staying out of jail, having a degree, holding a job, marrying the mother of their children, raising their kids, etc... SMH

YES, this is wonderful behavior OBVIOUSLY. BUT, this is all considered normal, AVERAGE, and non exceptional behavior by everyone else.

Yet when BM do what their SUPPOSED to be doing anyway, black folks act like these men are the second coming of Christ.

And when these few "good BM" who are single are viewed and treated like Rock Stars in the "community", you can bet they'll treat indoctrinated nothing but a "brotha" BW like groupies.

Sex them and leave them. With a child and/or possibily a disease.

EVERY SHUT EYE AIN'T SLEEP. There are countless BW out there who APPEAR to be agreeing with/accepting the okey doke who are secretly reading these blogs and feeling empowered and more hopeful.

Growing numbers of BW are WAKING UP and realizing that the current "bc" is simply NOT providing RUCOSS.

Therefor it's is INSANITY to stay on the Titanic when it is sinking FAST.

Community is what YOU MAKE IT. And who YOU allow into it.

If you don't have a group of people (in the here and now) who you and your loved ones (especially children) can personally depend on NOW, if necessary, what do you really have?

You hear the word "community" bandied about by black folks ALL of the time, yet how many BW out there PERSONALLY can say someone - or organization - has their and their children's back? Now?

Someone out there willing to lend support, or even encouragement for that matter.

With a 70% single rate, and an over 70% OOW birthrate, I venture a guess it's NOT the majority.

Ladies, (and gents) the collective is obviously SHOT TO BITS.

Black women need to MOVE ON with a quickness and let the dead bury their dead.

Khadija said...

Pamela,

You said, "I am old enough to remember the old school bw that would go after their daughters and the daughters of others if they dared to go out with a thug or a 'bad boy'. I knew if I had done something like that my mom would STILL be yelling at me about it LOL.

I was amazed at how things had changed. I began to notice this as a really young adult. I still have not figured out when or why it did change."


The beginning of MASS AA fatherlessness is a large part of what caused this. True Dads are "serious as a heart attack" about keeping creeps AWAY from their daughters.

As you know, first they train their daughters to spot and avoid bums. Then, if the young lady has failed her "lessons" and brought a bum home, true Dads will act in ways that strongly discourage the bum from continuing to hang around their daughters.
____________________

Daphne,

You're welcome! You said, "Still, there is a nagging thought for me, and I'd like to express it, if I may. I am concerned about the perception of black women having to be the only side to change or shift their thinking. I realize that BWE blogs are targeted to black women, thus the advice is geared towards tangible steps black women can take to improve their lives. I don't expect posts targeted to non-black men on these blogs."

I understand your concern. Here are my thoughts about that:

(1) There are NO guarantees in life; the point is to maximize one's odds of a positive result.

(2) I wouldn't want a man who's so passive that he has to be directly told certain things, so it would not occur to me to address blog posts to non-AA men.

(3) Now that I've started paying attention to random AA women's public behavior, too many of us ARE doing things in PUBLIC that are incredibly coarse, uninviting, and unattractive.

Khadija said...

Part 2

(4) I'm also concerned about the young (and not so young) AA women who are making all sorts of dating errors simply from lack of experience. This is why I was so outdone by the comment from the individual who was cheerleading HBCUs---that she(?) made good friends and got a great career as a result of attending a HBCU. AS IF that's all there should be to college. Well, it's NOT!

Getting experience in positively socializing with the opposite sex (for those who are straight) is a CRITICAL part of the normal college experience. It's an important part of transitioning into adult life. Women who go through college without a sufficient amount of dating experiences are setting themselves up for difficulties in their adult lives.


I never thought about this until somebody explicitly mentioned it to me (since this is so far removed from my experiences in college), but it must be a real hardship for a woman to start LEARNING about how to act on real dates at age 23, 25, 30+.

That "just keep your legs closed" talk is a nice slogan, but what does that really mean for a woman who's first sexual experience is at age 35+? I had never considered the problems that so-called "mature virgins" have until somebody brought this to my attention.

Being a grown-a## woman who's trying to figure out real dating and sex for the first time, does NOT sound like a good position to be in. To my way of thinking, part of the value of college is having a convenient forum to work through those sorts of experiences, so that you're ready for committed, ADULT relationships/marriage by the time you graduate.

I think about one of my colleagues who's 30+ years old. I had to explain to her why the one guy who had taken her out on a real date was offended and irritated by her action of pulling out her purse when the waiter brought the bill.

At first, she didn't understand how she had lowered herself in his eyes. She didn't understand that this one action let him know the LOW treatment that she was used to. It also let him know the LOW caliber of Negroes that she had seen before him. Negroes who want to go Dutch. Negroes who want and expect a woman to pay for the expenses involved in the date.

Not to mention that the (Black) man was offended (as I explained to her and he later told her) by her assumption that he was anything like the shiftless Negroes she was used to seeing.

After talking to her at length, I realized that much of this was the result of a lack of actual dating experience (as opposed to hook-up experiences). This lack of actual dating experience matters. A LOT.
___________________________

Felicia,

You said, "If you don't have a group of people (in the here and now) who you and your loved ones (especially children) can personally depend on NOW, if necessary, what do you really have?

You hear the word "community" bandied about by black folks ALL of the time, yet how many BW out there PERSONALLY can say someone - or organization - has their and their children's back? Now?"


Now that's a LIFE and DEATH question that AA women need to ask themselves.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Khadija:

I'm also concerned about the young (and not so young) AA women who are making all sorts of dating errors simply from lack of experience. This is why I was so outdone by the comment from the individual who was cheerleading HBCUs---that she(?) made good friends and got a great career as a result of attending a HBCU. AS IF that's all there should be to college. Well, it's NOT!

My reply:

And this is something important to remember, that some parents might not have even been preparing their daughters for the dating world while they were in high school, for example, not encouraging their daughters to develop socially, for example, in not having a balance between school and fun, so they arrive at college unprepared.

Granted, mothers might do this because they are concerned about their daughters and being vulnerable, or the mothers came of age in a time when marriage and dating is a given, so they don't realize that for their daughters, it can take extra effort...

lisa99 said...

Now that I've started paying attention to random AA women's public behavior, too many of us ARE doing things in PUBLIC that are incredibly coarse, uninviting, and unattractive.

I live in a university town, so I see college students all the time.

Last night, I happened to choose the wrong night to go to the grocery store, as the local store offered free shuttles to the school (a PWI) for students to shop for necessities before school started.

By being there, I had the opportunity to observe the behavior of the various students. While students of all races might have had on a few questionable outfits, the black girls' attire was appalling. Tops cut low so that body parts were hanging out, extremely tight jeans and shirts, particularly on the "healthier" girls, and loud, uncouth conversation.

Granted, the black boys were no better, showing up in very baggy jeans, hats to the side, long t-shirts, etc. They also spoke very poorly. I assume that many of these kids were freshman who had not left their urban environments before this, and were bringing that style of dress and behavior up to campus.

I noticed that the black girls were only socializing with other black girls and some black boys. The "urban" black boys socialized with black girls only, but other black boys were in racially mixed social groups while doing their shopping.

Although I just wanted to buy my stuff and get out of there, I actually lingered longer just to observe behavior of college students first hand.

I'm also concerned about
I never thought about this until somebody explicitly mentioned it to me (since this is so far removed from my experiences in college), but it must be a real hardship for a woman to start LEARNING about how to act on real dates at age 23, 25, 30+.

That "just keep your legs closed" talk is a nice slogan, but what does that really mean for a woman who's first sexual experience is at age 35+? I had never considered the problems that so-called "mature virgins" have until somebody brought this to my attention.


I'm noticing this more as well, as I speak with my peers in their early 30s. While I might not have been the earliest bloomer, I did start dating and going out more by my final year of college and it made it so much easier for me to navigate the world of dating and relationships once I left school.

It's sad to me to see 30-something women asking for certain basic advice about going on dates. They almost have NO idea what to do, and I have encountered a lot more mature virgins than I've expected. They wake up one day and realize that while they've been told to wait for marriage, how can they get married if they haven't even DATED? And no one seems all that interested in giving them assistance in the dating arena. They just pat them on the back for "keeping their legs closed."

I also had a friend who did the same thing with reaching for a bill to pay. It wasn't because of bad experiences in the past with DBRs who wanted to go dutch, but she felt that she needed to "prove" to this man that she didn't want anything from him.

I told her in advance of the date that she shouldn't do this, but she did anyway, and she said he looked very shocked by it.

They did not go out on another date. There were other things she did on the date that didn't play in her favor, but that was probably the kicker.

If she had more dating experience, she might have been able to understand why the man was bothered by her actions.

E. N. said...

>Being a grown-a## woman who's trying to figure out real dating and sex for the first time, does NOT sound like a good position to be in. To my way of thinking, part of the value of college is having a convenient forum to work through those sorts of experiences, so that you're ready for committed, ADULT relationships/marriage by the time you graduate.

My goodness, I can't tell you how eye-opening this blog has been for me. But this paragraph especially.

Unfortunately, I was one of those women who made it out of college having never experienced the dating scene, and now I'm 26 and scrambling to catch up in life. There's a old-but-good book out there that's been helping me form a new and ladylike approach to dating. It's called The Rules by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider. Again, it's a bit old, but the advice pertains to the average bw struggle, I think, especially if she's looking to date interracially. It outlines how to relate to normal, undamaged men in the romantic language they understand.

No more of this "paying for dinner" business, LOL.


E.N.
Sticks and Stones - An Emotional Abuse Survivor's Blog
http://theemancipatedsurvivor.blogspot.com

Lovebug said...

Great Post !!! Thank you Evia and Khadija.

Evia, I understand what you mean about old-school southern women. I went to an HBCU and there were a group of girls who always looked their best when they went out. I asked one why and she said that her grandmother raised to always look her best even if she just went out to get the mail. She was on to something because she was engaged before we even graduated from college.

One of my aunts is the same way she always looks her best in public
and flirts with men regardless of race or ethnicity. We were at an afghan restaurant once and she was very cordial with the waiter and I noticed that he responded in kind and was very friendly and attentive to us. I am observing her and taking lessons.

KM said...

Major co-sign with this!

One of the biggest things we can do as BW to be treated as ladies (and as potential wives by TRUE men) is to just be polite. Saying yes/no, thank you, you're welcome, and smiling in general while keeping your composure (even if DBRs show up) show who's a lady and who's not. And most men want ladies, even those who don't know/claim that they don't.

Right now, I'm not really looking/putting myself out there for a man to find me, but I've noticed the appraising looks I get from using manners. I didn't grow up learning them either, I had to acquire them on my own and it's been a God-send in how I deal with TRUE men.

Ladies, the best thing you can do for your daughters outside of teaching them how to vet is how to act.

Nu Girl said...

Hello Khadija,

This post as always is right on time!

I just finished reading an article over at Essence's website (I no longer read the mag but I occassionaly drop by the website for a few laughs) titled Successful or Single or something along those lines.

The woman is almost 37, successful and although she has been given advice to expand her options by dating men of other races, she insist that she only wants a black man. Same story, LOL.

Khadija said...

PioneerValleyWoman,

You said, "And this is something important to remember, that some parents might not have even been preparing their daughters for the dating world while they were in high school, for example, not encouraging their daughters to develop socially, for example, in not having a balance between school and fun, so they arrive at college unprepared."

Yes, during college, one is in training for learning how to manage a BALANCED life. And in training for learning how to PROPERLY handle one's business regarding grown-up pleasures, including but not limited to:

(1) How to drink alcohol socially without ever getting drunk; how to stick like glue to ONLY your female friends if you're going to get drunk; and how to reduce the risks of making yourself vulnerable to being slipped date rape drugs. How to watch your drink, whatever it is. [Friends and I eventually learned to order bottled water to reduce some of these risks.]

(2) If you're a woman who wants to be sexually active, how to have sex WITHOUT developing a "reputation." [Which involves a lot of planning and calculation. Which involves learning how to carefully screen guys.

It also involves learning "not to pi** where you have to eat"---if you're going to have casual sex be sure to only have it with men who are FAR removed from your normal social circles---this also means men who are NOT friends with any of the guys you would want to actually date.]
_____________________

Lisa99,

The " loud, uncouth conversations" is what I've been noticing about so many AA women in public.

You said, "It's sad to me to see 30-something women asking for certain basic advice about going on dates. They almost have NO idea what to do, and I have encountered a lot more mature virgins than I've expected. They wake up one day and realize that while they've been told to wait for marriage, how can they get married if they haven't even DATED? And no one seems all that interested in giving them assistance in the dating arena. They just pat them on the back for "keeping their legs closed."

Exactly. And this is the reason why I'm irritated with all the smug recitations of the "just keep your legs closed" slogan. Keeping one's legs closed STILL leaves a LOT of problems unaddressed.

You said, "I also had a friend who did the same thing with reaching for a bill to pay. It wasn't because of bad experiences in the past with DBRs who wanted to go dutch, but she felt that she needed to "prove" to this man that she didn't want anything from him."

That's absolutely insane. And is yet another example of how AA women buying into DBRBM propaganda (as in "I gotta 'prove' that I'm not a so-called 'golddigger'") sets them up for failure when they encournter REAL men who behave like NORMAL men.
______________________

E.N.,

THANK YOU for mentioning those books. I'm sure that you've helped a LOT of women who are silently reading this conversation!
________________________

Lovebug,

You're welcome!
_________________________

KM,

Yes, healthy, NORMAL men want ladies.
__________________________

NuGirl,

Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it.

You said, "I just finished reading an article over at Essence's website (I no longer read the mag but I occassionaly drop by the website for a few laughs) titled Successful or Single or something along those lines.

The woman is almost 37, successful and although she has been given advice to expand her options by dating men of other races, she insist that she only wants a black man. Same story, LOL."


That's her choice. Horse. Water. Drink.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Craig said...

Khadija,
Well, Peace, Blessings and Solidarity to you too!
This here specific post brings me out of lurking in the closet, lol. I have so often enjoyed reading your very reasonable, direct and unflinchingly honest writing. It isn’t easy facing the world the way it IS, not the way we’d like it to be, right? I fully understand. Takes a great deal of personal honesty to do that. Which is reflected in so much of what you have to say; even if it isn’t pretty.
Now, about this specific point. I’ll de-lurk on this one. Because I understand this is about A/A Women. Directly so. I’m an “outsider” on that, so I respect that position. But this post hits home with me.
Without going into lots of unnecessary (and personal) details, lets just say I have lots and lots (and lots, lol) of personal, real-life experience on this one. From the other direction. I’ve been deeply attracted to girls/women of color since grade school. I’m a click older than you Khadija, so you know this goes back to when it was about plain unheard of for a whiteboy (I was a boy at the time) to really try to cross “the line”. I’ve a life-time of experience in A/A women’s reactions to this. Whoa, the stories I could tell, lol. A great deal of it has never been pretty. But, I do accept the consequences of my purposeful decisions/actions about this, so I’m not faulting the girls. There is simply so much social pressure to not even act like you’d want my attention it’s unbelievable. I don’t feel a disposition to be negative about many of the responses; they are acting on so much that has happened to them and that has surrounded them.
With that said, I do somewhat disagree with “daphe’s” comment. Not a great deal; but maybe in the reality of the way the situation really IS. It would be wonderful if it could be a reciprocating situation. That white males would kind of begin to understand you might not cut his head off (figuratively). But that am afraid is dreaming. You face an unequal situation. No, it’s not fair. No, it’s not just. No, it shouldn’t be all on you as a black woman. But, truth is, much of it initially will have to be.
Why? Because the “black community” has done (and continues to do) such a great job of projecting the standard image that You Don’t Want Me. As Khadija might say “nuthin’ but a black man for me”. I’ve had it right to my face, so I personally know it’s true. This makes it an unequal playing field for BW who want to do otherwise. You are about going to have to make it obvious!
(con't)

Craig said...

All those nice (and true) comments about learning to ‘flirt’, respond properly to a males initial attention, actions that say “Yes, you could respectfully approach me”, you’d better sharpen them hard and use them a lot; and make it obvious, in a tasteful way. Why? Because you have to overcome the Barrier.
That barrier isn’t really there for many other women. Take it from an adult (and hopefully mature, lol) white man. Lots of other women are very open about meeting men. Asian women are definitely, Latino women are too. Certainly white women are. Heck, I ended up meeting a very nice (but too young) Pakistani woman, full head-covering and all; because she’d accept eye contact; she made the subtle facial expressions that showed she wasn’t opposed. It ain’t rocket science, lol.
As a man (hopefully “quality”) I have Choices. That’s a key factor in this. If A/A women want to throw off lots of ‘attitude’ or make it so difficult to scrape through all the layers of distrust, animosity and resistance, We Move On. Because lots of other women won’t make it so difficult.
Khadija’s very right about how A/A women seen so bent on self-subterfuge in this area. You know, I’ve found that African and Caribbean women don’t do this either. They may be Women of Color, but the few times I’ve run across opportunities to meet them, there might be a slight, initial surprise that I would approach, but no hostility. And it becomes very pleasant quickly. Even when they do inform me they are married, lol! They don’t make it hard.
So, “daphe’, problem is, unfair and all, you have a big barrier to surmount in public perception right now. It isn’t right, I know. But if you want to overcome it, remember a continuous lesson from military history. You only succeed (win) with an Offensive! You attack. Lots of important battles and whole wars have been won off of carefully planned, well-executed offensives, even by outnumbered and out-gunned so-called underdogs. Because they took the needed action. Because they were bold.
You can too girls!

Craig said...

Khadija,
One last thing and I’ll go back to my closet.
On the “35 and no sex” part. I wouldn’t worry about it much.
Yes, 35 and no dating/male interaction, that’s not healthy. All women (just like men) need lots of exposure to people, the world, etc. Dating and dealing with males is all part of growing up for a girl.
But sexual activity is different. Maybe this will sound strange coming from a male, but really, sex ain’t that hard to figure out, lol! I’m old enough to know it is far more about relationship, love, care, warmth, etc, than some special “sex moves”. If two people come to love and value each other, express that in all ways (non-physical here), the man really cherishes her and shows it, we all know sex won’t be a problem. I think she’ll have plenty of, uh, “motivation” in that area. They will figure out how to make it work, for both, in a happy relationship.
So, women who’ve not been all “Lil Kim” in life, don’t worry. If he’s “quality”, he won’t care.
And besides, it’d fun to learn together, lol.

Khadija said...

Craig,

Thank you for your kind words about the blog; I truly appreciate it.

Your comment raises several important points that bear further exploration. Before I get to that, let me suggest that you refrain from calling me or the other readers "girls." There's no need to write in to apologize---no harm, no foul here---I just wanted to get that clear and out of the way first.

I'll focus on what I feel are the CRITICAL points that you've brought up about all of this:

(1) There IS a HUGE "barrier" to White and other non-Black men that AA women have built up over the years that other women of color (including non-AA Black women) have NOT created. Craig, you're correct about this. And as you noted, life is not "fair." We have to deal with reality and make the best possibile reality for ourselves.

(2) Thank you for pointing out the need for me to clarify my earlier statement about the difficulties of the "mature virgins." You're correct, the "mechanics" of sex are fairly simple and easily learned. LOL! What I'm talking about in terms of difficulties are the RECIPROCITY issues surrounding the sex that inexperienced women often have problems negotiating for themselves.

Since this topic came up in detail during last November's Flawless conversation, let me repeat my comments about that angle here (for those who weren't present for the earlier conversation). I said:


"Women's sexual dissatisfaction is not about poor techniques. Techniques can be practiced and adapted for each woman.

The underlying problem is that these women married/chose to remain married to men that they can't talk to about important things (including their sex life). A related underlying problem is that these women married/chose to remain married to men who are too selfish to care about satisfying them in bed.

If the woman allows it, sex WILL be all about the man's pleasure.

This is another point where the "wait until marriage" concept's potholes become exposed. If you wait until marriage, you won't discover these things until you've committed to the man.

However, let's be real. Most of these women had premarital sex with their current husbands. This means that these women gained advance warning that these Negroes were sexually inept & selfish, AND MARRIED THEM ANYWAY! Who's fault is that?
____________________
Yes, it's a 2-sided situation. From my perspective, the underlying problem (as I stated in my response to DeStouet above), is that so many Black women settle for less. They settle for men that are sexually selfish. They settle for men that they can't talk to about important things (including sexuality).

These women have free will. If they choose to continue to settle for less, that's on them.
___________________

Khadija said...

Part 2

I said to a commenter: "It seems to me that you're reading things into my comment that I didn't say. I never mentioned a "checklist." I never mentioned "perfect."

I'm saying that when women who have had premarital sex with men, and therefore have discovered that these men are sexually inept AND selfish, have been given advance warning of a SERIOUS problem.

Like I said before, from my perspective the core problem isn't the bad technique, it's the selfishness. If these women choose to marry a man who has demonstrated that he is too selfish to concern himself with learning how to give them pleasure, that was their choice. These women don't get to "play the nut role" later on. Accountability applies to everybody in a situation.

It's kind of late in the day to be complaining about this years later when the woman knew about this problem walking into the marriage. She signed on for that particular problem. A woman insisting that her sexual partner cares as much about her pleasure as she cares about his is NOT demanding "perfection."

And no, I don't think it's reasonable to expect something like sexual selfishness to improve. That's magical thinking. Why would the man concern himself? Especially after the woman has validated his selfishness by marrying him ANYWAY.

It's as magical as a woman believing that a boyfriend who was cheating on her is suddenly going to stop just because she married him. If she marries him anyway, she sent him the message that apparently the cheating was okay with her. If it was really a problem for her, she would have dumped him.

By agreeing to remain with him under these conditions, the woman has removed any slight incentive the man might have had to change his ways.
_______________________

Sex does not improve when one partner DOES NOT CARE about the other partner's needs or wants. And really, let me just rephrase all of this the blunt way because what we're talking about is dissatisfied women.

Sex does not improve when a woman cannot talk to her partner about her wants or needs. How is he supposed to know what she wants if she doesn't communicate this to him? Telepathy? How is he supposed to know that she is not satisfied if she's faking orgasms?

Of course, there's only value in talking IF the man actually wants to please the woman & actually cares about pleasing the woman. From what I'm hearing, there are many Black men who don't care. At all. I have no idea why women continue to have sex with men like this. Or even crazier, marry such a man.

Sex does not improve with this type of sexually selfish man. Why would it improve if he's happy to "gets his" & roll over to go to sleep? From what I hear, there's really no point in discussing alternative techniques that might please the woman, because such men are usually unwilling to do anything EXCEPT "get theirs."

This is what it means to NOT CARE AT ALL about the woman's needs. Even when such men are pressured into trying other techniques/practices, the woman is left unsatisfied because they DON'T CARE about the woman's needs.

And such men resentfully view any technique/practice that might meet her needs as JUST ANOTHER TIRESOME CHORE THAT'S TAKING UP HIS TIME. Because all that really matters to such a man is "getting his." And if the woman is left unsatisfied after he "gets his," he feels that this is HER problem. This is what it means to not care at all about the woman's needs.

Why would a woman continue to have sex with this type of Negro?

Given that most couples have premarital sex, why in the world would a woman MARRY a Negro like this?

This type of scenario is a serious problem. One that is not going to magically go away. For a woman to knowingly marry into this mess with the expectation that things will automatically improve is the height of magical thinking.
___________________________________

Khadija said...

Part 3

I said:"Before anyone writes in with explicit sex tips and I have to reject their comment: DON'T DO IT. This blog is NOT the forum for that sort of discussion.

In any event (as I've said before), from my perspective the underlying problem in the above-discussed scenario is the lack of communication and the lack of reciprocity that so many Black women settle for in their relationships. These relationship deficits play themselves out in a variety of ways. This is just one.

_____________________________

Like I said earlier, I believe that these sexual issues are a manifestation of other underlying deficits in the relationship: lack of clear communication & women's failure to demand reciprocity. Yes, this is another example of a reciprocity issue.

Similar to the personal appearance issue, this is also often a proxy for respect: self-respect and respect for one's partner.

A LOT of Black women have settled for never experiencing sexual pleasure in their relationships/marriages. To me, that's simply crazy.

There's currently-mediocre sex that is improving because the partners are talking to each other, learning what the other person enjoys, and PRACTICING on improving the quality of their partner's experience during sex.

And then there is BAD sex that will ALWAYS be bad with that particular partner because of the underlying deficits of that particular relationship: it's somebody you can't talk to; it's somebody who's too selfish to care about your pleasure, etc.

There's a WORLD of difference between mediocre sex that is steadily improving because of partner communication, interest, and practice; and forever-bad sex because a woman continues to have sex with a selfish Negro.

Sex is just one of MANY important things that people should be able to talk about in their relationship. Of course, it's really awkward in the beginning for most people to talk about sex. But the awkwardness will eventually go away; and the benefits of a couple being able to talk about the sex that they are having is worth it.

I steer away from men who can't/won't talk about important things; the "silent approach" to important things only leads to trouble later on down the road.
__________________________

Khadija said...

Part 4

I said: "Hello there, [Reader]!

You made a really important point when you said, "My position was that if you can't speak candidly with your partner on the topic, if you can't share your needs, likes, and dislikes (in addition to the health issues surrounding it), then you probably shouldn't engage in it."

EXACTLY! And if you have sex under these sorts of conditions, DON'T expect it to be a good experience! And DON'T expect it to magically improve on its own.

I can't remember who said this, but I heard somebody make the distinction between "high school sex" and "grown-up sex." "High school sex" is furtive, can only be done in pitch-black darkness, and filled with shame & embarassment. It's generally a really bad idea & a really bad experience.

"Grown-up sex" is openly-discussed with one's partner, and can be done in full daylight without shame or embarassment. This is generally a much better experience.

Unfortunately, it's quite clear that most Black people are having "high school sex." Even as [chronological] adults. Even years into their marriages.

Even until they die. What a shame. Each woman needs to ask herself whether or not this is what she wants for the sexual part of her life.

As you mentioned, part of it is cultural due to Black folks' mostly religion-based upbringing(s). The Black church & the Black mosque tend to be totally & defiantly out of touch with reality when it comes to sexuality issues. Even when their refusal to give candid, reality-based guidance leads to the literal death & destruction of their members.

Even with all of that, I've always believed that once you're an adult you are responsible for how you live your life. As a teenager I realized that parents are responsible for people being screwed-up as kids. But once you're a certain age, it's up to you to decide whether or not you want to remain messed up in the head.

So, even though my parents never directly discussed sexual matters when I was a teenager, I marched out and bought a copy of "Our Bodies, Ourselves" to read up on the things my mother was NOT telling me.

When I was in college, a small group of friends & I sat down, bought various "The Joy of _____ Sex" books, laughed a lot, and discussed various things over pizza. There was one lesbian in the group, one guy, me, and another straight girl. We figured that we would discuss ways of approaching these conversations with our respective partners.

[The guy friend wanted to hear how other women felt about the various positions that he wanted to ask his girlfriend to experiment with. He seemed to be on a mini-Kama Sutra quest. We gave our various reviews: "That looks uncomfortable for the girl...Who in their right mind would want to do THAT mess?!...Now, THAT ONE might be pretty good...blah, blah, blah."]"
______________________

Whew! I hope all of that (LOL!) clarifies my views about the relationship dynamics underlying sexual relationships.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Craig,

Again, THANK YOU for raising the extremely important points that you brought up in your comments. There are nuances to these issues that need to be explored.

One last thought from me for tonight: Women need to carefully think through the RECIPROCITY dynamics of EVERY part of their interactions with men. In terms of the sexual part of relationships, I've had many conversations with women over the years who were careful in maintaining reciprocity in all the other areas of their relationships---but then let men "get over" on them in bed.

Apparently, a lot of women never do the thought experiment BEFORE having sex with somebody of asking themselves: "What am I going to do if my boyfriend shows himself to be selfish and inconsiderate in bed? Then what?"

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

tasha212 said...

Khadija said:

(4) I'm also concerned about the young (and not so young) AA women who are making all sorts of dating errors simply from lack of experience. This is why I was so outdone by the comment from the individual who was cheerleading HBCUs---that she(?) made good friends and got a great career as a result of attending a HBCU. AS IF that's all there should be to college. Well, it's NOT!

Getting experience in positively socializing with the opposite sex (for those who are straight) is a CRITICAL part of the normal college experience. It's an important part of transitioning into adult life. Women who go through college without a sufficient amount of dating experiences are setting themselves up for difficulties in their adult lives.

I never thought about this until somebody explicitly mentioned it to me (since this is so far removed from my experiences in college), but it must be a real hardship for a woman to start LEARNING about how to act on real dates at age 23, 25, 30+.

That "just keep your legs closed" talk is a nice slogan, but what does that really mean for a woman who's first sexual experience is at age 35+? I had never considered the problems that so-called "mature virgins" have until somebody brought this to my attention.

Being a grown-a## woman who's trying to figure out real dating and sex for the first time, does NOT sound like a good position to be in. To my way of thinking, part of the value of college is having a convenient forum to work through those sorts of experiences, so that you're ready for committed, ADULT relationships/marriage by the time you graduate.

I think about one of my colleagues who's 30+ years old. I had to explain to her why the one guy who had taken her out on a real date was offended and irritated by her action of pulling out her purse when the waiter brought the bill.

At first, she didn't understand how she had lowered herself in his eyes. She didn't understand that this one action let him know the LOW treatment that she was used to. It also let him know the LOW caliber of Negroes that she had seen before him. Negroes who want to go Dutch. Negroes who want and expect a woman to pay for the expenses involved in the date.

Not to mention that the (Black) man was offended (as I explained to her and he later told her) by her assumption that he was anything like the shiftless Negroes she was used to seeing.

After talking to her at length, I realized that much of this was the result of a lack of actual dating experience (as opposed to hook-up experiences). This lack of actual dating experience matters. A LOT.

RESPONE: I dated intermittently throughout college, but I had my first official boyfriend during my last year. Alot of the things that I learned about men and dating came about as a result of that relationship. But I also learned alot from watching my girlfriends and seeing what they went through. I don't believe that you have to experience a whole bunch of relationships to learn what to do and what not to do. At least I haven't had to do that.

What I saw in college were girls and guys, in an effort to have the "normal" college experience, engaging in reckless and irresponsible behavior. Most of the girls I knew were having casual sex and "falling in love" and getting their hearts broken again and again and again. From what I could see, they weren't learning anything from these experiences(I assume this because they kept making the same mistakes over and over again). I'd take being a "mature virgin" anyday over that. Sex is not rocket science. From what I hear, learning is fun. I believe women should do what they want, what they are comfortable with. Some women choose to be "mature virgins". But it's another thing if she wants to have sex but can't for whatever reason. These are probably the type of women who at 25, 30, and sometimes even 35 lack common sense when it comes to dating. Any way, these are just my thoughts. Great post, as usual,

Peace and solidarity,

Tasha

daphne said...

Craig,
I'm not sure where we are in disagreement. Perhaps you think I advocate this:

....A/A women want to throw off lots of ‘attitude’ or make it so difficult to scrape through all the layers of distrust, animosity and resistance,

I do not. At the very beginning of my post, I explicitly stated that I agreed with Evia's sound advice.

I can be wordy, but my main point was that if a non-black man, particularly a white man, never reciprocates romantic interest, due to his own issues, that's not on the black woman who's being open and heeding the sound advice provided here, on Evia's blog, etc. I don't believe she should waste her time with unnecessary introspection and self-criticism when she is, as you say, operating in the offensive. She should simply move on to the next man who doesn't allow uncertainty or fear, or heck, blanket assumptions, to paralyze him. If she's open, she should have the same opportunity to be vetted as quality as she's giving the man.

At some point, there's only so much a woman can do to correct maladaptive behaviors in this aspect. If she doesn't receive reciprocity, then I believe she has the freedom and right not to overanalyze and move on to the man (men) who will value her. Of course, if she's not even doing the minimum, my points are irrelevant, as I'm concerned about those women who do conduct themselves as the quality ladies that they are.

Are you saying that American black women have to go above and beyond this, as quoted below?

Lots of other women are very open about meeting men. Asian women are definitely, Latino women are too. Certainly white women are. Heck, I ended up meeting a very nice (but too young) Pakistani woman, full head-covering and all; because she’d accept eye contact; she made the subtle facial expressions that showed she wasn’t opposed.

If so, then yes, I disagree.

Anonymiss said...

Hey Khadijah:

What Evia said is so on point.

Of the men that I've dated and gotten to know over the years, I was always received better by non-AA men. It still irritates me how immature AA men feel like they're entitled to my attention and act as if they're the best I can do. For a while I thought they were. It was ingrained in me somehow that BW and BM needed race to instantly bond. I'm so happy that I snapped out of that foolishness.

And at 28, it still feels kinda weird to notice a WM checking me out or flirting with me. It's always some sort of a late registration with me though. Especially since non-AA and non-ghetto males tend to be subtle when approaching women. I'll be thinking after 5 minutes, "Did that White dude just flirt with me?" LOL!

Something I've noticed is how Black women and young girls get so many mixed messages so it makes sense why they don't flirt. Some guys become arrogant and some guys are uncomfortable and feel like there's been some sort of role reversal. There seems to be no middle ground in flirting that is introduced to Black women and girls.

Khadija said...

***AUDIENCE NOTE***

Please be advised that I WON'T post any anonymous comments for this conversation.

Because doing so would be unfair to the people who are being quite brave AND generous in sharing their thoughts and experiences about this very sensitive issue.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

tertiaryanna said...

@ Tasha

"From what I could see, they weren't learning anything from these experiences(I assume this because they kept making the same mistakes over and over again). I'd take being a "mature virgin" anyday over that."

This is a false dichotomy. There are other options besides "bad experiences vs. no experiences." Bad choices can be labeled as negative without having to compare them to anything, and should be avoided when possible.

But the topics of what makes positive male-female interactions and when is the optimal time to learn them are separate issues.

It's important to realize "mature virgin" here isn't really the issue of sexual inexperience. It's the fact that a person in their mid-thirties hasn't had the kind of romantic interactions that are typical for a person their age. If one wants to be celibate then that's one thing.

But when a person makes a "choice" from lack of options, then it's really not a choice at all. So singledom can be seen in a different light for these women who are told not to look for mates, or that they're going to find them in spite of a steadily-dwindling pool, or keeping them so busy in their churches that they're taken out of the dating realm by default, by undermining their efforts at personal advancement by keeping them as the de facto family watershed, or by having their chances of marriage materially reduced by telling them that "pretty bad" is "good enough". These women do want to be coupled, and when there aren't personal reasons why they are not, then it's important to look at structural reasons.

Using that last sentence as a starting point, their decisions may be less of a choice than the reflection that their options have been narrowed by attitudes and people who don't really have their best interests at heart.

Clearly, this isn't a universal statement: people have different reasons and choices to make. Some people choose celibacy or singledom and it in no way lessens anything about them.

But the issue here is to ask what factors in a social or religious environment lead its members to atypical results when those results were unwanted.

For the US, the national average age of marriage 25-27 years. A conservative-estimate assumption is that people dated for a year before getting engaged and were engaged for a year before the wedding. So the average age to meet one's spouse is shifted down to 23-25.

Also assume that the first person that one dates does not become that person's spouse. So in the years between 18-23, a person is learning what they want in a relationship, how to advocate for themselves, how to develop their own "quality" traits for marriage.

It doesn't mean people get it perfectly done, because there's a high divorce rate that could possibly be contrasted to the never-married rate. But when a group of people is doing at 30+ what their peers are doing at 20+, then there's something that needs to be carefully examined.

The sex part is trivial. It's the lack of dating experience (when that experience was desired) that's the problem. Because when a 22 year old doesn't know how to advocate for herself, then part of that is just the age. But when a normal woman in her full adult maturity has difficulty or inexperience navigating these same issues, then it's valid to ask what circumstances got her to that point.

tertiaryanna said...

"when there aren't personal reasons why they are not, then it's important to look at structural reasons."

When I said "personal reasons", I meant that there's no problem with the person as an individual. So I'm speaking here of "quality women" with no impediments of character, deportment or looks that would stop them from finding a good mate, or would stop them from finding any mate.

Evia said...

Exactly. And this is the reason why I'm irritated with all the smug recitations of the "just keep your legs closed" slogan. Keeping one's legs closed STILL leaves a LOT of problems unaddressed.

Khadija, first of all, THANK you for highlighting another one of my comments!

Re your comment, I think one reason for the "just keep your legs closed" piece is because this is a VERY involved topic with so many combinations and permutations, nooks, crannies, alleyways, and a ton of nuances. In effect, a good part of this deals with how a woman is socialized from an early age. Therefore, much of this falls under Hometraining 101 and comes from a person's background (family, community, culture), but since AAs no longer have a RUCOSS (reasonably uplifting culture of some sort) and many no longer come from stable 2-parent families OR wholesome extended families, this forces so many younger bw to fly without a compass.

So it's way too much to cover here or in any blog. Volumes could be written on it. So I think people just advise the women to keep the 'legs closed' in order to prevent the worst: OOW births and disease. The fact is that no one can be expected to raise somebody's else child--without being paid and many bw will not PAY for customized advice and follow it, but instead will buy Steve Harvey's book.

Regarding bw's sexual dissatisfaction, I agree that there are some unbelievably selfish AA men out there. Yet AA men benefit from the MYTH of the AA man-"sex machine" who can rock any woman's world. However, the AA women who've shared aspects of their intimate life with me over the years have told me quite the opposite. Many years back, ESSENCE magazine reported that according to the research they'd conducted, about 60%+ of AA women had never had an orgasm and these women had only sexed AA men inside marriages and whatnot.

@Tasha212

But I also learned alot from watching my girlfriends and seeing what they went through. I don't believe that you have to experience a whole bunch of relationships to learn what to do and what not to do. At least I haven't had to do that.

Me too. I've ALWAYS learned a lot from analyzing other peoples' mistakes AND their successes. I dated a lot from the time I was 17, but it was also my Hometraining 101 that enabled me to succeed in my relationships with men, and it definitely kept me from making many of the mistakes that I see many women make with men.

Khadija said...

Anonymous Commenter,

When you're signed in as "Anonymous," then you're still...anonymous. Anybody can make up any name to sign at the end of their comment (including using other commenters' names).

NO anonymous comments for this discussion will be posted.

Evia said...

my main point was that if a non-black man, particularly a white man, never reciprocates romantic interest, due to his own issues, that's not on the black woman who's being open and heeding the sound advice provided here, on Evia's blog, etc.

Daphne, I AGREE, but you're not understanding me. If ANY man is not reciprocating, then why even think about him???? However, more to the point, this implies that you think I'm advising bw to make the first move? LOL! I'm NOT. If you're interpreting this from what I say here and on my blog, then you're not comprehending me correctly. There's a lot that a bw can gain in this area from mere positioning, and there are plenty of nuanced opportunities that I see AA women missing to get to know a wm who is showing interest.

Some Quality wm are strong but on the shy side, and I also think that what's not understood is that most other cultures are much more SUBTLE in the way they interact with each others. Therefore, respectful wm of the relationship type are subtle when they express interest in bw. They're not trying to 'hit it and quit it.' They're actually trying to get to know the woman FIRST BECAUSE these guys are the relationship type. They want to first have conversations with the bw and find out what kind of person she is. Many AA women think that these guys are 'just talking' or just being 'nice'. LOL!

However, if a wm IS more overt, many AA women assume that the wm just wants to "hit it & quit it" simply BECAUSE he's white, and this comes across instantly because a typical AA woman (not saying you) becomes defensive. I wish this could be filmed. LOL!

At some point, there's only so much a woman can do to correct maladaptive behaviors in this aspect. If she doesn't receive reciprocity, then I believe she has the freedom and right not to overanalyze and move on to the man (men) who will value her.

I totally agree. I also realize that many AA women are also on the shy side. Unfortunately, so many of them will have to pay the price for the uncouth behavior of other shrill bw who have the need to tell all wm that they don't like them, like a bunch of insecure 5th grade girls. SMH

Let's be honest. Some non-intelligent AA women would act like a 'pit bull' if a wm openly expressed interest in them because ***some*** AA women harbor lots of anger towards ALL wm. Some of these AA women are always trying to fight wm in order to win brownie points from bm who will pat them on the head right before he continues the chase after a white skinned woman.

Men are supposed to fight men (if any fighting is going to occur); women should not be trying to fight men. Period.

And wm aren't slow; they can pick up on this anger and defensiveness in many AA women.

I realize that AA women have that aggressive front for protection from ANY man, but this is exactly why they need to FLEE to areas where they and their daughters are not under constant attack by DBR predators and parasites.

However, it has been noted by lots of folks that many AA men have pitbull anger towards wm, but are poodle-friendly with ww. LOL! I think that AA women ought to copy that exact SAME page from the AA man's book, the poodle part. AA women must VET all men, but they should become openly friendly when interacting with respectful wm and other non-bm. Friendliness doesn't always have to lead to a date or not immediately. There are various benefits to be derived from just being open and friendly with the RIGHT people.

Evia said...

Related to my comments above, I want to add the following.

From my hometraining, I learned to be friendly towards ANY man who shows me signs that he's willing and able to TREAT me well, and the instance I find out otherwise, to leave quickly. In general, I learned from my mother, grandmother, uncles, etc. to never allow anyone to mistreat me--to get away from them ASAP, and instead to embrace ALL people who treat me well. This is why despite growing up in the aftermath of Jim Crow Alabama, I view white people as INDIVIDUALS--not a skin shade and to also view people of other ethnicities the same way--as individuals. My hometraining shaped me in this way.

So AA women will have to find a way to deal with the trickbox they're in because wm, AA men and every other group of women in the U.S. have positioned themselves NOT to exclude win-able, quality others. The bulk of AA women have positioned themselves to EXCLUDE every man who is not a bm. As I said the other day, and as Craig said above, AA women need to wage a massive campaign against this, and to heck with making bm and their helpers feel bad.

Why should any AA woman care about those folks? Only AA women who are in the Matrix care about people like that. Those folks are not doing anything to find you a quality and compatible mate. They're watching so many good AA women dry up, which is a life and death issue, and instead of helping y'all, they're blaming y'all for it.

The vast bulk of AA men, most of whom wallow in selfish silence about this AA woman life and death issue, are complicit in perpetrating a major gaslighting scheme against AA women BECAUSE THEY'RE BENEFITING, and this is why so many AA women of all ages, including most of the female helpers of these AA men, now find themselves inside the Matrix in a trickbox that is squeezing the life of them.

Felicia said...

"However, it has been noted by lots of folks that many AA men have pitbull anger towards wm, but are poodle-friendly with ww. LOL! I think that AA women ought to copy that exact SAME page from the AA man's book, the poodle part. AA women must VET all men, but they should become openly friendly when interacting with respectful wm and other non-bm. Friendliness doesn't always have to lead to a date or not immediately. There are various benefits to be derived from just being open and friendly with the RIGHT people."

STRAIGHT NO CHASER. Thank you Evia for stating the obvious.

BW would be wise to listen to - and ACT on - this VERY sound advice.

tasha212 said...

Evia said:

Me too. I've ALWAYS learned a lot from analyzing other peoples' mistakes AND their successes. I dated a lot from the time I was 17, but it was also my Hometraining 101 that enabled me to succeed in my relationships with men, and it definitely kept me from making many of the mistakes that I see many women make with men.

RESPONSE: That was my main point. I was not trying to minimize the need for young college women to experience dating and intimate relationships. I just wanted to point out that it is possible to learn alot about dating and relationships (what to do and especially what NOT to do) from watching the behavior of others.

daphne said...

Hi Evia. You said:

Daphne, I AGREE, but you're not understanding me. If ANY man is not reciprocating, then why even think about him???? However, more to the point, this implies that you think I'm advising bw to make the first move? LOL! I'm NOT. If you're interpreting this from what I say here and on my blog, then you're not comprehending me correctly.

It was not my intention to imply you were saying any of the above to black women. I realize you've not said any of this. Reading your advice just got me thinking, and I just wanted to express what I was thinking about. It shouldn't have to be explicit - the aspect of non-reciprocation from ANY man, not just BM, as you and others have advocated this from the beginning.

That said, I thought about how many black women have bent over backwards to accomodate some men, particularly those who used to be "BM only." I've also thought about how, in that context, some (many?) black women were always told what THEY were doing wrong, with rarely a mention about the accountability of the man. I just don't want black women to carry that mentality with them in their interactions with non-black men, and I only mentioned white men specifically because the original post referenced white men. All they can do is heed the advice provided on these blogs, and apply it practically in their lives. I can attest to heeding your, and others' advice, and seeing immediate returns. But even if there wasn't immediate ROI, heeding the advice has been extremely beneficial for the long-term. I hope that black women who are shifting and changing remember that, and aren't too hard on themselves when they're being open.

AA women must VET all men, but they should become openly friendly when interacting with respectful wm and other non-bm. Friendliness doesn't always have to lead to a date or not immediately. There are various benefits to be derived from just being open and friendly with the RIGHT people.

I completely agree, especially with the bolded part.

Craig said...

Khadija,
I’m only replying to accomplish 3 simple things here.
First: I WILL Apologize for my use of the term “girl”. Because it is proper and appropriate to do so. There was no intent to imply a lack of adult maturity or womanliness with its use. Just a cultural background of accepted usage. Please accept my apology and admission of ignorance on its effect.
Second: Thank You for acknowledging me! It wasn’t required, but I did appreciate it. And in finding some relevance in all that wordy mess of mine, lol!
Third: To “daphe”; well, I guess after further communication we really don’t disagree (Isn’t that just why people should talk things out?). You expressed yourself very clearly the second time (or maybe my mind finally assimilated it correctly? That’s more likely, lol). And I agree. If the man can’t/won’t catch on to the obvious and normal positive female “flirt”, yes, you too Move On. A/A women do NOT need to (loved your phrase) “pretzel” themselves for Anyone! That’s not ever going to be a real, meaningful relationship if any man ever expects that, in any area! So, you are absolutely correct; a willing man, even slightly shy about the IR, will get the point and act on it if you’ve done your part. All I meant was, because of present circumstances, just make it obvious; he might think you’re a total ‘knock-out’ but never, ever suspect you’d give him anything beyond a rude rebuff.
I’m not sure I can express this adequately; I don’t mean for this to sound at all “macho” or selfish, nothing even leaning toward domineering (all bad, bad traits), but a Man needs some, well, a certain level of “aggressiveness”. I know how misinterpreted that could so easily be. But I’m Not referring to a bullish, selfish, inconsiderate person. Rather, a man needs to understand you are actually expected to Take Some Charge, or Responsibility! That one applies to so much in life; a family’s financial welfare, living conditions, over-all disposition of family life, etc. And “daphe”, you are Absolutely Right that it has to apply to the initial “meet and greet”; he better know his end of it too! That’s why I agree with your further explanation, that he’d better be “man” enough to reciprocate, especially when it involves the added dimensions of an IR.
Thank you Khadija for allowing my small input.
(Done)

rainebeaux said...

One date at 19, nothing after starting college the following year. Now, at 31 (and a single mother to boot), I have to start EVERYTHING from scratch. Of course I wasn't taught how to flirt--mom told me not to approach men, lest I come off as desperate; she pulled the "don't bring no babies home" card too at one time or another.

I shamefully admit that I initially took much of this advice completely out of context. How, you ask? Let me count the ways:

First, I really panicked about becoming flawless: I do understand that I can/must work with what I have now, but somehow in my mind it turned into how much must be budgeted to lose weight; get dental work; for dermatologist's appointments; get/keep my hair done; conduct background/credit checks for EVERY MAN I DATE (I know, a bit much--although the party I deem worthy may not even see my daughter for at least six months, if at all); revamped wardrobe.

Again, I get it but not quite because I wasn't taught (no excuse, but not much better late than never, I suppose). I do thank you all for the heads up, however; I just need to reread this when I'm not so obsessed with leaving the hood and when I've finally escaped. still taking notes, though.

DeStouet said...

Evia said: "Many years back, ESSENCE magazine reported that according to the research they'd conducted, about 60%+ of AA women had never had an orgasm and these women had only sexed AA men inside marriages and whatnot."

Evia, I just wrote an essay about this very topic two weeks ago and, it is 75% of ALL women who fake orgasms.

Below is the link I included in my essay, although from what my cousin has told me, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan has also covered this same material. With the exception, both magazines tailor the material to their audience.


http://news.softpedia.com/news/Why-75-of-the-Women-Fake-the-Orgasm-56389.shtml

So it seems as if MOST men are selfish lovers in bed -but even more so, when a women does not communicate her needs and demand reciporcity.

rainebeaux said...

To clarify: after rereading these comments, I am aware that perfection (uh, whatever that would mean from a "nonexistent in/for humans" context) is not being spoken for or advocated here. I just...ugh, so frustrated at all the catching up I have to do...I just don't want to screw up, for the lack of a better word or two...I cannot afford to. Since these are what I consider the last days for the collective and I must do my part to distance myself, one false move on my part (or anyone in my position who wants the help) would prove deadly.

Thank you again, Khadija and Evia, for breaking this down further.

seoulsister1972 said...

Oh Kadija, I love you and your blog and thank god my mother referred me to you. I have hesitated to comment, since my life is not that of a US born and bred BW. I am an odd case for a BAW (I am a black American, but never lived in the US except for university), but I have a daughter who one day might go to the states and make the mistakes I did.

I grew up as a de-nationalized expat, especially since my mother's family rejected my mother after she married my father (my father is Korean). Until university my only contact with "black America" was my mother and my aunt (the only person in my mother's family who did not reject us). And my mother, I now realize is a divested BW, by choice and necessity. My aunt, and her family are, I hesitate to say DBR, but think that may be the case.

I went to a PWI for university, and being young, stupid and lost, I threw myself into AASU, every black nationalist cause and what not. I know I was seeking a connection to that half of my identity and was so excited that I would be friends with more than 1-2 other black Americans. I vowed to be the most real BW in the country.

Little did I know that my fundamental values would be attacked, my appearance would be attacked (my eyes look Korean, but the rest is no shit straight out of Africa....which I love....now), my heritage (the one I knew, because my black family had nothing to do with me) would be torn down. How was I acting white when I was really acting Korean, ya? Thank god my fundamental upbringing was solid so I was only 1/2 stupid with dating (dumb enough to date the losers, not dumb enough to have sex without a condom....and the 3+ mos. waiting period....which tended to eliminate the need for a condom because the man was gone long before then). After 1.5 - 2yrs of that nonsense(and one loser cousin house guest) I ran.

I decided I was a race traitor and happy to be one. I embraced my identity as a banana oreo (does this exist? Black on the outside yellow on the inside), and accepted that my mother was right to accept rejection by her community if acceptance meant....well...being disrespected. But now I am a mother of a Turkish-black American-Korean girl who might go to the US for university, and I am worried. How do I stop her making the same mistakes I did? Or are the mistakes I made necessary?

I asked my mother why she did not warn me about being black in the US among black people (she gave plenty of advice for white people). Her answer was, "Would you have believed me?"

My comment has not much on point I know, but these last few posts ripped off a scab for me. I apologize for the bleeding.

Just keep on doing what you do,

Soon-ji

Aphrodite said...

Blogger rainebeaux said...


"One date at 19, nothing after starting college the following year. Now, at 31 (and a single mother to boot), I have to start EVERYTHING from scratch. Of course I wasn't taught how to flirt--mom told me not to approach men, lest I come off as desperate; she pulled the "don't bring no babies home" card too at one time or another."



I can relate. I was older than you were when I had my first real date and it was not that long ago.


My mother is a good social flirt and conversationalist - it could be men, babies, or little old people, but she gave me the same message- concerning keep your legs closed and it will all fall into place.



I wanted to cosign with what you said and on what Anonymiss said about the mixed signals regarding flirting. I got that ingrained in my head too. Some men take it all kinds of ways and then I got messages saying that it looks desperate/low as well.



"First, I really panicked about becoming flawless........
I just...ugh, so frustrated at all the catching up I have to do...I just don't want to screw up, for the lack of a better word or two...I cannot afford to."


I can relate. I had no idea that I was that far behind. Or that so many of my experiences were abnormal.


RE: the not dating in college and how that leads to single motherhood. I did not make the connection.


There were moments when I lamented this in passing with other AA women (because it made me/us feel abnormal), but I was and suspect they were too afraid to really examine it out of the learned fear of showing vulnerability/weakness I this area.


I agree with what PVW said about how it seems that other groups of girls get prepped in HS for dating in college. I saw as I became a junior and senior other groups of girls (usually with some kind of parental involvement/coaching/training whether dances or movies dates - as Evia mentioned in her upbringing) beginning their courtship experiences back then.


So for me the college experience of being dateless was a continuation of what I saw/experienced in HS of seeing the other groups of girls courting. I mean I noticed, but I though it was par for the course and it would work itself out.

Khadija said...

Tasha212,

TertiaryAnna summed up what I had to say in response (and she said it much better than I could--LOL!)
_____________________

Anonymiss,

You said, "Something I've noticed is how Black women and young girls get so many mixed messages so it makes sense why they don't flirt. Some guys become arrogant and some guys are uncomfortable and feel like there's been some sort of role reversal. There seems to be no middle ground in flirting that is introduced to Black women and girls."

You're saying this the polite way. I'll say it the blunt way: It's VERY difficult for an AA woman to be open and friendly (let alone flirt) with AA males because too many (if not most) of them respond inappropriately.

First of all, their egos are swollen because there are so many desperate AA women (the result of "nuthin' but a BM" practices). So, what a man from another ethnic group might interpret as being open and friendly, an AA male will interpret as practically an offer of sex. And respond as if that's what the AA woman meant by being open and friendly.

Now, I notice that AA males DON'T make this assumption with women from other groups---probably because they don't feel that they have any sort of advantage over them---desperation-induced by numerical shortages, etc.

The other thing I notice about new-school AA males is that they feel entitled to favors, intimacy, etc from AA women that they are NOT entitled to; and that they have NOT earned.

New-school AA males expect too much, too soon from AA women. Much of the reason for this is that too many confused, desperate, indoctrinated AA women are giving them TOO much, TOO soon. And this attitude carries across many contexts. Let me give an example from work.

There's an AA male who sells newspapers just outside the building where I work. I used to (happily) buy the morning paper from him on many mornings. But only if I hadn't already gotten it from another vendor who sells papers at an intersection that I pass through on the way to work.

Well, this individual's 1st encroachment was when he started acting as if he was ENTITLED to have me buy the paper from him. I noticed that on the days when I didn't ask to buy a paper, he started asking me (in a plaintative tone), "Don't you want a paper this morning?" Needless to say, I was irritated by this. If I didn't ask you for your product, I must not want it that day.

The 2nd and final encroachment was when this individual tried to beg for money off of me. He said, "If you give me $5.00 today, I'll give you papers for the next 2 weeks." [Or some such time as it would work out to $5.00 worth of morning papers.]

Well, that was the end for me. I was so irritated that I have NEVER bought another paper from him again. I asked around with colleagues. This individual ONLY approaches AA women with that begging mess.

Khadija said...

Part 2

Craig,

In the order that you mentioned things:

FIRST: Apology accepted---as I said earlier, no harm, no foul. Please understand that when you or any other WM submits a comment to any BW's empowerment blog, the "nuthin' but a BM"-indoctrinated AA women and the Internet Ike Turners will PORE over your words with an electron microscope.

They will look for ANY way to characterize your words as the slightest bit insulting or racist. If the BW's empowerment blogger lets anything said by a White commenter that might be construed as disrespectful slide, that choice to not correct the comment WILL be used to try to discredit the entire conversation.

I've seen this happen with other blogs. These bad-faith Internet Ike Turners/Ikettes will seize upon the slightest thing to scream, "See what these sell-out BW let that WM say to them!!!!! So, I have to be cautious to NOT give these nuts any unecessary opening that they can use to discredit these conversations with those fence-sitting AA women that I'm trying to reach.


SECOND: You're welcome and THANK YOU! Your input has carried this conversation into some very important areas.
__________________________

Rainebeaux,

You're welcome! I would suggest that you prioritize projects; and try NOT to turn the effort toward self-actualization into just another mental burden (which is easy to do---I've had to catch myself with this).
________________________

Seoulsister1972/Soon-ji,

Thank you for your kind words; I truly appreciate it!

You said, "I decided I was a race traitor and happy to be one. I embraced my identity as a banana oreo (does this exist? Black on the outside yellow on the inside), and accepted that my mother was right to accept rejection by her community if acceptance meant....well...being disrespected. But now I am a mother of a Turkish-black American-Korean girl who might go to the US for university, and I am worried. How do I stop her making the same mistakes I did? Or are the mistakes I made necessary?

I asked my mother why she did not warn me about being black in the US among black people (she gave plenty of advice for white people). Her answer was, "Would you have believed me?"


Well, all I can suggest is that you AND your mother talk to her about all of this. You and your mother are 2 generations worth of testimony about how things actually are. AND eyewitness testimony of how things have gotten WORSE since your mother's time.
__________________

Evia,

You're welcome, and THANK YOU for supplying yet another Reader's Money Quote!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

tryin2understandurside said...

Thank you for these two posts. I was beginning to think that I was the only one with these struggles or that I some sort of freak since I am having such difficulty in dating. At the age of 33, it is well past the time to seriously pursue marriage. Unfortunately my college life was committed to "loving God as my husband" mentality. Can you believe that it is church people most guilty of not training and encourging younger people on finding a suitable mate.

Khadija said...

Tryin2understandurside,

You're welcome!

You were ROBBED. There's no shame in being robbed. I doubt that the church has the lion's share of "not training and encourging younger people on finding a suitable mate." This madness seems to now be throughout the AA collective, and ALL its pseudo-institutions.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Pamela said...

I do not remember who spoke about flirting and how aa men view it vs. other men. I definitely found this to be true. Pretty much every other 'race' found me very friendly and approachable. However the vast majority of sbm THAT I WAS AROUND responded to me like I had just exposed my bare breast in their face or some nonsense. It took me a while to realize that was an unhealthy mindset that I was running up against. I would never make a blanket statement about all bm BUT this is what I experienced with just about all of them other than when I was in college decades ago. I just did not connect with anyone in college.

Tryin2understandurside,

I was in a similar scenario in the black church. This is why I got out a good number of years ago. I guess I remained single partially because of the madness in the church (only a few years lost). The rest was by my choice because I vetted men pretty well. At this point I decided to venture out. I was not necessarily one that said 'nothing but a bm'. However I was in circles where I only encountered sbm most if the time. What really helped me was to stay away from those events where only black people attended. I will tell you that at 33 it may appear that it is too late for seriously pursuing marriage. I would like for you to reconsider that mindset. You live and learn but never give up. I am well past 33 and will leave the single life for the first time on December 18, 2009. I just picked out my wedding dress today and will order it in the morning. It is NEVER too late.

rainebeaux said...

Pamela, congratulations and thank you--I needed the inspiration. I just may end up married at 33 myself, God only knows. Of course, based on my previous comments here, marriage is the second furthest thing from my mind right about now...I know turning my Six Million Dollar Man is unnecessary, but again, good to know there are options.

LaShelle said...

Congrats, Pamela, on your upcoming wedding. I am 37 and am looking forward to getting married(again). Like you, I had to live the black church for my own sanity. I got tired of hearing the 'just pray and everything will be okay' message.

I hate to say it, but too many black woman never go on real dates. Black men and boys generally feel they don't have to take you out. I've seen too many black women having so called at home dates. A lot of black women feel they don't have to be treated like nice and a lot of black men feel the same.Hence, the whole black rappers proclaiming they love a independent black women who can pay for everything hersel. Come to think of it, the best dates I ever had were with my white boyfriend.

Felicia said...

CONGRATULATIONS PAMELA!

This is wonderful news! You deserve this blessing.

I'm SO happy for you and I know all of your other "cyber sisters" share my sentiments.

PEACE and keep us updated!

You two make a beautiful couple.

Khadija said...

Ladies,

The bottom line is that if we want something different than what we've been getting, we'll have to do something different than what we've been doing. It's that simple.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Pamela said...

rainebeaux, in my 30s and early 40s I was not all that interested in marrying even though I would check men out that came my way. In fact I was not really all that interested until I met the man I will marry. It was not the traditional approach and I do not necessarily recommend it. However I was a very happy single gal living my life to the full while being open to meet the right person. My fiance was a complete surprise but a very pleasant one indeed.

Felicia, thanks so much. Yes when I have mentioned this online I have been blessed to receive wonderful kudos.

I will definitely post updates.