Sunday, 30 May 2010

Halima's summary Part 2

Think about all the things you are being instructed to do as a black woman:

  • Find a black husband,
  • Give back (when you are a struggling to keep your head above water)
  • etc etc

In the first example, it seems pretty simple and straight forward, however the outcome of ending up with a black husband depends very much on factors outside yourself.

For instance, it depends on if the black male population in your area is indeed interested in dating and marrying, even dating black women (as we can see now these things can no longer be taken for granted or seen as a given)!

This calls for you to apply the ‘intelligence’ you gather from your day to day comings and goings.

(b) Indeed black women must learn to gather intelligence by a reconnaissance of her situation and surroundings.

Many rational outcomes may not automatically apply to the black female situation as we are told to believe. Many black people say to you, ‘just go out there and find a black man for you’, or they give the impression that it will be the most normal and natural thing for black men to pick black women. But do these people really understand the world that black women inhabit currently? There has been a seismic shift in black male attitudes to black women and even the idea of settling down.

Instead then, of listening to instructions from those who are disconnected from your reality or would like to maintain an impression of how things were because they cant bear to think otherwise, why not believe what your eyes are telling you and what you know deep down to be the truth.

Many black women struggle to give themselves the permission to believe what they know is true. If people outside yourself control what you will let yourself believe to be true then you are under their control and in a dangerous place! 

Indeed many of these people who instruct black women are not in touch with localised dynamics which have emerged over 2 decades which means that black women ending up married to black men is not assured and guaranteed as they think it is.

I cannot overemphasis the fact that many everyday expectations and taken for granted beliefs might not apply and come into play for black women.

The black community is asking you in many cases to work ‘models’ that are just not working, non-yielding, non-applying, obsolete or irrelevant (remember what we said about the black consensus being in error state and thus issuing erroneous injunctions and instructions to black women)

So if the community says to you, ‘find a black man’

Report back from your gathering of intelligence, ‘The black men here are not really interested in settling down!’

(c) The thinking and mindset that keeps black women in a state of frustration and non-achievement (particularly in the area of relationships) is chiefly a result of the relationship black women have with their immediate community

As black women seek to serve and be a benefit and credit to their races they often tie themselves into self-sacrifice and struggle as a way of life and even abiding by instructions and stipulations that are flawed, hurt their interests and require their life blood to achieve!

Unfortunately many black women are desperate to be ‘approved of’ by their race. They desperately desire the accolade of, ‘good loyal black woman’, on their mantel and they want to be decorated as this type of woman at all costs, but the cost is indeed high and the expectations of being this kind of black woman is self abnegation and a masochistic cleaving to a way of life that is really a way of suffering and denial and limitation. Very few black women think through what this ‘accolade’ costs and why it is so important to attain it.

Back to the issue of the relationship black women have with their ‘in group’, it is now critical that black women, revaluate everything that is said to be a way of being and doing things that 'honors your blackness'. It is easy to suck black women into counterproductive attitudes and outlooks by touting the option as 'black peoples approach.'

Because of this powerful limiting idea that that particular approach, method or choice represents the only way to be authentically black or proud of their blackness black women cleave to ways of being that are all to their detriment.

one such notion is

Marrying a black man means you love black people and your blackness

I remember many years ago reading an article with a black journalist saying that she was marrying a black man and this showed her pride in her race and that it reinforced that not all of black people sought out white after a level of success.

As much as I understood the symbolism in what she was saying and her choices, I noted that ‘uplift of her race’ and sending out a message etc etc was not totally dependent on her.

There were many other black women who loved and cared for their race but would not get to marry black men to be such a similar shinning example of a woman 'loving their blackness'. So her particular choice was not really proof of a strong black ideal.

Many black women preoccupied with and searching to be a similar role model or trying to send out a similar message of contentedness with blackness, could do themselves a lot of damage by feeling that ‘being this shinning example’ is all dependent on them and they have to bring it about.

Many black women are punishing themselves for things beyond their control. Saving the black family for instance is one of these outcomes that is dependent on two for its success. Do black men themselves care about saving the black family and if not, why are black women blaming themselves for the state of things?

(d) ‘Being a Testament to my Community’

This whole notion of black women living as a testament to community, the only ones sacrificing ’ for the greater good‘, or working without relief and support to save their race/community, is deeply questioned by BWE and IR bloggers.

This is because of two key reasons:

BWE IR bloggers see how this injunction is placed solely upon black women and thus how unfair and unachievable saving the community would be under such conditions.

BWE and IR Bloggers also realise that such injunctions severely limit black women’s lives and their fulfilment.

Many BWE and IR bloggers also see how ill served black women have been by their community which only receives from their efforts, good will and toil, and never gives back to them in terms of support, and organizing (to help black women achieve their deepest desires for instance for companionship), assistance in raising black children etc. The fact that such concerns of black women are tossed aside and have disappeared from the black agenda for the latest, ‘save a black man’ project (regardless of the guilt or culpability of the black man in his situation) shows the relationship the community has with black women and that it is one in which black women are to be used for all they can offer.

Many BWE and IR bloggers see this as enough grounds for the community to no longer be worthy of black women’s loyalty or even concern. The fact that black women have not received any provision in terms of the community agenda and this is clear when you notice how said community cares more for the issues of black males and mobilises on of black men’s behalf even at the expense of black women, means they are not really any kind of community to speak of for black women and black women. Black women should thus feel no guilt in taking away her loyalty and investing that in pursuing her own personal interest.

This might sound like heresy and taboo to many black women unused to asserting their interests (read page 60 of this article to catch a glimpse of how black women position their needs in the scheme of things)

but it shows how deeply inculcated the notion of ‘black women for the service of everyone else’ is. It is actually dysfunctional to have a problem with putting your interests out in front!

When one looks at the stats of violence against black women, family abandonment and neglect, it is clear that black women are referring affectionately as ‘community’ to a collective that should be simply referred to as black neighbourhood etc.

In many instances it is the black group’s positioning and the in-group situation of black women and black women’s acceptance and non challenge of same that is critical to how things turn out for them (not very good from all indications).

Black women occupy a very devalued place in the ‘community mind’ and instructions issued to black women on how they must live are often according to this general devaluation, so they are:

  • To serve everyone else
  • Not to consider own needs
  • To turn a blind eye to personal vulnerabilities and 
  • To make small of their sufferings and acts of aggression directed towards them.

Why do black women feel they have to be held bondage to a way of life that leaves them with little or nothing to show for toiling for community and putting community first?

And why are they the only ones required to lead such an existence of self-denial and self-abnegation? Indeed very little is expected and received from black men in terms of the community uplift agenda, and any investment towards securing the future of black people, yet black women get the sole burden and the blame when things do not work out as we can expect it not to, due to the non-participation of black men!

Why would black women even want to pursue a fruitless endeavour?

These are questions for the reader to think about and provide some concrete answers, as it will help black women in deciding their future course.

Indeed it is futile for black women to seek to save the race single-handedly, because it is impossible to do it without the equal efforts and participation of black men.

I mean is it not abundantly clear by now that it is the absence of black fathers and black men holding up their end of the bargain and fulfilling their responsibilities that is the key problem leading to the demise of the black group?

The above explanations are why BWE and IR bloggers believe that black women should let ‘the chips fall where they will’ for the black community, as they pursue a life of individual -fulfilment.

If this sounds selfish to your ears, then it probably speaks more to how entrenched the notion that black women are slaves of the black community is.

The whole mindset of acceptance of 'non-reciprocity' and 'non return on effort' keeps black women in lack.

At this point, each black woman should ask and answer the question, ‘Do I approve and agree with the idea that I am a slave/servant of community, here for the express purpose of serving the black community even to the detriment of my own personal needs and desires?’

What other thoughts do you have with regards this particular discussion of saving the community and black woman’s role? Do you agree it is time for the chips to fall where they will for the community? Do you think black women can ‘save black community’ alone or that black men are indeed participating?

Do my personal interest and that of the ‘community’ coincide?

More at Part 3

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