Bad things happen when you listen to stupid people

badadvice (1)

Welcome

It’s been a while since I have written a post. Thanks to all those who still visited the site during my hiatus.

I will be the first to admit that I am very contrary by nature and hate being told what to do. Hey, I guess it’s the Taurean in me. Perhaps that why certain life coaches/dating experts just do not appeal to me. Now don’t get me wrong, I know of a lot of people personally and professionally who do a very good job in helping people deal with unresolved issues and enable them to develop the tools to empower themselves.

What I object to is the snake oil salesman variety of dating guru who thinks that all it takes is a few catchy slogans and a sharp suit to declare himself an authority on matters of the heart. What I find really galling is that the majority of these men are not even in happy relationships yet feel they have the right to tell others how they should find a partner. The whole thing smacks of ‘physician heal thyself’. I won’t go to a hairdresser with a bad hairdo nor would I sit in a dentist’s chair if said dentist is not sporting a set of pearly whites.

Black women are not a monolithic group and have a wide range of attributes that they want in a partner, let’s for arguments sake agree on a few basic characteristics that most women would probably like in a partner – loving, honest and faithful. The joke is that the king of dating gurus, Steve Harvey is a womaniser. These dating gurus are trying to give women advice on how to find the type of men who are their complete antithesis. How could they know what would attract a decent man if they are not a decent man in the first place?

It also alerts my ‘spidey’ senses that these life coach aficionados always target the female audience. True wisdom should be universal and a benefit to all. Not for these guys, they actively seek the female pound/dollar. I don’t believe that women are more susceptible to being told what do than men. What I do believe is that they are tapping into society’s mistaken belief that women are defined by their relationship status. To be unmarried post 35 is some kind of sin for which women should be publicly flogged in the streets. However single men of a similar age are just reviewing their options. It is really disappointing that so many women easily believe that these individuals can unlock the secrets of the male mind. These dating gurus typically reveal the thinking of traditional, knuckle dragging cavemen who don’t really like women very much. In their world, everything is the women’s fault. Women are not supportive enough, don’t dress appropriately, are too difficult, are too demanding and don’t allow men to be men. You wouldn’t think that it takes two people to make a relationship work. There is one dating guru in particular, I refuse to name him (I will not be giving him free publicity on this blog) who blamed women with large exteriors for being disrespected by men. In no uncertain terms this is the policing of female sexuality while giving men a pass for misogynistic behaviour. It’s really depressing that these jokers are making money by preying on the insecurities of women while removing male responsibility for how they treat women. It makes absolutely no sense to take the advice of a man who dislikes women. The chances are that the information given will not be for any woman’s benefit.

Misinformation is another big red flag. Why do so many of these men all claim to be God fearing individuals? If you are claiming that you are basing a lot of your works on scripture, then you have to follow the word – chapter and verse. Steve Harvey et al all promote Christianity but also promote sex outside of marriage. There should be no talk of giving the cookie (as Mr Harvey puts it); if you are only going to have sex once you are married? If you claim to be something but do not act upon it – that makes you a fraud. Do I claim to be perfect? No. However, I am not pretending to have some God given authority on how to tell people to live their lives.
If this has not be enough to help you be able to spot these charlatans at thirty paces, here is a short checklist of their most common attributes.

• In possession of a sharp suit
• Usually not in the possession of any meaningful qualifications (Anything you can acquire online requiring less than a fortnight’s worth of study is not a meaningful qualification)
• Typically unmarried or divorced. The married experts have usually been married for just over 5 years
• They will without fail describe themselves as ‘God fearing’ in their bio
• If the relationship coaching doesn’t work out for them, they will reinvent themselves as Pastors or used car salesmen
• Lastly, if in doubt that this is a relationship expert, they will blame women for everything. Absolutely everything. Ladies, global warming and the financial meltdown is entirely your fault.

All jokes aside some of these relationship experts are nothing more than money hungry frauds looking for a quick buck. Although they are easy to poke fun at they represent a desire by some to drag women back to the dark ages, they are gatekeepers of the status quo. As women, Black women in particular have made strides educationally and economically their requirements of what they want in a mate have expanded. These relationship experts are all too happy to spread the myth that there is a good man shortage to induce panic/desperation and that all men want a clingy, needy woman who does their bidding. These relationship experts want women to return to a time when a woman was largely defined by her relationship status. They want to encourage Black women to put everyone else first and themselves last.

I am not against seeking professional advice; I just think it is wise to show discernment in whose advice we take. If I want relationship advice, I will speak to people in long term, happy unions. I will not listen to some ‘reformed player’ or a woman who accepts maltreatment from her own partner. Unfortunately life does not come with a manual and we will make mistakes, be hurt and sometimes hurt others. This is just part of the course. We have to deal with this and cannot give away our power and responsibility to these experts who are happy to take our money and provide a one size fits all approach to our problems. Only we can ‘fix’ our problems, some power dressed ‘expert’ will not save but only confuse us.

Please let me know your thoughts

Sudelicious

The cost of Black patriarchy

Welcome

The Creflo Dollar story was a major talking point recently. Does a 50 year old man really have the right to choke his 15 year old daughter and then deny any wrongdoing in the pulpit? It brought several issues to the fore; the role of new Christian churches in the Black community; are charismatic preachers truly men of God or opportunistic snake oil salesmen and most importantly, why are the rights of Black men constantly pitted against the rights of Black women?

I have always believed that Black women need a different type of feminism to counterbalance the challenges they face. Unlike White women, Black women have both White and Black patriarchy to contend with. I find the level of vitriol levied at 15 year old Ms Dollar very distasteful. She was demonised as a liar, unruly and deserving of the physical abuse she suffered. My father raised two daughters without raising a fist or a shoe.

The most dangerous aspect of Black patriarchy is that it supports the lie that only Black men suffer from the negative effects of racism. Somehow, Black women are exempt and their main role is to prop up Black men and the rest of the Black community. Admittedly, young Black men do run a greater risk of racist violence/death – the Trayvon Martin and Stephen Lawrence murders being clear examples on both sides of the Atlantic. However, the Black community continuously underplays the exposure to racial violence that Black women have faced. There are between 154 to 159 reported cases of Black female lynching in the U.S. The vast majority of these women were also raped. (Source: henriettavintondavis.wordpress.com) Scores of young female students were also killed in the 1976 Soweto uprising in South Africa. Black women were also hosed and mauled by dogs during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. Black women and men share the same history, the painful legacy of slavery, colonialism and racism.

Modern day institutionalised racism continues to affect both genders. In the UK, Black men are seven times more likely to be stopped and searched by the police (Source: The Guardian). According to Law Professor Michelle Alexander:
‘More African American men are in prison, jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began.’
(Source: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Yet this is not a gender specific problem. The levels of Black female imprisonment are also at endemic proportions. In the US, 93 out of every 100,000 White women were incarcerated by mid 2008. During the same period, 349 out of every 100,000 Black women were incarcerated. (Source: http://www.wpaonline.org). There is a definite inference within the Black community that Black women are somehow immune from the affects of racism. Anecdotally, I have met several Black men who believe that they are owed patience from Black women because their lives are infinitely harder. That is obviously untrue but it does beg the question, why is there such a lack of support for Black women within the Black community?

The answer is Black patriarchy. It is a system which places the needs of Black women below the needs of Black men. A clear example is the Creflo Dollar case, where the liberty of a violent father is considered to be more important than the emotional and physical well being of a 15 year old girl. In the R.Kelly case, the only important factor should have been whether he ‘allegedly’ had sex with an underage girl not the young lady’s sexual history. I also never understood the overwhelming support that OJ Simpson received from the Black community when he had sought to distance himself from them as he became famous. This was a Black man who would have never married a Black woman yet, the moment he found himself on the wrong side of the law he expected support from the Black community.

In researching for my film I met and read the thoughts of Black women online that refuse to date Black men. The main reasons cited for their decisions were lack of trust. They believe that Black men only want to use them are unable to remain faithful and have little desire to become loving husbands and fathers. It is none of my business who people choose to love and I wish the very best for anyone lucky enough to love and be loved in equal measure. That said I find it desperately sad that there is a growing number of Black women who feel this way. I know that I am lucky; I have been surrounded by loving Black men my whole life – my father, my partner, uncles, cousins and nephews. However, the Black community champions people such as Steve Harvey who promotes the idea that all men are players and that Black women just need to get used to it. Dark skinned Black women are invisible in music videos and in general. Hip hop artists refer to women who most resemble themselves as bitches and hoes. Various Black churches advise Black women to pray, wait and put the needs of everyone else ahead of theirs. Black patriarchy offers no protection, care, and respect for Black women.

I want to be very clear; this is not an anti male piece. There are many Black women who collude with Black patriarchy. These women encourage other women to become pregnant for a man who offers little, to justify their own life choices. With limited emotional and financial support, these women are promoting a life of hardship. Why not encourage young women to pursue enterprise or education, to become financially independent and make life decisions from a position of strength? These are the same type of women who wrote horrible comments about Rhianna after Chris Brown assaulted her. Their support condones domestic abuse. We have lonely women who blindly follow charismatic preachers. The New Testament states that we all have the same spiritual power; a preacher/pastor/priest’s role is to teach the word not to tell people what to do with their lives. I am not a subordinate; I am equal partner in a mutual beneficial relationship. There are also women, who put their boyfriends/romantic interests ahead of their children’s safety. They expose their children to men of questionable integrity all because they want a man to validate them. There are women who will take on board the opinions of men such as Steve Harvey, when it is clear that being thrice divorced proves that he knows little about marriage or how to make a woman happy. There are women who put down other Black women for being too dark, too Afrocentric, too demanding, not being submissive enough, too ambitious, too fat, too skinny, too stuck up or for not having a big enough butt.

Black patriarchy brings division within the Black community. Without harmony between the sexes, there is no platform to deal with the negative effects of institutional racism. We need a new brand of feminism to counteract this. There is no need to burn bras as Black women are already progressing educationally and financially. The lack is an emotional one. What we need is a greater expression of love. A daughter should expect her father to protect her from harm, a girlfriend to be cherished by her lover, for young black girls to be protected from sexual predators and for the Black community to call for justice when a Black woman is attacked even if the aggressor is a Black man. That love needs to spread throughout the community. We have had Black power, the time has come for Black love. Black men should become feminists too. We need to develop an appreciation of ourselves. Too often our sense of worth is dependent on external factors: wealth, status, the validation of others. This puts us in such a precarious position, ripe to be exploited by smooth talking charlatans, or by hip hop artists who spew the self hate that too many believe to be true. Love is powerful; it gives the recipient hope, purpose, faith, inspiration and courage. These are all of the ingredients needed to live a life worth living. Black patriarchy promotes dominion instead of co-operation. It benefits the few at the expense of us all.

Please let me know your thoughts

Sudelicious

Where is the love?

Photo Credit – Copyright New Line Cinema

Welcome

‘Love and Basketball’ is one of my favourite films. Unlike most romantic dramas it doesn’t gloss over the fact that relationships are hard work. It is also one of the few beautiful Black love stories on the big screen. If an alien were to land on earth and watch the majority of Black cinema or mass media in general, he would probably deduce that Black men and women do not like each other very much. The majority of mainstream Black films portray dysfunctional interactions between Black people. Now I am all for tackling tough issues such as child abuse in ‘Precious’ or infidelity in ‘Why did I get married?’ What I don’t understand is why the Black community is so happy to perpetuate and buy into such negative images of themselves? Why are there so few examples of Black love in today’s mainstream media? Are these films not normalising dysfunctional behaviour and presenting it as some twisted version of Black reality?

The Black community is still plagued with incorrect and limiting stereotypes even in the era of supposed post racialism. In reality, Black women have increased their educational and financial opportunities. As a result, the stereotypes of Black women is developing from the overweight maid or finger snapping ghetto queen to the lonely, unapproachable, career woman. Another stereotypical Black female persona is the damaged woman who was either betrayed as an adult or abused as a child and this explains why she is always angry and pushes men away. The upshot is that Black women are either fat and undesirable or attractive and angry. Black men don’t fare any better. The tragic killing of Trayvon Martin only highlights the power of the stereotype that Black men are hyper aggressive predators. If the Black man is not portrayed as ‘get rich or die trying’ hustler the other typical stereotype is the bumbling feckless buffoon. The only threat that the buffoon offers is to his own self respect.

So if everyone in the Black community is completely dysfunctional it would stand to reason why there are low levels of marriage – we are all too crazy to settle down! This is of course hogwash. My parents have been happily married for nearly forty years. The majority of my Black female friends are also happily married to Black men. I have stated that in the UK and US Black men are falling behind Black women economically and educationally. This is making it harder for professional Black women to find suitable partners but it is far from impossible. In researching my film, I came across some bizarre and ridiculous ‘facts’. Apparently an educated Black woman has more chance of being hit by lightning than getting married. I also read statistics stating that 70% of Black women are single. When you remove the unmarried teens, divorcees and widows the figure is a lot closer to 59% (source Surviving Dating.com). Even then this number does not include gay women, cohabiting couples and those who don’t wish to marry.

The more educated Black women become the richer they become which leads to a greater say in society and changing the status quo. The hope must be that if Black women spend more time obsessing about their love lives, less time will be spent on becoming even more prosperous and influential. We live in a White patriarchal society where there are few winners and many losers. It is in these winners’s interest to retain the status quo. White women were fed a similar line a mere decade ago. I recall being constantly bombarded with medical reports stating that women’s fertility goes kaput after 35, the chances of ovarian cancer are raised if you haven’t been pregnant by your late thirties or that successful business women were more likely to end up married and childless. Career women were given a choice, choose either your personal or professional life – you can’t have both. This was scaremongering – pure and simple, an attempt to get women out of the boardroom and back in the kitchen. Unlike White women, Black women have always been expected to work. The lack of opportunities and exposure to high paying jobs meant that Black men and women both had to financially contribute to keep their families afloat. Today, Black women have greater choices and wealth creation opportunities. This should be celebrated not curtailed.

The advancement of Black women has class ramifications also. I have to admit that I am not the biggest Tyler Perry fan. I respect him for being a major player in the film industry and proving that Black enterprise can successfully sell to a Black audience. However, I don’t agree with the messages in his films. They typically depict a successful but cold businesswoman or a detached, damaged woman who falls in love with a salt of the earth janitor/ex convict/blue collar worker. Black women are effectively being discouraged to date/marry men with aspirations. It is not a matter of snobbery if professional women want to marry and date professional men. Should the expectations of Black women be less than women of other races? I doubt that Hilary Clinton would have given Bill a second look if he had been a janitor. As Black women continue to have greater options in life it will also raise their expectations of the men that they choose to have a life with. I don’t think this is a bad thing; hopefully it will encourage Black men to raise their game educationally and economically in order to attract women with higher expectations. To advise Black women to ‘date down’ is an attempt to sabotage their growth. This sabotage does not just affect women; it prevents the whole community from moving forward. It is ridiculous that Black women are deemed to be snobs just because they have higher aspirations; surely it is just common sense to want a man in your life with common aspirations? Opposites attract but similar people tend to stay together.

It’s frustrating how readily the Black community receives and spreads this way of thinking. I recall as a child the furore which surrounded ‘The Crosby Show’. There were members of the Black community who cited that it wasn’t authentic enough, that the majority of Black people were not doctors and lawyers. I don’t recall hearing White people residing in urban areas complaining about the plausibility of ‘The Waltons’. Why do we as a community reject positive images of ourselves? Why can’t we have an ideal to aspire to? Why are we so prepared to accept broken relationships, criminality and mediocrity as our reality? I am straight out of suburbia, not Compton – does this make me any less Black? I refuse to accept that my ambitions and aspirations should be limited because of the colour of my skin, even if that information is coming from other Black people.

Women of all races should expect to have fulfilling relationships. I will not bow down to the naysayers who want Black women to believe that there are no suitable men for us or that we must settle for any man who shows an interest. Yes there is a lack of eligible men in the Black community. I hope that the advancement of Black women will put the onus on all Black men to do the same in equal numbers. If that doesn’t work there are men of other races for consideration. Accepting the status quo means that there will be no advancement in our community. We should celebrate what Black women have achieved in spite of all the obstacles before them. What’s really disappointing is that the majority of Black owned media rarely promote positive images of Black people. They tend to accept stereotypical images. If we accept these mediocre versions of ourselves, how can we hope to achieve or prosper? If we don’t expect to see loving images of ourselves on the big and small screens, it helps build the false belief that loving Black relationships are only for the lucky few. Black women must expect to be loved and must be free to be successful in their professional lives. Yes there is a lot a false statistics out there but as Flava Flav so eloquently put it ‘Don’t believe the hype!’

Please let me know your thoughts

Sudelicious

The trouble with love

Welcome

Love…. It’s what we all crave and makes the world go round. Why is it so hard to find and harder still to keep? I interviewed a woman for my film that came up with a very interesting concept. She said that people expect ‘microwaveable relationships’. This is where love can be put it on full power for a minute, left to stand for thirty seconds and ready to go. If modern love is now all about instant gratification, it stands to reasons that people expect an upgrade every 18 months.

Modernity has brought speed into every aspect of daily life. Food takes a minute to cook, purchases can be made with a single click, and everything can be uploaded or downloaded in less than a second. This insatiable desire for speed clouds the way we see our emotional relationships. Our lifestyles may have changed over time but human nature hasn’t. Long lasting bonds between people doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to get to know someone properly. I am always bemused when people claim to be in love in such a short space of time. How can you possibly be in love with someone you don’t know? Love requires true knowledge of another person; lust simply requires desire and a lot less information. The problem is that the lines between the two have been blurred. If I desire you, I must have you and therefore I must love you. For some people, relationships are like acquiring a car or handbag where the thrill is all about obtaining a new commodity and then it’s on to the next adrenaline high.

In modern relationships the focus is now about instant chemistry, the attraction, the sexual thrill and the fireworks. In the past I have been guilty of that way of thinking, expecting to hear fanfare from the heavens when I met my Mr Right. Effectively we are encouraged to base our relationship choices on what our eyes and sexual organs tell us. It’s not that I don’t trust the lower regions of my body but I know that a washboard stomach is more sexually stimulating than a trustworthy character but the latter is more important in a long term partner. If we focus on the superficial, how can we expect to have deep and meaningful relationships? I am not advocating for people to date people that they are not attracted to. Sexual attraction is important as it separate friends from potential lovers. It just can’t be the only filtering system we use to weed out the compatible from the incompatible.

When it comes to love, two should be the magic number. I don’t understand why people date individuals to curry favour with others. Once the number of people in your relationship exceeds two, it’s fair to say that something is rotten in the state of Denmark. The person needing the external validation is making the relationship all about them and their issues. To have a beautiful girlfriend or a wealthy boyfriend means that I am desirable, that I am ok. If you are doing all the taking, what exactly are you offering the other person? You are also limiting your partner by focusing on one small aspect of who they are. No one is just defined by their looks or status. You have not taken the time to figure out what makes them unique as a person. If you ignore the various facets of their character you are effectively having a relationship with a stranger.

While I am in full rant mode, I blame the entire rom-com film industry for making relationships seem so easy. This is a seriously misleading fantasy. To truly love someone is hard work. As Chris Rock once said ‘You have never been in love unless you have contemplated murder’. We are all stubborn and selfish creatures. Loving someone requires so much compromising, listening, trust, patience – the list is endless. All you can hope is that you choose someone that is worth the effort. Real love is such hard graft because the process should make you a better person. If what you have is real it should bring about growth. To grow you need to make yourself vulnerable to embrace a new way of being and loving. It is not easy and will take most of us a lifetime to get it right.

So how can you be sure if someone is worth loving? No one wants to waste all that effort on a dud. Simply, take the time to get to know them. Even then there are no guarantees – things change, people change and often not at the same pace. Love may be many a splendid thing but it is not an instant thing. We live in age which is obsessed with self and instant gratification even at the expense of others. We spend too much of our time expecting good things to come to us without any struggle or limited effort on our part. I don’t believe that love hurts and if a relationship is diminishing you, you need to escape pronto. We are all too precious to allow anyone to waste our time and break our hearts. If love is not making you better it will only leave you bitter.

How does this tie in with Black women and marriage I hear you ask? Well Black women don’t come from outer space; we too are exposed to the same mass media messages. Love as an ideal has been commoditised and sexualised. A lot of men and women mistake sexual attraction as the foundation for a deeper connection. Love is depicted as the pleasure of the individual and not a sustainable union between two people. My mother always advised me to find a man I liked to talk and laugh with. After the sexual dust has settled talking is what long term couples will do most. If we as a society have a skewed view of what love is how can we hope to find it, cherish it and keep it.

Please let me know your thoughts

Sudelicious

Black is beautiful dammit!

Welcome

I believe that self esteem is the foundation for happiness. Self esteem provides us with the knowledge that we have worth, the confidence to take risks, the strength to fight our corner and the wisdom to walk away from bad situations and people. Without this self esteem, we leave ourselves defenceless against the whims of others and lack the conviction to lead the lives we deserve.

I often marvel at the innate confidence that a lot (and sadly not all) of black women possess. I say this because it is a miracle that it exists at all. Black women are under a constant barrage of negative imagery almost at every turn.

I am truly sick and tired of the European version of black beauty which the mainstream media champions. I do not need to have fair skin, slight features and long hair to be considered beautiful. The likes of Rihanna, Beyonce, Vanessa Williams and Halle Berry have become the acceptable face of black. It is undeniable that these women are all beautiful but these women are all of mixed parentage/heritage. Why should black beauty have to have a European makeover in order to be recognised as beautiful? At the end of the day this nonsense still peddles the rubbish that only white beauty is true beauty and the further you are from that ideal the further from beautiful you become. It also perpetuates that women are still just commodities and our value still lies in our bodies and faces.

Over the summer a Japanese psychologist, Satoshi Kanazawa came up with a report stating the black women were the most unattractive group of women on the earth. What I found very interesting is that this crackpot’s views were published in the major newspapers even though it had been rubbished by the psychology community. Perhaps the article was published because it actually promoted a widely held belief? To be honest I thought it was garbage to begin with and advised anyone with sense to completely ignore it. What really saddened me is how many Black women actually take this foolishness on board. I had a debate with a Black woman about this report and she agreed with its findings saying that she does find lighter skinned women more attractive than her. This was an intelligent and articulate woman and she was taken in by this. I base attractiveness on the arrangement and symmetry of facial features – skin tone has nothing to do with it.

Black women are known for our fuller lips, small waist to hip ratio (hourglass figure), big thighs and large bottoms. Unfortunately I am lacking in the ‘junk in my trunk’ department but I think that three out of four aint bad. If these features are so awful why are so many women of other races ruining their faces with lip filler, frequenting tanning beds, stocking up on fake tan and marvelling at JLO’s butt?

What is it about Black women that seem to terrify the mainstream media? I remember watching a piece on TV about ‘Hitch’ (rom-com featuring Will Smith). The movie executives ruled out a Black female lead for Will Smith as they feared it would alienate White audiences. Eva Mendes as a Latin American actress was considered a safer, more inclusive choice. What I want to know is it what is so ‘alienating’ about Black women? I suppose I should also put that question to almost every male hip hop artist, rnb singer and black sportsman. I just don’t understand why you almost never see a dark skinned Black woman in a music video (as the love interest) or on the arm of rich Black sportsman? I remember having to do a double take when I first saw Michelle Obama. I couldn’t believe that she was a Black woman! Something is very wrong when you are surprised that a man of colour is married to a Black woman. It is frustrating to think that Black men also believe the hype that somehow Black women have less appeal, status than other women. In the UK Black men are eight times more likely than any other race to date and marry interracially. In a study led by Tamas Bereczkei at University of Pecs (Hungary), his findings suggested that men are typically attracted to women who resemble their mothers. Why are Black men the exception to this rule in such huge numbers?

I am not against inter-racial relationships. That is not what this article is about. It is none of my business who people choose to love. I have a problem with the world seeing Black women as less than other women. Women are still seen as commodities where a beautiful White woman is considered the epitome of beauty and with dark skinned Black women at the very bottom. We live in a world where many Black men believe this hype and choose women who they believe will reflect or enhance their status. I have many friends of mixed parentage who felt that Black men were only interested in them because of their light skin tone. Conversely, I have friends who find themselves constantly snubbed by Black men because they are considered too dark. This breeds insecurity in Black women of every hue. It saddens me that this ‘self hate’ has created a booming trade in skin lightening creams. We still have a long way to go if some Black people think it is a good idea to put mercury on their skin in order to conform to a false and stupid notion of beauty.

‘So what does this have to with marriage?’ I hear you ask, everything is the answer. It is virtually impossible to find lasting love if you lack self esteem. Confidence has little to do with being a mouthy alpha male/female. However, it does give you a sense a self worth, an ability to believe you are deserving of love and gives you an idea of what real love looks like. I’m lucky, I come from a loving family, my dad believes that I am the best thing since sliced bread and my mother taught me to take crap from no one. What about other Black women who do not have that base? They are constantly undermined or ignored by society at large. In western society perhaps there is a pressure for Black men to prove their self worth via external means such as a fancy car, a high paying job and the right looking woman. Perhaps this pressure drives peoples’ choices. How can we hope as a community to be making the right romantic decisions if they are coming from a place of self doubt instead of self worth?

Please let me know your thoughts

Sudelicious

Who’s bride is it anyway?

Welcome

When deciding upon my first independent film, I thought it best to stick to a topic close to my heart. That left me with a decision to make my film either about food, shoes or men. At the time I had seen many articles on line stating that black women in the US and UK were the least likely to be married compared to other races. To add insult to injury many ‘reasons’ were given to explain this phenomenon, apparently we are too argumentative, too fussy, too materialistic, too overweight, too aggressive… I think you get the general gist. I even read another article claiming that an educated black woman of a certain age had more chance of being struck by lightning than getting married. Shoes and food no longer seemed that interesting.

These articles annoyed me on several levels. Firstly, it was the presumption that it’s every woman’s ultimate dream to be married as though it was some kind of prize or some badge of honour that we should all be aspiring to. That women are somehow passive spectators in the game of love waiting to be saved from spinsterhood. Being in a loving relationship is a wonderful thing but it does not define or validate who I am. Single girls are okay too and many have chosen to fly solo.

Secondly, I resent the implication that something is wrong with black women. I admit that as a black woman, I am slightly biased but I think that by and large we are awesome. If you were to read some of the material online you would think that we are anything but fabulous. Professional black women are shot down for having standards and wanting a man to have similar aspirations. Black women from lower socio-economic groups are caricatured as spandex wearing, overweight, promiscuous, gold digging baby mamas. The likes of Hilary Clinton or Kate Brady (UK female entrepreneur) can hold position of power without white women being labelled as a threat to white masculinity. Similarly, Kim Kardashian or Katie Price can have numerous sexual relationships without all white women being seen as sluts. If I hear one more man state that all black women are gold-diggers, I may tear out my weave. I doubt that white young women throw themselves at professional footballers because of their sensitivity, I am sure that it has more to do with their large pay packets. The question is why are black women given such a bad press and everyone else gets a free pass?

Thirdly, it really disappointed me that a lot of this cyber space bile was coming from black men. I know it’s not good to generalise but bear with me. I am sure that most of these men would happily state that they love their mothers dearly yet how come they have all this vitriol for women who most resemble their mothers?

At this point I know that many might think that I am anti-male raging feminist. I am not and have no desire to make film aiming to make all men look like misogynistic fools. That would be dull and untrue. However, it does seem that a lot of black men feel that they have the right to tell black women how to express their sexuality and that they should count themselves lucky if some dude wishes to make an honest woman out of her. That is just wrong on both counts.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Thanks

Sudelicious

P.S I am a feminist but I won’t be burning any bras.