The Art Of Stealth, Part 4: Pierce The Fog Of Dogma

Up to now, we’ve been discussing external actions needed to get ahead in a competitive world. For the next few chapters in this series, we’ll discuss some of the internal qualities needed to successfully walk the Sojourner’s Path.

The first internal quality needed is the willingness to pierce the fog of dogma. To be open to seeing things as they actually are, and how current reality impacts one’s own fortunes. Most African-Americans weigh people, situations and ideas on the wrong scale. We look at things solely through the lens of ideology. We’re not paying attention to the practical effects of our ideologies. We’re not paying any attention at all to the losses and gains we accrue from our various political beliefs. This had led to our collective ruin.

Let me give some examples.

CURRENT DOGMA—REFUSAL TO CHEERLEAD OBESITY = BEING AN EXCLUSIONARY OPPRESSOR

The current dogma among large numbers of African-American women is what has been called “fat acceptance,” and the cheerleading of obesity. It’s taboo among African-American women to: (1) refuse to cheerlead obesity, and (2) openly speak of the very real negative consequences of obesity. God help any African-American woman (of any weight range) who openly warns against obesity and urges overweight African-American women to lose weight.

REALITY—AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN ARE DYING LEFT AND RIGHT DUE TO OBESITY-RELATED AILMENTS

While I was at work last week, I came to a shocking realization. It turns out that for at least the past 5 years, every time that an ambulance has been called to my work building to assist an employee, the stricken employee has been an African-American woman. Every . . . single . . . time. The ambulance has been called for four Black women. Some of them have had the ambulance called more than once. None of them are elderly. All of them are suffering from various chronic ailments such as high blood pressure, and so on. All of them are overweight or obese. I don’t think this is a coincidence.

During a recent conversation, a reader asked,

Khadija, I’m reflecting on your ideas about Gabby and Semenya and the thought that the attention cast on them negatively impacts black women and undermines our beauty/femininity rep in mainstream culture. There are many black women who are LGBT identified, and many whose weight ranges from more than the size 2-6 beauty ideal, all the way to fat, as with white women in both cases. Is there a space for these black women in the Sojourner’s movement Khadija?

With the weight issue, I’ve heard variations on this question before at the previous blog. During this most recent conversation, I replied as follows,

Whoever said that there wasn’t space for “these women in the Sojourners movement”? Where is that thought coming from? Where have I—or anybody else—said that there wasn’t space for these women? I’m also wondering where you got those dress size ranges from. I know that I have never spoken in terms of specific dress sizes. Where’s that coming from?

Which leads me to my next question—What does “support” look like, as you see it?

Does “support” mean ratifying everything and anything about what people are doing?

Does “support” mean remaining silent about aspects of certain situations that are problematic?

I’m curious: What would you have me say or do (that I’m not already doing) to demonstrate “support” for GLBT women and/or women who, as YOU described them, “whose weight ranges from more than the size 2-6 beauty ideal”?

If you read the post from the previous blog [that I had linked to in an earlier comment] (and some other posts from there), you’ll see that I’ve spoken out against bigotry against GLBT people. What else would you have me say to demonstrate my “support” (as you define “support”)?

I eagerly look forward to your reply.

. . . I’m happy I asked for some clarification; I think I now have a better understanding of your questions. Here’s my response:

I don’t have a separate policy position regarding overweight AA women. I also don’t have a separate policy position regarding AA lesbians.

I want the same thing (abundant life) for all AA women and girls.

The idea of separating AA lesbians or overweight AA women out of my work never occurred to me. When I’m talking to or about AA women and girls, I’m referring to ALL of us.

Being overweight or morbidly obese like Ms. Sidibe is not healthy for any AA woman or girl. There are real life, real world negative consequences attached to overweight/obesity. I firmly believe that AA women need to stop tripping about this. I would suggest that folks who haven’t already done so, take the time to read Tracy’s excellent guest post over at Christelyn’s house. Here’s part of it:

“Since last Friday, three women that I know have passed on. No, I’m not use the nice words for this – three women – two good friends of my mother’s and one brilliant caring friend of mine – ARE DEAD. Way before their time. My friend – a nurse, a mother,and a comedian that could make a statue laugh – had a heart attack sitting in her car. She was on her way home from work. They found her the next morning. DEAD.

She was a big woman: she would always tell me that one day she was going to join me on my walks. Like me, she had diabetes and high blood pressure. Like me, she ignored the signs of trouble – failing eyesight, tiredness, aching limbs, headaches – put her cares in the “hands of Jesus”, and kept right on eating. Eating. She would get upset when you got on her about her food choices. Or about how her weight fluctuations were affecting her hormones – she was getting the rash on her neck and damn near growing a beard.. “Ain’t nobody’s business but mine”….. She was 43. She had two kids. She had a husband. Now her business is their business – they have to bury her, and go on without her.”

So, I doubt that I’ll ever give a “hip, hip, hooray” in support of anybody being morbidly obese. I have changed my views about several key things; and I expect to continue to have evolving views as long as I’m alive. However, I just don’t see my views about AA women and obesity changing. Certainly not in order to accommodate the current fat acceptance dogma.

Having an unfeminine or God forbid, butch, self-presentation is a disadvantage for any AA woman or girl—whatever her sexual orientation might be. There are real life, real world negative consequences attached to that. I firmly believe that AA women—all AA women—need to stop tripping about this. When a woman creates a butch self-presentation for herself, she cuts herself off from the benefits of being perceived as feminine. Defeminization by visually becoming un-women means that a woman won’t receive what has been described as the four main manifestations of male protection: courtesy, concern, consideration, and concessions.

Furthermore, a self-defeminizing, butch woman has also put a bullseye on her own back. I’m not talking about what’s right or fair. Life is not fair. I’m talking about how the real world actually operates, and will continue to operate for the foreseeable future. I hope this answers your questions. 🙂

Expect Success!

Let me make something plain . . .

I’m not going to cheerlead the things that are killing African-American women.

Cheerleading obesity and fat acceptance is cheerleading suffering and early death.

I’m not going to bite my tongue about the negative consequences of being overweight or obese. I would rather that African-American women be annoyed and alive. As opposed to complacent and dead.

CURRENT DOGMA—CHEERLEADING NON-MAINSTREAM BEHAVIOR IS ALWAYS PROGRESSIVE AND SUPPORTS LIBERATION

There’s a similar dogma among progressive African-American women concerning femininity. Many of us assume that cheerleading non-mainstream behavior and self-presentation is to automatically be in support of justice and freedom. I disagree.

REALITY—CHEERLEADING BUTCH SELF-PRESENTATION CHOICES IS CHEERLEADING UNNECESSARY HARDSHIP AND SUFFERING FOR THE WOMEN WHO PRESENT THEMSELVES AS BUTCH

Here’s what I believe: I believe that people don’t choose their sexual orientations. I don’t recall ever “choosing” to be heterosexual. I never decided or made a choice to take up an interest in having sex with men. So no, I don’t believe that anybody chooses their sexual orientation. However, the clothes you wear, and how you present yourself is a choice. A choice that has consequences, as I mentioned in my reply to the reader.

Let me mention some more food for thought. Has it occurred to any of us “wannabe supportive” straight women that some lesbians might consider this butch self-presentation a lesbian equivalent of “Acting Black” mess? I’ll call it “Acting Queer.” [Since “queer” is the term that many politicized gays and lesbians use for themselves.] I’ll note that some of the African-American lesbians I’ve known have complained about being criticized—by other lesbians—for being what I’ve heard gay men refer to as “straight-acting and appearing.” Has it occurred to anybody that for some lesbian and bisexual women, this stereotypical butch stuff might be a suffocating, internal straitjacket similar to the stereotypical “acting Black” mess? It seems to me that cheerleading butch self-presentations is not automatically the same as supporting liberation for lesbian and bisexual women.

One of the coworkers I mentioned earlier who has had an ambulance called for her at work is a lesbian. She has complained about the friction she’s had over the years with a number of butch lesbians about her lack of interest in dating butch-looking women. [Sounds a lot like the “self-hating” insult that’s tossed at any African-American who refuses to engage in or support the nonsense that has been falsely equated with being Black.] I have heard similar complaints from some of the other lesbians I’ve known. Granted, the lesbian and bisexual women that I’ve known well enough to have these sorts of conversations with have all been so-called “straight-acting and appearing.”

Again, let me make it plain.

I’m not going to cheerlead choices that create unnecessary hardship for African-American women. A butch self-presentation falls into that category.

Also, I’m not going to cheerlead butch women being lifted up as representative examples of African-American or Black womanhood. This is what I’ve previously said about the controversial runner Caster Semenya,

I believe that BW are making a HUGE long-term, strategic mistake by rallying around this individual with indignant tones of “How dare anybody question her gender?”

We’re saying this as if this person is an accurate representation of Black womanhood. Is THIS individual somebody that we want to scream about and lift up as “ain’t she a woman, darn it?”

I believe that by taking this posture, we are yet again undermining the image of BW as being desirable and feminine.

A woman can be cut and muscular and still have a feminine shape, as we’ve seen with many other female athletes. That’s not what’s going on here.

I’ve looked at the pictures of this individual’s physique. There’s NOTHING womanly about her. Including her moustache. I DON’T want this individual lifted up as any sort of example of Black womanhood. I’m NOT claiming this aberrant individual as an example of Black womanhood. “She” doesn’t have anything to do with me and other actual, normal women.

Again, I think it’s a huge mistake for us to run around claiming this person is a “normal” BW. By doing so, we are cooperating with the idea that we aren’t women just like other women on the planet.

I believe that she’s intersexed or has some other abnormality (genetic abnormality, something causing high testosterone levels, etc.).

And no, it’s not “fair and square” for intersexed individuals or others with abnormally high testosterone levels or other male attributes to compete against normal women with normal levels of male hormones, etc. This is exactly the same unfair advantage that the East Germans and Soviets sought for their “female” athletes in previous eras. The East Germans and Soviets were cheating then by doing this. It’s still cheating now to use genetic non-women against women competitors.

Intersexed individuals need to compete against the other athletes***meaning MEN***who have comparable levels of male hormones, and other male attributes, etc. That is what would be fair as far as I’m concerned.

I stand by that sentiment. African-American women can’t afford to cooperate with being “othered.” Whether it’s by only showcasing obese Black women. Or by lifting up butch Black women. Golden Ah, blog host of Betty Chambers Has Spoken, has written an excellent post about the current campaign to “other” Black women. I strongly urge everyone to read the post in its entirety. She said,

I’ll repeat myself: I might be willing to accept the alternative “other” images of us, once they let Ellen DeGeneres and Rachel Maddow on MSNBC be as unattractive and masculine as their original, keeping-it-real selves used to be. But if you notice, the first thing they went through was a total and complete makeover. They were made to conform to an ideal; an existing feminine and attractive package.

Ladies. All of these people out there enjoy “othering” you. DO NOT EMBRACE IT. Let those bitches go first.

It’s a disgusting and deadly thing these people like to do to black women. When you accept “othering”, MEN wont and do not regard you as feminine. They will not come and protect you. You leave yourself vulnerable. That’s why people like throwing “strong black woman” at us. No one feels we are entitled to respect, protection, to be provided for, or cherished like other women.

Nearly everywhere one looks, there’s an overweight, or obese black woman (who’s often loud) receiving mainstream media attention and accolades. Even if her career is going to last 5 minutes. Or maybe she’s the face of an extremely harsh and pungent detergent, feminine yeast problems, or other unattractive ailments, and even if she’s pleasant, the product is nice – there’s something off about her.

She’s absolutely right.

HAVING AN EMOTIONALLY CHARGED RELATIONSHIP WITH ASPECTS OF ONE’S IDENTITY IS UNHEALTHY AND USUALLY UNATTRACTIVE

Healthy people don’t have emotionally charged relationships with the various facets of their identity. They simply appreciate and when relevant, celebrate, their identities and go on with their lives. I want all of us to be relaxed and self-confident enough to enjoy all this world has to offer. Without unnecessary hindrances. Right now, most African-Americans can’t do this because we have emotionally charged relationships with various aspects of our identity.

Not only are these emotionally charged relationships with various aspects of our identity unhealthy, but they’re also typically unattractive and off-putting (for various reasons). Let me give some examples with various personal attributes.

ATTRIBUTE—OVERWEIGHT/OBESITY

Emotionally Healthy Person With This Attribute: Is making efforts (however small) to get to a healthy weight, is interested in hearing and sharing health tips.

Person With An Issue About This Attribute: Fat-acceptance proselytizing, (often angry) denial of consequences attached to overweight/obesity.

ATTRIBUTE— Black Woman With Natural Hairstyle

Emotionally Healthy Person With This Attribute: Is happy with her natural hairstyle, does not try to shove her hairstyle choice down other people’s throats.

Person With An Issue About This Attribute: Is a natural hair crusader, finds her identity in her hair, is defined by her natural hair, constantly berates other Black women for not wearing natural hairstyles.

ATTRIBUTE— Black Person With One Non-Black Parent

Emotionally Healthy Person With This Attribute: Content to self-identify as “Black,” is not frantic for other people to know that they’re half-non-Black; other people naturally find out about the non-Black parent (when they happen to meet them or see photos of them).

Person With An Issue About This Attribute: Desperate to make sure that everybody knows that they’re not Black like “regular” Blacks, frequently mentions their “biracial” status—even when it’s totally irrelevant to the conversation, typically holds many anti-Black racist views.

ATTRIBUTE— Lesbian Or Bisexual Woman

Emotionally Healthy Person With This Attribute: Is more or less indistinguishable from straight women, falls within the same basic range of feminine through feminine-tomboy mannerisms and personal styles as most straight women, her sexual orientation is one of many important aspects of her personal identity.

Person With An Issue About This Attribute: Is entirely defined by her sexual orientation, is acting out a stereotypical “Acting Queer” parallel to “Acting Black” stereotypes.

ATTRIBUTE— Western Muslim Man Wearing A Beard

Emotionally Healthy Person With This Attribute: Has a neatly clipped, short beard, is wearing typical Western clothes at work.

Person With An Issue About This Attribute: Has a ZZ Top-length beard, feels obligated to always wear Arab or South Asian clothes and headgear, his beard and his “eastern” clothes are his faith.

ATTRIBUTE— Western Muslim Woman Wearing Hijab

Emotionally Healthy Person With This Attribute: Wears a head scarf, is otherwise dressed in typical Western clothes.

Person With An Issue About This Attribute: Wearing a full veil with only her eyes showing, feels obligated to only wear Arab or South Asian clothes, her veil and her “eastern” clothes are her faith, wants special accommodations for her choice to wear this gear (does not want to remove veil/mask for driver’s license photo, and so on).

The “issue” versions of most attributes are unhealthy and almost always unappealing. They also don’t help people as they navigate the outer world. I want you to win as you go through life. Whether you choose to compete or not, you live in a competitive world. If you’re behind, other people are not going to slow down to give you a chance to catch up. They’re going to continue to seek every advantage they can get. To win, you have to be willing to pierce the fog of dogma and consider the practical effects of various choices.

If you want to win in life, you need to lay the dogma aside for a moment and ask yourself:

  • What is the practical effect of X?
  • If X is a liability, is X worth the price?

**Audience Note** In terms of publishing new posts, I’m going to pause here for a moment. I want everyone to let the four chapters published so far in this series marinate for a while.

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49 Responses to “The Art Of Stealth, Part 4: Pierce The Fog Of Dogma”

  1. Pat says:

    Hi Khadijah. I was turned on to your site by a friend. I have been trying to read all of your past posts. They are soooo informative and a great educational source for black women. I am going to start getting up early just to read your past posts because I am simply too busy to do this during the week. Also, I tried to purchase your book online and I had a problem doing so. I am going to try again because I am anxious to buy it and read it during my travels. Keep up the good work. You need to be on the talk show circuit although you would be too much of a threat because you stand for the uplift of black women in a world that devalues us…

  2. Bellydancer says:

    I have had diabetes for 13 years and 2 years ago my new doctor prescribed a medication for me that caused me to gain 30 pounds in less than 18 months but everytime I complained about the weight gain he would ignore my concerns and say well it is helping your diabetes or you don’t have edema but the gains I made in lowering my sugar levels were being lost by the side effect from the medication.
    Plus my A1c test numbers never lowered even though he kept upping the dosage of the medicine. Finally I went to the nurse and dietician. The nurse took down my meds and immediately knew what was happening the medication was causing a cycle to occur the more weight I gained the more insulin I needed so she lowered the dosage of the offending medicine and put me on a newer insulin and keeps in touch with me via email whenever I have problems.
    My doctor shrugged when I told him about the cycle the pill had put me through by saying oh maybe your appetitie increased. I told him no it was the pill and I wanted a lower dosage or I was just going to stop taking it. He wrote it but seemed to be put out about it. I think he was used to dealing with black women patients who are not proactive about their health and didn’t care about weight gain and when I challenged him about my body he was taken back. Plus the pharmaceutical companies are dictating to doctors what pills to prescribe and that is wrong.
    I eventually weaned my self off that pill because a similiar pill has been known to cause heart attacks so I am sure on my next visit we will have it out because I am not taking that pill anymore.
    Too many people have had so much weight gain from it that it defeats the purpose of taking it. A pharmacist told me that if you ate properly and exercised more you would be better off then taking that pill. So I work with the nurse more and the dietician now. Plus I bellydance.
    When I question other black women about their diabetes some don’t even seem concerned or they are scared of the insulin shots so they act like they don’t have diabetes like my mother’s friend who was on the pills but needed insulin shots she refused and kept eating crazy foods and finally her body broke and she was in the stress center and now has to take 5 insulin shots a day, now had she did what they told her 3 years ago she would have been on 1 shot a day. When I would ask her about her blood test she would say my doctor doesn’t tell me all that. I ask questions, I read magazines, books, I go on the internet, I ask other older diabetics, anything to stay current and aware.

    • tertiaryanna says:

      The nurse took down my meds and immediately knew what was happening the medication was causing a cycle to occur the more weight I gained the more insulin I needed.”

      I don’t want to go too far off topic, but you may want to report your doctor to the hospital, or your insurance agency. The relationship between insulin resistance and weight gain is common knowledge in the medical profession.

      I don’t know your situation or if you can see another doctor, but I’m concerned for you that instead of switching providers, you’re staying with one that has demonstrated bad judgement.

      Sometimes people that provide services don’t do a good job, and if possible, it’s better to replace them with a better choice than stay and disagree with them. Do not be intimidated because they are doctors.

      You may not have that choice to switch, but if you do, please remember it.

      • ZooPath says:

        Yeah, I don’t think that doc is a good fit for you. If you’re gaining weight *and* your A1c isn’t going down then that’s not a medication that’s working for you. Where’s the benefit? I also agree that your willingness to exercise will make all the difference in the world for your experience with diabetes. Some doctors get disillusioned dealing with patients with chronic problems that won’t make changes to help themselves and just start treating all patients like lost causes. That’s part of the reason why i didn’t go into clinical medicine, I think I could have easily ended up like that. You should try to find a different doctor.

      • Bellydancer says:

        tertiaryanna:
        When you are in certain healthcare networks you only see the doctor for brief periods of time. I cannot afford private healthcare so by switching doctors I have to start all over with a new doctor in the same network. All diabetics go through medicine changes at some point in the disease and my previous doctor was content to let me take the same medicines for 10 years even though some were no longer effective while this doctor tried something new that worked for awhile. There are new medicines created all the time for diabetes so I do have other medicine options. We did discuss those options and I feel that this medicine had almost 2 years to work and is no longer effective for me.

  3. Pat,

    Welcome aboard!

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

    Bellydancer,

    Lord have mercy. Well, thank God you’re proactive about your health. That episode is yet another example of how nobody’s going to actively look out for our health but us. Much of the medical establishment will passively watch their patients die. They’ll also passively watch their patients slowly kill themselves with apathy.

    **Attention, New Readers** Please read and pass on this post from last month about how cinnamon has been found to lower blood sugar levels in folks with diabetes.

    Expect Success!

  4. Pat says:

    This is a very smart, well written, analytical blog that makes you see things in a totally different way and I will pass on to as many blk women as possible!

  5. LaJane Galt says:

    This post succinctly- yet eloquently- explains my belief that we have to get to stability…BEFORE we go off on too many tangents.

  6. Hello Khadija,

    Thanks again for highlighting my blog post.

    I like how you’ve amplified the topic of embracing certain dogmas.

    I know a lot of us love our oppositional ways, which fits into that “fighting white patriarchy hegemony” stance. People have to realize a lot these positions are more about cutting off your own nose to spite your face.

    You’ve said it before, unless we have our own resources (Fortune 500 companies, agribusinesses, low crime cities that attract people, etc.) being the rebellious teen towards the people who feed, house, and clothe us is silly. Whether we like it or not, we have to fit in to win.

    I don’t have a problem with progressives, or some of their philosophies, but I notice that a lot of them love USING black women for their social experiments, while maintaining higher standards, which are conservative, for themselves. They’re willing to urge us on and will watch us circle the drain and it wont bother them a wit. (The debates over No Wedding No Womb really opened my eyes.)

  7. shocol says:

    I’m loving this series.

    I commented before on Gabby’s cover and I can’t seem to get it out of my mind. It’s just, “WOW!”. The insult dealt to BW with this cover is like being slapped with the broadside of a barn. It’s hard for me to believe that there is serious debate about how much of an insult it is.

    In addition to “fat acceptance”, I have to wonder if there is also a bit of political correctness happening. How many of those same women would aspire to have Gabby’s body or would trade bodies with her? Okay for their teenage daughters?

    Then there are those touting the “diversity” of black women’s images. I compare this to WW, who are cookie-cutter/assembly line/Stepford Wife-like in what gets shown as their ideal image. What AA BW call “diversity” in image, I call “lack of control”. When you really think about it, it’s really a crap-shoot as to what will show up in mainstream media as representing BW in America.

  8. DiosaNegra says:

    Greetings, Khadija! I surfed on over via CW’s site…(i’ve now bookmarked your blog)!

    I concur with your “emotionally charged relationships with the various facets of their identity…” post above (the various descriptions/aspects)…especially:

    The overweight/obesity attribute:

    My observation: There seems to be an ongoing debate between “good fatties” and “bad fatties”; apparently, it’s a CRIME of the highest order (in the size acceptance sphere) to be mindful of your eating, getting some exercise and taking care of your body…No, not everyone will be a size 0-2, but being the best you can be is NOT a crime…

    The sad thing is, with so much dialogue flying about (most of it in a negative light), it’s difficult for one to sort out the ACTUAL facts regarding weight vs. the insults and “concern trolls” during a valid discussion…without emotions being “jacked” or shouting/flame wars erupting.

    The lesbian/bisexual woman attribute:

    My observation: Where do I start? (LOL) As a bisexual woman who does the “feminine tomboy” thing…others in the “QC” have also attempted to “shame” (Ha!) me for not wanting to look “butch” or date “butch”-identified women…And, yes…Ellen and Rachel DID undergo “makeovers”…as did Melissa Etheridge! 😀

    And, I just can’t believe you invoked ZZ Top in the “ATTRIBUTE — Western Muslim Man Wearing A Beard” paragraph! 😀

    Thank you for your insight! It’s refreshing to have intelligent discussions amongst adult women….

    @ Bellydancer: I’m with Khadija…I’m so glad you’re proactive about your health…these days, it’s a matter of LIFE OR DEATH if you’re not!

    And, yes you should consider “reporting” your doctor to your Insurance provider… If they (your MD/Primary Care doc) don’t treat you with the respect you deserve, let your Insurance know and find another! Years ago, I injured myself while exercising (basically I was overzealous with the pectoral weight machine and caused an inflammation of the muscle tissue in my sternum and upper back…OUCH!)…and my doctor refused to believe that I was in pain AT ALL…and the basic analgesics did NOTHING. I found another doctor and with the help of light steroids/massage therapy/yoga/pilates….I’m recovering. I still have some back spasms and chest wall tenderness occasionally…but 90% better than before!

    I, too will “stay tuned” and pass this blog info on to other like-minded BW who have escaped “The Matrix”…

    Blessings….

    😀

  9. Karen R. says:

    The reality of AA women and obesity hit home for me last September when I lost my beloved older sister due to heart disease, obesity, stress, and overall self-neglect. For many women we have an emotionally charged relationship with food that is literally killing us. Do we eat to live or live to eat?

    On occasion I listen to an urban talk show in my area. This week, the host threw out the question “Would you date a man who has gone to jail?” Opinions were mixed. What I found interesting was the fact that several male callers called in with indigation toward the women who said they wouldn’t date a former convict. Their attitude was like “how dare you not extend another chance?”
    This is another form of dogma that goes unchecked in the AA community. People often mix their “right” to certain things with my obligation to extend _______. Fill in the blank with forgiveness, grace, or any other concept. I believe people have a right to be treatly fairly, etc. as a principle. In the radio show example a person’s right to be treated fairly does not translate into a woman being obligated to date, extend relational compassion etc. toward a felon. It’s almost as if the attitude is “How dare you have boundaries or standards?”

    People trot out “Judge not, lest ye be judged” as if we are to never make an evaluation of a person’s character lest we be called “judgemental.” This dogma of silence or of being non-judgemental has been deadly. Hope this makes sense.

    • kandika says:

      About a B/W dating a man who went to jail, and them not dating us: Its my opinion, but, it could be one of the reasons B/W are taking out the frustration by going into the refrigerator: I heard that sex, and food are linked–everyone is fatter today. Some of our mothers and grandmas were heavy, but not as many AND this young as we see today; there are many teenagers with Type II diabetes.

  10. Lorie says:

    Hello,

    The Fat Acceptance dogma is hard to face. I’ve lost a little weight (size 14 to 8, sometimes 10, I’m still not thin). I know to ignore the women who tell me that my face looks gaunt now or I’m losing my shape, blah, blah… But, I don’t think the wonderful AA high school student I’ve mentored for 3+ yrs knows this. I’m proud to share that she’s is now a freshman at well respected private university in upstate NY, on full scholarship, and is the 1st in her family to attend college. Despite her successes, I made a mistake in not addressing her obesity. I was not afraid to push her to achieve the best results academically, socially and I’ve even discouraged her from “talking black” but for some reason I’m uncomfortable with upsetting her over her weight. Perhaps it isn’t too late. She will return for Thanksgiving. I just hope I am able to find the right time and the right words… Thanks again, Khadija, for reminding me of this. I wish I hadn’t waited until after college to loose some weight. I was in denial and people (BP) supported my denial by saying “you’re just thick.” Similar to Tracy’s story, the weight loss has had an unbelievable effect on my quality of life now that I am in my mid-twenties. College is a place for academics but also for building relationships and social skills. Obesity/excess weight is a social obstacle. We know it is even more of an obstacle for black women. (regardless of the lip service paid to the contrary…) I hope she doesn’t miss out by “othering” herself on campus.

    • politicsgurl says:

      Ditto/co-sign/repeat… I too wish that I hadn’t waited until after college to lose serious weight (and I wish I hadn’t gained the “freshmen 15” in the first place). I realized only after, especially since I’ve been reading this blog and its previous incarnation, that I essentially did the work of “otherizing” myself by carrying around excess weight and not taking the time to properly present my feminine self during college. Sigh and SMH. I can say that my mother did warn me about my weight (that wise woman). But yes, I too have experienced and increased quality of life since shedding the unnecessary weight. I would encourage you, Lorie, to share with your mentee about the benefits of maintaining a healthy size and good appearance during college. Let her know that this is a prime time of getting to know lots of (hopefully) quality men who may or may not be husband material. The other women groups recognize this…

  11. Joyousnerd says:

    Khadija, I never realized it before, but you are 100% correct about the Acting Butch/Acting Black phenomenon. My goodness. That’s why I read this blog, you bring something to the table that I don’t get elsewhere.

    This Fat Acceptance stuff has simply got to go. I got into a bit of an argument with a poster on another board about this issue. Just because being fat doesn’t make you some awful hideous beast doesn’t mean you should remain at that elevated weight! I don’t understand why some BW cling to this sacred cow so much! Yes, you can still “get a man” (but then if you moan about how you can’t find one, nobody better DARE say lose weight! lol) Yes you can still travel and learn and be happy. But you’ll die sooner! It’s not a good thing, no matter how you slice it.

    I’m so glad to have lost a good deal of weight this year and I am continuing to struggle against emotional eating and to retain the healthy habits that have brought me this far.

  12. LaJaneGalt,

    You said, …we have to get to stability…BEFORE we go off on too many tangents.”

    ITA!
    ______________________________________________

    Hello there, Betty Chambers/GoldenAh!

    You’re welcome, and thank YOU for writing that outstanding essay. You perfectly expressed some thoughts that I couldn’t quite put my finger on or articulate. Especially about the makeover that Ellen DeGeneres and Rachel Maddow were required to undergo. White folks won’t play crazy with the overall image of WW. Whites implicitly understand what the real stakes are regarding these images. And I’ll note that these 2 masculine-looking lesbian WW ACCEPTED the makeover!

    You said, “I know a lot of us love our oppositional ways, which fits into that “fighting white patriarchy hegemony” stance. People have to realize a lot these positions are more about cutting off your own nose to spite your face.

    You’ve said it before, unless we have our own resources (Fortune 500 companies, agribusinesses, low crime cities that attract people, etc.) being the rebellious teen towards the people who feed, house, and clothe us is silly. Whether we like it or not, we have to fit in to win.”

    Oh yeah, AAs really need to drop that teenage oppositional-defiant disorder knee-jerk reaction.
    _______________________________________

    Shocol,

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

    You said, “I commented before on Gabby’s cover and I can’t seem to get it out of my mind. It’s just, “WOW!”. The insult dealt to BW with this cover is like being slapped with the broadside of a barn. It’s hard for me to believe that there is serious debate about how much of an insult it is.”

    Unfortunately, AAs have gotten into the mental habit of affirming anything and everything that involves us. The default position is to affirm the Black face, without first scrutinizing what the Black face is doing and what price tags are attached to these actions.

    You said, “In addition to “fat acceptance”, I have to wonder if there is also a bit of political correctness happening. How many of those same women would aspire to have Gabby’s body or would trade bodies with her? Okay for their teenage daughters?”

    Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if there all sorts of yucky and mixed motives involved in all this affirmation of Ms. Sidibe. Some of the affirmation/cheerleading for her I hear has an undercurrent of “frenemy” vibes.

    You said, “What AA BW call “diversity” in image, I call “lack of control”.”

    I 100% cosign!
    ___________________________________________________

    DiosaNegra,

    Welcome aboard! 🙂 Thank you for your kind words about the conversation; I truly appreciate it.

    You said, “My observation: There seems to be an ongoing debate between “good fatties” and “bad fatties”; apparently, it’s a CRIME of the highest order (in the size acceptance sphere) to be mindful of your eating, getting some exercise and taking care of your body…No, not everyone will be a size 0-2, but being the best you can be is NOT a crime…”

    ITA. Any statement other than uncritical affirmation of overweight/obesity will bring torrents of condemnation on the speaker’s head. In a context where BW are dropping like flies from obesity-related ailments, this is utterly insane. I’ve never heard anybody—myself included—say that it was easy to get oneself back in order. [If folks want to read some sho-nuff complaining, venting and whining about nutrition regimens and exercise—then read my posts at the previous blog about my experiences while doing the P90X program. They’re filed under the “Wildest Dreams Check-In” tags, if I remember correctly.]

    There’s often blood, sweat, and tears involved in the process. This is because modern US culture/work schedules/food distribution systems are NOT set up to easily accomodate eating healthy/healthier and getting regular exercise. I won’t even start talking about the “food deserts” that exist in most Black residential areas, or how expensive fresh, non-chemicalized food is, or the difficulties of finding local farmer’s markets, etc., etc.

    You said, “My observation: Where do I start? (LOL) As a bisexual woman who does the “feminine tomboy” thing…others in the “QC” have also attempted to “shame” (Ha!) me for not wanting to look “butch” or date “butch”-identified women…”

    I’ve heard similar tales from other bisexual/lesbian women. {shaking my head}

    You said, “And, yes…Ellen and Rachel DID undergo “makeovers”…as did Melissa Etheridge!”

    Indeed; and I haven’t heard a single peep of complaints from any of them about it!

    You said, “And, I just can’t believe you invoked ZZ Top in the “ATTRIBUTE — Western Muslim Man Wearing A Beard” paragraph!”

    Guurl, doesn’t ZZ Top look craaay-zeee?! I deliberately picked a WM, NON-Muslim example of how off-putting that particular “look” is (especially in the context of somebody who chooses to live in the West). I didn’t want folks to be able to accuse me of picking on my fellow Muslims.
    __________________________________________________

    KarenR.,

    I’m so sorry for your loss. May your sister have a place of distinction in Paradise. Ameen. [“Amen.”] {long sigh}

    You said, “This is another form of dogma that goes unchecked in the AA community. People often mix their “right” to certain things with my obligation to extend _______. Fill in the blank with forgiveness, grace, or any other concept. I believe people have a right to be treatly fairly, etc. as a principle. In the radio show example a person’s right to be treated fairly does not translate into a woman being obligated to date, extend relational compassion etc. toward a felon. It’s almost as if the attitude is “How dare you have boundaries or standards?”

    People trot out “Judge not, lest ye be judged” as if we are to never make an evaluation of a person’s character lest we be called “judgemental.” This dogma of silence or of being non-judgemental has been deadly. Hope this makes sense.”

    You made perfect sense. This dogma IS deadly; and the fatalities are mounting.
    _______________________________________________

    Hello there, Lorie!

    You said, “Despite her successes, I made a mistake in not addressing her obesity. I was not afraid to push her to achieve the best results academically, socially and I’ve even discouraged her from “talking black” but for some reason I’m uncomfortable with upsetting her over her weight.”

    Why wouldn’t you (or anybody else) be uncomfortable dealing with that subject? It’s taboo among us to speak the truth about it, and you’ll get your head handed to you if you deviate from the “you must affirm obesity” dogma.

    You said, “I wish I hadn’t waited until after college to loose some weight.”

    Better late than never. And best of all to be alive and healthy enough to do anything about anything.
    _____________________________________________

    JoyousNerd,

    You said, “Khadija, I never realized it before, but you are 100% correct about the Acting Butch/Acting Black phenomenon. My goodness.”

    Well, when I first learned that some gays and lesbians were lifting up the term “queer”, I kind of suspected that their leadership had taken a wrong turn similar to the wrong turn AA (mis)leadership has taken. Some slurs, like the n-word CAN’T be “reclaimed” as something healthy and self-affirming. It’s not for me to say because I’m a straight outsider, but I doubt that the word “queer” can ever be so-called reclaimed into something healthy and self-respecting for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. [It’s not for me to say, but I’m saying it anyway! LOL!]

    The other unspoken angle that I’ve caught from listening to the lesbian/bisexual women I’ve known is that this butch-identity mess sounds to me in some ways similar to the controversy I’ve read about among the deaf community. To quickly summarize it: It seems that certain heavily politicized members of the deaf community disapprove of lip-reading, and medical procedures that can alleviate deafness. Because they know that as greater numbers of hearing-impaired people are able to fully and easily function in the hearing world, then the cultural “tribe” that they’ve created around deafness will shrink and eventually disappear.

    All of these situations remind me of some AA poverty-pimp politicians. These politicians want to maintain AAs in poverty and a ghetto as a captive audience of voters.

    It seems to me that in the GLBT and deaf contexts, the politicized Folks With Issues About Their Attribute have created a similar insular, cultural “ghetto” for themselves. Now, I understand that these “ghettos” were originally necessary because of the oppression and mistreatment that folks faced from the outer world. However, if you have to maintain an “iron wall” ghetto around your “tribe” in order to keep tribe members fellowshipping with each other, then it’s not a healthy “tribe.”

    Also, it would seem to me that if you truly wished well for your fellow tribe members, then you would want them to be able to easily enjoy the benefits of the outer world.

    Expect Success!

  13. IRockIRoll says:

    The Health at any Size movement is deadly to most black women. DEADLY. I’ve been on other blogs to find out what this was about, and I’ve heard praises (and claims of health) from women who didn’t realize that the only reason that they weren’t sick yet was because they were below age 30. I DID NOT see 50+ obese women talking about how healthy they were. That was a tip off for me right there. Wasn’t this started up by white women who were UPSET about not being seen as the top prize in men’s eyes due to weight gain? Basically, that they were losing favor?

    I’ve heard a lot of differing “reasons” as to “why” this has blown up (pardon the pun), but most women end up talking about dating options and men. These women ALREADY have the protections of a functional community. They’re fighting to not be ghettoized in terms of representation LIKE BLACK WOMEN ALREADY ARE. So, if we as black women can’t control our image in this country, why are we joining the fight with white women so that larger women can be more accepted? We don’t have their protections, and so we should be looking at our own options. Shouldn’t our issue be on why so many black women jumped in size in the past two decades? The disintegration of families? The unsafe neighborhoods (which nobody wants to admit is why some grocery stores won’t move to those neighborhoods)?* The lack of manners and the celebration of coarseness in mainstream AA culture? We simply don’t have the social currency to known as the only universally large women in this country. And to be honest, the thinner white women I know who support this movement are really only doing so to lessen the competition (while they’re still thin), and create a space for themselves, just in case later on they gain weight (this would happen after said man is found and married, children produced).

    The expansion of what includes “thick” has gone crazy. CRAZZZZZY. Thick, used to include muscle tone and proportions. Now it just means… … … whatever won’t hurt someone’s feelings. I’ve seen women in their 40’s have back problems, huffing up flights of stairs (as in being seriously out of breath after two), struggling to fit into public transportation seats, and shrug it off. Like it is no big thing. I’m starting to see larger numbers of TEENAGERS have these same issues. I don’t think these women should be shamed because of their weight. But I don’t like the fact that if they want to face these health issues, and the underlying causes, there’s now a whole slew of internet peanut gallery members that egg them on to make bad choices that are detrimental to their lives. Being obese taxes your organs, your joints, your circulatory system. And if you can’t get outside and do what you want to do, it diminishes your quality of life.

    No one has to jump off the deep end to get more active. Water aerobics are a really good start if you are seriously concerned. Those classes tend to be very supportive if someone is conscientious about going to a gym in the beginning. Or walking. Stretching. Making three meals a week a salad to start off. Incorporating a piece of fresh fruit instead of a vending machine snack.

    White folks did NOT allow Rosie O’Donnell to be a conventionally attractive representative of white women. Why are we allowing Gabby to hold that role for us? I’m not talking about their talent, I’m talking about the difference for revering Farrah Fawcett to Rosie, and Nia Long to Gabby. When are we gonna break out the noise makers for Nia? Regina King? Meagan Good?

    • Nathalie says:

      I echo so many of your thoughts on this IRockIRoll. I’ve been rabidly attacked and silenced by white fat acceptanceoids for suggesting that black women need to include addressing obesity and healthy weight reduction as part of reclaiming our health and our lives and that Gabby’s weight is not healthy. I also got the impression that the movement was in part about creating a space for fat white women to find acceptance and protection, rationalize being overweight as healthy and defend themselves against the rabid, venomous hate and disrespect that the mainstream throws on fat (white) women. What’s ironic is that the black community originated the concepts of fat acceptance and healthy at any size as social-cultural norms; we just didn’t formalize it into a movement/gang and try to get members of the medical establishment to cosign.

    • kandika says:

      I may be wrong, I think the reason they have Gabby on the cover instead of Zoe Saldana, etc. is because W/M are starting to go out with us, marry us, even wouldn’t mind us being the ‘soccer mom’ with stay-at-home, status. I’m starting to see dark black women with white men EVERYWHERE and the guys don’t look like slouches either. If a B/W is willing to act with ‘class’ not use foul language like so many on TV do, there is no reason any good man would NOT be willing to go out with us

  14. Truth P. says:

    Khadija as with anything I think the person who gives the message is alot of times almost as important as the message in itself.

    In regards to fat acceptance I recall being at a site a long while back,maybe 2 years ago, where a thin black woman was hating on obese black women.I say hating because that’s what it was there were many obscenities used and the thin black woman allowed black men who hate black women to join in.I had no energy to respond to anything that was said so I logged off.One of the big problems I had other than the fact that they were down right mean and not supportive of the obese women they were hating on is the fact that the thin woman kept suggesting that the reason why those obese black women have such bad relationships or none at all is because of weight and if they just drop the weight they’d be able to get a good black man etc.
    Meanwhile this thin black woman was having a hell of a time in getting herself a GBM and also I noticed that she had nothing that big black women can’t or don’t have.The thin black woman was a single mother dealing with a bunch of bm losers and their baby momma’s.She had been disrespected degraded and abused by black men herself,this is all according to her btw.She also worked like a mule and bragged on her children not recieving child support.

    I think it is important for us as black women to just do what we got to do without regard to who gives the message.Take care of our health just to be healthy because many of the people who are giving us advice about things are not well themselves.
    I like coming to BWE sites though because I actually SEE black women giving life saving information that they actually live by and have had success with.We don’t have to accept dysfunctional things as black woman.We can speak on the need for black women to
    develop better financial,dating,mating,eating habits etc. and all the while love black women at the same time and that’s what is done here. I recently attended a program where there was a guest speaker from a financial firm geared to helping people learn better ways to save,invest money etc.I like that they discussed the mistakes we make with money but taught us how to turn it around.

    I am at the point where even if our haters have a good point about some negative behaviors of the black woman collective majority I am still not going to acknowledge it with them or converse with them about it.I’m just not.If you got weight issues join a weight SUPPORT group not a hate group.That’s healthy.If you find you lack ethnic respect you learn about your history and try to better yourself you don’t become an honorary memeber of the KKK.

  15. KM says:

    I’m just dropping in (RL has been crazy and I’ve had to apply some of the lessons I’ve learned here and on other BWE blogs. Honest to goodness, I look at what I’ve learned and I’m just SO THANKFUL that I discovered BWE because the traps that are set are REAL.)

    Anyway, I’m overweight, borderline obese. I’ve been extremely obese. At the age of 23, I was 300 lbs, joints creaking, aches, heart palpitations. When I turned 24, I decided to lose the weight and I’ve lost 70 lbs, bounced up by 15, bounced down 10 more, I want to lose 70 more. And as soon as I started losing, the mere threat of me losing weight was enough to jerk the Obese BW enablers into motion.

    Fat-Acceptance dogma leaders, the wannabe BW “I’m a big beautiful DIIIVAAAHH” types, they all want to keep as many BW as possible as fat/overweight/obese that they can. It’s a payoff for fat/overweight/obese non-BW in that they know that there is always a BM there who’ll want them because the Big and Beautiful rhetoric puts WW, then other non-BW on the top. Before a BW comes in here and tries to deny, it’s real. We all know that’s real.

    I don’t really want to get into all of that here to be honest because I could go on for a full-length post. But Khadija, you posted at the end:

    If you want to win in life, you need to lay the dogma aside for a moment and ask yourself:

    * What is the practical effect of X?
    * If X is a liability, is X worth the price?

    BW need to figure out what the potential X in their life is and truly weigh it with the blinders off. X for me was my excess weight. It’s practical effect was that it was aging me before my time and ruining my body. It was a liability and totally not worth the price. By lowering X, I improved the quality of my life tremendously while becoming more and more emotionally healthy. And I know for other BW who struggle with being overweight/obese, this may be true.

    As we work towards true freedom and liberation, we have to drop ALL baggage, including weight, ladies.

  16. foreverloyal says:

    Deaf people have already lost the fight.

    IIRC, most deaf people are born to hearing parents, and deaf culture has been transmitted primarily through deaf schools, some of which are residential.

    Most hearing parents will not choose to forgo cochlear implant technology for their children for the sake of preserving deaf culture.

    And since, unlike black people or gay people, the group they would need to convince is not a part of them, deaf people have no chance. IMO.

    It occurs to me now, though, that the percentage of deaf people who are poor will go up, as I would imagine they would be less able to afford the technology and care required.

  17. I Rock I Roll,

    You said, “The Health at any Size movement is deadly to most black women. DEADLY.”

    Thankfully, I hadn’t heard of this madness. To put it simply, one CAN’T be “healthy at any size” because not every size is healthy. Some sizes are non-optimal. Some sizes are life-hindering. Some sizes are life-crippling. Some other sizes are life-threatening. I’m amazed that the layers of Fantasy Island/Inception that so many AA women are weaving around the issue of weight. Which brings me to a point that I might or might not write about:

    Why is it so hard for so many grown-a** AA women to admit at least to ourselves when we’re mistaken/wrong/out of order/inappropriate/not together?

    Why is my refusal to cheerlead obesity automatically interpreted as excluding overweight/obese AA women from the Sojourner’s Path?

    Why is me stating my beliefs automatically interpreted as “castigating”?* If I believe that a certain political position was disastrous, that doesn’t equate to me believing that the people who hold that position are bad, evil, or anything else negative. Some of them are simply mistaken. The same way I was mistaken for many years about: the current nature of the AA collective, Black Nationalism, and several other key topics. In the past, I loudly advocated (which is my way, I’m not shy about voicing my views—LOL!) several positions that I now believe were HUGE MISTAKES. Bottom line: A difference of opinion doesn’t automatically mean condemnation of the person who holds a different opinion.

    Anyhoo, all of this reminds me of something that a former supervisor (a sister who is one the very best trial lawyers I’ve ever had the privilege to watch) explained to me when I was a new attorney: During cross-examination, it’s important to keep in mind that there are lots of potential reasons why any particular witness might be saying something that’s not accurate. Not everybody who testifies in an inaccurate manner is a lying, sack-o-sh*t. Some people are honestly mistaken. So, it’s not helpful to interpret everything said that one doesn’t like at a hostile gesture. T’ain’t necessarily so. Sometimes people are simply saying what they honestly believe.

    [*Now, there are some specific behavior patterns (guard dogging for non-AA others) and individuals (like the BF immigrant hypocrite blogger shrieking against divestment after she had divested from her own Black country) that I do condemn/”castigate.”

    Not only are these 2 situations destructive, but the motives are ill-intentioned. With the guard dogging behavior, I don’t appreciate having my ethnic group de-prioritized. I don’t react favorably to being devalued, and at its core that’s what guard dogging is all about—putting non-AA others’ interests over core AA interests. In terms of the BF immigrant hypocrite blogger, to me she’s in the same category as the Immigrant Muslim Merchants of Death. The “Muslim” Arab liquor store owners who loudly proclaim that it’s religiously okay for them to peddle crack pipes, marijuana cigarette rolling papers, and other deadly poisons to AAs. Meanwhile, their rules for what’s appropriate for theselves are something totally else.]

    You said, “The unsafe neighborhoods (which nobody wants to admit is why some grocery stores won’t move to those neighborhoods)?*”

    Yes, it’s all connected. AAs have done our part to create the “food deserts” and the other service deserts that exist in Black residential areas by robbing and running decent businesses OUT of the area.

    You said, “The expansion of what includes “thick” has gone crazy. CRAZZZZZY. Thick, used to include muscle tone and proportions. Now it just means… … … whatever won’t hurt someone’s feelings. I’ve seen women in their 40’s have back problems, huffing up flights of stairs (as in being seriously out of breath after two), struggling to fit into public transportation seats, and shrug it off. Like it is no big thing. I’m starting to see larger numbers of TEENAGERS have these same issues.”

    That’s frightening. What people don’t seem to comprehend is that there are already more than enough peculiar things that often start happening as you age. You DON’T want to heap extra, totally unnecessary ailments on top of the things that will start coming at you in middle age. [In my case, middle-aged acne. The acne that I had as a teen has been trying hard to make its inglorious comeback. And escalating seasonal allergy symptoms. Nobody had told me that sometimes allergies get worse at you get older until after I started asking around. I’ve been researching a variety of natural remedies to deal with this. I’ve found that using a neti pot to rinse out my sinuses on congested mornings helps a lot.]

    I’ll be blunt: If you start off as an obese teen or young woman, you will be almost certain to have major, life-THREATENING ailments by the time you hit your early 30s!

    You said, “No one has to jump off the deep end to get more active. Water aerobics are a really good start if you are seriously concerned. Those classes tend to be very supportive if someone is conscientious about going to a gym in the beginning. Or walking. Stretching. Making three meals a week a salad to start off. Incorporating a piece of fresh fruit instead of a vending machine snack.”

    Exactly!

    You said, “White folks did NOT allow Rosie O’Donnell to be a conventionally attractive representative of white women. Why are we allowing Gabby to hold that role for us? I’m not talking about their talent, I’m talking about the difference for revering Farrah Fawcett to Rosie, and Nia Long to Gabby. When are we gonna break out the noise makers for Nia? Regina King? Meagan Good?”

    I don’t know about the masses of AA women, but I only support those AA women public figures who represent us with their A-game in self-presentation. I only cheerlead the women like Nia Long who keep their outward self-presentation on point in public. Gabby does NOT represent me, and I don’t support her being lifted up so she can continue to be used as a weapon to damage our collective image.
    ______________________________________

    TruthP.,

    You said, “I think it is important for us as black women to just do what we got to do without regard to who gives the message….I am at the point where even if our haters have a good point about some negative behaviors of the black woman collective majority I am still not going to acknowledge it with them or converse with them about it.I’m just not.If you got weight issues join a weight SUPPORT group not a hate group.That’s healthy.If you find you lack ethnic respect you learn about your history and try to better yourself you don’t become an honorary memeber of the KKK.”

    I agree. The point is to take the useful, life-enhancing information (wherever it came from) and use it to win in life. Not to converse with haters (which one shouldn’t be doing anyway).
    ____________________________________________________

    KM,

    {deep martial arts bow in salute of your progress with your goals}

    You said, “BW need to figure out what the potential X in their life is and truly weigh it with the blinders off. X for me was my excess weight. It’s practical effect was that it was aging me before my time and ruining my body. It was a liability and totally not worth the price. By lowering X, I improved the quality of my life tremendously while becoming more and more emotionally healthy. And I know for other BW who struggle with being overweight/obese, this may be true.

    As we work towards true freedom and liberation, we have to drop ALL baggage, including weight, ladies.”

    ITA.
    _______________________________________________

    ForeverLoyal,

    You said, “Deaf people have already lost the fight.”

    Well, I don’t want to unfairly generalize and refer to that “we want them to stay deaf” camp as consisting of “deaf people.” In each group with various attributes, there are:

    1-Regular People Who Are X [With “X” = Muslim, half-non-Black, gay/lesbian, etc.] And then there are

    2-Crazy People Who Are X/People With A Heavy-Duty Issue About Being X.

    It seemed to me that the “we want them to remain hearing-impaired” camp was composed of Crazy People Who Are Deaf/People With A Heavy-Duty Issue About Being Deaf, and not regular deaf/hearing-impaired folks.

    You said, “It occurs to me now, though, that the percentage of deaf people who are poor will go up, as I would imagine they would be less able to afford the technology and care required.”

    Yes, and this is truly unfortunate. And it didn’t have to play out this way for them. Unfortunately, the Crazy People Who Are Deaf/People With A Heavy-Duty Issue About Being Deaf painted themselves into a tight corner by rejecting and condemning the things (lip-reading skills, cochlear implant technology) that make it increasingly possible for other hearing-impaired people to function in the outer world. These Deaf Culture Extremists are going to be left further and further behind as time goes on. {sigh}

    Expect Success!

  18. nominaleffect says:

    New reader here.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard my nieces aand their friends in their teens and their twenties shrug off thei obesity with the phrase, “I can get a man, so it don’t matter”.

    But I have to tell you, the men they get are losers and users to the max. And none of them stick around for long, these shiftless men seem to rotate in and out of my neices’ lives.

    So, yeah, they can “get a man” at 220 lbs., but what kind of man are these girls getting? That’s what I have to ask.

  19. SweetSoulSister says:

    “I don’t know about the masses of AA women, but I only support those AA women public figures who represent us with their A-game in self-presentation. I only cheerlead the women like Nia Long who keep their outward self-presentation on point in public. Gabby does NOT represent me, and I don’t support her being lifted up so she can continue to be used as a weapon to damage our collective image”

    I agree with this wholeheartedly. I cheerlead women like Tonya Lee Williams, Kent Masters King and Lark Voorhies as perfect examples of feminine black womanhood and I have modeled myself after these women for years. I am the same age as Kent and Lark so, they were always public role models for me. These three women barely get any work or recognition in Hollywood because they utterly annihilate the Gabby Sidibe/Hattie McDaniel fantasy delusions of WW. I will never cheerlead the Sidibe’s of the world because I find it counterproductive, wrong-headed and flat out suicidal. I will always cheerlead those who represent black womanhood with “flawlessness”. I’ve always done this and been lambasted for it. I’m so glad you are taking this issue on, Khadija. This entire series was spectacular. Thanks so much for all of your efforts. I wish I could participate in the conversation more often but, you always nail everything so, I see no need to take up comment space with “co-sign” posts. 🙂

    • ak says:

      SweetSoulSister:

      I cheerlead women like Tonya Lee Williams, Kent Masters King and Lark Voorhies as perfect examples of feminine black womanhood and I have modeled myself after these women for years. I am the same age as Kent and Lark so, they were always public role models for me. These three women barely get any work or recognition in Hollywood because they utterly annihilate the Gabby Sidibe/Hattie McDaniel fantasy delusions of WW. I will never cheerlead the Sidibe’s of the world because I find it counterproductive, wrong-headed and flat out suicidal. I will always cheerlead those who represent black womanhood with “flawlessness”.

      I agree. I don’t hold up Gabby Sidibe or Caster Semenya as the representatives for black women either. People may hate me for saying this but I prefer to hold up the examples of black women such as the ones you’d see in Vogue, or just some black woman who has their weight in check and always looks classy in public. In my mind I’d refer to Kerry Washington, Gabrielle Union, and yeah even Zoe Saldana. And choice of husband in Mike Tyson {shudder} notwithstanding, also Robin Givens. Back when I was kid and before the unfortunate crack usage, I used to love seeing Whitney Houston on TV and in the magazines when she was the queen of crossover R & B/pop.

      I know that this is wrong and UN-flawless but there’ll always be a place in my heart for Naomi Campbell LOL, and yes I know she is crazy but I love it, there’s a place in there for Grace Jones also! LOL

  20. Nominaleffect,

    Welcome aboard! 🙂

    You said, “So, yeah, they can “get a man” at 220 lbs., but what kind of man are these girls getting? That’s what I have to ask.”

    Well, Tracy (who wrote one of the posts I linked to in the essay) broke it down during her comments to “The Art of Being Feminine” post. She said,

    K, You said:

    ”Second, the underlying reason why AA men don’t mind sexing overweight AA women is because these men know that being overweight LIMITS a woman’s choices in men! Being overweight or obese is a trap for women that keeps them settling for scraps and less than nothing from men.” [Tracy is quoting one of my comments here.]

    Sadly, that is one of the biggest hurdles that BW who really want to get out of the muck and into a real, quality relationship will have to face.

    For years the rhetoric has been “Oh, BW are supposed to be thick” “Nobody likes bones but a dog” “Some men like meat on them bones” etc. Um HMMM….yes and some men – oh say DBR BM – like a woman that doesn’t have any options. But still we continue to glorify obesity in bw like it is an entitlement, and not the albatross it is.

    It’s been a year since I have dropped the poundage – NEVER have I felt so womanly, so desirable. And NEVER have I been treated so well (Folks falling all over, eye contact, grinning all UP in a sistah’s face). The confidence that you feel and project is real and soooo much easier than having to jump around, jig and pretend that you are all that (IE : Gabby).

    Now that spring is here, everyday I see young girls whose bodies belie their ages in too tight tops and jeans, no girdles, no bras that have the correct support – just walking around like it is the cutest thing. I want to ask them “What decent man is going to want that?”

    I blame ourselves for taking in all of the “rotten food” that the media has fed us over time. By not questioning why most of our popular images are overweight bw (Thea, Monique, Oprah, Gabby, House of Pain,that chick from the Pine Sol commercials, etc) and why other talented but thinner actresses are shunted to the background (Yes, Halle blah blah, but she had to do penance with Billy Bob to get that Oscar), bw and the poplace in general have equated fat with BW. Look at commercials with “everyday” folks – the bw is almost always larger than everyone else.

    I am in no way saying that you can’t be a lady and be overweight…but I am saying that your playing field, playing hand, yahtzee board, whatever, will be much better. It is a hard walk, being healthy, but it is a good walk. Better body image, sharper mind, more energy…You get what you project..

    BW also have to remember who the forces are that are counting on you to just lie down and stay “big and proud!”. God forbid, bw start looking good and acting like ladies and just blossoming….that’s called COMPETITION

    Forgive me for rambling, I’m just passionate about bw leveling the playing field, especially when trying to find a suitable mate.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    And after re-reading Tracy’s insightful comment from that post, let me repeat something I said during that conversation that applies to this one:

    This builds on what we’ve discussed during several previous posts. BM NEVER let any sort of ideology slow them down from getting their personal needs met. If that means BM dating and marrying WW while they talk “Black love,” “Black liberation,” and “Black unity,” so be it.

    And no matter what BM involve themselves in (political activism or whatever), BM USE whatever activity as a vehicle for getting their personal needs met.

    Meanwhile, BW worry about being faithful to ideology—to their own detriment. Any AA women who wants to survive and thrive must NOT do this! Any AA woman who wants to survive and thrive must learn to be as “flexible” with ideology as BM!

    About The Art of Being Feminine blog:

    Yes, I find several of that blog author’s views to be quite distasteful.

    However, AA women DON’T have the luxury of focusing on what they find offensive about that blog author’s views. AA women have a majority OOW birth rate!

    And this is because of the low- and no-quality men that most of us have attached ourselves to. In a patriarchal world, a woman and her (future) children rise or fall based on the caliber of man that she takes up with. AA women can’t afford the luxury of being offended by that particular blog because that blog is offering vital information about how to acquire a QUALITY husband.

    If AA women want to live better, like non-Black women are almost uniformly living better—then they need to take up with a MUCH higher caliber of men. This means leaving the all-AA dating and mating scene and going out into the wider world. And the sort of behaviors and self-presentation that most AA women have been indoctrinated into believing are okay are NOT attractive to QUALITY men.

    Before anybody “gets it twisted”: Please don’t think for a moment that AA men are doing AA women any kind of favor by sexing (and not marrying) the masses of AA women in their current coarse and/or physically overweight state.

    First, AA men are generally NOT marrying the AA women they impregnate (hence the 70+% OOW birth rate). Second, the underlying reason why AA men don’t mind sexing overweight AA women is because these men know that being overweight LIMITS a woman’s choices in men! Being overweight or obese is a trap for women that keeps them settling for scraps and less than nothing from men.

    And something else—MissASP the teenager called it! LOL! She’s quite correct and wise (especially at her age) in noticing that the vast majority of AA men are unwilling and/or unable to provide for a BW the way men from other ethnic and racial groups provide for their women. And the handful of AA men who are willing to provide for a stay at home wife generally do so with great resentment (and much emotional abuse) if the wife is AA—BM don’t resent providing stay at home lifestyles for NON-Black women.

    Much of this has to do with so many AA men being fatherless—they don’t know how to be a protector and provider. And many of them don’t want to be a true protector and provider—they want the perks of being a head of household without shouldering any of the responsibilities.

    Any AA woman who seriously wants to exercise the option of being a comfortable stay at home wife needs to bypass 99.99% of AA men.

    In short, in a patriarchal world, if AA women want to live better (along with their children) then they need to MARRY higher-caliber, QUALITY men. If they want to marry quality men, then they must leave the all-Black dating world and enter the wider world. If they want to successfully navigate the wider world, then many AA women need to drastically change their comportment and self-presentation. The Art of Being Feminine blog has extremely helpful information that can assist with this process of self-reinvention.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Bottom line: Everybody has to figure out what kind of relationship they’re going to have with reality. The author of the 48 Laws of Power book has an interesting blog post about this where he says,

    According to The 50th Law, we can be defined by our relationship to reality. Reality is what lies outside of ourselves, beyond our subjective experience. We have desires. We want people to help, support and like us. We want our projects to gain the appropriate attention and our talents to be recognized. We wish the world around us to remain relatively stable so we can realize our plans or maintain what we have. But then reality intervenes. The people we look to for assistance think first of themselves and their self-interest; their support is rather tepid or they even resist us. To draw positive attention to our work is not so easy; we are competing against thousands of others who have the same desire. Nothing stays the same; unforeseen events are constantly spoiling our plans.

    Confronted with this discrepancy between desire and reality, we can go in one of two directions. We can try our best to ignore these outside forces and escape into an inner world of dreams and fantasies. This is the childish reaction, born out of weakness and fear. Or we can see reality as something that must be accepted and dealt with. In coming to such a realization, we move towards power. Instead of whining about people’s lack of support or attention, we decide we will find ways to appeal to their self-interest and improve our communication skills. Instead of fearing change, we decide to embrace it in all its forms and discover how we can exploit it. Instead of resenting how difficult it is to get attention and approval for our projects, we use this resistance to make ourselves work harder, with more discipline and focus. To the degree that we accept reality, we now have the power to shape it.

    (emphasis added)

    http://www.powerseductionandwar.com/archives/the_50th_law_pt.phtml

    Expect Success!

    • Kay says:

      Amazing and something to live by. I think shedding the whiner-victim stance and becoming proactive is the only way thrive. Black women can’t afford to rest in a perpetual wound licking state. We have to figure out how to thrive, and I think we have plenty of black female professional examples to truly understand what that looks like.

  21. SweetSoulSister,

    You’re welcome; and thank you for your kind words about the series. I truly appreciate it.

    You said, “I cheerlead women like Tonya Lee Williams, Kent Masters King and Lark Voorhies as perfect examples of feminine black womanhood and I have modeled myself after these women for years. I am the same age as Kent and Lark so, they were always public role models for me. These three women barely get any work or recognition in Hollywood because they utterly annihilate the Gabby Sidibe/Hattie McDaniel fantasy delusions of WW.”

    Well, these women aren’t going to be given any work in Hollywood. Like you said, they’re a threat to the status quo. If these women want to work while they’re still in their primes, they need to start producing their OWN projects right now!

    Like I’ve read Angela Bassett and her husband have finally figured out to do. [It’s just too bad that Ms. Bassett wasted her prime leading actress years waiting to be cast by other people. She looks fabulous, but she’s pushing 50 years old. And at this point, she won’t be cast as anything except as somebody’s mother if she waits for others to give her roles.]

    You said, “I wish I could participate in the conversation more often but, you always nail everything so, I see no need to take up comment space with “co-sign” posts.”

    I do understand. 🙂

    Expect Success!

  22. Karen says:

    I must admit much sadness and dismay at the comment from “Nominaleffect”. These young women have so little self-worth that they willing destroy their bodies and justify it with still being able to get a man (and I use the term “man” loosely here).

    It just boggles my mind that I am having a hard time wrapping my thoughts around this. How can one get up everyday and carry an extra person around. When a person is obese, that is effectively what they are doing, carrying an extra person around…

    On the general topic of dogmas, there was a time when I was caught in the trap of always excusing BM criminal behaviour as the “system” being against them (I was very young). Then one day it occurred to me; I respect the laws, do not steal, do not associated with thugs, etc. It is a choice to either decide to live a decent life within the law or to go the path of the criminal. AAs have never been more free and have never been more enslaved (mentally enslaved) than today.

    Those of us who are Sojourners or determined to become Sojourners MUST walk a different path..

  23. DeStouet says:

    Not much to say about this subject except that about a year or so ago after my mother-in-law saw that I was serious about changing the way my family ate, she seemed to do everything she could to discourage me. She would purchase junk food from the store and sneak it into their bedrooms in the evening when they refused dinner. During her trips to the grocery store, she would purchase chips, sugary drinks and candies and feed it to the children when I was not home. She has diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. At one point, she was visiting the doctor’s office about every two weeks…for something.

    When I finally grew fed up, I pulled her to the side and expressed my disappointment that she was not willing to take better care of herself, seeing that if something was to happen to both me and her son she would become my children legal guardian. Slowly, there was a change.

    That is another reason I vowed to forever safeguard my health. Unless it is my fate, I cannot afford to die from something that was preventable. I don’t have anyone besides my mother-in-law who I would trust to care for my children.

  24. ARLYNE says:

    I have been nonchalantly putting other magazines in front of ELLE magazines (all covers). I pick up another magazine look at it then pretend to accidentally put it back in the wrong place. I will sometimes move a couple of the ELLE magazines and put them in back of another magazine’s rack (carefully not to draw attention to myself). I do this every time I am in a store. I look for the magazines and make my switches. People buy the magazines that they see. If they do not see it, they are less likely to buy it. I feel I am doing something to counteract this Gabby situation. I have told a few “cool” friends who are doing basically the same thing. We are keeping this “protest” low key;we hope to impede some their sales. We feel a direct protest would just make us look bad. I hope some of you will consider joining us.

  25. Kay,

    You said, “I think shedding the whiner-victim stance and becoming proactive is the only way thrive. Black women can’t afford to rest in a perpetual wound licking state.”

    Indeed.
    ____________________________________________

    Karen,

    You said,“On the general topic of dogmas, there was a time when I was caught in the trap of always excusing BM criminal behaviour as the “system” being against them (I was very young)…”

    I thought those sorts of things until I started representing members of the Black underclass (along with other misfits and nuts) in court. LOL! Just observing how large numbers of Ray-Rays and Sheniquas think, believe, and act pulled the rose petals off my glasses.

    You said, “AAs have never been more free and have never been more enslaved (mentally enslaved) than today. Those of us who are Sojourners or determined to become Sojourners MUST walk a different path.”

    Indeed.
    __________________________________________

    DeStouet,

    You said, “Not much to say about this subject except that about a year or so ago after my mother-in-law saw that I was serious about changing the way my family ate, she seemed to do everything she could to discourage me. She would purchase junk food from the store and sneak it into their bedrooms in the evening when they refused dinner. During her trips to the grocery store, she would purchase chips, sugary drinks and candies and feed it to the children when I was not home. She has diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. At one point, she was visiting the doctor’s office about every two weeks…for something.”

    Lord have mercy…Talk about sabotage…Thank goodness this individual finally stopped engaging in that malicious madness. {shaking my head}
    _________________________________

    Arlyne,

    You said, “I have been nonchalantly putting other magazines in front of ELLE magazines (all covers). I pick up another magazine look at it then pretend to accidentally put it back in the wrong place. I will sometimes move a couple of the ELLE magazines and put them in back of another magazine’s rack (carefully not to draw attention to myself). I do this every time I am in a store. I look for the magazines and make my switches. People buy the magazines that they see. If they do not see it, they are less likely to buy it.”

    Good for you! LOL! I also quietly re-shelf (to an out-of-sight-spot) toxic propaganda that I feel needs to disappear.

    Expect Success!

  26. Faith says:

    I thought I’d share Erika’s latest post at the Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss blog about how a 15 year old died in a fire because the firefighters couldn’t move her out of the house.

    http://blackgirlsguidetoweightloss.com/health-news/500lb-teen-unable-to-be-rescued-from-fire-and-i-blame-everyone/

  27. Faith,

    {long sigh} May God rest her soul; and may she have a place of distinction in Paradise. Ameen. [“Amen.}] {another long sigh} I’m wondering if we need a memorial wall for all of these uncounted BF casualties like the one for Vietnam veterans…

    Thanks for sharing that link; I hadn’t heard of that blog before, and it looks great. Another point that Erika mentioned in that post ties into my earlier point that all too often—nobody can tell us anything. Not even the people who care for us and have our best interests at heart. She said,

    I mean, I get it – I’m the main one saying that we shouldn’t judge people who stand before us because we don’t know where they are on their journey to wellness. That’s my line. I know it by heart. But Jamaya passed away because no one bothered to stop her before it got to the point where her quality of life was so impacted that she couldn’t even be rushed to safety! This isn’t a young girl who we see outside walking and decide to judge from our cars. This is a girl who no one bothered to intervene with 200lbs ago. Major difference.

    Now a while back, I wrote asking the readers of BGG2WL if there was anyone in their lives who was allowed to let them know their weight might be getting out of hand… and a lot of the messages I received publicly and privately implied that no one was allowed to tell them. No one was allowed to make them feel like something was wrong with them for gaining weight. And if you’re 140lbs at 5′8″, that makes sense. No one should be making you feel bad.

    Having said that, those of us who are on the path to wellness and are experiencing positive results… You know how hard it was for you to obtain the knowledge you’ve developed. Be it from books, from your peers, even from this site. It is your responsibility to “be the change you wish to see” in your community and be a role model for better health.

    You don’t have to tell anyone “You’re getting fat” – in all my time, I’ve never used those words – but you can show people that good food doesn’t have to be full of sugar or fat or salt. You can be excited by your own loss and share with people how “easy” it’s been for you. (Maybe “simple” might be a better word.) You can let people know that your success has come from cooking more, being more active, and using less junk foods. People don’t want words, and they certainly don’t want insults. They want to see that something works, then they want to know what that something is. Do you think you’d be here reading MY words if you didn’t know that what I write about worked for me? I doubt it.

    (emphasis added)
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Faith,

    I just wanted to say “Thank You!” for taking the time to participate in the No Wedding, No Womb effort. Even though I knew that I don’t have the patience to respond appropriately to the foolishness that comes out of the woodwork whenever anybody challenges the “oow and single parenting are just fine” madness 🙁 , I’m thankful for the efforts of those folks who do.

    Thank you, Faith, Roslyn and Truth P. (who were both on fire over at the conversation at What About Our Daughters), and all the others who stood in support of common sense, sanity and survival during the No Wedding, No Womb efforts!

    Expect Success!

    • Faith says:

      Thanks but I don’t know how much patience I have. I am so frustrated by the number of black women who are actively tearing down any constructive analysis of this OOW crisis. All I keep hearing is “marriages are bad and/or unncecssary”, “my relationship is fine as is” and “how dare you question my choices” and some of these women actually think they’re offering an alternative instead of active obstructionists. Meanwhile LGBTs would marry in a heartbeat. And I’m not even married! This is when I seriously think we’ve lost it and there’s no going back. Then there’s the silent contingent just watching, laughing and writing blacks off.

      • Hey, you had the patience to be bothered with hosting that sort of conversation in the first place. 🙂

        As I’ve recently commented over at your house, I’m at the point of writing off “the ferals” among the AA collective. Millenia of human experience have shown that human pair-bonding (aka marriage) is the best HUMAN practice in terms of child-rearing.

        Folks can continue to be out of step with human norms if they want to. But as Shecodes pointed out during a recent conversation at your house, NOBODY else is going to rearrange American society to accomodate AAs’ refusal to form families. They haven’t done so in the past 40+ years. They’re not going to do it in the foreseeable future. And they shouldn’t. Because this is destructive behavior that shouldn’t be rewarded or subsidized.

        Expect Success!

  28. Tracy says:

    Hello Khadija and everyone!!

    I’m coming to the party late – again! Khadija, thank you for the shout out to my story. I wish that I could tell you that I am moving forward, but as of Sunday night, I had to say goodbye to another family member – massive heart attack, he was 30.

    It’s to the point where my anger and frustration is scaring me – my true feelings on fat, fat acceptance, denial, and the mind games that we play with the truth about our sickness right now are just ugly, but truthful. I have written and re written and I just cannot be polite about any of it. Everywhere I go, I see the same thing – huge frames, hanging guts, the “caveman” stance – on GIRLS! They already look lost, little girls with big womens bodies and now hormones and soon to have big women’s ailments..

    What I’ve read here so far makes me a bit happier tho – I’m glad that so many of you don’t believe the “lie” and are working your way into better, more prosperous, healthier lives.

    Ladies, we can’t afford not to understand that Empowerment comes with the WHOLE package – the brain, the attitude, the body. It all ties in – once the body is functioning properly,everything else falls into place .

    Being fat sucked – big time. Yes I could get a man, a job, a life, but I couldn’t be happy, because it was a life of settling.

    Hard fact : the world is a lot kinder to the thin and pretty. And if you are lucky enough to be beautiful (which Im sure many of us in here are) the world will fall at your feet. I’ve been there, I’m going back soon! 🙂

    Keep up the good fight ladies!! Thanks again K!!

  29. Oh, Tracy,

    I’m so sorry to hear that about your relative…{shoulders droop, slumps down in chair} Please do whatever you must to take care of yourself during this heartwrenching time…

    At this point, I’m beyond annoyed at the mind games we play with ourselves. Yesterday, I had a silly conversation with a grown-a**, 40+ year old, BF coworker about why it is that she hasn’t had a mammogram in 5+ years. She started talking about “studies” that purportedly show that there’s no difference in survival rates between those who get early detection and others. It was crazy. We ended up doing dueling cross-examinations with each other during the conversation. Finally, I asked her to explain exactly how her not getting a mammogram is helping HER, her underage children, and her husband. To explain precisely what benefit is her passive refusal to get herself checked out bringing to her life or her family…

    Yes, I “went there” and brought up one of our dead colleagues who had played games with her breast health…and died….After all of that, she had to admit that what she was saying was some dumb stuff. I think I’ll republish a post from the previous blog about all of this.

    Expect Success!

  30. Energize says:

    “We ended up doing dueling cross-examinations with each other during the connversation.” Wow..all that just to convence somone to take care of themselves. No wonder bw health is in a crisis. And those same habits of denial will be passed on to daughters.

    (*oops ignore my first comment I hit enter too soon. )

  31. ak says:

    No I don’t agree with the obesity dogma at all. But as many people have said here, talking to some obese BW about weight loss options that they should implement into their lives will make them want to tear you a new one!

    If I had a good friend who was an obese BW and we were always open with each other then I would try to tell her about the new options for weight loss that she could use in her life, but I wouldn’t make a point to be a loud ‘weight loss crusader’ for every obese person I see, no.

    Some fatter, or obese women are fortunate to find good men to be good husbands, but the truth is that the rest of them have horrible deadbeat guys who use them for food, money, a car, and a place to stay.

    I don’t think that just because a woman is very large that she should put up with any abuse, neglect, controlling or parasitic behavior because she has a ‘relationship’ but maybe losing some weight would bring her to the attention of the kind of man who would treat her well instead. {shrugs shoulders}

    When it comes to the butch-looking lesbian dogma, I’ve heard about and observed slightly the different cliques among the gay men and lesbian women, cliques that revolve around different personalities and ideas of esthetics just like cliques typically do.

    The ‘girlier’ lesbians, and possibly the ‘lipstick lesbians’ aren’t offended by looking very feminine and don’t find that restrictive and they have their own little ‘side’ and the very butch ‘mannish-looking’ lesbians want to look mannish and I assume they have a problem with looking feminine because they don’t want to bother because that doesn’t suit their personalities, interests, and they don’t care about pleasing men. {shrugs shoulders}

    Rachel Maddow, Melissa Etheridge, and Ellen DeGeneres have slightly softened their once more ‘butch’ images because I think they probably want to purposely be more accepted by the mainstream population, mainstream media, and not just the LGBT community and their media.

    But look at k.d. lang, whose voice and songs I’ve always liked a lot, she still looks exactly the same, very mannish and she doesn’t seem to want to change. She always sold well in Nashville until her vegetarian/vegan animal cruelty protests were badly received, but not her lesbianism.

    I think the butch ‘mannish-looking’ lesbians don’t want or feel the need for men to protect them nor do they want to appeal visually to men and therefore they just want to stay exactly how they are. Hey as long as they aren’t hurting anybody.

    But I don’t see why butch lesbians have to dictate to the other ‘clique’ of traditional looking, feminine ‘girly’ lesbians about how to look or how to act like. I mean there should be ‘enough to go around’ on both sides right? They should just pay attention to the lesbians who only want be butch like them.

    The biracial/mixed race dogma yeah, as someone else said on this blog a recent previous post, they said that if they married a non-black man that they feared having kids who would end up hating their black heritage, and to be honest I have those same fears and concerns. But I don’t hate blackness and blackness is not a disease to me, so if I pass on those ideas to my kids then hopefully they will feel the same way and won’t change their minds when they become adults. But that bridge actually has to be crossed first once it’s found!

    I wouldn’t care care if my kids called themselves biracial or black, as long as they don’t bristle at being called black or when people bring up their black side, and look at blackness as a setback or a disease. I also hope they won’t be cowardly and put down blacks for saying or being discriminatory, but have nothing to say against whites for being discriminatory because that clearly means that they only take up for the whites then because they want to be one.

    If someone is biracial then it sounds to me as if they should be proud of both sides, and everything that they are and not get upset or scared of their wits if people identify them with or say they resemble more of one of their sides. I mean if you really loved that side, would you care? The one drop rule was NOT black people’s decision to make, that was down to whites.

    Regarding the dogma of Muslim men and women’s very ‘Eastern’ choice of dressing in Western countries, yes most of Europe is really trying to dodge that bullet right now, and France is ESPECIALLY trying to fight that. And lets just say that the UK lost that fight badly and it now has more holes in it than Swiss cheese! LOL

    I really don’t want to sound xenophobic against Muslims but so many of them came to the UK and instead of assimilating over the many decades they bring demands (that the UK actually entertains and grants!) and their non-assimilating way of dressing and it’s entirely shaking up the whole country. As old as she is, I wonder where the Queen’s gonna live one day. Hmph! This is why The Netherlands made a video back in 2006 (?) for new Muslim immigrants wanting to live in their country to watch so that they’d understand that topless and nude sunbathing, exotic dancing, and prostitution in Amsterdam and the rest of their country were here to stay! LOL The Netherlands just wanted to make it be known that they didn’t want to make any changes for anybody.

    • kandika says:

      About having biracial children who ‘hate’ their black side: I have a friend who has a half-black child who doesnt look black at all;she likes her black side; she doesnt look white either. The problem is, she wants to look More Black and doesn’t like her looks. Her phenotype is ‘Asian’ (even more than Amerie)she wants to ‘fit in’ with the ‘good black girls’ who want better for their lives, but they’re suspicious of her , because they think she’ll take the good black guys.

  32. Energize,

    You said, “Wow..all that just to convence somone to take care of themselves. No wonder bw health is in a crisis. And those same habits of denial will be passed on to daughters.”

    But here’s the deal: She’s NOT convinced to take care of herself. She simply admitted that what she was saying was stupid. She never said that she was going to get a mammogram. I know that she hasn’t had once since we last talked about this—when the mutual colleague died from breast cancer a couple of years ago.

    I suspect that she hasn’t had a mammogram in at least over 6-7 years! AND—this woman’s mother had breast cancer! Her mother ultimately passed away from another ailment, but still…There are a LOT of AA women playing these sorts of mind games with their health and their lives.

    I’m through with that type of conversation with her at this point. With these sorts of things, I say just enough so that MY conscience is clear, and no more. God respects free will, and so do I.
    _________________________________

    AK,

    You said, “I really don’t want to sound xenophobic against Muslims but so many of them came to the UK and instead of assimilating over the many decades they bring demands (that the UK actually entertains and grants!) and their non-assimilating way of dressing and it’s entirely shaking up the whole country.”

    It’s not “xenophobic” to point out that these people have been BAD guests. The same could be said for the foreign Muslims here in the US, and for most of the Mexicans and other Latinos.

    You said, “This is why The Netherlands made a video back in 2006 (?) for new Muslim immigrants wanting to live in their country to watch so that they’d understand that topless and nude sunbathing, exotic dancing, and prostitution in Amsterdam and the rest of their country were here to stay! LOL The Netherlands just wanted to make it be known that they didn’t want to make any changes for anybody.”

    Oh, that’s funny. It would be better for the Netherlands to keep them OUT of their country. After a few more jihadi-fanatic murders of Dutch people, they’ll learn to keep most of them out.

    Expect Success!

  33. ak says:

    Oh yes regarding the obesity dogma again, as it’s been said in some previous recent posts on here, it’s time for more and more black, including AA black women to seek out therapy. You can go to church on a Sunday but that should NOT stop you from going to therapy on any day between Monday through Friday! I mean it’s only one hour per week for most people!

    I’m bringing this up because they’ve been saying that obesity has been related to previous child abuse and sexual abuse issues that may have happened in an individual’s life in some cases, and this makes it so scary that so many black women are obese these days. It does look like that in some cases some of these women may have been abused but never sought help and/or justice for what happened in their lives.

    And when well-known AA women plus sized celebs like Mo’nique, Queen Latifah, etc. come out and say they were molested and raped as children, it just sheds a bit of light on some of the unknown larger black women who we see around us, well to me anyway.

    I’ve read stories in some magazines of people, black and white, who were obese when they were a bit younger who finally came to terms with hidden sexual/child abuse issues in their lives, sought therapy, changed their diet, and exercised and you should see them now! Some of them looked so thin in their recent pictures that you can’t believe that the older picture showing their former obesity was even really them! Some of them turn out to be very pretty or handsome in the end.

    This is why black women should not put off seeking help for their mental health any longer. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Therapy is not for those who have gone crazy, it’s to help you well BEFORE you go crazy. I mean wouldn’t you like to be stopped before you reach the edge of a cliff? I know I would.

    At my mother’s church there is a lovely elderly lady from Antigua who is still very energetic every day, and who gets up at 5 AM and can stay up quite late, even though she has to use a cane some times it seems that nothing ever holds her back. But my mother says that this same lady ‘isn’t all quite there’ and that she may have been ‘committed’ in an institution for a while after her husband left her for a younger woman years ago. And some one close to my family who had a friend who works in a mental institution has seen all of their few black female patients pass through there for the exact same thing: men who messed them around and then left them!

    now is the time for help, I’m telling you.

    • rainebeaux says:

      (I had something to add in general, but I’ve gone blank. Oops.)

      AK, thank you for bringing this up: I can’t stress therapy enough these days…but I’ll try in another week.

  34. Hodan says:

    enjoyed reading this, loved the part on identity issues and how you broke it down, I’ll definitely pass it on to my friends.

  35. […] In terms of the obesity issue, let me repeat some things I said in this earlier post, […]