This year, I am once again participating in the Explore More Summit. This is one of the best collection of sexuality experts around the world. It’s FREE to join and when the summit ends, you can either purchase a conference package or stream chats a la cart for $3!!
For Women’s History Month, I am curating a project that will amplify diverse ideas and experiences about and with womanhood. I am interested in your authentic responses, be they glowingly positive or enduringly painful– be raw, be real, be you.
I am asking one simple question: What Does Being a Woman Mean to You?
You can include your name or remain anonymous. Complete this form and join the project.
Also, if you’re in the Philadelphia, PA or New York City area and are interested in participating in the photo essay portion of this project, please indicate that on this submission form.
Guest Blogger, Asa Todd (@sanitythief), has been exploring online dating as a single Black woman in her 30s. This series chronicles her journey, the ups-and-downs and ins-and-outs.
After working through and healing from a break up of a relationship of over two years, I decided to get back in the dating game. I knew it might be difficult at first, but I’d get the hang of it again. Right? Wrong!
Of all the lessons I’d learned from my last relationship and doing the work to get over it, I knew settling wasn’t an option. I learned where I could make compromises and where I could not. I also know red flags when I see them.
Dating sites like Plenty of Fish and Match.com are flooded with red flags. Let’s journey down a list of just a few shall we:
“Age 34, but I look like my AARP card is well worn”– Let’s dispel the myth that only women lie about their age right here. An S-Curl and Just For Men dye job can only hide but so much, especially if you are partial to wearing linen suits and dress shoes with jeans. Also, when you ask why they lie about their age and they say something along the lines of “I don’t connect or get along with women my age”, sound the alarm. Much older men who specifically target younger women are doing so because they either haven’t reached a level of maturity and success that men their age typically have or they want to take advantage of an imbalanced power dynamic.
“I’m supposed to describe myself in my profile, but instead let me tell you about all the types of women I hate”– Nothing screams “RUN” like a man who, in his “About Me” section, can only go on a tirade about fake women, gold diggers, hoes, single mothers, not wanting to pay for dates, etc. It’s obvious they have some mommy issues they have yet to work out, but can’t wait to project them onto you.
Why in the year 2017 of our Lord and savior Queen Bey are we still trying to catfish people? – I took the initiative to message a fellow who I found attractive and who had written an interesting profile. All was going well until maybe 5 messages in, if that, he says he wants to buy me leopard print panties. So being that this raised a red flag for me, I went to my good friend Google Image Search and found that the pics belonged to an up-and-coming artist. Once I realized I was being duped, I asked him if he knew this artist and poof! The whole message thread was gone.
Stop with the blank profiles!– I don’t care how attractive you think you are, if you can’t be bothered to put in even a little effort into describing yourself, then I can’t be bothered to pull teeth to get to know you. Men with blank profiles are the equivalent to eBay ads with no specs, a description written in broken English, and no reviews. In other words, they are a waste of your time.
“Hello” *1 minute 30 seconds later* “Oh so you can’t be bothered to speak. Stuck up bitch”– Listen. I don’t spend every waking second on dating app messengers. Most of the time, the people I actually know and like won’t get a timely response to me through regular texts. The entitlement you feel to my time and attention as well as your automatic assumption that you are being ignored is a sure sign you are controlling and unstable.
Online dating really shouldn’t be this hard but…
Asa Todd is a blogger from New Jersey. She blogs about make-up, mental health, and dating/relationships. Follow her on Twitter @sanitythief and Instagram @makeupandmania.
If you’d liked to be featured as a guest blogger, send your pitches to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are currently welcoming pitches about dating, sex, relationships, kink, and the like.
For the past 2-3 years, the idea of “Black Girl Magic” exploded on social media platforms as a celebration of the wonder, joy, and triumph of Black women and girls. I remember when Cashawn Thompson began spreading the word that “Black Girls Are Magic!” and we collectively jumped on the positivity train. Why the focus on us? Because for centuries, we have been relentlessly subjected to the cruelty forged at the intersection of sexism and racism, and it appears that we have finally decided we are not going to take it anymore.
Around the globe, we are celebrating ourselves in ways unseen before and it’s a beautiful thing. We are encouraging each other, supporting each other’s endeavors, and more and more, we’re breaking down barriers and making history. While there have been (and will always be) detractors who ask, “What about ALL girls?” or “What about ALL Black people?”, we understand the importance of this magical bond of sisterhood that only we can truly engage and understand. And yes, it’s rubbing off on others and we appreciate the support from all kinds of groups who don’t seek to co-opt this movement, but to uplift and affirm it for what it is.
With that said…
What the hell is this?
In 2016 and beyond, we are still seeing “Magical Negro” movies. If you aren’t familiar with this particular cinematic trope, you can learn more here. An abstract:
“Movies featuring a “magical” or spiritually gifted Black lead character have been released for many years, and the trend continues to grow in popularity. These Black characters, often referred to as “magical Negroes,” generally focus their abilities toward assisting their White lead counterparts. At first glance, casting the Black and White leads in this manner seems to provide examples of Black and White characters relating to each other in a constructive manner; however, a closer examination of these interactions suggests a reinvention of old Black stereotypes rather than authentic racial harmony.”
First, there is Mr. Church, a new movie starring Eddie Murphy as a mysterious man who enters the lives of a dying woman and her daughters.
From IMDB: “Mr. Church” tells the story of a unique friendship that develops when a little girl and her dying mother retain the services of a talented cook – Henry Joseph Church. What begins as a six month arrangement instead spans fifteen years, and creates a family bond that lasts forever.
Already, people are buzzing about Eddie Murphy’s “return” to cinema and how this might be the movie that finally wins him an Academy Award. When I saw the trailer, my face screwed up so tightly, I almost developed a headache. I was damn near offended. I’m not sure if Eddie is completely out-of-touch with all of the things that are happening in the world related to the devaluing of Black lives or the latest iteration of the affirmation of Black “free” identity or if he just doesn’t give a damn. It is based on a true story, as most of these types of films seem to be, right? Right.
Would this story present differently if the family was a Black mother and Black daughters?
Would my initial reaction be different? I am going to say it would because it wouldn’t strike me as aligning with the stereotypes and trope. Yes, I know it’s “based on a true story”, but I can’t help but wonder if that “true story” would even be developed into a film if the racial dynamic was different.
Would this movie be made if it was a White man cooking for a Black mother and her daughters?
Why is there only one other somewhat visible Black character? This movie can’t possibly get any Whiter and his presence only serves to punctuate just how White it is.
How will the racial and gender dynamics be addressed? As it is based on a true story, my hope is that they discuss race and not take the “colorblind” approach to storytelling.
Next, there is Same Kind Of Different As Me, a movie featuring Djimon Honsou (of Amistad fame) as a Black homeless man who helps a White man save his marriage.
From IMDB: International art dealer Ron Hall must befriend a dangerous homeless man in order to save his struggling marriage to his wife, a woman whose dreams will lead all three of them on the journey of their lives.
I’ll admit that my reaction to this trailer was slightly different from Mr. Church and I think it is because I’m rather used to the White-people-take-in-Black-person-who-ends-up-saving-them-from-themselves “true” stories and how good they make White people feel about themselves. Mr. Church just seemed completely absurd, but Same Kind… is at least familiar. I’m a social worker and come across this type of White savior mindset and behavior all of the time.
Still, both characters exist to make the White people in the stories better and they, almost literally, magically appear out of nowhere when the White people are at their lowest and struggling the most. The Black man becomes their conscience, their advisor, their connector, their fixer-upper, and even if he has issues of his own, the White people remain centered. In Mr. Church, we can’t tell from the trailer if his Blackness is essential to the story as it seems to be in Same Kind… and I’m interested in seeing how that plays out.
If I go see either of the films.
Which I probably won’t.
I’ve seen a number of Black folks praising Mr. Church already and they seem excited for it. Perhaps they are eager to see Eddie Murphy finally “win”. It doesn’t help that this movie comes from the guy who made Driving Miss Daisy. Everything isn’t for everyone, I guess.
Sometimes, I wish I’d never taken Donald Bogle‘s film class. *kicks rocks*