Monday, July 14, 2008

Pregnant and Feeling Like Erykah Badu

TwitThis


While reading the comments on various sites about Erykah's pregnancy,
I couldn't help but think of a property, double standards and marriage.
I thought of property because, it appears to me, that when Black women,
do things with their bodies, publicly, that involve the issue of sex or sexuality,
one would think that
they were public property based on the responses.

Historically wives were considered the property of their husbands.
In fact, historically marriage functioned property consolidation tool,

Marriage dates back several thousand years, emerging as a civil arrangement at the same time as the emergence of private property....anthropologists theorize that most primitive marriages were polygamous. Marriages were entered into in order to expand the land or material goods base of a clan, either through the receipt of a dowry or the merger of two clans' assets. Religious guidelines ......were first used as a means of preventing different religious groups from losing wealthy followers by restricting them from marrying into other religions.
In more modern times, authorities historically turned a blind eye to women being assaulted by their husbands because the notion was the the wife belonged to the husband so he had the implicit right to hit her.

I make the above comments for the specific purposes of providing
some background on the institution of marriage as opposed to just
talking about it with blind uncritical acceptance.

DOUBLE STANDARD
If you think that I am overstating the issue, where is the wrath of criticism
for the number of out of wedlock children that Eddie Murphy, Mos Def, Diddy,
Lil Wayne, has?

Based on some of the comments its almost as if Erykah doesn't have a right
to do, as she wishes with her body, yet there is a passive uncritical acceptance
of what men do.
To: Ms. Erykah Badu. From: Smooth Thug. Ms. Badu, Upon the completion of the reading of your statements and comments, I was very amazed, rather astounded, and most amused. I, therefore, find it highly necessary to inform you that I can not, and will not, go along with you in your assessment of the present state of affairs in your life. You stated that when it came to having your first two children you had “2 wonderful partners by my side.” 1) Those were not “partners”, sweetheart. Those were sperm donors....

...It’s 2008 if you end up pregnant its your fault..you are a GROWN A Woman and book smarts and common sense need to meet at some point. Baby number two. baby number three and still not in a commited relationship.One thing I found in myself and notice in other women is…we are the problem. No standards and no boundary lines for what we allow and tollorate going into a relationship. We do not demand a man that is going to commit and be respectful of the faith. We are just glad to have the company and something close to a title so we forgive and forget. My SISTA’S ITS TIME TO GO HIGHER! Higher in choices, higher in judgement. higher in selection. higher in relation... - Lovher Just because you are married to your children’s father, you can still be a single mother. There are men who are right in the household who won’t help their children get dressed for school,much less home school them. I feel more sorry for those women. At least she is not a depressed mother, who feels unloved by a husband. I would’nt care if I were never proposed to, marrige is not what is used to be. I will get married when I am old and need someone to take me to the doctor and to the grocery store. lol For now, I am happy going through life with me and my daughter. - mo'star

The comments were mixed. I couldn't help but wonder if the about the self righteous
commenter's who care so much about holding her accountable for who she
procreates with, and where is the willingness to hold Mos Def, Diddy, Lil Wayne etc for either the messages in their music and for their out of wedlock children as well?

Perhaps, in their minds, its okay because they are men, or perhaps in their minds
if they criticized them, they would have to criticize R.Kelly, and if they criticized R.
Kelly they would have to stop listening to his music and you know no one wants
to do that.

BLACK WOMEN AS PROPERTY
Our ancestors came to this country as property, so it makes sense that,
until this issue is dealt with, both amongst us and in society at large,
that we will be seen as property.
Everyday when we walk down the street, when we are propositioned by men who honk, wait, or honk and slow down, as if we are going
to turn around and walk over to their cars and given them our numbers,

we are treated like property,
not human beings.

MARRIAGE, A QUESTION

Erykah's situation is particularly personal for me because I recently let down
down my guard with the man that I am seeing and broached the "topic" of the
future. In the aftermath of the conversation I learned that there may or may not be the future that I envision.

Subsequently, I had to come to terms with the fact I may have to have my
child alone. With a support network nonetheless, but not within the system that society
has deemed to be the preferred nuclear structure that a child should be raised
in. I would imagine that that this is where being on the margins come in handy.

So many other women, Black and/or otherwise have done so in this world.
While this will entail a plan and a strategy, it is, on its face, no different than
the plan and the strategy that will take place should I choose to procreate,
shack up with and or marry the father of my child.

All of these scenarios involve choice because all humans have agency,
which is a will to act.

PROPERTY MINDED
I recently experienced another incident that reminded me of how women
are treated like property. Last week I ran into someone that I met before left
New York last year. The key to the story is that right after I met him,
my phone was stolen, so I didn't have a way to contact him.
Unbeknownst to me, he thought I met him and just never called again.


Part of the "you didn't call me" anger apparently stemmed from the
fact that right after meeting him, I met his two young sons, so it came
across as a double diss. I was, however, under the guise that it was a
professional relationship as I wanted advice from him about the
investment banking world.

In the midst of our conversation we were talking about our
pasts and broken engagements come up. He clearly had anger towards
his ex- fiancee and so I said, "Well, she couldn't have been that bad,
she moved in with you and you proposed to her. There was something
about her that you liked".

He responded, "I didn't like her, I just liked to f-ck her".

I was floored, but stayed with my poker face, because I knew that
in that statement, there was a smidgen of rage being directed at me.
I also knew that his rage was his business and it had nothing to
do with me.

At that time, he worked 90 hours a week and went on to say, "At work, you have
no time to develop social skills, conversational skills or interpersonal
skills. When I got home, I had someone to f-ck. When I woke up in the morning
my shirt was pressed and my tie was laid out. I also had peer pressure
from co-workers and family to get married."

It was incredible for him to say this because I have certainly heard this
alluded to, and we get the message from media and our families what
a woman's role should be, but I never heard to spoken so honestly
from the heart.

When I saw the responses to Erkyah, all I could think was when we choose,
as women, what do with ourselves, and it involves sexuality and not
being on another person dime or watch, be prepared for the ridicule.

Erykah's pregnancy, and the subsequent commentary speaks to
our lack of understanding of the history of marriage, our hypocrisy in attitudes
towards women who have children out of wedlock versus men, and our
unwillingness to see the way Black women have historically been treated like
property and lastly, how our attitudes today reflect a continued willingness to
see us a property.

40 comments:

the prisoner's wife said...

reading some of those comments solidified why i don't just read comments all willy-nilly. i was getting upset with those idiots.

how dare these people call her all sort of names, basically calling her a whore, but, as you mentioned, not hold the males accountable?

moreover, we are not insiders into her life. most people chide her for not being in a committed relationship, but who can say that she is not? it is OUR perception of what women should do with our bodies that gets us all tripped up.

the double standard has always existed. i'm not sure how it can/will be demolished, considering many women buy into the patriarchal bullshit & forced gender roles. until we, as women (or black people, or asian, people, or whomever), stop trying to define ourselves by somebody else's labels , we will always fall victim to this sort of nonsense.

M.Dot. said...

Totally underscores how an urban move on could rock.

Talk about buying into the ish.

faith said...

I agree that people don't have the right to accuse her of anything they won't hold men accountable for. But...under what situation is it ever ideal to have 3 children with 3 different fathers? It's not something I'd want. I wouldn't want to have any child without a solid committed relationship intact which is why I've waited so long to have one period. If anyone is a 'whore' it would be Diddy!!! But from the behavior of some of the women he's involved with money is definitely a factor. Do we as Black women place an over-importance on motherhood to the exclusion of forming viable partnerships? Is any critical analysis a condemnation? I've had my fantasy of celebrity hook-ups and how I'd like to have children with particular men to access their gene pool and imagine living a higher standard of living, but I leave that to my imagination though I understand that is the expressed goal for some.

M.Dot. said...

Faith thank you for stopping by and sharing.

Choosing to have children and choosing a person to do it with is on par with choosing your faith.

Once someone questions it, the gloves come off.

Families, like schools and states are complex entities.

But you are also talking to a person who is reading Baldwin and writing an essay titled, "Queens, Bitches and Chickenheads".

I chose to include my own personal story in this piece to illustrate just how close it hits home.

Personally, I know that low income mom's of all ethnicities suffer. The children suffer as well. However, I refuse to jump on to that bandwagon that single mothers are contributing to the demise of society.

I need to go to Ta-Nehisi's site and see his states on Black Single mommas since the 60's.
I also need a break out based on income. If any one has that info,
m.dotwrites@gmail, please.

At the same time your question:

Do we as Black women place an over-importance on motherhood to the exclusion of forming viable partnerships?

Man. Im floored. What do you think?

As someone who just broached the topic, "future/children" with another person, I can tell you that having the discussion is "trillness personafied".

the prisoner's wife said...

I think that the term "ideal" is subjective. what is "ideal" for one, isn't ideal for others. and that's the problem (at least in my head).

we, as humans, always tend to rationalize things through our own lens, which is fine, so long as we try to view the world through the other person's lens as well. our view is not always right for everyone. our religion, our morals, our values are not always RIGHT for everyone, which is a hard pill to swallow, but it be like that sometime.

i'm not sure if we, as black women, place an over-importance on motherhood...clearly i can't speak for the whole camp. but as someone who found herself preggo, while in a committed, yet unmarried, relationship i chose to have my child..which put a heavy strain on my partnership, but oh well. i chose my child & his father followed.

my beef with the Badu naysayers is that we project our IDEAL morality on people when we don't adhere to it ourselves (i'm speaking in general). no, every critique isn't a condemnation, but it becomes so when we do not critique the WHOLE issue, but only one side (no one mentioned dude & if he has any other children, or why he's having a child out of wedlock. hmmm). Why is it we question every woman's motives, but continue to give men a pass on the same issues? the whole playa vs. hoe mentality reigns supreme. we celebrate men for their prowess, but criticize women for expressing her sexuality.

we could go in circles for days. i say, we as black women, need to set the definitions by which others view us & stop being left to the whims & idea(l)s of others.

M.Dot. said...

we, as humans, always tend to rationalize things through our own lens, which is fine,
=======
Yeah. But that shit is wack.
Its called being "myopic".
Cousin of arrogance and its watered by fear.

my beef with the Badu naysayers is that we project our IDEAL morality on people when we don't adhere to it ourselves (i'm speaking in general).
=======
No shit hence my digging in re: Mobb Deep.

Why is it we question every woman's motives, but continue to give men a pass on the same issues? the whole playa vs. hoe mentality reigns supreme.
=======
Patriarchy baby. ((( T shirt? no?)))
Why hold men accountable when we can blame it on "slutty women who don't know how to keep their legs closed".

the prisoner's wife said...

we, as humans, always tend to rationalize things through our own lens, which is fine,
=======
Yeah. But that shit is wack.
Its called being "myopic".
Cousin of arrogance and its watered by fear.

....did you NOT read the rest of the statement? lol

we, as humans, always tend to rationalize things through our own lens, which is fine, so long as we try to view the world through the other person's lens as well.our view is not always right for everyone. our religion, our morals, our values are not always RIGHT for everyone, which is a hard pill to swallow, but it be like that sometime.

....why are you preaching to the choir? we gotta convert the others, sis.

M.Dot. said...

No choir preaching.

its bugged that you used that metaphor as gotty used the same one with me LAST week about my blog on the topic of focusing on content as well as exposure.

ARRRRg.

Dude. Its real enough to just be writing and looking at the numbers, feel me?

AfroChic said...

Wow, unmarried Angelina Jolie is congratulated by the world for choosing to be a mother and Badu gettin beat down by folks livin in ignorant bliss. Margin's the freest place for any woman to live. you can be solo,married,shackin, religious, atheist whatever and ideal will still be love, fam/friend support, intelligence & a high enough credit score/enough game to maneuver this world and provide for the offspring.
-M.Dot, I think you'll be alright as a mom, however you do it.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hey MDot!!

Great conversation here!

@ AfroChic
The issue with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt has to do with RACE but also their financial standing...the assumption is that Angelina Jolie is worth about $30 million without Brad at her side and no one questions whether she can support a staff for all SIX children if she and Brad were to split...

Erikah, on the other hand, is from the 'hood and is not worth $30 million so I think that when people are talking about her choices to have three children by three different men, they may also be talking about whether Erikah has made a wise decision to assume financial responsibility when she's NOT exactly rolling in millions from her prior albums...the assumption is that Erikah is not educated and probably has no real investments to fall back on...these are all just assumptions that are made about her simply because she's from the 'hood...

Angelina Jolie is the child of two famous parents...one who is deceased...

I don't think it's entirely black and white with the public reaction about Angelina versus the public reaction about Erikah...

No one was bashing Nichole Richie for having HER baby out of wedlock and she's white and Mexican...but okay...she's been passing for a long, long time...(chuckles)

Everyone knows that Lionel and Brenda DID NOT adopt a little white girl...they adopted a mixed girl who is NOW choosing to pretend that she's purely European-American descent... but okay... to each his/her own...

The statistics about black children born out of wedlock are DISMAL... and I think that is why there is still a lot of conversation about black women choosing to raise children without fathers...or with fathers who really are no more than tourists in the life of the children...

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

M.Dot. said...

-M.Dot, I think you'll be alright as a mom, however you do it.
=======
Girl. I am blinking back the water love.

Wow, unmarried Angelina Jolie is congratulated by the world for choosing to be a mother and Badu gettin beat down by folks livin in ignorant bliss.
=====
I never thought about that.

M.Dot. said...

Hi Lisa,

Women lawyers who choose to work as fulltime moms, Black man drug dealers and Black single mommas all have something all in common.

People TEND to blame them instead of criticizing the system in which the exist.

For instance.I have a homie. Known him since I was 14. He is married w/ a baby. I saw him. I had been in Oakland for almost a year, and I was like "blood whus good?" He said he was getting ready to give his resignation. He is a sous chef. Works a double 4 days a week. He told me he wife FEELS like she is a single mother because he is never around. This hit home.

If living and eating requires both parents out of the house, without any strategic state support, our great society is going down in gas drawls. This is a critic of the system and its failure to support.

And don't get me started if you are blue collar or "under employed".

AfroChic said...

Hey Lisa,
race is the MAJOR reason the white famous get a pass. look @ Heidi Klum and the other unmarried model(hugh grant's chick) who had babies by men who publicly disputed paternity.The get treated like damsels in distress.Seal rode up on his white horse to 'rescue' Heidi.How many diff fathers does Cher or Madonna or Goldi Hawn have? So it's okay if they MARRY each father or have at least 30 mill? Seriously?Badu doesn't even have that type of drama she's just not 'legally' married but Badu is Black so she has no right to make her own decisions w/out public scrutiny from people cause she is 'lettin down the race'&fulfilling stereotypes *sigh* she may not have 30 mil but she ain't hardly gonna be asking for food stamps and free school supplies any time soon. the IDEAL'holy grail' of two parents DOES NOT exist especially after you break down the toll that two working or one overworked parent has on a family. you should read ta-nehisi's coates post from last week about 'stats' and come back and discuss how 'dismal' it really is. stats are loaded anyway. what about the unwed parents who eventually marry?what about the parents who marry but divorce/die? Bill Cosby was married and named his kids the 'right' names and still his son died from gun violence and his daughter has struggled with drug addiction. Dr. Ben Carson's mom was a poor, illiterate single woman yet he is a scholar and sought-after brain surgeon. EFF them stats. We need methods to support family structures 'however' they are formed.

Courtney said...

Black mothers who people respect intellectually are always blasted about being single parents... see Lauryn Hill.
It is as if, because they are smart, people expect them not to be human.
Having a child in these times is a choice. (Some may disagree for religious reasons, but this is indeed the case.) You don't HAVE to have children anymore, so... people expect the Lauryn's and Erykah's to serve as the example, the role models for young sisters since they appear to be head and shoulders above the rest. (I mean who would really blink if Trina showed up with a gang of babies?) But, I just don't buy it in relation to pregnancy tho.
Having a child, or two or whatever is a personal decision that is and has always been ridiculed by those outside of the equation.
I am not mad at Erykah.
Or any mother that chooses life.
Despite Struggle or Strife, because children are a beautiful part of life.
Any woman taking on the challange, I honor. Any man willing to be there I honor.
Any critics, I BLAST. F-them. None of these people talking about Erykah are going to help her raise her babies.
I remember when I got pregnant, a guy I loved told me, when he found out, 'I would have told you not to have it because children are supposed to be raised by a father and mother in home.' and I almost cried. Cause he ment it from his heart and he lived the experience prior to me. And. He was right. That IS how it is supposed to be done.
I just wasnt the case in my situation. And honestly hailing from a two parent home, I struggle with the concept of being a single mom... I get angry because the 'father' doesnt get how to be a father and my only measure is MINE!
Life, Men, Family and Friends can all be dissapointing in the when you make a choice to have a child out of wedlock. But it comes from a place of love and fear for the future. And I feel that too.
But I am sure that Erykah is a good mom and made an informed choice so I/we have no choice but to respect that. And she may not be Angie and Brad type of paid, but she is mos def financially solvent. And love is in and around her Queendom. Which is more than I can say for a lot of situations. Trust.

WNG said...

My oldest sister decided when she was 25 that she wanted to have a child. She did not then, nor has she since, ever wanted to get married. She wanted a child, not a husband. She has had two or three extremely long term relationships throughout her life (she is in her 50's) which have all ended because they wanted marriage and she didn't. My nephew is a wonderful, intelligent and caring man. My sister is a strong woman who showed me every day that you can create your own family if you are willing to work at it. (her son had summers and every other holiday with his father and his father is still a big part of his life)
The fact that she had to endure name calling and people in the community talking behind her back for the decisions she made still raises my blood pressure to dangerous levels to this day. She built a business and did maybe the hardest thing to do in this country, she raised a strong black man.
Until anyone can show me that Erykah has harmed any of her previous children or that she is in any way an unfit mother they need to SIT DOWN AND SHUT THE HELL UP. It's her family, she's holding it down, and all those idiots who could never accomplish 1/4 of what she has and will please just sit down.
Here's an idea - why don't they all quit whining about how other people live their lives and go volunteer with kids in their community? How about shutting up and stepping up?

M.Dot. said...

remember when I got pregnant, a guy I loved told me, when he found out, 'I would have told you not to have it because children are supposed to be raised by a father and mother in home.' and I almost cried. Cause he ment it from his heart and he lived the experience prior to me.
=======
This is real spit.

And reminds me of how important our stories are to each other.

What do you all think of an anthology where we tell stories that are intended to be a message to the young girls who are coming up from us.

Would you all contribute?

Topics.
-Decision to have/not have baby
-Decision to move away to go to school or stay home
-Learning how to forgive our parents
-Dealing with addiction
-Leaving bad relationships
-Entering healthy relationships
-The friend that got away
-Healing from rape

Between Yall and my offline homies, we could get some essays poppin off.

I read hella shit and them batches don't be honest and I have to put the book down because my day to day conversations be realer than the shit they be saying. Feel me?

M.Dot. said...

Here's an idea - why don't they all quit whining about how other people live their lives and go volunteer with kids in their community? How about shutting up and stepping up?
=====

Baldwin says "to act is to commit, to commit is to be in danger".

In my piece on why Black Women Need feminism I am arguing that to commit, is to commit to personal transformation.

Volunteering to CO parent is What the hood needs.

Perhaps this can be a component of the Million Minority Movement.

I am going to post the survey results later today and ask which initiatives you may or may not support, with co parenting being one of them.

the prisoner's wife said...

i am the co-parent, and sometimes SOLE parent to over 100 kids. my students. especially my intervention students with which i spend 2 hours a day. investing yourself emotionally is hard & everyone isn't cut out for that, which is understandable. but giving time AND resources (and making policy changes) is key to helping our kids.

so many good comments in here. i am in awe. i like reading THESE. intelligent & thought out.

i'm down for any anthology that will help some around the way girl see she has options beyond her block. that was me. i had Nas. today rappers are so shaky they can't be trusted with our youth. maybe we should put out a mixtape.

Penni Brown said...

why is ok for meryl streep's character, in that new movie - mama mia, ok to have had so many liaisons that she doesn't know who her daughter's father is, but erykah can't have 3 loving relationships that produces 3 very loved children??? each of whom knows their father.

i won't even go into how a story about a teenager getting pregnant gets oscar nominations (JUNO).

oh, nevermind, i know the answer and you do too.

Penni Brown said...

again, my fingers moved faster than my brain, excuse the typos.
:-)

M.Dot. said...

why is ok for meryl streep's character, in that new movie - mama mia, ok to have had so many liaisons that she doesn't know who her daughter's father is, but erykah can't have 3 loving relationships that produces 3 very loved children??? each of whom knows their father.
============

GURRRRRRRRRRRL.

THATSWHATFUKIMTALKINBOUT.

AfroChic said...

LOL...@ Penni, I was watchin that on Today show thinking wow, an Badu gotta give an account for her babies from healthy meals to passport stamps and she knows all the dad's--a mixtape, video narratives, documentary, short film, anthology I'm down for whatever. Yvonne Bynoe had a call out for motherhood stories but I missed the deadline. I feel so passionate about this being a solo mom of one and always feeling like I've had to do like the old racism adage, 'work twice as hard to prove that I'm just as good' as a two-parent family. It's just me and my daughter and it irks me to no end how people have sometimes felt the need to talk about how intelligent or well traveled my baby is...like her accomplishments should be asterisked since she comes from a single parent home despite the fact that I was nearly 30 when I had her. It hurt me to see J from childhood who was a pregnant teen that was made to get up in front of the church and repent and apologize while Junebug-the baby's dad- slept on the back pew,still have that look of shame in her eyes after all this time and the pastor of that same church, who was a married & decent but judgmental man, still end up with a son dead to violence, an alcoholic son and another who spent most of his adult life in prison before he died from AIDS though they said it was cancer. It hurts that my sister wants kids and can afford them, is intelligent but fears having that asterisk by her name & dealing w/ the comments like I did while her biological clock is ticking fast. and all the while I KNOW married mom's who have husbands who can't tell you the child's fav food or teacher's name yet they will called a dad who does not live with the child a tourist. That whole patriarchal mentality, some great father's going to swoop in and save the day, got too many folks minds all messed up.

M.Dot. said...

My 5 most favorite parts of your last comment.

a. an Badu gotta give an account for her babies from healthy meals to passport stamps and she knows all the dad's--a mixtape, video narratives, documentary, short film, anthology I'm down for whatever.

b.people have sometimes felt the need to talk about how intelligent or well traveled my baby is...like her accomplishments should be asterisked since she comes from a single parent home despite the fact that I was nearly 30 when I had her.

c.J from childhood who was a pregnant teen that was made to get up in front of the church and repent and apologize while Junebug-the baby's dad- slept on the back pew,

d.he died from AIDS though they said it was cancer.

e.It hurts that my sister wants kids and can afford them, is intelligent but fears having that asterisk by her name & dealing w/ the comments like I did while her biological clock is ticking fast.

It seems like there is a running theme in patriarchy.

Punish, Chastise and ridicule the girls/women and let the boys nap/eat a sandwich.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

what do yawl women say about a woman with 3 baby daddies? that should be the issue

men dont trip on men, but do women? just a query

the prisoner's wife said...

with all due respect torrance, that IS NOT the issue.

i think we've said it. she's doing HER. if she were unable to care for her kids, then we might be having a discussion about that, but to lump every woman with multiple children by multiple fathers is like saying All black people are alike because you met a few in college.

the issue is much more complex than how many men she slept with & how many kids she has. and quite honestly...your comments REEK of the type of patriarchical mindset we've been discussing. men don't "trip" on men because being sexually free, and having the CHOICE to do with your body as you see fit is bestowed upon men at birth. no one questions their choices. but women are questioned...by men AND by other women because we're indoctrinated to operate within a system that is NOT set up for us (read: the fact that married women were the property of their husbands & could not own property of their own or make legal decisions--this went on as late as 1970s in Fl).

Penni Brown said...

props to the single moms. i respect the decision to make it happen by yourself if that's your choice.

when i get to that point, i know that i'm gonna need help. everyday, doctor's appt so you miss work, you get the diapers while i get the milk, kinda help. that's just the point with erykah. she's not married but, she's hardly alone.

she truly has a village to help raise her little ones. as long as the kids know their dad and the dads are involved in their lives, i think everyone should mind their business. LOL

the truth of the matter is that it is very threatening to men to have a woman say, i don't need you...i got this. the other truth is that its a shame that women have had to step up in that way so much that for some it has become the default position.

M.Dot. said...

the truth of the matter is that it is very threatening to men to have a woman say, i don't need you...i got this.
========

You think? You don't think that there is a freeing element to having that said to you?

Speaking of Torrance, WHERE are the men. MM typically has a strong male voice.

I know yall reading because I talk to you on the phone, lolcats.

Penni Brown said...

M. - Yeah, I think it can be threatening.

Think about it, our role as women has evolved (? - or is changed a better word) to the point where now we can say that men are the 'icing' to our cake. But, the cake is still dayum tasty without it. Back in the day, they were the cake.

The male role has not changed in parallel. In fact, I've heard many men express confusion about what is expected from them at all.

So, combine that with the fact that alot of men are trying to figure out what being a man means without good role models(in some cases unsuccessfully) many men* are confused and in some cases resentful of the 'optional' status we** place on them in our lives.

*not all men, but some men...
**and not all women but some women.

CLEVA said...

Greetings,

Nice post. I strongly feel that no one can judge another. For Erykah it was pregnancy. For another it may be food. For someone else it may be finances. It's all life decisions and we are to unite and vibrate higher not tear each other down.

Will to Love said...

Torrence,
Man, joe, women talk about men the way that men don't talk about each other all the time. Furthermore, who are you to tell these women what the issue is? They are out here raising children on their own, most of the time not out of choice. Because of your picture, I'm assuming your a dad who parents. I'm a man with no kids. Because of that, I ain't goin tell you how to parent and I'm also not goin tell these women what the real issue is.

pathanapong said...

patriarchy doesn't like strong women. jolie gets a pass cuz she still a sex symbol. humanitarian work? not a threat. Badu and what she stands for is a threat to status quo and a women's role in society. i think the men that are so harsh on her subconsciously subscribes to that.

or they put her on a pedestal, project this righteous image on her and expect her to live up to it.

our culture promotes tearing/breaking people down. kids learn this from a young age which is why they can be so cruel to each other. some dont grow out of it. there's no room for love and compassion. until it's too late. until someone dies. then they have somethin nice to say.

i think that it's important to have 2 or more adults in raising a child. preferrably the parent and an elder. it aint right that American society doesnt give a fuck about older folks. it's the nuclear structure combined with how it's set up for poor folks that messed me up. but we do the best with what we got.

and i call bullshit on "only a man can raise a boy to be a man". eff that, my dad didnt teach me anything.

B! said...

all I could think was when we choose, as women, what do with ourselves, and it involves sexuality and not being on another person dime or watch, be prepared for the ridicule.

I would argue that simply being a non-white woman is reason enough to be prepared for ridicule. All day, that's all I/we face. Much of it is so regular, it's easy to ignore. But yes, the more we step away from the norms (though have Black women ever really been part of the status quo?), the more frequent the negativity becomes.

These days I feel immunity, as I am single and child-less and in a pretty much "You do you, I'll do me" state of mind. But I wonder how receptive I will become or vulnerable I will once again feel the day my belly starts to round.

Anyway.. some interesting points in these comments. Good discussion.

Oh, I'd contribute to that anthology.

Model Minority said...

But I wonder how receptive I will become or vulnerable I will once again feel the day my belly starts to round.
=====

Its bugged out. Because this issue came up at a time where I was precisly considering the route myself. I am tempted to repost some of yall's comments with some Audre lorde theory that I read yesterday that makes the Erykah venom make sense. just to keep it TYUUUUT

Model Minority said...

and i call bullshit on "only a man can raise a boy to be a man". eff that, my dad didnt teach me anything.
=======

WOW.

Some mommas don't teach they kids shit either.

Thats why that nuclear is bull.

AfroChic said...

There is an article at racialicious similar to this discussion...real teen single mom's of color discuss the movie Juno and the author poses the question if Knocked Up-the movie-would have been as funny or well received if the protagonist had been a w.o.c.

M.Dot. said...

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

Say word.

Thank you.

Where my laink?

AfroChic said...

my bad. thought you probably had seen it cause you get posted on there quite often.

http://www.ourtruths.com/magazines/OurTruths-NuestrasVerdades-Summer2008.pdf

if it doesn't work then www.racialicious.com has the link for 7/17/08 links post.

BP said...

I think an anthology is a great idea.

In reading the number of comments for this thought-provoking essay, I thought to myself. There is such a focus on seeing women as property and making sure we call out single mothers with different baby-daddies. But when are we going to discuss love? I guess we cannot get there til we expose and confront patriarchy..

I enjoyed this essay because I think its time we see how the objectification of black women is historical.

I think our views on marriage as a society are flawed. I mean we blame single mothers of color for not being morally responsible by marrying the father of the child but there is not one mention of love. Erykah's response on her website was clear about her having a healthy relationship with her children's fathers..shouldn't that be enough? But it can't be when she is a black woman living in the U.S.

BP said...

My bad..Erykah's "Kiss My Placenta" essay/response wasnt posted on her website.

aimay said...

I'm sure she has the financial resources to care for them. I choose to believe that she has the emotional resources, as well.

I don't really understand why women have multiple kids-- why not adopt? However, this applies to married and unmarried women. A woman shouldn't need to be married for society to validate her decision to give birth.

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