I was really surprised at what happened to BWE. I have the Canadian experience where maybe 90% of the Black media I'm exposed to comes from AA women (including bloggers). So it's rare that I would see a Black Canadian woman or Caribbean woman in the media or online. That is the experience for many non-AA women so that is why we have an opinion about the AA media we consume and how they portray Black women. It's all we have really. There may be some non-AA women we watch but they are often in American films anyway. All the models, advertisements, music videos, and songs are the same ones you are exposed to but BWE sites are saying our opinions don't count, we don't know what we are talking about, and we are "the enemy" now. Just as AA women complain that they are not represented enough in the media and make do with what the White majority gives them, non-AA women are not represented and have to make due with what the White majority AND AA-minority provides. Yet we are not asking for them to represent us more in the media, we are asking that they represent themselves better for their own good, and for the good of Black people all over the world. What they present affects all of us so we should have a say.
Furthermore, if as some sites say, there is a more positive view of Caribbean and African women then why not look at some of us for ideas just as Black women all over the world frequently look to AA women for ideas? It seems that they only want the influence to be one sided and ignore the fact that non-AA women have lived with their outside influence and are still able to maintain unique parts of themselves. Why can't you look to other women for ideas and influence as many of us look to others including yourselves? If your goal is the be better respected and date interracially as many non-AA women do, wouldn't it make sense to figure out what non-AA women do and start enacting those things? I have no problem looking to AA, Asian, and even White women for ideas about how to do things. I look to men for ideas about how to do other things. Observe, learn, and make it your own for your own benefit while remembering who you are.
Unlike what I have read on BWE sites, I don't see the success of AA women as taking something away from me. AA women looking good does not make me look bad so I don't want them to fail or be mistreated and I do care. Unfortunately it seems like BWE sites are telling AA women to view success of any non-dark skinned or non-AA woman as a personal rejection and as taking something away from them. That is how our experiences and reality differ so I'll leave that alone. I am all for diversity of skintones and features but you can advocate for that without the anger and personal attacks on light or biracial women. It would be great to see someone writing who has a perspective similar to my own. It would be great to see all women of African descent, regardless of how long their ancestors have been away from Africa, no matter their skin colour, be able to discuss the improvement of their global image which happens to be strongly influenced by the American media. BWE writers can see that the White majority has the control over how Black people are represented in Western countries and still feel they should have a say, even when they don't control the industry. Well, AA-people are overrepresented in the media presented to Western countries, and even though non-AA people don't control the industry, we also want to have a say, and what we want is to see YOU better represented. This isn't just a media thing either. We want AA-women and Black women everywhere to be viewed with higher regard. Those same Eurocentric standards apply to all Black women, not just AA-women.
I think what BWE sites are suffering from is groupthink and group polarization. Groupthink happens when a group of people makes decisions, there is a charismatic leader/leaders, many people think the same, and dissenting views are discouraged or strongly rejected. This leads the group to ignore different perspectives and not weigh all facts and possibilities. In BWE, by ignoring dissenting views, views from outsiders, or refusing to weigh alternatives or play devil's advocate, they are in danger of making unwise choices (e.g., fostering hostility towards biracial/light-skinned women while ostensibly advocating for interracial relationships that produce biracial children, or trying to do everything alone and starting from scratch instead of using trying to benefit from what other people have already done). Group polarization happens when a cohesive group becomes more and more extreme when compared to a group with more diverse membership. BWE is becoming extreme. It's narrowed itself from being about the improvement of all Black women down to only AA-women (who don't have recent African or Caribbean roots), who are not light skinned or biracial. So anything that supports someone who doesn't fit that mold is rejected, criticized, and called the enemy. Their views are extreme (e.g., reject other Black people, reject all media and make your own, boycott almost everything, don't listen to many people who could have good ideas, don't support anyone who isn't AA, and not supporting the end of atrocities in other countries like those 200 girls kidnapped in Nigeria...yes seriously that happened). How can sites support interracial marriage that produces light-skinned and biracial children and at the same time call those women the enemy?
When a group like this wants mainstream change they will not appeal to the mainstream if they are so extreme. They will lose the support from women who are light-skinned, biracial, or foreign who BWE writers have said have advantages and privileges they could extend. I'm all for AA-women advocating for their best interests first but I think these other women could be allies that can help by playing devil's advocate, being less emotionally-involved, and having a different perspective. I stand by my belief that when you are drowning take whatever help you can get and make due. If you are starving take whatever food you can get because you may not get anything better for a long time. Use these other people as a crutch until you can walk on your own. If you want to eliminate something from your life go ahead but there is no need to be so hostile and cruel to people who choose mainstream views and are doing just fine. We all have choices, the right choice for you may be an unnecessary choice or the wrong choice for others. Promote dark-skinned women all day long but don't burn bridges insulting people because they don't want to get on your bandwagon because they may be beside you for your next cause.
I know that BWE sites like to compare how they are treated by Black men and feminists and talk about intersectionality to defend their right to put themselves first. As a Canadian woman I am not asking AA women to put anyone else first or put their needs to the side. That is the difference between non-AA Black women, Black men, and feminists so please remember that. Women like me want AA women to do better and live better and if they make that a priority it's fantastic. I am not asking them to put non-AA women, Black men, or White feminists first so please don't compare the situations. I am not trying to sabotage you. I am trying to help you avoid groupthink and group polarization that is causing strife in your group and turning off the less extreme members. If you want mainstream change you need to make views acceptable to mainstream Black folks with moderate views, that's just the way it is. The more extreme and narrow your message, the more disparaging you are of people who are attracted to your sites (e.g., Black women around the world with various skintones), the less support you will get from those people and others who care about those people. You may feel you can do all of this on your own, but ask yourselves, how well is it working?