Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Should an Elegant Black Woman be a Pleaser or a Giver?

I just read a great new post on the Feminine Woman called Pleaser Woman Always Lose Out-The Difference Between Pleasing and Giving! Please read the article so that you understand the rest of this post. The main point I got from the article is that "Pleaser Women" do things out of fear of losing their partner or other people and "Giver Women"  do things because they can afford to be generous (in terms of internal resources). People don't respect pleaser women and they are often manipulated.

If you have read "He's Just Not That Into You" or "The Rules", the Pleaser Woman is the woman who waits by the phone for her man, drops everything and runs over to his place whenever he wants, and has no life or plans of her own. She gives everything often to her detriment. People lose respect for this woman because they know she will do whatever they want and will probably be there no matter what. This woman is too available and easy to get so she is not a challenge for men and they don't want to keep her (she has sex too quickly in order to please or keep the man). This is the type of woman who gives her children everything they want so they end up dependent or spoiled.

The Giver Woman is busy doing things with her life and she fits in giving when she can. Because she has her own life men want to commit to her so that they can have some of that valuable time. They can not take advantage of her because she has enough internal and external resources to live without the man so they behave better. Sometimes what she gives may not be what the other person wants (e.g., honest opinions), but it's what they need! This woman is hard to get so the man must pursue her and wants to win her, often with marriage (she delays having sex until the time is right and the man develops respect and love for her). This is the type of woman who gives her children what they need, not always what they want, so that they can be independent and dependent enough to be well-rounded.

Givers tend to be strong and independent women though, the very women some men are complaining about! They key is to not say you are strong and independent, tell people you don't need them, or flaunt your independence or resources. You just live your life and achieve your goals without the labels. Good men want this, they will cherish their time with you, and they will appreciate their time alone or with their friends.

Pleasers don't tend to be strong and independent because they put everyone's wants before their own. Some men say this is what they want (i.e., a 'submissive' woman who speaks only when she is spoken to, let's the man lead her life, lives to serve her man) but you don't want a man who likes this! He will want to control you and have you at his beck and call! Some men will like it at first, but after a while they will lose respect for you and possibly take advantage of you. It won't benefit you in the long run.

In the past I was a pleaser, but after reading these books a few years ago I became a giver, and I am much happier with myself. I think an Elegant Black Woman should be a giver and that will also make her a keeper to others!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Letting a Man be a Man

I just read an interesting article on Madame Noire Called "How to Let a Man Be a Man". The article advises that women need to:
  • Let him pay for dates
  • Let him be a gentleman (if he is one)
  • Let him initiate contact
  • Let him propose marriage
  • Let him be who he is
I have read these things before and I agree with them. However, on YouTube and the web MANY of the Black men don't seem to want to do the first three points! They complain that we don't know how to let them be men, but many of them, even the ones that seem nice, say that we should not expect them to do these things! I must note that I am only noticing this with Black men and I don't hear these things from men of other races (who probably have other flaws).

When it comes to dating, I've heard many men complain that they want to go Dutch for the first date and it's too expensive for them to pay for every first date. Others complain that since we wanted feminism, they don't have to be chivalrous anymore and we are getting what we wanted. They don't feel the need to be more delicate or gentle with us (especially when we say we are strong and independent) and would never open a door for us. Just today I saw a video of a man complaining that women are not approaching him or complimenting him and was pleased that two White women did! 

This is infuriating because they are complaining about not being treated like men but they won't be men! I think we have different definitions of what a man does. They seem to be saying (especially in marriage) that the man is the leader and the head of the household who makes the final decisions and he is supposed to be the provider. THAT'S IT! A lot of them sound like spoiled children who just want to get their own way and think that because they are men they have some divine ability to make the best decisions! The funny thing about these men is that they sound more old fashioned than most women but they don't act like old fashioned gentlemen! Maybe it's just me, but I find it scary that they define their role based on power and control over women. It's interesting that I've been looking at online dating profiles and a lot of the White men actually list independence as a quality they look for in women and state they are looking for a partner and best friend...interesting isn't it?

My definition of a husband does not include any of that. For me, the man is my partner who has the qualities I mentioned in my earlier post "Why are Black Women Frustrated with Men". If he wants to be "the provider" then obviously he needs to earn more than me so that's why I want someone who earns more. I am looking for a partnership and (I don't care what anyone says) from my training I have learned that people can come up with compromises. I challenge anyone to come up with a situation where there a decision has to be made between two EQUAL choices, both partners want a choice to the SAME DEGREE, and there are no possible compromises. If you gather enough facts and weigh how much you really want something, you will come up with a choice or someone will give up. So, he can make many decisions, especially if he is special knowledge or history with such decisions, but for important things there has to be a discussion and I will not accept him just putting his foot down and saying "This is the way it's going to be because I said so". 

Furthermore, many men complain that successful educated women don't give them a chance. Well, maybe these women are looking for someone who is willing and ABLE to pay for dates and provide for them. How can they be providers when they can't afford it and the woman is providing more? She wants to provide a good life for her children and she can estimate whether he can provide that or not. We don't want to change the men, so we would rather find someone who meets our standards. I wish I could find a man willing to do the things on this list. Hopefully there are some out there.

Lessons We Can Learn From Beauty Queens

I recently watched a beauty pageant and it gave me the idea for this post. There are some great tips we can learn from beauty pageant contestants that would add to our EBW qualities! Now I'm not advocating that you enter a pageant or debating whether they are sexist or not (I think they should get rid of the swimsuit competition though). For this post I'm just using pageants as a way to demonstrate the qualities of feminine, elegant women. Beauty queens are also fantasy women for many men who want the best of the best! These are the qualities of the idealized beauty queen:

  1. Beauty: A beauty queen makes herself look beautiful, feminine, and elegant.  She wears natural looking make-up that accentuates her good features but nothing overpowering. She looks naturally beautiful instead of "made-up" (no bad weaves or rainbow coloured hair). She also keeps herself physically fit and avoids unhealthy foods. Beauty queens have excellent posture and walk with feminine confidence (however, the beauty queen walk is only suitable for the stage!).
  2. Elegant Attire: A beauty queen dresses in elegant, feminine, classic, or professional attire. She does not look "ghetto" or "ghettofabulous". She is always wearing something presentable because she is in the public eye. She dresses modestly to preserve her good reputation. Beauty queens are everyday women who dress and act like queens and you can too...well without the crown of course!
  3. Dignity and Respect: A beauty queen has a good reputation, she is respected, and she carries herself with dignity. She does not engage in scandalous behaviour that would keep her out of the pageant or cause her to lose her crown. That means, no scandalous videos or photos, no substance abuse, no criminal background, no promiscuity. If you have these things is your past, it's time to stop, put that past behind you, and change your image. It's never too late.
  4. Poise: Beauty pageants are public events and the major ones are televised around the world. These women have to be on their best behaviour because everyone is watching. If they trip or fall they must be able to get up and carry on without complaining, causing a scene, swearing, pouting, or any other unladylike behaviour. They maintain their composure. When a contestant is asked controversial questions she thinks before she speaks and provides a moderate or popular response that will not offend anyone. In your everyday life, do you act like everyone is watching? Do you avoid offending people? Maybe you (and I ) should start.
  5. Congeniality: A congenial person is pleasant, friendly, and sociable. A person with this quality is well liked, popular, and a role model for others. This is an all-around nice person. Remember to be congenial with others instead of bitter, mean, rude, hateful, or argumentative. These negative behaviours may make you feel good in the short term, but they will ruin your reputation and push others away. 
  6. Education and Talent: Some beauty pageants are actually scholarship competitions. The financial prize will be used by the women to further their educations. The message here is do what you need to do (legally) to further your education. You can be attractive and intelligent! If your beauty gets you into a job or opportunity, just make sure you have the skills and training to stay there. These women also have talents and hobbies that they demonstrate in the pageants. Hobbies are great ways to spend your time, they are something to talk about, you will feel confident once you master your hobby, and they make you a more interesting and well-rounded person. 
  7. SMILING!!!! Beauty queens are always smiling. Try smiling while you speak, when you are on the phone, and when people look at you. Smile when you ask for something or when you are giving constructive criticism. It works!

Learning the Art of Cooking

Last weekend I was grocery shopping and there was a charity book sale. It was just my luck that there was a cooking section and I was able to purchase three great cookbooks on sale!

I bought Cooking for Today (1985; didn't realize it was so old). But it has over 660 recipes and photos of almost every recipe. It was $5.00 instead of $39.95. I also bought Cooking in Colour (1982; oh wow, it's so old maybe the cooking times won't apply to modern ovens...oh well). This one was $4.00 instead of $29.95 and it has photos of every recipe. The third book I bought was Good Cooking Magic (2003) and it was $3.50 instead of $16.95. This book barely has any images of the dishes but it has 50s style images of women cooking (no Black folks at all!). It's supposed to teach people the basics of cooking. I need this because I realize it's not just about following the recipe, there are certain basics I need to learn. I've been reading through it. I hope these books will help me out and I'm going to start trying to cook some new things.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Feeling Guilty About Last Post

I'm feeling conflicted again. On the one hand I want to be pleasant and ladylike, I don't want to say negative things, and I don't want to argue. But I don't like it when people are picked on, and if my group is picked on I think it is practically my duty to speak up. It's funny, but I only ever argue with people online on blogs or YouTube because in real life no one is saying racist things in my presence. I don't see Black men standing up in the street insulting Black women. No one I work with has ever said the hurtful things that Black women bashers do. So if I criticize them, am I being like them or am I fighting a bully to make them stop? If they stopped or YouTube stopped them then I would stop. I didn't start this, they did, but that sounds childish doesn't it?

HOWEVER, a lady is not a doormat and does not tolerate being disrespected. She does not allow men to disrespect her and that is exactly what I am doing. Is it unfair for me to criticize these men based on their personal characteristics? Maybe. I guess I was trying to prove that they should be pointing the finger at themselves instead of all Black women. I could do a post about their arguments, but actually, I don't even want to talk about them anymore, they are not the focus of this blog! I guess I was irritated and maybe I shouldn't blog angry (but angry blogs are sometimes the best aren't they?). Well on their videos and blogs I do focus on the points they are making.

I admit, I do enjoy arguing with them on their videos because really, they aren't very smart and I think I described them correctly below (that wasn't nice). So do I have to be a lady ALL the time or can I be bad when I'm online? I guess if I'm bad online that won't help the reputation of Black women will it? I will come off as a loud, angry Black woman. I want to be consistent about the person I'm trying to be. I can't just be nice in real life and have an attitude online...well, people do act differently depending on the situation. Oh, what would Claire Huxtable do? Who knows, they didn't even have the internet back then so maybe she would act exactly the way I do.

Okay, I've decided I am going to leave these posts up and see what happens. If I get other people saying it's wrong I will take it down. I still want to comment on videos though to show these men they are wrong. Actually based on my comments one of these men asked me and other women how to do constructive videos and I haven't seen any more negative ones from him. That shows commenting can change some of these men. Anyway, once I get busier I won't have time for the videos.

So what do you think? Maybe I shouldn't care or spend time thinking about this, but it actually helps distract me from stressors in my offline life.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Black Women Bashers are Pathetic Excuses for Men

I feel torn. I like the idea of being nice and kind but it's so hard to do that when men are posting hateful videos about Black women on YouTube. Go on that site and enter the search term "black women". What you will find are videos by Black men criticizing and insulting Black women and blaming them for all the problems in the Black community. You will also find videos posted by Black men and racists showing Black women acting badly with the explanation that MOST Black women act that way, this is why we are inferior to other women, and this is why they won't date us. I would guess 97% of these videos are by Black men because they tend to be flagged and removed when they are by non-Black racists.

I am not like the women in the videos, but by posting these videos and claiming that most Black women fit those stereotypes, these videos affect me. As a Black woman I feel compelled to stand up and fight to correct these unfair assaults on our image. Most of the time I find it frustrating, but yesterday I actually found it amusing! I was amused because I realized that the men posting and commenting on these videos are really the bottom of the barrel and don't have anything to offer a woman like me. An EBW is a lady, but she is not a doormat! I think sometimes I can be insulting to these men, but if they put these videos up then they are asking for an argument. I think you can tell so much about the men based on the videos and comments and these are my observations:

  1. These men are not educated. You can tell they are not because their spelling is atrocious and their grammar is pitiful. They don't even know how to capitalize the first letter of a new sentence! They also resort to swearing and insults instead of focusing on the argument. I also think many of their arguments don't make sense and they are incapable of understanding women's viewpoints. They may be victims of a poor school system, or they may not have applied themselves in school. Either way, I wouldn't want one of them.
  2. These men are not successful. These men get offended when successful women say they want a successful man. If they were actually successful then they would not be offended. These men have not achieved much and they want us to ignore that, give them our bodies, and "submit" to them just because they are men!
  3. These men are desperate for respect. They have done nothing else in their lives to deserve respect. They are desperately trying to get it based on the fact that they are men which somehow entitles them to respect. They use the Bible to justify that men should be the leaders and women were made for men, they go on and on about the roles of men and women, criticize matriarchy, and rant about feminism. A man who was successful, makes good decisions, and carries himself like a gentleman would not need these arguments because he would be respected automatically! We should respect everyone's basic rights, but the type of respect these men want can only be earned. They have not earned this respect and that hurts their egos.
  4. These men can not get the women they want. These men complain that Black women don't want a good man and only want thugs. They claim that they are good men and there are plenty of them around. That tells me that they think they are good catches but the women they want obviously don't and they are rejecting them. In fact, these women are rejecting them harshly with a lot of attitude which has been a blow to the men's egos. The only way they can protect their self-esteem is by criticizing the women instead.
  5. The only thing these men offer is sex. These men get upset when Black women on YouTube talk about liking White or Asian men. Frequently, they say Black women are crazy for liking Asian men because Black men are supposed to be better endowed, as if that is the only thing a woman wants. When Black women talk about the positive traits of men they know of other races, Black men ignore everything (e.g., personality, respect, education, career, sensitivity, romance etc.) and focus on sex. They do this because they know they do not have the qualities these other men have so the focus on the one thing they "possibly" have over them. 
  6. These men do not hold themselves accountable for their lives. These men blame everyone for their current situation including their mothers, Black women in general, "The Man", racism, and discrimination. Yes, racism and discrimination may have a role, the economy, where one grew up, and  parents do have a role, but what are they going to do about that? They take NO responsibility for the choices they have made. The finger is always pointed elsewhere so they don't see any need to change themselves and spend their time lecturing about women needing to change. Men like this will not improve their circumstances because they do not realize that it is extremely difficult to change other people and it is easier to change yourself.
  7. These men's standards are too high. Black women bashers are unrealistic about the women they want. Why would a middle class, successful woman want a poor man who goes from job to job with no security? Why would someone with an education want someone without one? Why would she want someone with a criminal record? According to these men they are attractive and good men (I don't know what criteria they are using) and that should be all a woman should look for. If she wants anything else then she is a snob, a golddigger, or a mammy for "The Man". They ignore the much researched notion that women want security, stability, and someone who can provide her their children. Looking good or being well endowed doesn't ensure any of that. These men complain about women with attitudes who are superficial, with children from different fathers but maybe...those women are on their level and the only ones who would want them! The men can't accept that based on their lack of achievement they can not get better women. They have to face the fact that they need to educate themselves and get better jobs if they want better women.  
  8. These men are immersed in hip hop culture. I say this because any time someone blames the hip hop culture for the misogyny, materialism, aggression, and criminality of Black men they take offence and try to justify the music and it's messages. They do not see their misogyny or double standards or any harm the music could cause. They equate being Black with liking hip hop and do not pursue any other cultural genres. These men want to be rappers or ball players no matter how unlikely it is to to become a professional in these areas. They waste their time trying to achieve that dream instead of focusing on school or other creative ideas. I would advise EBWs to stay away for men who areTOO interested in hip hop.
  9. These men just hate Black women and nothing will change that. There are some Black men posting videos who have never liked Black women, or they have decided they don't want to date them again. These men are not providing constructive criticism to help Black women so that maybe they can date again. These men just want to spread their hate. Their video are no better that those posted by racists. They do not care about improving the Black community or fostering Black love. These videos should be flagged and removed.
The next time you are on YouTube and you see one of these video, think about this post and who is behind the video. They are not helping the Black community, they are the LEAST capable of doing so, and they don't have anything to offer an EBW.