"They Don't Care"...a Guest Post
On the thread “Question Asked; Question Answered” here, I made a rather long, wordy-as-fuck ass comment. Ankhesen cut and highlighted this portion of it:
So I'm going to ask Black women to just leave so-called anti-racist blogs (unless they're run by PoC) and race-relation so-called discussion boards alone. Because, outside of Whites the other main group you see replying to them are Black women. BW pour out our hearts and souls, reveal our hurts and humiliations. And BW always get treated like pure-d-shit on those sites.
I admit, I wrote that from a place of utter frustration and hopelessness. But it’s a sentiment that’s been brewing for a while now. I’ve been online for about 15 years now. And I started going to race relations/discussion boards almost immediately and have been participating in them in some form, one after the other. Basically, the same thing has happened over and over again, Black women (BW) participate in the discussions disproportionally and our contributions are never ever valued.
How are Black women treated on these sites? That can be summed up in one word: badly. While, we do much of the participating, our views are not wanted. On these sites, BW are treated like the ugly girl at the club. No one wants to fuck her so no one wants her attention. People ignore her, bump into her, even knock her down and don’t offer an “Excuse me,” forget about an “I’m sorry.” If she’s lucky, they’ll just ignore her there on the floor. But some will actually glare at her and demand she look where she’s going or to keep her ugly ass out of the way. Others will wonder out loud what her ugly ass was even doing there since no one’d take home a dog like her.
I’ve been on sites where folks posted remarks telling BW not to post so much, accusing us of somehow drowning out or keeping other people, the people they really wanted there and whom they really valued, from commenting. One was a site for White men ironically to remove White women from the pedestal of perfect womanhood. As you can guess, the main participants were WM and BW. Some of the WM complained that BW were commenting too much.
Well, that should have been a hint and a half for BW to cease and desist and just leave that site. The thing was, the WM there didn’t want to create a more equitable beauty and desirability standard (debate about whether there should be either is a whole nuvvah post) for ALL women of color. Just certain ones. And Black women were NOT in that group. They complained we were keeping non-Black women of color from commenting, particularly Asian women. Now there BW were actively supporting and cheering on these men for this site and their views, and these men rhapsodized about Asian women every chance they got. A few even compared BW unfavorably to Asian women. I was there reading and wondering why Black women didn’t just LEAVE! I even made a post telling BW to leave since we weren’t wanted and to let their precious Asian women get on there and leave comments and posts of encouragement and support since their opinions are the ones that matter and are valued.
The guy who started the site later shut it down. He was married to a woman who was half-Iranian, half-White woman (basically, he married the Whitest non-White woman he could find). He never confronted the guys who blamed BW for there not being more Asian women on the site (and there was one who commented, but she was on BW’s side). He didn’t say shit to them about telling the BW not to comment. He said he shut down the blog because he wanted WM to do less venting and bitching on a blog and more 3-D action to bring about a more equitable situation for WoC. I often wonder if part of the reason for the shutdown was because he didn’t get the women he really wanted to post and back him. He got us unwanted nigger bitches instead. I started wondering whether or not BW should be bothered with these online forums then.
Other sites treat BW like the unwanted guest that you only invited for etiquette’s sake and so you wouldn’t look bad, like the friend you really love with the shitty-ass spouse you wish you could push down a long flight of stairs. If you want the great friend to come, you have to invite the shitty spouse. If you want to have an anti-racist or race-relations discussion site, you cannot well say “But Black women need NOT attend!” You’d look like a hypocrite. You’d look like a racial misogynist. You’d look like a Black woman hater. But you’d at least be honest.
That’s how we’re treated on those sites. At first, our input is welcome, especially if the site is young and trying to get off the ground. But then once the site grows, it seems that BW’s comments are no longer wanted. I kept seeing that on various websites. We go on these sites assuming that the participants, moderators and owners really do want a true discussion about race in America. When we participate in good faith we find the opposite. Comments from self-identified BW are treated as if they were noisome static.
We pour out our guts only to have our experiences picked over, questioned, dissected, examined, diminished, dismissed and denied.
I found this on a website called, “The Black Woman’s Interracial Relationship Circle”:
Spilling their 'guts' for sympathyThat passage said it all for me. Of course BW are getting nowhere “spilling our guts” over and over on these websites! Folks use our pain as entertainment, as pain porn. They can simultaneously feign sympathy all the while being relieved that they are not us. They do get off on our suffering because they believe, at bottom, that’s what we get for being Black women. And meanwhile, after all of this not a damn thing changes for Black women online or in the 3-D world.
And what is this about black women in public forums trying to explain why we are in the situation/spilling their guts to wider parties as if they care. THEY DON’T. Why can’t black women get it, that others just don’t care! There is no general narrative out there in the public space that encourages ‘sympathy’ for black women and her condition, and in addition, many factions are actively working to keep the situation as it is, so that black women do not get to have any piece of this very important public sympathy, which is a currency as it can easily translate into all sorts of policy changes and redirection of resources towards black women.
The constructed discourses out there have told and taught people to not ‘stop’ and contemplate what black women are experiencing nor extend any sympathetic concern in fact, in some quarters black women are seen to be having it sooooo good, that is when they are not themselves busy victimizing the poor henpecked black man or the sensitive little white woman. It is one of the reasons why we black women are ‘kept’ in a particular uncomplimentary narrative, acting out roles that reinforce the notion that we should get no sympathy and don’t deserve it. Indeed general sympathy easily translates into all sorts of practical benefits, which folk are fighting tooth and nail to prevent black women from getting.
Here it is plainly again, ‘Others don’t care about the black woman's plight, and want to maintain a situation where the wider community continues to not care or overlook black women's situation.' So stop crying and spilling your guts in public forums. Many of the other factions are pretending to be listening and in ‘honest discussion’ with you but they are enjoying seeing you upset and sad and of course working yourself into a froth trying to explain how it is, so they can show you just how little they care, and yet black women persist with the ‘explaining’, thinking 'they will get it!
No you, the black woman, need to 'get it' that they have no intention of ‘getting it.’
I know some black women think that they can 'let it all hang out' like other women, and that they should be free to. Well you are free to no doubt but you will pay a price so high for that.
I’ve had the same experiences and feelings regarding even so-called interracial dating and romance discussion sites (and I mean discussion sites, not sites that match you up with people). I’ve always been interested in interracial dating, and when I first got on the net, I found interracial dating sites. The first hard lesson I got was to avoid general interracial sites. They were dominated by Black men and White women who constantly talked major shit about Black women and how much we sucked and how superior White women were, and how it was understandable that Black men didn’t want us, blah, blah, blah. Even on sites that didn’t have that, you could count on a White woman sweeping in with the inevitable question of why we evil, unwanted, unattractive, jealous, Black bitches hated so on her and her Black man and their Great Forbidden Love.
So then I decided only to go on those sites expressly for BW interested in interracial dating. I got an eye opening there as well. First, the men were mostly White (though every now and then you did get a Black man letting us darkie gals know that we were just fooling ourselves and that no one wanted our rhino-hided, she-beast asses) and the women, of course were Black. In many of the forums, BW seemed to dominate the conversation. I was left wondering where were all these men that were supposedly so interested in us? Why weren’t they responding? When they did, it was often one of two types of comments.
The first one is rhapsodizing about BW’s physical charms. It was all about our big butts and dark skin. It was rare to hear them say anything about our hair (except they didn’t care how we wore it and napptural hair didn’t bother them), and even more rare to hear anything about our spirits, our minds, our personalities. It was all about loving the luscious booties and how the skin contrasts between them and BW turned them on.
The second was about how difficult it was to approach BW, ask us out and even begin a relationship with us. I had to quit a Facebook group for BW/WM because all the WM ever seemed to do was whine about how haaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrd it was to approach BW! I bet these are the SAME WM who have no problem barging all up on non-BW whether their attentions are wanted or not. They'll speak that shitty high school Spanish they remember to Latinas only to be coldly told that the chick in question does not speak Spanish. They'll roll up on an Asian woman and speak some busted up Chinese, Japanese or Korean shit they learned from watching anime only to have ol' girl let them know, "Sorry, dude. WRONG ASIAN ETHNICITY!" But these White guys don't let their rejections faze them. They just move on to the next one.
But with BW, they're all in a-tangle! I really think they cannot face even the idea of potential rejection from us because it wounds their egos so. Just think; the lowliest creature on the planet doesn't want you! They cannot face up to that.
And it’s really about that, BW’s lack of social capital. Compare that to WM/Asian women (AW)’s boards. There the WM are the overwhelming number of posters. There may not even be one AW posting there. That doesn’t stop the WM there from rhapsodizing about how wonderful AW are and even how they’re superior to WW. AW have the social capital to have WM online drooling over them. They don’t even have to be present, much less be online begging WM to notice them and love them. But yet again, here are BW busting our asses for people who just ain’t that into us.
This is why I’m for BW removing ourselves from these forums. All we’re doing is spilling our guts, putting our hearts and souls out there and all they’re being is trampled upon. Maybe discussed a little and then promptly forgotten. If they want others on their websites supporting them, giving them a high-five then let those others do just that. And if you’re a BW and you DARE criticize them, then you should just prepare to be treated like everything but a child of the Creator. How dare a lowly li’l niglet like you dare criticize her betters! No, let the folks whom they want, whom they value do the dirty work.
And these same sites often do not care that they wear out the BW that support and comment on them to the point where those members leave and never comment again. Like I said, we’re not who they want. We’re not who they value. So what if some nigger bitch is tired and frustrated over their shenanigans. Maybe she’ll finally go away and take some of these other nigger bitches with her! Maybe future nigger bitches will finally get the hint and stay the hell away from their precious site.
I’m not saying that BW should retire from the internet or should refrain from discussing these issues or any issues that affect us. I’m saying we need to understand that spilling our guts in public will get us nowhere because no one cares about BW. I’m not saying that we do not deserve better treatment on these sites. I’m saying we’re just not going to get it. It’s best for us not to waste our precious time and even more precious energy and feelings to be disappointed, hurt and humiliated over and over again. I’m saying we need to use our finite resources to help ourselves and other BW. I’m saying we should use the internet for our uplift, not in a futile attempt to tilt at the windmills of others having sympathy for us.
Suggested reading: "What Happened to the Honey?"