Who and What are BWE and IR bloggers/writers?
BWE/IR writers and activists believe that black women deserve full and favourable options in all areas of life. We work to communicate both the knowledge and insight that will enable black women go forward and win.
We are Sisterkeepers!
IR writers in particular focus on black women succeeding in the area of relationship by taking up all their dating and relationship options (their interracial options in particular).
The name BWE (black women empowerment) and IR (interracial) writers was actually bestowed upon this group of women because of the work they do, and has in essence stuck!
‘What do BWE/IR aim to achieve?
BWE/IR writers and bloggers are passionate about black women winning in all areas of life. They see a current situation with black women being taught to live restricted and limited lives (as an appropriate way of life for the black woman) as the cause of lack of fulfilment among a huge portion of the black female population, whose lives are characterised by struggle, aloneness and lack of the desired companionship, unfulfilled dreams, esteem issues etc. In other words, black women have come away with a raw deal by abiding by this socially approved lifestyle for the black woman.
BWE/IR writers are helping to change this state of affairs by changing black women’s mindset so they embrace abundance and winning.
A ‘Service to Community’ mindset has left many black women with unmet personal needs.
BWE/IR work involves highlighting strategies that are necessary to take black women to higher and more satisfying levels of living by:
- Analyzing firstly how black women come to be here in the place of lack (e.g. understanding how they are misdirected, misinformed and ‘farmed’ as a resource for their community).
- Building a winning strategy on this understanding and clarity of their situation
Are IR and BWE the same? If not, what is the connection between IR and BWE?
BWE is the term used to identify any writing and work done to enhance black women’s lives across board. IR writers have a specific focus around black women achieving the relationships they desire. However there is quite a lot of crossover with BWE often chipping in about relationships, and IR writers also addressing general issues pertaining to black women. Some would like a clear distinction between the two groups, however this isn’t always possible or simple.
Why are white men the only options that are brought up for black women with regards dating wider?
Actually they are not and there are some IR writers who do write about black women dating beyond just black and white, however an emphasis on white men in BWE/IR writing is for two basic reasons:
- One is that white men form the majority of men in the West, thus it is only realistic that they be discussed as the main group of men for black women’s interracial options.
- The second reason is that due to the history of black and white, it is this combination that black women have the greatest resistance to. In other words they have trouble with the idea of interracial dating with white men not necessarily with Asian men, Latinos etc. So if there is any ‘work’ needed, it is essentially around the black-white connection.
Black women who are open to dating white men are as a rule almost always open to other groups of men.
Aren’t black women simply just attracted to black men? Aren’t we just more comfortable with them and just prefer black men?
Very little beyond a need to show ourselves so ‘enamoured’ with our own race confirms the idea of black women being solely attracted to black men. In truth, for black women to have some sort of innate attraction only to black men, then black men themselves would have the same sole attraction (the same impulse would be present in men and women for it to make sense) which as we look around we can confirm not to be the case.
That black women however think or have convinced themselves they have a sole preference for black men and the dire situation this belief has created among them is not in question. BWE/IR writers expand this discussion
Shouldn’t we be building our community, shouldn’t black women and black men be in unity? Would BWE prefer our black race to die?
This question presupposes that black women lack interest in the uplift of black people. On the contrary black women have continued to sacrifice and strive on behalf of the race, without an equal commitment from black men.
The state of affairs must be described accurately; black women must reject the deceptiveness inherent in the pretence that both black women and men need to ‘up’ their commitment, when it is clearly the critical element of black men’s commitment to the cause of black uplift that continues to hold black unity at bay.
As long as black men remain uninterested, the best course open to black women is to live their lives independent of any recourse to black men.
Why are black men the way they are now?
Black men are no longer in the mind of ‘the community’. They have essentially disconnected from the whole idea and push for the black community and have made the decision to pursue life in terms of individual interests. This is quite evident in the choices they make and the actions they take even though when asked point blank, it is often strenuously denied (keeping the belief that they are ‘onboard’ is a more expedient strategy to admitting otherwise in terms of holding on to black women’s support and goodwill which they might need to call on at some point). In this case actions speak louder than words.
Black men act as free agents in the presence of opportunity, not as people who place race concerns and race priorities in the forefront of their thoughts.
It is clear that black men are not strongly into the ideas of ‘race uplift’ and all such other notions that black women are into. Black men and women have become of divergent, and of a different mindset re community uplift and while community uplift still to a great extent, guides black women’s aspirations, they do not have such a central pull on black men.
Why do IR (interracial) writers mention black men at all?
To get a clear picture of the real situation of black women, we cannot but bring black men into the analysis.
Why bring up black men at all in BWE discussions?
Black men are a key part of the discussion about black women’s current situation; therefore a clear picture cannot be achieved without any discussion of the part black men play or have played in the state of affairs. This is the only angle that brings up black men in BWE/IR work?
Are you saying it will be better with a white man? There are dogs and jerks in all races!
It is politically correct and sounds sensible to say things like ‘there are dogs/jerks in all races’ etc etc, but from our many years of writing and researching in this area, and hearing black women report back their experiences, many have confessed having a better time with white men. This is not a fluke but a repeating theme!
If black women feel they can ‘open up’ about the situation, many will acknowledge that their experiences with white men have been good and often better than what they have been offered by black men. Now we can try to squash this black female ‘truth’ because it does not fit in with what we would want to hear and seems to be suggesting something inherently wrong with black men, however we can look at this situation in terms of ‘motivation’.
One key explanation for this situation is that ‘a different set of circumstances’ creates white men than that which creates the black man. Many of the social dynamics creating the toxic black dating arena are absent or moderated in the wider dating context.
You might need to read a fair bit of BWE/IR writing to understand how this idea is developed, however and in brief, we can look at one area. The notion, of the ‘endangered black male’ has resulted in a certain indulging (spoiling) of black men, who are not socially sanctioned from expressing poor attitudes towards black women. We can even note that the sheer number imbalance between black men available for marital relationships and those of black women available for such relationships, easily leads to a buyer’s market situation for black men giving them little incentive to woo black women.
White men on a whole still operate within the social expectations of ‘wooing’ the women.
White men do not operate under conditions that foster run away masculinity as is encouraged in the black community, though we do have some instances where men of certain status might feel they are ’God’s gift’ to women. However this is not the general situation for the average white male, while the overvaluing of black males does generally exist in the black setting.
Very few people want black women to realize and understand how their situation is shaped by such social dynamics (as in this case those of demand and supply), because they want black women to always see black people’s responses as ‘transcending’ ones. Black women would then maintain a belief that black people always have a brotherly response towards each other instead of coming to the realization (clearly evidenced) that like all people, black folks too, respond to the dynamics in the social system, which include practical concerns, biological imperatives and reward systems, very few out of the fabled ‘goodness of their hearts.’
When you say that black men are this and the other, have you interviewed or surveyed all black men to come up with such blanket conclusions?
No one needs to interview or survey all black men to note specific trends and activities common to them as a group, much the same way no one needs to interview all white people to understand that there is racial prejudice to be found among the ranks of white people.
Discrimination particularly against darker black women, hostility towards black women, lack of affection and the targeting of black women for malevolence and ill-treatment, are perceptible trends in the activities of black men currently and many of these have been revealed in social studies and statistics around violence etc.
Acts of violence against black women by black men register very high when compared with the rest of society, and this does point to the fact that some other dynamic as opposed to ‘brotherly concern for sisters’ is at play and must be recognized for the safety and well-being of black womanhood.
Why do BWE/IR want to tell black women what to do?
BWE/IR bloggers and writers see themselves as big sisters and sister keepers to black women/girls. We see it as our responsibility to intimate black women about the reality of the situation they face (particularly as there seems to be deliberate covering over of the situation for the fear of the new ‘trajectory’ that the informed black women might take).
However we do not push black women into any course of action. We simply supply the analysis of the situation and point out to black women what actions might be ill-advised given the reality of what they face. We are like traffic signs along the highway pointing out situations and dangers ahead. But this does not constitute taking away black women’s free will as the decision of what to do with the information and knowledge still remains in their hands!
So white men are it now? When did racism cease?
White men and other races of men are just being added to the menu. Racism is still a reality which black women have long since been well instructed about. What they have never been made aware of however, is the much more critical in-house situation that they face particularly from black men who have long since ceased to look protectively at black women. It is this situation that black women need to be more aware of because they continue to be blindsided by it!
Don’t you think that black men and black women need each other in this racist society where they have no one else?
If our destinies were really tied together, then black women would be unable to make any headway in life without black men, but this has not been the case and black women have shown that they can adequately forge ahead with their individual lives without critical input from black men.
You can however see that it is in projects where black women require the intimate participation of black men that they struggle, for an instance with the black family.
The solution would then be to not get involved in projects where the active participation of black men is needed (and of course missing).
Don’t you think that if black women stepped up their game, black men would respond appropriately? Black women can play their role in making the black man what he should be, we must never underestimate how we can transform the men by our actions! Black people are depending on black women!
BWE writers have had occasion to put forward the question, why are black women responsible for making grown adult males do what they should be doing without being prompted? Why do black men need to be tempted and cajoled to fulfil a role which is so critical to the survival of their race, if they have not indeed reached a point of total disconnect from the black uplift project.
It is the whole idea that black women have to be responsible for ‘stirring’ up black men and the whole notion of black men having to be cajoled and begged to be part of something that should need no incentive, that says so much about why the black community is in its current state. The fact that we continue to depend on black women to do what needs to be done shows we have, to all intents and purposes, reached an end point with the black uplift project.
Why do you promote Interracial Dating?
BWE/IR writers have a number of reasons why they advocate black women availing themselves of their broader dating options. Firstly it is for practical reasons of shortfall of black men. According to recent U.S. Census Bureau figures, there are only 70 single black men for every 100 single black women. This number does not take into account the number of black men artificially excluded from the dating pool because of such factors as incarceration.
In cities like Atlanta the situation is even more dire:
the ratio of Black men to Black women is 597 men for every 1,000 women nearly 2-1.
When Black male employment is thrown in, the figures shrink to
279 eligibles for every 1,000 Black women.
Even as I write from the UK, over 50% of black men in relationships are with white/other women and this trend shows no signs of stopping but actually increasing! Anyone suggesting that black women keep their marriage ambitions trained on black men can essentially be looked upon as suspect!
It is only sensible under such circumstances that black women consider a wider pool than that which leaves them with a significant shortfall.
What is the other reason for promoting IR?
The other reason is a bit more complex but has to do with the fact that there is a marriage-resistance among black men exacerbated no doubt by the current severe gender imbalance within the black group (see previous question Are you saying it will be better with a white man? above).
Now I know many of us have loving brothers and fathers and uncles and all, and we have this knee jerk response to rush to their defence, but let’s just take a moment to look at the bigger picture. If we assume that there are at least 70 black men per 100 single black women in the USA, then there are a good number of black men, to marry a sizeable portion of black women.
However the recent stats show that 70% plus of black women are single in the USA! This is a very high ratio. BWE do say that if black men wanted to do something about this number, they would have done it long before now. It is therefore necessary to consider that a growing number of black men are marriage resistant and maybe particularly so towards black women. This trend is also noticeable across Europe.
Some have argued that the reason why black men are unable to ‘take up’ in marriage, a sizable portion of these single women is because their economic situation is precarious and while it can be argued, when you look at the fact that black men who are actually financially stable and achieve middle class status, are more likely to marry non-black women it gives you cause to question this notion of poverty induced marriage resistance.
This is a clear note to those who feel that the solution to black women’s mate squeeze lies with us all helping to elevate black males economically. The grim truth is -and if the records are anything to go by- elevating black men will not necessarily lead to the elevation of black women, it will most likely ensure the elevation of non-black women! This is a key point argued by BWE.
There is nothing more effective at tugging at black women’s heart strings than ‘the economic plight of our brothas,’ but many more women should ask themselves, “If this man/men where to get it made today, would I be considered a worthy mate to share in his riches?”
I suspect the average black woman knows the answer to that question!
A white man cannot love a black woman the way a black man can!
This is an appeal to some ‘mythical’ quantity inherent in black-black relationships or some unique ability inherent in black men, that is suppose to make this experience for black women, superior to others. Although there are theoretical arguments (often engaging ones), about the ‘added value’ of black love etc, when the theory gives way to experience, black women do report very satisfactory relationships with white men (please see Are you saying it will be better with a white man? above).
This underscores the fact that people have very practical and basic needs around relationships e.g. support, affirmation, kindness and consideration etc which becomes the basis for a more ‘spiritual’ connectedness.
In addition, black women are not a ‘monolith’ that require a single and specific approach to be satisfied. Black women are diverse with diverse needs which can only be determined on a one to one basis.
In the US, 90% of black women married are married to black men so what is the hoopla about black men marrying white women and not wanting to marry black women?
That might sound like an impressive statistic except that black women are the least likely to be married. In other words, 90% is just 90% of a small number of black women who do get to be married. To buttress this fact, black men have the lowest marriage rates in the US and within that low number a significant slice is actually interracial!
Don’t you think black women and black men are equally to blame for the situation?
Please see ‘Shouldn’t we be building our community, shouldn’t black women and black men be in unity black?’ above.
Black women have turned black men away from them by their actions we should be thinking about how we can get them back!
Sadly many black women believe there is something they are not doing or something they have done that is causing black men to turn away and refuse to be involved in the black family etc, not realizing that there is a fundamental rejection of the black female and in general, of blackness at work in the choices these men have made. Indeed if a person has a fundamental dislike for blackness and wants to be dissociated from it (whether this is conscious or acting on a very subconscious level) then black women will not be able to do much for the situation because it is the very being and nature of black women that is being rejected. In this case there is nothing black women can do to change themselves to adequately appeal to someone who rejects them for reasons that are integral to who they are. BWE have thus begun to teach black women how to move on and move forward with their lives.
Living a life of abundance requires the ability to “move on”, we must move on
- Magenta (Commentor)
But I believe black women have the keys to solving this gender war. If black women changed their attitude and acted right they would have black men in abundance, we have to consider that black women are doing something to drive black men away.
Discussions on what black women need to do to get black men to love them, are falsely premised because broadly speaking, black male rejection of black women is because they are black women, not because of something they did or didn’t do even if these men have not yet figured out that this is the real cause of their excess demands on black women. As many of you might have casually observed, these black men are often willing to deal with non-black women who have the same traits that they condemn in black women, nagging, overweight, ‘gold digging’ etc.
Black men are not perfect but black women accept them because of the conscious understanding of the overall importance of black families and strengthening the race.
Often black women will bend over backwards or will agree to deal with men who might not be deemed her social equal because she understands the importance of ‘black love’, yet black men display no such consideration. While black women continue to be asked to choose black men based on their awareness of the need for building black families, black women are beginning to recognize that black men choose their women with very little reference to such concerns but are constantly making choices based on whoever satisfies a particular aesthetic, thus lending support to the view that only black women are the ones working in the mind of uplifting community.
Why don’t black men care anymore and what can be done?
Please see ‘Why are black men the way they are now’, above.
What about black unity? Shouldn’t black women and men be fighting to build their communities together why all this division?
I reiterate that in order for black women to be able to build anything with black men, black men have to show a willingness to want to build with black women! This seems pretty obvious but ‘black unity’ proponents are not interested in testing to see if this prerequisite exists. One suspects that they are not blind and can see that from all indications, black men are not displaying a willingness and interest and indeed a commitment towards the idea of building with black women.
The whole idea of black unity is being defeated by the very fact that black men remain uncommitted even uninterested in it. It’s that simple!
It is the critical piece of black male commitment that is missing therefore before women even begin to get agitated over black unity it is important that they know black men are onboard or there is just no point. Black women are not going to do it by themselves as we can clearly see is an approach that is currently failing!
BWE have had reason to ask black women the question, ‘Do you believe truly and honestly that black men are in with you on this mission of ‘building our race?’ Most times when asked black women begin searching for the ‘required’ answer to give, rather than respond with the inner honesty they know.
BWE once again ask this question, but to the reader, ‘Do you think black men are with black women in the idea of advancing the black race?’
What are some of the choices that black men are making that shows they are not in the mind of advancing the race?
That black men are not in the mind of their community’s advancement comes through in the simple observation of the choices black men make and their actions.
When black women are left to raise black families with minimum effort from black men, the fact that black women in the West are the least likely to be married, the rampant colorism and selecting of black women favoring lighter skin and discriminating against black skin etc, then we are clearly left with the conclusion that black men do not seem in the mind of pushing forward their race to any great extent.
But that is just one side of the story, the other side is that of black men getting themselves involved in activities that disqualify them from being part of the push for the uplift of their communities. When black men make decisions that continue to get them caught in the traps of the prison system or make them less able to be available to their families and offspring, then that in essence shows a lack of focus on preserving their community. Indeed black men have more choices now than ever before to contribute to the race’s uplift and the fact that they are not pulling their weight in this regard says so much about their lack of focus on their communities.
Why can’t I be a ‘race woman’ -as you so describe it- if I want?
You can. Why not? If you think this is what you should be about then go for it!
BWE only tell black women to have a good think about where such a mind frame and focus/obsession leaves them.
Many black women actually isolate themselves socially even from black men by being ‘all about race all the time’. It is a paradox no doubt, but even black men avoid such women.
It’s good to give these issues a thought and understand how such actions place you socially, indeed some women adopt a ‘race woman’ posture thinking it will endear them to black men when it won’t. Also many men stir up black women by invoking race, when they desire something from them. They are banking on black women being constantly angry around race and angry with whites, to open their hearts and their cheque book etc to finance their latest self-interest ‘project’. Thus black women need to be aware that they play into the hands of misuse by letting others control them with race anger.
BWE/IR say so many things that resonate with me, but I still feel a loyalty to my community. How do I know what the truth is?
BWE/IR do not preach disloyalty, however they do want black women to know the truth that unequal burdens are placed on black women for the race. They point out that black women end up paying more and sacrificing more and living a life of struggle, insecurity and aloneness etc in order to service their communities. To BWE/IR writers, this is simply unacceptable.
When black women recognise the state of affairs, they will see that there are two possible alternatives for the black woman who prefers to be reasonable and self-considering in this whole situation, and that is, changing the unfair social contract that binds black women or disconnecting from the whole belief system itself (the argument for divestment).
Re the truth, the truth will be specific and unique to the individual. Take note of that which speaks to your very experience, to which you give an inner nod, even as you feel sad at the situation or apprehensive of the upheaval and change that it calls you to. If BWE/IR work doesn’t speak to what you have experienced, or been through, then the work is not for you.
The first thing that happens to many black women when they come upon BWE work is shock and many feel they are engaging in something they are not supposed to, but it is important for the black woman who is on a journey to the truth, to push beyond these feelings (please also see ‘How to get the best of the BWE/IR work)
Are you ready for change and to move to a more fulfilled life or are you ok to continue with the same situation you have been in?