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 @Lexi88  @Toni_M  @DUsher Hmmm...before I go, let me see if I can explain this: the US Constitution established a basic set of laws that "promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity," right? When women like me take our behinds to rallies in Washington about the government getting/keeping their collective selves off/out of my choices and body, we're stating that the government, under the Constitutional principle of "general welfare" and "liberty to ourselves and our posterity," cannot dictate that we should not have access to things like birth control (Griswold v. Connecticut) and abortion (Roe v. Wade)--in fact, we think the government should give money for those options to those who cannot afford it. (That's the fight over, for example, the Hyde Amendment and Obama's Affordable Care Act regarding uninsured women and those women on Medicaid.) 


Several studies and surveys have shown that having such access allows women to have a wider array of life choices. Okay. Now, where the reproductive-justice framework comes in at is from the idea that, for whatever reason why the specific "product of the bedroom" of children get into this world, they are here and that the government--again, under the Constitutional priniciple of "general welfare" and "liberty to ourselves and our posterity"--needs to provide a safety net for them and the people who take care of them, be they single moms and/or dad, legal guardians, or two-parent households, especially those whose incomes may not be able to take care of that responsibility. 


Like I said before, there are single moms who work full-time and their income still can't provide the basics, which is why they use public assistance to help out.  That's why what you're saying about those of us who are all about "my body, my choice" yet demand that the government take responsibility of "products of the bedroom" really isn't some contradiction. What we're pressuring the government to do is live up to its own Constitutional principles. 

1 year, 8 months ago on "All My Baby Mamas"...Well, What Do You Expect When You Try to Normalize Dysfunction??

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 @Christelyn   This..."But I also know that Tami is compassionate enough to know that her choice may be be ideal for others--and, yes, I would trust her critical analysis about marriage because she's going through it."should read "But I also know that Tami is compassionate enough to know that her choice may **not** be ideal for others--and, yes, I would trust her critical analysis about marriage because she's going through it." 

1 year, 8 months ago on "All My Baby Mamas"...Well, What Do You Expect When You Try to Normalize Dysfunction??

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 @Christelyn   But calling Black men behaving like Shawty Lo "seed-spreaders" and especially calling Black women who made the choices the women made on the show "brood mares" isn't encouraging "people to take charge of their lives and realize their worth." As much as Shawty Lo may not be shaking in his shoes by your side-eye, ain't too many of these folks are hearing you, either. If, as you say, my cronies and me calling you "names"--really, we're calling you out--entrench you in your position, then it would stand to reason that your calling folks names would more than likely produce the same result.


 People like Shawty Lo and his partners are human like that. And, I bet you, if you and I offered our arguments to better their lives--your saying that marriage is *the* solution to their woes and my saying that, whether or not they marry, they still need to sort of social net (and we should agitate for a more solid one) to catch them just in case all of this with Shawty Lo doesn't work out (like he goes broke, which seems to be a rather common story ending with one-hit rappers)--I'm thinking the women may go for my argument over yours. 


As for Lo, he may not hear neither one of our arguments. Again, the man seems to be a bit of a fool...which would also mean that I'm not giving him or Negroes like him a pass, ya dig? Your argument for marriage depends on Lo and men like him to "act right" and make one (or more, if we get into his marrying and divorcing them in succession) of them in "an honest woman." My--and Tami's and my other feminist "cronies"--arguments depends on "outside intervention" that--as grossly faulty as it is--seems to still be there when marriages and other forms of relationships fall apart and people still need to feed themselves. As I mentioned in another comment, that social net of welfare/public assistance is so dependable that even Disneyworld and Wal-Mart use it for their employees, quite a few of whom are married with children. That's part of reason why some LGB&T activists tend to take a rather dim view of the same-gender marriage fight as the be-all-end-all solution for LGB&T folks--it's not. And that's really what feminists like Tami and me and our "cronies" are saying: marriage is not the be-all-end-all solutions for straight cisgender people, either. How do we know? We've seen it not be a solution in the lives of Black people we personally know all along the socio-economic spectrum, both the adults and children as well as people we read and hear about on the news and other sources. 


About this derailing that you say that others and I are doing: When someone disagrees with you by bringing up points as to why they disagree with it, that's not derailing, Christelyn. Didn't you or one of your reader say that feminism 1) is something that Black women are not a part of and 2) isn't aren't doing a thing to help Black mothers and other Black women? I disagreed with both comments and laid out my reasoning as to why, which tied into why I disagreed with your criticism about Tami Winfrey Harris. That's not derailing, and it very much ties into your initial comment of us Black feminists "defending the indefensible" of our giving men like Shawty Lo a "pass" for his reproductive choice and, more specifically, why marriage may not be *the* solution to his current arrangement. And cloaking yourself in some cape of persecuted righteousness doesn't help you, either, Christelyn. Your stance about marriage really isn't "sticking it" to us feminists: it's the stance of people like Herman Cain (who cheated on his wife), Newt Gingrich (who did the same thing), and Bill Cosby (ditto). It's one of the cornerstones of "respectability politics" that Winfrey Harris talks about in the post you railed against in your OP that Black women are so especially pressured into upholding while men like Shawty Lo get to be any kind of way.


 I don't care if you disagree with the idea about some feminists' stances on marriage, but rewarding yourself as some sort of radical speaking to power...well, you're speaking your particular truth, yes, but it's not necessarily a radical truth in the greater arena of ideas. And, as several generations of feminists have stated, marriage doesn't work for all folks, so, therefore, it shouldn't be offered as (again) the be-all-end-all solution for everyone. I think it should be offered as one of many *options* for people, not *the* solution.And--to get to Soul_Incites comment--I don't think even those who are happily married would call marriage "ideal for them," but a happy choice they made in their lives. I know Tami feels that way. But I also know that Tami is compassionate enough to know that her choice may be be ideal for others--and, yes, I would trust her critical analysis about marriage because she's going through it. She would know those intricacies that a never-married person or even a co-habitating-yet-unmarried person would miss. 


That's precisely the reason why Friedan's _Feminine Mystique_ caused such a stir when it was first published: she was married with children and was able to speak to her own misery of being a housewife, which she found reflected in her surveys with other women in similar situations and which reverberated with the housewife-as-ideal early 60s. Well, this was fun! Good luck in these here parts, and take care...

1 year, 8 months ago on "All My Baby Mamas"...Well, What Do You Expect When You Try to Normalize Dysfunction??

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 @temple And, yes, we can look at Shawty Lo's reproductive choices with some side-eye but, from what I gather, he is financially providing for his kids. So, they're not on welfare. And, if we're giving Shawty Lo side-eye, then should we also look at "Sister Wives" with side-eye (same concept, different race of folks) or even the family in the documentary _The Queen of Versailles_, in which the wife/mom, whose the trophy wife of an ex-billionaire (he's losing his wealth due to the economic downturn), had 7-8 kids because she "could afford nannies" but now her kids may not have an inheritance or even be able to go to college because their dad failed to save anything for them? (The documentary is currently streaming on Netflix.) They are all examples for the argument about "lack of responsible behavior, lack of impulse control and short-sightedness in too many children living in broken or dysfunctional homes." But it seems there's a special vitriol being spewed at Shawty Lo that isn't getting spat at _Sister Wives_ or the Siegals in _Queen of Versailles_ here... 

1 year, 8 months ago on "All My Baby Mamas"...Well, What Do You Expect When You Try to Normalize Dysfunction??

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 @temple Then I'm confused: is Tami a "rabid" man-hating feminist or a Black-man apologist? And as for welfare...well, Clinton reformed it back in the 90s with the "Welfare To Work" program, which has been a disaster. Michael Moore talks about this in his documentary, _Bowling for Columbine_. And, if I'm not mistaken, Newark, NJ mayor Cory Booker tried it for about a week very recently and concluded that it was pretty darn near impossible to live on what the government gives to poor people and expect them to live on.


Also, your comment assumes that people get on welfare due to some lack of willpower or some other personal "fault." There are quite a few people with families--both single-parent and two-parent--who have full-time jobs and still need to be on public assistance because their employers give them crappy wages. (Disneyworld and Wal-mart come to mind, and there are documentaries and other informational sources about those companies and how they use the government programs to provide what they, as multi-billion dollar companies, refuse to do.) Oh, and let's add quite a few military people and their families to those people on public assistance, too. So, maybe one of the solutions is for Congress to provide a median living wage for all jobs, including restaurant jobs, which are stuck at $2.13/hr., thanks to former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain lobbying Congress to freeze that wage in that job sector.


These people and families would love to get off of public assistance, but they realize that they'd lose the tenuous hold on healthcare and a source of constant food money--among other things--if they did. 

So, I think you may need to broaden your ideas of who is on welfare and why they are there. 

1 year, 8 months ago on "All My Baby Mamas"...Well, What Do You Expect When You Try to Normalize Dysfunction??

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May I jump in here? First of all, Christelyn, you're conflating Tami Winfrey Harris--who, in full disclosure, I'm good friends with--and these "rabid feminists" to make a point. If you've read any other posts by Harris--like on her old blog, What Tami Said--you may have known that she's actually married and happily so. So, she's not sweating the institution or a (white middle-class heterosexual cisgender) woman's role in it like Betty Friedan in the _The Feminine Mystique_, but she does have her critiques. However, having a critique about marriage doesn't mean she's "rabid"--or unhappy about her own marriage or marriage in general--or anything else. Harris is  thinking out loud about, specifically, how this idea about marriage may not be as ideal as you and others in this space think it is for all Black women and their children but how that very ideal becomes this pressure-point for Black women who may not even want to be married or, as in the case of some queer women (whom some of you find "abnormal" because your god told you to think that way), can't marry the ones they love.


 Harris says nothing about all Black women needing to jettison the notion of getting married, especially in order to be "progressive." As for the comment made on the thread about Black women parroting a feminism that we may not be a part of: interesting, that idea, because there are so many kinds of feminism that some of us in feminist circles call it "feminisms." Yes, quite a bit of it came as a reaction to the racism in mainstream movements, like the Combahee River Collective statement and Alice Walker's womanism coming out of the tiring interactions with all those white feminists you listed and their supporters. And some, like Rebecca Walker's _To Be Real_, which ushered in the Third Wave of feminism, were also reactions to, well, her mom Alice Walker's womanism. Then, of course, you have hip-hop feminism, like Joan Morgan's _When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost_, in which Black women's experiences are front and center. Same thing when you talk about reproductive justice, which operates from a feminist framework when thinking through decisions about creating a family and how that looks for Black women and other women of color. And, if I'm not mistaken, all of them were/are trying to figure out how Black women are trying to navigate the complexities--and, sometimes, utter foolishness--involved in love and relationships and children, including how to care for them. 


From what I gather, these feminisms, specifically reproductive justice, are agitating for policies--from media training to better social safety nets--to help Black women who have children or want to have children or don't want them, be they married or not. http://nyc4rj.tumblr.com/post/23336260452/reproductivejusticeNow, as for Shawty Lo and this program: it seems to me a more productive--at least more interesting--conversation about this fool and this show would be, instead of frothing at the mouth about this particular Negro and his "baby mommas" (and my suggestions are among many topics), 1) the need for beyond-21-year-old men to still run all up behind barely-legal (if not under 18-year-old) young women, 2) the realities of teenagers' sexual desires, their relationships with these men, and the realities of statutory rape, 3) how are we as Black folks *still* missing the conversations around "safer sex" when it's us who are filling the stats regarding HIV/AIDS and other STIs, and 4) other family constructions that may or may not involve nuclear families and how society can support them, whether we personally think they're right or wrong. 

1 year, 8 months ago on "All My Baby Mamas"...Well, What Do You Expect When You Try to Normalize Dysfunction??

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