My "Black Women Are To Blame For Everything" Rant - A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss

My “Black Women Are To Blame For Everything” Rant

Every now and again, I get beside myself on twitter. Last week, I had one of those days.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I like Michael Baisden. I’ve been on his show a couple of times. It doesn’t, however, change the fact that some times, his topics… um, leave a little to be desired.

Enter…this series of tweets from my twitter account, @bgg2wl, and those who wanted to discuss the original topic, “Are women raising feminine boys?”, which was to air on Baisden’s show that day.

My rant was pretty long – I do that, though not often – because I’m so confused. You can click here to view it all, since its not showing up properly here.

I don’t talk about my child often because, quite frankly, I’ve learned the hard way that it’s not a topic that is welcomed with open arms. I was a single parent (have been since I was 21 years old) and, though I am lucky enough now to have a fiance who refers to my daughter as his own and eagerly awaits signing those adoption papers, I fully expected to be single until she was an adult. Hell, I look forward to my forties. I’ll be fit, feel young, and probably have much more money then, anyway… but I digress.

I don’t discuss my child because the questions are always some form of “where’s her father?” (Obviously, not here.) “Is he paying child support?” “You picked a bad man to procreate with, or did you even pick him?” “Was he a one-night stand? You’re probably a whore.” “Why don’t you go get him and take him to court?”

It’s always what I could’ve done, what I should’ve done or what I did wrong. It’s always my fault. The woman is to accept the blame. The woman is to, also, accept responsibility for whatever is left behind that the man [who should be] involved doesn’t do.

Make no mistake about it… I don’t dislike men. I don’t hold “hatred” in my heart. Neither of these two facts is going to change the fact that I refuse to accept responsibility for things that are not, in fact, up to “me.” Like, for instance, the fact that children are being raised without their fathers in the picture. This, apparently, is the fault of women everywhere because we “should’ve picked better,” or we “should’ve kept our legs closed.”

We never ask, “why is he not present?” Especially, and particularly, when the father is completely and utterly absent from the picture, do we never decide to start shaming men for this? I mean, we’ve obviously decided that the way to discourage children out of wedlock is to use shame… but we’re not shaming men, by and large, for actively choosing to abandon their children. We’re not shaming men for not owning up to their responsibilities and emotionally, if not at least financially, supporting their children. We tell the women involved in the situation that the punishment for opening their legs in the first place is a child – yes, children are the punishment in this equation – and that they should have chosen better.

Yes. Black men abandon their children because… well, had a Black woman not chosen him, he wouldn’t have any children to abandon in the first place.

I’m not buying into that, and every single time I see it, I’m going to correct it. Plain and simple. Y’all wonder why you’re so stressed out and can only find release in harmful behavior [like overeating]… the rest of the world is alleviating themselves of their stresses by unloading their responsibility off onto you.

It won’t be me, though.

Thoughts?

The proud leader of the #bgg2wlarmy, Erika Nicole Kendall writes health, fitness, nutrition, body image and beauty, and more here at #bgg2wl. After losing over 150lbs, Kendall became a personal trainer certified in fitness nutrition, women's fitness, and weight loss from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She now lives in New York with her family, and is working on her 4th, 5th and 6th certificates.

20 Comments

  1. reyden

    February 28, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    This post reminded me of what my mom always told me as a child. “A boy/man can roll in mud, get up and brush himself off but you can’t do that.” I grew up in a family where it was understood that men are going to do what they are going to do, so it was your job as a woman to look out for yourself.

    My cousin had two kids born within a month of one another because he cheated on his girlfriend. The response by the women in my family. They asked why the women he slept with didn’t use protection. Why? Because he’s a man, so he’s going to just do what he is going to do. So in my family, men get a free pass.

    For women, the message in my family is we have to be on defense. Don’t get tricked by men and what an unhealthy approach to relationships that is. But I acted accordingly. I kept a wall of mistrust between myself and any men who were interested in me. I say now that my husband had to sneak through the back, meaning we were friends first. I had the habit of turning perfectly good romantic prospects into friends. Even with my husband I told him I would not live with him before marriage because I didn’t want to be one of those women tricked into living with a man just to have him refuse to get married. Cause I had fully absorbed the belief that if that would happen, it would be my fault cause you know…men are going to try to pull a fast one anyway.

    When we became engaged, a female cousin called who is a single mom. She congratulated me on doing things the “right” way. That saddened me. At the same time, I know I have judged single moms in the past and have maybe even felt superior to them. In my mind, I was too smart to “end up” like that. It’s awful how women teach women to treat each other.

    Now I am the mother of two boys and there is no “boys will be boys” mantra in our home. But I realize that I still hold the remnants of the things I was taught as a kid and will sometimes struggle to work through the messages, unpack them and start over.

  2. Juniysa Serens

    February 28, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Completely on the full page with you :)
    Every time I bring this up, the man’s response goes along the lines of “wah, globalization is taking away all of the good jobs” “wah, men can’t be men anymore because we get called chauvinistic pigs” “wah women say they don’t need us so we take heed” Wah, wah, wah.

    To me, I call BS on this side of the argument. There is a will and way to provide for your family and household. One complains about how difficult it is for them to get a job and yet they won’t take the time to invest in getting an education and job skills (or becoming a legit business owner) in growing areas.

    Another complains how it is the woman’s fault for getting herself pregnant…yet how many men refuse to wear the rubber when it comes down to business? “Oops, I busted too early to pull out” Seriously?! I do acknowledge that women can get pregnant even if they are using birth control and condoms…these cases happen more often than desirable. Still, should the woman decide to have the baby, the father needs to step up his game.

    I wonder how men would feel about forced sterilization if they didn’t pay child support for their multiple-mother kids?
    (Sounds like a great idea to me.)

    Meh, this comment is getting too long. Might have to write a longer blog entry on it later.

  3. Msladee

    February 28, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Wooow. You almost make me want to join Twitter (almost).

    This post articulates exactly how I feel about that Don Tripp song. I could never understand its popularity and “co-signs” from men and women alike. I’m a single woman without kids (and raised in very unstable two-parent household, so I hold neither parenting option in higher regard of the other), but something about This song is just repulsive to me. A man “writes” a letter to his son in which he 1) makes excuses for not securing legal work 2) blames his child’s mother for not being able to see his child because of not having legal work (though any child services/court of law would prevent this) 3) basically calls the mother a jealous… capital B 4) claims to be the better parent?

    What? How is that ok? How is he- absent, angry and sitting on weak principles- being the better parent? And how would saying such things make it better for your child who now HAS to choose (if that is the true end game)? Would you have said it differently if it were your daughter or are you content with calling your child’s first role model a capital B only when it’s a male child?

    The approval of songs like this, all the “what black women are doing wrong” memes from psuedo black relationship experts and Michael Baisden’s loaded topic questions create an atmosphere for outside people like Satoshi Kanazawa to (mis)use data And what makes it so sad is that any denial of such untruths is consider the emotional musings of “angry black women.” No, we need to be cosigned by people like Scott Kaufman (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beautiful-minds/201105/black-women-are-not-rated-less-attractive-our-independent-analysis-the-a) and a viable independent study that few are willing to go back and read once the “drama” has died down.

  4. Jennifer

    February 28, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    I have so many feelings about this and Erika, you have expressed it beautifully. I too became a single parent at the age of 21 and 15 yrs later I’m still one, mostly by choice.

    Let’s talk about the church going man who is the coach of his son’s football team but ignores his kind, witty, academically gifted daughter (which happens to me my child). How do you sit in church and feel good about yourself when you haven’t seen your daughter since her 8th grade graduation?

    Yes, I “emotionally eat”, not because of the my teen daughter but because of the stress from working a job I hate, while trying to go back to school to finish my degree.

    I thought I was fully over his neglect but I guess I’m not. My daughter deals with it by using my last name instead of his and she rarely even mentions him. He’s missing out on a great kid and I wish I could only say it’s his loss but I can’t. Thank you for allowing me to ramble on your blog

  5. ktzmiao

    February 28, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    I saw this foolishness on FB when the topic first came up. I was just done and over when the question was first asked.

    OK Baisden, here’s a better solution, why don’t we just set up hundreds of orphanages because clearly it is a worse crime to have a single woman raising her children then castigate the men who walk away and leave their CHILDREN unloved. Let’s allow both parents the socially accepted freedom men have enjoyed of simply abandoning their children. Then we won’t have to worry about them being raised poorly by their single mothers.

    Every ailment faced by blacks in America is always placed at the feet of black women,,,,

  6. perryman51

    February 28, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    I could not have said this any clearer or truer. I have accepted responsibility for my part. I have raised my daughter, but I refuse to accept any blame for her father being a spineless, fraud of a man. Thank you for putting it out there.

  7. CO

    February 28, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    preach.

  8. Lakisha

    February 28, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Reading this made me sad. I’m a single parent to a beautiful two year old. while I was eleven weeks pregnant he got another lady pregnant, and when my child was about six months he got another girl preganant. He is 34. My child is his first (that I know of) of his. Lets do the math: three women pregnant in two years, three babies. I cant even get a text message from him asking how the girl is doing. But I am not bitter about this, people will make thier comments about my situation, “Well, what did you to him?” God is so good. I didnt even slap that person that told me that. lol. Single Mommas just raise your babies to the best of your ability and bump what stupid people say………..

  9. Annette

    February 28, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    It must be a gang on up Black Women day cause there was a YouTube video I saw this morning. I will say this it is the responsibility of both, their families and community.

    I am so overwhelmed with this problem, cause it’s not a black woman problem, but an individual problem. I don’t like black men bitching and putting down black women, this won’t will help the situation. Or are black women just a whipping post for black men?

    What is behind his statement how can his statement fix this issue of self acceptance, self love. Or is it just a war cry to rile up black men so that they don’t have to take responsibility for their part in this. Whether you are married or not, not taking responsibility for your children seem to be at an epidemic level in America.

    I think it is time to be vulnerable and come together and help where you can. Unfortunately, they lump every black woman together like we are some stereotype. We are individuals in individual situations. Also this topic is used to create buzz, make money, get people talking, escalate ratings that is all it does. Black people talk a lot of you know what yet after 25 years of hearing this there has yet to be any change on a major level. Why? Because it is an individual issue everyone’s story is not the same it’s about individuals living their lives doing the best they can. Why constantly call them out to antagonize them. Does this help, I guess it does for those that use to topic to make money off others suffering.

    There are so many single mother raising their children and doing such a great job supporting them. Yet Black men are so perfect it must be us. I would love to grill some of these men to find out what is at the root cause of their discontent. Really get to the bottom of what is the deal. It seems like they don’t want to feel accountable for anything. Make excuses that it is slavery etc. We are in a time where we can get the issues worked on, face it and ask for support. Is Black men’s frustration a frustration in themselves and not being able to make their own dreams come through .

    They talk a good game but they are part of the problem.

  10. Charlese

    February 28, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    You know, we black women must embrace this power that is being attributed to us. Clearly we are Amazons of unlimited potential – true goddesses – if, in all our ugly, fat glory, we are capable of destroying the black family, obliterating black marriage and emasculating an entire race of men rendering them powerless to even care for their young. The world should fear our might! Oh, wait…

  11. girlwithredwine

    February 28, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    Is it easter sunday alread?y cuz I swear Jesus just rose again after all that TRUTH you just spit.

    i agree wholeheartedly that there is no accountability when the fathers are not around and providing for their children. Instead it’s the woman who gets all the side eye, snarking comments and intrusive questions as if we laid down by ourselves and made a baby by squeezing our pelvis too tight.

    My son’s father, who also happens to be the man I have been trying to divorce for over a year *takes big gulp of wine on that one* isn’t paying anything. This man has a job and two degrees but because he’s mad at me for reasons that really don’t matter anymore, he’s not providing for his son. But I am being hiy up with questions all the time, even by his family members who say ” well have you taken him to court?” “are you gonna go after him for support?” “What did your lawyer say?” What did my lawyer say? How about what are YOU saying to the man who you probably had dinner with the other day, about how he’s not taking care of his kid? Makes no sense to me at all. I applaud you for not taking the mess and addressing this issue on your twitter account. Baisden is just another black man who is profiting off of dogging his own women. It’s a shame

  12. Diandra

    February 29, 2012 at 6:09 AM

    Yeah, that’s a weird topic. I remember there was a scientist some time ago claiming that all this feminism and stuff had somehow prevented boys from becoming men, and the BF and I had a heated discussion about this (his brother, incidentally, chose a daycare *dad* specifically because he did not want a woman to “ruin his son” – while he is working 70 hours a week trying to earn enough money for fancy car, house and vacation… wouldn’t it be better to settle for less and spend that time with his kid?) – as far as I know, women have been raising kids, both boys and girls, for a pretty long time, and we have not died out yet, and there are plenty of rather masculine (and even b***sh*t-talking) men around. It is always easier to blame thos who do not live the proverbial white picket fence life, but people tend to forget that all these misfortunes may happen to them just as easily, even though they are trying hard.

  13. R Kahendi

    March 1, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    This sentence towards the end of your piece summed up the absurdity of the argument perfectly:
    “Black men abandon their children because… well, had a Black woman not chosen him, he wouldn’t have any children to abandon in the first place.”

    It is clearly a ridiculous argument to make. Personally, I think society finds it easier to blame victims because doing so excuses it from having to do anything to change the status quo.

    Single parents are already giving their all to parenting: fulfilling their own responsibility and also trying to fill in for the missing parent. It seems ridiculous to blame them when they are doing the right thing.

    Thanks for blogging about this.

  14. Jasna

    April 22, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Our neighbour has a daughter with mental retardation and I have on separate occasions heard people talk about it as “God punished her mother by giving her a retarded kid because she left her two healthy kids to ex husband and went on to marry/have kids again”.

    My father on the other hand left my mother when I was one year old, never contacted any of us again but nobody ever says anything bad about him or other men who leave their wives and kids and completely forget about them after the divorce.

  15. Violets Mommy

    April 24, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Thats what you get for being strong black women! All this BS laid at our feet! I am a single mom, I was married for 7 years and everything is cool with my daughters dad and me except, the whole breakup of the relationship is my fault, and my ex is the innocent that loved me and didn’t understand what happened. The divorce papers state that I abandoned him even though he asked me and my daughter to leave. My mother asked me why I wanted to leave because”he has a job and it would be hard finding a man that is such a hard worker.” When I told him the situation had me depressed and sad he seemed surprised and utterly shocked.

  16. Ceej

    July 4, 2013 at 1:50 AM

    I repeat, Black men seem to think that crapping all over Black women will earn them a pass into the White Boys Club. As desperately as we really need to address Black male misogyny in our communities, Black men either turn a deaf ear to our concerns, accuse us of “undermining” them, or call us bitter.

  17. Joules

    July 4, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    It just pisses me off so much how no one holds men accountable for getting someone pregnant but women are held accountable for being pregnant. Last I checked, it took two to make that kid… Men can abandon their kids left and right but the second a woman tries to put her kid up for adoption, abort it or leave it at the front door of the hospital, she isn’t just a bad mother, she’s a bad person.

    Take that into account with the fact that woman are more likely to be murdered while pregnant and the huge lawsuits many franchises end up having for pregnancy discrimination and you’ll understand why I’m getting neutered asap.

    Speaking of, I need to email my doctor.

  18. Fit freak

    July 5, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    Idk if its because I was raised by a single mother, & NEVER have met my dad…but I find this whole issue so ignorant. Black women are the ones to blame? No honey…they are the ones to PRAISE. They keep our community afloat without the fathers. They rise above the social discrimination. They live everyday with health disparities [I read a published article my sophomore year that suggested that the reason black children are so inflicted with health problems at birth is because of the internalized stress and discrimination that black women have endured throughout our EXISTENCE. So things like sickle cell, low birth weight, other defects are not completely left up to biology]

    The issue we REALLY need to be tackling is how do we love our black boys so much that they have the strength to break the cycle & stand up to be a role model for THEIR children. How do we teach them how to be men and how to heal from the issues that they’re dealing with? How do we raise up as a community, to help this single mother raise her little blessings? THAT’S what we need to do.

  19. Serenity

    July 5, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Well Said!

    But here I am on the other side. In my 40’s (and there is no more $$ that in my 30’s. As a matter of fact, I think I had MORE $ then) with NO children. I get the “What’s wrong with you?” “Why are you so selfish?” “Do you have a disease?” “Are you a lesbian?” And my favorite… “Who is going to bury you when you die?”

    My see on this from a Black woman’s perspective… Is we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. We can’t win. So I don’t even try to compete. I do me, and if you don’t like it…. that’s something YOU will have to deal with.

  20. MomAgain@40

    July 9, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    Say this again. It speaks to me on so many levels. Even though every person is allowed an opinion… that doesn’t make them sound too smart. Thanks so much for sharing!

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