Guys, it was a rough weekend, what with the coverage of the Steubenville rape verdict, and all the rape apologists and all. Very disheartening. But then I caught this little gem of a video — Bikini Kill legends Kathleen Hanna and Kathi Wilcox playing “The Friendship Game” — and I felt a little bit better. It’s hard to believe that Bikini Kill is more than 20 years old now; the band’s music is still as vibrant and prescient as ever. [Huffington Post]
We’re more than a decade into the 21st century. I’d hoped — in vain — that some basic understandings of how non-Black people should interact with Black people could be something I could take for granted. But no. Somehow there are “those people” who remain entirely clueless, so much so that they will call a 9-year old the c-word, or paint a white model bronze-Black, or not even, as so-called, journalists, bother to learn the pronunciation of an Oscar nominee’s name. This is unacceptable.
Recently, I read the comments section of a post on Clutch where a male reader was baffled as how to initiate a conversation with Black women and asked for some rules. Several helpful women obliged. In the same spirit of combating ignorance, I offer rules for non-Black people to engage Black women without causing offense. If you can manage NOT to do the following, you can probably come across as a decent human being.
Humbly, I submit a basic list, my rules of engagement, and ask you NOT to do the following (and encourage Black women to add to the list in the comments)… Keep reading »
In the past couple of months, I’ve tried something new: I’ve removed people from my life who were not adding anything to it. I de-friended on Facebook. I unfollowed on Twitter. I stopped responding to emails.
This is so unlike me. Keep reading »
In fall of 2010, I went through maybe one of the lowest points in my life. I was dumped over IM by my live-in boyfriend (yes, that one) and due to a zillion circumstances outside of my control, my work life was in complete chaos. I walked around for weeks with a burning feeling in my stomach, unable to eat or sleep and in a total daze. I committed the cardinal sin of crying at work, and begged a doctor friend to write me a prescription for anxiety meds (I didn’t have health insurance at the time). I went to therapy. I bought self-help books on cognitive therapy to try and shake the shitty, negative thoughts that constantly ran through my head. I felt like a raw nerve with absolutely no hope of ever healing.
So I did the completely sensible thing, and bought a plane ticket to Barcelona. Keep reading »
This may be my favorite episode so far in our “I Always Wanted To Ask” series, which features the staff at Madame Noire — Brande, Veronica and Victoria — answering the questions we always wanted to ask Black women, and The Frisky staff answering the questions they always wanted to ask white women. In this episode, we talk about whether white women think about race, and white privilege, as much as they do. Also, we discuss the issue of diversity in — and diversifying — our friendship circles. It’s a good one, so check out the video above and weigh in with your thoughts and experiences in the comments!
Years ago, I had a conversation with a group of my close male friends and the age old question came up: Can men and women really be just friends? My boy Otto said, “No way! Guys always want to sleep with their female friends.” My friend Steve interjected, “Of course! I have a platonic female friends and I love them to death.” But then my friend Yorell said, “Yes, men can have platonic female friends, but only with women that are unattractive. If she’s pretty, there is no way you can be just her friend. That doesn’t mean it’s not a genuine friendship, but if you get the opportunity to smash, you will. Unless … she’s ugly.” Keep reading »
Every reality show competition has its oddball and Victoria on “America’s Next Top Model” fits it to a ‘T.’ She was homeschooled, attends online schooling at uber-religious Liberty University, and when she “gets in character” she over-acts during all her photoshoots … like in the most recent episode when she spat at the photographer. Victoria also just so happens to be the girl I want to win; she takes some of the best pictures, and easily has the best work ethic (which is half the battle).
Over the past several episodes of “ANTM,” the other girls have been closing in on Victoria. It started with snotty comments about Victoria being weird — which, sure, she is. Then it exacerbated in the episode before last when, at judging, the girls told Tyra Banks that they think Victoria isn’t eating enough — which, if we can go off the way producers have edited the show, is probably also true. Victoria defended herself and said she doesn’t have an eating disorder, she’s just extremely anxious about the competition and being away from her mom for the first time — which, again, is probably true. Tyra then pronounced she deeply cares about the health and well-being of the girls on her show, threatened that if Victoria restricts her eating she’s out of the competition, and vowed to keep an eye on her.
Then, on Friday night’s episode, all of this hoopla went even further: the remaining girls in the house confronted Victoria, telling her they don’t think she’s stable enough to continue with the competition. Keep reading »
I’m reading this book called Joe Cinque’s Consolation, which tells the true story of a real life trial of two women – Anu Singh, who injected her boyfriend Joe Cinque with heroin and watched him die, and Mandhavi Rao, Anu’s best friend who might have assisted her in the process. The story is complicated, of course, by mental illness and dependence and all kinds of other things, and you should read the book by Helen Garner if you get the chance. But what I want to talk about is Garner’s spot-on assessment of Singh and Rao’s relationship, one that she calls a “symbiotic power arrangement,” because I think we’ve all had one of these at one time or another (even if it didn’t lead to murder).
Keep reading »
I never really understood the daytime TV show circuit. I still imagine it the way it looked when my mother was a stay-at-home mom and everything was yellow or orange or pea green as they were in the early 80′s before neon took hold.
So when a daytime TV show asked me to be on one of their segments, I was hesitant. At first, I thought it would be fun. My next feeling was it would go terribly wrong because trying to speak for me is sometimes difficult, hence the reason I’m more comfortable putting words on paper. My last and final thought danced around the idea of it being a good career move or not. You know, in case I ever make it big someday, would I want something like a TV show in my past?
The segment was going to be about helping strained relationships, and how to mend them. As I already mentioned in an earlier post, it stemmed from a piece I did for Huffington Post, and it looked like it was a go until the controlling boyfriend of the friend with whom I was having this “strain” stepped in and put his foot down. Read more…
Do you find that you have just too much support? That people like you too much? That you’re just up to your eyelashes in friendships? Me too, comrade! Here’s how to destroy all of that.
It’s really important to pick fights with your friends. If there’s something that isn’t a big deal, it’s your job to make it as big a deal as possible. If they don’t see your point of view, it’s because they’re selfish idiots. You, by default of being you, will always be correct. Don’t put up with their guff. Storm out of the room. Keep reading »