Not all Attention is Good

As I look around I am starting to realize that people do not get the concept that all attention is not good attention.  Sometimes you need to be cautious of the attention that you garner because some of it can cause reactions that you did not plan. As an undergrad, majoring in PR I learned that you have to gather attention to a product, person, cause, or anything, by tailoring the message to what you would like it to be. If you wanted the message to be a positive one you could not use negative attention and wish to change into something else.  If a crisis does happen you handle it the best way possible, making sure you do as little damage to your reputation as possible and gain something good from the situation.  You have to learn from your mistakes and fix them, not just allow them to continue to happen. This will soon become apparent to your audience that you may not be concerned with the outcome or your audience you are targeting.

When it comes to people, the same thing should apply. Their haven’t been to many people that have been able to garner negative attention and then make something of it. It is very rare that it happens this way.  However, some people do think that any attention is better than no attention and they try to capitalize on it.  Well, if you really don’t care about your reputation nor your image then maybe this will work for you, but if you care then you need to choose a different route.  As women in general, garnering attention that has nothing to do with your appearances is sometimes difficult, but it can be done.  Recently, Olympian Lolo Jones was criticized because people felt like she had become a celebrity not because of her athletic abilities but because of her appearance and sex appeal.  Not only does she have sex appeal but she is also a virgin. Ms. Jones has taken her appearance at the Olympics and has capitalized on it, and she has still managed to keep her “pure” image. Although some are now questioning why she is one of the most recognized women competing in the track and field events, when she has not won an event. Well the answer is simple, her publicist has cashed in on her “pure” image and made Lolo quite a bit of money. Not only does she have a nice reputation to fall back on, they have also been able to create an image that is marketable to a variety of audiences.

Well, all attention is not good, but you should be aware that attention for a good reason is GREAT!!!! 

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The choice has been made, you Lose.

Okay for the second time in less than six months, women of color have been attacked regarding their reproductive rights. Here’s the latest:

Here We Go Again: Anti-Abortionists Say the Wombs of Latinas Are ‘Dangerous’ « Clutch Magazine.

 Let’s think about the messages they are trying to send. They don’t want you to have too many kids, because women of color are not responsible enough to take care of them.  If they do have these kids then, it is thought that they will need government assistance because they are to lazy to work and take care of their own children.  This is a common misconception. The second message is, if you do get pregnant don’t have an abortion because that is not the right thing to do. 

Well there are two conflicting ideas here, because if women of color have more than their share of children according to standards set by society then they are just living off the system but if they make the choice that having a child is not the best thing for them at the moment, then they are still seen in a negative light. It is a lose-lose situation.  The only people being targeted for making a choice about having a child or not, are women of color.  That seems to be an issue. 

Throughout history, the white woman has been protected because she was deemed delicate and in need of protection.  The kind of protection that was not offered to women of color.  Sojourner Truth called out this one-sided treatment by asking the simple question, “Ain’t I a Woman”. Not only did she, but so did Ida. B. Wells who warned white men that if they kept doing the same things, evidence would come out to prove that the white women the white men sought to protect were not as delicate and innocent as they expected.  And let’s not forget the breeder woman, whose job was to only have children for the master so that he could continue to have people to work for him.  So it is not a problem for a white woman to make this decision because evidently she has thought this through and has made her decision based on important factors. Women of color however are not able to have this choice, they are just wrong regardless of the situation.  The only time it was acceptable for women of color to give birth to many children was during slavery when the slave owners needed the worker.  Even then it was not a choice, rather a duty.  So women of color do not have this freedom to make a choice about parenthood because the choice has already been made.

It is safe for women of color to take care of other people’s children, but they can’t take care of their own and shouldn’t have them.  Isn’t that quite ironic?

Who will if I fail to do it?

As I am continuing my education in communication and Black feminism, I am realizing that if I don’t talk about, research and keep Black women in the forefront of my work, then few will. I am working on a project and I looked up the word Feminism. As I was reading Wikipedia, I saw that the only women truly being represented were White women, as if Black women did nothing when it came to the feminist movement. Only a few Black women were acknowledged and even then it was brief just a run of their names. How do you just ignore the impact that women such as Maria Stewart, Anna Julia Cooper, Ida B. Wells, Mary Church Terrell and many more, had on the feminist movement. These women are not mentioned when you talk about feminism in general but they are so important.
Then there is the question why does everyone have to be separate and have separate feminisms? Well, when you think about how these women have been erased from the feminist movement and history in general to just small segments of history, then you might understand why their needs to be specific segments of feminism. Then, there is the fact that Black women have to face racism AND sexism and most of the time, if not all, at the same time. That changes how you move in the world and how you see the world. The problem I have is that people who say they are feminists and they believe this notion that all women regardless of race or class should be a feminist, because we are all women and the feminist movement helps all women. Yeah we are all women but that is about it. True, we want to be treated like human beings and have equal rights and pay and not be discriminated against because I am women, but women of color have a few more obstacles to overcome before we can truly accomplish those goals. Sometimes you need to be separate from people who don’t truly understand particular things about you and be with people who understand you without having to explain everything.
I knew I wanted to study Black women, but know I question that if I fail to see the importance of the Black women who made huge contribution to the society that we have, then why should anyone else see them as important. So in order for these women not to be erased from history that they helped change, acknowledgment and appreciation is due. I can’t hold anyone else accountable for not acknowledging these women, if I don’t do the same, so acknowledging and appreciating is what I will do.

What’s the difference?

Today has been one of those days. I now realize that some people see that the entire feminist movement is one and their should be no separation. I begged to differ and I differed because I identify as a black feminist and she was making my stance seem like it was not as important because it did not completely identify with the feminist movement but also included overcoming racism. I have to think, do people realize that class and race make other’s experiences different. Although we all want equality, I as a black woman have to face things other than just sexism. Even if I defeat sexism, racism will still be a hindrance. So we can’t be completely the same because there are other oppressions that I have to face. I can’t just fight sexism as if racism does not exist.

How can you be upset because people do not have the same experiences and would like to make those experiences known, the reason is because some people have to face other oppressions besides sexism!

Just saying, please look into other realms of feminism before you make a statement about you being upset because of the “division”.

Southern Belle or Crab in the Barrel Syndrome

I finished watching the season premiere of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”, and the only thing I could think about were stereotypes, negativity, and the meaning of a black southern belle. Let’s start with a black southern belle.
I don’t know what the character is trying to prove or what they except to be portrayed, but once she said she was a southern belle and then to see her character I became confused. It wasn’t that long ago that black women were not considered in no shape, form or fashion anything close to a southern belle, but once a depiction of a southern belle is displayed it is negatively. While I watched the episode all I could think about is what constitutes a black southern belle. According to the television is a conceited black women who gossips alot, thinks she is better than every other black woman who is either on the same level or some where near the same level, has money, a job, a man, and is very materialistic. I don’t know if this what the description they were looking for but it is what I got from the show. Not only is she all those things but she does not want to see any woman do better than her. Maybe I am wrong, but let’s move on to the stereotypes.
I understand that stereotypes exist so that we have some way of categorizing people whether good or bad, we can not live without them. Although this is true, you can deviate from them. The women on this show each have a stereotypical role, that most black shows have. Although the person may not truly conduct themselves in this manner they are allowing there character to be categorized in a stereotype. Black women are already so many negative things, and there stereotypes are still out there for them to be placed in. The show does not show any good traits of the characters and are not deviating from what is expected of stereotypical black women. The only difference in most stereotypes and this show is that these women have money.
The representation of the entire show is casting a negative light on how black women or self proclaimed southern belles conduct themselves. Negativity is not something that shows of this nature should strive for or women of this caliber live for. The approach that the show is taking is starting rocky but is succeeding because it is living up to the expectations of what people expect black women to be.
According to what the women on the show say no one has any money and they don’t know why that person is on the show. Typical of what stereotypical black people should feel and act like.
Just think on a few things: what is a black southern belle, why the repetitive stereotypes, and why all the negativity?

A Good Woman by Whose Standards

Today there are so many ways in which society defines what is a woman. Is a woman the person that does all the household duties and knows her place in a relationship, or is she an independent woman who is able to do for herself and not have to depend on others to do most things for her.
Whether your definition of a woman is either type, just think about what you see a woman as and how you came up with that image, and see does it still apply. Their are many definitions of what a woman should be and how young girls should aspire to become like these specific women because they are good women. When it comes to what makes a woman a woman, how can any woman win? According to the standards that society has placed on what it means to be a woman and what roles she should take on, they vary depending on what perspective you are looking from.

Just sit down and think about what image pops up when you think about what is a good woman? Are the images that you see the same images that you see perpetuated in the media or religiously or is it what you think a woman should be. Does this image line up with the most important women in your life, and would you like your daughter or niece to take on this definition of what a woman is. Just think about it.