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Friday
May222009

Bedroom Bioterrorism :Why You Should Burn the June 2009 Issue of ESSENCE Part II



In the June 2009 Issue of ESSENCE magazine (page 82) they feature an essay by a coward who goes by "Anonymous." His "story", and by story I mean complete work of FICTION, is told by Anslem Samuel.  Anonymous admits to being diagnosed with Herpes ten years ago, but goes on to have unprotected sex with 20 women, 18 of which he never disclosed his Herpes status,.  The title of the article is "Gambling With Herpes," but I want to point out the way the story is packaged for readers. First, the description:
An attractive, successful businessman reveals why he had unprotected sex even though he knew he could infect the women in his life. [oooh ladies did y'all hear that? He's a biddnez man. He might have ben-eee-fiiitz  and 'surance- Catch him while you can!!]

There is nothing "attractive" about this psychopath. Then the quotes ESSENCE chose to put in bold:
I feared being rejected by someone I cared about. [so you chose to infect them instead?]

I thought about confessing, but I never had the courage. [so you infected them instead?]

Oh poor "Anonymous". Poor baby, he poked his pox-filled penile region all over yonder because he was skurd. I find it laughable that he fears LATEX, but doesn't have any problem with VALTREX! But he's not done because in addition to intentionally infecting "the women in his life," he defames them and basically says that they ASKED literally BEGGED to be infected by him:
Sometimes a woman would ask me not to wear a condom and I obliged her request. No one ever asked me to get tested for herpes...[oh so your penile region is subject to requests? If I requested that you tattoo "HERPES INFECTED" on your penile region would you OBLIGE?]

The he claims the only woman to TELL him that he infected her was the mother of his children [you do realize that you very well may have transmitted this to your children, right Mr. Fraidy Cat!] and then offers this piece of revisionist history:
I made sure she knew it was possible to catch it even when I had an outbreak. She doesn't like to use condoms and took the risk [she didn't TAKE anything. You GAVE her Herpes!!]

I find his assertions about Black women wrestling him to the ground and impaling themselves on his pox-filled penile region dubious because of his earlier admission that he took elaborate steps to conceal the disease. Which was it?  They volunteered for a raging case of herpes, or were they conscripted?
I did outlandish things to hide the truth ...like keeping Valtrex in a different prescription bottle. Sometimes my girlfriend would want sex when I was having an outbreak. I couldn't arouse any suspicion by saying no, so I would wear my boxers to conceal the blisters. [You couldn't AROUSE suspicion, but didn't have any trouble arousing your penile region]

He isn't done blaming Black women for exercising dominion over his penile region:
When I told the other woman who knows my status, she was surprisingly okay with it, which made me wonder, "What do you have"

This man might as well have a small pox filled syringe going around poking random Black women in his sleep. Not once. Not twice. Not thrice, but FOUR times in a single essay, this man blames Black women for HIS decision to impale them with his pox-filled penile region.  How nice and convenient not to have to take any responsibility for the choices and decisions you made.  Every single paragraph in this essay involves blame shifting.

When Black women are 23 times more likely to be infected with the AIDS virus than our White counterparts, what do you call a man who knows he has a sexually transmitted disease yet fails to disclose it, and takes affirmative steps to conceal it while having "unprotected sex."(BTW I don't believe there is such thing as "protected sex" That's like having a "protected" heart transplant. ). But what do you call a man who intentionally infects women with an STD? You call that man  (or woman) a BIO-TERRORIST.

I am appalled that his blame shifting went unchallenged in this "cautionary tale." I find it interesting that they chose to highlight quotes about his "fear " and "lack of courage," but buried the quotes indicating his coldblooded cunning and deception.

Ultimately the MESSAGE we are supposed to get form this "cautionary tale" is that Black women are responsible for where men place their penile region.  The message is clear, if they decide to intentionally expose us to disease, then WE DESERVE IT!

This man wasn't "Gambling" with herpes. He was committing a violent crime. He was intentionally causing permanent harm to the physical structure of the body.  He took their choice away.

He can hide behind his cowardice and his "fear of being rejected," but the truth is that this BIO-TERRORIST did what he did because he doesn't give a DAYUM about Black women. Even if they volunteered for the honor of breaking out in blisters for the rest of their lives, what was wrong with this man's character that he would allow himself to cause this kind of permanent  damage to another human being? The "they asked to be infected" BS is a cop out. You didn't gamble with Herpes, you gambled with other people's lives and still aren't prepared to accept responsibility for what you did.

This isn't a public health issue , its a national security and law enforcement issue and men who KNOW their status who go on to have sex with over 20 women, and only tell 2, don't need to be giving  Black women advice. They need  need to be in JAIL.

Just this week in Dallas, a trial began in a case similar to the circumstances describes in this essay. In that case, the man was charged with ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON:
A 52-year-old woman testified Wednesday that she contracted HIV by having unprotected sex with Philippe Padieu, who prosecutors allege knew he had the infection and did not tell his lovers.

Padieu, 53, of Frisco is being tried in Collin County on six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The deadly weapon, said assistant district attorney Lisa King, was Padieu's "bodily fluids." Dallas Morning News

Do you really think he would have behaved differently if he had HIV instead of Herpes? Of course he wouldn't. He doesn't have a "condom" problem, he has a character problem and for them to try to portray him as anything other than an extremely ANGRY man who out to harm women is a disservice. Where were the questions? Where was the "expert advice" challenging this fool. In the financial section they have an expert response to people's testimonials, why wasn't there a little insert from a psychologist or even a victim of predators like this? I would love to hear from one of the women he exposed!!

If you are so inclined, you can share your thoughts about this fictional account at onhismind@essence.com. I want to hear from "the women in his life!"

We conclude this series of Why You Should Burn the July 2009 issue of ESSENCE Magazine with our analysis of "The Body Shop" by Demetria L. Lucas the article begins on page 110.  Its supposed to be about making him scream your name... because HIS pleasure is what's MOST important, but it ends up being a chronicle about emotional and psychological abuse that leads to self mutilation and humiliation. Have a great weekend!

Suggested Reading

AIDS Epidemic Takes Its Toll on Black Women

Reader Comments (48)

This is absolutely frightening! How many more infected people are running around out there spreading STD's like the plague? I'm not quite certain why people are still running around having unprotected sex, though. Haven't they gotten the memo yet?

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMax Reddick

I'm still debating whether i"m going to write an article about "THe Body Shop" or not...

Anywho...

While obviously dude is a self centered dangerous ass the responsibility of your sexual encounters ultimately relies on you.

People will lie about whether they "have" something or not whether it is lying by omission or flat out lying if asked.

Assume that's the case and act accordingly.

Condoms work well, but are limited in effectiveness with STD's that are transferred through skin to skin contact...herpes, HPV, pubic lice (crabs)...are some examples of that.

Marriage is not a panacea. Plenty of married men (and women) cheat and all aren't super responsible when they do so.

Unfortunately much of the AIDS epidemic is concentrated in a certain class of women/men so the issue is especially prevalent among the poor.

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

um, HIV infection is actually concentrated among people of color and women. Women of color across "class" are being hit hard. Plus teen STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) rates, including HIV, are rising rapidly. Men like Anonymous are a part of the infection wildfire (appears "respectable and middle class" so people who mistakenly think only the poor have STIs have unprotected sex with him). Plus people of all races and classes are not taking responsibility for their sexual health. It's a perfect storm, and as usual black women are getting soaked.

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenternathalie

@nathalie

1. I was referring to "people of color" and no much of the epidemic is concentrated in the poor of the "people of color" group. ie. rates are highest in places like Mississippi, parts of DC and parts of the Carolinas.

What you see is a lot of the poor and drug addicted are the biggest hit.

2. Now because the bulk of the US black population is working class or poor that means it hits a lot of black folk.

3. Of course there are those in the middle and upper classes who are infected and yes dudes like anonymous are particularly dangerous because of their level if income and appearance of middle-clasness.

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

I haven't read the article so I cannot take sides here, but I will say this: if the article causes just one black woman to rethink who she sleeps with and how, to not equate "education" and "business suit" with "clean" and "STD-free," to insist upon condoms and/or tests, then maybe it's done some good. Therefore, I don't object to the article noting that both parties consented to not wearing condoms, not being tested, etc. BUT my concern is that if the article shifts blame to anonymous' victims, Essence's readers can derive a false sense of security (i.e. "I'm not like THOSE women, I'm much smarter, this won't happen to me"), which would ultimately be counterproductive. From the quotes you offered, it doesn't sound as if these women did anything many women haven't at one time or another done (it's not like they were picking up men from da skrip club ;-). Essence readers need to be able to recognize themselves as the next potential victim of men like this and act accordingly. "There, but for the grace of God...." and all that.

And of course black MEN also need to rethink their sexual practices, particularly this sociopath, but then I'm not sure how many black men are reading Essence....

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPecola

I read this trash and wondered if Essence was actually trying to show women how careful they really should be out there, but then as this man blames the women, I fail to see any type of altruism. Shame on Essence for this one. If you are this hard up for literature, I can send you some of my 9 year-olds stories. Perhaps your readers may even thank you for a refreshing change.

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLorraine

At the rates people are being infected, I have come to the conclusion that people are in fact infecting others on purpose. Some when they find out they are infected, go on to change their lifestyle and some get angry and go around infecting others. There have been countless stories of this in the news.

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNaima

i'm from St.louis Mo and actually graduated from the Normandy High school which had nationwide headlines due 2 the large population of AIds at the school. This is a HUGE problem in St.Louis! It seems these children are becoming sexually active as early as 6th grade. these children don't adequately begin sex ed classes until high school and I believe they have an unrealistic Ideas about sex. Not to mention parents that flat out refuse to consider the idea that their 13 or 14 year old is having sex alot of the parents i have spoken to (I still live in Normandy ) have went so far as to make comments like (i know my baby aint having sex) this is crazy! why not provide these children with condoms and hope they are confident enough to use them. take the proactive approach.

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpen2pad

I know so many DL BM here in New York....it should bring me to tears.

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterknockoutchick

The truth is AIDS and other STDs are lifestyle diseases and 100% preventable. Many black women today are living incredibly difficult lives filled with a lot of pain and anguish which has resulted in risky personal behaviors for immediate gratification. This includes unprotected sex with high risk (and low risk) individuals.

In the 80's the homosexual community rallied together to try and figure out why their brethren were dropping like flies. They spoke openly about the need to CURTAIL certain behaviors to bring down the rate of infection. They took personal responsibility for their actions and demanded that the gov't help them spread the word about HIV/AIDS and how it affected THEIR community. They started strapping up in record numbers and guess what - the infection rate went down. It started creeping up again when meth became big in gay circles and once again they CORRECTED THEIR BEHAVIOR.

This is not the stone ages. News and information travels FAST. Black women have been hearing about HIV for nearly a decade and have heard all the stats. If you are still having sex with men without condoms and not getting tested regulalry WITH YOUR PARTNER - you are pretty much ignoring all the info out there. As a black woman you are at HIGH risk. Vet ALL sex partners - ALL OF THEM. Or become celibate.

This is not just about black men infecting black women. Black men have relations with women of other races, too. Those women are not contracting HIV at the same rate. This means that HIV infected black men are "staying close to home". They are not spreading the disease to women of other races. They are not stupid - they know that other communities would go nuts if their women were becoming "tainted" with HIV. If their women were being shut out as marriage partners because of a deadly disease. But since the black community is so dysfunctional and black women are not seen as being worthy of marriage and in-tact families - no one cares that we are becoming diseased. They can find plenty of women without HIV, out of wedlock kids, etc.

This articles proves just that. Black women have got to correct this risky behavior NOW. No one feels sorry for us, especially when it comes to a sexually transmitted disease.

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRashida

When did Essense become so depressing? What happened to being uplifting and highlighting the best of who we are and all that?

@JJ

75% of African Americans are middle - class. It just seems like the bulk of us are poor becasue that's how the media portrays us.

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMonie

@ Rashida
They are not spreading the disease to women of other races.

Not true, they arrested a young bm in Rochester, NY for intentionally spreading the HIV. His victims were young white girls and there was also a young BM in Florida arrested a couple of years ago who did the same thing to young white girls. There was also a case in Canada where a BM gave his white girlfriend HIV and in turn she went around spreading it to BM men.
Its happening, the media just hasn't put a label on it to make it the latest fear tactic.

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNaima

@Lorraine

Right on! Good God, what's wrong with people!

@Naima

Individual cases of BM infecting white women with HIV does not equate to black women being 15 times more likely than WW to be diagnosed. I actually think anytime a white girl is infected with HIV by a black man the media is quick to pay attention. I heard of the NY case and the Florida case.

My point is, black women have got to start taking responsibility for this epidemic and their overall sexual state. With the out of wedlock birthrate being what it is, black women are no more likely to want to use condoms then black men. We can demonize HIV+ black men all we want, but black women are also demonstrating that they can be just as cavalier about protecting themselves.

Abortions, out of wedlock births, HIV - these are all signs that LOTS of black women are incredibly irresponsible when it comes to sex and sexual health. This isn't about "ignorance" or "lack of access to healthcare" or "miseducation" - this is about laziness and a poor value system. Can we blame black men for THAT too?

I understand the blog owner's frustration with Essence mag and this article but even if this man wasn't given a platform he would still exist. I don't even see how he is "blaming" the women for his herpes status. He is simply stating that many of the women he has had sex with did not want to use condoms. It should not take knowing a person has herpes to insist on condom usage or STD testing. Any woman entering into a "blind trust" with a sexual partner is foolish - so is any man.

This man probably contracted herpes from a WOMAN. Did the woman who gave it to him let him know she had herpes? Do women with STDs and HIV disclose their status to their partners?

I hate how the AIDS epidemic is seen as being one-sided. Black woman are infecting men as well (especially older women having sex with young boys). If you only look at women who enter into sexual relationships on their own free will as victims then you have to treat the men who are infected like that too.

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHollywood Blackout

Educated people that I know thought that I was 'joking' about all the foolishness in Essence this month. I wish I was. This idiot deserves to die a painful death, and alone. The cruelty of what he has done is a shame. many people have and live with their diagnosis of STD's. He is a douche, cause he consciously decided to have unprotected sex during times when he had outbreaks. Very selfish. Who knows how many babies may be born to these women that have no idea about their exposure. Not to mention the many other people that may be indirectly affected. It's said that at minimum a person should add 10 extra people to their bed when they sleep with another person. The 10 being possible opportunities of a STD that the person you sleep with may have had direct/indirect contact with.

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercinco

@Hollywood...

Probably is one of those words one should advoid using. We'll never know how he obtained it, and Idon't care other then to say he should develop and practice safe sex methods.

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercinco

Scary. There are people out there like this. Sex is kinda not fun anymore.

Unprotected sex with 20 people? I can’t even imagine that.

I know we all make mistakes and bad decisions, but all I can say is, man or woman, be an advocate for your health! Get tested, use protection, and exercise your best judgment.

I also think it’s interesting that he refers to the “mother of his children” as “the mother of his children.” What does that mean? She’s not your wife? That says a lot too.

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterZabeth

"I hate how the AIDS epidemic is seen as being one-sided."

Then you need to get over it. Seriously. I understand how you feel, I've been there, but it's an emotional attachment to some sort of "fairness," not a rational one. Rationally: the blame can't be attributed evenly for physical and social reasons. Hell, if circumcision is effective at reducing HIV transmission, just imagine how much safer it is just being MALE to begin with. If females experience 90%+ of the risks in heterosexuality, either men are phenomenal in bed to justify that, or -- more likely -- there is no justification and there's social factors pushing women into high risk behavior. And yeah, those factors can be called patriarchy.

Take HPV for example: how many women, prior to two years ago, knew that having sex with men, even with condoms every time, could cause them to get cervical cancer and die? How often was that talked about? Maybe sometimes in a doctor's office, but always to adult women when they were by themselves, vulnerable in a clinical setting, it wasn't trumpeted in TV commercials to teenagers.

But hey, now that the medical establishment has a vaccine to sell (its long term safety still unknown), only NOW is society allowed to scare women about the dangers of having sex with men and the threat HPV poses.

The disease? Not an emergency.

The cure? Emergency.

Kind of backwards there. And that's why men and women aren't equally complicit and culpable in this mess.

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRich

Abortions, out of wedlock births, HIV - these are all signs that LOTS of black women are incredibly irresponsible when it comes to sex and sexual health. This isn’t about “ignorance” or “lack of access to healthcare” or “miseducation” - this is about laziness and a poor value system

I don't totally disagree with that. I was saying that with the level of interracial romances going on it will only be a matter of time before everyone will be affected by this. I am no social scientist but I know what I see. BW have become the poster child for OOW births but you put the same group of irresponsible men with another ethncity and you get the same phemonmen. And you will see that BW really aren't more sexually active than anyone else. I am not in denial or anything but one of the reasons why black women are more respresented in these stats is b/c of economic reasons, BW are more likely to attend public health facilities and use government health insurance and these places are where the CDC gets their numbers.

Also if a woman is desperate to have a warm body next to her in bed, do you really think she insists on safe sex?

And this is one of the reasons why I hated that whole DL obsession, (I can't believe Oprah participated in the perpetuation of it) it basically blamed the HIV of women on gay/DL men. Not the promiscuity of straight men, basically enabling women to leave their guard down if they believe that their man was "all man" and not into that DL stuff.
I think women do have the power, but women have been taught (especially in recent years) to put away their common sense, and what they think in feel in order to get/keep a man b/c of this alleged black man shortage going on.

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNaima

If the black American community thinks that 75% of AAs are middle class, we need to remove the rose colored glasses.

The high rate of HIV and STDs are the outcome of an entangled number of conditions that point to us being everything but middle class. The high unemployment rates among men, incarceration, man sharing, etc are what has led to this epidemic.

If more BM were indeed middle class...and in that I mean gainfully employed and able to support a home and family while also living in that home and instilling certain core values in the children, we would not be marinating in the dysfunctional stew we currently find ourselves in.

Many black people just don't want to hear the facts...like the earlier poster noted we as black women CAN prevent much of the spread of these illnesses.

This awful and powerful religious and conservative streak that runs through the black community stops people from telling the truth. In gay clubs I have been to in the past with white gay male friends they were passing out condoms at the door. There were large bowls of condoms on the bar. There needs to be more of that in black clubs. But certainly for older black people, you couldn't do that. because on the surface everyone is acting like they are not having sex ....or certainly folks are not talking about it.

Just like their men are not going to the strip clubs....smh

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterknockoutchick

I would add I think the angst of not being able to support a family puts pressure on BM and causes many relationships to break.

That being said...I would say we have about 60% of young BM unemployed here in New York.

So in my mind that correlates quite nicely to about 30+% or so of black women being in relationships or married.

Education, solid employment and marriage along with certain core values are what define middle class in my book. Therefore realistically we have about 20-30% of blacks being middle class and maybe of that group 2-5% might be classified as upper middle class.

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterknockoutchick

Of course if people stopped having sex.....but that would be asking for too much, right? And I had someone try to convince me it would be wrong if as a married woman I wanted to always use condoms except during a specific time we decided to try for children (if that was in the plan) because I don't care what anyone says about being faithful, etc. I care about what could happen and would prefer to take zero chances with my health. That would make me too cynical, huh?

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaith

Well if don't have a job thats even more incentive to wear condoms. B/c if your girl gets pregnant and goes to the welfare office b/c you two can't cut it financially there are automatically gonna hit you up for the 20%, and if you have another one thats another 20%.

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNaima

As someone who has worked in the public health STD field, a lot of this relates to black women not having real power in relationships to negotiate the use of protection and the boundaries of the relationship. Its the reason behind heterosexual HIV/STD transmission around the WORLD. You have to have power to make decisions in a sexual relationship, but black women dont due to the gender dynamics in the black community. The factors that cause this in other parts of the world are usually cultural, but in the black American population a lot of it relates to our man centered, sexist culture AND the shortage of available black men. So you have black women of high SES (which area usually low risk by virture of their higher SES) having sex with high risk, low SES men just because these men are black and the women want a man, any man regardless of the different backgrounds which translate into different risk levels. You also have men knowing they are a commodity (consciously or subconsciously) sleeping with multiple women and determining the course of the relationship (ie protection, support of children, living circumstances), but the black community accepts this behavior from black men and incentivizes in numerous ways. These networks with multiple partners (usually one man multiple women) and sex across different income and education levels are the immediate reason why STDs/HIV are so high in the black community. But underneath it all is culture, power and population dynamics.

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbnr

Knockoutchick and bnr have it right...

65 - 85% of the black population is working class or poor.

Black male and female unemployment is runnign 50/60% in many major cities...so you have a population that is broken and desperate.

As bnr has noted many women have little to no power in their relationship.

All this brings to mind the story of the woman who had cancer and relied on her partner to take care of her. She didn't trust he was being faithful and she wanted to use condoms, but she needed him and she was afraid if she forced the issue he'd leave.

What do you suggest she do?

Many women find themselves at the mercy of the men in their lives and have no other recourse.

THe AIDS/HIV epidemic - like most issues affecting the black community - is rooted in poverty and power inbalance.

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

i didn't see that article as promoting ignorance,moreso as showing what sort of mind set is out there. women need to know that men who look attractive and seemingly have it all together can be straight up predators like this man.

anonymous is a psychopath. women need to know that men like this exist. i can't be mad at Essence for telling his story so women know what's out there.

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermellie

Can someone tell me why there's such an aversion to condoms in the black community?? At the very least it protects against Aids. Also nobody wants to talk about the prevalence of Oral Sex and the real risks involved.

May 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Sounds like the Bio-terror alert level is brown/black....
This is bio-terrorism against our own and it is sad..

May 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwannatwinkie

Our culture is full of people that from a young age are taught and modeled by adults to do "what everyone else is doing'.

I often see this in the early childhood and early education environments. Many of the boys for example at 4 walk with their pants down to their kness; the girls wear items drawing attention to their body shape or inappropriate phrases on their tee shirts.

Too many of us really do think it's "cute" when a child can recite the common musical hits, but don't know how to spell their name or say their "ABC'S". When the young children are 'dancing' and are grinding with other young children, some turn away and think this is ok, (because everyone in their world thinks so too).

When these young children are pre-teens we continue to encourage this madness. By the time they are teenagers/young adults they are in many cases too far gone.

We have to take a responsabilty in our own future.

One of the greatest avenues that many Blacks are exposed too in some way is the church. The church needs to step up and try to 'save' the entire person not just their 'soul'.

And the media forum has a long ways to go to present beneficial articles for all readers/viewers. I picked up the June issue of "Today's Black Woman" and the advice is no better in the end for us. Too many of these writers still manage to blame us, to condem us, to debase us and to throw us under the bus.

Even with our 'first Black family' in the White House, there hasn't been enough effort as yet to foster continued uplifiting info to and/or about Blacks.

May 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercinco

I don't like this assumption that black women don't have power. They may not be using their power or giving it up but they most certainly HAVE it to use. It's called CHOICE.

May 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFaith

I wouldn't be so sure that poverty causes AIDS in the black community. In Africa it is the middle class and upper class folks getting AIDS. They have the money and flash to put on a good show and have 2, 3, 4 wives and concubines, as well as a couple on the side. The rich black folks in Africa get AIDS and spread AIDS much more than poor folks. Using the Essence article as an example, a brutha who dresses nice enough or has enough money to attract 20 (!) sistahs for unprotected sex sure isn't suffering from poverty or low self-esteem.

May 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBig Bill

Read the article that gem posted. It discusses the age imbalance which I saw up close in the 90s.

bnr-I agree.

It is more complicated than "close your legs".

May 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLaJane Galt

Oh No JaJane, it can't be more complicated than "its Black women's fault" Nope uh uh. We can't acknowledge that WITHIN the Black community, there are SYSTEMIC issues at play... because the only system of oppression we will even acknowledge is racism.

We don't talk about an unrelenting campaign to make us believe that our lives are worthless.

What if any worth we can achieve must be handed to us by a man.

The only way to get our worth handed to us is to let him lay hands on us.

On and on and on.

We're not dealing with a "mechanical" issue.

May 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergem2001

Something tells me this is probably the same caliber of men you're likely to pick up in the "skrip club". I'm always left wondering why we're so reluctant to address the character issues of men. Why is it ok in our communities for some men to be horrible people? Everyone's low standards results in a “free pass” to ruin their own lives as well as the lives of women, children and other men who are unfortunate enough to encounter them. And we're constantly asked to adjust to accommodate their immorality, lack of self-respect and self-worth. In the end this constant capitulating undermines any chance they have to be healthy, happy or productive human beings and they spend their time visiting their misery upon the rest of us. The constant coddling and excuse making makes them weak and corrupt and their destruction is a stupid waste for all of us.

May 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

@Faith. I don't think it's an issue of BW not having power, because they do. I think a lot of BW are under the impression that they don't have power in relationships. Largely because they feel that there is only a small pool of men available to them.

May 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterzabeth

Karen and Zabeth: I co-sign what you've both just said to the Nth degree. I am so sick of the ratcheting down of standards by those who want to do just anything and pretend that there are no consequences to their actions. And the rest of us "go along to get along", not really realizing how we'll be dragged down with them into the abyss. And I am even more sick of black women being on the frontline and the receiving end of the consequences of this behavior that oftentimes we don't even get a say in.

May 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSandra77

This is absolutely horrible. I'd like to know why Essence chose to give this "person" a platform. I definitely agree that he should be given an assault with a deadly weapon charge, instead of coverage in a national magazine. Really sad, as I know of women who have been infected by their male partners - and no, these are not some hoochie-mamma-sleep-with-anybody-Maury-Povich-stereotypes. Unfortunately, these were good, caring and intelligent Black women who fell for the old "okie-doke" and believed the lie of love that these guys told. So sad.

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLena

Is it me or did they fail to mention that another reason black women get AIDS from black men is because black men also sleep with other black men?

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwmitch

a lot of this relates to black women not having real power in relationships to negotiate the use of protection and the boundaries of the relationship.
------------------------------------------------------
or to negotiate whether or not she wants to have sex at all

May 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwmitch

@wmitch

That's a cop out. Black women get AIDS through heterosexual sex...if said black woman was using condoms it wouldn't matter who said black man was sleeping with.

A man sleeping around is a man sleeping around and doesn't really matter who he's doing it with, just that he's doing and he's doing it sans protection.

May 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

What is happening to Black men? I just read about Desmond Hatchett and am just floored that a 29 year old man could have 21 children, 11 baby mama's, and a minimum wage job. As a women of "mature age", can someone tell me why young women are so desperate that the will accept anything with a penis and a pulse? I don't know if links are allowed, but I direct you to Bossip's article on 5/28 entitled "Desmond “Drop a Seed” Hatchett Footage".

May 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTraci

I just had a chance to read this post.... and haven't read all the comments, however, this is another example of how poorly our sisters value themselves. The idiot in the article is most certainly a criminal, but why do we ascribe such low value to ourselves? It makes me sad everytime a sister opens her legs (voluntarily) because she doesn't want to say "no"; and often times ends up with an STD or an unwanted pregnancy. Unless a man forces himself upon her, the WOMAN has the last word.
When I was fourteen, I had a boy call my house at 10 p.m. My mama flipped... "Don't call my daughter at 10 o'clock at night like this is some sort of gas station!!" When I was fifteen, she sent a boy home (who came to sit with me on the front porch) because he had dirty fingernails. She taught me early on that I was valuable, not just to boys, but to myself. Needless to say, with a mother like that, I didn't actually go on a date until I was 18.
I wish every little black girl had a mother like mine. There are mothers out there who don't (or won't) recognize their girls as gifts, and the same cycle perpetuates itself generation after generation. I mentor when I can, but it's hard to change behaviors that are constantly being reinforced by the media and by other family members and friends.
And again, there is absolutely no excuse for "anonymous" to do what he did. But, I do think that the issue of black women "having power" in relationships is a valid one. If we hold ourselves in high enough esteem to say no when it's in our best interest, then I think the dynamic between men and women can be greatly affected.

May 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMrsMcG

I don't own a real video camera, but if I did...

I'd get some friends together, go buy some June Essence magazines, head out to the the bbq pit at the nearest park, burn ALL the mags, videotape the party,and upload it to youtube. Start a movement!

That'll teach 'em.

May 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdeborah

When Johnson first created Essence, he wanted black women to seek empowerment. The Business and Beauty industries took for granted the presence of the black woman in society and this disdain was continually displayed by simply not featuring "us" (black women) as if we did not exist. After Johnson's death, his children have chosen to celebrate lifestyles and celebrities that are antithetical to anything that Johnson would have stood for. We are celebrating out of wed lock pregnancies, we are celebrating ignorance, we are celebrating broken families and the list of disgraces go on. I am not going to even talk about the featured celebrities who bring utter disgrace to the race. It is not a shock to me that Essence has become a victim of the injustice that it set out to correct, the demonization and degredation of black women. Deborah..Amen. Lets stand for something.

June 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterZion

No JJ it's not any "copout", the truth is the truth, period. And the sad fact is that too many people in this sorry community do not want to hear the truth when it comes to certain individuals.

As for this story and what ESSENCE has become, it's just another front in the war against Black females.

But who cares right? Let's just stick to addressing and devoting our energies/efforts to really important issues like protecting the macho/superman/manliest man of all image of you-know-who.

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFed up observer.

Herpes is the most undertested STD yet millions of people have it. Many of those millions are not aware of it. Because of articles like yours where you call the man all kind of names and act as though herpes is the plague, people don't get tested and people who have it don't reveal their status. The man in the article does what a lot of people do because of the stigma of it. That keeps people from getting tested, getting helped and ultimately dealing with it, and those who are infected go through unecessary shame and guilt. At the end of the day, you are responsible for your own health and safety and we need to do a better job of teaching or girls AND our boys to value themselves more.

June 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteranonymous

Yep, read that bullshit. :-| Typical victim, blame-shifting, woman hating behavior. Unfortunately, instead of women understanding that this type of man is to be avoided like the plague that he has, said women will blame the REAL victims just like he did.

Yes, we must ALL take responsibility for our sexual behaviors. But to suggest that "she (THEY) took the risk" for something that he INTENTIONALLY infected them with is ludicrous, preposterous, and downright disgusting.

Spinster for life, for REAL. :-|

June 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSpinster

This is the perfect example of why abstinence is what is meant for us. It's sad so many of us disregard the fact that our lives would be so much better following the Word of God. Instead of proclaiming safe sex (herpes can be contracted while wearing a condom) we should be proclaiming no sex until marriage

July 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTelika Howard

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