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Friday
Oct252013

Thank you for Commenting - Getting Back in the Blogging Saddle Again - Join Me in Houston, TX on November 2nd ( Discount!)

My fellow Texans, I'm one of the speakers at the Black Social Media Summit in Houston, TX on November 2nd. I'll also be attending the Black Weblog Awards later that evening. If you use the promocode "blogmother" you'll get $15 off both tickets. See you there.  Get Tickets!

Thanks for commenting!

Whew chile, blogging is like running, you've got to be in shape for it. After the best. blogcation.ever. I'm getting back into my rhythm and have lots of pent up things to say. I saw so many blogworthy Twitter hashtags, just begging for a doses of common sense. I see a lack of evolution in some quarters of the blogosphere and I can acknowledge that I am not the person I was when I started this blog and have no ambition to stay the same. 

While I was away, I realized that What About Our Daughters isn't a blog. Its a community. And it is a community that managed to thrive despite a 3 month absence. Granted the Facebook fan page is always on and popping. But I thank all of you who continue to comment on the blog itself. Some of you have no chioce because you've been banned from the Facebook page. HA!

If you didn't have a change to check out my last three posts, you can read:

 

Black Mama’s Guide to Social Media Crisis Management: So Your Daughter’s Naked Pictures Are on the Internet. 
No Black People DO NOT Need to (Blindly) Support Each Other - Carol’s Daughter Edition 
12 Years a Slave Opens Today- I Ain't Going to See It -"Helplessness, Grievance and Martyrdom" AGAIN!

Wednesday
Oct232013

Black Mama’s Guide to Social Media Crisis Management: So Your Daughter’s Naked Pictures Are on the Internet. 

It is now time for another edition of Ask the Blogmother: Because She Cares Mmm Hmmm!

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the Blogmother are her and hers alone and are intended for entertainment purposes only. Nothing written here should be taken as actual advice a sane person will take and if you do any of this and it results in less than ideal results, you're on your own-You're Grown!

This week I received a message  from someone close to me who is the church member of the friend of the hair dresser of the step cousin of the brother of the sister of a coworker who has a daughter who engaged in a bout of public exhibitionism butt nekkid  and the images landed online and have been seen by at least 1 million people... or 250,000 people who keep looking at the images over and over again. Who knows- Lot’s of folks have seen the images. 

The Conundrum 

The young lady was not alone in the public exhibitionism, but because she is Black and she is a woman, she, alone, was targeted and was the talk of the town including several broadcasts on the local news and earned her own Twitter hashtag in the process. 

Request

The requester indicated that this young woman needed a strong support system from Black women and I assume that the requester meant “Blogmother can you please intervene!” Because I love the requestor, I refused to intervene primarily because this story has already died down and it is mainly quarantined in the gutter bucket sewer section of the internet which has already moved on to watching 3-year-olds twerk while dressed as Miley Cyrus for Halloween. To discuss the specifics of the case here would only place a quickly dying online blip into the mainstream. Besides, my tools are a keyboard and a mouse, not a magic wand. 

However, the Universe has been urging me to address the disturbing phenomenon of teenage girls committing suicide after naked images of them have appeared online. 

In some cases, the photos aren’t even of the girls, they are photo shopped See-> Facebook Cyber Bullying Ends With Two Teens Arrested On Felony Charges!

 

SO while I will not address this individual case, I will address the general issue of  how Black women should cope  if this happens to their child. 

This post does not apply to the following:

 

  • If your daughter is under 18- consult law enforcement, this post does not apply to you.
  • If your daughter was unconscious - consult law enforcement, this post does not apply to you.
  • If your daughter did not know the photos were being taken - consult law enforcement and a lawyer, this post does not apply to you
  • If your daughter is suffering from a mental illness- consult a licensed and trained professional and address her mental health crisis, this post does not apply to you.

 

 

My response assumes the following:

 

  • Your daughter is an adult.
  • She intended to display her naked body in front of other people.
  • She knew photos were being taken.
  • BUT she did not intend for those photos to be uploaded to the internet and appear on the local evening news. 

 

 

So here’s the Black Mama’s Guide to Social Media Crisis Management: Naked Daughter Edition

 The following observations will apply to non-Black Mamas such as Moms and Mothers and Ma Mas, but I have some Black Mama Specific Instructions in recognition of the unique form of public persecution inflicted on young Black women. 


Black Mama Specific Instructions:

Your daughter is not White. She is not a Black male. There will be NO. INSTITUTIONAL. SUPPORT for you in all likelihood. No one is going to mobilize around your daughter. No one is going to feel sorry for her. She will be treated more harshly than she would be if she were not Black and when that harsh treatment is handed out, she is less likely to be rescued by the institutions of the Black community because she is not a Black male. In fact, her most vicious attackers may very well be other Black women. The Calvary ain’t coming. You will have to save yourself.

General Instructions: 

  1. Ascertain whether your daughter is unhappy with her photos being widely disseminated. No, I did not stutter. I know you might be upset, but is your daughter upset about these photos being out there? We live in an age of celebrity worship and young people seek celebrity by any means necessary. Your daughter may really believe that this incident is a stepping stone to a “career.”  If your daughter is not upset, then you are going to have to learn to live with her current desires. If you have trouble coping, then YOU should seek professional help and grieve for the daughter you thought you were raising and accept the one that is showing up currently. In any event, this is a true test of unconditional love - don’t flunk it. 
  2. While your daughter is entitled to be a public exhibitionist, you are not required to subsidize her current lifestyle and you shouldn’t. Don’t fight harder for your daughter’s future than she’s willing to fight for it. Save your strength and your money. I’m not saying throw her out in the streets, but you need to have a frank discussion about what you are willing to subsidize and what you are not and come up with a plan to transition your daughter to a lifestyle that is not supported with parental subsidies. Keeping in mind than an abrupt disruption of your financial support might make her vulnerable to exploitation by others - your goal is for your daughter to be free to be who she wants to be right now without you having to pay for that.  Take the money you would have spent on her lifestyle and start a “Resurrection Fund” There may be a time at some point in the future when she changes her mind and at that time you can use those resources to help resurrect the dreams you put on hold during the Exhibition years. But don’t fight, struggle and extort. If this is what she wants to do- its what she wants to do. And part of the thrill for her might be that it ticks you off. So just  wait it out. If she deosn't come around in a few years, use the Ressurection to go an an amazing vacation. 

If your daughter is AS horrified or MORE horrified that her photo is on the internet then you’ve got some options.

 

  1. Remember that the internet is like a house featured in an episode of A&E’s Hoarders. The internet has a long memory and a short attention span. So while the internet might store images of your daughter “forever.” That image is gong to be buried under cat videos, pictures of manbabies, and animated gifs.  So while the people in your town and social circle might continue to bring this up over and over again ( if they do, they are losers) - most of the world doesn’t care. Your daughter just isn’t that important to them. They were entertained or horrified of maybe a few minutes and then they’ve moved on to tweeting about the latest episode of Real Housewives of Hip Hop. 
  2. The whole world isn’t watching. I don’t care how many people tweeted about your daughter, there were billions of other people on the planet who didn’t So the whole world isn’t watching. No, the people at the grocery store aren't looking at you- unless you live in a tiny town with less than 20,000 people- then they probably are looking at you. If that bothers you, consider moving.
  3. Yes, she can still get a college education, yes she can still get a job, or better yet, she can still start her own business. There are plenty of men in the United States Senate who ran around naked at some point when they were in college. Your daughter can still be President - though she will have some explaining to do. Are there certain jobs that she may not be able to hold? Perhaps, but she didn’t need to work for those people anyway. Her life is not over. 
  4. Resist the urge to do anything that attaches your daughter’s name to the image. You may want to respond on YOUR twitter account. Your daughter may want to respond on her instagram, but if the internet only knows your daughter as #nakkidTwirkgurl, that’s all that the Internet will remember, if on the other hand you start defending and complaining and going on the evening news about this, that dusty unmarked box at the bottom of a pile of cat videos is going to have a label on it.  Your biggest fear right now is that someone who searches or her name in a decade will find the image, well the more you associate her name directly or indirectly with the image, the more likely that will happen.
  5. Own that it happened and be unapologetic about it - Shame will lead to your complete and utter destruction.  If someone throws this in you or your daughter’s face ( in person), your response should be “And?” That’s it. Make the idiot who is running around trying to throw this in your face explain to THEMSELVES why you should care. What is wrong in their lives that makes them so invested in tormenting your daughter? If moralizers  call your daughter out of her name then your next question should be “Explain to me how I’m supposed to take a moral assessment of my child from an immoral person- and by immoral, I mean your lack of compassion and mean-spirited-hate-filled heart?  The greatest commandment is to love- please explain to me how your words about my child are exhibiting the love of God at this moment?” Or "I don't recall Christ running around in the Bible yelling SKANK! Can you point me to that scriptural passage?"  ANd then stand back and watch their faces CRACK. #shutTheDevilUp. What the bully wants is a direct connection to your soul- they get off on inflicting pain and your response to it. Deny them that and they have no power over you. And you can’t just say they have no power over you- you’ve got to mean it. 
  6. If she took the photos of herself, she owns the image ( unless she signed away her rights - that can only be done in writing)- If she owns the image then don’t communicate with the people posting- go directly to their internet hosts and start filing DMCA takedown notices.Don’t ever beg or plead with an internet bully- they like that. With the DMCA you don’t have to say a word to them - the host has to pull the image and they have to explain to the host why they have  the rights to post it- Most aren’t going to do that. But don't spend too much time on this- You've got a life to live. 
  7.  Your daughter isn’t ruined. Her future is not destroyed. Will she have some difficulties? Maybe. Maybe not. Don’t underestimate mankind’s ability to have compassion for a young person who made an impulsive decision. If people claim to be perfect when they were a teenager, then that person is a) lying or B) boring. Don’t overestimate the power of mean, petty, emotionally disturbed, morally stunted, trollopians. WHile there may be consequences for lapses in judgement, our destinies are not defined by our mistakes, but how we respond to them. 
  8. Speak openly with your daughter about self-harm and suicide. While Black girls may be less likely to engage in DIRECT suicide- we do have a propensity to engage in indirect slow deaths. In any case, based on the slew of stories about girls killing themselves after these types of incidents, it is a conversation worth having. 

 

Readers feel free to add your 2 cents, but I won’t publish comments that identify the incident I reference at the beginning of the post. 

If you have a pressing social-media related question to ask the Blogmother, think twice, and if you insist, use our Contact Form. 

Monday
Oct212013

No Black People DO NOT Need to (Blindly) Support Each Other - Carol’s Daughter Edition 

So my Carol's Daughter Hates Black Women post is generating traffic again, despite it being almost 3 years old. People are still commenting on it. I want to address a theme that crops up in the comments of that post, but also appeared on a Facebook post I made on the WAOD fan page over the weekend. The idea that I cannot publically criticize a company because it was founded by a Black person. An equally annoying theme is the idea that Carol's Daughter is so fragile a company that the mere criticism of a Black businesswoman will mean that I am driving her out of business.

This is my reponse...

First, Lisa Price no longer controls Carol’s Daughter- if she did, she would have come out and responded publiclly to Steve Stoute’s vocal disrespect of her customer base. According to this Reuters article from MAY, Carol's Daughter is owned by a private equity firm and they are attempting to SELL te company:

Carol's Daughter, known for its products for naturally curly hair, is exploring a sale of the company, according to two sources familiar with the matter...The tiny company, with big backers including Jay-Z and Will Smith, is owned by private equity firm Pegasus Capital Advisors. It is being advised by Moelis & Co, said the sources, who declined to be identified as the process is private. Reuters

The fact that after two years, she has yet to rebuff Stoutes attacks on Black women in her name meas A) she agrees with him or B) she’s scared of him or C) she doesn't want to rock the boat while she is attempting to sell the company to L'Oreal, Estee Lauder or Proctor & Gamble. 

Second  if the criticism of one lone blogger  was enough to drive you out of business, then your business isn’t that strong. If you’ve got a good product, good customer service and a loyal and respected client base, then you ought to be able to endure public criticism. The reason why my blog post is still buzzing three years later is that it keeps resonating. Some segment of the Carol's Daughter customer base can tell that the company doesn't want them anymore. It's not their imaginations either. 

I made legitimate observations in Carol’s Daughter Hates Black Women Some portion of their customer base is feeling betrayed. That’s not the thoughts of one lone grumpy “feverish” blogger ( I've never been called feverish before), that HAS to be the thoughts of the thousands of people who keep reading  and sharing this post. This post is now one of the most popular on this blog. 

But this is bigger than Carol's Daughter.  I want to address this idea that Black people cannot hold each other PUBLICLY accountable. My response is:

 

What has this lack of PUBLIC accountability gotten us?

 

We’ve got a Black Elite Establishment that can most charitably be described as predatory and exploitive. 

 

We’ve got  a Black Religious Establishment that looks the other way as clergy members sexually exploit their congregants ( of all ages, genders and sexualities) while turning a blind eye and ear to their suffering. 

 

We’ve got a Black Political Establishment that is corrupt, ineffective, complacent impotent - very economic, social, geo-political demographic is headed in the wrong direction. 

 

We’ve got a Black social justice establishment that in 40 years has managed to master the art of marching and being run roughshod over by very. loud. observers on Black Twitter. 

 

We’ve got Black journalists, who conspire to craft fairy tales about men who sexually exploit Black women and girls.

 

We’ve got a Black Entertainment Establishment that BRUTALIZES Black women on film, in movies, on the radio and in person - the equivalent of cultural genocide. 

 

What, pray tale, has the complete lack of PUBLIC accountability gotten us?

Oh right, it's gotten us this kinda nonsense- A Black "leader" who runs a "decency" initiative taking massive payouts from a company whose entire business model the the dehumanization of Black women and girls and who has a culture of violence that is so embedded in the DNA of the company that rapes happen on its premises:

and high ranking company officers are beating up girls on tour buses. Yep, he broke the girl's jaw.

Decency The Decency Initiative was created in order to reduce the degrading, racially insensitive and misogynous language and culture that has become pervasive today and to hold corporate America and the private sector equally accountable with racial sensitivity. The Decency Initiative promotes a message of anti-violence, self-respect and pride in heritage. It also advocates against the entertainment industry’s use of capitalizing off of denigrating lyrics to describe black culture. Recently, NAN worked with the family of Emmett Till to hold PepsiCo accountable for using a spokesperson that defamed and denigrated the legacy if Emmett Till. National Action Network

That Pepsico "spokesperson" is Lil Wayne--- of Cash Money--- the same company that gave Sharpton a book deal--- yeah that makes complete sense. And yes, that's the Cash Money "brain trust" looking over Rev Al in his book promotion video. 

No accountability to even bother trying to appear ethical. 

 

Friday
Oct182013

12 Years a Slave Opens Today- I Ain't Going to See It -"Helplessness, Grievance and Martyrdom" AGAIN!

In case you've been under a rock, the Black web-viewing public knows that Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave Opens today. There have been no Red Tail-like declarations that if we don't go see the movie Hollywood will never make another movie featuring a Black character EVER - thank you movie marketers!

 I'm a fan of many of the actors in the movie, but generally speaking I prefer to read books about the brutality of slavery, not hand over $10 to be "entertained" by it. So I will probably at some point in the next 12 months read the book that the film is based on. 

Movie critic Armond White wrote a read-worthy review for the New York Film Critics Circle. No. Really, it's probably more entertaining that the movie. And he weaves American history with cinematic and literary history in between his zingers. 

Depicting slavery as a horror show, McQueen has made the most unpleasant American movie since William Friedkin’s1973 The Exorcist. That’s right, 12 Years a Slave belongs to the torture porn genre with Hostel, The Human Centipede and the Saw franchise but it is being sold (and mistaken) as part of the recent spate of movies that pretend “a conversation about race.” The only conversation this film inspires would contain howls of discomfort. Armond White.

He compared it to the Human Centipede! I Luv him! And then he zings Henry Louis Gates ( The High Commissioner of Misogyny Enabling). 

For commercial distributor Fox Searchlight, 12 Years a Slave appears at an opportune moment when film culture;five years into the Obama administration–indulges stories about Black victimization such as Precious, The Help, The Butler, Fruitvale Station and Blue Caprice. (What promoter Harvey Weinstein has called “The Obama Effect.”) This is not part of social or historical enlightenment–the too-knowing race-hustlers behind 12 Years a Slave, screenwriter John Ridley and historical advisor Henry Louis Gates, are not above profiting from the misfortunes of African-American history as part of their own career advancement. Armond White

BURN!

Some of the most racist people I know are bowled over by this movie. They may have forgotten Roots, never seenSankofa or Nightjohn, disliked Amistad, dismissed Beloved and even decried the violence in The Passion of the Christ, yet 12 Years a Slave lets them congratulate themselves for “being aghast at slavery.”Armond White

This is the point where I remind you that Black people responded to slavery in many different ways. And our experiences weren't limited to Hollywood's narrow vision. African slaves were not all helpless martyrs. 

 

Here is a trailer fro "Belle" about Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay the daughter of a British Naval Officer and a slave who was raised by an English Lord.

We don't yet have a Harriet Tubman movie about her time as a spy and a military operative. Her mission to disrupt Conferderate supply lines on the Combahee River would make amazine movie. Or stories about women like Mary Elizabeth Bowser and Mary Touvestre. Hollywood isn't going to make those movies- that means Black women are going to have to.

 

If I see one more Black male director create one more movie whose backbone is the brutilization of a Black woman's body- We get it y'all! It's so much easier for you to torture US than to torture yourselves. 

Wednesday
Oct162013

While the World Is Watching Maryville Please Throw a Passing Glance At The Genarlow Wilson Enablers - Tom Joyner, Ebony.com, Zerlina Maxwell, Cynthia Tucker, Javita Moore and other Powerful Black People Supporting A Predator. 

Its interesting seeing mainstream media rally around the victims in the Maryville case, in the same way that they rallied around the victim in the Steubenville case. I don’t begrudge those girls public support. It’s heartbreaking to read story after story of young girls killing themselves after being assaulted and having their peers savage them. But I would like to take time to remind everyone reading THIS blog, that for black women and girls, our reality is VERY DIFFERENT. 

We don’t have powerful Black institutions willing to speak out against sex predators within our own community. In fact, in a case very similar to the Maryville and Steubenville cases,  the powerful institutions of the Black community supported a convicted predator who engaged in the same behavior- Yep. Yep. You know what time it is- It is time for me to once again mention Genarlow Wilson. 

Mr. Wilson  repeatedly had sex ( along with his friends) with a drugged teenage girl and then went to the hotel room next door and had an underaged girl perform sex acts on him. I’ve acquired the trial transcript and Mr. Wilson and his buddies repeatedly dragged the girl off of a bed and took her into a bathroom and violated- as if she were a party favor. He videotaped his hijinks.  He went to prison, was released 8 years early and went on to received awards from the NAACP, a scholarship from Tom Joyner, and a glowing expose on Ebony.com where they called the child rapist, “Glorious.”

And for this Mr. Wilson received an AWARD from the NAACP:

And I’m not talking about what The Black Elite Establishment did a decade ago. I’m talking about what they’ve done in the last 12 months:

 

 

To those who are engaged in online vigilantism in response to this latest story out of Maryville, I say the following:

Women and girls shouldn’t have to rely on vigilante justice. In a way, soothing ourselves with the delusion that a wave of online rhetoric can take the place of the rule of law is a concession that we are somehow not entitled to the full protection of the law. We are!

This is also an opportunity to revisit the conversations you have with boys about consent. Yes, you can still be a rapist if the girls is yelling and screaming and clawing your eyes out. Yes, you can still be a rapist if the girl( or boy) is not legally capable of consent. Rape is about power and where an imbalance  of power exists either due to age, physical strength, social status, occupation, wealth, mental capacity or any other factor, “No means no” - is the start of the conversation not the end”

And remember this- no matter how much garbage the Tom Joyners of the world crank out--- the people responsible for rape are the rapists. 

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