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How To Write About Black Women

First, state your credentials. It’s okay to be a woman, but not a black woman. Their lived experiences are immaterial and can be dismissed as merely anecdotal. Make it clear that you are not racist or sexist, you are merely concerned about their plight. What plight? Well, pick one. Or several. Marriage, children, lack of the above, too much education, not enough education, welfare, whatever you think will sell. It only matters that you highlight their troublesome natures. Whatever it is, you must be sure to make it clear that they aren’t like other women. They are failing to perform in some way that affects the whole of society, even if you can’t quite explain how or why their personal lives are public property. Further, rely heavily on the idea of research that shows the problem is a problem. Never mention exactly when that research was done, or who were the subjects of it. Too much context may unnecessarily complicate the conversation.

Utilize stereotypes whenever possible, preferably ones that tie into the Mammy, Jezebel, or Sapphire tropes. Describe black women in ways that play up their sexuality and remove their humanity. After all they are Other, so their skin is a food stuff, the space between their thighs is mysterious, and they have never ever been innocent. No need to mention virginity or purity, even when speaking of black female infants, your focus must be on their sexuality. If you are speaking of black mothers make it clear that they need guidance, financial support, or salvation. What salvation? Well that all depends on whether they work too little and thus are on welfare, or work too much and thus are neglecting their children. There is no point at which they can balance work and family, because again they are Other and that is not possible for them. They are emasculating and thus unworthy of relationships, or the key to being masculine with their all knowing sexuality that is present from birth. Unrapeable, they can be trusted to raise any children but their own, and are sexually available until they become sexless.

They exist to be support systems, whether for men of all colors or women of every color but black. No need to mention their needs, hopes, dreams, or concerns. They have none, even if they do occasionally speak of themselves as real people with feelings. Their voices are too loud, too uneducated, or simply too aggressive. They are always angry about something, but their feelings aren’t real so they don’t matter. Be sure to specify how reasonable you are in the face of their unreasonable behavior. Write of how you studied them at a safe distance, while proclaiming that some of your closest friends are black women. No need to know anything about those close friends, but their names since all that matters is that you have them as proof that you know your subject, and are not racist or sexist.

Contrast them with women of other races, always making sure to highlight that other women are real women, while black women are simply black. Feel free to make blanket statements about their religious beliefs, educational levels, income levels, and family dynamics. All of it is true because you say it is, and you are the expert in black women, not any actual black women. If they are offended by your words, remind them of your credentials and refuse to engage in a conversation with them until they can be less emotional. Point to their tone as a reason to doubt the veracity of their experiences. After all they are only black women and thus they know nothing, own nothing, and are worth nothing but what you say they are.

65 thoughts on “How To Write About Black Women”

  1. Poliwhirl says:

    Lots of the things you say can be applied to all women: basically we’re only valuable to society as long as we are sexually-desirable. After that we disappear and our opinions, hopes, etc are ignored at best or ridiculed at worse.

    Of course, I’m a white woman. Not only that but a middle class one, and you’ve already given your opinion on white women who “mean well”.

    According to you, we can’t win: either we’re racist bitches, or we’re not racist at all so you disparage us either way. (So who’s generalising?)

    Today your post just sounds like self-pity. Yes, true, nobody is going to love us just for the sake of it, what a surprise. If we all had straight yellow hair, fake tans, blue eyes, pouty lips, silicon boobs, a flirty attitude and pretend to be dumb, we’d all get more attention in life: maybe even privileges. What else is new?

    But who cares what people who value that kind of thing care about anyway? People in general are pretty dumb, so who cares about their opinions? I certainly don’t.

    1. karnythia says:

      If you can’t figure out the problem with your post or understand the context of this post (or any of the posts here really), I suggest at the very least revisiting the rules of engagement for this blog. No one’s going to hold your hand through this exercise in refusing to get it. Just so you know.

      1. Poliwhirl says:

        Ok, you’re right that I hadn’t read the rules, and you’re right that I don’t get it, but you’re wrong in thinking that I REFUSE to get it.
        I live in Spain where blacks are a minority. For example in all my years of teaching I’ve only had one black student (adopted by a white family), in my daughter’s class at school there isn’t a single black child, and out of all my friends and acquaintances there are only 2 half-black people. So no, I don’t know many blacks, let alone claim to have them as my best friends.
        I can’t remember how I reached your blog but I only read it occasionally when I have time, which isn’t often, and just skim it, the way I do with the other pages I read online, for information and for perspective.
        I think I read it with the same open or closed mindedness that I read everything else: I’m not a great fan of humankind in general and I don’t think black people are any different.
        After your comment I can see I’m not up to the level of knowledge or experience required to read, understand or comment on your blog, so I’ll give up on that, as you also make it clear that ignorant newbies are not particularly welcome, just people who already “get it”.
        The thing is, the “REFUSE to get it” bit suggests that you’ve already decided what and how I think, and in this case you’re wrong. Not that you care: I get the impression it’s just a reflex reaction.

        1. SMH says:

          Explaining racism to white people is like explaining child birth to men. They’ll just never fully get it. No use arguing.

        2. Lauren Wheeler says:

          Or maybe it’s not a reflex action but a reasonable response to your dismissive and insulting comment.

        3. princessssookeh says:

          So you know that you have limited experience with black people, racial issues, and the context of the blog itself, and then decide that you need to post with an attitude and only adjust that attitude and admit ignorance when called out? Maybe that’s where she got the “refuse to get it” from.

          Ever heard of “LURK MOAR”? That’s what people do before posting, as not to make an ass out of themselves.

        4. karnythia says:

          The fact that you keep referring to people as “blacks” says so much & none of it good. But hey, go ahead & prove my point for me.

          1. Poliwhirl says:

            Well, the blog is called “black”, and you use the word “white”, so you really must set out the rules so I know which colours I’m allowed to use as a white feminist woman.

            1. karnythia says:

              You really must find somewhere else to troll if you can’t figure out the difference between referring to black people & “blacks”.

    2. charmed says:

      Whoooosh!goes the point

      And here’s you. :/

    3. Emerald says:

      …..You COMPLETELY missed the writer’s point I think, either from lack of personal experience or not seriously thinking introspectively about the subject matter.

    4. Arynda says:

      Clue-by-four stat!

    5. Audrie says:

      I think it’s easy to say “Don’t care about what other people think”, but it’s not that easy. Yes we are talking about very touchy issues that may as well never be solved or just completely misunderstood in the instance they are brought up(in which most times they are). And yes eventually I filter that stuff out, but it’s hard to avoid the obvious. This blog is basically the average black woman’s experience in her everyday life. The questioning, the negative assumptions, the lack of images that don’t cling to her as a person, & the idea of ignoring that she exist as a woman in general. Until you’ve lived it as a black woman, of course it will be easily written off as complaining or white noise(static of course).

    6. Renee says:

      You should care about their opinions. It is microagressions like the ones karnythia is pointing out that lead to hate crimes, suicides, etc.
      She is responding to a specific post that was targetting a black child, so this article is about that, the patronizing and racist ways that the other article discussed black women and girls.
      It’s not about being loved for the sake of it, it’s about eing respected, treated humanely, and being aware of how the language you use comes off to other people. Because words can and do hurt. Please get off your high horse and educate yourself before you make accusations like this.

  2. Nyela says:

    Oh my goodness yes! As a black woman, I have to be careful not to perpetuate this kind of thinking in those who read what I write about black women. Oh yeah, that’s right…my thoughts don’t count. *eyeroll*

  3. john macadam says:

    I’ve never read the stereotypes you refer to me. All the stereotypes of african american women, I have seen portray them either as overachieving “strong” women who can’t find a husband due to the “failure” of african american men or working 3 crappy jobs to support their families whilst living in the “projects”. Both cliches are portrayed in white and black media, I’m not sure where the negative portrayals pop up in the media, but I’ve never seen them.

  4. Audrie says:

    I think alot of people will have a hard time relating to this especially if they aren’t a black woman, simply enduring the experiences we do. It’s hard enough to be a woman, but it’s really difficult to be a black women. Based off of my encounters with others, I myself always feel that others constantly question the sincerity in the things or limit me to the category in which people think I should be. People ask the most redundant questions, or cling to the idea of you being a “certain way”. Then when they are proven wrong they find it hard in the quintessential qualities that endeavor my character, personality, work ethics, beliefs..etc, doubting it to be true especially when their beliefs/thoughts/ideas don’t coincide with the stereotypes or cliches of what society deems MOST black women to be. God forbid if a black woman can possess classic beauty, be angelic, feminine, smart, delicate, or articulate. We all know these exist, it’s whether people choose to care & acknowledge them to be evident. But people are so quick to point out a “Bad” black women (characterized as loud, ghetto, unattractive, on welfare). It’s bad enough that people assume we are all the same or we are just naturally bound to be a negative statistic. And this doesn’t mean we are pulling the “race card”, I don’t need anyone’s sympathy. But it would be nice for people to understand that the reason why subjects like these are brought up. And that is to show we are often not looked as the equal or unworthy of being called a “real woman”.

    1. Sulyp says:

      When it comes to the personal aesthetics of a black woman, it’s damned if we do, damned if we don’t. It’s either that our style is too “rough, unrefined, and ghetto” or when we rock other styles such as elvin, ethereal princess, gyaru, or hime, our faces are all “wrong” for it to “work”.

      I see it all the time, black women and girls, so very desperate to be regarded as delicate and pretty, that they go above and beyond in their efforts to incorporate an ultra-feminine persona. Unless her features are a certain way, she usually won’t receive that kind of recognition. AT. ALL. Case in point: Look at Nicki Minaj. She does gyaru stle better than most gals, and look at the kind of treatment and comments she gets on talk shows and the general public.

      1. Audrie says:

        I couldn’t agree with you more when you say “damned if we do, damned if we don’t”. I think many black women ask the question, Where do I fit in society? Very seldom does this nation recieve positive images or any images of young black women at all. And when they are established people still find a way to bash them for being individual or doing what other women do all the time. That’s where many issues come from, a lack of identity and not being able to relate to other women as well as ourselves. For example, I wouldn’t say this is 100% true, but when I talk to black women who wear their natural hair I often hear them say the feeling is rejuvenating and fresh. From someone who has gone natural like myself, in my opinion it made me feel a lot more beautiful as a black woman. I know this is kind of off topic, but I thought that would be a good example of finding out more about myself.

  5. The Moxie Sophic says:

    Great post. I’ve always wondered why the media is so facinated by Black women. The obession is a little disturbing and quite frankly I’m sick and tired of the generalizations that are made about us. I feel that these so called “articles” is another attempt for the establishment to dehumanize black women. Thanks for this post again.

    1. Rebecca A says:

      Agreed. The want to get to know black women without talking to them so they use all types of mediums(black men, white women) to get to “know” us.

  6. Monica Roberts says:

    Karnythia, great post. You inspired me to take this one to another level and talk about the ways that Black transwomen are similarly othered.

  7. Ace says:

    Good post. My perspective might be a little limited but here goes nothing:

    It seems like people like to call themselves experts on Black women, as if they are a separate species on the Animal Planet channel. I wish there were papers and shows devoted to the “lackings” of White women done by Black women who have only seen an episode of COPS (with stereotypical trailer trash meth heads) to go off of. Hilarity would ensue.

    When it comes to these writers, usually they use their limited knowledge and lack of true relationships with actual Black women to pad their writings. Then they try to say they know Black people enough to comment, when they wouldn’t be caught dead with a single Black person in their circle of friends (the girl at the Wendy’s drive thru doesn’t count). I know in my circles, the other white people will say things like “She’s the perfect example of what’s wrong with black girls, blah blah blah…people wouldn’t be racist if she didn’t prove the stereotypes, wah wah wah”, as if the girl they knew in Walmart who they’ve never spent more than two seconds talking to has provided them with an extensive education to the point where they now know all Black women and can comment on them with expert credentials. All you have to do is go on a dating website and watch some White guy talk about how all black women are *insert negative quality*. Already he’s deemed himself the expert on them, and yet he hasn’t bothered to talk to one of those women he’s claimed to “Observe”.

    In the LGBTQ community (and feminist communities), Black women (transwomen and even transmen receive similar treatment), I’ve noticed, are also treated this way. I’ve seen special threads on AfterEllen and other sites devoted to letting White people complain about these imagined traits that apparently all Black women have. I’ve seen Feminists write about Black women as if they’re not women but just “Black” and therefore unworthy of being a part of their circle (unless they abandon the “black” in favor of the “woman”), but they have yet to respectfully ask a Black feminist her thoughts. Then they take to scolding them like children for disagreeing on something those White feminists know little to nothing about. If you go on to any game forum and see a thread about a character who is Black (or just dark skinned), it will devolve from her as a person to stereotypes and insults aimed at Black women in general (think of Rochelle from Left 4 Dead 2 and see what sorts of results you get). None of those people knew Black women enough to really be an expert on them, but they thought they, by the virtue of being White were qualified.

    The fact of the matter is that these writers are trying to sate their own egos, much like a kid writing a crappy book report based on a review he read on Amazon written by someone who didn’t even bother to read it either but just didn’t like the title. They’re not going to admit they didn’t study or were wrong, they’re just going to act like they know more and suddenly you as Black women are oversensitive for disagreeing with them. They can insult you all they want but your the bad guy for telling them to actually be respectful enough to check their “facts”. They know that they can write all sorts of negative stuff (with no factual basis) and everyone will pat them on the back for “telling it like it is” because it’s easy to gang up on someone who doesn’t have the power to have legions of people jump to their defense.

    Sorry bout the wordiness but this topic always gets me worked up. Black women are human just like everyone else and deserve to be treated with basic respect and dignity.

    1. Audrie says:

      Thank you Ace. Everything you said is so true. People with their ignorance and lack of knowledge try to assess the situation of black women, but rarely know absolutely nothing or little about them. It’s easiest to stereotype and place people in categories vs. getting to know them as people. And when you talked about the comparison of Black Feminism & White Feminism, I think that both parties have much more in common than most people think. But to be a black feminist, you battle not only your issues with gender, but also the hue of your skin, your ethnic background, as well as the sexual and negative images that cling to your cultural group or whatever group society tends to classify you as. Black women have every reason to combat the negative ideas of others.

  8. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Thank you for sharing this, and sorry for the inevitable offended clueless white people comments.

    1. Poliwhirl says:

      Don’t apologise on my behalf, thanks. I stand by my cluelessness. As long as you continue to confuse cluelessness with offensiveness or even racism, you’ll continue to see enemies where there were actually allies.

      1. Rebecca A says:

        Nice to know that you believe that she is addressing you. There have been a number of unknown white people who stumble upon this website and try to defend themselves without understand our point of view. You are proving the point, when white people feel threaten, they get defensive and blame it on the opposite party. Like you are doing now. Yes, it’s our faults for simply not understand you and all your “help” . We are ostracizing ourselves by taking offense to things that are actually really offensive. Yes, it’s all our faults for seeing an enemy.

        Also, stop using that euphemism clueless. Don’t pretty up that fact that you are ignorant. Admit it and learn from it. And we do have the right to that your “cluelessness” as offensive because being ignorant is the base of offensive rhetoric. We don’t want allies who can’t look past themselves and find then fight their own ignorance and institutionalized racism. You won’t be much help. Stop trying to justify and blame US.

  9. WarrenAZ says:

    How about they just don’t write anything at all. This will put the responsibility of building a better a platform for the social progress of black women onto Black Feminists and Black female scholars, where it belongs. Maybe then they’ll acknowledge that blue collar women, veterans, women with disabilities, and senior women exist in the black female population and need a vehicle for their social progress too. Black educated women and/or Black Feminists use their privilege (access to platforms, capital, media, and class) to ignore the diversity in the black female population by reducing the entire demographic to poor single mothers and professional/educated women 16-49 years of age, and that is something no one wants to talk about. Deflecting attention away from these inconsistencies to chastise white women for doing the same thing is hypocrisy. Even worse is how these same black women who enjoy their status as champions of their peers and a good quality of life that exaggerated salaries or tenure and access can provide turn blackness into a burden for the rest of us. Please stop doing that.

    1. karnythia says:

      So the part where everyone with access to the internet has access to a platform just doesn’t matter? I’m a disabled vet who was also a single mom for a while & who now has a college degree paid for with my service to my country. We all have complicated lives, and expecting anyone to speak for everyone is incredibly problematic.

      1. WarrenAZ says:

        I’m also a disabled vet with the 9/11 but I don’t have kids, don’t want them either. Presenting your situation to qualify your premise isn’t going to cut it. If black women can critique white women for speaking for black women then I can critique black women for not being inclusive enough. Even I didn’t have shrapnel in my back or a DD214 my point would still stand.

        1. arynda says:

          I don’t think that’s the point. Before you come here and derail a conversation with your inanity please read this.

          I don’t know if you would understand all that, but there is a difference between not being inclusive enough and writing about an experience you know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about. That is to say you can know of an experience, but until you’ve had it, you will never understand. People who write about ‘black issues’ when they aren’t black are merely tourists. Never mind that all the things highlighted in this posts are HIGHLY OFFENSIVE, but are seen often in articles by non-black authors about black subjects. Blacks don’t want to be talked about as if they are some monolithic culture where there is no tolerance for variance whatsoever. When they seek to be included, it is not as a token or a stereotype.

          I shouldn’t even have to argue the point about inclusiveness. It’s just the same line of derailment that I’ve seen time after time. If you want to see inclusion of whites, look nearly everywhere else. You wonder where the white studies department is? Take European History/ Western Civilization/ Humanities /Literature etc.

          That said, your argument is RIDICULOUS.

          1. WarrenAZ says:

            Right there is the problem. You assumed I was white and based on that perception, you crafted your response to me. You about “black experiences” as if you’d understand what its like to be black and a woman in every scenario and you don’t.

            I’ll quote myself:
            “……these same black women who enjoy their status as champions of their peers and a good quality of life that exaggerated salaries or tenure and access can provide turn blackness into a burden for the rest of us.”

            “US”-meaning the rest of us black women.

            My initial comment was about Black Feminists/Educated Black women not being inclusive to all black women and being hypocrites for assuming they can speak for all black women in the same way white women try to speak for all women. There is nothing in my comment suggesting that Black Feminists/Educated Black women be more inclusive to white women or even other nonblack women. The problem is NOT being inclusive to ALL black women and using your privilege to keep doing it.

            I’ll quote myself again:
            “Maybe then they’ll acknowledge that blue collar women, veterans, women with disabilities, and senior women exist in the black female population and need a vehicle for their social progress too.”

            Now that you know I’m black hopefully you’ll respond to my comments instead of what you think my race is.

            1. arynda says:

              I KNOW I don’t speak for all black women so when I write, I write about my experience and that of no one else. If people ask me about the monolithic black experience I am free to tell them that I don’t know. All i know is my experience. I can tell you how people treat me because my issues with pain are largely invisible within the context of being black.

              The reason she posted this at all is because I believe that she was tired of seeing the “plight” of the black community or black educated women. It gets old and frustrating. It’s as if there is only one way of being for the whole community.

              Not that I am not denying your experiences, but I cannot write about that which I have not heard. I’ve read articles about depression in the black community specifically which were written by black people. Considering that it is a tough subject to tackle I commend them. I liked the article because it was more of a call to action rather than an article that said, “look at these poor poor people.”

              This blogging is activism. It does set forth issues that are important to karnythia. I identify with the frustration conveyed in this post. If you are frustrated that the groups you mentioned aren’t being represented, represent them. That’s what activism is. It is not griping about who is not being represented and then doing nothing else. I got tired of seeing token black characters in books so I started writing a book where I have two minority leads. I’m not sure if it will ever get published, but at least I am trying.

        2. karnythia says:

          No one is stopping you from starting a blog or posting about things that are important to you. I have this platform because I started a blog & kept writing in it. Demanding that people write what you want to see instead of what they experienced isn’t going to get you anything but frustrated.

          1. arynda says:

            Exactly. That is the shorter form of what I wanted to say. :D

  10. WarrenAZ says:

    @arynda and @karnythia

    My comment was not a request for a place on a platform. It was to show the hypocrisy on your part when addressing white women. The same privilege, condescension, arrogance, and exclusion of the women championed is there, only black women get to use their skin to keep opposition quiet. Meanwhile it never occurred to either of you that a woman who happened to be black would see it. The race we have in common doesn’t give me tunnel vision or an incentive not to notice these things.

    I believe I was told that I should find a place to address “my issues” (making this about me and not about the issues themselves) since “we all have problems” and it would be inconvenient for you to address mine. Where have I heard that before?

    1. arynda says:

      What place do I have writing about what you experience when I know nothing about it? I am not a researcher. I don’t have skin privilege to silence the opposition. I am not in a place of power and I recognize that. If your issue is the lack of inclusion, but you are not seeking a platform, I don’t know what your point is here.

      If your complaint is not a request for a platform, and you disagree with what is written here, I acknowledge that. So, do you want the same stories to be paraded about in the media? Do you want us to be spoken about in a way that says that we are sad ladies waiting for our prince charming? Do you want the same narratives to be paraded about? I don’t know what your point is here.

      If you would like to call us hypocrites, that’s fine with me. I’m doing what I need to do. Don’t complain about anything that you’re not willing to change yourself.

      In any case, you’re using the “You’re just as bad” derailing technique here.

    2. karnythia says:

      Oh bull. No one said it was inconvenient, we said we cannot speak for experiences we do not share. Clearly this piece went clean over your head because the whole point is for people who are not black women to stop speaking for us.

  11. WarrenAZ says:

    “If your issue is the lack of inclusion, but you are not seeking a platform, I don’t know what your point is here.”

    The lack of inclusion isn’t my issue as much as it the writer’s when it comes to white women writing about black women and she is a hypocrite in that regard. She believes that being black and a woman is enough, just like white women might think being a woman is enough. If she wants white women to do a better job then she should be fine with being held to the same standard-that is my point.

    “the whole point is for people who are not black women to stop speaking for us.”

    Being black doesn’t qualify you to speak for the rest of us either. But like I said my initial post; “How about they just don’t write anything at all.”

    1. karnythia says:

      I don’t expect them to do better, I expect them to recognize they’re doing it wrong & STFU. Did you actually read & comprehend the post before you decided I was a hypocrite?

      1. arynda says:

        All the salient points have been brought up at this point. I’m tired of running on this hamster wheel of foolishness. I have no intention of continuing this argument.

        I don’t expect WarrenAZ to get it. She’s too convinced that someone is WRONG on the internet.

  12. Poliwhirl says:


    I think I finally get it: only educated black feminists who agree with everything you say really get it.

    1. karnythia says:

      No. You don’t have to agree with me, just don’t expect my blog to be a place that caters to you. Especially when you’re too busy kneejerking to pay attention to context or content.

      1. Poliwhirl says:

        Some of you here seem really nice. Others are pretty nasty. Just goes to show that even in such an exclusive community there’s always going to be differences.

        1. karnythia says:

          And yet you always seem unwilling to listen. Don’t like the discourse? Stay off the blog. No one is forcing you to be here.

  13. Poliwhirl says:

    No, you’re wrong. I’m willing to listen and I still read you because I’m curious to understand, even though you’ve made perfectly clear from the beginning how unwelcome I am.

    The thing is, what you don’t get is that I’m from a different culture and I’m not trying to learn yours. I’m just a spectator. I’m not trying to fit in or try to be politically correct. I’m not being offensive if I say blacks or black people or whatever. I don’t live in the US and I don’t know which term is acceptable. On one hand, I feel bad if I offend any of the nice people who visit or comment here, but on the other hand, you can’t expect people who are not American to behave in the way you think is acceptable for them to behave. Right from the beginning when I said we had things in common, you chose to ignore the sentiment and focus on the form and take it as an offense / insult. It doesn’t seem to make any difference to you whether it actually was or not, because that’s what you want to believe.

    What I find interesting as a European is that your attitude towards what you don’t understand is so white-American in the way (stereotype) that we see Americans: arrogant, aggressive, and always ready to find an enemy.

    I find your page interesting. I can see the point of it. As I said once, I had no idea that American society was still so blatantly racist and I find it disgusting. Anything against that has to be good. But on the other hand, I don’t think it justifies some of the mean comments and the constantly superior sneering attitude from some of you.

    But don’t worry, I’ll try not to comment. I just found the exchange with WarrenAZ fascinating.

    1. arynda says:

      Willful ignorance is always unwelcome. You pointed out yourself that you’re not willing to learn.

    2. karnythia says:

      You’re unwelcome because you keep making comments like this one instead of stopping and asking yourself if what you have to say actually contributes to the conversation. So far? It does not. You do a dandy job of tone policing & derailing, but since you claim that’s not your purpose? One would assume after being told repeatedly what not to do you would stop. You don’t. And then after saying offensive things over and over again (for the record being from a different culture is not an excuse for not listening or paying attention when you’re told your words are dehumanizing), you decide that we’re mean for not being willing to hold your hand again. Newsflash, this blog is not about educating you. Really, there are blogs that do that, but this isn’t one of them. Google will lead you to them, as well as to definitions for any unfamiliar terms. You know that, yet you refuse to do any of the heavy lifting for yourself. Instead you demand that strangers stop what they’re doing to teach you and then get upset when they aren’t interested in telling you nicely over and over again to educate yourself. Treating people like human, and not walking libraries is common courtesy 101 in any culture. I know, I’ve lived in several of them.

  14. Poliwhirl says:

    Great, so we have wilful ignorance in common too! :P

    1. karnythia says:

      Why are you here? It clearly isn’t to listen. Troll elsewhere.

      1. Poliwhirl says:

        I’m not demanding anything and as far as I can see it’s you that seems to be getting upset.

        A friend of mine (white, if I can say that) is just finishing her doctorate on (anti) Semitic gender literature study (related to the Nazi Holocaust). Occasionally I translate for her. But sometimes I get the feeling that the wording and the terms employed are so obscure and exclusive that they choke the humanity out of the real sentiment and create an academic barrier that few can cross safely. Not to mention, of course, that a sense of humour is an absolute no-no.

        I get the same feeling here.

        I’m just repeating what I have done from the beginning: I meant no offence at any point but you’re STILL insisting that I did/do, just because I didn’t use what you consider are the right words.

        1. karnythia says:

          I’m not upset. I am tired of you insisting that you can’t possibly learn if we won’t explain things to you while you ignore explanations. This isn’t academic or a joke to us & you refuse to grasp that we are speaking of our lives. That is offensive & dehumanizing, but you don’t want to hear that. You want to insist your intent matters more than the impact and you’re wrong.

  15. WarrenAZ says:

    Don’t trivialize my position, that’s the condescending attitude I’m referring to. Again where have I seen that before?

  16. WarrenAZ says:

    Don’t trivialize my position, that’s the condescending attitude I’m referring to. Again where have I seen that before?

    1. arynda says:

      Are you for real or just a sock puppet? Go troll another blog.

    2. karnythia says:

      You can see anything you like. Elsewhere.

  17. WarrenAZ says:

    So the best you can do is call me a troll and assume I’m posting under 2 names? I can live with that especially since the points I’ve raised still haven’t been addressed. If white/non-black women decided to omit black women from their literature entirely you’d call them racist. Flawed as it is they are being inclusive. Instead of ensuring the integrity of your writings to serve as a template you scold them while you do the same; misrepresent the diversity in the black female population by using your limited experience with humanity as a barometer. Since you’re black that keeps non-black women from critiquing you and your privilege in tact. I’m all for white women not writing about us at all. This’ll create a standard of quality for black women who take it upon themselves to speak for the rest of us without using white women as a decoy.

    1. karnythia says:

      The part where you really just came here to miss the point would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sad.

  18. arynda says:


    Is it possible to close comments on this thread? I find it horribly improbable that TWO perfectly unreasonable and belligerent people would show up at the same time on a months-old thread.

    One wastes time privilege-splaining that she shouldn’t have to learn about things that are offensive to other people. She refuses to listen.

    The other, I’m not sure she knows what she wants. She doesn’t want to effect any change of her own. She just wants to defend the poor white people that she believes to have been horribly abused by this blog post. She cares not to write about her own opinions, but can repeatedly post her inchoate thoughts here. She’s been told that she can represent her own experience online just like you do yours, but she is not listening.

    The short version is this is getting old.

    1. karnythia says:

      It is. I’m just going to block the trolls. They aren’t contributing anything & have no interest in actual dialogue.

  19. WarrenAZ says:


    I’ve had the pleasure of debating Race Realists for years, in person not online. I know when I’m being baited, when the opposition can’t support their position, and when they’ve given up. I’m not interested in keyboard activism, I prefer working with actual people where I’m held to a standard on a consistent basis. I don’t assume that everyone has a computer, internet, or the time to read the posts that might or might not apply to their experience. I will be using this post as an example of Ivory Tower hand-smacking.

    1. karnythia says:

      Because people who post online don’t do anything offline? Oh wait. Use this post as an example of whatever you like. Be sure to include your comments where you refuse to listen to the point of the post & keep arguing points that don’t apply. Either way you won’t be posting here again.

  20. jennifer davis says:

    I was recently introduced to the ABL chronicles during the Hal Sparks radio program. Talk about serendipity! This site is informative, yet entertaining. Like a delicious mixture of hilariously witty satire topped with fruity rainbow sprinkles of reason :-) I love the content, the post, and the opportunity to engage w/ Bloggers. And, ironically, I happen to be a working class black woman.(@ WarrenAZ) I’m a RN, wife and mother of 4 amazing and beautiful children. Yet, I don’t feel “excluded” when I visit this site. Contrarily, I feel sense of community. A community that includes and empowers me. I use this website as a resource. A resource that provides me w/ tools in the form of knowledge. And, that knowledge is not a burden! That knowledge is the home of facts, the niche of wisdom, and……The vehicle to social progress. (@ WarrenAZ) Therefore, at the very least, it represents access or opportunity to grow. Perhaps one might take a moment, take note and learn the differences b/w exclusivity and thought provoking, mind challenging view points. Try to understand that offering empowerment is not imposing burden. And, in my humbled opinion, take a long, hard look in the mirror. You might begin to see the structural framework of your glass house of self important pretentiousness :-)

  21. Audrie says:

    To: WarrenAZ, karnythia, arynda

    Don’t waist time agruing back and forth, especially if no one is trying to reach common ground. After awhile it just seems silly. You can’t always change the minds of everyone or expect them to see things from your perspective,thats just the way the world is.

    And NO I don’t mean accept the worst because no one can make a difference…I’m just saying the bickering is a little hilarious, by now I’m sure no one is willing to reason. And since its not happening here, your best bet is to just move on. Its the internet, what more do you expect.

  22. torontowoman says:

    I am amazed at the reaction to this article. I found it informative, enlightening and on point. Some of the comments really missed the point, and instead used it as an excuse to call out other issues, or to simply play dumb. I read this blog because I learn from it. I have never commented before, but had to simply based on the fact that there was so much arguing about an article that espouses the truth. I am a white woman, I would never think that I am able to speak of other’s experiences (esp. based on “expertise” or academic credantials). I would also never dream of the authors here explaining or handholding me while I read anything here. It is my job to understand, and the woman from Spain was simply unbelievable. Residing in Canada, the racism here is different, yet very obvious and systemic in a “pc” way. Canadians do a very good job of being “pc” and using it to distract from the systemic racism here. After reading this article all I could think of was “The Help.” Perfect example..

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