#NWNW ‘Truce’ with Prominent Social Media Feminists?

Me and prominent writer and prominent social media feminist, Tami Winfrey Harris had a Twitter exchange regarding her article about Shawty Lo in “Clutch.” It’s worth the read, I think. The primary goal of “No Wedding No Womb” was to start a dialogue, and in so doing, begin to affect change. This is a good start.


  1. In case you missed it: My latest on @ClutchMagazine: “Black America is not Shawty Lo” bit.ly/UfMuF3
  2. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid @ClutchMagazine Hey Tami, I read your piece, and you have to admit, more people disagree. The BC is so broken, the OOW is cray
  3. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid People are TIRED. What is happening NOW is NOT working. I wish prominent people like you would acknowledge that.
  4. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid @ClutchMagazine That majority of the commenters AGREE that our OOW situation should NOT be the “new normal.”
  5. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid @ClutchMagazine Why is the pro-OOW agenda being pushed when people clearly disagree and folks are suffering? Why?
  6. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid You mention Sweden in your piece but you fail to mention that these couples are LIFE partners and raise kids TOGETHER.
  7. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Swedish menn who abandon their children are NOT the norm. Why can’t we just be honest? What is there to fear?
  8. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid I feel like social media feminists are deliberately ignoring the plight of kids in the OOW situations, who suffer the most.
  9. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid …And all those comments from Clutchettes who AGREE with MY position can not be discounted as “Dr. Laura-esque.”
  10. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid To dismiss peoples’ concerns about the OOW rate as some sort of rabid conservatism is to deliberately miss the point.
  11. whattamisaid
    @Christelyn it’s odd to here you say article pushes OOW agenda. The point of the article was not endorsement of Shawty Lo’s lifestyle.
  12. whattamisaid
    @Christelyn The point of the article is that Shawty Lo and his fam are not representative of blk American families.
  13. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid I know it wasn’t. but to compare what’s going on in the US to what’s going on in Sweden is a default rubber stamp. No.
  14. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid I’ve interviewed men from Sweden. It is an outright SHAME to abandon your children. The men DO NOT DO THAT. BM ARE.
  15. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid he’s an extreme example, but the OOW rate is the norm. Multiple baby moms ARE the norm. It is. C’mon be honest!
  16. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid You basically say that this is the “new normal” and we should just all get used to it. But it’s destructive.
  17. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Tami, take a look at the majority of the comments. They all on the side of the principles of #NWNW. Could it be possible…
  18. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid …that folks do think what’s going on is viable? Why won’t feminists consider this?
  19. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid I just think that to defend behaviors that are clearly destructive is not TRULY being concerned with the plight of these peeps
  20. whattamisaid
    @Christelyn I agree that most commenters disagreed with my article. I’m okay with disagreement.
  21. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid But then, WHY won’t your group take into account these folks opinions? Won’t you just dismiss them as conservative loons?
  22. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid If feminists, don’t want to advocate marriage, fine! Be a TRUE Swedish model. THOSE men stick around!!
  23. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Here are the facts. We have had 40 years doing things as certain way with a negative result. People are sick of it.
  24. whattamisaid
    @Christelyn Again, I can’t speak for all feminists, just myself. Please engage me as an individual. Feminists are not a monolith.
  25. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Your side offers no reals solutions to affect change only status quo, but more government money. No talk of personal respons.
  26. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Is is safe that your position is pretty much the party line feminist position?
  27. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid They are not fans of traditional marriage, IMHO. But that’s not the point. Fems will not ACKNOWLEDGE that sys isn’t working.
  28. whattamisaid
    @Christelyn who said feminists don’t advocate marriage? That is not any sort of feminist doctrine?
  29. whattamisaid
    @Christelyn I think in order for us to have a true debate, you need to understand my position. So allow me to clarify.
  30. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Even you won’t acknowledge it. You simply say “marriage isn’t the solution.” Fine. It’s not. But what is? More gov’t money?
  31. whattamisaid
    @christelyn I am not against traditional marriage. Most other feminists I know are not either. This is probably good news for my hubby.
  32. whattamisaid
    @christelyn My marriage is one of the best things that I have ever done, But I do realize that my needs are not every woman’s needs.
  33. whattamisaid
    @christelyn I will not demean other women for choices that aren’t mine.
  34. whattamisaid
    @christelyn Traditional families are awesome. I come from a long, line of them. But I know awesome nontraditional families too.
  35. whattamisaid
    @christelyn I won’t demean families that do not look like mine.
  36. whattamisaid
    I love my Daddy more than I can tell you and I grew up w him in my home. But I know a lot of great co-parenting fathers too.
  37. whattamisaid
    @christelyn I also know gay parents. And the idea that they cannot parent is abhorrent to me.
  38. whattamisaid
    @christelyn I don’t want to see young black girls have children unless and until they are ready for them.
  39. whattamisaid
    @christelyn I advocate for equality, education and reproductive healthcare for young women (and men) so they can make responsible choices.
  40. whattamisaid
    @christelyn But I do want young women to plans for their whole lives, not just their reproductive organs.
  41. whattamisaid
    @carolynedgar People all over the world are marrying less. That is changing the fabric of our society. We need to find a way to address it.
  42. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid OK, so we are thisclose to being of like mind. Where we differ is your acknowledgement that the OOW rate has been destructive.
  43. whattamisaid
    @carolynedgar Simply saying “everybody get married” is not a solution.
  44. carolynedgar
    @whattamisaid I agree. And men need to step up and take responsibility for the kids they create. That doesn’t require marriage.
  45. whattamisaid
    @christelyn Whats more, by stigmatizing single, black women you make is harder for women and their children to leave unhealthy situations.
  46. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Wht I and others’ frustrations comes from a deafening silence that some will not acknowledge how what’s happning isn’t workin’
  47. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid ..The argument is always, “Look at Sweden!” Without understanding that while not married, the arrangement is STILL traditional
  48. whattamisaid
    @christelyn By demonizing single, black women, you encourage them to make bad choices, partnering with the wrong people to escape stigma.
  49. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid But, but ACCEPTING single parenthood, your side RUBBER STAMPS it! You want to coddle and just make it OK. It’s not OK.
  50. whattamisaid
    @christelyn And not all women want to be with men. What about them?
  51. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Well, by your side saying everything goes, you green light harmful behaviors. Has your cuddly tactic worked? NO. It hasn’t.
  52. whattamisaid
    @christelyn Also, one point of my article, is that we need to stop pretending that the aberrations the media shows us = average black family
  53. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid You may think I’m “too hard”, but many think you are too soft. Perhaps there’s a solution somewhere in the middle.
  54. whattamisaid
    @christelyn That so many folks in that comment thread were arguing that blk family = Shawty Lo reveals that our biggest problem ain’t on TV
  55. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid I’m not talking about women who don’t want to be with men. That’s not part of this convo. that’s not what’s happng w/ the maj.
  56. whattamisaid
    @christelyn I need you to engage what I am actually saying. At no point have I said “anything goes.” I suggested some areas for focus.
  57. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Well then, don’t bring up women who don’t want men. They’re not part of THIS conversation.
  58. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Tami, Shawty is the extreme, but an 80% OOW is the norm and multiple baby dads is also. You know it and so does e’body else.
  59. whattamisaid
    @christelyn You do understand that ppl can become single parents without having children OOW. So, why stigmatize.
  60. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Anyway, my focus isn’t to demonize single moms, but to prevent their offspring from doing the same.
  61. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid You keep throwing in the kitchen sink, Tami. I’m not talking about the exceptions.
  62. whattamisaid
    @christelyn You were a single mom. Don’t you deserve better than derision? How does shaming help?
  63. whattamisaid
    @christelyn I’m curious: Do you support the efforts of Planned Parenthood to educate and provide low-cost free repro healthcare?
  64. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid How does shaming help? I don’t know. But personal responsibility did. If I were to have listened to you, I might not have…
  65. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Changed my station. That’s what’s lacking from the issue. Personal responsibility.
  66. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Knowing that what I did hurt my child was shame enough to not continue the cycle.
  67. whattamisaid
    @christelyn You know I don’t know that blk wmn having multiple children by multiple fathers is the norm. Can you share link to statistic?
  68. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Yes. I wholeheartedly support Planned Parenthood.
  69. whattamisaid
    @christelyn See, I don’t think gay women are the kitchen sink. My point is that blk wmn have a variety of needs and we need to be cognizant
  70. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Sure I can. 80% of first born children of black women are born OOW.
  71. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid If they have more, the others are then multiple. I am a mother of children with multiple fathers.
  72. whattamisaid
    @christelyn I also know that the OOW birthrate among black women is decreasing: ht.ly/gswOT
  73. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid I’m (trying) to focus on single, hetero women for this conversation.
  74. whattamisaid
    @christelyn Actually, I believe the figure is 73 percent of b.lk children born out of wedlock. Can you share a link about multiple fathers?
  75. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Overall birthrates have gone down, but the OOW rate is will over 70%. You’ll have to do better than “The Atlantic” lolz
  76. whattamisaid
    @christelyn I agree w personal responsiblity, which is why–again–I advocate for women to have equality, education and healthcare.
  77. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Sure. Here’s one from the root: 1 in 5 bw have multiple baby dads theroot.com/buzz/study-1-5-…
  78. whattamisaid
    @christelyn education leads to lower birth rates and poverty increases chances of many kids ht.ly/gswSQ
  79. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid I can show you more articles about BW with multiple fathers if you like.
  80. whattamisaid
    Thank you. But that’s not most blk wmn RT @christelyn Sure. Here’s one from the root: 1 in 5 bw have multiple baby dads theroot.com/buzz/study-1-5-…
  81. carolynedgar
    The solution to 70% OOW black births? Married black women need to have more babies: (h/t @whattamisaid) ht.ly/gswOT
  82. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid I agree that education improves outcomes. You’ll get no argument from me there. But that’s not what we’re talking about.
  83. whattamisaid
    @carolynedgar Yes, it appears married women like me who haven’t had kids are the problem. :)
  84. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid That’s not true. The majority of BW have multiple baby dads
  85. whattamisaid
    @christelyn I’m sorry, I thought the link you sent said 1 in 5.
  86. whattamisaid
    @christelyn But I think we SHOULD be talking about education. You want to know how to have fewer OOW births to parents who aren’t ready.
  87. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid 59 percent of BW. That’s a majority. That’s the latest.
  88. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid So that means the bc looks more like Shawty Lo than you’d care to acknowledge, I think.
  89. whattamisaid
    No. Only party line is equality for women. RT @christelyn: Is is safe that your position is pretty much the party line feminist position?
  90. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid My issue is I feel like you want to make the OOW situation OK, and just a “part of life.” It shouldn’t if it’s not working.
  91. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Can’t you even ACKNOWLEDGE the the OOW model in the BC is mostly negative?
  92. whattamisaid
    @christelyn From what I can tell, here is where we differ. My goal is to prepare black women (and men) for responsible, fulfilling lives…
  93. whattamisaid
    @christelyn I think focusing on those things will get you the lower rate of OOW births you want. But my concern is healthy families…
  94. whattamisaid
    @christelyn …not necessarily traditional ones. I absolutely do NOT think shaming is productive.
  95. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Tami, I think we both mirror much in our advocacy. The only difference is I think the current model needs to shift.
  96. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid I contend that the majority of the people disagreed with your Clutch piece because they’ve noticed this model is destructive.
  97. whattamisaid
    @christelyn I acknowledge that too many black men and women have children before they are ready and that leads to dysfunction.
  98. whattamisaid
    @christelyn I agree the current model needs to shift. We disagree on the way to shift it.
  99. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Shaming=/= public flogging. But fems employ shaming all day long to folks who don’t agree with them.
  100. whattamisaid
    @christelyn You have shared your experience. Let me share mine…
  101. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid What I have always said with NWNW is I know I don’t have all the answers. This is a collective effort.
  102. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid That’s why I rallied over 100 people to join NWNW. We all agree there’s a problem, but offer varied solutions.
  103. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid There is no “one” way, but a comprehensive way.
  104. whattamisaid
    @blackgirlinmain Before I became sexually active as a young woman, I went to PP for birth control….
  105. whattamisaid
    @christelyn I did that not out of shame but because my parents raised me to believe I could do anything. I had grand plans!
  106. whattamisaid
    @christelyn I didn’t want to derail those plans by having a child before I was ready. It wasn’t shame that made me be responsible…
  107. whattamisaid
    @christelyn …it was education, equality, etc..I am married now and decided not to have bio kids, but I am honored to coparent with…
  108. whattamisaid
    @christelyn My husband and the kids’ mom. Like so many, we are a blended family and we are not deficient.
  109. whattamisaid
    @christelyn Okay, still, I don’t know what feminists flog ppl all day long on the internet. There are millions of feminists on earth.
  110. whattamisaid
    @christelyn If some feminists were unkind on this little corner of the internet, that does not = all feminists.
  111. Christelyn
    @RenPassion @whattamisaid You really want me to name them? I will. I keep a file. LOL
  112. whattamisaid
    @christelyn @renpassion It is never productive to paint a group w a broad brush: nontraditional families or feminists.
  113. whattamisaid
    @christelyn You don’t need to name names for me, but have you ever read the work of black feminists like bell hooks or audre lourde?
  114. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid @RenPassion All I know is, there’s a LOOONG list of self-proclaimed fems who shamed #NWNW heartily with no correction.
  115. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid I’ve read Alice Walker, bell hook, no audre lourde.
  116. whattamisaid
    @christelyn Have you spoken with black feminists in real life? The interwebs is not a hot bed of civility…just sayin.
  117. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Admittedly, I have not spoken with the fems who openly derided my online in person, no, I haven’t.
  118. whattamisaid
    @christelyn I know that many feminists disagreed w NWNW. I did too. But a lot of ppl disagreed w my Clutch article. Debate is healthy.
  119. whattamisaid
    @christelyn I thought many of the comments on your article that mentioned me were uncharitable, and yet, here we are talking.
  120. Christelyn
    @RenPassion @whattamisaid This is actually getting to be a good convo. But I’m getting sleepy. I think a Part II is in order tho, no?
  121. whattamisaid
    @christelyn Happy New Year. The best to you and your family.
  122. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid ha ha, yes. but understand, I am legend for my snark and provocativeness. But you’re right, it wasn’t nice.
  123. Christelyn
    @whattamisaid Happy New Year, Tami. Maybe we’ll meet in the middle in 2013. I have hope.