Black Women's Improvement Project (BWIP)

BWIP Continued! Fish Don’t Need Bicycles, but (Hetero) Black Women (Tend to) Need/Want Men. Take That, Femanazis!

So over the weekend I had some sweet moments of quiet because my husband and mother-in-law took the baby Tasmanian Devils to Sea World for the day. So of course, I did what any writer on contract with a major publisher with stringent deadlines does when they have a free moment. I watched Lifetime and old movies from the 1960’s (which by the way, is the kick-ass-iest era for movies EVER). Man. If I could go back in time and pose as a one of the Mad Men guys who have sex in their office and drink martinis during brainstorm meetings followed by dinner and cocktails and then brandy by the fireplace with wifey rubbing my feet…

Well, anyway. Enough fantasizing.

After running around the house stark nekkid, unwashed, hair unbrushed and moss growing on my teeth, I watched The Secret Life of an American Housewife, circa 1968. I’d never heard of the movie, but since Walter Matthau was in it–who I’m convinced was born an old man like Benjamin Button–I thought I’d give it a look.

Quick synopsis: Woman who lives in the Connecticut country with her husband who makes $50,000 per year and her kid set (boy and girl) is bored and feels unattractive after graduating from an Ivy League school, marrying, and moving from New York City. Her main concern is her ass growing as wide as a giant jack-o-lantern, and a being a bit jelly of her friend, Suzie Steinberg, whom her husband says looks like she’d be a great $100 call girl, because she’s got the biggest “knockers” he’s ever seen.

mira @ Suzie Steinberg:

The main character, Victoria Layton (played by Anne Jackson), feels competitive with Suzie and conspires to see if one of her husband’s biggest clients (Walter Matthau) would think SHE’S alluring enough to be a $100 call girl too.

So…lemme get this straight. White lady wants to be a call-hoe because she’s bored and wants to feel sexy. BUT, if a black lady wants to be a call-hoe, chances are she’s NOT married, or living in the country, or has a husband who makes a ton of cash. She’s a call-hoe because she either has a drug habit or she’s hooking for food and shelter.

I use this movie as an example because it hints of the nascent beginnings of the Feminist Movement, in which (mostly) white women grew tired of being pretty little trophies and arm candy for their successful husbands. They wanted to work, dammit! By gosh, they were SICK and TIRED of men throwing coats over puddles for them, or hearing them say, “don’t worry your pretty little head” about this or that.

I WISH MY GRANDMOTHER, WHO WORKED TWO JOBS WITHOUT A HUSBAND had some six–figure sugar-daddy tell her not to worry her pretty head. Maybe THEN she wouldn’t have been so crazy and beating HADES out of my mother just because she had a bad day.

Therein lies the problem with black women walking hand-in-hand white feminists. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE WHITE WOMEN. Some of my BEST FRIENDS are white women. But let’s face it: we (collective black women) ain’t got it like they got it. Black women have ALWAYS WORKED, regardless of having a husband. We were the maids. We were nurses. We were the call-hoes. AND! We weren’t doing it just for fun. It was a matter of survival.

And then, shhhh! let’s not talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations that MANY white feminists have toward the plight of black women. You hear me, MONICA POTTS?!

And here’s one nugget to chew on: how “loyal” will the sisterhood be when more black women start swirling in on their “territory?” I mean, really, will Sally Sue be O.K. with us black girls moving in on their monopoly? Our favorite erotica writer, blogger and 46-year-old pregnant lady, Roslyn Holcomb puts it frankly: “White women are our competitors.” And don’t look to black men to have our back because, as she mentioned to me on the phone today, without us propping them up, “who will they stand on top of if black women are no longer at the bottom?”

And to all my white girlfriends who read this blog, I not talking about you. So don’t be calling cussing me out. And to the black feminists who are reading this and fuming at me right now, prove me wrong. I dare you.

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