Over the years, Black women’s magazines have captured our hearts with stories specifically constructed by writers who understand our complexity and diversity. From relationships to finances to tips on living our best lives, Black women have found solace in publications dedicated to providing resourceful, entertaining, thought-provoking information as they turn the glossy pages or click from article to article.

Periodically, in the same publications branded to represent Black women, articles are devoted to Black men. It is not unusual that the opposite sex would be written about in any women’s magazine. But the objection that some Black women’s magazines receive for covering brothers can be brutal.

CLUTCH is not exempt from its share of commenters expressing sentiments of discontent whenever an article is published that focuses on brothers. Even if the message is laced in positivity, or discussing issues that pertain to relationships involving both Black men and women, some readers use the comment section to gripe about their dissatisfaction with the coverage of Black men.

“Why does Clutch continue to print articles centered around Black males? I thought this was a magazine for Black women? Why is it assumed we are so interested in Black males?”

Another:

“I’m sorry but clutch this is a black woman’s magazine! we dont need to talk about black men all the time. Alot of us are in relationships with men who are not black. lets discuss other issues here. clutch please!”

There’s more:

“Clutch can talk/write about whoever they want to, and I enjoy coming here to read the site. But they DO talk about Black men a whole lot. Clutch has an audience & that audience is mostly Black women. They can’t just assume every Black woman is pro-Black male or is dating one.”

The message from the commenters is clear—Black women’s publications shouldn’t focus on Black men.

As a Black woman, journalist, and die-hard magazine junkie, I understand that positive representations of Black women in the media are lacking. More than anything, I am aware that our stories would not be told if it wasn’t for the few magazines tailored to Black women. But do we honestly expect Black women’s magazines to ignore Black men in every capacity?

I’m inclined to believe that discussing one gender does not cancel out the proven commitment to Black women that these publications have shown year after year. Bigging up Black men doesn’t equate to a lack of concern for Black women.

I totally agree with the argument that a publication for us should not have to kowtow to the ego of a Black man who’s feeling wronged by the male representations in “For Colored Girls.” But not covering them at all? Seems rather absurd. Many of the issues centered on Black men are relevant to us as women and the community.

It is not my hope to silence constructive criticism of the magazines we support with our pocketbooks. But I don’t find “stop covering Black men” as one of the criticisms that is necessarily grounded in anything other than a few Black women’s deep-seeded issues with Black men.

A magazine’s job is to understand what its target demographic wants, consistently provide it, and, in the process, inform. Magazines, including CLUTCH, are not perfect; but CLUTCH has continued to be a publication where Black women can see stories and representations that mirror who they are in some regard. And that doesn’t change because a few articles are written giving props to Black men.

Do publications for Black women have an obligation to solely focus on women? Speak on it.



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  • L.Y. Endings

    i think that when clutch writes articles on black men, what was once just a gender issue then becomes a racial issues as well.
    maybe it’s just me but race, gender, and relationships are 3 things I WILL NOT BE DISCUSSING IN 2011 ! ! ! ! !

    • Clnmike

      Yes you will.

  • Nikki

    I appreciate Clutch’s discussion of Black men. As the critiques point out, no not all of us are romantically involved with black men, but IF we identify as black women, then we do have black male cousins, uncles, fathers, brothers, sons, and friends. We can not pretend or be so egotistical as black women to think that we are disconnected from Black men completely, and that we can avoid their existence in print. I love black men dearly, in multiple capacities, and would like to see more Black women admit to doing so as well, even if it means opening up an article space or two to discuss them.

  • Steve P.

    I’m a male and I read this site. Its a great site and it totally doesn’t bash males or writes about them too much. This is why I continue to visit it. Its a great site. Not just for females but for people that like to read good articles…period.

    Keep it up clutch

  • http://EbonyNewsChannel.blogspot.com ebonynewschannel

    I appreciate ANY magazine that is marketed to black females that also REMEMBERS that we have a male counterpart that looks like us, that we also give BIRTH to black males, come from the SEED of black males and for those of us who aren’t as unfortunate as I suspect the black male HATERS may have been, were RAISED by loving, and wonderful black males. The mental illness that needs ones opposite sex counterpart cancelled out of the equation seems to be PARTICULAR to black females in the Western Hemisphere who have been victimized in the System of White Supremacy (Racism) so much, that not ONLY DO THEY HATE THEMSELVES, but they HATE their male counterpart and reflection. I suspect this is why the reason for opposition would at times be, “Some of us aren’t even dating black males!” – as if that has ANYTHING to do with whether or not black males should be mentioned in a magazine marketed to their wives, daughters, sisters, cousins, nieces, girlfriends and friends.

    Despite the delusions of some, black females will CEASE TO EXIST without black males. I know that some have the habit (due to conditioning) of calling anyone with one black parent or any African identified feature “black” no matter how remote the resemblance is, but a black female cannot reproduce herself by herself. I can’t imagine such an imbalance in any other group of people. Imagine if the White women who read Cosmo or Marie Claire or whatever other magazines are marketed to White women stopped publishing articles about White men because White women HATED seeing their male counterparts in their magazines.. or if Spanish language magazines did the same.

    The people who wrote those letters have psychological issues with their own self images and should SERIOUSLY consider getting counseling. I STRONGLY suggest a few sessions ( if not MANY) with medical doctor and psychiatrist, Dr. Frances Cress Welsing.

    • Ben Doe

      I love you for this. Much raspect to the elder Welding.

      Asante
      From a black brotha

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