Women: Our Own Worst Enemies?

by Demetria L. Lucas

Are we our worst?

Stay with me. I ki-ki a lot, and lean toward fluffier subjects matter. But I’m in thinking mode, and I’d like you to consider something that’s been on my mind.

Yesterday was D-Day. Yes, I’m referring to the divorce filing heart ’round the Internet, that of reality TV husband Kordell Stewart against his wife Porsha. I joked on Twitter that I wondered what creative excuse would be concocted to blame Porsha for her husband’s abrupt departure because despite the viewing audience of Real Housewives of Atlanta largely agreeing that Kordell was overbearing, he was the one who filed for divorce. And though the couple haven’t said much– yet– about what went  left in the marriage, some people, including women, always blame the woman when there’s a break up, but really, when anything goes down between a man and a woman, women get blamed.

I sent a shout out to all the misogynist bloggers who would have to get creative with their excuses since Porsha came across as all the things that women are “supposed” to be in order to maintain a relationship— totally devoted, loyal, easygoing, in-shape, cute, married before 30 and with no “outside” kids, a wife who was proud to submit to her husband and put his wants/needs/happiness before her own.  And I noted that by misogynists, I didn’t mean all men, and I did mean some women.

You see, sometimes, we women can be our own worst enemies. (Note the “we.” I include myself.) Whether it’s wondering what a female celeb did to deserve her boyfriend beating her like that, or how a 16 year old girl should take responsibility for her rape because she was drunk or what a woman could have done for a man to allegedly kick her– and her son– out of his house. We don’t always flat out accuse, but sometimes in our musings as we dissect the news, we tend to give men the benefit of the doubt, a privilege that is not typically extend to women. In that, we reveal that we either enjoy our high horses or we just don’t think so highly of womankind, and in turn, ourselves.

I would never suggest that women are supposed to monolithic, you know, like how Black people are (joke). But we spend a lot of time fighting unnecessary battles amongst ourselves, whether it’s singles versus marrieds, working moms versus stay-at-home mothers, single moms versus everyone else, light versus dark, natural versus straight, young versus “old”, hood versus “bourgie”, degree versus diploma, corporate versus creative and so on. Even the so-called enlightened among us might be too good these days to hurl the B-word, but we’re not all so above creative replacements to denigrate — “basic”, “regular”– and so many of us don’t think twice about labeling a woman a “whore” or some derivative of it. Every time we do that to each other, we implicitly give our male counterparts license to do the same. How do we logically tell men, “you can’t call me that!” when we do it to each other effortlessly?

I’m not necessarily calling for a state of unity that will never come, but I am suggesting that maybe it’s time to ease up on each other. We can discuss and dissect without attacking. The above mentioned battles have been fought for years and like the war on drugs, there’s no end in sight. It’s time to let it go. You don’t gain anything except maybe a quick feeling of superiority by verbal assaulting women who aren’t like you. It’s not changing anything, and surely, there are other, and more productive ways to stroke your own ego than making another woman feel like sh-t.

During all our in-fighting, we seem not to realize there’s a bigger fight that’s worth more of our attention. Not against men, per se, but against a system that thinks we’re supposed to be in second place. After a few waves of feminism, glass-ceilings still exist and so do men getting paid more for the exact same work. We don’t run or start or build enough companies, or have enough female faces in high places to rest on cushy laurels.  Lawmakers– mostly male— feel entirely comfortable legislating our bodies, and way too many people– not just men— don’t grasp simple concepts about what is and isn’t rape. Frankly, we don’t have time to spend or effort to waste fighting against other  women. It’s just another distraction from what really matters.

Demetria L. Lucas is the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life”, in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk.

  • Sasha

    I cringed when I saw the post from yesterday about Porsha and Kordell’s alleged divorce and purposefully avoided the comments section because I already had the feeling of the gist most of the comments would be. It’s really sad that some women choose to drag each other down instead of supporting one another. I worked in a law firm that was 90% women and while I could’ve contributed to their dislike for me and personalities do clash, I have never encountered so much throwing under the bus and hostility in my life. I would joke to my boyfriend that it isn’t my fault that I was young, “pretty”, skinny, idealistic and had a happy-go-lucky disposition but I never understood the spite. Most of the women there were older, degreed, had great families and great careers, doing better than me in all categories of life yet they were just b*tches and flat out mean…maybe it is the profession but I digress. We women need to stick together!

  • http://succulentwomenfindlove.com Trenia

    I think a big part of it is that we just don’t have the same kind of vernacular to describe poor male behavior the same way we do for women. You can call a woman a bitch, whore or gold digger and it cuts deep. But what can you call a man that has the same effect?

    Secondly, as a whole women are taught to believe there’s not enough to go around, not enough love, attention, etc…So any assault on another woman’s character may potentially make more room for you. I also think religion plays into this. Many people hold steadfastly to what the Bible or Koran says about women’s roles, men and women alike, and if we’re holding to the literal translations of those holy texts there are some not so pleasant stories and things said about women and their place in the world.

  • mEE

    thank you. I posted a comment yesterday on the article about Porsha & Kordell’s divorce mentioning what I called the “drunken glee” so many commenters seemed to have about this woman getting a divorce. I didn’t get it yesterday, and after reading responses to my comment, I still don’t get it.

    like you said there’s nothing wrong with discussing and dissecting…but debasing? why? someone literally wrote “LMAO” on one of the comments yesterday. it’s THAT funny?
    I’m always leery of people who always have one scapegoat whenever something goes wrong. You know, people who always blame black men or black women or white kids or rich people, no matter what the situation. Recently, and I guess because I’m a black woman I’m more sensitive to it, it seems like it’s been aimed in our direction more often than not. and a lot of that fire is definitely coming from within our camp.

    my boyfriend has been overseas for the past year and he’s faced a lot of discrimination due to him being a Black American Male. sometimes all those parts of him together and sometimes each part individually. so we play this sad little game every once in a while where he’ll get on the phone and say, “hi I’m Male” or “hi I’m Black” based on which part of his identity he felt others let define him that day. my response was always, “Hi I’m Black”. but in the past few months with legitimate rape, and personhood amendments, and rape jokes, and yes even this divorce I’ve said, “Hi I’m Woman”. it sucks…not that the other option was much better, but at least I was used to dealing with that one.

    I don’t have friends of other races, male or female. my closest friends are Black women. and most times the people closest to you will have the sharpest criticism because they know you. however, it’s usually coming from a place of wanting better for you. many of the comments on that article yesterday weren’t coming from that place. You can wrap it up in a “well now she’ll have the freedom to pursue her dreams” or “now she can find a man who truly respects her” — but when you’re happy, elated even, that this woman’s marriage just fell apart, you’re really just happy for yourself; because now you can say you were right all along.

  • http://www.nobusinessnoshow.wordpress.com Marketing Gimmicks

    Just because someone’s your color doesn’t mean their your “kind” and the same goes for gender.

    Do I think Nicki Minaj is curvy and beautiful…yes. Is she my kind? Absolutely not! I’m not inspired by her at all but I’m happy with who I am so I don’t need to sink my back teeth in her to feel better about my life!

    I’ll be the first to say that I love being a woman and I am inspired by the strengths of many women from Mrs. O to Oprah to Sonia Sotomayor, to Tyra to Beyonce. All women have value. Even the so called ratchet and wretched baby mommas.

    Women are given a head-splitting raw deal when it comes to whom they decide they should be. It’s why we’re so polarized. And It’s a sad fact: most women don’t like respecting other women’s choices. We compare, contrast and measure ourselves against…all the time…when the truth is that we should all be focused on our own narratives and bettering ourselves.

    Bottom line: if a woman isn’t happy with who she is she will attack, roast, plumage and tree chop another woman down to make herself feel better. Unhappy women speak from a broken place and often lash out when they’re in pain. Those same woman are gladly gloating in Porscha’s sad news.

    I personally am a fan favorite of Rhi Rhi. She’s nowhere near’s perfect but the girl learned the “kiss my ENTIRE ass” philosophy pretty early on.

  • Writerdiva

    Okay! I bite this morning. I was that commenter you were referring to. Me saying “I guess she doesn’t have a picture perfect life after all LMAO” was just me being a smart ass. But everything else I said was genuine and I wasn’t trying to wrap it up in a nice little bow. I was saying it because it was true.

    While Porsha came off as a ditz on the show, I had no reason not to like her. She means well but it doesn’t change the facts that the marriage was bad and it was probably bad before Bravo came into the picture.

    I’m not elated that her marriage fell apart and why would I be happy for myself? I’m not getting anything out of it. I was just stating my opinion

  • mEE

    I actually had to go back and look at the comment because I didn’t think you wrote it, since we had such a positive exchange later on.

    I know this is all internet stuff. obviously I don’t know your personality and it’s hard to read between the lines when we’re just looking at words on a page — but do you see how it came off as disingenuous after you laughed at her? after that first sentence, was the expectation that you were anything other than happy?

    honestly, none of us really “care” about Porsha. we’re not gonna tweet her or reach out and give her a shoulder to cry on…well because that would probably be considered stalking. but truly it’s because our reactions to this are based on things going on in our own lives and the Porsha’s we know in real life.

    maybe I was a little extra sensitive to not only your comment but like the first 5 pages of comments because I do feel like recently Black womanhood has been under attack from black women and it’s a sucky feeling. and maybe I see some of myself in Porsha, not her relationship as it is, but choosing to be in a relationship that some people don’t understand and seem happy to have fail just to feel some sense of validation.

    as I said to you in our other exchange, you can’t want for Porsha what she doesn’t want for herself. you can’t project those things onto her under the premise of you knowing/wanting what’s best. because essentially what you’re saying is, her marriage needed to fail in order for her to achieve these things YOU think will better her in the future. …you don’t see anything wrong with that?

  • shoSTOPPER

    i’m a woman- i know my own kind- and some women eat alot of friskies- MEOW!!!

  • Writerdiva

    Trenia, I never thought about women as a whole being taught to believe there’s not enough to go around. I never thought bout it that way. I have never subscribed to that thinking. Aa far as tearing other women down to build self up, many do that and they are truly miserable.

    Despite what I said on yesterday’s post, I don’t pop bottles to other people’s woes and I don’t go out of my way to tear down someone. My straight forwardness comes off as abrasive and I mean nothing by it.

  • Writerdiva

    I see how that comes off as being disingenuous. I understand that and again, that was just a smart/snarky statement. I’m not trying to backpedal from that. I own it and said it.

    I also understand how we as black women are being messed with at every turn. As far as black womanhood being under attack by black women goes, sadly, this isn’t anything new. It’s just more pronounced and intensified now and yes it sucks.

    I’m not trying to project my feelings or wants on Porsha when I said those statements about finding a man who’d respect her and having a career. That was not my intent. I was just stating that there is an opportunity to use this dark period as a stepping stone to better things and I mentioned what I mentioned as an example.

  • Writerdiva

    BeReal,

    I agree with everything you said right here. The key word is BALANCE! We also need to get the idea of perfection out of our heads when it comes to relationships. No relationship is perfect because people aren’t perfect.

  • http://gravatar.com/addassamari Gail

    Well Ms Lucas, you went deep on that one and I am with you all the way.

    Women are powerful; that is why men take every opportunity to “keep up in our place” – wherever that is. If we stick together, we can change the world.

  • Keshia

    I agree with you. Yes their were people poking fun at Porscha but most of the comments were women saying being submissive/weak is not going to make a husband love you and respect you more. I don’t think people were being particularly nasty to Porscha, she went on tv presented this “perfect” marriage of obedience to her husband now look at her. Relationships need equality and mutual respect an Porscha never received that from kordell.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    I don’t see where she stated that words don’t cut men deep. She asked, “But what can you call a man that has the same effect?”

    It is, in fact true that there are more words to cut down a woman than there are for men.

  • Tara

    Exactly and a lot of white women are as oppressive toward black women as white men are toward them. A lot would like to keep black woomen in their place.

  • isolde3

    @Be Real

    I don’t watch the show, so i could be wrong, but if this Porsha was looking down upon/denigrating Kenya or coming across as “holier than thou” for being a submissive wife, then how is she not deserving of teh schadenfreude? I mean aren’t you doing the most in defending Porsha when she was guilty of the same behavior?

  • http://gravatar.com/addassamari Gail

    I am sorry, BeReal, that you took my comment personally.

    My comment in no way intimated that “men” are enemies.

    My comment was in response specifically to the paragraph which begins: “During all our in-fighting, we seem not to realize there’s a bigger fight that’s worth more of our attention. Not against men, per se, but against a system that thinks we’re supposed to be in second place…Lawmakers– mostly male— feel entirely comfortable legislating our bodies…”

    Nonetheless, I stand by my comment. Historically, women have achieved much by sticking together – the right to vote comes to mind.

  • Apple Pie

    @Tara

    How are white women oppressive towards black women?

  • http://cupofjo-jo.blogspot.com bk chick

    Wait a minute….I feel like most people commenting on this whole Porsha and papa Kordell situation really don’t watch the show. Porsha came on there, guns blazing, talking about how great she is cuz she’s married. She antagonized the ish out Kenya when they first met and kept on going. At her charity event, Porsha accepted a designer bag gifted to her by her hubby, in the middle of a speech. I did NOT like either Porsha or Kordell. But what bugged me the most was how badly he treated her. The other women were trying to keep it 100 with her because everyone could see how badly he was treating her–except her. I would have more sympathy for her if she was humble about her marriage from day one but she often used it as a means to elevate herself above the other women. Porsha was long overdue for her slice of humble pie, even though she did not deserve to be publicly humiliated like this by her husband, nor any of the other things he did to her. I can say Porsha is not humble and dislike Kordell’s behavior at the same time. These two are not mutually exclusive. And, if you watched the show, clearly Porsha was not happy because she would always argue with Kordell about being independent and getting a nanny for their future child and he wouldn’t budge. THEN clutch and other websites use their relationship as some kind of ideal to be looked up to, many of these writers saying they never watched the show, and then expect people to not criticize the idolization of this obviously dysfunctional couple? Get real.

  • http://gravatar.com/addassamari Gail

    I have never seen the show, or any reality show for that matter. Still, I read yesterday’s article and refrained from commenting.

    I noticed that Porsha said she was raised the “old fashion way” and the example of her being in submission to her husband was her refusal to go to a strip club with her girlfriends.

    I can’t take issue with her not wanting to do something that she knew would displease her husband. Especially, if she was thinking scriptural submission. That kind of submission is difficult to keep if the husband is not following scriptural guidelines about a husband’s role as head of his household.

    Now, I agree 100% with you, no relationship is perfect; they are all works in progress. It is tough enough to work on one in private, it must be doubly so when the TV spotlights glaringly bring every error to light.

    At the end of the day, it is a sad occasion when a marriage comes to an end to the sound of a gavel.

  • LMO85

    While I can feel some of what the OP is saying, I can’t co-sign all of it. First of all my closest friends and most meaningful relationships are with black women, friends and family. I do not cut down the next woman to feel better about myself, so, no, I don’t feel Women are our own worst enemies. It may be true for some of the women, some of the time, but that is a portion of the population–the male-identified, internally oppressed bunch and self-hating types. We already know that hurt people hurt people. But honestly, when I read the comments on this site yesterday, and other boards, to me it seemed more about the fact that Porsha, like many others in life, had to eat crow. PEOPLE in general, like to gloat when someone else gets there comeuppance. She made it appear that she had this fairy tale life, and she did gloat about it. Everyone reaps what they sow, whether they are internet trolls, hurt people, or anyone else. Hers just happened to occur in HD/cyberspace.

    Listen, divorce happens, with the exception of death, there are no guarantees in this life. She will be OK, and if they do go through with it, she is better off without this dude in the long run, those are just facts. Truthfully, It seems like the folks who are most upset about the so-called comments of those of us who are looking at this more objectively (and maybe subjectively for some)–are really just upset because Porsha’s marriage seemed like the perfect fairy tale, to the point, where they wanted to justify her pitiful position in that marriage. The truth is, we don’t know what happened in that relationship but they obviously had issues before they started taping. Folks need to get real, life is not a fairy tale. There may be happy endings but nothing lasts forever. And guess what? There are no perfect solutions to the relationship thing. There is no right or correct role to play in a relationship. And there is no perfect relationship. All you can really do is love and respect yourself first, and then attract those who do the same. Together you can make music. Please stop listening to all of the advise-givers and so-called, self-proclaimed experts, and for gawdsake, stop buying their product. They are just selling you short.

  • LMO85

    Exactly–THANK YOU!

  • http://gravatar.com/missinformation7 Ms. Information

    Women, or people for that matter who get on television and open their bedrooms and lives to us for a check don’t get sympathy from me….now I don’t wish anything on Porscha but I’m certainly not going to lose sleep over it.

  • Perspective stop, just stop

    @Perspective or SWP -same thing

    You are such a fool. You really are. It shocks me how out of touch you are when it comes to reality. And that in your world, EVERYTHING is the doing of black women. If the sky caves in tomorrow, it’s because of black women!!!

    Have you ever thought, for one microsecond that maybe Kordell filed a divorce because he’s having an affair? Or maybe because he doesn’t love her anymore? Or maybe because he wants to be in the club and have casual sex?

    No. Of course not. Because then you’ll say…

    “Oh, well he had an affair because black women this that blah blah and they don’t respect roles” WHEN CLEARLY SHE WAS BEING SUBMISSIVE!
    Or you’ll say to the sex part, “WELL BLACK WOMEN’S P-GAME DON’T BE ON POINT BECAUSE THE NATURAL FEMINIST TENDENCIES OF BLACK WOMEN MAKES HER WALLS MORE DRRYYYYY” LOOOL,

    Perspective you’re an idiot. And it’s a damn shame because some of your points ACTUALLY make sense once in a blue moon. Like with the black beauty standard and how light skin/mixed women get the spotlight and are put up by even black women blogs/websites-that was actually a good point! A rational, well-thought out one.

    But when you come on here, blaming black women for why your car doesn’t start or why a woman’s, who clearly believed in traditional roles, marriage failed due to the “influence of Kendra and NeNe”. You’re saying a lot without realizing.: 1. black women are sheep 2. the reasons why black relationships fail is exclusively tied to black women or the “influence” of black women. So if the man cheats after 30 years of marriage, you’ll say it’s the black woman’s fault for not picking the right man. Or if the man dies in a war and she becomes a single mother, it’s the black woman’s fault for not understanding that people die in war and should’ve chosen properly.

    Get a fucking grip and have a stadium full of seats. It’s obvious that you don’t like black women (hell, you probably loathe us with all your being), and have even said so in your SWP videos. But you don’t see that your bias or loathing has an affect in your thought process, so that you can’t rationally think as an intelligent human being.

    Hopefully you’ll find what you’re looking for, that is, if a woman is insane enough to actually marry you.

    I’ll send you some prozac as a wedding gift. No need to thank me.

  • Perspective

    I’m gonna say this and then I’m done for for the day – because this is on ANONYMOUS CLUTCHES PREVIOUS POST!

    http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2013/03/blindsided-by-divorce-rhoas-porsha-stewart-learned-about-split-online/

    “rewrite her FANTASY on her OWN TERMS.”

    I hope you do realize that “on her own terms” would MEAN that she would have to be financially superior to the man – AND, in order for that to happen she would have to INTENTIALLY choose a man who was not her financial superior or equal. Dating a man who has that serious financial muscle DOES typically mean that he will be in charge, something that black women don’t like once you get past the GLITS and GLAME of being with a financially superlative male who can afford them the lifestyle that they feel they deserve solely off of the strength of “simply being me!” I most certainly think men should take care of women, but you get TAKEN CARE of and think that you get to run things at the same time. I wish I would be the chief breadwinner of a household and have my wife rare up at me based off of some non-respecting-black-man bs that she picked up from her SINGLE GIRLFRIENDS or dysfunctional relationship-having girlfriends.

    Kendell did the right thing, but SEE – a man has to be in the right position to SHUT BS DOWN! See, Phaedra’s man can’t put his foot down – EVER! Unfortunately, that’s exactly how many black women would like the situation, ignoring all the collateral damage to the community that comes along with TOO MANY women PICKING subordinate men. That CREATES A STANDARD for subpar men and male mediocrity. When you draw it all the way it, it starts looking like having it together as a black man = black women ain’t checking for you because you have too much control, evil patriarchy, and ‘because they can’t write their fantasy on [their] own terms.’

    I’m trying to figure out (with this information) how a complaint from black women about established black men dating or marrying non-black women would be justifiable?

    I’m not here to argue that Porsha was not sweet and submissive on the show, but thanks to my powerful perceptive abilities and deductive reasoning skills, (eyes roll at myself) I can almost guarantee that all those other women, with their foul behavior, that makes black women look bad on Atlanta Housewives, really spilled into her psyche, and she brought that HOT MESS HOME. I see it all the time.

    Girlfriends be like, “Mmmmmm, girl NO HE DIDN’T – Well, THIS is what you need to do…. (Most Ridiculous plan you’ve ever heard in your life!)”

    5 weeks later, you catch the same chick that told you to blowup on your man, SHOPPING with your EX-HUSBAND/BOYFRIEND at the mall. Now, you tell me who’s stupid?

  • JT

    ” The other women were trying to keep it 100 with her because everyone could see how badly he was treating her–except her”

    (From a RHOA watcher/fan) I think that whether what the other women on the show were saying is right or wrong, I dont fault Porsha for not taking heed to what they say. I always believe when people dont wish you well &/or dont know you that well &/or make it no secret that they look down on you (all of which is true for Porsha’s relationships with various cast mates), anything they say is coming from a tainted place & being naive to take to heart what they say ESP about your marriage is not smart. I personally believe that Kordell was put off by his portrayal on the show esp the last few weeks and how Porsha might have aided that story line of the controlling/emotionally abusive husband and while that may not have been the particular reason to file, it was part of it (esp considering the timing). I did not see the separation coming but I totally believed she was not going to be coming back for future seasons because that’s what Kordell would have wanted

  • Humanista

    “We women need to stick together!”

    Yes, in that humans need to support each other in general, but no, in that all women (just like all men) don’t always have the same prerogatives. We really do ourselves a disservice when we act or pretend or assume that all women will be on the “same side”, because they share genitalia. We shouldn’t expect that women will be more compassionate or “nice” to each other because they share the same struggles. Yeah, they might share them, but many women cause these same struggles. Women have *stuck together* PLENTY of times: to shame other women into staying in abusive relationships; to perpetuate the idea that men are below women, to rob other women of their rights.

    I guess I am trying to say we should manage our expectations, and not give women a hard time cuz they’re women being mean to women, but because they’re assholes being assholes just because. Woman =/= ally; it is a SYSTEM we’re fighting; the only people on your side are those who haven’t drank the Kool-aid. And in reality, a lot of those people aren’t women.

  • http://www.clutchmagazine.com Clutch

    Thanks for your comment. But, your comment is not helping the topic this post is talking about. It’s about Women and unity. We know the article talks about Porsha – but the point of the piece is us (women) building upon our unity and supporting each other.

    Thanks again for your comment!

  • Adiya

    You realize you’re the misogynist that the author was writing about, right?

    There is no evidence whatsoever that the Porscha did any of what you listed. What we did see is her crying about her miscarriage and getting no sympathy from her husband. We did see him cutting her off constantly, berating her in public, forcing her to chose between a career and children, and even telling her what to order to drink in a restaurant. He’s a controlling bastard. This here is what you think a woman should put up with just because he has money? It’s one thing to lead a house. It’s another to treat your wife like shit because you think you bought her.

    A huge problem with Black men with money is that they don’t know how to act when they get it. They think being able to write a big check entitles them to treat their girlfriends and wives terribly. They’re so used to having nothing that when they get it, they go crazy.

    While you’re looking for reasons to blame the wife, look at the big fat elephant of a reason that the GAY HUSBAND should shoulder some blame for this divorce.

    I’m softly dying at you pulling imaginary reasons on how this could be a woman’s fault, while overlooking the obvious: KORDELL IS GAY GAY GAY.

    Do you hate women that much?

  • Sasha

    You’re correct. I do realize 100% that women aren’t always going to be and shouldn’t be expected to represent, defend, accept or help me out solely because we share the same reproductive organs. The way I was treated by all of those women was shocking to me, really shocking. At first it really hurt and upset me me but I’m no longer there, am older and realize they had their own set of issues that had nothing to do with me. I’ve learned to manage my expectations from people and go to bat for people who have my best interests at heart and mind, regardless of whether they’re a man or woman. I’m an idealist though, as stated above, so a little part of me is still wanting for woman sticking together on the important issues.

  • isolde3

    I thought you all were deleting these types of sermons?

  • Z

    “Do you hate women that much?” <<< Yes, many black men do unfortunately.

  • Sasha

    This had me in tears!! So hilarious yet so true. I want to go in on that prozac gift though, let me know where I can send the check. Oh nevermind, I’m a Black woman so that means I have bad credit, have a balance of roughly $47 in my bank account and spend all my money on red bottoms so the check will likely bounce.

  • Amabel

    I actually agree with you. HOWEVER, this article is about black women, and their relationships with other black women, and black women need to MIND THEIRS, and leave others alone, unless that person asks for advice.

    Anyways…. to your point

    I personally believe my man should make more than me, HOWEVER AGAIN, I don’t think a woman should be solely dependent on a man. I need my own resources, because marriage isn’t what it used to be, and neither is job security, for both men and women. If making more money is the measuring stick for trumping the other spouse when it comes to big decisions that require money, FINE, as long as I still have my OWN money on the side.

  • Yvette

    Umm, what’s “GLITS and GLAME?”

  • MsBRG

    Love where you went with this post and I’m intrigued by the premise that we as women should attack our own self-inflicted divisiveness. Great in theory, seemingly unlikely in application.

    We are constantly asking for acceptance from others to just be ourselves:

    *Dear employer, please get okay with my natural curls, even if it looks to you like I just rolled out of bed.
    *Dear fashion magazine, please accept the fact that body types vary and my large rear end is not a function of laziness or overeating, but the gifts of good genes.
    *Dear significant other, please be okay with the fact that i can both be critical of your shortcomings and love you at the same time.
    *Dear deaconess, yes that was me in the short shorts, doing a walk of shame early this Sunday morning, but I’m showered and I’m sitting in the pew, so do us both a favor and get over it.

    But the truth is we are often not capable of giving that same level of acceptance to our peers. Nothing makes us (read: people in general but Black women specifically) feel better about ourselves, than feeling superior over other people. It’s why we’re so interested in where you went to school, what you do, where you work, and what is you’re relationship status. We want to know who is on our level (read: worthy of our time) and because we exist in this world of split-second decision making, we’re very dismissive of people who aren’t.

    I’ve had friends discuss amongst themselves, the class level of my family and other circle of friends, trying to decide whether I could be trusted to invite the right +1 to their events. I’ve had family members worry about whether events at my home would be full of pretentious women who don’t know how to have a good time. Clearly, in the context of this article, both those situations seem hilariously ridiculous, severely divisive, and just plain dumb. That said, I have to believe none of the guilty parties meant to perpetuate in-fighting or consciously refrained from seeing the big picture of cultural social responsibility. *sigh*

    Real talk, we’re not awful people, we’re just happy in our comfort zones. We’re happy believing we’re better. It will take a hell of a lot of effort to recognize how our behavior perpetuates the divide, and even more to change it.

  • Rose

    I think this just goes to show that no matter how much you “have it together” in your own personal terms, things just don’t go the way you plan. So black women, do what’s best for you. If you feel comfortable in a traditional relationship, where the man rules-go for it. If you like the idea of equality-kudos. If you want to be the leader-no problem. You know why? It’s your life, and your family and you gotta do what you gotta do.

    This may sound lame, but I think that Girls episode where Jenna says “I don’t like women telling other women what to do, or how to do it, or when to do it,” (For all those Girls fans out there). But it’s true.

    There’s no such thing as the perfect happily ever after-don’t be fooled. Because whether it’s traditional or an equal marriage, you still gotta be compatible and on the same page. And after all that’s settled, it still may not work out because people change. People decide, “hey, i’m not in love with abc anymore”. And that’s fine too because you don’t need someone who’s not fully committed to you. You don’t need someone who doesn’t respect you.

    Same goes for the sistahood. If you have some sistas in your life that aren’t being “sisterly”, who berate, sabotage, and deceive you-then it’s time to break up. I hope the interactions of pettiness between black women that’s seen on these reality shows don’t reflect your friendship circles. If they do, don’t be afraid of getting rid of your frienemy (I think that’s how it’s spelled- friend + enemy) because you don’t want to be alone. You might as well get used to yourself because at the end of the day- you’re still stuck with you.

  • http://twitter.com/Author_JGail J. Gail (@Author_JGail)

    I am always a little irked when people say that women don’t get along and are jealous of each other. And it’s usually said by someone who has a bit of a narcissistic streak. It’s all about how you put yourself out there to the world. If you are stuck up to other people and constantly thinking “oh she’s hatin” then you give off that aura and yes you’re going to get exactly what you’re asking for from other women. If you’re friendly down to earth and non-judgmental to other women you get along with them. I get along with other women because I show them respect.

    I haven’t caught up on any of the RHOA episodes but from what I read Porsha was bragging about her perfect marriage to other women. When you do that type of thing, expect negative reactions from other women when it fails. Deal with it or change your attitude. It’s not everybody else, it’s you.

    Another thing, men can be just as catty and competitive as women except they don’t always show it outwardly to each other in the same way. It’s a part of human nature to be competitive, not just a woman thing.

  • MimiLuvs

    I don’t watch RHOA, so I am not going to pretend that I know about these two individuals. But, this tabloid worthy news has been flooding my FB page for the past two days. IMO, I hope they are able to work it out because if the rumor that I heard about this impending divorce is true, then it is a shame.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    I wasn’t talking about how women and men are affected by words, but that there are literally more derogatory words and expressions for women than there are for men.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    “I personally believe my man should make more than me”

    Please explain this.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    “I am always a little irked when people say that women don’t get along and are jealous of each other.”

    Women who have a problem with other women are almost always the type of women who are very toxic to be around.

  • Z

    “Your side is that you must have pre-screened eggs, guarantee me HEALTHY babies, who will be paternity tested, and birth a male heir after no more than two attempts.

    Failure to fulfill those conditions would void our agreement freeing me from the relationship, without cost, so that I can move on and use MY MONEY to attract a woman who is able to provide what I want from a woman.”

    I can’t tell if this is meant to be sarcastic or not but, you do realize that it is the sperm that decides the sex of the baby right? Genetics, 101. So if you can’t have a son, maybe you need to get yourself checked out. And if you are to have two daughters would you be void of having to support them since you desire to be “free from the relationship without cost”?

    Black women, I sure hope most of you stay away from men like this.

  • Trisha

    I have experienced both situations with women being my worst enemy as well as my greatest supporters. Even with in this situation, for the women who became tiresome of Porsha’s bragging, I think they empathize with her, especially with most women being familiar with their past relationships going left.

    I also believe if Kordell bragged about his darling wife and found out she was less or walked out. The men would have had a heyday of gossiping, too. It goes both ways. But since we are accustomed to men messing up more often, the gossiping is more prevalent coming from women. Some women may be elated about another woman’s demise…as we all know misery loves company. At the same time, for every sister who is not good for you, you have another one who is very uplifting. I think in Porsha’s situation, it is a reminder that you place no one on a pedestal or treat them better than you. In actuality, once you do – those situations always tend to not work out for the best.

    As far as this division amongst women, I think black women have been considered as less than for sooo long that some knock each other down out of fear. If I show you I’m the best, then I will not be left out. I do agree’ it is a distraction from what really matters.

  • Whiteprivilegeterminated

    @Z

    Wrong

    the conditions in the vagina decide which of the male chromosomes get through to fertilize the egg.

    And yeh I was being partially playful. I thought the hypocrisy trap I set was pretty lame and people wouldn’t take weak the bait I laid.

    However you bit and exposed yourself as hypocrite and a taker who expects more than you’re willing or ABLE to give.

    The point being that if both parties have to bring money to the table but the man has to bring more, then the woman must bring of more of something else to the table to compensate the man for the extra money she expects him to bring.

    In my case it would be the items I laid out.

    Each man will have his own DEMANDS :-)

    I’m not in the least bit deterred or shamed by you warning women to avoid men like me, you’re doing my job for me,
    getting parasitical meal ticket seekers to eliminate themselves.

  • Ads

    “During all our in-fighting, we seem not to realize there’s a bigger fight that’s worth more of our attention. Not against men, per se, but against a system that thinks we’re supposed to be in second place”
    Thank you

  • Amabel

    @ Whiteprivilegeterminated THIS IS WHAT BLACK MEN WANT LOL! They want a patriarchy, I’m willing to give them one, heck I don’t even mind it. As long as they are ok with the rules of the patriarchy, and the consequences that come along then FINE. Heck by me having my own resources in the end is actually to their benefit, because the courts don’t play when it comes to divorce.

    Aside from that black men are up against men who believe in financial success, and building businesses, and those qualities require leadership skills. This is why black women don’t have much to choose from in terms of black men who are accountable,and possess such leadership skills, because leadership skills are acquired through supporting a family, and maintaining their safety and happiness. That is the first practice you have, initially.

    In return for financial security, ya’ll get perks like foot rubs, sex, babies etc.

    Done deal : )

    If black women en masse actually gave into those demands, black men would have NO OTHER EXCUSE IN THE BOOK OTHER THAN TO SUCCEED. If they don’t succeed, then they are complete and utter failures, and history is doomed to repeat itself.

    Mind you, I’m not telling all black women to just submit to all black men because quite a bit are losers, but to find you a successful one who has goals and ambition, and compromise with those men. Let black men who aren’t doing those things know what they are missing and hopefully they will get the picture. If there isn’t enough black men of that caliber to get with then hop the fence.

  • Ads

    I have to add, i have gfs who sleepover and have friends tell them ‘i cant believe she’s not worried about you and her man.’ These girls have been my best friends for 15years and up. There is no jealousy, rivalry, or misery-loving-company. When we hear about groups if women in-fighting and being catty it seems like something from tv for us. Moreover, in my entire professional career, ive only had women bosses. Women who’ve mentored me, advocated for me, and opened spaces for me.

    All women are not catty. And when we work together it benefits us all

  • ArabellaMichaela

    @Sasha
    I don’t know if you’re black or not. I’m assuming you’re black. If you worked at a law firm where 90% of the lawyers were women, I’m assuming most of them were white (from experience).
    Given that, you should grasp that white women (and other ethnicities) in the workplace, do not look out for black women, no matter how nice, attractive, etc. you may be. In fact, your “assets” make you a threat.
    This is just a fact. So, you shouldn’t take their treatment of you personally. It wasn’t about you.

  • ArabellaMichaela

    @mEE
    I was disgusted by the (gleeful) comments about Porsha yesterday. I thought Clutch’s readers were of a higher caliber than that; and not the type of people who waste their energy being jealous (obviously) of other black women.

  • Whiteprivilegeterminated

    Please don’t confuse me with the black male simpletons who inhabit the internet. I don’t subscribe to white people’s patriarchy or any of their other value or belief systems.

    (see my post beneath this block of comments.)

    I lost discipline for a moment and allowed myself to be baited by a pawn. So I responded to you in kind.

    I do believe in Black (African) political sovereignty and economic independence, and am doing my part to make that a reality.

    Alas, that probably makes you incompatible with someone like me.

    You have more in common with Perspective up there. Neither of you has anything to offer a potential mate except a list of demands that neither of you can reciprocate.

    I, on the other hand, envisage a world in which black men and black women are EQUAL partners who have co-operative relationships on both the Nest build building and Nation building fronts.

    That may be unsatisfactory to black women who covet the
    Stepford wife/Pleasantville lifestyle, but it’s best deal you’ll ever get from any man.

    I hope you don’t learn that too late. There are only so many places on the Ark we’re building. :-)

  • Tara

    A huge problem with Black men with money is that they don’t know how to act when they get it. They think being able to write a big check entitles them to treat their girlfriends and wives terribly. They’re so used to having nothing that when they get it, they go crazy.

    This is because black men have no real power or respect out in the world. They dont run the world like white and asian men and never will. They will be hired athletes and entertainers who make millions but that is it. So when they come home they have to run everything when they have money. You notice how broke black men dont act that way.

    You look at the white men on all of the housewives franchises and you dont see the machismo bullshit with the black men. They have problems but the dynamics are different. Look at how Kroy treats Kim. Total difference.

    I even heard this black guy say that black men are the true alpha male. After I picked myself up off the floor from laughing, I told him that you cannot be the most powerless men overall on earth and be the true alpha male. Black men dont even run their own race. Even africa is being run by women. They are not the true alpha males. white and asian men are.

  • http://www.downloadx.org Mathieu

    When will you ladies and gents learn that when married couples are overly stating the wonderfulness of their marriage or bragging about how great the marriage or the relationship is…it really means the marriage is really under stress and ready to break. People that are in great marriages never feel the need to brag. Eventually, it will show. And professing how good your marriage is in a show is all about degrading women is a sign.

    My wife had a conference here in Atlanta where one of those women admitted her husband hates the show. She admitted the show is negative in every way but can’t leave cause she’s under contract. What a lame excuse. She can’t leave cause the money is good. I thing most women in here have issues for knowing every details of these shows.

    Read a book about how to save your ass from the crumbling economy or something like the Faith of Africa as opposed to consuming a daily heavy dose of garbage and drama. You consume so much drama, it will eventually become part of your lifestyle. And you’re wondering why he left! Read between the line. I guess reality doesn’t bite.

    If you’re wondering how I found out about this site and post. I was reading a post about Haitian men from a Haitian news site that reports on daily happening in the country and led me to here. I’m not coming back…so enjoy. Oh, I’m almost done with “Che, the bio of a revolutionary”

  • Tara

    Exactly. Because the pickings are so slim for black women, the standards are so low that they are on the floor. A lot of black women are not even aware of this.

  • The Artist

    Associates will come and go but friends, or people that have your best interest at heart will always support you. When the associate is a person of color, people often assume that person will eventually turn into a source of support, that is not always the case. Not that I think this is solely a race issue. I think it’s an all around issue, women have been conditioned to be competitive, and pleasing.

  • Your Spirit, or Your Body

    “Bottom line: if a woman isn’t happy with who she is she will attack, roast, plumage and tree chop another woman down to make herself feel better. Unhappy women speak from a broken place and often lash out when they’re in pain. Those same woman are gladly gloating in Porscha’s sad news.”

    Wow, I guess men do this too, but to a lesser extent

  • Humanista

    Sasha, I’m idealist by nature too (getting more cynical the more I live, ha!)

    I only recently “got” this, but I am glad I have. It is really a shame, but “them’s the breaks”, as they say. :-(

  • Sasha

    Yes I’m Black and yes most of them were White woman….are you following me haha just kidding. I learned that a year into being there, I walked in with rose colored glasses and they were snatched off my face rather quickly but I still tried to be hopeful. One of the Black legal assistants pulled me to the side and was like “you need to watch yourself around here, none of these people have your back and are waiting for every opportunity to ream you out when you mess up.” I thought she was being dramatic but when I saw the light, I thanked her profusely and realize now that had it not been for her I would have never survived that place. The partner of the firm was a Black woman, very sweet but looked the other way when a lot of things happened. Now that I’ve been gone for a while and look back on the experience, I know for a fact it wasn’t me and it was clearly them. I just can’t wrap my head around it though, like I said these women have multiple degrees, children, beach/ vacation homes, (semi) great husbands and make good money yet they were so mean spirited, catty and unhappy.

  • Brialisse

    This extremely strong. Instead of reading it silently to myself, I read it aloud to really grasp the words that I read. It opened my eyes to things that I often put into the back of my mind. I found myself making connections with this, because even I, sometimes tend to be y own enemy.

  • Amabel

    @ Black Man Hater

    “As per “hoping” the fence: If you can’t compete in your own community, what makes you think you stand much of a chance in another community? Only socially prized women (read: white) have that privilege.”

    I beg your pardon? Are you a white woman in disguise? How dare you disregard my beauty because of my color. You have nooooooooo clue what I look like, and the type of men I attract, AS A BLACK WOMAN. There are plenty of black women who are attractive and have mass sex appeal that transcends race. I’m not taking your bate, white woman or black man, which ever you are.

  • Wink

    I’m a woman and I agree 100% the black community is worried about the WRONG things and the women ESPECIALLY need to quit supporting bullshit that isn’t portraying us in a positive light.

  • JJ

    “I’m not here to argue that Porsha was not sweet and submissive on the show, but thanks to my powerful perceptive abilities and deductive reasoning skills, (eyes roll at myself) I can almost guarantee that all those other women, with their foul behavior, that makes black women look bad on Atlanta Housewives, really spilled into her psyche, and she brought that HOT MESS HOME. I see it all the time.”

    You can’t be serious. You proved the author’s exact point. You have no clue what went on with this two behind the scenes, but you blame her and the other women on the show automatically. Never mind that Kordell was beyond controlling and could possibly be gay. Have ever dated a woman or are the only women you know on television? Because I have never seen a woman’s relationship break up because of her girlfriends. Women tend to do what they want when it comes to relationships contrary to popular belief. I’ve seen more friendships break up over a man than I have seen a woman choosing her friends over one.

  • M

    Excellent read. The bottom line is we need to stop the hate/ envy/jealousy among ourselves.

  • Anon

    No. Clutch’s readers are not of a “higher caliber than that”. Have you read the comment sections on any article about Beyonce? There tends to be a LOT of glee whenever anything goes wrong with a younger, beautiful fit black woman who has a happy disposition. It is QUITE telling.

  • Anita

    I am so happy your wrote this piece. I have witnessed this behavior increasing in our community in high numbers. It makes you want to not deal with other women, or at least at a distance. But I have women in my life who represent true sisterhood and love, which helps me out weight the negative. Overall we have ALOT of work to do among ourselves in order for the world to give us respect.

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