Reading on the Rails

I came across a witty and short piece, on Arabic Literature (In English), observing how Western media is quick to label womyn writers who write in Arabic, as the “Carrie Bradshaw of […]” insert Middle Eastern/Arabic country. How can you not love a piece that contains the quote, “what I’d really like to hear is someone being called “the bare-headed Ghada Abdel-Aal.”

Dr. Laura Schlessinger

The Root shares that Dr. Laura Schlessinger will be leaving her radio show, purportedly because she wants her First Amendment rights back. Riight. The analysis of Dr. Laura’s behavior deserves its very own blog post. I don’t know why anyone is surprised by what Dr. Laura said – hasn’t she been saying crazy things her entire career? And by crazy, I mean comments about gay men being predatory and about her opposition to gay marriage – though last year on Larry King’s show she said commitment between two people was a “beautiful and healthy thing.”  So, really, why is anyone surprised? This is where single-issue politics get us in’s ok when she says things about gay people, but we’re surprised when she turns that onto Black people. Side-eye to people being surprised by this one….someone pass Dr. Laura a bag of tea and let’s keep it moving.

The Root also has a piece comparing the treatment of Alicia Keys and Fantasia Barino, both of whom have been linked to married men. The analysis doesn’t go as deep as I’d like – to discuss class perceptions, perceptions of sexual orientation, and even the role or expectations of womyn – but it is worth checking out. What I would have really loved is if this had been a slightly longer piece that also discussed and put into context the fervor over Black womyn and their dating/romantic lives and the pressure to be coupled, and how that narrative changes, is affirmed, or challenged, when womyn do find partners – that is, other womyn’s partners. To me, Alicia Keys and Fantasia Barino complicate, challenge, and even serve as examples of what the kinds of choices we offer to womyn when we say, either be coupled or if not, be considered a “failed” womyn – a Black womyn who cannot be partnered of contained.

Recently, I’ve noticed that successful Black womyn have to be linked to men, or else…their sexuality and self seems uncontrollable and threatening. The narrative and expectation of being coupled has increased. And I wonder, who benefits from the pressure of Black womyn feeling they must partner?

Naomi Campbell and Rachel Zoe

And I know that Naomi Campbell is scary, with the cell phone throwing, camera pushing, and accepting of blood diamonds from murderous dictators, but isn’t it interesting how The Rachel Zoe Project  positions Naomi Campbell. Everyone is frightened, but from the clip, via Jezebel, to me at least, it looks like Rachel hasn’t gotten it together – and Naomi is handling business; and she didn’t even throw anything…

Michel Martin, host of "Tell Me More"

 The wonderful Michel Martin of NPR’s “Tell Me More,” had womyn on her show discussing being confused as the nanny of their biracial children. Check it out here.

And I love that Carleen Brice, on White Readers Meet Black Authors is having a Black author review Kathryn Stockett’s, The Help.


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