G.D. of “PostBourgie” Labels NWNW As “Anti-Feminist” [Criticism, Open Forum]

G.D. of “PostBourgie” Labels NWNW As “Anti-Feminist” [Criticism, Open Forum]

There are reasons besides the push’s barely masked antifeminism to be ambivalent about this whole endeavor. The movement has the stunty feel of holding funerals for “nigger” or stomping on hip-hop CDs (‘member those?) with explicit lyrics; it’s taken a tricky issue and reduced it to a bunch of folks being showily indignant.

Author : NWNW Critic

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No Wedding No Womb!  Have been met with positive (overwhelmingly), visceral negativity and indifference.  It’s also not necessarily being truthfully reported (surprise!).  As I research commentary and constructive criticism on this movement I think it is important to voice all sides because the ultimate goal is change.  You can not fully have change without being fully informed.

I ran across such an entry that suggested NWNW was anti-feminist.  Read it here: Closing Your Legs, Wagging Your Fingers << PostBourgie

Contrast that with the NWNW Fact Sheet and the variety of bloggers who participated  from all parts of the political, religious, gender and sexuality spectrum.

Find NWNW FAQ’s Here

Here’s what struck me as blatantly misleading:

The No Wedding No Womb event,  in which dozens of bloggers wrote essays lamenting the high number of black children born out of wedlock, is just the latest example of such. Because there are so many different writers involved, it’s hard to really summarize all of the nuance. But the official website is heavy on assertion — there are lots of suggestions that x has led directly to y as if those things are self-evidently true — a lot of which sound unsettlingly like David Banner’s notorious quip that positive societal change was predicated on black women closing their legs.

and this:

There are reasons besides the push’s barely masked antifeminism to be ambivalent about this whole endeavor. The movement has the stunty feel of holding funerals for “nigger”

Discuss!

Closing Your Legs, Wagging Your Fingers

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User Comments


  1. CM Whitener
    September 25, 2010

    As a participant in the NWNW movement, a certified champion of equal rights, and a woman who grew up a tomboy knowing girls can do anything guys can do, I find this critique to be a little self-centered and short sighted.

    Something I see on both ends, with people in the movement, and people critiquing the movement, is VANITY. EVERYTHING IS NOT ABOUT YOU.

    I joined because of children. Little girls and little boys. CHILDREN. I could care less what you do with your womb. I don’t care how anyone feels about marriage. If you feel displaced agency or absence of agency in marriage, don’t get married. Or find a partnership/marriage that works for you. It is that simple.

    Something I try not to involve myself in is “group think”. In many ways people will consider me feminist, in many ways they will consider me anti-feminist. And I LOVE IT! I do not agree with every person who is part of NWNW. But that is the beauty of being a thinking and feeling human being and not a robot.

    Feminism, to me, is a theory. Theory and practice are two different things. I am not beholden to any particular lifestyle created based on “theory”. The feminist/womanist theory and political thought work well in creating policy and challenging laws. However, personally, I have found that it does not translate well in working with people/sociology. (My opinion/my experience, others may vary.)

    When you view everything within a particular lense, it is hard for you to see what else is there. It obscures your view. I feel a lot of people, both within and outside the movement, are looking through jaded lenses.

    Basically…Children are supposed to be the focus of this movement. Stop being so vain as to think everything is about YOU.

    Reply


    • CM Whitener
      September 25, 2010

      One more thing to add. What works for some, doesn’t work for all.

      HOWEVER, because something does not work for everyone, does not mean the ones it WILL work for should be left out.

      That whole “if it works in seattle doesn’t mean it will work in NY” argument is particularly ridiculous to me.

      So because it does not work in NY, the people of Seattle should not have it happen? Makes no sense.

      If it works in Seattle, find a mode and a method to work in NY. Don’t just sit on the sidelines saying what isn’t going to work, and then fail to find something that does. You become a part of the issue. Flapping your jaws and not working for the cause.

      I personally grew up in two situations. A single parent home and a home with both parents (as my parents later married.) (I even lived for a short time with my grandmother and extended family as well.) Yes, I’ve actually been in several realms. But my experience is vastly different from many who shared the same history. Because we are individuals. So what worked for me, may not work for everyone. But it will work for someone.

      So I am a champion of multiple approaches. There is a time and place for all things. Pick the time and the place.

      Reply


      • Angela
        September 25, 2010

        “You become a part of the issue. Flapping your jaws and not working for the cause.”

        ^^That’s pretty much the same as writing your opinion on the supporting website for this wrong-headed cause instead of directly on the blog where the dissenting opinion appeared. You all are in agreement, here, so really you’re just preaching to the choir.

        If you’re confident in your position and want to hear from the other side, you should engage with the actual author of this piece on their blog, so that they might respond.

        This thread is bound to be an echo-chamber of NWNW supporters, extrapolating their personal life anecdotes (“I personally grew up in two situations”) to police the behavior of a large and diverse group of people.

        Reply


      • Avon
        September 27, 2010

        yeah, you have some comprehension issues.

        “That whole “if it works in seattle doesn’t mean it will work in NY” argument is particularly ridiculous to me.”

        yeah, it might be ridiculous if the author ever actually said that anywhere. this goes to what i was saying downthread. none of y’all are actually addressing the actual criticisms of NWNW. you’re just assuming bad faith on the part of the critics.

        but enjoy your little echo chamber.

        Reply


        • Eugenia
          September 28, 2010

          No one here has the time or inclination to address a bunch of criticisms that really have nothing to do with this movement. That’s a stall tactic by apologists and people who don’t really want to do sh#t but blame everybody else for every problem they go. We’re here to find and propose solutions. If you don’t like this site, don’t like the people, don’t like the concept, START YOUR OWN MOVEMENT!!!! We need to stop black fatherless anyway we can, this is just piece of the pie. But all your indignant post, I have yet to see one suggestion.

          Reply


  2. Lisa
    September 25, 2010

    I’m a staunch feminist who supports “No Wedding, No Womb.”

    Reply


  3. Tracie
    September 25, 2010

    I’ve always struggled with the label “feminist,” but I cannot deny my strong feelings about my sex. I am certain that women are strong, smart, resourceful, capable. We are powerful beings. I deplore the idea that women should be defined by gender-roles or that we should behave like doormats and just “accept our lot.”

    Yet I fully support No Wedding No Womb, and I staunchly support marriage as God’s design for families. Believing in the power and empowerment of women (as I do) does not equal relieving us of responsibility in the name of “freedom” (which is often slavery in disguise). Men and women need each other, and our children need us too. I believe the NWNW movement is a step toward empowering not just women, but also men to become the highest version of themselves.

    Reply


  4. pioneervalleywoman
    September 25, 2010

    I see NWNW as feminist, in that it is about the empowerment of black women. With the exception of the most radical of feminists who are distinctly anti-men and anti-marriage, many women who are feminists are not. Plenty of feminists believe in marriage and family; so I see no distinction. What I see, though, is a distinctly anti-black woman position of believing black women should not have what other groups of women are routinely experiencing, marriage and family, regardless of their political perspectives. This to me is the anti-feminist trend of the current paradigm, that black women are to be super-women, baby-mamas who don’t need husbands.

    Reply


  5. April
    September 25, 2010

    I have read a few of the NWNW posts. They seem basically like retreads of the same discussions black folks have been having forever. The slogan “no wedding, no womb” is pretty reductive, which I think leaves an opening for charges, such as PostBourgie’s, that it is anti-feminist. The phenomenon of single motherhood cannot be addressed anywhere near effectively by simply telling women to think of their future children and to respect their goodies, as per the FAQ:

    I’m advocating for women to think more of their bodies and their future children BEFORE sperm meets egg.

    For one, this approach contains an underlying assumption that black women who have children outside of marriage are unthinkingly opening up their legs to men without considering the possibility of pregnancy. Sure, there are children in single-parent homes who are the product of flings and dalliances. I’d wager, however, that most are the products of fairly long-term, but ultimately failed, relationships. And in long-term relationships, people generally do discuss the prospects of children, long-term support, etc. I don’t think the phenomenon of single motherhood among black women is a result of a collective “Oops, I got pregnant.” We deserve more credit than that.

    Also, as an aside: just because someone labels themselves as feminist does not mean s/he can never express anti-feminist beliefs.

    Reply


    • Miss Glamtastic (Tia)
      September 26, 2010

      I understand what you’re saying, and I’ve known a few women who are single parents after ending long-term relationships. But, in my experience, the number of children born from brief pairings far outweigh those resulting from long-term relationships. Maybe you’re thinking of an older demographic-many of the single mothers I’ve met had their first child before the age of 22. For someone that young, the idea of ‘long term’ is anything exceeding 3 months. Quite of few of them engaged in either heavy denial, and sincerely didn’t think before they acted.

      Hmm, I don’t know (insert Kanye shrug here)I agree that “Oops I got pregnant” is not the cause of the single mother phenomenon. But, nearly all of the single mothers I’ve met had one thing in common: they all seemed to have had a severe lack of forethought.

      Reply


  6. Eugenia
    September 26, 2010

    We’re still waiting for some solutions to the black fatherless epidemic from all the naysayers instead of hurt feelings and issues over semantics. *crickets*

    What was that? Nothing. That’s what I thought.

    Reply


    • Avon
      September 27, 2010

      one of the things that seems really grating about this movement’s proponents so far is the weak “y’all-are-just-nitpicking-and-not-helping” responses to some very thoughtful criticisms of your stated goals and people taking issue with language y’all are employing. Indeed, a lot of the criticisms have been much more thoughtful than the articles in support of your cause

      Case in point: the “Let’s discuss solutions!” post that just went up today. y’all have been getting pub and blowing up Twitter ALL WEKK and only now you’re deciding to actually think about how you want to go about ameliorating the problem you’re supposedly addressing? that’s ridiculous! So far this whole thing has seemed like y’all talking about how you’re going to TALK ABOUT doing something about this issue that you’re so concerned about.

      It’s not the critics jobs to tell you how to come up with solutions for this issue. those people aren’t on board! it’s up to you to put forward solutions, because this is YOUR issue. So far, though, all of these posts have been a bunch of people talking about how upset you are about this phenomenon, railing at the critics of your approach, but not actually talking much about what you plan to do to fix it.

      seriously, if you’re going to address your critics, address them in a more thoughtful way than simply calling them haters. That Postbourgie post doesn’t seem unreasonable: y’all ARE making a lot of noise about how upset y’all are, but not actually offering solutions. Just like Rev. Butts and them stomping on rap CD’s.

      so: what programs or solutions do you guys have planned to address this? Or am i just part of the problem too because i find fault with the way you’re going about this — or not going about this, as the case may be.

      Reply


      • Eugenia
        September 27, 2010

        Now we have follks criticizing that we’re talking about critics. Really…I guess you all aren’t on board on this movement so you’re probably right, because most of you don’t seem to realize that 70% fatherlessness is a problem, it’s all accidental.

        Reply


        • Avon
          September 27, 2010

          has it occurred to you that folks may think the 70% number is alarming while still not feeling your approach to it?

          this is what i’m saying. y’all think that because people don’t agree with NWNW that they don’t care about this issue. If anything, a lot of folks who have been thinking (and doing) stuff about this issue for a long time seem to be taking issue with how y’all are going about it.

          but go ahead and keep missing the point.

          Reply


          • Monique
            September 28, 2010

            Avon you said.: “lot of folks who have been thinking (and doing) stuff about this issue for a long time”

            please specifically identify for me who these people, leaders and organizations are and what specifically they ahave done about the high rates of fatherlessness inthe black community?



          • Eugenia
            September 28, 2010

            If all these people have been doing so much the fatherless rate would have gone down, don’t you think? It’s not going down it’s rising. If all this ‘work’ you speak of has been happening, where the hell are the results? Listen if you don’t the concept of No Wedding, No Womb, get your own concept and start your own movement. Or go back to this great one you talk about in this post, that’s helping so many black people and help them out. As I’ve figured out this not for everyone, because not everyone wants to be saved. If you think the 70% fatherless rate in the black community is so terrible and alarming but you’re not liking this movement. Please feel free to start your own, maybe I’ll join or go back to the nebulous ones you speak of in your post. It’s that simple.



  7. pioneervalleywoman
    September 26, 2010

    And nobody seems to realize that there is a thinly veiled misandry (hatred of men) lurking in the midst of this celebration of fatherlessness: “we don’t need a man, fathers are unnecessary,” which says more about how the women feel about their experiences, ie., growing up, or in their dating life, that they are pushing onto their children by denying them fathers. They don’t like men so they don’t cultivate relationships with them that might lead to long term stability. They don’t choose wisely in “the company they keep,” and thus they come full circle, hating the men they date and have children by.

    Of course there is a lot of misogyny in the way men treat women and which women then respond with their own misandry; women, however, have to protect themselves from the misogynists and focus instead upon the men who like women. Men who don’t want to date and get to know you don’t like you. Men who want you to be pay don’t like you. Men who want you to be a baby mama don’t like you. Men who want you to wait on them for years (and perhaps have children by them) without any commitment don’t like you. Women need to wake up.

    This movement is not about being anti-women, it is about women realizing when certain patterns like baby-mama-dom reinforce anti-women behaviors. Like I said earlier, it is anti-feminist and anti-women to demand black women accept less than other women when it comes to childbearing.

    Reply


    • Eugenia
      September 26, 2010

      Pioneervalleywoman says:
      This movement is not about being anti-women, it is about women realizing when certain patterns like baby-mama-dom reinforce anti-women behaviors. Like I said earlier, it is anti-feminist and anti-women to demand black women accept less than other women when it comes to childbearing.

      Say it again, say it again. I almost want to jump from my computer and scream ‘hallelujah’! What I seem to keep hearing in a lot of the descent from women, who champion single motherhood as if it should be a right but have responsibility in it is that they are hopeless. They are so hopeless of ever finding a decent man, they’ve just given up completely. And as Mrs. Karazin has said before ‘that marriage is for white people’. It’s fair saddening and tragic to see bw who have downtrodden by the bc they seem to hold so high, that they think they are not worthy of a partner, a husband, a provider, a protector, a father for their children, a lover, a friend, someone willing to show them compassion in a relationship that abides in love. God lord, what have we sunk to? It’s scary and sad.

      Reply