Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Acting White: Misuse of Reproductive Authority

Now here is a phrase that should be in the vocabulary of every black girl/women, boy/man.

When I first saw this phrase, I did a double-take. I have written before (here) about the role black woman and sex have in the current depressed plight of blacks. But to see these powerful words out of the mouths of black women, in this manner, definitely rocked me. I have never before witnessed the point made so clearly and razor sharp.

“It is unfortunate that most black girls are not being taught to view unplanned pregnancy and premature motherhood as an abuse of reproductive power.” blackwomenblowthetrumpet.com

Juxtapose this with the idea that black empowerment historically focuses on the power that blacks want to have, in the future, versus that which is within their control, today, and you have quite a mix. The above blog site, authored by Lisa Vasquez, goes right to the issue of that which black women do today with their bodies, and how it directly determines the behavior of black men, and the plight of the 70% of children born out of wedlock to these men.

I was shaken to learned of motherhood idolatry, whereby birthing babies takes on a cultural rite of passage for black girls/women, regardless of their ability to secure support. Furthermore, I have come to understand the pride, described therein as misplaced, in which black women praise themselves in the rearing of off-spring, minus the presence of black males.

It is not hyperbole to believe that this pivotal decision, about when and if a new black child should come into the world, has the single greatest impact on the current position and advancement progress of blacks as a group. Visit the site and judge for yourself, it's a keeper.

James C. Collier

READ MOST RECENT POSTS AT ACTING WHITE...

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21 comments:

Anonymous said...

It may not be appropriate or politically correct to introduce the issue of Biblical teaching into this discussion, but I'm going to do it anyway. Whenever you see a proliferation of immoral behavior, such as the epidemic level of fornication taking place among adults of all ages, but particularly our younger set, this is an indication that the fear of the Lord has largely departed the land. Whenever people gloat in their unrighteous behavior, it's a sign that we have lost our way. It may seem unfashionable and prudish to extoll the idea of moral chastity in today's society, but the devastating effects of our debaucherous behavior has been rebuking our misguided ways for some time now.

The answer to fatherlessness is men and women uniting in marriage and bringing forth children within the context of that covenential relationship. Whoredom and adultery are not dealt with kindly in the Bible; people who persist in these ways bring a curse upon themselves, and this is what we're witnessing with so many angry, fatherless children running around terrorizing neighborhoods and being generally confrontational with the idea of respect for authority.

The situation we find ourselves in is partly attributable to the fact that the familial transmission of knowledge about God and His ways is no longer taking place to the extent it once did a generation and before ago. It is also a sign that the culture is having a greater impact on defining what's acceptable behavior than the church is today. It used to be the other way around.

Am I out in left field, or do others see the correlation as well?

sungod said...

i somewhat agree to that statement but that is only relevant if you are religious. A more secular approach is this: I feel as black people we dont take responsibility for our actions anymore. There arent any stigmas placed for unwed parenting and loosey goosey behavior. I am a young black male who has a child out of wedlock. I was young(er) and dumb and oblivious to the consequences. I know now that it is essential that we constantly set an example for our children that no it isnt cool to sleep around with many ppl. Also take in consideration the diseases that can be transmitted it is scary. Knowledge is key that opens the door of life and experiences.

Naturally Leslie said...

I think the link it not complete, but I found http://blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com/
Nice post!

Anonymous said...

Women that choose to have kids because it makes them feel proud whether or not they can actually care for them properly have a very skewed value system, and YES it is an abuse of reproductive power and many times ends up in abuse of those very children they have.

Way past time to put shrinks in every school and teach all girls, black, white, whatever, the realism of their VERY faulty thinking.

Anonymous said...

You guys are all wrong a very small sliver of society sets the norms since most are followers. The more intelligent you are the more you come to realize that you are 'God'. People do what they want if they can get away with it; the more intelligent you are the less likely you are to get got, and if you do get caught you can simply agitate to have laws changed that crimp your ride.

Anonymous said...

Implant birth control at age 13 and again and again until the person is working steady or in a serious relationship.

Marriage would be VERY nice....

You may say it's harsh or it's against their rights.

PHOOEY

What about a childs rights to be born to a reasonable and ready female.

And along with that the "need" for abortion drops off dramatically.

It's time for something to be done.

Anonymous said...

It's not just young black women.

Modern feminists do everything they can to fetishize early motherhood. They might claim that they believe it is best for women to have children later on when they are more ready for it, but modern feminists will do everything they can to chastise, scold, belittle anyone who steps up and says, "girls should not be getting pregnant."

For instance, if I think that young girls who want an abortion should have to get the permission of either one parent or a judge, then I am a misogynist that just wants to control the vagina of young women.

If I think we should take steps to make abortion safe, legal, AND rare, I am just a misogynist that hates thinking that young women are sexual.

If I think that perhaps our society sets up rewards for having an out of wedlock baby, and sets up rewards for being unmarried, or kicking a father out, than I am just a misogynist who wants to keep young women and children in poverty.

We've gone from every sperm is sacred to every f*ck of a girl under 18 is sacred.

Anonymous said...

Our democracy is in a critical stage right now. We have a right to do many things, but exercising those rights in ways that will have a negative effect on the society as a whole, while every individual's prerogative, further weakens our national fabric.

Unless we leave our teenage mentalities behind and begin acting like mature adults, we might soon find ourselves in irremediable shape. A big problem that we face is that we've become hyper-individualistic, no longer feeling constrained in our behavior by public opinion or societal norms, two dynamics that would have discouraged many of the destructive behaviors that we see in contemporary society today.

Anonymous said...

Our current welfare system incentivizes single motherhood. Sure, the notion of "welfare queens" is overblown, but it's absolutely true that we are paying women, and forcing daddies to pay them, for having children out of wedlock. When you incentivize something, you get more of it. Especially when those incentives align so neatly with our natural instincts (i.e. to reproduce prolifically).

It sounds cruel, but if we want to end the illegitimacy epidemic we need to punish single mothers. Rather than give them more for each child, let them split what they already have and sacrifice for their kids. Of course, this poses similar difficulties to taxing corporations. It is difficult to tax a corporation in a way that doesn't just let them pass it on to the consumer, and it is difficult to penalize a single mother in a way that doesn't just let them pass it on to their children.

But solving real problems always requires making difficult decisions. If women were forced to bear the costs of their offspring without government aid, this irresponsible behavior would disappear rather quickly.

Anonymous said...

Wouldnt it be cheaper to pay for abortions now, instead of state funded welfare later on...how much do you think it cost the state to pay for a austic child born out of wedlock, or to imprison a errant deliquent over several years.

We need to discourage these women!

GoldenAh said...

Based on a sexually permissive, irresponsible culture, declining respect for heterosexual marriage and two-parent families, along with media celebration of single motherhood, I foresee a continuing rise of out-of-wedlock births. It is already the norm among black Americans.

Sexual activity seems to start in the preteen years. Single motherhood begins long before some of these "women" reach their early twenties.

There's a disconnect between single motherhood originally promulgated by high income women with the resources to pursuit this alternative lifestyle, and poor women who can barely clothe, shelter, and feed themselves.

In order to curtail out-of-wedlock births, young women (and men's) "reproductive freedom" would have to be curtailed, and micro-managed by society and/or government.

I seriously doubt this problem will be fixed, by government or society, anytime soon. But, oh wait, it used to back in the "good ole days" when the government sterilized poor women without their consent.

Hey, maybe with "free government health care" this may occur again. I propose that sterilizing a number of men is the best bet, since most of the offenders of these situations is one guy with 15+ children before he reaches the age of 26. Ya'll can Google the story for yourselves.

Anonymous said...

anon 12-17 it would be cheaper and less traumatic for them to NOT get pregnant to start with!!!

There are more than enough easy and low cost ways to avoid unwanted pregnancy.

We are not living in the dark ages here. Women and yes men, know where babies come from but their irresponsible and uncaring attitudes towards others including any children they might have are what's driving their headlong fall into financial and emotional ruin.

Abortion is not a remedy for the real problem here. It is only a remedy for getting themselves out of a pregnancy they shouldn't have gotten themselves into to start with which is the REAL issue.

Something needs doing and I realize sterilizing people against there will is not an answer but is it time for involuntary birth control? I like to think not but what is the answer?

Pregnancy doesn't phase these women or men nor does the chance of getting AIDS or any other number of STDs.
That shows the depths their attitudes for being responsible have gone to.

I suppose the answer might need to be as severe as the problem and if so it will need to be very serious indeed......

Anonymous said...

Maybe a study should be done on the feasibility of incarcerating men who are serial baby-makers. If it can be shown that they cannot or will not pay child support for those they bring into the world, maybe we should put them in some form of penal colony where their labor, on any number of projects designed to benefit the society/local community as a whole, would be compensated for through payments to the various mothers.

This would tick a lot of men off to the point where they would think twice before engaging in irresponsible sexual behavior, behavior that has all too often doomed our children to a fatherless life of despair and simmering anger. Not sure if this idea would pass constitutional scrutiny, but it's perhaps worth exploring

lincolnperry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

lol, deadbeat prison for irresponsible fathers! Now thats a hoot, why not discourage the behavior altogether. Break the cycle and sterilize both black males and females!

Does this problem exist anywhere else outside the USA?

Anonymous said...

"Maybe a study should be done on the feasibility of incarcerating men who are serial baby-makers."

Yes, just like every other problem in the world, this is completely mens' fault.

Even though women are the gatekeepers of sex, have access to widely available easy-to-use reliable birth control, and have complete freedom to abort a child at any time, those evil men are still somehow forcing them to have children as teenagers. Forget locking them up, they should be executed without trial.

Anonymous said...

Does it happen anywhere else?
Of course.

Don't you recall when we are shown the pictures of starving people in Africa and elsewhere the women who are skin and bones and on the brink of death almost always have a baby on their hip and more standing around her.

Their condition is pitiable but when food is sent they eat and continue to have even more children who are doomed to do nothing but starve and die or live and continue the cycle.

You'd think if you were starved to death the LAST thing you'd want to do was have sex........

But I have a feeling that the males in these situations have more to do with anyone having sex than the women.

Maybe their sorry a**es Do need to be thrown in jail!
Especially here in the US where they should know BETTER.

Black on Campus said...

I am a Black woman (and I have been for some time now); but I have no point of reference for the cultural beliefs, patterns, and rites of passage that you describe. I am not disputing the veracity of yours of Lisa Vasquez's claims (I am a regular reader of her blog); but I simply want to act as a voice for those Black women (and there are a lot of us) who have a very different and -- dare I say -- less haphazard relationship to our bodies and our relationships (to lovers, partners, and our children).

By the way, I take issue with your use of the term "idolatry," as that word would suggest that motherhood was perceived as something sacred. It seems that the situation you describe is exactly the opposite of that.

atldude said...

I've often thought a convincing argument might be: It's expensive!

Now, I don't have exact numbers, but I DO know that only having to support 1 person vs 2 (or 3 or 4) is a lot cheaper, thereby giving you a bettter chance to get out of your low-income situation AND in the process stop it from repeating itself with the next generation.

Since there is a true love of money (I mean c'mon, it's on sneakers, hats and waved around in videos) maybe THAT might incentivise them.

Tammi said...

"It may not be appropriate or politically correct to introduce the issue of Biblical teaching into this discussion, but I'm going to do it anyway. Whenever you see a proliferation of immoral behavior, such as the epidemic level of fornication taking place among adults of all ages, but particularly our younger set, this is an indication that the fear of the Lord has largely departed the land." - If you would prefer to have the return of the Lord, we can look forward to the Biblical way of many young girls for an older man and age of marriage and pregnancy set in the early teens. (Read your Bible.)

@GoldenAh: "Sexual activity seems to start in the preteen years." -- yes, that's correct, and it is because that's the natural biological cycle of our species.

"Don't you recall when we are shown the pictures of starving people in Africa and elsewhere the women who are skin and bones and on the brink of death almost always have a baby on their hip and more standing around her. Their condition is pitiable but when food is sent they eat and continue to have even more children who are doomed to do nothing but starve and die or live and continue the cycle." -- because having more children means that some of them will reach adult age and can care for their families. Having few to no children would mean they die off (and would mean they have awesome amounts of available supplies for reproductive control).

"Maybe a study should be done on the feasibility of incarcerating men who are serial baby-makers." -- because a man behind bars is working, able to care for his kids, and capable of being an example of responsible citizenship. (At least, in some alternate universe.)

Who are you people???

Generally, I believe a comprehensive sex education curriculum initiated before puberty and carried on through to graduation would work wonders in raising a society of people who enjoy (yes! enjoy!) their sex lives, reproduce if they so wish, and behave responsibly to curtail (curtail is not eliminate, because that is not possible) the transmission of disease. This comprehensive sexual education should include access to birth control for children of reproductive age AS WELL AS support for young mothers and fathers AS WELL AS ensure access to abortion, adoption, information on abstinence (yes, it's actually included in comprehensive sex ed) and any other option we can think of. I also believe increasing the tax burden and supports that support responsible fatherhood have to be part of the picture.

Because of the biological imperative, teen sexuality and the resulting pregnancies are a part of the human condition. We're not angry about that, right? What we're frustrated by is the resulting poverty, decreased opportunity, and curtailing of education that it may mean for the girls.


Best reason to try out comprehensive education: our shame-game, abstinence-only, wait-til-you're-married finger wagging has been a dismal failure and flies in the face of what we know is a natural part of human development.

Anonymous said...

What should be a part of human development, at least an intelligent and thoughtful human, is to NOT get pregnant or impregnate before they are ready to do so and knowing that if that happens there are dire consequences for all those involved.

But oh no we can't expect people to do something as simple as think before they go ahead and go for those few minutes of physical pleasure. That's just too much to ask for.

Give me a freakin break.

The starving people have to have more kids in the hope some will survive and take care of THEM?

HOW can they do that when there's NO FOOD TO EAT BECAUSE THERE ARE TOO MANY CHILDREN TO FEED???