Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Thousand Words

The proverb states that, "A picture is worth a thousand words," but this two-frame cartoon featuring 30 words says so much more about the state of relationships between young Black men and women. 

This image has been floating around my Facebook news feed in the last 24 hours and to my surprise it's actually almost a year old. It depicts a young Black woman choosing a thug over a nerd and later [almost 2 children later] attempting to get his attention. There are a plethora of stereotypes and messages presented in this cartoon. 

There is depiction of the Jezebel archetype, seemingly making bad decisions resulting in being alone with two children. She wears the same outfit in both scenes, denoting that she hasn't progressed in life. She begins as an object of desire and ends up with a look of disdain. I questioned the excitement over the cartoon. Do young Black men see themselves as the rejected nerd? Is success [in any definition] some sort of sweet revenge? Why would young Black men want to seek revenge against young Black women?

The nerd is physically smaller and meeker than the man of choice. Note that he fawns over her and harbors  resentment in his telling her to, "beat it." In my experience, this ties directly to how young Black men deal with rejection. Since the nerd doesn't posses physical power, he asserts his power through the material [i.e. a suit, money and sports car]. He basks in the confidence of having the power to reject her. 

The artist depicts the thug character as a shirtless, tattooed, jewelry laden baby maker. I understand using two images of Black men that are on opposite ends of the spectrum to make a point. I do not understand imaging of a Black man as a negative. This perpetuates the negative stereotypes of both extremes within our own community. 

There is truth in humor, but I still believe this is a generally unrealistic image where there is splitting [a psychological mechanism used where undesirable parts of oneself are disowned] and projection [when people unconsciously identify with a person, event or attitude by projecting the split parts of themselves] occurring. What is realistic is the self-fulfilling prophecy that occurs with imagery like this. If we believe it will happen then it will.

I'm still left with many a question in this cartoon. What happened during the "years later"? What does the next frame look like? Do Black women have bad taste in men? Is a woman with good taste in men an opportunist? What is the state of Black relationships? My list of questions can go on forever. What do you think?

Overall, I'm not a fan of the cartoon by any means. Not all Black women are thug-chasing "baby mothers" and shameless opportunists. And not all Black men are the irresponsible thug or docile, emasculated nerd. Stereotypes are wack. 

bisou, bisou
Miss Emme

Friday, May 20, 2011

In English, Please.

Merriam-Webster defines dating as going out on usually romantic dates. Makes sense. A simple term with a simple definition in a world where relationship jargon has become extremely messy. Jargon isn't the only thing that has become complex, but defining boundaries and types of relationships has also become highly involved. When did this all happen?

Going steady. Talking. Hooking up. What does this all translate to? The dynamics of courtship are ever mutating and honestly I'm confused. I still don't know what hooking up really means. And as many other women do, I hate grey areas. The act of dating already consists of its own set of intricacies, so clear definitions are a necessity to me. 

I am amongst this set of 21st century women who are talking. Many times a simple, "How do you know John?" results in a, "We talk." We talk can mean anything from literally just being on speaking terms to openly dating to a full blown relationship that just doesn't have titles. Why do we accept these made up, overtly vague terms? Requesting definitions doesn't mean marriage, it's just a friendly, "So, what exactly is this?" Is that so terrible? 

I know that too many questions scare off men my age, but if a simple question like that cannot be answered they probably needed to be dismissed anyhow. Figuring out what the relationship is helps to build the crucial boundaries needed to weigh out your options. The secret is that when no one knows what to call it, no one knows how to treat it. And there you are, trapped in a murky relationship that was no direction. 

Courting, seeking the attention or affections of someone with dating potential. Dating, occasional dates and spending time with a person. Openly dating, then I'm free to see other people with potential. Exclusively dating, then I'm seeing one person. Wasn't that easy?! I thought so. 

So, what exactly is this?

I refuse to be wandering in the shadows of shapelessness! However, once you define what you're doing you have to keep true to form. Only boyfriends get "boyfriend privileges" and only husbands receive "husband privileges" in my book. Date smarter, not desperate. Someone will respect your definitions and boundaries. 

bisou, bisou
Miss Emme

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Abandonment Issues

I've abandoned you...

And for that I sincerely apologize. Life gets hectic from time to time and the things you love [this here blog] tend to suffer. However, after a three month hiatus, I think you all deserve some conversion about love, dating and everything in between. 

I was recently in a production of "For Colored Girls..." [BTW I love my cast mates] and Lady in Yellow, my dear, sweet Amber, demanded my return. Voila, c'est moi!

Stay tuned for new "What Do You Want?!" posts and so much more!

bisou, bisou
Miss Emme

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day: A Blind Date Experiment

Throw our names in a hat, pick a name and set them up on a blind date in the name of St. Valentine! Why I agreed to this, I'll never know.

Four friends and I have agreed to be set up as part of my friend Nkem's "Valentine's Day Experiment," just for fun. Nkem came to us with this Aphrodite-esque  proposal and most were reluctant at first, but we succumbed to her plans. 

Meet the Players!

Alexis - The Reluctant One

Claudette - The Positive One

Karenda - The One on the Fence

Nkem - The Mastermind

Miss Emme - The Observant One

Alexis was the hardest to convince and Claudette's participation was dependent on Alexis'. Once they were in, the game was on! My hope for this experiment is for everyone to open up a bit and more importantly have fun. We're all young, educated, driven Black women, why shouldn't we live a little?

The group has created stipulations that I'll think we'll keep to ourselves and we're quite open-minded, so long as the men are eligible bachelors. We picked the names out of the hat and followed up with "consultations." We know the blind dates are just for fun, but we still want them to be good! I'm to procure a date for Claudette, Claudette's to find a date for Nkem while Nkem's working on a young man for Karenda and finally  Karenda's going to set me up. We've been brainstorming together to find the perfect date for Alexis!

The dates have been chosen and set up for different days this week. So, stay tuned for a follow-up on the V-Day Experiment. 

bisou, bisou
Miss Emme

Happy V-Day from Miss Emme ; ]

Some people dread it, others embrace it and the rest just don't care. Today is Valentine's Day and I'd just like to wish all the lovers of the world an Happy Valentine's Day! It's seasonably warm and the sun is shining. Walk down the street and wish someone a Happy V-Day. You might be surprised at how pleasant the response will be. Spread the LOVE!

Here's my favorite love quote for the road!

"I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straight-forwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way." -Pablo Neruda

bisou, bisou
Miss Emme

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What Do You Want?!: The Non-Standard One & The Lady

This time I ventured into the realm of Terrell Brown, you're in for a surprise. I also interviewed my lovely N-Sista, Ugochi. She definitely likes a man's man. Get to know them!

Name: Terrell Brown 
Age: 20
Occupation: Student
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Relationship Status: Very, very perfectly lonely

What physical attributes attract you to a woman?
Umm, well all attributes of a woman attract me. I find a beautiful piece in every woman. I have no preferences. I fall in love with every woman for about five minutes. Beggars can't be choosers. But really preferences, I fall in love with women because of their personalities. And umm, you know. I don't know, I find something beautiful in every woman. Honestly,that's the truth. That's the honest answer. 

What intangible characteristics do you find important?
Just, umm, that's a good question. I think the best intangible characteristic a woman can have is to be open-minded. I think that covers everything.

What's your favorite thing about Black women?
Besides their beautiful characteristics? I think many women and men would be honest and say their booties. 

So, that's your favorite thing about Black women?
I mean the shallow side of me. Yes, that is. Absolutely.

Would you date women of other races? Why or why not?
Why not? I would date any woman of any race. Race doesn't matter to me. If I'm trying to find a woman, I think that's really a f****ed up way to look at things. 

If you could give tell Black women everywhere the most perfect piece of advice, what would it be?
Quit the f***ing weave and s**t out and the make-up. Yeah, cut that s**t out. Like, I don't when that fad became huge. I think like in high school it became big because everybody wants to be a model these days. But I think it's pretty  f***ing annoying, honestly. I guess sometimes it's cool, but you can't just f***ing substitute your real face and hair for the rest of your life. 

If you could pick anyone in the world to take on a romantic date, who would it be?
Number one would be Oprah because I would hope that she'd break me off. Number two would be Adriana Lima, she's my new found love. Three would be Kim K. of course and number four would be Nicki Minaj's butt.

Not Nicki Minaj, but Nicki Minaj's butt apart from her?
Yeah, absolutely. And number five I'd have to say would be. I'd go with Kendra Wilkinson's rack. She has some nice boobs.

Name: Ugochi O. Nzeadighibe
Age: 21
Occupation: Student
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Relationship Status: Single

What physical attributes attract you to a man?
Height (I'm short, so that's not a problem), teeth (can win me over with a lovely smile) somewhat muscular... loves a man that can wrap his arms around me, make me feel secure! Ohh and a man in uniform/dressed to impress makes me weak. lol

What intangible characteristics do you find important?
Intelligent, Honest, Confident, Strong, Motivated, Optimistic and Funny.

What's you favorite thing about  Black men?
Their determination and drive for success, strength and courage to overcome daily obstacles.

Would you date men of other races? 
I'm open to dating men form other races, learning things about their life/ the way they were raised but I prefer a black man because it's a common background we share. Plus I love chocolate (both candy & men) there is something about it. I just can't explain in words. 

If you could tell Black men everywhere the most perfect piece of advice, what would it be?
Never judge a woman from appearance alone, you will never know what you are missing out on. She might be the woman of your dreams but you let her slip away!

If you could pick anyone in the world to take on a romantic date, who would it be?
Hmm...it's hard to choose one! Lance Gross & Common!! (LOVE THEM)

If you want to be featured in a "What Do You Want?!"  post, email JadoreMissEmme@gmail.com with "interview" as the subject. 

bisou, bisou
Miss Emme


One day I was tweeting that I wanted in on #TeamWhiteBoys, meaning that I wanted to be well on my way of exploring the realm of dating a white man. To my surprise, I had quite a few retweets. I didn't know that so many other Black women were interested in venturing outside of their race. Just an observation. We created a sort of camaraderie, if you will. 

I brought the subject to my friends [of course]. A few friends were definitely welcoming to the interracial experience, but I did I have one friend who strongly disagreed. She always said she could appreciate a handsome white man, but would never date one. When I asked my Black male friends about dating a white man, they all had a slight shudder at the idea. These were the same men that were all open to the idea of dating a white woman [talk about double standards]. They found the concept to be abandonment and a result of giving up hope on Black men. I'm not giving up hope, but let's call it broadening my horizons.

Sanaa Lathan & Simon Baker in Something New

Something New was the perfect example of a young Black professional woman seeking out love and change in her life and it just happened to with a white man [FINE Simon Baker at that]. To some it's a not such a big deal and to others it seemed to mean the world. I've been asked questions about being able to relate on cultural levels with a white man. I just thought to myself that I also have cultural differences with Black Americans and other Black folk in the Diaspora, so how "different" could it be if we had the fundamental things in common? I remember my father advising me never to be romantically interested in "those American boys," but that was to no avail. I just know that I'll never be familiar "white privilege" and he'll never be able to completely understand the Black experience no matter how much he appreciates it. It comes with the territory.

Really, what harm can some casual dating do? Could I consider a white man as a serious mate? Honestly, I don't know. Could I share a few drinks and laughs with one? Absolutely. What started as a small joke has grown into a thought-provoking discussion and a new dating adventure. I'll keep you updated.

Are you #TeamWhiteBoys? Would you consider it? Is it even that serious?

bisou, bisou
Miss Emme

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Gaps of the Generational Kind

Wisdom is the kind of thing that is only gained from experience. That was the obvious part, but when times change, what advice remains timeless? Is mom's advice still relevant in a time where women don't wear pantyhose, men stay in the kitchen and people meet their mates on the internet?

The unwritten rules of dating are constantly changing, but what foundational rules are going to last forever? I have a great respect for the wisdom that my elders have to endow me with, but there are times where that their advice no longer applies. So, I'm often left torn between antiquity and modernity. For instance, I'll wait for a man to open the door for me on a date, but I might pick up the bill. Which old-school rules about the opposite sex do you abide by, today?

Young men don't always meet my parents before they whisk me away on a first date and I believe that a couple should live together before they're married [because you never really know someone until you live with them]. But one piece of advice my mom gave me that always remains relevant was to "let a man be a man." Obviously, that's relative to each individual, but I found that piece of advice from Mommy to be priceless. But those priceless jewels are becoming rare. What's the best piece of generational advice you've ever received?

Another issue that crosses my mind when speaking on generational shifts, is the change in boundaries and standards that occurs. The generation before us always shakes it head in mild disapproval with a "those crazy kids" tagged to the motion. However, the question that weighs on me is when have the changes gone too far? When different behaviors become more and more acceptable as the years go by, where's the limit? What's distasteful and inappropriate? Moreover, how do we instill those old-school values to put the reigns on modernity gone awry?

In a recent conversation with my mom, she admitted that she sometimes wonders if the advice she gives me is pertinent. She doesn't worry too much because luckily I'm attached to some of the more antiquated rules than her progressive self. I'll be telling my daughter to wait for him to open all the doors and teaching my son to always offer to pay first [yeah, I said it!]. What piece of dating advice or rules will you pass down to the next generation?

bisou, bisou
Miss Emme