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Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Bad - Film Review - Womanist Musings

Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Diary Of A Tired Black Man
By Renee

Well black men are fed up.  After dealing with the ways which they have been negatively stigmatized, economically exploited and generally relegated to secondary status they have decided to target the oppressor – ball busting angry black women.  The rage of black men is explored in Tim Alexander’s super low-budget film,”Diary Of A Tired Black Man”

According to KansasCity.com Alexander declares, “There’s an epidemic of ABWS, and it’s threatening the very soul of African-American culture.”   Seriously the man needs to give himself a shake.  With all of the issues facing the African American community, his fixation is on those evil black wimmin, who refuse to  hold their tongue.  Black men have historically equated equality with the ability to act in the same manner as the white male patriarchy.  Isn’t it convenient that the best way to uplift black people is to replicate patriarchy in all of its manifestations.  Now who would that really benefit? HMMMM excuse me if I am a little bit sceptical about the gender neutral nature of this desire.

Alexander — he says he’s been a victim of ABWS — acknowledges that many women have reason to be angry after being abused and used by their men. (He also chides women for choosing “bad” boys when there are plenty of decent guys out there.) But so many women have become so angry that they cannot appreciate even good, upstanding black men, he maintains. And angry women rarely enjoy lasting relationships.

Is it me, or does this man not seem like he has quickly become the master of double speak? ..The ministry of truth would be so proud. We have a right to be angry at the men that have abused us, BUT it is still all our fault because we chose them in the first place.  He manages a perfect combo of victim blaming and misogyny all in one sentence.  Gee, why is it all of angry women cannot get over the bruises, emotional trauma, and broken bones, and worship the men that manifest their male privilege in so-called benevolent headship?

Truly, I am sick of this shit.  If black women are angry, then we have a right to our anger; it is not as though we have been walking the earth with the most favoured person status.  Throwing a legitimate emotion like anger at us, in an attempt to discipline us into performing a passive femininity will not work.  Even if we were to morph into the most submissive women on the planet, it would still not alleviate the problems of the black male patriarchy because we do not function as the power behind the social hierarchy, elite white males do.

The major issue that Alexander fails to address is power.  Instead of seeing power as a creative force he can only envision it as coercive.  In a society that daily affirms a hierarchy of beings, the ability to express power functions as signification of worth and value.  The more one is able to oppress, the more the self becomes realized and since none are born outside of discourse, gender exploitation is often chosen by males.  What Alexander seeks is not uplift but power.  He can never claim it as such because to do so would be to admit that what he seeks means the debasement of the very women whom he claims to want a partnership with.  Privilege and power go hand in hand and it is only the intentionally obtuse who fail to make the connection.

Black women are not to blame for the problems facing black men.  We did not set up this system, we have only been assaulted by it.  What I find most irritating about this refrain is the ways in which it fails to acknowledge the work that black women have done to defend black men against lynching's, high rates of incarceration, drug abuse and racism.  We have stood shoulder to shoulder with them in defence of their rights, against a system that has seemed determined to swallow them whole because they are our fathers, sons, brothers, and lovers.  To be told once again that we need to shut up and obey is offensive.  Black men were not looking for obedience when we openly risked ourselves for their benefit. Black men were not looking for silence when we  howled in righteous indignation at their suffering.  Loving you does not entitle you to blind allegiance. 



  1. Renee is missing the point. We(Black men) don’t want a power over you(Black Women). Tim barely mentions power in the documentary. The film is about ANGER, and the loss of self control in the relationships of men and women(on both parts).

    We don’t want to enslave Black women — it’s 2009! We want you to speak your mind. Arguments and disagreements help to strengthen relationships. But when those argument turns into a personal attacks and battles over power, it starts to become a different situation. At that point there’s a level of respect that’s lost which only fosters leads to more arguments. We want just as much respect as you do.

    We also want to be appreciated for the good things we do before we’re scolded for the bad things we may or may not have done. It’s destructive cycle. Sucks that I have to use a dog for an analogy(HAHA), but if you’re training a dog and he does something right, you give’em a treat. You recognize that the dog made a positive improvement so he’s rewarded for it. Because he has an incentive, he’ll gladly do the next thing you ask him to do. Simple as that. When the good we do never gets acknowledged and the bad leads to personal attacks, do you really expect us to stick around and stay faithful? It’s the opposite for woman. Many woman expect the Queen treatment, but with out contributing anything positive to the relationship.

    Secondly, this film wasn’t trying to solve every single issue in the Black community at once. ie: "it fails to acknowledge the work that black women have done to defend black men against lynching's…etc." The video isn’t saying all black women hate black men PERIOD. He is only addressing the issue as it relates to relationships.

  2. It's an almost sociological pathology with the way things are going in the Black community in the matters of relationships. If we think of it, women feel that they have to continuously berate with men the fact that they "don't need a man," or they "are strong and independent." The problem is that by now, men should know that, but the bad men ignore that inner strength and proceed to chip away at it, while the good men suffer the consequences of what he did and deal with her feeling s toward him in the guise of all men.

    Why can't women EVER be at fault? Is it playing the victim card? It seems to work on the masses. Women AND men are all scarred in relationships, this is nothing which women can claim rights to immediately. The berating of good men causes them to turn off to women in the fear that they will be taken for granted or underappreciated. Newsflash, women: GUYS GET HURT TOO!!! They just don't always outwardly project their hurt. Picture it if you will. If Black men have it hard, then their women have it harder. Okay, let's turn that statement into an exercise in history. Black men didn't enter this country on their own free will, but treated like cretins lower than dogs. When they finally get to feel like men, the bad ones fled and sought the worldly side of life, while for the good men, the very women that they have largely relied on to make them feel like men, to be their rock, they turned on these men and found other ways beyond the lash to emasculate them. No man can feel like a real man if their counterpart feels like they "know more of what it takes to be a man" than the man himself. THAT'S NOT TRUE!!!

    Many things go into being a man, not beating your chest and fighting, raging all of the time, or even giving you women what you WANT and not what you NEED. A man takes on many characteristics, and a lot of women who feel that good men are not man enough, as opposed to the bad men who don't deserve the privilege of calling themselves such, don't know what it takes to be a man. Whatever male role model, if any, played a part in their lives, chances are that they have misconceptions or they just flat out got the wrong role model. If women can have Waiting to Exhale, and it be carted around as a classic in the woman's perspective, just remember that it IS FLAWED. There are bad women out there, too, women don't own the sole rights to pain and hurt and anguish, everyone has a right to be mad, but the next person doesn't deserve it!!!


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