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What Kind of Black Woman Are You?

Posted on | March 5, 2013 | 19 Comments

I thoroughly enjoyed the following comment by Stacey, so I decided to make it a post.

By the way, the post title is a general question, not aimed specifically at Stacey.

The following continues the discussion originating in the Black Actress Review: Just Wright – Big Boned Gurl Gets Good Guy Balla post.

Stacey says:

Ok, I must respectfully disagree with all the pro-Morgan comments here. Just came across this forum and had to respond, seeing as how Just Wright is one of my favorite movies of all time. Morgan was a gold-digger all the through. I just don’t see why she should be praised. I have no respect for women like that. LESLIE is the one who deserves a standing ovation. She worked very hard to achieve her goals–even bought her own house (on her OWN) Leslie had a heart-of-gold. She cared about all the people around her. She didn’t have any ulterior motives. Leslie was genuine, REAL. And that’s why I rooted for her from beginning to end.

I can relate so much more to Leslie than Morgan. Because I don’t feel that I need to bat my eyelashes and manipulate a man to get ahead. Just like Leslie, I want to be able to pay my own way.

I LOVE the way the movie ended. Scott finally opened his yes and realized that Leslie’s “The One”. And I love that Leslie didn’t have to change who she was. I love that she was still wearing her favorite Nets jersey at the end. She didn’t have to convert to some shallow glamour-girl to get her dream-guy. Leslie was fine just the way she was–there was no need for her to change. One of my fav moments of the movie: Scott gazing at Leslie when they were both sitting at the piano(he so wanted to kiss her)…and she was in her robe, without an ounce of make-up on—LOVE it!

And I gotta admit that I actually gained some respect for Morgan in the end(she realized that Scott was in love with Leslie and told him where to find her) Morgan could’ve schemed and plotted (although, it wouldn’t have done any good because Scott was already on his way to find Leslie–he even told Morgan, “I’m sorry, but it’s not gonna work)

Leslie was beautiful on the inside AND the outside. She didn’t care about Scott’s fame and fortune. She was up at 3 in the morn, giving him a pep-talk because she truly cared. The movie ended just as it should have: two people coming together for the right reason–because they truly love and respect each other, because they’re meant to be together. From their very first scene, it was obvious to me that Scott & Leslie belong together. They just fit together so perfectly. And this movie remains one of my all-time fav
rom-coms. KUDOS to Queen Latifah & Common!

 

flowers_can

GoldenAh:

Hello, Stacey. I liked your comment. You’ve given me so much to work with, but I’ll only bite a few portions.

I see what you mean, but this was about a movie that took what was unrealistic and made it into an interesting fairy tale. We were discussing how reality would have played out, and in each and every case Morgan would be the winner.

Morgan is Old School

I really believe black women hear such ridiculous, hypocritical, contradictory nonsense from black males they aren’t sure what they want to be.

Morgan is not a gold digger. There’s no reason to resent, dislike or be angry with her. She’s a realist. Her behavior was very feminine, self-assured, flirty, alluring and mysterious. She knew how to make (and keep) a man interested. That’s very normal and healthy. It is not manipulating a man!!! It is just a subtle way of saying, “Hey, I like you, you can chase me if you want.”

She was what most women were at one time – looking for a husband with the financial means to support his family. I know that’s changed in these times. Frankly, I look at her as being old fashioned. She was doing something that worked in an era where people understood social cues and signals.

Today, everybody seems rather lost about how to behave, even in showing basic manners. We’re lucky if we find a guy who doesn’t insist we pay for the meal, and simply wants to go Dutch. The meal tastes better if from jump he wants to pay and leaves a decent tip for the server. He looks like a good guy if he wants to take care of you. That’s a winner. That’s the best feeling in the world.

Leslie is What’s Up Now With Black Women

As for the “hardworking modern woman” character, Leslie is doing what she has to do. Like most of us, paying our own way is the default mode of life regardless. And that’s fine. We live in an age where it does make sense to have your stuff. I wouldn’t deny that.

However, even if you combined Morgan and Leslie into one woman, I would prefer that Scott dealt with Morgan’s personality and looks, while Leslie’s characteristics stayed (mostly) hidden.

brokenheart

The Ethical Flaw and Self-Harm

The problem with Leslie is that she was an employee whose job it was to look after Scott. I know if he was a white / Asian / Latino guy, you’d probably see immediately the problem with her cooking, cleaning and sexing him while he’s emotionally unavailable, on the rebound (still in love with Morgan), and working hard to do her job in making him physically / mentally fit to return to work. She may have fallen in love with Scott, but she endangered herself professionally and emotionally. She had a serious lapse of ethics and muddled her own waters while on the job.

Plus, Scott’s relationship with Morgan hadn’t achieved a clean break. They were still at an impasse. Breaking up and constantly making up is normal. There are plenty of couples who even after they divorce still find themselves having sex, cohabiting and doing other things because they haven’t really untied all the strings.

Leslie was setting herself up for some serious hurt while allowing herself to be the in between chick. She was the third wheel. She was the one who made herself available during a time she should have kept some distance from Scott.

In reality, she could be viewed as the man-stealing backstabber.

What If The Situation Was Reversed?

Just Wright  is clever in making Leslie the underdog, and she fits the type of woman who’s relaxed in her own skin. That’s cool.

But let’s switch it up. Imagine her as a guy who makes no effort to bathe, brush his hair / teeth, or groom himself even in your presence when he’s “relaxed”. Would you really find him attractive?

If he was fat, out-of-shape, a bit abrasive, has limited resources, and you were missing your ex-boo who’s smoking hot, though annoying, would you really find him attractive? Would you really consider him for a minute?

If you hired a guy to take care of your household chores, cook, clean or do something necessary and crucial for you, would you consider sleeping with him even though you were still thinking of your smoking hot ex?

We certainly love our double-standards. He should be tall, handsome, fit, rich and a balla. While he should be happy with our hefty, gaudy, rough, unfeminine appearance, because we’re keeping it real, and he’ll love us since we are the biggest fan of his sport. Considering that if he’s a baller, everybody would be a fan. He’d be swollen headed and expect the adoration.

In a sense, that entire angle is a wash.

What Kind of Black Woman?

You know why Morgan is very feminine? Obviously, she’s not working. And whether her character is likable or not, her decision to find a husband is supported by her family. She has time to devote to her looks. She’s making it clear to the men she’s attracting that her looks are a symbol of self-love. She also wants the man to admire the effort she makes in looking good, not just for herself, but for him.

Trying to look attractive for a man is not a crying shame. It is not bad. It is part of the mating dance. I believe a woman can be sexy in a hoody, but it depends on how she wants to wear it. But she has to be comfortable in her own skin.

Leslie is to be applauded for being a “worker”, but that doesn’t entitle her to a wealthy, handsome, tall man as a reward for “good behavior.” It doesn’t work in real life either.

What Men Are Really Like

Most normal, well functioning guys aren’t going to be dating your wallet, house, car, degrees or status. A good number will resent hearing anything about your “stuff” even if he has more than what you have.

For all we know, Morgan has stuff, but she has the good sense to let herself be the prize Scott has to attain.

And that’s the one thing this movie doesn’t really inform us of. Men are predatory animals, and in this story for the romantic angle, a good thing, of course. When Scott, as the wealthy balla, decides to pursue Morgan, he’s not going for her monetary assets or status – he sees someone who interests him, raises his curiosity, likely sexually arouses him and makes him want to PURSUE her.

That’s why we admired Morgan, she understood the game and played it well. Unfortunately, the movie leaves out that entire courtship, which is a shame.

Reality Checks

We understand that Leslie was the movie’s Cinderella, but as stated before, she did it at the wrong time and wrong place, which was not realistic at all.

While it was a fun movie, I was uncomfortable with what it was teaching black women. We have enough stories (from real life)  where the women do it all for the men and end up heart and wallet broken, because they continue to see Morgan as a negative and Leslie as a positive.

That perspective is too skewed and needs to be balanced. It’s okay to be Morgan on the outside and Leslie on the inside, but not to give it all up and away like it’s nothing. That’s been done too many times before.

It’s one thing to be ready to love a man, but a woman has to have him earn it, otherwise he wont think much of it and treat it as such. And don’t we see to much of that already?

And Leslie can shower Scott with all the cooking, sexing, love and affection after he puts a ring on it. 😀

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19 Responses to “What Kind of Black Woman Are You?”

  1. Erica
    March 5th, 2013 @ 4:31 AM

    Just Wright is a fantasy and not in any way based in reality. Morgan is portrayed as a goldigger. While Leslie is portrayed as the down to earth nice girl who gets her man in the end. That would never happen in real life. Men go for a combination of both types of women. They want a feminine woman that is not materialistic.

    Who also has her own career or life aspirations that don’t involve being financially dependant on a man – Except in the black community. Black men only date women who they consider to be attractive and who like to dress up and look nice for him. They are not checking for the women who walk around in jeans and a basketball jersey all the time –

    Unless they’re into the hardcore athletic women who are tomboys that predominately dress in jeans or sweats most of the time. That is a fantasy. You should want to look nice for yourself and for your partner. The film was completely unrealistic. Most black men – especially the rich black athletes are sexing the feminine groupies.

    And when they decide to marry – usually choose the feminine girl who is not a groupie. And in the black community. If the woman is working minimum wage jobs. And she’s seeking a successful man – she’s labeled a goldigger. But if the woman has a successful career. And is only seeking other successful men. She is labeled bougie.

    When black women strive to want the good life. They are always called goldigger. That is why black women are being encouraged to expand their options to global quality men. Because the relationships in the black community are not normal or healthy.

  2. Truth P.
    March 5th, 2013 @ 10:43 AM

    I resent that people think that black women should have to work hard for every little thing.Black women have had to work hard for things that they shouldn’t have.

    I resent that if a black woman can’t say that she worked hard and suffered for xyz people will try to bring her down and make her upset about her easier life or things that have been handed to her.My mother never worked.My daddy always made more money than my mom.My mom sat at home and really did eat Bon Bons and watched soap operas throughout the day while we were at school.My daddy didn’t seem to mind.Quite a few women in the community(majority single unwed mothers),including family members,hated on my mom and talked crap about her so hard, all the while trying to seduce my father which is sad.It made them even more mad because THEY never thought my mother was beautiful enough,she didn’t look like Morgan (and was fat) so to them she wasn’t good enough, to land a man with a REGULAR job and have such an easy life compared to theirs.

    My mom saw my grandmother work hard,being dog tired,getting blistered feet from working 12-16 hour shifts on a regular basis for 47 years, and took care of her children ALONE. Even though she was a MARRIED “good Christian girl” who had sex her first time with her husband,then had kids,went to college became a nurse and kept an immaculately clean house.My mom did not want her mother’s life.

    I feel my black foremothers worked hard enough and did enough independently to last the rest of us a lifetime.I wouldn’t mind if every black woman on the planet hit the lottery for millions back to back and all married millionaires,billionaires,and hundred thousandaires with excellent credit(Even the black women that hate on other black women that come up or are looking for one). I’m happy to see other black women come up.And when they do I steer clear of their husbands and respect their relationships.I support their business ventures,I continue to support their businesses, by making purchases and telling people good things about their goods and services,even if I got a defective product or bad service once because I have continued to support Kroger’s CVS etc. after similar circumstances.

    I would also like to say I got a house,a used car in good condition,money for school, clothes etc and a job as an ADULT all because of my family.These things were GIVEN to me.I did NOT work or pay for it out of my own pocket.I hope that some black woman isn’t out there hating on me because some people in my family didn’t think that I should have to work for every small thing.

    When I go out on dates I fully expect that the man will pay for dinner and I NEVER go dutch.Never will.It would be against my best interest to ONLY concern myself with how much a man is making.Character matters a lot to me.But with me, it’s character and cash.Bottom line.

    GoldenAh: Truth P. I’m gotta high five you on this one! 😀

    I don’t think I was treated like a total Princess – okay, maybe a semi-spoiled brat. Yet, I’ve met women I cannot say anything to about my background, or current standard of living, because I don’t want to deal with their issues. I mentioned some of these fruitcakes on a few posts back about my weight loss. And I’m talking offline, out in the real world, here. I get you when you talk about this resentment.

    See, when our parents love us enough to give us something(s), which was like a dowry back in the old days, there’s nothing but hate for black women. That mindset has to be turned around. I respect hardworking people who “struggle”, life has all kinds of stresses, but that isn’t romance, and it doesn’t make a black person more “authentic” than one who has parents or partners who provide for them.

    Like you Truth P., I’d like to see black women prosperous and loaded with money – it makes for content, happy people. Having stuff and money is not a bad or evil thing. And if the family has provided for you – to give you a leg up – that’s even better. This is what they are supposed to do. I suspect that there’s a mindset that black girls can be tossed out into the streets like stray cats who can start from scratch, but Momma is gonna worry about how her baby boy(s) will survive and let him live in her basement (forever).

    Awesome comments, Truth P.

  3. Faith
    March 5th, 2013 @ 10:37 PM

    I saw this bit of slick indoctrination for the 1st and last time 2 months ago at someone’s house. When the promo tour for the movie began Common had that vile remix about getting BJs from groupies in public bathrooms out. I’m going to list points of why this movie is POISON for BW in no particular order:

    1. Morgan would’ve “won” because she was lighter-skinned. The end. The denial of her appeal also stemming from color racism was completely whitewashed. If Morgan had been browner…forget it.

    2. This movie was written by and co-produced by black males. With an agenda at lulling some of you into a false sense of security. Con job tactics 201.

    3. Swap out Queen for Zoe Saldana (or Kravitz). Would you buy the story?

    4. On what planet does a female world-class Physical therapist train elite athletes who’s overweight?

    5. Why was “Mr. Wright” [yes, it’s that manipulative] considered a catch? A fatherless male, star athlete with no scandals, OOW kids, piano-playing, fairly intelligent, no drugs/orgies other bad habits was the biggest bs I ever saw. Who wanted to get married, but has no abandonment issues?

    6. Using Clair Huxtable as his mommy to add a false sense of weight to the male lead. Yes, I know Phlyicia Rashad is an actress…but it’s the first thing I thought when I saw her.

    7. Good girl syndrome vs playing to win. Mammy/Mule repackaging. Having a loving daddy was a red herring as well(to imply she had it together/made good decisions).

    8. The last scene REALLY annoyed me, because they didn’t bother with the ‘payoff’ – which should have been a wedding. But it was all about settling. Just because the two women talked about a marriage that was supposed to be good enough.

    9. Morgan would have needed to dress a little more provocatively. And get a boob job.

    10. I know Queen Latifah was trying to appease her demographic, but her choosing to stay large and dress mannishly and her rumored real-life preferences comes across as HER, not the character.

    11. Plus, she was dowdy in the movie. Look
    at the promo interviews at her hair, makeup and clothes esp. She looks 1000% more polished. Everything about her character was designed to be less than and doing too much.
    The whole movie was a fantasy.

    GoldenAh: Or you visit a friend and they may have a Tyler Perry movie at the ready. And you must see it. Torture! LOL.

    1. You know, I didn’t notice that. I saw them all as a similar shade of high brown. Hmm. Now, that I think of it, when was the last time a very prominent black male athlete married a black woman darker than himself? I mean, making a very big fuss over it, the way these negroes do with their pale skinned women? Michael Jordan finally gave into his white woman inclination and married one. I remember that national felon league jackass who murdered his GF then went and shot himself in front of his coach and teammates. She had a very light complexion.

    2. Black males wrote the script? Oh, that explains a lot. That’s why there are no scenes of Morgan being courted: they don’t have a clue, and any scenes of her receiving proper treatment would show how much of the short end of the stick Leslie received. But we get the message, Leslie was supposed to be happy with “nothing, but love”. And his “love” was nothing, wasn’t it?

    I’m so fed up with this kind of black male bamboozling directed at black women via music, movies and pulp fiction: “I have no money (he really doesn’t want to work), so you need to feed me and take care of me. If you are a good looking black woman looking for a provider (something all normal women used to look do) you are a gold digger. If you are hard working black woman you should be content with a man who doesn’t want to give you anything, even expecting something is an excessive demand.” These negroes will certainly get their act together for non-black women. Yet, they have no trouble pushing this con game at black women, and some of us lap it up like cats for cream. No sirree, it’s not a good thing to be the one doing everything.

    3. Nope. Not with those two actresses. Scott would be a white quarterback, baseball or hockey player, and he’d have to come correct from day one. Plus, they wouldn’t dare act the way Leslie did. Hmm, I wouldn’t mind seeing that movie. I always thought the movie, “Sabrina” (the remake or a similar topic), would have been more interesting with a black woman. I’d see it if it can be done by a person who writes a good script, showing love and respect for black women.

    4. Backing away from this one… 🙂

    5. I thought Scott / Common was too old to begin with, unless they were all pretending to be in their early-to-mid 20s. That’s why I wasn’t mad at Morgan for dropping him like a hotcake when he was injured. He had no other skills besides being a balla. She didn’t want to be stuck with a guy who had no plan “B”. Scott was a total purple unicorn: dude doesn’t exist.

    7. Perfect observation: Good girl syndrome vs playing to win. Mammy/Mule repackaging. Right, ’cause being a daddy’s girl, he certainly would highly approve of her sexing, mothering and nursing a client through an injury like that.

    8. That bothered me too. So, even the black male writers couldn’t take the fronting that far. We’re supposed to just “dream about it.”

    10. I heard the same about, “Set it Off”. I admit I didn’t believe it back then. I don’t have a good radar when it comes to women like that, no matter how they dress or behave.

    That’s what makes media reviews so engrossing, there’s a lot to learn, thanks Faith. 😀

  4. mercedes
    March 6th, 2013 @ 3:25 AM

    Hi goldenah,I hope that life is treating you well.what kind of black
    Woman am I you ask? A work-in-progress..lol.

    That “just wright” movie sounds like all levels of wrong.won’t be wasting my money on that one.

    GoldenAh: Hello Mercedes! There’ll always be problems, all 99 of them, yes? But that makes life fascinating. Had a water tank hiss at me this weekend, turns out it had been leaking for weeks. You can imagine how I managed. 😛 I’m not too calm when it comes to this kind of thing. I prefer to deal with electronics, gadgets and computers than a household problem. Oh, well. It’s all good now, I’m down to 98 problems. LOL. 😀

    Just Wright was interesting to watch, ’cause I like Queen Latifah. I saw it on a lark (DVD from the library) out of curiosity, wondering what kind of film it was. It’s about 2 plus years old now. And inevitably when it comes to black women, there’s always some kind of twitsted messaging in a movie. The fun part is evaluating it long after we’re done with the suspension of disbelief or reality.

    Take care, Mercedes. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Christa
    March 6th, 2013 @ 5:17 AM

    Faith – ‘Morgan would have needed to dress a little more provocatively. And get a boob job.’

    10. ‘I know Queen Latifah was trying to appease her demographic, but her choosing to stay large and dress mannishly and her rumored real-life preferences comes across as HER, not the character.’

    THIS! Thank you for pointing that out Faith! I thought I was the only one that noticed that!

    Between Morgan and Leslie – there is no any man – specifically a black athlete is going to be checking for the girl in the grungy tshirt/jeans. That was all kinds of wrong and in no way based in reality! Black men and black women are the first ones to check a black woman if she does not step out of the house with a decent outfit on or hair done.

    But we’re supposed to believe common’s character chose the grungy overweight woman over the thin femininely dressed woman. They need to take that ish somewhere else. That’s a new twist the black community is selling to black women. Black women probably spend the most on hair and clothes than any other women on the planet.

    Because the black community values superficial and materialistic things over everything else.
    That’s why its so refreshing to be in an environment now as a black woman. Where you can still look nice and dress feminine or casual. But also focus on your own life and goals.

  6. Oshun
    March 8th, 2013 @ 1:42 AM

    I don’t remember if I saw this movie or not. It has been so long.

    I can’t really speak fully on the dynamics of dress for BW and what is appealing to BM (for a whole lot of reasons), but what I have observed about black people in my town is:

    1. the grungy athletic/urban look is in for all black folks of all ages. With lots of colorful labels (which I despise). If you are a younger BG then you may have a hipster twist with it, but that’s it.

    I went to pay a bill one day recently and I was amazed at the level of urban wear I saw particularly on older Black folks. I could see someone younger (teenagers) playing, but then growing out of it.

    Every once in a while I would see a BW and only a BW only who looked put together and was not wearing urban athletic gear.

    2. Feminine and attractive dress is defined differently by the bulk of black people it seems. I can agree that black women can be pressured to look a certain way and will spend to achieve that, but from what I have observed about black folks at least in this city is that feminine = sexual to overtly sexual/slightly tacky (with labels).

    Its a really narrow definition/image (specific brands, specific trends)that is encouraged etc

    GoldenAh: Unfortunately, wearing genuinely feminine clothing in a mostly black area seems to be viewed as an invitation to harassment. Extreme hair styles might be the only safe area they can devote to making themselves “attractive” without incurring the hateful attention of nutjobs.

  7. Oshun
    March 8th, 2013 @ 1:43 AM

    sorry for the typos…

  8. Oshun
    March 8th, 2013 @ 5:48 PM

    @ Goldie

    In reflecting on your original post…

    “Leslie is to be applauded for being a “worker”, but that doesn’t entitle her to a wealthy, handsome, tall man as a reward for “good behavior.” It doesn’t work in real life either.

    What Men Are Really Like

    Most normal, well functioning guys aren’t going to be dating your wallet, house, car, degrees or status. A good number will resent hearing anything about your “stuff” even if he has more than what you have.”

    This is complicated with layers.

    I think BW being workers stems from black male abandonment. I heard often in my family from men who were married- uncles etc…that they did not want their daughters to depend on a man. Well, bc I guess they could see that the result was not pretty with the generation of men coming behind them.

    Also people do things that bring them rewards/acknowledgment. Being useful (even if being exploited) is one of the ways that BW obtain any kind of praise. You can get praise for being smart or accomplishing something..doing for others (ymmv) but usually not for anything else.

    Women who rattle off accomplishments etc I think are attempting to create leverage in a dating situation. I think they think they are sending the message: you are not needed and therefore you can’t treat me any kind of way- if you do I can walk.

    Additionally, BM are warped in the sense that they say they don’t care about, but somehow always mysteriously seem to choose only college educated/professional “workers”. They expect for women to be high achievers who bring strong financial acumen to the table.

    So I could see how a BW who has dealt with this black mindset would be indoctrinated to see these things as desirable. I am not sure that maybe she would see this as entitling her to the great guy per se, but I could see how her psyche could be shaped to think that this is to her benefit. And this would possibly carry over into her dating IR.

    “For all we know, Morgan has stuff, but she has the good sense to let herself be the prize Scott has to attain……he sees someone who interests him, raises his curiosity, likely sexually arouses him and makes him want to PURSUE her.”

    This is the rub. BW dating/marrying IR – this will work. BW dealing with only BM this will not work and its obvious this type of courtship behavior is beaten out of BW.

    “While it was a fun movie, I was uncomfortable with what it was teaching black women. We have enough stories (from real life) where the women do it all for the men and end up heart and wallet broken, because they continue to see Morgan as a negative and Leslie as a positive.”

    Yes, another leg of the anti BW thriving stool.

    GoldenAh: Great points!! Thank you so much for including that distinction about black men and how in turn that affects black women, Oshun. That’s why I liked Stacey’s comment. You’ve added an important black male / female social aspect to what she’s talking about. It’s not a bad thing to be fiscally independent and hardworking, but as you say it warps a bit how we end up viewing ourselves, “It’s okay to use me (as a black woman),” because it’s one of the few areas where we receive any praise.

  9. JQAbroad
    March 9th, 2013 @ 7:10 PM

    I enjoyed this post. I truly believe women can be both Lesile and Morgan. Morgan reminded me a lot of Sandra from 227. She used her feminity to attract men, not how hard of a worker she is. Everyone is a hardworker, men need to see what you offer as woman, that other women don’t have, that’s what caught Scott’s attention to Morgan. Morgan treated herself as unattainable and unavailable. Morgan is a Rules girl.

    I’ve learned a lot from Morgan, Sandra, and Lesile and I use it to my advantage.

    GoldenAh: Thank you for stopping by and adding this comment, JQAbroad. And great points you’ve made as well. 🙂

  10. MsMellody
    March 10th, 2013 @ 7:23 PM

    Betty!!

    Please remove my last comment. Wrong photo!!

    GoldenAh: Okay.



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