Why Ciara & Pastor John Gray Are Right To Advise Single Ladies to Level Up…

Hello World,

I know that I’ve been gone for a few days. Due to a family emergency, my hubby and I ventured up north to last Tuesday and just got back on Sunday. And once I returned to my regular Internet habits, I was bombarded with the backlash that R&B star Ciara faced from single ladies over the weekend simply because of a snippet of a Pastor John Gray sermon that she tweeted. See the message that had black Twitter blazing below…

What about this is offensive? I don’t get it…but below are some of the criticisms that Ciara faced after she tweeted this sermon snippet…

From The Grio:

“All Gray did in that clip was plant the “Pick Me” seed—the belief that women who behave in a certain way are worthy of marriage over others (e.g., being a homebody, being ride or die, prioritizing a man’s needs over their own, etc.)—into insecure women, and that is extremely dangerous.

For women still on the search for themselves, this type of rhetoric morphs into their internal law, leaving them either desperately seeking love or feeling worthless in its absence. And what’s worse, the Black Church has been weaponizing scriptures like these to target those insecurities, manipulate women and make women more subordinate for years.”

From Twitter:

From The Real:

So I have a few thoughts about this criticism (obviously since I’m writing this post). First of all, ever since Ciara dared to leave her first child’s father Future, who has several children with several woman, and marry devout Christian football star Russell Wilson, she has been the subject of unfair scrutiny. It’s almost as if folk are incensed that Ciara did not resign herself to be among Future’s harem of women just because she gave birth to his child and decided to level up with a man who wanted to be committed to her and her alone. So I think some of this backlash can be attributed to jealousy. Plain and simple.

Now as far as the other criticism is concerned, Ciara felt the need to clarify her position after all of the response she received from her tweet. See her Instagram post below:

❤️

A post shared by Ciara (@ciara) on

Obviously, after what happened with Future, this woman had a “Come to Jesus” moment. To be honest, as I watched her date him (from press reports) before their son was born, I thought she was downgrading herself. I remember seeing some picture with her and several mothers of his children and I wondered why anyone would voluntarily sign up for that…It didn’t seem that she truly loved herself AND you have to truly love yourself before anyone, romantic connection or otherwise, can love you…Below is the pic…I think one of these women is Future’s sister but the rest are mothers of his children…SMH…

Now obviously Ciara wanted to get married AND be in a monogamous relationship, and there is nothing wrong to aspiring to that. Marriage and or monogamy aren’t for some people but this message is for those single ladies who want to have these experiences. Furthermore, being married or single should not be ranked. A married woman is not better than a single woman and single woman is not better than a married woman. However, when I was single and wanted to be married, someone casually mentioned to me that maybe I needed to curb my friendships with my male friends. I know this sounds drastic, but I thought about it. At one point, I had several male friendships that I had cultivated over the years. Some were strictly platonic and some had an undercurrent of flirtation. This person explained that I needed to literally create space for a husband and that having all of these male friends filled the space that a husband needed to fill. It made sense so I slowly stopped cultivating those friendships. I mean I would talk to them if they called, but I didn’t reach out anymore.  In sum, I wanted to be a wife so I acted like I was one before it actually manifested. I think a wife’s primary male friendship should be with her husband and vice versa for the man.

But love and romance isn’t the only field where we should level up. If you want to be in a certain career, for example, it is common knowledge that you should present yourself like you are already in that career. If you want to buy a home, you should conduct yourself as a homeowner by taking charge of your credit, saving, etc. If nothing changes, nothing changes!

Now some are saying that Pastor Gray is focusing on women when the sermon should focus on men and women. I get that. But I haven’t seen the whole sermon to know if he addressed men as well. I agree it can be annoying when some male ministers are constantly preaching to women about romantic relationships. But even outside of the church, women of all races are always the primary audience for romantic relationship messages. I mean, how many men do you know read romance novels or watch The Bachelor? It’s supply and demand at work. Now, this doesn’t mean that men should not be addressed in various areas when it comes to romantic relationships because they should, but judging after a snippet of a sermon is extreme.

So that’s all I have… Do you plan to level up like Ciara and Pastor John Gray advise?

Any thoughts?

Why the ‘Good Morning America’ Headline About Meghan Markle and ‘Hope’ for Black Women Wasn’t Offensive To Me…

It's Not the First Time That ABC News Offended Black Women Either...

Hello World,

ABC News’ (courtesy of “Good Morning America” )recent article originally entitled  “For Many Black Women, Meghan Markle’s Engagement Offers ‘Hope’” posted last week had black women all up in their feelings last week! In fact, the article has even caused the author Joi-Marie McKenzie to get hate mail, according to thegrio.com!

A few of the reactions to the controversial headline:

The backlash is so fierce that ABC News changed the headline to “After Meghan Markle’s Engagement, Some Are Celebrating” with an editor’s note:

The story headline has been updated. The original headline misrepresented the intention of the story, which was to report on the excitement among some black women about Meghan Markle’s joining the British royal family. 

But this isn’t the first time that black women have been all up in a tizzy and ready to rush ABC News! In fact, the last time I remember this type of backlash was December of 2009. Remember this article from ABC News: “Single, Black, Female — and Plenty of Company?” From the article, you already know what’s up and the worse part about the article was that black women in Atlanta, specifically, were the focus. At the time, I was a single, black female in Atlanta and so weary from looking for love that I really couldn’t collect my thoughts on what I thought was an attack until January.  Here is what I wrote on this blog:

I had composed what I thought was an eloquent, sociological diatribe of a post about the ABC “Nightline” piece that aired last month about black women, particularly those living in Atlanta, and their inability to find mates due to the shortage of black men…But since this is the Internet and in the interest of self-preservation, I thought better of it…

And now I don’t feel like sugar coating what I originally said…

So I simply want to know what y’all think…take a look at the video if you haven’t seen it already, and let me know…

‘Preciate your thoughts…i.am.out…

And here is the original video of the segment on which the article was based:

From this article came this dismal statistic:  “Forty-two percent of U.S. black women have never been married, double the number of white women who’ve never tied the knot.” In fact, this article and the statistics quoted in the article caused such a seismic shift that that the article was linked to in an article published just a few a months ago  “Black, Single, and Waiting: For 15 years, The Bachelor Franchise Has Made a Caricature of Blackness. Could This Season Finally Be different?” on slate.com.

While I was initially horrified that I and black women were written about like we truly are the “de mule uh de world” (a reference to how black women are viewed in one of my favorite books “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston), the report, article and subsequent debate Why Can’t a Successful Black Woman Find a Man?  held in Atlanta in April 2010 by ABC News in response to this article forced me to get real clear about what I wanted and needed in a husband and the fact that I wanted and needed a husband. And to be apologetic about it as well. It’s funny that two months after that report, I went on my very first date with my husband.

So when I saw all of this fervor online last week, it reminded me of how I once felt: victimized, a bit ashamed (if I am being completely honest) and unable to hide one of my deepest desires anymore. But those feelings led to one of the best decisions of my life. So the headline last week wasn’t the best, I’ll admit, but if you (and this is for single black women reading this post) find yourself ready to fight after reading the ABC News article, consider focusing inward instead of outward.

And if somewhere down deep the fact that Meghan Markle has found her Prince Charming (or he found her) has given you hope that your Prince Charming is somewhere out there, do what needs to be done (and only you can determine that) so that you are ready to meet him despite negative statistics. For me, it took kissing frogs, dating mentors, professional assistance, online dating, a slew of dating books, prayers and more, but my husband, perfect-for- me-with- all-of-his imperfections (I aine perfect either) Prince Charming, finally came along…

So no, to recap, ABC News (courtesy of Good Morning America) headline “For Many Black Women, Meghan Markle’s Engagement Offers ‘Hope’” wasn’t offensive…

Any thoughts?

 

 

See Kim Fields, Jasmine Guy, Tatyana Ali & More Star in Lifetime’s “Wrapped Up in Christmas” on Saturday, Nov. 27!

Hello World,

I hope y’all had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends yesterday! However your year has been, I know that we all have something that we can thank God for, right? And now, it’s the most wonderful time of the year: Christmas!!! One of my favorite ways to celebrate this season is watching Christmas movies! And y’all know that pop culture is never far from my mind as evidenced by the tagline of this blog (blogging the cross section of faith, relationships and pop culture)! On Saturday, a Christmas movie with some of my favorite pop culture icons “Wrapped Up in Christmas” is debuting tomorrow night at 8 p.m. on Lifetime!!!

See the description below:

Christmas is one of Heather’s (Tatyana Ali or Ashley Banks from the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”) favorite times of year but this year, as the manager of the upscale Town Center Mall, she has to be the Christmas Grinch and cancel the leases of under-performing stores. One afternoon, Heather’s niece, Molly asks the mall Santa to help find a boyfriend for her beloved aunt. Unbeknownst to Molly and Heather, “Santa” is actually Ryan (Brendan Fehr, “Guardians of the Galaxy”), who is working at the mall for the holidays and helping his Aunt Patty run her failing toy store. As Heather and Ryan begin to fall for each other, they have no idea of one another’s true identity: Heather who is tasked with closing his aunt’s store and Ryan who is too ashamed to tell Heather that he is the actually the mall Santa. Will Molly’s Christmas wish come true, or will Heather be stuck as the Town Center Grinch? The film also stars Kim Fields (Régine Hunter from “Living Single”), Jasmine Guy (Whitley Gilbert Wayne from “A Different World”), Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey the butler from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”), Dan Lauria, Jackée Harry (Lisa Landry from “Sister, Sister”) and Mindy Sterling. “Wrapped Up In Christmas” premieres Saturday, November 25th at 8/7c on Lifetime and is produced by ARO Entertainment. Jeff Schenck executive produces. Peter Sullivan serves as a director from a script by Jennifer Notas Shapiro.

Check out the trailer below:

Any thoughts?