Sunday, January 5, 2014

Book Review: How To Be Irresistible to White Men

I have now made 3 attempts at reading the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I keep getting distracted by other books! Its pathetic. I will finish it though!



Over the Christmas holiday I was approached by Lisa Marble, the author of How To Be Irresistible to White Men: Interracial Dating Secrets of Asian Women Black Women Who Swirl Should Know . She asked me to read and review her book.


I originally had no intention of reading this book. I loathe the idea that BW have to be something other than who they are in order to achieve their romantic goals. However, since Lisa approached, I figured why not- its no real sweat off my back. I also made it clear to her that I would operate under full disclosure with my readers and be 100% honest with my thoughts on the book.


As I previously stated I do not like the idea of telling BW that they need to be someone else or imitate other women in order to win. I feel that we just have not learned how to effectively leverage what we already have in order to get what we want- and that’s precisely what this book does, encourages BW to use what they already have strategically. Marble isn’t telling BW to be more like AW, instead she’s suggesting incorporating strategies AW have used successfully to their benefit. Her advice really isn’t that much different from what Evia Moore, Faith Dow, and Eugenia Berg have offered on their respective blogs. I learned some new tricks too. Some of Marble’s strategies include:


  • Moving to a better, target rich, neighborhood and how to afford it
  • How to enhance your online dating profiles so that you make it loud and clear- without explicitly stating- that you are interested in white men
  • How to be intentional in your dating and socializing


I felt that Marble relied too much on stereotypes and generalities (granted its a short book) about BW and Feminists in particular. Most BW do not loudly proclaim Feminism they shun it. Also, there are many feminine feminists. Feminists also able find husbands left and right- despite the men who complain about them. I am also somewhat uncomfortable with making WM “the prize”; however, society has thus conditioned women to believe that men and the title of wife are the ultimate prize so I can’t fault Lisa for capitalizing on that.  



This book reads very quickly- I finished it in about 2 hours with some distractions. So I can get back to my original schedule! It is a short and effective read ideal for young and/or college age women; however, I think all BW could learn something from this book.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Book Review: The New Rules of Attraction by Arden Leigh

Okay so maybe I'm only in semi-blog retirement.

Let me just say that I'm a Rules Girl and I thoroughly enjoyed The New Rules of Attraction (TNROA) by Arden Leigh.


This past summer there was a bit of a kerfuffle between author of TNROA Arden Leigh and The Rules girls Ellen Fein and Sherry Schneider, see here, here, and here for more background and context. Needless to say this little dust-up made me curious about the book TNROA.


Though I do practice The Rules and know that they do work I want to make it clear that I am NOT a certified Rules coach like India Kang or Vanessa Taylor. I have not worked extensively with Ellen and Sherry so, perhaps my take on this subject may be a bit different. 



TNROA is a well very well written and sophisticated book which should come as no surprise considering that Leigh is a professional writer and poet. I especially enjoyed parts one and two of TNROA and found many takeaways that a Rules girl could apply to her love life. TNROA also reminded me of one of my favorite blogsites- Alphanista.com.

The first part of TNROA was like an extended CUAO (Creature Unlike Any Other) chapter. From her work as a dominatrix Leigh has a unique perspective on attraction and how appearance, image, and branding interplay. Leigh goes into great detail about how to create a "calling card" so to speak that is specific and unique to you:  

  • Be mindful of your image and what it is telling the world. Choose colors, shapes, textures and fabrics that are best suited for your image, look, and body type. I like that Leigh is an advocate for bright colors and "standing out" from the crowd. The Rules girls advise an all black uniform which I don't necessarily agree with- especially for women of color. All black on AA women especially is boring and tends to blend us too much into the background- we need vibrant colors. See Solange Knowles and her signature color yellow. 
  • Engage all of the senses as part of your seduction package. Go beyond appearance alone. How does your skin (and hair) feel to the touch? How do you sound when you talk? Do you have a signature scent?
  • Maintain quality and interesting conversation with a man so that he will be open to talking about himself (information you can later use) and engaged. In the age of Facebook and the mobile phone we all could all put more thought into this area.

Leigh also emphasizes the importance of maintaining your mystery and some distance, knowing when to pull back, having your own life, and not being completely dependent or desperate for a man's attention or overly excited about the prospect of a relationship. She also gives very practical advice about sex. 

Thirdly, you also still do not have to make the first move- fellow Rules girls! You can have men come to you by cultivating an environment suitable to the men you want to attract. Leigh has great advice on how to extend and maintain an adequate social circle in order to expose yourself to the greatest number of people. For example, if you want to meet a fitness buff start (or join) a running club. This positions you as an outgoing authority figure on the subject and will bring potential targets to you without it seeming as if you are trying to meet a man. It's not that much different from this advice


I wasn't too fond of the book's latter parts. I didn't particularly agree with all of the advice about initiating and maintaining communication or, on approaching men or, her take on how to build momentum in a relationship. What Leigh describes is A LOT of work and firmly puts the woman in the driver's seat. Women must remember that they way you start is the way you'll finish; therefore, if you start the relationship doing all of the work you will most likely be the one to continue doing all of the work. FOREVER. Leigh even acknowledges this to a degree in this interview. Even so, and even in these later chapters there were still bits and pieces of useful information. 


Of course your approach to dating and relationships will depend on your comfort zone and what your ultimate goals are. what your ultimate relationship goal is. 


You can follow Arden on Twitter at @ardensirens.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Re-Writing Our History

If you haven't noticed I've somewhat retired from this blog. I feel that it is time, for everyone, to move on. I also feel that I've pretty much said everything that can be said on this subject. My long time readers will also note that I make it a point to NOT discuss black men on this forum. They aren't part of this equation. However, I have noticed a relatively recent, disturbing trend that I cannot ignore. 

I want to talk about what I'm observing because I want to make it known and I want others to be cognizant of it when they see it happening. This way people cannot say that they didn't know or weren't warned. This is too important to just pass off. When people can control and manipulate the narrative of YOUR history they can control your future and deny your present.  

I will not name or link back to any of the guilty parties because I do not want to give them any more undeserved shine. If you've been on social media for any amount of time you already know who it is that I am talking about. There is a small, but vocal, contingent of DBR and misogynistic African American males that are attempting to re-write the history of the African American woman in this country. They will claim things like:


  • BW were not raped during slavery. Instead they willingly went along with Massa's sexual proclivities for social and economic gain. The newly popular Bed-Wench stereotype. Also see the Harriet Tubman Sex Tape- Google it yourselves. I've asked people who assert this claim to provide historical evidence of this- as opposed to just talking recklessly. If this were accurate historians and academics would have documented it and it would be easy to reference and point to various documentation, research papers, etc. When asked I've been met with immediate deflection. 
  • The reason for the many mixed race "blacks", mulattoes, and light skinned black people is because BW willingly choose white men during segregation. Rarely, some BW were able to establish relationships and even marriages with WM during that time but most had very little say in the matter. 
  • BW took up Feminism with a fervor that no other woman in America did! Oh really? Yes, there were and are still black women feminists; but lets be real the Feminist movement of the 60s was largely a WW's movement as BW were already doing- out of necessity- what WW were fighting to do. This stems from the idea that Feminism is reason for the downfall of the black family in America.

Among other things. 

This is all happening for a reason. These men do not like that their power over BW is waning. They do not want to continue to see the prime resource that they still control- BW's time, energy, and money- going elsewhere or demanding some form of reciprocity in return. Without you they would have nothing and they know it. They know that even though they may put them on a pedestal, other races of women are not going to be down, working, protesting, and marching on their behalf the way BW historically have. They need the narrative to be that BW were never really down for the BM and the black family to begin with.  They need people to see BW in a certain light in order to validate their failures, dysfunctions, and choices. They need BW to feel guilty in order to continue the gravy train.    

Do not ignore this or pass it off to the side as we've done in the past. Call it out when you see it and correct it when need be. Whoever controls the past also controls the future.  


"If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself." 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Wise Words

I love this Tweet from Kola Boof. I think its true. As controversial as she may be she is often the only one telling it the way it really is. 


Friday, June 14, 2013

I’m Going to Keep This Short and Sweet…



There is more to life than being someone’s wife.

I now well know that that is a revolutionary idea for some.

It seems to me that many women out there have become marriage obsessed. Yes, I went there. Some of you are indeed obsessed. I suppose there's nothing wrong with that on an individual level, to each his own. It just seems that for many women having a man, a new last name, and a ring is the ULTIMATE status symbol. We’ve now made men the ultimate prize and now chase after them instead of it being the other way around. A man is supposed to find you. Your job is to make yourself available to be found by the right one.

Don’t get me wrong. I am pro-marriage. I would love to be in love and be married, but I’m not going to let that define me…anymore. Believe me I KNOW how hard that is as a woman because we are STILL constantly told that our value is still in part determined by whether or not we’re valued by a man. Some married women even like to throw that back in single women’s faces; and, I suspect that for some that’s all they have. That’s their only identity. It's something they have that you don't. Woman to woman warfare can be very vicious. Moreover, don’t be surprised that while you’re looking at your married friend wishing you had a husband and maybe some kids, she may be looking back at you wishing she had your freedom and experiences. And no, I am not implying that marriage is a jail sentence. The grass isn’t always greener, it’s just a different type of grass. That’s also why I think it’s important to ask ourselves why it is that we want to be married in the first place. Is it because that’s what we’re told to do or, is it something else?


Rest assured, there is nothing wrong with you. You are not too smart, too educated, too independent, too worldly, too whatever to have what it is that you desire. I know many of us have received that message in some form or other at some point in time. I for one got tired of twisting myself into a pretzel to be what I thought it was that men wanted. There is a very fine line between doing what you can to make yourself most appealing (somethings do need to change) and being disingenuous about who and what you really are. There are pros and cons of each you must be willing to live with the potential consequences of both. I’m not going to dumb myself down and I hope you won’t either (if you are, something is wrong see, paragraph 3). Personally, once I let go of the idea that being single was a problem that I must fix, I was a whole lot happier and thus more attractive. My mojo is definitely back! (If you follow me on Twitter you know what that means)  

For me, this is part of the reason why I’ve had to change some social circles and blogs that I frequent. I am a sensitive person (hey, its who I am!) and I have to protect myself; but, that doesn’t mean that I can’t take constructive criticism and make changes when needed either.   

In the meantime, enjoy the single life and the journey.  You might not have this time in your life again.



P.S.
Maybe that wasn't so short or sweet...apologies! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

WOMEN DO NEED MEN!

I am so tired of this sentiment. So very tired! I also don't think this is a sentiment that all women are projecting. 

Here's the deal. It's not that modern women don't need men; it's that we don't need them in the same way that our grandmother's did. People, men and women alike, really don't seem to understand that; so, I'll repeat it:

It's not that modern women don't need men, it's that we don't need them in the same way our grandmothers needed their men. 

They say three's the charm, so let it sink in one more time: It's not that modern women don't need men, it's that we don't need them in the same way our grandmothers needed men. I also said it three different ways, did you catch that? 

So, can we please stop looking into the same box for a one size fits all solution?

  • Some women like and NEED their independence and NEED a man who can embrace that and work together in their relationship. Others are happier with and NEED a good provider. 
  • Some women want to have a family and NEED a man in order to create one. 
  • Some women will NEED a man to have regular, (hopefully) STD free sex. 
  • Some women NEED a man who will be an equal partner to them. Others may NEED one who can be emotionally supportive and cheer them on in their endeavors. 


I could go on forever, literally, as there are many different combinations and possibilities. Each woman has her own set of needs specific to her (perhaps that's part of the problem); it is up to us as individuals to determine what it is that we can and cannot live with. Dr. John Gray does a great job discussing how women can best articulate and put their particular needs on display when dealing with men in his book Mars and Venus On A Date- I highly recommend Dr. Gray's books. Each couple will have to determine what type of relationship works best for them and, I think that's a great thing.  

To the men, dare I say it, some will consider this man bashing heresy, but some men will need to learn to adapt and evolve a bit more. I know women have changed drastically over the past 60 years. I wholeheartedly concede that. But ask yourself have you really adapted to your current environment and social changes as much as you possibly can? Are you rolling with the punches or are you still trying to live like its 1970? This isn't only evident in relationships but in educational attainment and economic participation as well. 

You can stay rigid or you can bend, it's your choice. Things aren't going to go back to the way they were and I'm really tired of the animosity and negativity between men and women. I think for the most part we're good people who are just talking past each other. Men and women are going to have to learn new ways of relating to each other and I'm confident that we can.  

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Don't Let Them Steal Your Happiness!




In yoga yesterday morning, my awesome teacher Jennifer Pastiloff talked about one of her recent workshops where she met a man who's wife told him every morning: 

"Don't let them steal your happiness!" 

This wasn't the theme of the class, her classes usually have a theme, but this REALLY spoke to me. It got me thinking about the things I give power to; the things I allow to steal my happiness. What are they? 
  • Statistics! Negative statistics about women, black women in particular, about who we are as people..as women..as mothers...our situation. It's almost always negative. 
  • Other people's opinions. Different perspectives can be important but too many can also be overwhelming.  
  • Certain blogs and publications. Yes, even some BWE blogs. 
  • People who dislike me only because of my race or gender- or both. 
  • Most TV news stations. 
  • Focusing on everything that I'm doing "wrong."
  • My new department head. This is really unfortunate because I loved my job at one time. 

Its important to NOT spend too much time focusing on what steals your happiness, but it is necessary to recognize what does so that you can avoid it in the future. What does make me happy? 
  • Yoga
  • The prospects of my new business
  • Working out 
  • The beach 
  • Hiking in the hills
  • Nurturing. I love seeing my plants grow or caring for a pet. 
  • Volunteering at a homeless shelter or food bank 

And many other things, too many to list here. 


They say happiness is a choice. We also choose what it is that we focus on. So what makes you happy? Focus on that.



P.S. 
My yoga teacher is incredible! As I've mentioned previously I hated yoga until started practicing with her. It really changed my life. Jennifer leads yoga retreats and classes all over the country and world; so, if she should ever come to your town, TAKE HER CLASS!