Rihanna’s battered face after Chris Brown thumped her.
Allegations about Tamar and Vince have been swirling around for a minute now, honey.
And eeeeek, cover my ears! Nas and Kelis – say it ain’t so!
There’s also a disproportionate number of black women staying in these abusive relationships compared with any other race. We’re gonna dive deep into the top 3 reasons why women stay and why, in particular, black women do (Yep, we’re not gonna sugarcoat anything here!).
Top 3 reasons women put up with domestic abuse:
For some women, you don’t want to be alone, and you don’t know if you’ll ever find someone else again. You’re scared of ending up being a 61-year-old virgin like LeToya Jackson.
You don’t know how you’ll survive because he handles all of the finances. What if you try to leave and he kills you?
Sometimes you catch yourself remembering what it was like at the start. He’ll say or do something that’ll make it seem ‘not all that bad’ anymore. You think, ‘maybe I’m blowing this out of proportion?’
That scene in Tyler Perry’s ‘For Colored Girls’ will forever be etched into my mind.
What if he stops you from seeing your kids or worse, if he takes it out on them?
Now, top 3 reasons black women stay in abusive relationships:
Racism or Sexism – What’cha gon’ choose?
Within your own relationship, you’re choosing between protecting yourself as a woman or supporting your man who’s being beat down by the system. Look alive sista!
You’re getting beat down too. Get gone!
Heaven forbid this gets out! “Why’re you trying to make him look bad in front of white people?” Forget them.
You Feel Like It’s Your Only Option
Hello, call the police!
But, how do we do that if we don’t trust them? Getting arrested for staying in your own Air BnB. And, what consequences will you face when he finds out you called for help…
Domestic abuse themes are prevalent in our novels because they’re awfully just as prevalent in our own lives. And, let’s not get it twisted, a lot of men suffer from abuse at the hands of women. And, for a black man? Well, that’s a whole other article.
How many times have we read these lines in urban romance books?
They’re followed up by a real good hot and heavy sex scene (ooo-la-la!)
Did the couple use protection?
Did either party mention using protection? (Don’t just leave it to the fellas, ladies).
Did you even stop reading and notice?
Now, now, I’m not judging you because, I’m also guilty of forgetting to include condoms from time-to-time when writing an explicit scene.
We’ve all had those WOW moments which have led us to tumbling into the bedroom without common sense and a condom. They go a little like this.
This brother at the bar is looking kinda fine
He’s coming over
So, we’ve had a couple of drinks and my panties are already melting
And, now we’re making out at the bar
And, we’re making out in his car
Oh, now we’ve made it into his room
Ooh, I like that!
Oooh crap, what just happened?!
It happens. However, this proportionately occurs more in urban romance books than our phenomenal every day lives. Do you think it’s time for contraception to be included in our urban romances?
I know. I know. Some of us were really looking forward to the unprotected sex scenes and the inevitable “it just happened” the next morning. Especially, when a surprise baby mama shows up later in the book and things really start getting interesting. But, unprotected sex typically has lots of consequences in our urban romances – even DEATH (dum-dum-dum!)
There are many consequences for unprotected sex. Here are 3 main ones:
You can’t tell if someone has an STI by how they look or act (or, even say). There are a lot of STIs, like HIV, which can’t be treated by antibiotics. There are even some that have NO symptoms – including chlamydia!
Having a baby is a serious responsibility and will change your whole world. Some of us may be in school, busy at work or planning to travel the world. Then, poof! 2 pink lines change your life foreva!
Do you really want that guy at the bar to be the father of your child and tied to you for the next 18 years?
If YOU want your partner to wear a condom during sex then, should he respect you and your wishes? How would you feel if he refuses?
Let’s get more real.
There are some young women who grow up in homes where sex isn’t discussed. Some of our parents tried (and failed) to give us “the talk”. And, most young women get their misinformation from friends in school, social media and – yes, you’ve got it – urban romance novels.
All readers are clearly responsible for their own actions. Urban romance novels are just that – novels! They’re made for light reading, late nights with a glass of wine, and girl chat sessions with your besties.
Yet, we live in a society where young women are getting illegal butt injections because of IG posts. Where young women are starting fights in school as if training for a spot on Love and Hip Hop. Do you think they may be using these novels for sex education?
“Damn, dropping your panties on the first date? What a whore!”
“Got your legs open like a 7-11…24 hours a day!”
This type of slut shaming is very common nowadays.
Remember seeing Amber Rose crying at a slut walk? She broke down hearing Wiz Khalifa’s lyric “I fell in love with a stripper, and fell out of love quicker”.
Or, how about seeing a sexy picture of Blac Chyna (and that IG video! Wink, wink)? Hearing judgment rain down on her from men and women ALL OVER Twitter, whilst the video was leaked without her consent!
And, at the same time, Donna from Black Ink Crew is filmed dippin’ and doin’ it in a bathroom at a local restaurant. People chanted “Ho! Ho! Ho!” so loud, my ears were ringing.
Well, this will be about intimacy on a whole other level. For the first time in history, women are dating without a chaperone. Amazing, right?! But, this comes with a major dilemma.
Should we give “the cookie” away on the first date?
Now, Mr Steve Harvey has famously stuck by his “90 Day Rule” where, you do not have sex within the first 90 days of dating a man. This seems like a healthy compromise for women who are afraid of the stigma that comes from having sex on the first date.
However, there are some men who have stuck around for the 90 days and, have still proceeded to hit it then quit it.
And, there are some men who have had sex on the first date then, have watched the SAME woman walk down the aisle a few years later.
No one has the right to tell you whether or not you should have sex on the first date or even wait until you are married. This is about your own emotional and spiritual journey.
And, if you sighed or burst out laughing at the “waiting to married” line – that’s not cool either. Slut shaming or modesty shaming is foul on both sides.
But, let’s talk to the women who want to get freaky.
You’ve gone on a date with Mr. Tall-Dark-And-Handsome. The chemistry is off-the-charts from the moment you two met.
He picked you up early (CP time DOES NOT exist).
and, in his OWN car (we don’t want NO scrub!).
He held all of the doors for you, stood up when you stood up and you had REAL good conversation. He respects you and you like how he conducts himself.
And, at the same time…
He makes you feel desirable and sexy and makes it clear that you are HIS woman. You can’t keep your eyes off his muscle outlined by his shirt. The way he always manages to maintain physical contact with you by brushing your leg and arm. Woah! You feel like you’re on a completely different planet. And, he’s had them “eyes” on you all night (you know what I’m talking about).
He drops you off and is waiting for a signal for you to invite him inside.
All there is to say is if YOU want to…
Go and get your bad boy!
So… what do you think? Sex on the first date…yay or nay? Let me know in the comments.
Below is my reply, and I would certainly welcome your comments, so please leave them below.
Contrary to how some may feel:
Not ALL black women enjoy wearing a black eye after asking their boyfriend to pick up after himself.
Not ALL black women are trying to get as many baby daddies as birthday candles they blow out each year.
Not ALL black women get abortions like hair salon appointments.
In fact… I don’t know too many who would say they enjoy this (or any!).
There are so many stereotypes about black women out there in the world. But what I know to be true is:
ALL black women are powerful.
ALL black women are ethereal.
ALL black women are unyielding.
Do we make mistakes? Hell, yes. We are human, after all! We live and learn, sometimes repeat the same mistakes and learn again. We are liberating ourselves from the societal constraints in films like: “Girls Trip”, music by my Queen: “Lemonade” and, my favorite tool for liberation?
African American Urban Fiction.
Writers, like me, use our creative license to give you an Urban Fiction storyline that you will enjoy but also learn from. These may not be the typically socially conscious book but they are still designed to uplift, inspire and inform as well as entertain readers as we illustrate the dangers of urban life. Think about books like “The Coldest Winter Ever”, “Moth to a Flame”, “Life” (yes, Bae’s book), “Midnight”, we can go on and on…
All of these traditional and early urban stories demonstrated the dangers and misfortunes of urban life and taught a lesson about the street life while also being entertaining. Some end happily and some don’t. It’s the same with the current wave of urban books.
There are reasons many love to read Urban Fiction. Are there parts which are distasteful? YES! But, the same can and should be said about other genres as well. The reality is that many of the different scenarios we shine a light on are actually true to real-life situations.
There ARE black women out there who utilise abortions as a form of birth control.
There ARE black women who glamorise lighter skin and denigrate women of a darker hue.
There ARE black women who take back guys who are abusive and cheat.
But guess what? It’s not just African American women. TRIFLING is not relegated to a specific color. Black, brown and white populations have trifling people in their demographic makeup. It’s not something that we own but it is a part of life that plagues people in the urban/hood areas.
The majority of urban books are framed as a cautionary tale. Plenty of books show how terrible outcomes come about because of the abortions, abuse, unprotected sex, etc. – AIDS, deaths and such included… People don’t just get off easy in our books. They pay the consequences for their actions.
Sure, there is a love story and the hero often may be someone who talks and acts reckless and may even be disrespectful but the character always shows growth from there as the series progresses… just like in any other genre.
Other genres have their negative repeat issues that circulate in their books. Take a minute to scroll through ‘mainstream’ romance novels and you’ll see that everybody over there has a ‘Christian Grey BDSM guy’ who sexually enslaves the timid, shy heroine, or a bad ass biker boy who shuns love for casual sex but eventually finds the one he can’t resist, or what about the billionaire romance where the bad ass mafia heir finds true love with the morally sound good girl he just can’t resist?
And the way black women are represented? Some mainstream authors love to have a “blue-eyed blonde” or typical looking character type. All genres have a “type” but I think the urban authors I’ve read have been great with having a variety of physical make-ups in our books.
The truth is that Black women come in all shapes and sizes… and I’ve seen that variation in the books that I’ve read. I’ve seen that variation in the books I’ve written.
And where do we get this notion from that an ‘exotic look’ means the character is not entirely black? With all the different features that Black women have (high cheekbones, almond/slanted eyes, etc) ‘exotic’ is most definitely a description that pertains to a Black woman. A Black woman can look ‘exotic’ because she has a Jamaican, Nigerian, Trinidadian and American background… all ‘black’ areas. If you think ‘exotic’ equals ‘European’ or that Black women can’t have long hair or light eyes, YOU may be part of the problem.
Proper promotion is the lifeblood of the industry and will often make or break the success of your book, no matter how good it is. Your publishing company will undoubtedly assist in the promotion of your book but understand that this by itself isn’t enough.
A major part of being and establishing yourself as an author is the promotion you consistently do surrounding your books. Here are some tried and tested tips to catapult your book promotional strategies.
Be proactive. You cannot sit on your laurels and assume that just because you’ll get some promotion from your publishing company that it will be sufficient. Remember that publishing companies have numerous books to promote. You may have one or two. Focus your energy on promoting your projects daily. Be consistent. The more eyes that see your promotions, the better.
Once you’ve released something on the Amazon platform, you have the ability to create a page linked to your work that has various necessary information. This is the perfect place for reader’s to go to see what else you may have written.
You have to generate buzz surrounding your books. You can do this by pulling pictures of what characters look like, including excerpts and blurbs, offering a giveaway, etc. There are some ways you can make your book look incredibly appealing by implementing specific promotional tactics. Be creative and be consistent. Once excitement is high, don’t let your foot off the gas.
Discover more valuable promotional tips by watching the video!
When a Queen finds her King, she goes from strong to invincible. Strong women have to make tough decisions that require them to use their head instead of their heart. Every strong woman knows and values the worth of her king. Soulmates never dissipate.
“Naw, I don’t wanna grow up,” you say to yourself. But, we all have to at some point.
There is a moment in all of our lives when we have to step up and take responsibility for anything and everything in our lives. Where you are is a culmination of every single decision you have made up until this point.
Remember, when you point the finger at somebody else, there are 3 pointing straight back at ya. If you find yourself saying things like “She didn’t do what she was supposed to do…” or “If only Kevin wouldn’t go buying mansions for 32-year-old masseuses…”
In a relationship, it’s something we women need to be careful about doing. Make sure you only take responsibility for things that are completely within your control and have your name on it. As you get further along in your relationship, you’re going to have to learn some things about making those tough decisions.
Here are 2 reminders to help you with making difficult decisions.
3. Trust Your Gut Instinct
“When ya know, ya know”. We all see women who have stayed with cheating men and we wonder “How the hell is she doing it?” Well, what if you love literally every single thing about him and it was a one-off. Some of us would go, “Damn right, I’m gone”.
It all comes down to your instinct – no matter what your head or heart say about the matter. Trust your gut. It never lets you down.
4. What Do You Value Most?
Trust. Honesty. Loyalty. Soulmate. There are so many standards and principles we have that can never be messed with. Make sure that the hard decisions you make are in line with your values.
For example, if your most important value is to stay with your King, then you’ll be able to stick with him regardless of anything. Know your values and act according to them. When you know yourself, you know what to do and what you really want.
You refer as many friends as possible so you are entered many times.
The more times you’re entered, the more chances you have of winning!
You can share on Facebook, Twitter, by email or anywhere you can post your personal link.
Good Luck—The Porscha Sterling Team
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Campaign Period: Entries will be accepted online starting on January 29, 2018, 18:00 EST and ending February 4, 2018. All online entries must be received by February 4, 2018.
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The publishing house you select to publish your book matters more than you may realize. While your goal is to undoubtedly get your book represented by your top choice publishing house, it’s best to know exactly what to look for when deciding on which publisher to go with. This decision is no small feat and should be reached after exhaustive consideration.
But what should you look for in a publishing company? Many people don’t even know where to start and may ignore specific red flags simply because they don’t know any better. Watch the video to find out. Not got time to watch? Scroll down to read 5 key tips to bear in mind.
There should be a clear air and level of professionalism that can be readily determined by how the company conducts themselves. Things like websites, book covers, all images, along with how the staff conducts themselves on public social spaces.
Make sure the people who represent the publishing house are as legit as they say. Are they knowledgeable about the industry and its particular sector? Do they also have published work? Is it of admirable quality? You should know the answers to these questions before choosing any particular publisher.
What is the publishing houses vision? Are they reader focused or author focused? It is possible that they could be both? How is this displayed and exhibited in their rhetoric and marketing strategies? How do they embody this specific culture?
Where does the focus lie? Is it one that encourages the focus on brands, careers, and development? Are they enriching and encouraging? Do they want to take on more books and expand their reach because it matters and they care?