Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Are African-American Women Gold Diggers?

I was having a brief conversation with a magazine publisher that features hip-hop refer to Kanye as a "positive" rap artist. Hmm, well I'm going to have to ask for a test on that one, unless we're going to say positively sexist!  I know, I know the song is about an ALLEGED gold digger. There are other songs he's released that are 'good' i.e. positive - but this just goes to show you that everyone has to be checked now and again. Lest there be any confused folks out there about who this alleged gold digger is there's a line in the song where he threatens to "leave you for a white girl". Who else is supposed to be threatened by that?

I wonder if the artists who are considered positive are really the lesser of the more depraved ones which isn't an accurate assessment. The bar has been lowered and like a see-saw tipped far in favor of let's say - NOT POSITIVE  - so anything that lifts it up is being considered POSITIVE. I also think the word positive is being used in place of normative because depravity has been allowed to run amuck. Like I've been saying in my music/cultural appropriation series WEEDS have been allowed to flourish and choke the life out of the garden. So the few plants and flowers that still exist are the EXCEPTION when it's the WEEDS that don't belong. 

Now let's talk about this scandalous female: Sapphire, Jezebel, Delilah, Lilith, (the predatory lesbian if you want to get into a little film critique as well: see All About Eve) there's always some categorization for a trecherous broad. She was always the exception though and acted alone. The vast majority of women have to be virtuous and unassuming for such trechery to exist!

The problem I see now is that many AA women are being assigned this label, in fact a near total majority by a few who have access to media. I consider this an attack against AA women. We have to look at who has a vested interest in devaluing the cache of all Black women and particularly AAs. The term has begun to be misused and applied to women who expect reciprocity in their relationships. Somehow the idea that a woman who knows her worth and commands full participation from a potential partner is threatening to some (weak) men - and male-identified women. 

The gold digger's motivation stems in part from wanting to secure a financial future for herself. Also a value has been assigned to her appeal. Which is in itself a reaction to patriarchy. When does basic survival become greed? We know that women aren't paid the same as men for doing the same work. We know that the motherhood ideal is worshipped but not supported in this capitalistic society. Otherwise healthcare, childcare, doulas, sick leave and maternity/family leave would be covered and enforced under Federal law. If women are expected to make "good" choices in choosing a partner, why can't men be held to the same standard and pick a woman of substance instead of arm candy they can have sex with quickly?

How can a woman be treated unfairly AND demonized for using all assets at her disposal? I'm not condoning lying and thieving and there are truly some who behave horribly, but am I expected to believe this is the majority situation when we see how poorly women fare in this society and around the world? Most men want to control everything and dictate the terms in their favor and some take the maximum while putting in the minimum - if they can get away with it. That's up to us to squash that. Since most women and children in this country live in poverty who are these gold diggers? Are these impossibly attractive women (who are deemed as such due to skin shade racism) and have their pick of men (to compete for by catering to the whims of these men or trying to manipulate a situation to their advantage)? Are these men who are incredibly picky and like to play with as many vaginas as they can but don't want to be a provider and protector?

You know the issue of having unwanted or unplanned children can be easily solved. Men - don't leave birth control up the woman and have a simple medical procedure. Snip snip the end. Oh wait...but some of you don't want to do that! It messes with your "manhood"! Some of you define that by the number of women (or men) you can have sex with, how tough a persona you can project and other superficial things that have NOTHING to do with character development or morals. So I think the bulk of this accusation is total BS. Fatherless children are missing a life rudder that would help guide them better through choppy waters than alone.

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Francyne Walker said...

Faith, I often wondered about this term "gold diggers" myself. I see nothing wrong in a woman securing "reciprocity" in a relationship, thus a financial future for her and her family. I find it interesting that a lot of times this term comes from some men who don't really have the means nor the maturity to understand their roles as a provider and a protector. I really think a lot of men use this "blabber" as a smokescreen to blame women for their lack of support in their foolishness and not take responsibility for their own plight. Glad I found you on twitter. Thanks for posting this. Fist bump to you my sister!

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Hello Francyne: Thanks for weighing in on this. I've been watching Make Me A Supermodel reality show. One of the male contestants is married w/a child. His wife called to tell him they were short money for rent that month while he's away. So I know the producers are making it more dramatic but the guy completely understands his role as a provider and protector. He discussed how much his family means to him and the expectations he has to be that provider. Not only is he really good-looking but he's responsible and loving. I so want him to win now because of that.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

To the Anonymous poster who just left a comment: if you want to have a constructive conversation then you need to redirect your ranting. Read my comment rules to know why I've banned it. You make excuses by claiming we should not be worried about terminology and the display of images of all Black women. People have ignored things for far too long which is why we've descended into a madness of dysfunction and numerous cesspools. Of course being a gold digger doesn't apply to me or anyone I know. That's not the point. Perhaps you need to actually READ my post instead of bashing those who wish to take a stand against an injustice. Come back when you're ready to sit at the grown folks' table and talk - but thanks for the rant because it just validates my point.

rikyrah said...

I think golddiggers across all races. They are a specific kind of woman.

Don't think Black women are any more suspect than any others.

Khadija said...


The usually unexplored angle to this topic is the following question: What kind of guy uses his money as his primary "draw" for women? I notice that the males who complain about so-called "gold diggers" typically:

(1) Are unfit, unable or unwilling to perform the NORMAL man's role of protector and provider for a wife and children; and/or

(2) Have not developed any other basis for a woman being affiliated with them. In other words, no personality, no character, and no values. So all these males can offer as "bait" is the prospect of material gain.

There's a universe of difference between a man demonstrating that he is fit, willing, and able to be an effective protector and provider in addition to having a pleasing personality and good character; and a man dangling access to material goodies as his only "bait" for women.

This reminds me of a silly conversation I had with a BM coworker years ago. He was complaining about so-called "gold diggers." But had no answer when I pointed out that the chance for access to material goodies were the terms of the emotional contracts he had made with the exes that he was complaining about.

As I told him: "One of the first things you told these women was that you're an attorney. Why are you complaining when that ONE attribute is what you used to capture their attention?

You didn't talk about your hobbies, interests, or values. You talked about your professional pedigree. How can you complain that these women are looking for access to your money when THAT was the bait you used to get them? THAT was your unspoken 'contract'!"
I also questioned whether he ever approached women who were his peers in terms of education, income, etc. He hemmed and hawed, but the truth was that he didn't approach women who were peers. Which points out another angle about such men---They want to use money as leverage for CONTROL over women.

Like I mentioned, this silly conversation took place years ago. At this point, I wouldn't waste my breath going back and forth with somebody like that.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Rikyrah: My point was a lot of the men who'd be willing to categorize certain Black women as gold diggers would be more than happy to provide for others and the only difference would stem form who they deem desirable. Perhaps I also should've clarified I was referring to Black men hence the use of the Kanye video.

Khadija: Thanks for that important caveat. If those men weren't only offering their money as the honey to attract a honey they wouldn't have to be concerned about not having a quality mate.

Unknown said...

While I find the term sexist, we have to admit that when it is used, it is a reference to black women, hands down.

it's a crazy world we live in.

Women, black and others, make less than any other man in EVERY job market across the board. The inequalities are everywhere. That has to be discussed.

While there are some women who go out there and get that money in less than savory ways, they are a minority.

Kim said...

While I find the term sexist, we have to admit that when it is used, it is a reference to black women, hands down If you reall think that, then you haven't been paying attention. Women of all races and ethnicities have been vilified for "just caring about a man's money" for time immemorial. Yet, men can judge a woman's fitness for a relationship on the size of her breasts, and that's acceptable. This is one thing I just despise: ignoring the fact that these things affect ALL women, that ALL women are subjected to them by ALL men. Even the rape victim has become a "bitch just lookin' for money" these days, and it doesn't matter her race or that of her attacker. It's done by all men to all women.