Monday, May 23, 2011

Sometimes, I'm disappointed.

Okay so to jump right into things, when I saw Lesley post a link about her stuff on Jane Pratt's new project xoJane, I was tentatively kind of into it.

I took a couple of days to read through some stuff and well, I'm disappointed.

First let's look at the about section:

xoJane.com is where women go when they are being selfish, and where their selfishness is applauded. This is not the place to find out how to please your husband, mom, kids or boss. This is the place to indulge in what makes you feel good.

We are not snarky, but inclusive and uplifting, while remaining nothing but honest at all times. Like Sassy and Jane before it, xoJane.com is written by a group of women (and some token males) with strong voices, identities and opinions, many in direct opposition to each other, who are living what they are writing about.

xoJane.com is not about changing yourself to fit any mold of what others think you should be. It is about celebrating who you are.

xoJane is a collaboration between Jane Pratt and SAY Media.

Yay right? I mean it sounds good. It sounds like something I would say oh SHIT YEAH.

I decided against linking any particular articles, I don't know any of the authors except for Lesley and I don't want to make it a oh look what she said kind of thing.

Here's the deal.

Despite such rah rah message nothing about xoJane makes me feel uplifted. And to quote the about, like Sassy and Jane before it, xoJane too makes me feel little more than excluded without ever having been invited.

Again, as I went through article after article there were no applicable make up tips for me a chocolatey black woman. There were no hair, not even any asides that say if you are a woman of color try this, nothing.

Honestly xoJane feels more like every other lady mag dressed up with some DIY and sassy mouthed aesthetic.

The thing that upsets me is not the what two pictures of Black women or the dearth of diversity (admittedly I didn't search hard but nothing drew me in) what upsets me at this point is just the disappointment.

Again.

I guess that I had the hope that all these years on something might have changed. If not Jane's tastes perhaps a thought for us others.

Also this is very timely as an essay that I wrote about how Riot Grrl culture also left me excluded is going to be in a magazine. Not to give it all away but Sassy plays a part in it.

And here we are, here I am with that same sad feeling.

I realize that as I've said not all spaces are for all people including me. The issue I have (that I can articulate now that I'm older and fancy) is that spaces that have what comes across as a hip liberal vibe, and turn out not to be so much are just frustrating to me.

To my mind if you're telling women that this is your place, and there's no place for the kind of woman I am what then?

Perhaps I'm off here but as I was reading I got the same feeling I've gotten at certain events in my meatworld. The type of event where I look around and the nice White ladies smile at me nervously, they want to tell me I'm so cool for being there, or for participating but there's that invisible "holy SHIT WHAT DO WE DO" moment where no one knows what else to say.

Now, I realize that this feeling, call it an intuition isn't easy to get across in a blog. I also realize that if you've never experienced that moment you're probably thinking I'm overreacting or being over sensitive.

I might be but, as of this moment in my life that is where my brain goes. Probably because that moment has been one that has happened over and over again like some kind of demented 'Groundhog Day' and there's rarely been anyone for me to talk to about it.

So while I'm super happy to see Lesley have her work in more places because I enjoy her writing, I won't be revisiting xoJane.

Now I don't expect that suddenly xoJane or any other publication will be full of Black folks things. I don't.

I would be really happy to see some nod to or evidence of the thought of, oh hey maybe not everyone reading this is a Nice White lady.

It's not as hard as it seems. For instance I think it's Glamour that I was reading a while back and one of the beauty trend things about bronzer talked about bronzers for everyone from the super pale to the deep chocolately brown that I am and it made me happy. Even a line or two that says hey if you are X try X instead for the same look.

The actual work of inclusivity can be really fucking hard. It's a daunting task to go outside of those who are rather like yourself. It's hard but I believe in the end it's worth it.

Now thank you my darlings for being patient with me while I finish The. Book. I'm gettin so close. So. Close.

I do still need some $$ help so here's the chip in thing.



I currently have my cover ready (sans title). I have pulled some definite blog posts that will get gussied up for inclusion.

Look out for the reader poll this week.

Um.

Yeah.

Holy shit this is happening.

As ever if you can't donate don't sweat it. I will need other help with things like promotion coming up.

Also you can still get me on the kindle in the US for .99. It's still only available in the US for some reason. I'll keep my non US homies updated as I find out info.

Okay that's all honey badgers.

Homo Out.
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