Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hennessy In My Starbucks Cup

Isn’t this just the most delicious book title? I can’t claim it; it belongs to my friend and fellow author Kimberly Seals Allers, who wrote THIS thoughtful, humorous post on Mom Logic about all of the white mom Parenting While Drunk (PWD) books flooding the market. In the piece, titled, "I'm Fed Up With Drunken White Moms," Kimberly lists no less than 10—count ‘em, 10!—books with titles extolling the virtues of raising children with cocktails in hand, and laments that black moms would NEVER, EVER, NEVER EVER EVER get to joke, much less write about,  PWD in our own parenting books and blogs, lest we’re comfortable being labeled unfit moms. Here’s her take on the double standard:

The reason it works for white women is, it's assumed that a white woman is educated, capable of drinking all the time and still parenting and is really only joking... 
If a black mother joked that she drank all the time while parenting, somebody would call Child Protective Services in a heartbeat. White women are safe. There is no stigma attached to their drinking—in fact, there is even a trendiness, and some lifestyle cachet. My drinking would scream "unfit mother" in glaring lights.
Because black women are barely viewed as smart, savvy moms in the first place, the thought of us touting and even celebrating drinking-on-the-job would be preposterous. And we certainly couldn't build a marketable and profitable branding platform on the idea. Nobody, not even I (and you guys think I'm pretty bold), would go there. I'm not foolish enough to assume I have that luxury.
I’m with Kimberly on this one. Indeed, the whole reason I started MyBrownBaby was because of the parenting double standard of which she writes; there is a dearth of parenting information for us moms of color (and moms of children of color) when it comes to rearing our kids, and what little there is out there is often so negative and beyond our reality that it’s not worth paying it any attention. Wouldn’t it be lovely to read a book about Parenting While Black that doesn’t have anything to do with poverty, drugs, poor education, absentee fathers and the like, but speaks specifically to the joys, challenges and wonders of raising our kids (even if some Hennessy is involved) from a moms of color perspective? I’ve got one up my sleeve. Would you read it?

Kudos to Kimberly for pointing out the inequity and making it plain. Of course, the non-moms of color are all in a tizzy over her piece and leaving some pretty nasty comments (as usual, whenever the hated call out the hateful/blissfully ignorant on their mess, people can’t help but act the fool in the comments section). CLICK HERE to read her piece and leave a comment of encouragement for her!  

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  1. Thanks for continuing the conversation. I've read some of the comments that have been left on momlogic and I'm disgusted. There is definitely a double standard.

  2. I read Kimberly's post, Denene and I was shocked by many of the comments and the vitriol. They go beyond the acknowledgment or denial of privilege to straight disrespect, I think maybe some of the commenters' glasses were full. Who gets that panty-twisted about a truth that's always been?

  3. I'd definitely read it. Thank you for this post.

  4. Yep, someone sent this post to me last week and as I read and re-read the post and comments, one word kept coming to mind: Entitlement. I agree with Kimberly 100 percent that moms of color would not likely get the you-are-so-funny response to admissions of PWP (Parenting While Plastered). Some of the comments were just plain nasty, but that's the risk you take when you assert your opinion, and I hope they didn't throw Kimberly off too much.

    Oh, and you KNOW I'd read that book you've got brewin' *smiles*

  5. Of course I'd read any book you write! So come on & finish it already!!! Lol!

  6. Wow, I was really shocked by some of those comments after her post! But I agree with Kimberly 100%.

  7. Hey Denene,
    Thanks so much for the support, girl! They definitely gave it to me this time over at Momlogic. But I put it there (of all places) for a reason. But like you said, when you call folks out, they will get ig-nant. And don't worry @execumama, I am not thrown off my game. Thanks to my Granny and over 15 years as a journalist, I know how to "put my tough skin on" and keep telling the truth of our experience as black moms. Thanks to everyone for the encouragement. I needed a lil love on that one. :-)


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