Thursday, July 28, 2005

Don't wait to exhale....just finish letting the air out.

Terry McMillan is getting divorced

That really isn't a statement that would have seemed possible in the mid to late nineties. As a woman who wrote books that gave black women inspiration, she would have to be the authority on relationships it would seem. But, nevertheless, she is getting divorced and it is getting very nasty. It would seem that she is accusing her former beau of using her to get U.S. citizenship, and for her money.......Wow. Who would have thought that a man who is marrying a female multi-millionaire nearly twenty years his senior would have alterior motives? Of course I am being sarcastic, and if you want to know, I am not trying to make light of, or have a laugh at the expense of another human being who is in pain. But, given the fact that this is the woman who literally wrote the book on man-hating, it comes as quite a shock. I would never have thought that this would have happened to her.

The most in-your-face detail of this whole episode is not the fact that she is getting divorced, that she was used, or that her husband cheated on her with someone younger, it is the fact that her husband has come out of the closet.....damn.

At this point I am looking at the picture above, and I wonder how she could have possibly been shocked that he came out of the closet. I suppose I do hold a little bit or resentment toward Terry McMillan that may be misplaced. Terry McMillan capitalized on the new field of contemporary African-American Fiction by strengthening the already shattered image of the negative behaviors of black men while ignoring the equally, and sometimes more hateful behavior of black women. Not to say that all, or even most black women fit this bill, but I have seen waaaaay too many black women who arm themselves with a litany of Mcmillanesque quotes about being strong black women, and doing their best to show that they do not need, desire to tolerate, or support their bumbling male counterparts.

There are some quotes in the linked article that I provided that show that McMillan is trying to show strength by making outrageous statements. Check out the quote from an article......

NEWSWEEK’s Peg Tyre tried to talk to McMillan about her new book, her readers and her literary plans for the future, but McMillan wanted to vent about men and marriage. She also had plenty to say about husbands on the “down low,” in particular, Plummer, who she calls "Scott Peterson without the murder." Excerpts:

NEWSWEEK: The main character in your new book is a middle-aged woman married to a boring guy. Will your readers relate?

Terry McMillan: Absolutely. Because men are like that. They expect to be entertained. They blame women for their own boredom and their boredom with us. When you meet a man who has an imagination, they get snapped up. [Most men] find out what works and they do it again and again. I mean, please! Go for a walk on the beach. Have a picnic at night. Break up the monotony.

Newsweek: In the book, you portray monotony as being every bit as corrosive to a marriage as infidelity. True?

Terry McMillan: Yes, yes. Men feel like they deserve to be constantly enchanted. They should spend half as much energy showing their appreciation. Women's magazines give us a million ways to keep marriage alive. They should hand out those instructions at halftime at football games. Women get tired. You can't do everything. It takes more than good sex to keep a relationship working.

Newsweek: And yet your new book has a surprisingly hopeful view of long-term marriage. Why?

Terry McMillan: The book was finished before all this happened. By the time it was in the catalog, I was so sapped and so pissed off, I didn't know what to do. My credit cards were maxed out. I almost went bankrupt. I was supporting him in his dog-grooming business. I was miserable, but he was happy as a lark. Now he's got his citizenship, he's coming after me for my money and he's writing a tell-all to capitalize on my fame.

Newsweek:But you had a prenuptial agreement, didn't you?

Terry McMillan:I was a multimillionaire. I married a 21-year-old who hadn't finished college. Of course I had a prenup. I wouldn't marry Eddie Murphy without a prenup. My lawyers are on Madison Avenue. I'm not stupid. I'm not paying him a dime. I'll go to jail first. I have a valid prenup. He's out of the closet. He's committed a crime. His citizenship should be revoked.

Sounds like a whole lot of angst to me. A Prenuptial agreement? I would have expected more faith from a woman who writes so much about true love. But, had she been an older man marrying a younger woman she would have been a dirty old man looking for sexual gratification with a fit young woman. But, since she is a woman, she is somehow some enlightened other-level type woman. Note the self-aggrandizement and the generalizations about men? That is the sort of thing that really pisses me off. I hate that. Just like people shouldn't spew hate-filled invectives in rap music about bitches and hoes, we shouldn't keep on with this so-called "irresponsbible black man" phenomenon. It really gets on my nerves. I am sorry that Ms. McMillan is going through this, I hate it for anyone, but I also hate what she is doing to the persona of black men. Believe it or not, there are a lot of us out there who take care of our children, earn honest wages, live a faithful and Christian lifestyle, and actually don't beat the hell out of our wives. But we don't get the "respect" that "strong black women demand". We lead our invisible, never commented upon lives in anonymity. Wouldn't that be a boring book to see a black man portrayed in a positive light?

McMillan will be okay though. She will write a book about a *"self-proclaimed strong black woman" who has overcome yet another injustice at the hands of a vile black man and make millions off of it. Then, she and the scorned title character of her latest literary work will move on to the next unsuspecting black man, and make his life a living hell with all of their demands, and irrational misgivings. That is what so-called Strong Black Women do.

*I don't doubt the existence and the need for truly "strong black women", but the majority of women who go about their lives telling everyone that they are a "strong black woman" for the most part don't realize that being overly contentious, loud, and disrespectful are not the traits of strong black women. Truly strong women don't talk about it. Much like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are self-proclaimed black leaders, yet, MLK never considered himself a leader...just an organizer. See the difference?


BULLSEYE said...

Awsome blog!

Miss JoJo said...

I was a multimillionaire. I married a 21-year-old who hadn't finished college flag! red flag!

Anonymous said...

What happened to Ms. McMillan is unfortunate but will be used hopefully as a lesson learned. As to her hating men in her sells. I know men who enjoyed her books just as much as women. However, are all Strong Black Women men hating? No, as a Black woman I do not go out and intentionally hate men. I provide support and praise when it is dued to that individual. Many of us Strong Black Women do. Especially those of us who are mothers.

However just as Black women need to be there for their 'man' the Black man needs to be there for the woman in his life as well.