8.01.2011

The Black Woman Attraction Paradox

A recent Facebook request for a link to a previous post on how black women are perceived as "droppable" reminded me that I need to clarify my thoughts on something.  And while I write this from a heterosexual standpoint, something tells me that this applies in the lesbian world as well.

According to Moi, black women are attractive not only to us, to our male counterparts, but to non-blacks as well.  Why?  That's the natural order of things.  As human beings, we're designed to be attracted to one another, regardless of skintone, hair type, or eye shape.  We have an innate curiosity which draws us to one another in the first place.  Our pheromones are all the same.  It is simply a natural human aspect.

Racism, on the other hand, is unnatural.  Racist social conditioning is directly in conflict with human nature, because it tells us that what we want by biological design is wrong (homophobic social conditioning, ironically, works the same way).

Case in point: While I was in Appalachia, my gay boyfriends introduced me to the concept of morbid fascination.  And though I was fairly familiar with the phenomenon itself, I didn't know its name.  They gave me the example that there are humans who openly detest the notion of homosexuality...yet constantly try to maintain homosexual friends.  They claim to think homosexuality is wrong, yet they can't seem to stay away from their gay friends, and even try to set them up on dates with their other gay acquaintances.

The desire to be around [gay] fellow humans is natural.  It's likely because they've met a kind soul or kindred spirit, and thus gravitate towards this person who is good and who would cause them no harm.  However...their rejection of their friends' harmless sexual orientation and their tendency to drop the gay friend first, or be generally disrespectful and inconsiderate is the unnatural result of conditioning.

Black women tend to experience something similar.  People are drawn to us all the time.  People ask us out all the time.  People - in general - are attracted to us because as humans, they're supposed to be.  It's naturalHowever, the mistreatment we often experience at the hands of others is unnatural; it's been programmed into them, some of who aren't even aware at times.  They've been programmed to think we are expendable, so that they don't feel obligated to us in any way.  Much of this is subconscious, especially amongst fellow POC, but this is where very dangerous circular thinking tends to enter the situation, like, "If I hesitate to defend her, then it must be because I don't have to.  And if I don't have to, then I won't.  And if I don't, it's okay.  It's okay because defending her didn't occur to me right away in the first place, most likely because it's probably not that big an issue, really, and if it's not a big deal, then I don't really have to do anything...." and so on and so forth.

Another thing people have to keep in mind is the issue of distorted perception.  Black women keep writing blog posts like these because other people truly believe they're treating us "normally", when actually, they're not.  It doesn't come as a surprise to us, of course; they've been conditioned not to, despite their biological programming which tells them to react to us the way they would any other woman.  They've been conditioned to ignore the instinct to treat us like fellow human beings.

Ever notice "the pause", ladies?  You know...someone who isn't a black woman comes up to you and says hi.  You say hi.  They say some about the weather or traffic or the ridiculous price of gas.  You concur or something.  Then...pause.  And after the pause, everything tends to go downhill because what comes out of their mouths next - a good 90% of the time - is a huge turn off (take your pick; I'm too tired).

Now, to the person talking, what they've just done is perfectly harmless and normal.  They think they're being nice and having witty, civilized conversation.  They literally can't see anything wrong with what they're doing.  And when it inevitably fails, they get frustrated because you're not conforming to what they've been conditioned to think of you, they really don't know where to go from there, but they want to continue nonetheless because they are, quite naturally, drawn to you.

Fashion Tip from Moi

For guys and gals who are into black women: acknowledge your conditioning.  Confront it.  Pay attention to it.  Analyze what you do and don't do.  Don't downplay anything.  And don't tell yourself she's not worth it simply because you don't know how to act - learn how to act.  The conditioning is poisonous to you; so drop it at the first sign of trouble...not the woman.

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45 comments:

  1. Gurl, you betta preach this gospel.

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  2. We also need more Black women to stop accepting this sort of shoddy treatment because they're hung up on 'having somebody'. If these people know that they can easily find some super-thirsty Black woman after being turned down by many who know their worth, then they'll have less of an incentive to self-reflect and change.

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  3. "Learn how to act."

    THIS!

    *passes the collection plate*

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  4. @Leoprincess: YOU AIN'T LIED YET!!!!! PREACH IT GIRL!!!!!!

    Re: Morbid Fascination. I've experienced this shit on too many a day. I know EXACTLY what your gay boyfriends are talking about.

    And I can't tell you how many times (and it's usually white folks) I've been told, "Oh I think homosexuality is a sin and you're going straight to hell. But I'm totally not homophobic. My hair stylist Pierre does FABULOUS work on my do."

    Or the, "we know that you're gay and we totally accept you. But we don't want to hear about who you're dating, who you have a crush on, or your romantic life. Because that makes us uncomfortable and straight people's comfort is all that matters."

    That morbid fascination also stems into the gay fetishization. This is why a former real life friend who propped herself up as an LGBTQ ally flipped her shit because I dared to be offended because she thought it was justifiable that gay men should not be able to donate blood because obviously HIV/AIDS is the gay disease.

    And we've already seen how white women have lost their damn minds when they get called out on offensive fetishization (such as their rape fantasies) of queer males in their slashfic or published fic. For those of you who don't know, the best analogy is that they react in the same manner as weabos do when it comes to terrorizing Asians in Anime, J-Pop and K-Pop fandoms. As we saw in Slashfail.

    And as I've mentioned to others, this is why with the exception of an elite few white women who I trust and can vouch for, I steer clear of white women when they have the morbid fascination.

    I'll never begrudge anyone for liking m/m action (and if anybody needs recs, holla at your boy), but what I've generally found with WOC is that they love their gay boys too but they still know boundaries and still treat us like human beings.

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  5. Case in point: Tara from "True Blood."

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  6. @ RVCBard

    After all the things I've heard about that show, I haven't been able to buckle down and actually watch it. So I'm often lost when people use it as an example for anything.

    Care to elaborate?

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  7. Case in goddamn, motherfucking point:

    The male pastor, Cooper says, is the “alpha male” for many black women. Over-reverence for the pastor – or any religious figure for that matter – creates barriers for the black man, she says, because he feels like he must compete for the No. 1 spot in a black woman’s heart.

    “It doesn’t make you more attractive if your life is filled with these ‘other’ men,” Cooper says. “If they feel like they have to compete, you are not going to be interesting because you’re not feeding his ego in the way it needs to be fed.”


    Funny story, menfolk of all skintones...it doesn't make you more attractive if you're unwilling to fight for the attentions of a black woman, because something tells me that if a non-black woman was on the table here, there would be war.

    And two, if you need your ego fed by a woman that much, just give up on finding a worthwhile woman now. Because a man who needs his ego fed AND is unwilling to compete for a black woman's attention is not even remotely worth it.

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  8. This so much.
    The attraction is definitely there but men in this society have been conditioned to treat black women in the most disrespectful manner and they expect us to put up with it.

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  9. Attraction to women of color has been there since the beginning, but its the ignorance and rascist ideologies that are passed down to each generation through society and media that stops men from treating black women right and acting on their attraction. Its also the white beauty pedestal that conditions people to think certain features are better and therefore women with them should be considered worth mens time. And the white beauty pedestal isn't just about looks but also cetrain behaviors that are postive that get associated with whiteness while negative behaviors get associated with blackness. That's why undeniably beautiful black women who don't act stereotypical getting media representation is so threatening.

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  10. "And the white beauty pedestal isn't just about looks but also cetrain behaviors that are postive that get associated with whiteness while negative behaviors get associated with blackness."

    Which is why it's interesting to me to see what happens when the script is flipped--because when you've got, say, white artists performing a washed-out, appropriation-laced take on black hip-hop culture, PEOPLE LOVE THAT ISH. You simply don't lose when you're white. You can do things that would have a black girl labeled "hood" and "ghetto", and be praised as cute and charming (ex: the hot mess known as Kreayshawn). You can prance around with perpetually-mute Asian women onstage and be lauded for being original and inventive. You can do virtually anydayumthing you want, without repercussion.

    But let a black person step outside of the constrictive box of what society has declared blackness to be, and all hell breaks loose.

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  11. You can do things that would have a black girl labeled "hood" and "ghetto", and be praised as cute and charming (ex: the hot mess known as Kreayshawn). You can prance around with perpetually-mute Asian women onstage and be lauded for being original and inventive. You can do virtually anydayumthing you want, without repercussion.

    Like copying off black women and wearing your hair in braids and being called beautiful, exotic, and edgy, while the very black women you stole it from are consideredunkempt and dirty.

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  12. Queen of the Cynics8/2/11, 8:38 PM

    I'm not sure if any of y'all watch supernatural but I just had to talk to someone about this.

    http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lp8lmrLOKc1qgnh2qo1_500.jpg

    That bullshit right there was a secret on a supernatural tumblr and it made me so angry. It hits every bullshit bingo space that white fangirls spit out when they go off on BW paired with WM they lust after. All that hate for a character who was in 1 episode in season LORD JESUS! >:/

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  13. @ Queen of the Cynics

    Wow...that was a trip. She hit 'em all - "no chemistry", "unnatural", and "inorganic." Switch "contrived" with "authentic" and you have fluent, flawless, drone-speak.

    *shakes head*

    You know white guys could kill a lot of this by issuing a very blunt statement: "Yes, we like black woman. We like everything about them, every inch of them. Suck it up and deal. They're in our movies and on shows because we want them there. Suck it up and deal."

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  14. "...black women are attractive not only to us, to our male counterparts, but to non-blacks as well. Why? THAT'S THE NATURAL ORDER OF THINGS!

    BINGOOOOO!!

    As for them being able to do anything, say anything and it's accepted,even lauded, that's the double edged sword of social hegemony. That same control tends to isolate the controller from the rest of the society, and from his/her own humanity.

    *I desire that beautiful black woman, but I can't afford to have her, as it may humanize her, thus reducing my control over her self perception. Cant afford to have her thinking she's equal with me, or she may start fighting against me*

    White folks are a huge victim of their strange mental conditionings.

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  15. White folks are a huge victim of their strange mental conditionings.

    Excellently stated.

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  16. @ ankh, even if the white male writers came out with the we like black women and that's why they are in our tv shows/films, it still probably wouldn't work. Case in point, leonard Nimoy was quoted as saying he loved the spock uhura romance and thought it was wonderful and was even a little jealous he never got to do that. I read several comments scattered throughout the web from the fangirls saying he was probably lying and wouldn't have willing gone along with this. They even said the writers clearly must regret coming up with this despite writers stating consistently how great it was. Some of these women are delusional. So delusional they can't see the truth even when its spelled out for them. But its ok, because their ignorance and inability to grasp the truth will eventually be their downfall. I think all of this is ironic though because I constantly hear" white women aren't rascist, don't have race issues, and are more open to diversity then other men and women of any race." But non of this has been my real life experience.

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  17. @Rachel

    Please don't remind me of Kreature. I am so embarrassed that she is from my area. Her and her entire "White Girl Mob." Kreature is not "hood" like people seem to think. She is a hipster born into a decently wealthy family. Don't even get me started on her friend V-Nasty (really, what kind of name is that?).

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  18. @Queen

    I had to laugh at that gif. It's the epitome of everything we've been saying.

    Cassie was the only woman Dean ever loved. He also happens to be one of the lead characters, one of the hottest characters, and the most popular character in the show. Cassie happens to be black. You fangirls will have to fucking deal.

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  19. @Queen.

    I'm gonna be honest with you. I was hating on Cassie too. Not so much Cassie but the actress Megalyn. Not only did her fine sexy ass bag Dean without even trying but she got both Shawn AND Kyle on the 4400.

    DAMN HER!

    Oh yes Megalyn, I'm hating! I'm hating something fierce.

    [shuffles to the left]

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  20. @ idiclove

    @ ankh, even if the white male writers came out with the we like black women and that's why they are in our tv shows/films, it still probably wouldn't work.

    That's why consisency is necessary. They ALL need to say it and they need to say it ALL the time.

    Because in this world, there's white fandom, and then there's POC fandom. The future, the money, and the longetivity all reside in POC fandom, and I'm beginning to think that some of these white (and especially non-American, unsurprisingly) writers are catching onto that.

    We make up 85-88% of the human species, and women in particular tend to run fandoms. Talk about some karmic irony. You want fandoms of your creation to thrive for the next several years? You want our money? Then the excessive glorification of the white girl has to go - end of story.

    As it stands, I canceled cable months ago, and 90% of the DVDs I rent star POC. If I want to see some "new" shit, I hit the nets where shows like Ktown Cowboys, Awkward Black Girl, and Audrey and Dre star and center on POC. I'm not the only one who does; Hollywhite is hemorrhaging financially, and its writer's are finally realizing that shit just got real.

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  21. @idiclove:

    Speaking of Spock/Uhura, the kiss in TOS between Uhura and Kirk was originally supposed to be between Spock and Uhura. But at the time the show had to be careful regarding messages promoting miscegenation, so I guess in an uncertain moment Kirk's actor, whose name I'm suddenly forgetting, jumped at the opportunity. And of course they had to be FORCED to kiss.

    But I would say that from my gleaning of TOS Spock and Uhura would have been very compatible. From the few interactions that they had, which included a scene where Spock played an instrument and grinned a little as Uhura sang to him, I believe that they could have been a legitimate couple before the 2009 film.

    Some white female fans just get on my fucking nerves. It's like they gotta have all the shit please them and have the main female characters be blank canvasses for their vicarious experiences. And for whatever reason this cannot be done with non-white female characters. Sure, it's good enough for non-whites for us to have to live through white people but it doesn't work the other way around.

    I love Tara from True Blood but white female fans have been wanting her dead for a while now. I think it reached a critical point this season, but I started seeing a lot of hatred during the third season when things were becoming quite hard for Tara. And the apology from season three, I couldn't believe that shit.

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  22. @ ankh. I've recently stopped going to movies. I just got to the point where I couldn't watch whitewashed films anymore, or movies where women and poc are always the secondary unimportant characters. Some of my friends don't get it, but it feels really good knowing my money isn't supporting those types of films. And you are right about hollywood , they need to realize poc can be a valuable group to target, we have money and we are the majority.

    @ marona, that's interesting about the kirk/uhura kiss. I think some people in the star trek fandom should just come out and say, we don't like our formally 100% about white dudes relationships and lives with other white dudes star trek, being changed to include a woman of color. They aren't fooling anyone with all their" oh we just love uhura, but she needs to sit back quietly and behave like she use to", because what they really mean is" it was sooo much better when she wasn't involved in the emotional core of the story and we only had to pay attention to her when it was convenient for us."

    I've never watched true blood, but I've heared its good. My best friend watches and says tara is a great character, but some of the fans not so much. I guess this type of ugly is in every fandom. Its really disappointing

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  23. @ Marona - Wait, what apology from Season 3? Lord knows that Lafayette and Jesus were the only reasons getting me back into Season 4, because I was giving the writers a bitch of a side-eye for all the f*ckery thrown on Tara last year. The Spanish witch Antonia is icing, since it's a rare occasion to see someone have vampires so shook. Yes, shook.

    As for the fan-girl baahaaing about that ONE little episode where Dean had ONE black love-interest in the entire run of the show? *kiss teet* You mean to tell me that all the subsequent female characters they wrote in as his dick-warmers had more character development and authenticity? Just say that it messes with your self-insertion fantasy, and move on.

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  24. RE: Tara

    Oh my god I got to cross my heart and sprinkle some holy water on the computron before I engage the white fandom of True Blood. Those crazy bitches have been screaming for Tara's blood since season one and I am tired of it! They hate her because she's black and because she's a woman, therefore she's a threat. Notice how much they love Lafayette and he's louder than Tara? If she were a perfect happy negro with no wants, needs or problems of her own they would LOVE her. But because she tells that cockgobbler Sookie that's she's a confused heau they hate on her.

    There is nothing Tara can do at this point to be loved by those crazy white fans at this point. they want to lynch her. It stresses me out but I feel the need to keep fighting with them. I have to defend her because only other black people will. Seriously.

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  25. I do watch True Blood and the Tara character embodies a lot of the common occurrences that you write about here. I don't read boards about the show but Tara shoved around like crazy.
    She has been abused while white people that know her and are closely acquainted with her do nothing. The only man who reguarly defends her is her own cousin. She has a self-absorbed, unattractive best friend (the main character of the series) who has every man in the town at her beck and call, falling over and competing to win her over. Tara is never considered as a potential love interest (so for example, she starts off in love with her best friend's brother and saves his neck big time, yet he beds everyone else in town and mostly NEVER views her like a woman.)
    Since she is usually saving herself and has the tolerate the presence of people who let her be abused thanks to her insufferable best friend, she is very angry. And for this she gets hated.
    It's so funny b/c I've been on blogs where people love to point out that it's totally NATURAL for people NOT to be attracted to us. I've been with women of other races who don't question why a black man is with a woman of their race but are pretty shocked and put out to see a man of their race with a black woman. If I talk about trying to meet someone, I get advice on where I should go to find BLACK men, and again, this is from people who are not black who have dated black men. Not sure if you ever read King Leopold's Ghost, but part of the ethnic tension between the Hutus and Tutsis came because the Tutsis were preferred by the Belgians. Physiogomy was popular then(referenced in a lot of 19th c. British literature), and they were considered to be attractive and intelligent and the women were taken as lovers while the men were made into soliders and enforcers.

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  26. @ Unknown

    Insightful and informative commentary. Leave a name next time, please; "Unknown" still counts as "Anonymous."

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  27. I did create an account and a username so I'm not sure why it didn't appear. This is just a test to see if it works this time...

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  28. Much better. Welcome, Nicthommi.

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  29. @ leoprincess:

    I think it was after Tara saved Sookie, after having to save herself from Franklin by bludgeoning him, the two of them are talking and they have a disagreement regarding vampires. Now the viewers of the show should be on Tara's side not simply b/c she was raped, abused and kidnapped by a vampire but also because vampires on the show are generally up to no good. It's funny how they want to mainstream but they still technically have great power over humans. So, Tara, having not told anyone about her escape and recent horror, and having the trauma still fresh on her mind, she gets upset with Sookie for her inability to see past her own shallow white sheltered special snowflake experiences. And then later, Tara is the one to apologize.

    I probably am not describing it well enough. But I think Racialicious covered it in a roundtable. But I was seriously in disbelief. If anyone should have apologized it should have been Sookie, if not a mutual act on both of their parts. But Tara wasn't in the wrong at all. Vampires are dangerous. Sookie shouldn't be so quick to defend them when they've hurt so many people, including herself. I don't get Sookie.

    I just ignore Tara hate. Some white fans are always going to hate her no matter what she does. So I have to enjoy her character development for myself and their commentary be damned.

    I bet you if Laffy was a competitor for Eric or Alcide's affections the white fan girls would turn on him very fast.

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  30. I was out with an Chinese friend who saw two Chinese men that she found attractive, but both were not only with women but were with non-Chinese women. The first was with a white woman and the second was with a black woman. She was REALLY put out by the latter, and kept trying to say that he wasn't really with that girl, and that they were just friends. She didn't like seeing the other guy with the white woman(and we had classmates in grad school who she thought were really good looking Asian American men who had white wives), but I found it interesting that she didn't find it necessary to minimize the nature of their relationship. Mind you, these were all strangers so I really didn't get the need to create a whole narrative/backstory for them.
    Meanwhile, she didn't blink at the black man one table away from us who was with an Asian date. Nor did she ever find it odd that her black ex had only ever dated Asian women (all different ethnicities, but all Asian).
    I'd say that I live in an area where Asian women probably get put on the pedestal more than white women (and I've heard that they aren't pleased by that one bit).
    But it was all interesting to note.

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  31. ***blog post moderation***

    The Tara/Sookie issue is starting to take this post a bit off topic.

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  32. Duly noted, Ankh. ;)

    Within the vein of the topic, Showtime's The Big C has Gabby Sidibe's character being courted by a Ukrainian dude. When I saw that, I went, "Aw sh*t, here comes the Draptos!". Because if black women are supposed to be monumentally unattractive, a very fat and dark-skinned black woman is supposed to be the devil in flesh.

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  33. @ leoprincess

    This is the first time I'm hearing about this show. Read about it on Wikipedia and...

    Gabourey Sidibe as Andrea Jackson, a mouthy and combative student in Cathy's class. Cathy takes an interest in her and offers her a cash reward for losing weight. She is the first person to realize Cathy is having an affair. She lies to Cathy about her upbringing and economic status, claiming her mother is a drug addict and they live in poverty. Cathy visits their home to discover she lives in a lovely upper middle class home with two educated, caring parents.

    ...*dead*

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  34. I was out with an Chinese friend who saw two Chinese men that she found attractive, but both were not only with women but were with non-Chinese women. The first was with a white woman and the second was with a black woman. She was REALLY put out by the latter, and kept trying to say that he wasn't really with that girl, and that they were just friends. She didn't like seeing the other guy with the white woman(and we had classmates in grad school who she thought were really good looking Asian American men who had white wives), but I found it interesting that she didn't find it necessary to minimize the nature of their relationship.

    Are you still friends with this girl?

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  35. Regarding fandom so true I was on my tumblr and there was post on the most hated women in different fandom and they all had something in common. They were all BLACK. Surprise surprise.

    One little thing about Tara on True Blood last year I found a really good site where Tara fans could chat but I think it got a influx of Tara haters motherfuckers ruin everythang.

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  36. @ Aiyo

    That sort of reminds me of the House Cassie situation, in that the haters should've never been allowed in the first place.

    Black fans have to start building more of their own spaces, take the initiative and not be so scared of doing their own thing.

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  37. @ Nicthommi

    I once had a Korean friend (a best friend, mind you), that got quite upset when a Korean guy hit on me and completely ignored me. Needless to say, that was the first of many problems and we are no longer friends.

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  38. @ The Girl In Question: That reminds me of the "What's Wrong With European Men?" letter that Ankh discussed a while back. It's all fine and good to have a black girl/woman friend, until she starts attracting 'your' men.

    Then it's on.

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  39. I meant to say *completely ignored her. Lol. But you got the idea.

    @ leoprincess

    That post was dead on. It's especially sad when it's the people who you thought were better than that.

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  40. Well, we're in the same circles, all somewhat recent translpants to our areas, so I see her a lot no matter what I do. To be honest I wasn't really sure what to do with that, although I did point out the hypocrisy.

    It's so odd that we are treated like we are bottom of the barrel, but people don't hesitate to take a turn with black men and think that it is totally normal for them to not choose us.

    That was the first time I'd had that experience in real life though.

    Here's an anecdote that I've heard a lot (and experienced in attempts to you use online dating which I think can be an epic fail for black women)...men will insist that they don't want any black girls, don't like black girls, will check every box but black girls. But then, will still contact them b/c they see ones who are "really cute." I hate being messaged by people who lead off by what they "normally don't do." Why am I supposed to be flattered by that? (and of course, the ones who just want some secret magical black girl sex is its own essay).

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  41. @the Girl in Question. Yeah, I have another friend who told me that her Korean roommate and college friend who dated black men would love to come home and enjoyed telling her all of the negative things that the black men would say about why black women suck and are unappealing. She said the girl, who she had gone to college with, had gotten no attention from other Korean or Asian men. Why do black men like accepting "cast offs."

    It would seem that no matter what color woman you choose, you should be trying to pick the most "attractive" mate.

    But she could still vividly describe the zeal that this "friend" would tell the reasons why black men "hated" black women.

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  42. I'm a white male, and I'm attracted to a nice figure, eyes and a nice smile. The girl can be black, white, yellow or red - as long as she isn't to green (I'm 49 yo :-)).
    The funny thing is, that I most often get attracted to black girls/women. Maybe it's because black's tend to be more natural, opening up for the soul through a couple of smiling eyes, and a beautiful white smile - I guess it is. The biggest turn of from a beautiful girl/woman is, the kind that are so busy being fabulous that you can never crack a smile.
    The very sad thing is however, that I live in a country where racism has shown it's ugly face during the past ten years, making it more difficult to find the smiling black beauty.
    My ex was black, and I could feel the eyes staring at us as the "interracial couple", but I didn't care - I was just proud of my beautiful black woman - BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL

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