Interesting...well, more like mind boggling...that these kinds of threats would come to you after publishing "So You Want to Talk About Race." When I read it, I thought..."wow!" She's being way too kind. But I guess that's what you have to do when you reach across that massive barrier and try to get 'the enemy' [whom you don't appear to regard as 'enemy'] to listen.

You have to be kinder--kinder than you may want to be--in order to navigate that tortuous, unpredictable, easily overturned space.

And yet, no matter how kind and thoughtful of the contradictions they must navigate in that answer, here we find that such an approach leaves them only two choices: maintain patriarchy, or die.

Somehow, underneath that all, I believe their choice is evident: they are using this last ditch effort to guilt a black woman into submission.

I probably don't need to say this, but threatening suicide is the second most manipulative act someone can engage in an effort to get someone else to do what they want their target to do. I say second, because the #1 worst threat is to threaten to kill or kidnap your child.

I can guarantee you about 99.99999% that when someone THREATENS, they have no intention of harming themselves. The whole point of it is to harm YOU by causing you to actually worry that could happen, and for you to take action by "coming to the rescue."

I mean, really. How could one woman, alone, transform the world that so devastates ALL of them? I know they aren't skilled at thinking things through, but one woman against the whole world? They are either so messed up they should be committed, or [much more likely] they are looking for two responses from you:

1] An "OMG please don't do that! Really, really...yada yada yada," where they gain the targeted woman's attention, and it gains great publicity because she has something of a name in the world [a bigger one than THEY do, for sure].

2] Or you stone cold ignore them, and they fake an attempt where a friend of theirs calls the cops [of course they'd have to be white...as they usually are] to report a suicide attempt in progress. And then the whole story comes out, and they gain great publicity for themselves and their cause. Either way, they get the attention they are after, and drag you into the muck with it.

And that's the whole point. It's just another attention getter, same as all the other attention getters they have tried....but have failed to get what they wanted: the rest of the world's condemnation of "today's woman" and validation of their own viewpoints.

Of course that's insane. Because they ARE insane. Not in any medical way, of course, but in a twisted, self-indulgent way that dismisses everyone else's needs and aggrandizes their own.

You're doing the right thing. The vast majority of people who end up trying, and particularly those who succeed, don't go that manipulative route. They just do it, and let the guilt cards land where they may.

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Georgia NeSmith

Georgia NeSmith

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.