men gear

5

Revolights Bike Lighting System

There is a bicycle light on the market that substantially increases the side visibility and clearly identifies the cyclist. It is called the Revolights Bike Lighting System, and it is mounted on the bicycle wheels with the help of special hardware. These are actually LED ring lights which ensure 360° visibility for bikes thus increasing cyclists’ safety. And they are perfectly legal. Men’s Journal called them “the best bike lighting system in the world”.

goggles-and-gears  asked:

(1/2)So, my main character identifies as African American, but I am worried that I might have accidentally made it seem like only lighter/mixed African Americans would be of value? I tried to subvert the 'black men can't/shouldn't be fathers' trope, and so her biological father is a white man who abandoned her mother when he realized she was pregnant. Her mother and father are both rather dark-skinned, very smart (they both work at Harvard, or used to - her mother may have moved on), and happy.

(2/2)My main character would only know the second man her mother ended up loving, and it would have been most of her life - they met right after her mother was left, and although they didn’t start dating until my MC was about a year old, it’s been so long that she wouldn’t remember a time without him. But I’m worried - would people be more likely to see it as saying that white men can be less reliable than AA men, or would it seem like I would only ever write someone who’s lighter?

Subverted Absent Black Father + Single Black Mother

Mixed-Race Light-skinned MC

I’m not too concerned with the mixed race light-skinned Black MC. It’s always great to portray dark-skinned monoracial Black women, yeah, and when folks (who aren’t of the identity) constantly/only create mixed race characters, particularly light skinned, that’s when I feel weird. Otherwise, it’s never a problem in itself.

 However, mixed race B+W doesn’t equal light-skinned. Genetics work how they want. Mixed race people come in all shades and hair textures. There are mixed b&w people with light skin and 4c afro hair, medium brown skin and straighter hair, dark brown skin and loose curly hair, etc. So your concern about writing someone lighter is erased if you just make her not so light.

 My issue is the absent father aspect of your question.

 Absent Father - Abandoned Black Woman

 If you have the missing parent for essential plot reasons, then I won’t encourage you to write that out. I will tell you that making the deadbeat father into a white man doesn’t erase all harm. The Absent Black Father not only demonizes Black men, but, when one’s involved, devalues Black women.

 Trace your logic. Why do we need to keep placing Black women in situations where they’re discarded and devalued? Subversion isn’t always desired in terms of representation. Personally, I feel that not perpetuating the harmful piece of representation in the first place is preferred to putting a “twist” to a trope.

 Let me emphasize what Elaney said in the mod wishlist regarding the representation we (as mods) want to see: 

 Lastly, I personally do not want these tropes to be explored and subverted by people, I want them to be avoided entirely because I feel that normalizing positive representation rather than commenting on negative representation is far more beneficial and validating to the people these works are supposed to help and represent. We don’t need sympathy, we need empathy!

Your ask works under the impression that there has to be an abandoning parent element in the first place.  Does there, truly, for significant plot reasons? There wouldn’t be a need to subvert anything if there was no abandoning parent in the first place. Honestly it seems more “revolutionary” to have two parents together these days. What’s cliche is there always needing to be an abandoning/missing/dead + single parent element going on.

Black women are often deemed as perpetually single, good for sex but not a relationship, and as the least attractive. Media conveniently considers romance overplayed when it comes to Black women, while white women in the same books and shows are given relationships. Tons of sh**ty articles and “stats” are published that serve only to call Black women ugly and unworthy and essentially just put us down.

 By having this white man abandon the Black woman, it’s going down that same path of portraying Black women as less desirable and worthy of support.

 Of course, these things happen, whether it’s a father devaluing a Black woman as the underlying reason or their separating under common differences. Such stories can still be written, and there’s indeed a place for them…in the right hands. It’s always best left to those who have the experience or those willing to dedicate themselves to research, fact and nuance-checking with appropriate beta-readers.

Giving the mother a new, loving relationship does help amend the Black woman/devalued aspect well, though. The new father being a Black man is also a positive touch. Giving the mother a support group (people who love and support her platonically) always helps too, especially during the time of abandonment, as would most suggestions in the Strong Black Woman tag.

 ~Mod Colette