600-00845855Clutchettes, let’s chat.

I usually try to stay out of the comments section, but I’m nosey. And lately I’ve been noticing the discussions here at our beloved Clutch have taken a turn for the worst. Between the trolls throwing sharp elbows at Black women, to the contentious debates breaking out over every single thing, I’ve noticed that no matter what we talk about around here, things somehow devolve into a Black men vs. Black women war.

And I don’t like it.

As someone who’s been checking for Clutch for years, even before I started writing, this uptick in conflict has me a little worried.

Let’s be clear: I have no problem with constructive critiques. Over the past three years, I’ve written my fair share of them (as well as also being accused of being a “male-identified” woman, whatever what means). But there’s a thin line between criticism and attacking, and far too often folks seem content to leap over it.

While Clutch is first and foremost a space for smart & fly Black women, because we are merely half of our community we should also be able to discuss (and yes, sometimes critically) issues involving Black men (even if you choose not to date them) without it turning into World War III. Though some brothers (um, and sisters) have done a lousy job of being good allies, we should be able to write about and discuss ALL issues involving Black folks without worrying it will get ugly.

Or perhaps, I’m just getting a little soft in my old age. You tell me.

Is the comments section getting angrier and more contentious, or is it just me?

Let’s talk about it, folks. Nicely?

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  • Brad

    I know as a black man there are many web sites I don’t go to at all. The BWE and IR sites because I consider them to be a safe haven for black woman. Those sites generally wouldn’t have any interest in anything a black male would have to add or say.

    It simply would not be productive to jump in the fray because there end goal is to disassociate with black men. We are often times the problem there addressing and discussing.

    But, I never really considered sites like clutch that provide news and entertainment to be that type of web site. I never got the impression that clutch was trying to evolve into an IR or BWE web site.

    • joe

      Quite a few Clutch readers want to see black men banned from the comments section. They also want to see a ban on all positive stories about black men and black boys. I don’t think they represent the majority but they are certainly the most vocal.

      I think, ultimately, those readers want Clutch to become like the BWE and IR sites you mentioned. But I have a feeling a move like that would alienate those black women who are uncomfortable with those sites and who read Clutch because it’s an excellent alternative.

    • keisha morrow

      I think they want to see Black men who position themselves as trolls banned.
      Black women cannot give ALL of their attention to Black men [and this is coming from a woman whose fiance is a Black man].
      The little bit I do know about the BWE sites is that their entire message is centered on the idea that Black women should start doing things in their self-interest, for example, embracing being feminine, rejecting this Strong Black Woman moniker that was assigned to us, focusing on our well-being and health FIRST [because you can’t be anybody’s wife and mother if you are sick, overweight and have not addressed emotional issues].
      You speak of positive stories of Black boys and men–and honestly–i have not seen where Black women online have something against this. But i guess for those guys and girls complaining–anything that has to do with Black women that doesn’t necessarily mention Black men is seen as anti-Black man.
      And for the life of me, i cannot figure out why people are concerned with the less than 8% of Black women who choose non-Black men as marriage partners? Even i’m a Black woman who has preferred her whole geeky damn life Black guys as romantic partners and can see this nonsense–something is way foul.

    • Brad

      But, I have read commentary about how those BWE movement was taken over by the IR movement. That the message of “focusing on our well-being” has been largely replaced by “dating out” almost exclusively.

      These have been criticism I have read not by black males but, by black woman.

      At any rate at the end of the date in my opinion I think it will all actually benefit black woman and black families as a whole.

      Rest assured they could care less what I think ;-)

      P.S. there’s nothing wrong with a sista being a little geeky either.

    • joe

      I was referring specifically to the many commenters on this site who have stated very clearly that black men don’t belong here and should take their opinions elsewhere. They’re indifferent to any positive input we can make to the discussion and view our presence as a violation of this space. Not all of the women on this site feel this way but the most outspoken ones do.

      I have read many comments, here and elsewhere, where black women have complained that the BWE movement was successfully hijacked by the IR dating movement. I don’t know how true this is but movements have been co-opted before.

      I think the problem is that too many people are forming permanent negative perceptions based on what a small group of ANONYMOUS people are typing on a keyboard. I have seen threads on various sites with 300 or more heated comments written by fewer than 15 people.

      Perspective is very important.

  • Tanielle

    I am so thankful for this post because I had to walk away from Clutch when male posters started posting things about black women spreading AIDS, deserving to die, and needing to be raped. Even after being flagged these posts were not removed for days. Stuff like that
    Being allowed to stay up to me was a sign that this blog simply did not care and was essentially supporting hate speech toward black women. With all that black women face in this world I do not need to come to a safe space to see stuff like that. I understand the need to allow men and women alike to post here but some stuff needs to be shut down. Those that use every post to push their agenda no matter the topic should be banned. A post about any topic should not be an opportunity to blame black women for every ill in the black community. If people are not staying on topic they should be warned then banned. So yea the black feminist rants need to stop, the black women are responsible for black men’s behavior rants need to stop as well. I feel this site has become a place for black me to come and bash black women. Who sent these trolls here?

  • Whitneys Receipts

    This site is cater to and focused on black women and our issues. I just don’t understand the point in invading our spaces to insert your wrong opinions that no one asked for. I definitely don’t understand trolling. Is your life so pointless that you have enough in the day to create an account and posts ridiculous comments to piss people off? I understand having different POVs and perspectives on issues. But a lot of the non-black women here offer the same crappy opinions that we’ve been listening to for decades.

  • Deelilah Maye

    I just started commenting here because I noticed the comments getting angrier at xojane and often being really disappointing on race issues. So far it seems more civil but again not sure how it was before.

  • Michelle

    It’s not just the men trolls that are dreadful. The women (and I am talking about the “I hate black males” set) are just as dreadful.