✨ This article was inspired by and modeled after a YouTube video posted by The Pink Pill titled “Divestment…DEFINED”✨
To divest means not to invest. Instead of giving currency for moral results, divesting seeks to eliminate useless currency and actions that perpetuate unethical practices. I first heard the term when the world was talking about going fossil-free; to start a movement to get rid of the pollution that affects people’s health and the state of our environment. The definition of the movement is as follows:
Divestment seeks to stigmatize fossil fuels and raise uncertainty around their continued use, to reduce the financial desirability of fossil assets.Forbes
In recent years, the concept and term “divestment” have entered realms outside business and climate change. The Black femme community of the Internet has pushed Black women to divest from toxic relationships rooted in misogynoir and selflessness. That, for the Black woman, divestment…
…seeks to stigmatize being in toxic relationships and raise uncertainty around
“High Value Men” Don’t Exist, Sis
In the words of Jouelzy and fellow writer Quasha, high-value men don’t exist, and we’re tired of talking about it. The extremely popular term at the moment has been uttered dozens of times amongst the Black men of the Red Pill community, where a man of “high value” is “positive” and meets the expectations of “high standards” in terms of extreme wealth and self-sufficient behavior. It doesn’t even honestly deal with achieving “high earnings” but instead degrade and separate oneself from the societal and capitalistic disadvantages of the Black community they [some Black men] no longer want to associate. The concept also exudes misogynoir by equating high-value men to high-value women that adhere to white beauty standards, are single with no kids, make six figures, etc. Furthermore, it gaslights Black women into thinking they aren’t worthy of any man they desire by not meeting their trivial and unrealistic expectations.
There is no truth in a man who builds himself up by putting his counterpart down. The value exists in morality, empathy, and compassion, not ego, gaslighting, and misogyny.
Don’t Entertain People/Debates That You Know Spew Falsehoods and Don’t Serve You
Growing means leaving relationships, scenes, and conversations that no longer serve you. Wanting the approval of others might feel and be a natural thing in life, but feel wanted and wanting to feel wanted are miles apart. There are so many YouTubers, TikTokers, and Instagrammers that genuinely feed off of the reactions of their femme audience based on the falsehoods they spew that week. Divestment doesn’t mean entertaining those who commit to misunderstanding you but affirming your boundaries, beliefs, dreams, existence, rights, etc. It’s so easy to get caught up with ridiculousness, but hold on to your sanity and remember what you believe in. Disengage, think for yourself, and affirm.
We Are Not Your Mother, Sister, Daughter, etc.
For some reason, many men out there attempt to understand the struggles of womanhood and the femme experience through the eyes of their mothers, sisters, and daughters. Suppose they aren’t trying to identify and describe your femininity through high-value expectations. In that case, the lazy and unjust route is taken to appeal to your issues and experience through proximity and projection. While it is heartwarming that a partner holds you high in his heart, they should love and see you for the Black WOMAN you are, not someone who might as well have been his blood femme relative.
Being too forgiving and having a ride-or-die mentality is a powerful combo that makes for a fatal flaw in relationships. Always make sure you ask yourself cui bono or “who benefits?”. Subconsciously or consciously, asking yourself this question will ultimately reveal who is responsible for your actions–you or someone else? The saying “love will make you do “crazy” things” might be a way to rationalize your actions by blaming love–a powerful and incredible emotion that conquers all. However, love shouldn’t make you do bad, “crazy” things, so never stop asking yourself, ‘cui bono?’.
Discernment is Key
Whether you are down with the swirl or all about that #blacklove, don’t be blinded by the exterior and aesthetics of it all. Please keep an open mind while taking your time to judge potential partners to prove their true selves. Dating and getting to know someone is best when you get out of your comfort zone, especially when you haven’t found luck in the places you searched for in the past. However, use your past to ruminate who you want to be in a relationship with and properly vet others to see if they fit with the life you want to lead and if they bring the best out of you. Don’t rush because discernment is critical in divesting.
The Importance of Self-Preservation: Altruism Gets You Nowhere
Your light, creativity, intelligence, beauty–your SURVIVAL matters. Black women are the most forgiving, as well as the ones that’ll fight for those around them. Unfortunately, that results in fewer efforts in return and, in relationships, it can be shattering. You’re existence matters. Fight for yourself first, and there will be a reward of peace and longevity. There is no reward for fighting other people’s fights when you don’t fight for yourself. Remember, neglect is a form of abuse, so don’t put yourself through that ever/ever again. Put yourself at the forefront.
Featured Image credit @hamedhazel
Marian Haileis a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. A literature graduate, she believes that storytelling and analyzing history can assist in developing an understanding of those around us and ourselves. You can follow her Instagram @marianhaile.