All Articles Tagged "new york times"

Should Authorities Be Able To Force A Pregnant Woman Into Rehab To Protect Her Child?

October 30th, 2013 - By Charing Ball
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Should unborn babies be allowed to hire attorneys and sue for protection against their mothers? And if so, how would that work exactly since unborn babies can’t talk? And if there is an unborn baby somewhere, speaking and specifically asking for an attorney through the womb, perhaps we need to pay attention to what this demon child is doing tomorrow and less on his case before The People’s Court.

Yet, this is no scary Halloween campfire tale. Last week, the New York Times reported on the confusing story of 28-year-old Wisconsin resident Alicia Beltran, who at 14 weeks pregnant, was handcuffed and thrown into a holding cell at the bequest of a court-ordered legal guardian, for her unborn fetus. Her arrest, reports the Times, stems from a prenatal checkup, in which she informed her doctor of a past addiction she had to prescription pills, which she had the previous year prior to getting pregnant. According to the Times piece, Beltran’s urine test came back clean, however, that didn’t stop the doctor, a social worker and ultimately a court, from determining that she was, in fact, endangering the life of her fetus by not accepting their order to start on an anti-addiction drug. And even though Beltran’s unborn child was granted an attorney, her request for a court-ordered attorney was refused and she was forced into a 78-day stay at a treatment program.

As bizarrely unethical, and seemingly illegal as this all sounds, the Times reports that what happened to Beltran was very much legal under Wisconsin’s “coke mom” act, which allows authorities to “forcibly confine a pregnant woman who uses illegal drugs or alcohol ‘to a severe degree,’ and who refuses to accept treatment.” According to the Times piece, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota all have such laws, which allow for expecting moms, suspected of drug abuse, to be arrested and confined in order to protect the safety of the child.

While the law, particularly what the government can and can not do, is pretty clear, what is not so clear is the objective. Is this law really helping to protect the interest of an unborn child or just another way in which we institute social control over the bodies of poor and other marginalized women?

In some respects you understand the intentions behind such a law. No one thinks it is a good idea to expose a fetus to drugs. And stopping addictive substances isn’t as easy for some folks, even through pregnancy. In that spirit, intervention does seem like the ideal solution to addressing the welfare of both the mother and the child. However, there is a strange ethos, which believes that the way to address drug addiction is through arrest, confinement and forced treatment. For one, not everyone who takes drugs is an addict. Therefore, forced treatment is not always needed and necessary. In the case of Beltran, it would seem that boundaries were clearly overstepped to make determinations that were most peculiarly false. Therefore, the only thing to deduct here is that either the doctor, the social workers and the courts all had a personal vendetta, thus engaging in a major conspiracy against her, or that there are real opportunities for abuses against those, who folks may have a bias against; this includes pregnant women on welfare, immigrants, the former and current drug addicted, and yes, black women too.

Also, what about pregnant women who failed to kick a cigarette habit or who have been seen having a drink of wine with their dinner? Or what about those pregnant women who neglect their doctor visits and at times don’t take their prenatal vitamins on doctor orders? What if an expecting mother is overweight and admits to eating too much fried chicken? How far are we willing to go down the rabbit hole of paternalism to protect the interest of the unborn child? And what expense should this protectionism have over the autonomy of the mother?

“What If Poetry Isn’t Enough?” Ntozake Shange Explains How Illnesses Stifled Her Work

October 30th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Last week, the New York Times published a beautiful and somewhat heartbreaking piece about famed playwright and poet Ntozake Shange. In the piece, they find Shange at Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York City, celebrating her 65th birthday. She sat in her wheelchair at the front table watching her first theatrical work in more than a decade “Lost in Language and Sound: Or How I Found My Way to the Arts.”

Seeing this play take life is an accomplish, a labor of love in the truest sense of the phrase. For the past decade her life and subsequently her work have changed drastically due to health issues. First she had two small strokes that made her unable to read temporarily. Then in 2011, she was diagnosed with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropath, a neurological disorder that left her unable to type or write without difficulty.

She explained to the New York Times what living with her conditions has felt like:

“I can’t work on a computer and I can’t write very well, either. It sort of feels empty, not like I’m swollen with words. I feel like there’s an astringent being applied to my body so that everything is getting very tight and I can’t release it right this minute.”

She has attempted to use voice recognition software but that presents its own set of problems.

“Spell-check ruins my work. It fixes all my slang and dialect into standard English. So I’m caught in a tangle of technology that feels very foreign to me. My characters don’t talk necessarily in a normal American way of talking. They talk a little different. So I’m having a struggle with the grammar.”

Despite the physical struggles her disease has introduced into her life, she still has the mind to create.

“But I’ve still got my characters in my head, and I can still hear them. When I go to the grocery store I hear them. Or we went to the San Gennaro Festival a couple weeks ago in Manhattan and I could hear all those voices again, and that invigorated me, because I said, ‘Wow, they’re still here, I can do it again.’ So I feel optimistic about my writing career. I just was not capable of doing it for some years.”

The characters lead her to write, “Lost in Language and Sound,” which she calls a choreoessay. Before she was able to write again, she felt despondent.

“I thought I was being punished because I hadn’t kept doing the writing I wanted to do. Then I decided that it was just fate, and my aunt had Parkinson’s, so even though one side of the family was having heart attacks, the other side of the family was having nerve disease, so I got the worst of both sides, I guess.

“I thought, I’m just going to be this way for the rest of my life. Which isn’t that bad, now that I’m used to being numb all the time. But it’s such an inconvenience. It’s very inconvenient not to be able to use your hands.”

But during her birthday dinner, she spoke to friends about the way poetry helped her to overcome the side effects of her health challenges. She posed the question: What if poetry isn’t enough?

And she answered: “You have to keep acting like it is enough. You have to keep affirming it, and bringing yourself to it. You have to keep hoping that it will move the mountain.”

In the rest of the story,  Shange talks about the unwanted fame For Colored Girls brought into her life, how people thought she hated black men and the other struggles she’s endured throughout her life and career. You can read it over at the New York Times.


#BlackTwitter Dismisses NY Times Twerking Article Claiming It’s A Dance Associated With Low-Income Black Women

September 5th, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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NY Times Twerking Article

Source: Shutterstock/WENN


From HelloBeautiful 

When opinion writers from The NY Times decide to write about “twerking,” in a satirical essay riddled with a few questionable one liners, Black people get angry. Not just regular angry, but the type of angry that boldly @’s you on Twitter, demanding an explanation of words strung together for a powerfully painful sentence like this one:

“Explain that twerking is a dance move typically associated with lower-income African-American women that involves the rapid gyration of the hips in a fashion that prominently exhibits the elasticity of the gluteal musculature.”

From this satirical piece, an #AskTeddyWayne hashtag was born. By the looks of these hilarious tweets, I’ll say that Black Twitter strike again!

Check out some of the tweets at 

‘New York Times’ Back Online After Hackers Shut Down Its Website For Hours

August 28th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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Seth Fiegerman is a business reporter at Mashable.

Seth Fiegerman is a business reporter at Mashable.

If you’re like us, you were hitting refresh over and over again yesterday, trying to get into The New York Times website to no avail. Unlike the first time the site went down a couple of weeks ago (that was because of “technical difficulties”), this time, the paper says it was hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army “or someone trying very hard to be like them,” according to the Times’ chief information officer, Marc Frons.

The Syrian Electronic Army is a group of hackers sympathetic to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The group attacked The Washington Post on August 15, the Times says, and tried to hack CNN. The group has been around since 2011, when uprisings in that country began. Facebook, Oprah, and the Financial Times have all been victims. Just before 5pm yesterday, Twitter reported that something was fishy on its site as well, which you may have noticed (we did). Images stopped showing properly on that site and, from what we saw, on Hootsuite. But they say no user information was impacted.

Other sites around the world were also impacted by the SEA’s activities.

fiegerman tweet2


Western powers, including the US and Britain, are preparing for a possible strike against Syria after reports that the al-Assad government used chemical agents against its own people. United Nations inspectors are collecting evidence, but according to statements made by British Prime Minister David Cameron, the government has all but said they executed the attack and rebels wouldn’t have the capabilities to do so. Russia opposes any intervention, warning that it could cause further destabilization to “the country and the region.”

Syria’s closest ally, Iran, has also warned that a strike would lead to more trouble.

But back to the Times. We don’t know about you, but we found ourselves clicking on a number of links yesterday and being unable to access them, showing just how important the newspaper’s website is to the sharing of news on the Internet. Twice in one month has been hard for us to take.

Can A Man Be Forced Into Fatherhood?

June 17th, 2013 - By Charing Ball
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Happy Post Father’s Day to all the dudes out there who are actively involved in the lives of young people – whether they are biological fathers or not – because apparently, being a stand-up dude is purely optional.

At least that is the message I got from this New York Times editorial in which writer Laurie Shrage, who is also a professor of gender studies, argues that just because a man “accidentally” gets a woman pregnant, shouldn’t mean that he should be forced to bear the legal responsibilities of the child. As Shrage, explains it, this phenomenon is called forced fatherhood, as she labels it, and it is akin to punishing men for sexual promiscuity. According to her, there needs to be a more expansive definition of fatherhood, particularly in the court systems, to better accommodate men who are not the biological father of a child but still decide to raise them, as well to include men whose only connection to a child is being a sp*rm donor. From Shrage’s editorial:

Court-ordered child support does make sense, say, in the case of a divorce, when a man who is already raising a child separates from the child’s mother, and when the child’s mother retains custody of the child. In such cases, expectations of continued financial support recognize and stabilize a parent’s continued caregiving role in a child’s life.  However, just as court-ordered child support does not make sense when a woman goes to a sp*rm bank and obtains sp*rm from a donor who has not agreed to father the resulting child, it does not make sense when a woman is impregnated (accidentally or possibly by her choice) from sex with a partner who has not agreed to father a child with her. In consenting to sex, neither a man nor a woman gives consent to become a parent, just as in consenting to any activity, one does not consent to yield to all the accidental outcomes that might flow from that activity. ”

To Shrage’s larger point, the child support system needs to be overhauled as well. There are few folks, who I would think would argue that the system in its current state is of benefit to mother, father, or child involved. And with anywhere between 14 to 24 of fathers in the system below the poverty line, slapping an order of support, which he is unlikely to be able to pay, does not seem beneficial. I also agree with her point about a new expansive definition to include the men, who have voluntarily stepped up and taken on the role as father in a child’s life. However, as bad as this current system is, having a system where a man can pick and choose which of his off-spring he deems worthy of his last name doesn’t seem very progressive – in fact, it sounds very regressive to the times of old when men did that very same thing and were well within their legal right to do so.

Likewise, I personally find it hard to imagine there being an epidemic of men being forced into parenthood against their objection. Even providing anecdotal stories about women hijacking sp*rm from a condom some poor schmuck left behind likely pales in comparison to the stories of men, who were willing participants in sexual intercourse, which ultimately led to conception. And to be clear, short of stealing a man’s sp*rm, the claim of forced fatherhood is really a dubious, and slightly offensive one, particularly to people who have had forced sexual relationships put upon them.

Sure, we can argue that men have little say-so in determining the progression of an unplanned pregnancy, however, that is because the job of impregnating and giving actual birth is not equal. And I think that this is a point that needs to further be emphasized as folks of all genders do take pregnancy for granted. This is in part due to modern technology, which has greatly decreased most of the risk that used to be associated with pregnancy and labor. However, folks should understand that pregnancy is still a pretty dangerous job and women really do put their lives on the line in order to birth the next generation of human beings. Despite the fact that the number of maternal deaths worldwide dropped from more than 543,000 to 287,000, some 800 women still die daily from even the most preventable complications due to pregnancy and labor.

Put aside the mostly non-life threatening side effects of pregnancy including nausea and vomiting, constipation, heartburn, swelling and bloating, hemorrhoids, hair loss, and a whole host of other unpleasant ailments, and let’s talk about the more serious complications: high blood pressure and hypertension; gestational diabetes; eclampsia; blood clots; broken bones; infection; hemorrhaging, and even death. Not to mention the complications, which can come from having to have a non-v*ginal birth (c-section) and all the after-birth side effects like postpartum depression.

Since men are physically incapable of bearing these life-altering and threatening burdens of pregnancy, it doesn’t make sense – legal or otherwise – that they should have a say in a decision, which has a profound affect on one’s body. And if any man has a problem with that, tell him to take it up with Mother Nature.

Although the final decision about the progression of a pregnancy and labor belongs to the woman, men are not totally without choice to prevent unplanned fatherhood. I think what is most interesting about these decisions, which come up around the idea of men being allowed to legally terminate parental rights, is that we tend to skip over the same same sort of personal responsibility ethos, which has been shoved down the throats of women. Sort of how there is a movement now to teach men not to rape, as opposed to just telling women how to prevent rape, we need to start drilling in the minds of men the importance of taking their reproductive choices seriously. And if they don’t, there will be serious and life-altering consequences, including being stuck legally and financially to a child you might not be ready for.

We should reinforce to men that once they let that seed separate from their body, and into another’s body, you basically give consent to use said seed for whatever purpose one see’s fit, including biological. We should tell guys that not only is abstinence an acceptable and reasonable option, but just in case they can’t wait, at least try to be more selective in their sexual relationships. Likewise, if they can’t count on the success rate of condoms, perhaps they should explore other birth control options, including a vasectomy, which again, thanks to modern technology, is now reversible. Some guys I know don’t even like to think about that option because it is “too invasive.” Go figure.

Kanye West And Why You Have To Sometimes Believe Your Own Hype

June 14th, 2013 - By Charing Ball
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Love him, hate him, there is a lot that we all can learn from Kanye West, particularly the benefits of believing one’s own hype:

New York Times: “Even though you had always wanted to be out in front, was there ever a point where you valued your anonymity?”
Kanye West: “Yeah, I held on to the last moments of it. I knew when I wrote the line “light-skinned friend look like Michael Jackson” [from the song “Slow Jamz”] I was going to be a big star…”

For Real Kanye? It was that line right there that was going to propel you into stardom? What cued you in to this revelation Kanye? Were you sitting in your room one day, scribbling down lines in a black and white composition notebook when – all of a sudden – the skies opened up, thunder clapped, and the voice of hundreds of tiny cherub-faced angels with harps descended upon you with a chorus of “Ave Maria”? Was there a blinding light and a deep voice, which harkened; “Go forth and share with the world, ‘Got a light-skinned friend looks like Michael Jackson/Got a dark-skinned friend looks like Michael Jackson…’ I am your father. This I command you?” If so, pass that to the left hand side…

He was right though. About the fame I mean. And I guess to some extent the line too because damn if it isn’t one of my favorite Kanye-isms. If you haven’t read the entire New York Times piece, do yourself a favor and go right now or you will miss other self-promoting gems like: “I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means. I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of Internet, downtown, fashion, culture. Period. By a long jump.”

Way to speak about yourself in the third person. Nevertheless, West has a long and prominent history of inflating his own virtues. After the New York Times piece went viral, Vulture decided it would also compile a list of all the other wonderful thoughts West has had about himself, including this one:

“I’m a pop enigma. I live and breathe every element in life. I rock a bespoke suit and I go to Harold’s for fried chicken. It’s all these things at once, because, as a taste maker, I find the best of everything. There’s certain things that black people are the best at and certain things that white people are the best at. Whatever we as black people are the best at, I’ma go get that. Like, on Christmas I don’t want any food that tastes white. And when I go to purchase a house, I don’t want my credit to look black.” — Spin, December, 2007”

And this one:

“There’s nothing more to be said about music. I’m the end-all, be-all of music. I know what I’m doing. I did 808s in three weeks. I got it. It’s on cruise control … Man, we talked about music for God knows how long! Now let’s talk about how my sweater didn’t come back right from Korea. That’s what’s interesting me.” — Details, February, 2009”

And this one too:

[In regard to a life-size poster of himself] “I put me on the wall because I was the only person that had me on the wall at that time. And now that a lot of people have me on their wall, I don’t really need to do that anymore.” — Rolling Stone, April, 2004”

West is the prime example of ‘ain’t nobody gonna get hype about you until you learn to hype yourself up first’. Yet folks generally have a hard time with being their own cheerleader and advocate. Many people go through life with such poor self-images of themselves, and the world in general, that the very idea that they might be deserving of a little praise renders them paralyzed. Instead, it’s much more comfortable to self-criticize and beat one’s self up because it means living without the burden of expectation. No one expects a person who doesn’t feel they are talented or having anything worth sharing with the world, to actually achieve anything. Therefore, they hang out in the shadows, feeling sorry for themselves and being cogs in the systems of someone else’s dream and ambition while the world pretty much passes them by. It is that endless wall-flowering, which keeps folks from going out into the world and commanding the respect that they deserve – whether it be a raise at work,  from your significant other, or even with something you want to buy for yourself.

But having an almost narcissist view of one’s greatness is a perfect shield from the negative messages we tell ourselves as well and are bombarded with daily. People will tell you – out of concern, fear and flat out hateration – why what you are doing is a waste of time. Sometimes they will have legitimate points. However (and take my word for it), indulging in too many cautionary tales and giving weight to other people’s doubt – no matter how pragmatic they are – will only slow you down. If you sincerely feel like you have talent, you have to be arrogant enough to say, ‘despite everyone’s objections and my own fears, I do believe my s**t is hot, therefore this is where I’m going to put my faith.’ And by faith I mean the actual task of dedicating time and energy into something in addition to the unwavering belief that your craft has value.

I do realize that humbleness is a virtue. I also realize that there are too many people, faux-profiling, posing and gushing over social media sites without having done the work to warrant such self-flagellation. But I also understand that a little arrogance is needed when at times true confidence is hard to find. You know, faking it until you make it? Odds are, it was probably West’s inflated ego, which gave him the gumption to fund his very first music video at a time when his label wanted to put his project on the back burner for easier and more marketable hip-hop artists. And there is no doubt that it is West’s continued stroking of his own ego, which compels him to step out the box and test the limit of his artistry. You have to be a pretty vain mothersucker to sing on an album knowing damn well you are nowhere near close to being a singer. And yet, it totally worked (off-key and all), because he was going to make sure it worked.

“I’m Forever the 35-year-old 5-year-old.” Kanye Talks Music, Kim & Fatherhood With The New York Times

June 12th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: NYT

Source: NYT

If you know anything about Kanye, you know that it’s not everyday that he sits down to talk to the media. It’s quite rare. And after reading his interview with the New York Times, I can easily see why West would be concerned that his words might be misinterpreted. He thinks and speaks in ways that can easily be manipulated. So it makes sense, for clarity’s sake that Jon Caramanica, the journalist who interviewed West, would stick to a simple question and answer format to avoid any confusion.

In the interview Caramanica and West discuss everything from the Grammy snubs, the infamous Taylor Swift incident, his love for Kim, his thoughts on fatherhood and his concept of family now that his mother’s passed.

Essentially, the interview covers everything you always wanted to know…even if the answers may leave you wanting. Check out some of the highlights below.

On fighting for what’s right in music

When your debut album, “The College Dropout” came out, the thing that people began to associate with you besides music was: Here’s someone who’s going to argue for his place in history; like, “Why am I not getting five stars?”

I think you got to make your case. Seventh grade, I wanted to be on the basketball team. I didn’t get on the team, so that summer I practiced. I was on the summer league. My team won the championship; I was the point guard. And then when I went for eighth grade, I practiced and I hit every free throw, every layup, and the next day I looked on this chart, and my name wasn’t on it. I asked the coach what’s up, and they were like, “You’re just not on it.” I was like, “But I hit every shot.” The next year — I was on the junior team when I was a freshman, that’s how good I was. But I wasn’t on my eighth-grade team, because some coach — some Grammy, some reviewer, some fashion person, some blah blah blah — they’re all the same as that coach. Where I didn’t feel that I had a position in eighth grade to scream and say, “Because I hit every one of my shots, I deserve to be on this team!” I’m letting it out on everybody who doesn’t want to give me my credit.

You want the historical record to be right.

Yeah, I don’t want them to rewrite history right in front of us. At least, not on my clock. I really appreciate the moments that I was able to win rap album of the year or whatever. But after a while, it’s like: “Wait a second; this isn’t fair. This is a setup.” I remember when both Gnarls Barkley and Justin [Timberlake] lost for Album of the Year, and I looked at Justin, and I was like: “Do you want me to go onstage for you? You know, do you want me to fight” —

The Taylor Swift incident 

But has that instinct led you astray? Like the Taylor Swift interruption at the MTV Video Music Awards, things like that.

It’s only led me to complete awesomeness at all times. It’s only led me to awesome truth and awesomeness. Beauty, truth, awesomeness. That’s all it is.

So no regrets?

I don’t have one regret.

Do you believe in the concept of regret?

If anyone’s reading this waiting for some type of full-on, flat apology for anything, they should just stop reading right now.

But that is something that you apologized for.

Yeah, I think that I have like, faltered, you know, as a human. My message isn’t perfectly defined. I have, as a human being, fallen to peer pressure.

So that was a situation in which you gave in to peer pressure to apologize?


So if you had a choice between taking back the original action or taking back the apology, you’d take back the apology?

You know what? I can answer that, but I’m — I’m just — not afraid, but I know that would be such a distraction. It’s such a strong thing, and people have such a strong feeling about it. “Dark Fantasy” was my long, backhanded apology. You know how people give a backhanded compliment? It was a backhanded apology. It was like, all these raps, all these sonic acrobatics. I was like: “Let me show you guys what I can do, and please accept me back. You want to have me on your shelves.”

Just Call Him Little O: Steve Harvey Enjoying Crossover Success

March 26th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Joe Seer /

Joe Seer /

Whatever Steve Harvey touches goes gold. And now his new talk show is considered a “solid win” by NBC, reports the The New York Times.

Since debuting in September, Steve Harvey has been a daytime TV success, averaging a rating of 0.9 among women ages 25 to 54. And, according to the newspaper, the show just keeps attracting more and more viewers.

In February, the show posted a 1.0 rating, tying with Katie Couric’s syndicated talk show for the first time. His show is even already posting a slight profit, according to Endemol. Endemol produces it for NBC, which then sells it to stations across the country.

Harvey still also works on his national morning radio show, the game show Family Feud (which he started hosting in 2010) and various other ventures, such as the hit feature film, Think Like a Man, that made $100 million last year.

“While many of his older fans are, like him, African-American, Mr. Harvey has demonstrated that he has significant crossover appeal” reports the Times.

TV stations seem to love Harvey as well. Harvey’s show costs a lot less to produce than Couric’s does meaning stations pay less to carry it.

Due to his recent crossover success, Harvey was recently dubbed the “next Oprah” by the Hollywood Reporter.

 “I won’t be Oprah, but maybe baby Oprah,” Harvey said to the newspaper with a laugh after he’d let his guard down a bit about that scary moniker. “Just call me little O!”

Success isn’t new to Harvey who had the hit TV comedy series, The Steve Harvey Show, which ran from 1996 to 2002.

Is Courtship Dead? And If It Is, Is That Really Such A Bad Thing?

January 22nd, 2013 - By Charing Ball
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According to the New York Times, dating is now dead. R.I.P dinner and a movie:

Instead of dinner-and-a-movie, which seems as obsolete as a rotary phone, they rendezvous over phone texts, Facebook posts, instant messages and other “non-dates” that are leaving a generation confused about how to land a boyfriend or girlfriend.”

The Times piece then goes on to say that non-committal activities like ‘hanging out,” have replaced actual dates and courtship. According to the article, dodgy economic prospects, which makes it impossible to afford dates; changing economic dynamics between the genders; online dating including texting, emailing and social networking and the rise of the “hookup culture” are to blame for the disappearance of dating. To illustrate the demise, the Times article uses the anecdotal story of a Shani Silver, a young woman from Philadelphia, who was supposed to go on a date with a guy she met on OkCupid, but turned him down when, on the night of the date, he sent her a text message, suggesting that they met up at a local Pub where he was already having drinks with his friends.

Turned off, she fired back a text message, politely declining. But in retrospect, she might have adjusted her expectations. “The word ‘date’ should almost be stricken from the dictionary,” Ms. Silver said. “Dating culture has evolved to a cycle of text messages, each one requiring the code-breaking skills of a cold war spy to interpret.”

I think that Silver was right to reevaluate her expectations from this “date.” There is no doubt that dating has changed over the time. But so what? Flowers, a classy dinner of poorly seasoned crab legs and cheddar bay biscuits at Red Lobster, the latest action movie you had no desire see but your date really wants to see it so whatever – while traditional of courtship – wasn’t all that fantastic as The New York Times has waxed nostalgic it to be. Personally, I’ve hated dating in the traditional sense of the word. For me, it always felt like being on job interview where the lady with the navy blue suit and a notepad, sits behind the faux-wood finish desk and in her polite, yet almost deceptive tone asks you probing questions like: where do you see yourself in ten years? and describe your strengths and weakness and can you explain this gap in employment?

And then you, in your equally uncomfortable outfit, which you would wear outside of this interview, have to somehow come up with answers that are some version of the truth but also paint you in what you think is a favorable light. I have done that many of times – in both interviews and on dates. The older I get, the more life gets hectic, the harder the hustle gets and I am more filled with “things to do.” This means that my time is extremely valuable. Therefore, when I go out, I’m going out to have a good time – not to determine if a good time is to be had. So yeah, I like having my “friends.”

And that brings me to a larger point about this fear of change, even when the traditional wasn’t necessarily great to begin with. Back in the day, it was socially frowned upon for a woman to date multiple suitors at one time or even have a sexual relationship outside of marriage. Today, women are encouraged not to settle, to sample what’s out there and cultivate relationships around their likes and desires before jumping into a relationship. And that’s not  even mentioning the power imbalance, which used to accompany traditional courtship. Do you know how incredibility and advisably unsafe some of the courtship rules of old were? While it may be proper for a man to abide by the old fashion way and pick you up for a date, it certainly isn’t advisable in this day and age. So, in that sense, modern dating has become more empowering and meaningful for women than ever before.

Also there is something to be said for the way in which technology has made our traditional dating rituals more inclusive. While it may seem unlikely for lots of folks to think of finding love and connecting with people behind a the keypads on a computer or smartphone, some people, who might be shy or awkward socially, will often use technology to engage potential partners comfortably in ways they could not physically do publicly. Of course, there is always a chance of running into a few catfishes in the virtual world however it sure beats running into a few turds in real life.

Get The Digits: Is Asking For His Credit Score The New “What’s Your Phone Number?”

December 28th, 2012 - By Charing Ball
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

From the New York Times:

“The credit score, once a little-known metric derived from a complex formula that incorporates outstanding debt and payment histories, has become an increasingly important number used to bestow credit, determine housing and even distinguish between job candidates.

It’s so widely used that it has also become a bigger factor in dating decisions, sometimes eclipsing more traditional priorities like a good job, shared interests and physical chemistry. That’s according to interviews with more than 50 daters across the country, all under the age of 40.”

According to the article, a number of enterprising websites have sprouted out, catering to this growing interest in credit background checking of potential partners. A couple such sites, and, allow its members to exchange and view credit scores of potential dates. The article also included an interesting anecdotal story about a flight attendant named Jessica Lashawn, whose dream guy fizzled before her eyes after Mr. Rico Sauve broached the credit question on their first date.

From to the article:

“It was as if the music stopped,” Ms. LaShawn, 31, said, recalling how the date this year went so wrong so quickly after she tried to answer his question honestly. “It was really awkward because he kept telling me that I was the perfect girl for him, but that a low credit score was his deal-breaker.”

I don’t know how the rest of you feel but that just seems like an abitrary reason to dismiss your “perfect girl” on the first date. I mean, at the very least, advise her on some credit counseling and see how that pans out before writing her off. But everyone has their own standards. And quite honestly adding, “what’s your credit score” to the list of questions we already use to gauge the worthiness of a potential partner is not a bad idea.

The credit rating of a potential partner could have determining impacts on what kind of dates you have, who pays and even transportation to and from your date.  And if the relationship gets more serious, his or her bad credit could impact more important financial decisions such as the ability to buy a house. Likewise, credit can also be a indictator of how sound a decision maker a person is outside of the financial realm. For instance, a guy with pretty decent credit might be a sign that he is responsible and honest person in love. However, a guy with a couple of liens and delinquent marks on his credit report, could suggest that he might not be a little flippant with not only his wallet but with your heart too. It might sound like pseudo-science but more and more employers are turning to the credit scores of job candidates to help determine good hirees.

Some folks may have fallen on hard times due to lost of job or even a personal or family sickness.  Some folks may have not been so fiscally wise in their younger years but might be working to clean up their credit. And some folks just have more student loan debt than actual income. While I don’t see anything wrong with asking a potential partner about their overall financial solvency, I think it might be a dangerously short-sighted to rely solely on someone’s score, especially based on a metric you had no hand in creating.

But what do you guys think? Should our FICO score be the new “What’s your digits?”