- MadameNoire describes itself as an online magazine dedicated to the "unapologetic black woman". Welp, turns out they hired a white woman as a dating and sex columnist, Julia Austin. Some of the pieces written are super basic advice, but given the context can be seen as problematic coming from a white woman to an audience of black women
- For example, one piece called "Financial Mistakes You Make After Getting a Raise" shows some common pitfalls that people may make when their salary increases. Of course lifestyle creep is veery much a real thing and be avoided to be in better financial help, however the context makes it seem patronzing. What's wrong with maybe getting a nicer gym membership, paying a lot of debt, or making upgrades to your home? There's a sense in wanting black women to not elevate or plays into th trope that black women cannot be financially responsible.
- *Dj Khaled voice* another one! "Do You Have Maternal Instincts?" NOPE! NOPE! NOPE! Why is this bad, Austin lists reasons that really have no correlation to being a good mom and play very much on the smart, nice, black sidekick. She lists reasons like 'you know when people are uncomfortable', 'you'll give up sleep to console someone' and more takes. Why is this awful? It's a sense that black women must pour into everyone else before pouring into themselves and a white writer is missing the unique take when black women do have these traits. For example, 'you know when people are uncomfortable' - black women have been so marginalized and unprotected by society, we know if someone identify if someone feels uncomfortable, uneasy, in the workplace or a classroom. But to designated as nurturers places black women in a box. Being empathetic in one situation may not translate to motherhood.
Austin has a boatload of write-ups but these most recent do give some very tarnished takes given her race but uses appropriative language like 'sis', 'we' (referring to black women). Whooo chillay the suburbs.
What's even worse? Staff and higher-up at the publication have blocked accounts who have called them out on it. Madame Noire's Culture editor made an Instagram story saying that Austin was their only white freelancer (not true) and that singling out Austin didn't help black women. Yeah no shit it doesn't but your readers feel fucking deceived, offer at least a half assed apology.
Diversity should be welcomed in all areas. it's not the issue of having a white freelancer. The issue is that readers THINK these write-ups are from a black woman and a white woman taking an opportunity from a black freelancer when experiences faced by white and black women will never be the same.