As the first website dedicated to exclusively natural hair, we were sometimes referred to by nasty names such as "Nazi's" and "Militants" by those who did not understand or care to understand what the women on the site were about.
Making the website exclusive to natural hair care was a big no no at the time according to most. This led to me having to make the entire website private for a period of time and even close it down temporarily and ban people from the site from both sides due to the influx of negativity and my frustration. We all have come a long way since then. Just look at mainstream products like Pantene's below. A product like this was unheard of 10 years ago.
Still, it was temporary and only a small interruption. Even at the height of misunderstandings, I never saw this as a "war". I never used the term "war" and the reason for that is because there is no "war". War invokes images of violence, killing, guns and hate. It is not a term to be used lightly yet I see it all over the place these days. People using the term "war" to describe a disagreement or a difference of opinions. And I think it is wrong.
That said, I was surprised when I saw the term "war" used in an editorial in Ebony Magazine when referring to natural and relaxed women. Apparently there has been a war going on and it is a war against straight hair. Really? Is this how we behave? It is nothing but another way to divide us.
My response to their article is:
Pay close attention to the last paragraph: "The shift to natural may seem to some to be a war, but that is only to those not secure enough in their own skin (and hair) to accept that other people's choices are not personal statements against theirs."
That is what I consider to be behind this divisiveness. If you are comfortable in your hair and your skin, you do not feel the need to crusade against others or to try to assign a term to others to box them in. Terms like "natural nazis" I find highly offensive, just as terms like "perm head" - neither is acceptable in civilized conversation. If you are seeing a war among Black women, take a close look at what you are seeing and feeling within yourself. And go from there.