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Posts Tagged ‘women’

I’m having a moral dilemma. I like to think of myself as a modern-day-feminist. I like to think of myself as a person who will always fight for the rights of women, especially black women, and the oppressed, which generally  fall into the same category. I am embarrassed to say that I have been struggling with how to feel about a certain situation in the popular media headlines.

I have begun re-reading one of my favorite books, Deals with the Devil, and Other Reasons to Riot, by Pearl Cleage and I have just gotten to the chapter where she discusses Miles Davis. Miles Davis admitted, willingly in Miles: The Autobiography that he hit actress Cicely Tyson when they had been together. What is so brilliant about Pearl Cleage is that she always presents readers with a question to present to themselves. We learn about how she felt when she learned that one of her favorite musicians had hit a woman. She felt a moral responsibility as a feminist to defend her sisters but in the same breath she questioned whether or not defending her sisters meant abandoning the music that was once so sweet to her.

I am faced with a similar issue when asked about the Chris Brown/ Rihanna “relationship”. I cringe just thinking about it because the image of Rihanna’s battered face left an imprint on my brain, but, it seems to have faded from her own.

Rihanna_Beat_Face

I was so upset at what he had done to her and the comments that quickly ensued about what she could have possibly done to bring him to do this. These are the same unnerving, unacceptable conversations that follow the rape of a woman because she had to have done something to get raped. We all know men don’t commit violent crimes against women without being first encouraged too, right? Wrong.

We all watched as the couple sashayed together to the Grammy’s and have been spotted cuddling around town. Now, before my brothers accuse me of giving racists another opportunity to confirm the hate against the angry black man, please understand that I am black and woman before I am anything else. I have to defend the black woman at all costs, before anything else. I also need my kings to know that my defense of my sisters should not cause an offense to any secure, honorable black man.

After all, I am conflicted about this. I started writing this post months ago and I am just now finishing it. I was so conflicted that I couldn’t even work up enough courage to publish the post. But now, I’ve had it. I’ve decided that if I stand for anything, I have to speak out against this relationship. Not solely because of the physical abuse but because of that womanly intuition that allows each of us to see one another for who we really are, when we’re in tune with it. I am not judging Rihanna. I feel so sorry for her. I feel sorry for Chris Brown too. They are perfect examples of a generation of entitled kids given everything too soon and losing everything too quickly. I know, “ain’t nobody’s business but you and your baby,” –got that.

I’ve seen that “ain’t nobody’s business” mantra do more harm than good in this short life I’ve lived.  It was everyone’s business when you cried to Diane Sawyer, when you were pissed off, heartbroken, and in love with the man that beat you. When you didn’t know how to respond because unlike most battered women, your beating took place on the main stage and now the stage hands, back up dancers and audience were waiting on your next move, literally. There was no turning back then. Rihanna couldn’t hold that in, and anyone who follows the pop princess, knows that she isn’t one to hold back on her feelings.

 

Rihanna-ChrisBrown

 

 

So now, I have to decide how I’m going to handle myself now that I’ve confronted my disdain for this relationship. Does this mean, I have to turn off my radio, and delete all of my Rihanna and Chris Brown songs from my I-pod? Does supporting the music of these two individuals conflict everything I stand for? My hopeless romantic spirit is rolling its eyes at me right now. As much as I’d like to twist this into some love-story between two broken souls who defied all odds to be together, I can’t. While I can’t predict the future, there’s one thing I know about gravity: when something fragile hits the floor, it breaks, and no matter how you glue it back together you will always see the cracks, and cracks lead to, more cracks. Eventually, we’re back to where we started with a whole bunch of jagged pieces cutting you every time you try to mold them. I don’t wish ill-will to either of these lovers, actually, somewhere deep inside I’m hoping that the universe shakes things up and things work out between them, at least, for my i-pod’s sake. So it goes.

 

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November 11, 2012

I am really mean to my dad when I’m not dating. I’ve discovered that although I am happy right now being single, the part of me that wants a man is very bitter. I am still trying to find my way in this world and am very insecure about where I am in terms of my career. Whenever  I’m stressed about anything, especially on the jobs front, I take my frustration out on my dad. I have now realized that it’s because I desperately want my father to be pleased with me and because I have no man in my life to “please”, this frustration becomes even more intense.

Whenever I get a new opportunity that seems promising or could open up some doors for me, my father usually gives me three reasons why it won’t work. I know this is not because he doesn’t want me to succeed, but because he wants just that. He wants me to be prepared for all of the things that could prevent me from reaching my goals. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always come across when we talk. I usually feel that he’s confirming all of my fears and it has caused me to shy away from opportunities. I usually respond to his questioning about my prospects in a bitter, defensive way, all the time. My father and I have just recently talked about this and I’ve come to realize that I don’t feel he completely believes in me. Furthermore, and perhaps the most frightening discovery thus far, I’ve found that I don’t believe in myself fully. This lackluster faith I have in myself is beginning to show itself in my writing, in my appearances and in the way I conduct myself with friends and family.

I just want to take a moment to say that these self-discovery moments are only made possible through my MANcation. I know myself and had I been chasing some relationship or man, I would not have the time or energy to take a deeper look at myself and the things I need to work on. At least, I haven’t met a man yet that has required that of me.

The quiet moments that I get to spend working on me, not who others need me to be, but working on just me are so very important for personal growth. We all want to be accepted, every last one of us. From birth, we are constantly doing things to be accepted. However we are perceived by our peers and the people we seek acceptance from will affect our interactions for the rest of our lives.

That quest for approval can be extremely damaging. I am learning to stop holding acceptance at such high regard because it is holding me hostage. This constant consent that I search for in my personal and romantic relationships is beginning to cause such insecurity and doubt and I’ve decided to free myself from it. I’m working on accepting myself and no longer being afraid of my own potential.

I think I am most afraid of being too great. I don’t say this in a vain or self-indulgent way at all. I say that because I am a child of God and HE has only created greatness within me. It is an insult to Him to shy away from my full potential simply because it may be the road less travelled and may upset people. That’s just wrong.

I’ve already gone too long on this post. That’s all for now.

Read more MANcation Revelations here

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President Barack Obama was re-elected to serve as President of the United States of America for four more years last night.

I had no doubt in my mind that he would win. I remember my dad asking me back in 2010 if I thought the president would be re-elected and I said yes. I believed it then, I believed it when I cast my ballot to vote and I was right **toots horn**.

Although the media and the exit polling results helped to prove that this was a close election, I would hope that we as Americans, have learned a great deal from this election and presidential campaign.

I know that POTUS has learned a great deal, as he pointed out in his victory speech last night and I am hopeful that he will use this newly discovered wisdom in the coming years.

Some of the conversations surrounding the election and voting have been very troubling. While I have seen many young people motivated and inspired to exercise their right to vote and be involved in the democratic process, I have also heard some of the most uninformed and misguided statements from my peers. I know people who didn’t vote at all because they say the president didn’t do enough for the poor. Do I think the president could be more vocal about the conditions and issues affecting the poor? Absolutely. On the other hand, I feel that the President’s plan of investing in education and offering tax cuts to the middle class will have a direct affect on the poor. I know that this is not enough for some people. I know that some people need him to broadcast for “the hood” at all times but I think that is an unrealistic request of the President of an entire country.

There are some movements such as, #Occupythehood  (@Occupythehood on Twitter)  that are geared toward organizing minorities in underserved areas and engaging them in the political process to get their issues to the top of the president’s list. I hope more of these groups are formed and put into action because simply “hoping” that the President will represent every issue that plagues minorities simply on the premise that, “he’s just supposed to” isn’t smart at all. “Hope” may have made for a good campaign slogan but organization is the key to progress. This was ever so evident with the results of this presidential election.

 

What would’ve happened if women no longer had the choice to govern their own bodies or if they no longer had access to the minimal healthcare they have now in order to treat and prevent the diseases that so disproportionately affect poor, African Americans? I am black and female and I couldn’t afford to take that chance by voting for the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney. I have no desire to support a party that does not support me. Women’s issues can be found at the bottom of that thick binder Mitt Romney is so proud of and they’re far too important to me to be brushed under the rug.

I just want to encourage people not to let the media tell you who to vote for. Vote on the issues. That’s what democracy is about.

Bipartisanship is going to be so important in the coming years. The President is going to have to lead in a way that forces congress to put politics aside and find reasonable solutions to the issues. There are SO many issues.

To get back to the lessons learned, I hope and pray that the Republican party has discovered their AHA! moment. You cannot alienate minorities and ignore women’s issues and expect to win an election. This strategy may have worked 50 years ago, but in 2012, that’s just not going to fly.

I’m a firm believer that thoughts become things and what you speak into existence shall be. That being said, I’d like to suggest a small detail that could help to move the Republican party forward. It’s just a small thing, I promise. STOP calling yourself  “The Grand Old Party.”

If this election has proven anything, it’s that old policies and ways of thinking will get you nowhere in this country. It is time for the Republican party to start thinking in the “now”. Republicans need to evaluate how conservatism is defined. Is conservatism merely an ideology that disregards anything that opposes Biblical and traditional values? If that answer is yes, “Houston, we have a problem.”

There will be 20 women with seats in the Senate come January  and that alone should be enough to show the world that we are moving forward.

Forgive me if this post was all over the place but I’m filled with so many different feelings after this campaign. We still have a way to go in this country but it’s encouraging to know that the only way to go from here is, up.

 

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I’ve had a weave in my hair for over a month. I have a love/hate relationship with it. It’s similar to the way I feel about dating. When I’m wearing my own hair, I sometimes get an inkling that it’s time for a weave, whether it be to give my hair a rest from the elements, or because it’s just not growing the way I want it to, or I’m just plain sick of it. I’ve been here before. I’ve been loving my MANcation so far but sometimes, I get an inkling that I need a guy, whether it’s because I’ve watched too many romantic comedies, or because I’m bored with being alone, or that natural desire that all humans have for romantic love.

With weave, I usually like it for about two weeks, and then, I’m sick of it and I. want. it. out. Sometimes it’s because I don’t feel like myself anymore. I despise meeting new people with a weave in for fear that they may think this is the real me and be overwhelmed with grief when the luxurious locks are cut out and I’m back to looking like, well, me. Sometimes, the weave has just become too difficult to maintain and I have to ask myself, why am I going through so much trouble for something that’s not even mine?
Silly, I know, but it’s the truth. If you’ve read my blog before, you know I have an innate tendency to overanalyze things; sometimes, it’s useful, others, it just makes me insane. At any rate, I’ve found that this relationship with H.I.B. (Hair I bought), proves true in my romantic relationships. I”m assuming it proves true for other 20-something year old’s like myself, trying to survive in today’s culture. How many times have you looked at a guy or girl, become all infatuated with what he or she looks like, only to begin dating them (and I use the term “dating” very loosely) to find out that, they don’t really fit you. Maybe, they’re too hard to maintain or keep up with, or maybe you are sick of going through so much trouble for something that’s not even yours, or maybe you just don’t quite feel like your authentic self when you’re with them but you can’t seem to separate yourself because then people might notice, well, you, alone. See, where I’m going with this?
I tend to relate a lot of things to love and romance, because that’s just the space I’m in right now, but I’m sure everyone has something that they could relate to this. Maybe it isn’t weave, maybe it’s tattoos or clothing or some other physical add-on that we feel we sometimes need in order to be complete, even if this wholeness only lasts for a short time. We all have something that makes us feel like a different person, a person we may like more than the person we actually are, so we try it out for size, and when it doesn’t fit just right, we realize we don’t need it anymore, until, of course, the next time we feel we need it.
I believe that asking “why?” and really evaluating the reasons you come up with for validity will bring us to some rather interesting conclusions about ourselves. When I ask myself why I wear weave, the answer is usually a very shallow one that reveals insecurities I have about myself that aren’t going to go anywhere when the tracks are gone.
I challenge you to ask yourself what your vice is. What is the one thing or things that you feel you just have to have to feel complete? Is it working for you for the long haul or is it just a temporary pain-killer? We all know pain-killers never actually kill the pain do they, they eventually wear off. The only way to kill pain is to rip it out from its root. If you can find out what’s really causing it, and begin to make a conscious decision to stop claiming it and start embracing yourself, as you are, you may find you no longer need, extensions.
**Disclaimer: Don’t be surprised if you see me with another weave after I take this out. I’m still a work in progress! We are all rough drafts constantly being edited and revised by the MOST HIGH. I’m a walking constant contradiction, and although most won’t admit it, so are you.

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