I am a Black woman who is contemplating my life and my place in a society that is for lack of a better term, fucked up. Currently resides in Chicago where I ear hustle conversations on public transportation and watch the antics of humanity with fascination.
In an excerpt from her book, “The Feminine Mystique”, Betty Friedan defines women’s unhappiness during the Fifties as ”the problem that has no name.” She identifies “the problem that has no name” as upper-middle class suburban White women experiencing dissatisfaction with their lives and an inarticulated longing for something else beside their housewifely duties. She pins the blame on a media perpetuated idealized image of femininity, a social construction that tells women that their role in life is catch a man, keep a man, have children and put the needs of one’s husband and children first.
According to Friedan, women have been encouraged to confine themselves to a very narrow definition of “true” womanhood, forsaking education and career aspirations in the process by experts who wrote books, columns and books that told women during that era that their greatest role on the planet was to be wives and mothers. The role of a “real” woman was to have no interest in politics, higher education and careers and women were taught by these experts to pity women who had the nerve to want a life beyond the cult of true womanhood.
If women expressed dissatisfaction with their charmed lives, the experts blamed their feelings on the higher education they received before becoming a housewife. During the fifties, little girls as young as ten years were being marketed by underwear advertisers selling brassieres with false bottoms to aide them in catching boyfriends and American girls began getting married in high school. America’s birthrate during this time skyrocketed and college educated women made careers out of having children. The image of the beautiful, bountiful Suburban housewife was accepted as the norm and women drove themselves crazy, sometimes literally to achieve this goal.
Friedan ultimately concluded that “the problem that has no name” is not a loss of femininity, too much education, or the demands of domesticity but a stirring of rebellion of millions of women who were fed up with pretending that they were happy with their lives and that solving this problem would be the key to the future of American culture.
On November 10, I had another seizure. I hadn’t had a seizure since March 1, 2021 and this time, it happened at work. I had just come back from lunch and was sitting at my desk and bam! All I remember is getting guided downstairs to the ambulance and taken to the hospital.
I got some blood work done but never saw a doctor because it was very crowded. I sat there for five hours before making the decision to leave. I’m getting to be a pro at this seizure shit although I fucked my tongue up and my body is extremely sore from falling to the floor.
One of my greatest fears as an epileptic was having a seizure outside of my home. Like on public transportation which would be a nightmare because I would wake up robbed and fondled with my face plastered on YouTube. Because people aren’t shit these days. But it happened at work and my co workers looked out for me.
But next time I might not be that lucky to be surrounded by caring people so I have some real decisions about whether I should continue to work. I’ve been looking for remote jobs but it’s a lot of scams out here so I’m being careful.
Capitalism is truly a shitty thing. In order to survive, one must work but if you get sick, the system doesn’t give a fuck. Get your tired, broken down ass up and hump peasant! How dare you have a disability!
One of the least known facts about the concept of race is that that it is a socially constructed ideology. Race and subsequent racism was created by White Europeans and Americans in order to justify the enslavement of millions of people for profit. When people feel guilty about an action they committed, they will often try to find ways of justifying their actions. This is what Europeans and Americans did when they decided to explain away the actions of human bondage by declaring Africans subhuman. In doing this, they changed the interpretation of history itself. A land where complex civilizations had existed for centuries was reduced to the “Dark Continent” and its people declared savages. All in the name of profit for the status quo and converting the “natives” to Christianity. The history of Africa was rewritten to make Whites the conquerors who ‘civilized’ the natives.
Although ‘race’ as a description of the physical condition probably dates back to the dawn of the human species, most scholars agree that it was primarily through European expansion in the 16th to the 19th century that ‘race’ as a physical description emerged. It was when European colonizers, whose aim was mainly to seek out valuable primary products such as sugar, tin, rubber and human labor, came into contact with ‘native’ populations who were ‘people of color’ that racism became a dominant force in Western society. In order to maintain control of these populations, they were defined as inferior human beings primarily because of their different cultural practices as well as their not being White, the desired and ‘normal’ skin color. Pushing such people to the margins did not stop European men from sexually mixing with local women producing, wherever colonialism prospered, a so-called ‘mixed’ race of people. Thus, race as a biological factor was constructed in racism and became a major factor in racial discrimination. This ideology rapidly spread throughout Europe and other areas such as North America, spreading the doctrines of alleged racial inferiority.
This ideology of racial dictatorship and hierarchy quickly took root in American society by the signing of a famous document, “The United States Constitution.” This document clearly states, ‘We the People of the United States.’ The question proposed from this statement is, who exactly are “the People?” It certainly was not the enslaved Africans because they were considered to be three fifths of a human being. In addition to the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence also posed many questions of racism. The Declaration of Independence was written to sever ties in which people were denied their unalienable rights. However, the Constitution was still denying several people of their life, liberty, and or the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious to see that the Constitution laid the framework for which a segregated, racial society was formed in America.
Enslaved Africans were just as human as the White men whose rights were secured through the signing of the Constitution, but their rights did not matter. Because they did not have any rights, they were forced to live in a society in which the government officials did not represent them. Equality and justice was not for all, just for wealthy, land-owning White men. The practice of discriminating on the basis of skin color was born and would be legal until the six decade of the twentieth century. Even in the new millennium, racial inequalities still plague America and until this country can admit the wrongs done to enslaved Africans and their ancestors, no one will be free.
Two weeks ago, a very special lady crossed over into eternity and her name was Rosemary. She was my first cousin and she was loved by many. As a child, she was the most glamorous woman in the world to me and she brought excitement with her presence whenever she showed up.
She was this blazing comet who came to earth to fill us with joy and laughter, brimming over with passion and fire. Now her job is done and while here, she lived her life with gusto and pizazz. It’s going to take a long, long time for me to deal with the reality that she is no longer amongst us in the human form but some people are unique like that, their essence so powerful yet at the same time, so fragile. Those who loved her should be grateful that we had her at all. Rest In Power Rosemary. You was the big sister I never had and I will always love you.
It’s National Epilepsy Month everyone and I’m rocking purple eyeshadow to honor the millions of people who have this disorder. Personally, I don’t think people take this disability seriously enough because it can’t be seen until a person has a seizure. Which ain’t pretty and complete with convulsions and foaming at the mouth. Just imagine taking brain medication on a daily basis. Just imagine worrying about having a seizure out in public and the possibility of having your pictures taken by a fool and posted on the social media to go viral. That’s the life of an epileptic so please have some empathy for us.
On this day of dead, November 1, 2022, I would like to honor my ancestors. Without their blood, I wouldn’t exist. Without their courage, I would be nothing. And as long as I am alive, I will speak their names. They will never go unfed and not remembered. I will nourish them, savor their love and my love for them and continue to tell their stories until I join them.
I’ve been on the social media for 14 years this month and it has taught me several lessons. Mostly that humans are some miserable creatures who get a sick thrill off the unhappiness of others. It has also taught me a lot about the pathology of some Black folks who are Generation X and below and I finally figured out how to word it and it is called The Searching for a Savior complex. We grew up on stories about the Civil Rights Movement, the heroes that came from that movement. But subsequent generations didn’t produce any heroes so we turn entertainers and social media content creators into heroes. And the so called heroes use it to their advantage either for money or support for their foolishness. And folks fall for it over and over again. The very definition of insanity.
It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m sitting here watching a marathon of the television show “Snapped” and crying. As usual because I’m thinking about my lost ones and is filled with sadness, anxiety, and anger.
Earlier this year I read an article about Caroline Kennedy and it was written right after her brother John died in that plane crash along with his wife and sister in law. The topic was about being the sole survivor of your immediate family and what a terrible burden that had to be. As everyone knows, her father was murdered in 1963, her mother died of cancer in 1994 and then her little brother died in 1999.
I broke down after reading the article because it explained what I couldn’t articulate what I was feeling and is still feeling at the time of my brother’s death two years ago. American culture doesn’t like to ponder on painful thoughts so it really hasn’t been any research done on this topic. The impact of being the sole survivor of your family is overwhelming. At times, I thought I would end up in the psych ward but I’m still here, holding on to my sanity by sheer grace and will power.
I find myself clinging to my memories tighter and tighter as the days go pass. I listen to the music of my youth and young adulthood because my family were still alive when that music was created. I take a longer route to go home from work because I like to ride through the Bronzeville neighborhood I lived in from 1988 to 1992 because my mother and brothers were alive then and we all lived together.
I’m still coming to terms with the realization that the people with whom I had formed my earliest memories with are all gone and it’s nothing I can do about it. I’m not a religious person but I’m hoping that it’s a place where our souls go when we die and I will see my people again. Everyone will be restored to their full glory and they will greet me with love and joy.
I’ve been owned by a fat, black cat named Diddy for 13 years and I love him very much but I’m saddened by the fact that he’s getting older. Because that means he won’t be a part of my life anymore and it hurts acknowledging that. I wished that our fur babies had the longevity of us humans but that’s not the way Mother Nature created the world. So I’m going to enjoy my time with him and love him. My old man🐈⬛🐈⬛🐈⬛🐈⬛