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.
I’ve always been of the belief that music is food for the soul. Music nurtures your spirit, soothes your mind when you are feeling low, makes your heart sing with joy, and shake your ass with glee. But just like processed foods are not good for your body, trash music is not good for your emotional energy.
The Black collective is a hot mess for a variety of reasons and although some will not agree with me, I believe that music is playing a huge part in its continued dysfunction. When a steady stream of garbage music is marketed to the masses, it’s eventually going to affect the psyches of people who aren’t able to fight off the madness and as a result, so many people are miserable as fuck.
It makes me sad that no love music is coming from the current Black collective of musicians. Just anger, pain, and more pain. I know that life isn’t a fairytale but damn. And let’s not talk about the lack of singers who sang from the bottom of their hearts and the pits of their souls. Voices that could bring you to tears and brought chills to your spine. Now it’s a bunch of whining voices belonging to singers who all look alike. No individuality at all.
No those days are gone and the Black collective is suffering because of it. Music historically has been a part of our history since we brought here as chattel. Music keep us sane while we were toiling in the cotton, sugar cane, tobacco plantations of the South.
We sang in the Black church which used to be the finishing school for Black musicians. Singers from Aretha Franklin to Whitney can all trace their careers to the Black church. Religion has major issues but no one can deny that the Black church throughout history has played a major role in the music industry and now since Black folks have turned away from the church, the industry is suffering.
So who is the blame for this lack when it comes to Black music? Us. We sold out our culture for trinkets and now we have a major dearth when it comes to music. So the madness will continue.
Two years has passed since my brother died, and I’ve experienced a multiple of emotions ranging from the deepest despair to raging anger and anxiety. But lately, I feel myself turning into someone who doesn’t give a fuck about too much of anything.
I mean I love my children, grandchild, and my future grandchild to be. My friends and other family members but I’m not getting any enjoyment from life and it scares me at times. Because you can’t walk around not giving a fuck about anything. Or can you?
Honestly it’s easy to not give a fuck about stuff because the vast majority of people in America are dumb as a box of hair. Consumed with celebrities and other superficial mess while their way of life is burning to the ground. I just be sitting back watching these ninnies fight and argue with strangers online about celebrities who wouldn’t piss on them if they were on fire.
But I’m not going to lie. It scares me to be so apathetic about life now because by nature, I’m a passionate woman filled with fire. And I want that fire back instead of being the ice queen I’ve become. I’m praying for that day when my sense of optimism and joy about living comes back. Pray for me too.
I majored in sociology in college because it made sense after reading the first paragraph of the textbook I had been assigned. I had been a sociologist my entire life but didn’t know it.
When I was a little girl, I used to go to work with my mother during summer vacations and we would take public transportation. I always noticed that everyone would go through the same exact turnstile when we got to the train station, although it would be several that would be empty. That never made any sense to me because why stand in line when it was another turnstile available? Ugh humans but despite of their flaws, humanity is utterly fascinating to me.
Due to sociology, the social media, and aging, unfortunately I’m noticing that people are pathologically unhappy and it makes me sad. Because life is so short and it’s precious. Everyday you wake up is a blessing and a new opportunity to start over again. Who wants to wake up mad and miserable all the time? Not me.
For this new year, I’m hoping that everyone claims their right to happiness and joy. I would have thought that living through a pandemic would have awakened some people but it hasn’t. Be happy and love the people in your life. Love them with all your heart and soul. Because at times, life can be rough as hell and you never know when the grim reaper will be knocking on your door. Reclaim your life from misery and have a grand old life.
Today the world was shocked and saddened by the death of actress Betty White who was loved by all. She was an integral part of my childhood experience because I’m a total television junkie and I literally grew up watching her. Her career spanned over 70 years and she was the living definition of The Crone.
I watched her on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mama’s Family, and my favorite comedy of all time, The Golden Girls. The episode when Rose and the crew went on a game show and competed against each other was a study in comic genius.
She was funny, talented, and so much more. When I learned of her passing, I broke down and cried like a baby. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t cry on the last day of year because I had cried so many tears this year but I couldn’t help myself. So many people from my childhood have crossed over from relatives to celebrities that I loved and it’s been a bitter pill to swallow. No one told me that the worst aspect of aging is losing people because it forces you to think about your own mortality.
So rest easy Miss Betty. You gave joy to millions of people from one end of the world to the other and you will be missed. Knowing that you really didn’t blow up until you were a Crone gives me hope for the future. You were loved and revered Tee Tee Betty.
I’ve loved the musical artist and cultural icon Madonna from the moment she burst upon the scene. It was in 1983 and her song “Holiday” was being played on radio stations everywhere. On January 14, she made her national debut on American Bandstand, a staple in households across the country and she was so cool to me. I had never seen a female singer who dressed like her. And she was confident. Bold. With balls of brass.
And after that, she was everywhere. Literally. I followed her career which was easy because she was in the magazines and tabloids on a weekly basis. When she married the actor Sean Penn, the press went crazy and followed them everywhere. And she didn’t mind because she learned how to manipulate the press in such a slick manner, that they were too stupid to realize it.
During those days, all she had to do was wipe her ass and the media would bug out and accuse her of breaking down the morality of the entire world. The Catholic Church couldn’t stand her, especially in 1989 after she released the video for her song “Like a Prayer” and had the Black actor Leon portraying the role of Black Jesus. They lost their entire minds and showed their asses. Their constant bewailing led to Pepsi canceling an endorsement deal that they had with her but Madonna being Madonna didn’t lose a beat. She kept on rising.
She made several movies, won many awards and is currently the best selling female music artist of all time with 300 million albums sold all over the world. She’s also worth $850 million dollars but those statistics isn’t why Madonna is my boo.
It’s because she’s always lived her life according to her standards and needs. She’s never given a fuck about the opinions of others and I admire women who live their lives on their own terms. It’s hard being a woman in a patriarchal society in which the behavior of women is heavily regulated and most women fall in line for fear of offending the status quo. Not she. She thumbed her nose at these antiquated ideas about womanhood and look her now. Damn near a billionaire. She’s my kind of broad. My only disappointment is that she’s chosen not to embrace the Crone aspect of womanhood but I understand her reasoning and still love her.
Before I joined the social media, I used to read articles from the website Salon.com and debate folks in the now defunct comment section. At one time, Salon had a website named Open Salon for the readers who were writers and yours truly won Editors Choice a few times. But I’m digressing as usual so let me tell this tale.
What fascinated me the most about Salon is that whenever articles from prominent feminists were posted, the men would be foaming at the mouth like rabid dogs in the comments, writing barely coherent paragraphs filled with rage against them stanking ass feminists and spewing how the world was a much better place when women knew their “place.”
And the vast majority of these men were white men. It wasn’t a lot of Black folks in the comments during that time period and I was just amazed at the anger from these men who are on the top of the economic and social totem pole in America. Even with all this power, they felt threatened by women having autonomy over their lives.
I’m really not surprised. Feminism which can defined as women being able to have the same rights as men drives normally sane people batshit crazy. Because you know women are supposed to stay in their place, cooking and cleaning, having babies, and shutting the fuck up. Women are supposed to walk in the shadows, never basking in the glory of their own sun. How dare these bitches think they have the right to control their own destinies and bodies without male interference? Shame on them!
But I hadn’t seen nothing yet until I joined Facebook and saw the venom that so many Black men have for the ideology called feminism. These men blame feminism for kicking Black men out of their homes by giving poor Black women access to welfare. For allowing Black women to become educated and have careers. For breathing. For weave. Makeup. Everything that’s wrong in the Black community has been placed at the feet of feminism. And it’s the most pathetic shit in the world.
Feminism makes the world a better place because it gives women options. The option of not having children or ten children. The option of being a career woman or a stay at home mother. And the option of doing absolutely nothing at all. Freedom to live without a ton of societal rules, expectations, and regulations just because you were born female. It’s nothing wrong with women being free to control their lives. Nothing at all.
Ever since I was a child, I’ve been both terrified and fascinated by the specter of death. I became obsessed with death after spending the summer with my grandmother in 1980. She had moved to Wichita, Kansas to reside with her daughter, Aunt Annabel, and we spent hot summer days together with her telling me tales from her youth.
She was a Southern Baptist and believed that the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ was going to happen in the year 2000. So I analyzed the situation, well as much as a nine year old girl can analyze and decided that it would be cool for everyone to die together at one time. Although I would only be 30 at the time, at least I would die in the company of my family and friends. The thoughts that children have.
In the years that have passed, I’ve learned a lot about death unfortunately. I’ve lost so many friends and family in the past five years that it’s surreal. Especially the deaths of my original family, the family I was born into. My brother Randy died in 1994, my mother Gertrude in 2006, and Larry in 2020. My father wasn’t a part of my life so it was just myself, my brothers, and my mother. Now it’s just me and it’s been one of the most difficult journeys I’ve taken. Although I have children, a grandson and a new grandchild due in the spring, and a ton of cousins and friends who love me, I still feel so alone at times. I’ve come to the realization that this feeling of loneliness and despair will never go away but it will always be a lingering bitterness.
Now I’m obsessed with dying these days. Worried about leaving my children motherless. Worried about what would happen to them if I should die. Wondering who’s going to love my babies like I do. My mother had three children and I’m the only one who is left. What kind of shit is that? Why am I still here? And how does it feel to be dead. Is there really an afterlife and a place where souls go when their journey on Earth is over? Will I see my dead loved ones again? Totally morbid as fuck and unhealthy but it is what it is.