The New Dirty Word – Feminism

What Feminism is Really About

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.”

The mantra of feminists everywhere

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.

Remembering bell hooks

I didn’t discover bell hooks until I went to college in 2002. I majored in sociology and minored in history. Took two Women and Gender courses and it was then I was introduced to her works. And my life changed.

Her writings made me think deeply and I learned to fight for myself as a Black woman living in a white patriarchal society that despises all women but has placed the Black woman on a special rung in hell. Learned to fight for my dignity and autonomy in system that wasn’t set up for my advancement but my demise.

And as I’m getting older, due to her works, I have learned to have grace for others who weren’t as fortunate as me to have access to her writings and the writings of Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Assata Shakur and others. Black writers who reveled in their Blackness and wasn’t afraid to show it. Ignorance is cultivated in American culture these days so some people are doomed and all you can do is pity them and move on.

So Rest in Power bell hooks. Although you are no longer here in form, your works will continue to educate and transform, encouraging folks to improve their lives and elevate their minds. Folks like me.

Words that every woman needs to chant to herself

Femininity Gurus, Relationship Experts, and Various Other Quacks and Shysters

One of the easiest ways to make money via the social media is to exploit the insecurities of Black women. Black women in this country have been told by the dominant culture and their own kind for centuries that they are ugly, masculine, and as a whole, unlovable. As a result of this never ending propaganda, too many Black women suffer from low self esteem and are highly male identified. The definition of a male identified woman is in the link above but my own personal definition is a woman who will sell her soul and her first born child for some dick. I hate to sound crass and uncouth but it’s the truth and there are individuals who know this fact and have decided to make some money by capitalizing on this need for the ding a ling.

In either 2015 or 2016, I came across this chick name Ro Elori Cutno via Facebook. She claimed to be an expert on relationships and all the fellas loved her dirty draws because she advocated for women reverting back to their “natural” role as a subservient, meek, mild, wet hole for men instead of striving for an education and a life outside of striving for husband.

She even had the audacity to start a “Wife School” and charged desperately unhappy women $30,000 to attend. The school was in Paris and not only did the attendees had to pay their transportation costs but they had to live in a shady boarding house with their other clueless brethren. And then she set them up with some truly unattractive men who just wanted a green card and they got married and rode off into the sunset broke but at least they were married!

But eventually, all good things come to an end and shit got to stanking for Ro. She got caught up being a shyster doing shiesty shit and now she’s in Senegal trying to exploit more guileless women but in her wake, another generation of femininity gurus have picked up the flag and are juicing Black women out of their hard earned coins. Now it’s the “femininity” scam and this new crop of people are making coins telling Black women that if they wear pink and speak softly, Prince Charming is going to pull up in a Rolls Royce and sweep them off to a mansion where they will rest in their femininity for all eternity.

It’s so many of these women and men getting paid off the insecurities of Black women that it needs to be a crime but I really don’t feel sorry for these women and maybe it’s because I don’t understand their mentality.

I’m Generation X and I was raised by Black women from the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers. Beautiful chocolate and caramel brown sisters who who were soft and feminine and wore big hats and fur coats to church every Sunday but didn’t have an issue with stepping out of character and cracking someone upside their head if they needed to.

My Matriarchs

These ladies including my mother who is not in the above picture taught me everything about femininity and womanhood. How to behave properly in public spaces. How to walk away when a man is treating you like shit. So many life lessons and it’s sad that it’s too many sisters who didn’t receive these lessons as young girls and are now willing to pay complete strangers to learn how to be a woman. Paying thousands of dollars to get attention from men not worth two dead flies and who need some lessons in masculinity if you ask me.

Realization Is a Hard Pill to Swallow

It was a year in October that I was diagnosed with epilepsy and since then, I’ve worked two jobs. Both jobs I’ve walked away from because the medication I take to control the seizures makes me so tired and discombobulated that I’m useless. The medication I’m taking is levetiracetam and the side effects are loss of strength and energy, sleepiness amongst several others.

I’m always sleepy now and have taken more naps now than the three times I was pregnant. I’m clumsy as hell and feel generally lethargic most of the time. Which is not good in the field that I’m in which is clerical/administrative. To be in that line of work, one must be detailed oriented, attentive, and on point at all times because one little mistake can be costly. But it’s hard to be attentive when you are taking medication that makes you nod out like a dope friend.

There are some who will say that I should try another medication but when it comes to seizure medications, it’s not that simple. My neurologist would have to wean me off the levi shit and then put me on another medication that will also come with several side effects and that is too much. What few brain cells I have left will not be experimented on.

So today I finally came to the realization that working a traditional job will not be an option for me anymore and that realization makes me feel so sad and useless. I fought the welfare system to obtain a bachelors degree that would make me more desirable in the job field and now 15 years later at the age of 51, a medication has rendered me useless.

I know I can work from home but I like getting out and about, going to lunch, watching people, meeting new people, having social interactions with people. I’m only 51 and this is supposed to be my life now? This is some straight bullshit.

Some little girls wanted to grow up and be a housewife. I wanted to grow up and work in a fancy office and earn my own money. To not be dependent on anyone. I’ve applied for disability and was turned down but eventually I will get it but damn. All I wanted was my own economic autonomy but my body is not cooperating. And I’m pissed, sad, and numb.

If I was White, Female and Privileged for One Day

First of all, before I write this essay, I would like to state that I love being a black woman.  I love the beautiful brownness of my skin, my hair which is a crown that has anointed me Queen of my universe, my full lips, slanted eyes, and the strength of my ancestors who have dealt with much adversity during their journeys here in America and whose blood flow proudly in my veins.  But I have to admit, I wonder what it would be like to be a white female just for a day to see what it would to be like to be considered Aphrodite rising from the sea because at times, it is hard being a black women in a society that is sexist and has placed women who look like me on the bottom rung of every ladder in American society from economics to beauty.

White privilege is a critical race theory I came across in college during an African American history class.  I had to read an article entitled, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh and it opened my mind to some concepts I had never thought about before.  According to this article, white privilege can be defined as unearned advantages enjoyed by white people beyond those commonly experienced by people of color in the same social, political, and economic spaces (nation, community, workplace, income, etc.) just because they are white.

White privilege is a topic most whites do not want to talk about because in admitting they are privileged because of their skin color would mean admitting that racism still exists and is not a figment of black folks’ imaginations but I digress.  It must be nice living in a world where almost every image of your kind is thought to be good and pure and I would like some of that privilege just for one day.

Just for once, it would be nice to go on a job interview and not have to worry about the texture of my hair and wonder if the person I am interviewing with has a problem with afros, two-strand twists, or any other “black ethnic” hairstyle I might be wearing that day.  If I was a white woman, I could toss my silky, long hair around with no problems.

Just for once, it would be nice not to be labeled an angry, bitter, black female who is filled with hatred just because I happen to have an opinion different from the black man that I am debating with.  If I was white woman, I could be as argumentative as I want and be told that I am merely feisty.  Black men would swim through a river of snot for me and tell me that black women are just too combative to be considered “wifey” material and that is why 40% of African American women remain unmarried.  As a white woman, I would be able to date freely and not be told by my peers to lower my expectations or else die a lonely and miserable spinster with five kids with five different fathers.

Just for once, it would be nice to see someone who looks like me on a regular basis on the covers of high fashion magazines and playing the role of the leading lady in movies and television shows. As a black woman, I am constantly scolded by the media and some of my people for being too dark, too nappy, and too fat and that I will never be placed on that anointed pedestal as the standard of beauty and loveliness for American society.  If I was a white woman, this problem would be null and void because I would be considered the crème de la crème.

But alas, I am a black woman and that is nothing to shirk at.  The strength and tenacity of black women who can make something literally out of nothing is something to be admired than scorned and I am proud to be one.  I actually feel sorry for white women sitting upon that fabled pedestal because it is a lonely tour of duty filled with unrealistic and shallow expectations and most fall swiftly and hard from that same pedestal.  Better to be me with all my flaws, real and imagined than to be the poster child of impossible beauty. But I can keep it real; sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be a white woman. In my world, black women are called everything but a child of God and for once, it would be nice to be the anointed one.