The Art of Aging in a Culture That Worships Youth

If the lord is willing and the creek don’t rise as the elders used to say, I will be 52 years old in November and what an amazing journey it has been. I have experienced so many trials and tribulations during my time on this planet. From childhood sexual abuse, domestic abuse, poverty, loss of family and friends, I have been through it all and not only managed to survive but thrive in a society that wasn’t created for women who look like me.

Ignore the chaos and books and look at this old broad

It has not been an easy ride at all but I am here and grateful because too many people I loved didn’t have the privilege of growing older. The two little girls I used to play with as child who died in a fire. My brother who died on his 34th birthday. My cousin who died at the age of 46. My aunts who died at 37 and 48. My three sister-friends who died at the ages of 45 and 48. So many others in the world that I never knew but who were also loved and missed dearly by those who loved them.

However, what is so weird to me is how people in this culture don’t respect the elders and look at them with disdain and contempt. Make fun of them because they are still alive. Laugh at their wrinkles and gray hairs. Their sagging skin. Signs of living that should be considered a badge of honor instead of a curse.

It’s like the very act of getting older is something to be ashamed of and people get a thrill out of shaming the elders. As if their asses aren’t going to get older one day if they are that lucky and blessed. I guess these types of people are taking a magical fairy dust that is going to keep them from turning 40. Hmm.

This culture makes it seems like getting older is a bad thing when all it means is that you survived and have a story to tell. But so often, the voices of the elders, particularly those of the crones are shouted down and silenced. Why? I think it is because knowledge is power and gaining knowledge is a part of the aging process although some older folks are still chasing their youth and their brains have stagnated unfortunately. But it’s a lot of elders who have valuable information and y’all better listen.

Like older women. We have a ton of experience when it comes to relationships and men but often when a crone attempts to give advice to a younger woman concerning a man, for the most part, she is ignored, screamed at, and told that she is just jealous because her ass is old. As if older women in this current culture have anything to be jealous of. I am in these social media streets and see clearly what is going on in the dating field. A bunch of entitled, whining ass men, both old and young and parched, silly ass women looking for male validation. I ain’t jealous of shit boos.

In May of this year, I became a grandmother again to an absolutely beautiful brown baby boy. My widdle widdle brown sugar booga man. I’m so grateful that I have lived long to see three generations descend from my lineage and I am proud as fuck. And I hope to live long enough to see more grandchildren and great-grandchildren. There is nothing wrong with getting older because as I stated earlier, that means you survived and have a story to tell. So stop being ashamed for getting older and start cussing folks out who say something slick about your age. Fuck them and keep living.

Madonna – My Boo

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.

“I Want to Rule the World”

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.

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.

Tales of the Bodacious Boobs

Boobs

Ever since I graduated from college with a Bachelors degree in sociology 15 years ago, I have formulated several theories of my own about current American society. My main theory: most individuals in current American society have been driven insane from all the rules and expectations that are placed upon individuals. Women in particular have faced intense pressure trying to live up to the tired, white male patriarchal standard of beauty that has been in vogue for centuries. In order to be considered beautiful, a woman must be preferably white, young, tall, blond, blue-eyed, thin and large breasted. Very large breasted. If a woman does not possess these attributes, she is considered an ugly spinster who is unworthy of notice.

Because of this standard of beauty, women have a tendency to be spiteful towards women who have large breasts and I should know because I have large breasts. I have had breasts since I was nine years old and I am 51. It always amazes me because I am not young or thin but ever since I could remember, women have looked at me with envy and sometimes hatred because of my breast size and I am not exaggerating. There have been times I have walked down the street and noticed women placing their arms across their chests as if to ward off the evilness of my large breasts. Crazy.

A film I watched several years ago, Busting Out, discusses this madness with an eloquence that is both funny and sad. The narrator and filmmaker, Francine Strickwerda lost her mother to breast cancer as a child, was the first in her class to develop breasts and she has been haunted by “the boobs of doom” ever since. This film tells the story of how breasts are portrayed in our society and how men and women think of them. In American society, people are taught that breasts are for sexual pleasure, whereas in other cultures, the breast is not important. Many stereotypes about having large breasts exist such as being considered “easy” or “dumb.” These stereotypes are completely ridiculous because I know some small-breasted promiscuous women and there is no known correlation between intelligence and breast size.

Decades ago in China, mothers would bind the bottom of their daughters heels and toes so their feet would be only 3 inches long because that men had a fetish for small feet and pleasing men is everything, even at the risk of being crippled for life. In American society, lingerie is marketed towards little girls as young as three years old. At one time, Bratz dolls were very popular in American culture and they wore skimpy clothes, and had large heads and prominent boobs. These dolls actually outsold old fashioned Barbie dolls but Bratz have disappeared and Barbie is still reigning supreme.

This obsession with breasts has put American women in a catch-22 situation: those with large breasts have to deal with the stereotypes and women without large breasts feel like they have to resort to drastic measures such a surgical breast enhancement in order to feel “normal.” It seems to me that women are damned if they have them, damned if they do not.

This movie was very interesting, not just because I am a woman with large breasts but because it showcases how juvenile and archaic American society is when it comes to its obsession with women’s breasts. The thing I found most pathetic was the radio show hosted by Tom Leykis, who proclaimed Fridays as “Flash Fridays” and women are encouraged to flash any and all their breasts. Any woman so desperate for attention that she will put her naked breasts outside a car window needs to be locked up for insanity, not indecent exposure.

Overall, I feel that current society’s obsession with women’s’ breasts is ridiculous. Breasts are used to sell anything and everything including cars, cigarettes and many other things. They are seen as objects that men can fondle and suckle and have no other use. Forget about the newborn babies; it is all about men’s pleasure. Lawd these folks are unhappy.

Handmaidens in the Black Community

Dickmatized

One of the most dangerous places to be as a Black woman or girl is the community she resides in. As of today, 1400 hundred Black women and girls have been murdered by the men in their communities throughout America. In case you think I am exaggerating, the FBI has also been tracking the murders of Black women for those who want to believe that this is a figment of Black women’s imaginations and an elaborate plot by the Man to take Black men down. And these statistics are true. Black women are being slaughtered for existing by Black men. For leaving abusive relationships. For expecting the fathers of their children to support them financially. For not giving out their phone numbers. I could go on and on but that would be redundant.

And the main defenders of these murderous, soulless pieces of shit? The very women who are being slaughtered wholesale: Black women. They make excuses for these men by blaming mental illness, white supremacy, and the victims themselves for not being “supportive” and “submissive” enough. Never the killers themselves because in the Black community, dick is God and the vast majority of the women are the priests.

These are the women who are quick to blame little girls for being molested by deviant perverts. The ones who offer up their daughters to prey just to have a man in their lives, in their beds. Fuck the mental harm that’s being done to these girls: it’s all about that dick.

These are the women who encourage women who are in abusive relationships to stay with the men because all they need was a chance and didn’t mean any harm. Fuck that’s he’s beating your ass daily. He’s just a Black man who needs some love.

These are the women who know that their sons are the biggest gang bangers in the neighborhood who spend their days in daily shootouts but when the police kick in their doors, instead of turning in the miscreants these so called mothers are too busy hiding the guns.

To these women, Black men have more value than themselves and have to be protected and coddled at all costs. They will sell their souls and their first born child to protect the legacy and image of Black men. They ain’t shit.

These women are the patriarchal handmaidens of Black community and even if the community is destroyed at the hands and actions of violent Black men, these women are willing and eager to go down with these bums. Because they are men and men are everything to women with this mentality.

Due to hundreds of years of religious indoctrination, Black women have been socialized to believe that they are inferior creatures, not worthy of anything. They believe that their only role in life is to be a subordinate to men who ain’t worth two dead flies.

I currently reside in a city that is plagued with gun violence, robberies and mayhem. And unfortunately this mayhem is being perpetrated by the men of my race. Just last week while shopping in Walmart, a young Black man attempted to pickpocket me while I was shopping. For what ever reason, some young folks really believe that older folks are stupid and slow. Not the kid. I was raised in the hood where I learned to be very self aware of my surroundings or I would be prey. So when I turned around and looked this fucker in the eye and dared him to do something, he scurried off with his tail between his legs. Trifling bastard but I’m sure he has a mother who would have tried to fight me if I had cracked his ass upside the head. Women of this ilk are dangerous to the Black collective, running neck and neck with the men who are destroying the community.

The Fake Ass Online War on Black Single Mothers

For 13 years, it has been an online war on single Black mothers perpetrated by Black men that is pathetic and disgusting. And it’s fake as fuck. Let me break it down how fake this war is.

These dudes get on various social media platforms ranting and raving about Black single mothers, calling them everything but a child of God and blaming them for all the social ills that are running amok. Miraculously, these men never ever blame the grown ass men who are causing chaos and destruction in their community.

The men who are killing women and children all over the country. The men who are robbing and stealing from their own kind. The men who are having shootouts in broad daylight with no fear of repercussions. And the real reason why these men don’t confront the monsters in the Black community is because they are cowardly to do anything and because they are the monsters themselves.

For all the negative rhetoric about Black single mothers, if it wasn’t for these women, these bastards would be homeless and starved out. Living on the streets, sleeping on a bench begging for change. And frankly, I’m sick of it. Instead of using that energy to beak down the self esteem of Black single mothers, use that energy to mentor the many young Black boys whose fathers deserted them and left their mothers to take on the task or raising children alone.

Use that energy to form neighborhood watch groups in poverty stricken, vulnerable neighborhoods that have problems with gang violence and sex trafficking of young Black girls. Start tutoring programs for Black children who attend poorly funded schools and don’t have the resources they need in order to be successful in this society.

And most importantly, shut the fuck up. Admit that collectively, your brethren has failed the Black community and instead of owning up to your failure to provide, protect, and nurture your community, you have decided to shift the blame to the Black woman. The very woman that brought your trifling ass into existence. So this fake ass war isn’t real because if it was, these men would have been emboldened to clean up their communities and stop making Black single mothers. Because it takes two to tango and these women aren’t getting pregnant by themselves. Goddamn ninnies. How can a group of men who don’t know basic sexual biology have the audacity to complain about single motherhood????

The Winter Santiago Complex and Black Women

patrice-meme

Black sisterhood is at an all-time low in 2016. Online and offline, I see black women tearing each other to pieces like rabid dogs over the most mundane and pettiest of shit. If you don’t measure up their lofty standards, there is a segment of black women that will shame your ass to hell. They will shame you for wanting a child without being married because unmarried black mothers make them look bad.  They will shame you for not wanting to date outside your race because black women who only want to date black men and give birth to black children are hood rats.  They will shame you for living in the hood (while not offering a dime in assistance or advice how to get out the hood), for being overweight (while being one cheeseburger from being considered fat themselves), and for not being “feminine” enough by their standards (although their standards of femininity is based on white folks standards of femininity and living by white standards is very important). It is pathetic but the shaming of black women by other black women went to a new level with the public shaming of Patrice Brown otherwise known as #teacherbae.

Ms. Brown is a paraprofessional who works for the Atlantic Public School system whose pictures of herself on Instagram turned her into an overnight sensation and an object of ridicule. She was ridiculed because of her attire, which was thought to be too sexy to be around the 4th grade students she taught on a daily basis.  Although all the dresses that were shown were of knee length, long sleeved and covered her to the neck, because she is a voluptuous woman, it became a problem for many people, mainly black women. All this controversy about her clothing style caused the APS to publicly reprimand this woman for the very clothes they knew she wore five days a week.

This young woman could have been fired because of the jealousy and insecurity of masses of black women who will never meet or have any interaction with her and it makes no sense at all but unfortunately, too many black women do not like to see other black women shine.  Living under a system of patriarchy has conditioned them to be very competitive with other women and anytime a black woman receives so much as a crumb of attention that in anyway involves the male gaze, these women come with claws extended with knives.

I call this mentality The Winter Santiago Complex. Remember Winter Santiago from the novel The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah?  She was truly one of the most selfish female characters written in the history of literature and she has become the standard for female characters in the urban literature genre.  One particular scene from the novel will always stand out in my head. It was the time right after her father had went to jail and her family was back living in the projects. She went to a concert I think and she saw her best friend Natalie in a pink Chanel suit and lost her damn mind. Natalie went off her and told her, quite truthfully, “Nobody can’t have shit but you!”

And there lies the problem with so many black women.  Another black woman cannot have shit without them feeling slighted. She can’t be pretty with a little waist you can span with one hand, big hips and upright breasts. She cannot be an educated sister with the body of a goddess and a face to match. You have to be fat, frumpy, and willing to watch their children when they go out because you know fat bitches don’t have a life.  You have to be an ugly, uneducated hood-rat that they can feel both feel sorry for and contemptuous of.  Because black chicks with The Winter Santiago Complex cannot take competition and need their feet on the necks of black women they deem undesirable. Pitiful.

And Ms. Patrice? You are a bright, beautiful young woman who is out here these trenches teaching black children and for that, I salute you. And if you were my daughter, I would have been on the social media tearing ignorant folks a new asshole for messing with my baby. Shine boo, shine!