Friday, August 18

Fathers be BETTER to Your Daughters

My problematic boo, John Mayer, has a song called Daughters. The song's chorus implores fathers to be "good" to their daughters because daughters will love like them. But there is one particular part of the song that I would like to address today:
Oh, you see that skin?
It's the same she's been standing inSince the day she saw him walking awayNow she's left cleaning up the mess he made
Songwriter: John Clayton Mayer  Daughters lyrics © Reach Music Publishing 
I see many of my male friends and associates on social media say and do terrible things as it relates to women. Defending their right to be creepy, flirty or obnoxious is chief among them. While I get that some irreverent things can be humorous, some things are not funny in today's climate. I laugh a LOT, all day even... But when I see the people that should be more aware of certain issues making light of them, it cheeses me off. (I say "cheesed off" in real life, this is not just blogspeak)

All over the internet I see Black women, specifically being the main reason Black men are in jail, effeminate, f**kbois. There is hardly ever any mention of the father. So when I see Black fathers of Black daughters saying and doing things that are not in-line with who they proclaim themselves to be, I cannot wrap my mind around it. I have called out a few on this incongruity and I have been told basically that they are teaching their daughters how to deal with men like them. Wait, what?!

I have had a dude tell me that some things are in a man's nature and therefore women should get used to it. I call BS! Part of psychotherapy is to treat maladjusted or problem behaviors. If you are looking at women and they are calling you creepy, that's a problem that even if it's in your nature can be treated if you are willing to make the change... if you are willing to make the change.... But if you feel like it is your right to leer at women because they are showing cleavage or their skirt is tight up on datazzdoe, then you clearly do not see the need to change. Yet, you are telling the women that you are making feel uncomfortable to change how they dress so that you don't creep them out. Huh?

If you feel your daughters deserve to be treated by other men better than you treat other women, perhaps you need to treat other women better. If you wouldn't want a married man whispering untoward things into your single daughter's ear, then maybe you should stop doing it to other people's daughters. If you wouldn't want some old dude in a corner undressing your daughter with his eyes, then maybe you should stop doing it too. I cannot comprehend having to put your daughter in the situations you put other people's daughters in for you to see you could do better by them. Your disrespect toward your wife, your girlfriend, your baby mama and the women in the street by means of both your words and your actions impact the young women you are raising. All I am requesting is that you be better to everyone's daughters.

If you take issue with anything I have said here, may I suggest you contact your daughters and check-in with them. They are what's most important here.

In a world that is constantly making a Black woman feel unprotected, all I want is for these Black daughters to feel safe and protected by Black men (not from them).

 Full disclosure: I celebrate gray sweatpants and basketball shorts season in much the same way men celebrate sundress season because who doesn't like to look at nice things?? However, there has not been a time -to my knowledge- when a man has told me I was making him uncomfortable or felt like me glancing at him (not leering, staring, oogling, or salivating) put him in danger. Yet almost all of my women friends have felt uneasy or threatened by a man leering, staring, oogling or salivating at them. 

Friday, August 11

This is Why Nobody Likes Christians

Just last week I talked about confronting my own hypocrisy. Self-awareness is imperative to self-improvement. Self-improvement is imperative to becoming your higher self. Regardless of what you believe in, you should be aiming to become better in this life.

Now, here's the thing. I go to church, I believe in God, I follow the teachings of Jesus. I cannot stand Christians. Let me say it again: I. Cannot. Stand. Christians. This was not what I was going to blog about so this list is not in ANY order. But let me tell you why nobody likes "us".

1. We're ashamed of our testimony- If the Lord brought you out of it, why not share it? Why hide from your past if that's not who or what you are anymore? Why hide from your past if you are still struggling with it? If Ephesians 1:7 is true and you have redemption through his blood and there is glory after suffering like 1 Peter says, then what are you ashamed of really? No one is saying you have to go into gory detail about your drug dealer days nor glorify your mid-20s sexcapades, but you ain't gotta lie or clutch your pearls anytime your past comes up. Even if people are trying to use it against you, which people have DEFINITELY done to me, why not use it as a "LOOK AT ME NOW" moment. Those same people that tried to use my past against me once I started to be serious about my spiritual journey are now coming to me for prayer. #lookatgawd

2. We're too judgey- In the same way that we are ashamed of our testimony, we use that shame to shame others. I watched a clip of a particularly infamous female preacher talking about the manner in which some women dress for church. Calling them names and being so adamantly graphic and vulgar about the female anatomy to the point she was almost foaming at the mouth! *Editing out my smart remark*  Why so much judgment for people you profess to love? Over undergarments!?!?
  • Sidenote: Some of us more top-heavy women have issues keeping the puppies still in the kennel and others have issues turning off our high beams. I have pulled my sister aside and let her know her high beams were on as a courtesy. I didn't get on FB and blast it out in disgust. Sometimes folks are not aware or not even THINKING about that sort of thing. So why are you so angry? This judgment has even caused me to feel self-conscious in the middle of a good shout! I have definitely been in the middle of a praise and suddenly become aware of my body and thrown my arm across my chest all because I did not want to be judged for how well my undergarments controlled my situation under extreme circumstances. I have veered WAY off course!
My point is, we judge others for things they a- may not be aware of or sometimes can't help and 2- we have done ourselves. Clutching our pearls at people's drunk-in-the-club stories from last year when we are only a month away from our NEXT or LAST backslide. Then to disown the people whom you have judged.... chiiiiiiile! In John 6:37 the good Lord himself says "All those the Father Gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away." Yet, here you are publicly shaming those who have come to you for spiritual guidance. And I've already discussed being judged with the same judgement.... 

3. We lie to ourselves and others- We don't have to tell everyone our business, but we also don't have to just outright lie. Why are you pretending to be this upstanding soldier in the Lord's Army when you know you don't have it all together? If your house ain't in order, your finances ain't right, your walk ain't straight OR narrow, FIX IT! We put an abundance of time and effort into appearing to be model Christians-- whatever that even means-- yet not enough time and effort is put into just being human. We all have sinned and fallen short. Some of us are planning to sin this weekend. We don't have to lie. But the aforementioned shame and judgment that has been ingrained in us prevents us from admitting it to ourselves. No one is completely sinless, no one is unconditionally blameless, no one is perfectly virtuous. Does that mean we shouldn't try to be? NO! But that does mean we don't have to try so hard to pretend to be. "Because you're no angel either, baby."- Bey
4. We act like we ain't got time for nobody else- I saw a post on FB yesterday about millennials leaving church because the person in the pulpit cannot be bothered with the congregation. Where in the bible is that at? Matthew 25:40 talks about what you do for the "least of these" you did for Him. The least of these has some quantifiers earlier on in the chapter, but the point remains many of us act like we cannot be bothered with social justice, community service, outreach... NOTHIN! We don't have to hand out money to every homeless person on the street but we also don't have to walk out of church with our noses turned up and butts on our backs. I'm guilty of this as well because as an introvert, I honestly don't feel like heavy convo or light banter after pouring my soul out. But, I try to give a smile or light hug as I make my hasty exit.  I even apologize if I know I'm coming off wrong because I am aware of this fault. But for the people in the pulpit to do this, is damaging to "the least of these". Church hurt is some of the worst hurt!

5. We're MAAAAD sexist, yo!-
Christianity is problematic as a mugg! The Bible is full of  "Wait, what?" passages. It's been through many translations, and tons of edits, and outright omissions and additions. I get it. But like the Pointer Sisters said in Car Wash "You gotta believe in something". And I believe in the overarching themes of The Bible. I believe that what I have felt and experienced in church and through my practice and worship has been beneficial to my overall improvement and higher understanding of my life's purpose. 

HOWEVER, I know that some of the things that some of y'all's preachers spout is nothing but sexist foolishness. Women not causing men to stumble is chief among them. Many of us Christian women have bought into the internalized misogyny and have used it to keep us from being great.... like.... *sigh* I don't even know how to address this without a whole other 5 paragraph dissertation. Let me wrap this up, b!

Most of y'all probably didn't even get this far... so I will just say, I acknowledge that Christianity is sexist and archaic in many ways, but I don't buy into it, nor do I allow it to deter me. I fight against it in many ways and will continue to do so. 

I made sure that I said WE so y'all know I am not excluding myself.... we ALL got work to do!

Friday, August 4

Confronting My Own Hypocrisy

The above nametag says it all. I am a hypocrite... and I have been forced to face my hypocrisy twice in the last 2 weeks. Some of these things involve people I care about so I won't go into too much detail lest they recognize their truths here and feel betrayed or something.

Girl, look at yourself!
I found out some interesting information about someone I am close to in a way so cavalier, I thought it was a joke. But when it turned out to be true, my stomach DROPPED! I was unsure how to process or handle what can only be described as a real-life plot twist! The revelation was like something out of a movie and, had it not been my own life, it would have made for goooood storytelling. It made me rethink how I felt about the person. I was considering whether to release them into the wild or confront them about how I felt. As I processed it, I really thought about the whole situation and did some introspection. It was then that I realized I had been there and done the same. damn. thing!

Matthew 7:1-2 says:
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 
The key here is WITH THE MEASURE YOU USE... I had done something similar and was about to judge them for it. How!?!?
So as I was talking it all out, a voice in my head said: "Girl, look at yourself!" and I did, literally. I did indeed stand in front of the mirror and I laughed cuz I was trippin! My issue was did this person feel remorseful like I did or to the same extent, but that ain't my place. There are other factors that led to the internalized struggle but the people closest to me, helped me look at and consequently get over myself. I loooove to have the moral high ground in most every situation and can be hard on myself when I fail to "do what's right". As you can see, this came into play as I was about to be hard on someone else for doing essentially what I did- with some caveats... it's complicated. And that's just it, LIFE is complicated. Like Gina told Charmaine on the infamous Digit Ho episode of A Different World, "Life is a funny thing, girl."

Transitive Properties of Equality
I still struggle with my feelings on certain things as it relates to transgender people. I'm not at "NC bathroom ban" with it but I'm also not at "pansexual lover of the world" with it, so my advocacy motto is "Leave people alone." Does that make sense?

I don't know enough about it to get out there and claim allyship (which cannot be self-proclaimed and should only be bestowed upon those with whom you are allies). But I know enough to know that some of my thoughts and words are precarious. Some of it is lack of knowledge and some of it is how I was raised- mildly transphobic and innately judgmental.

When I was younger, a man in a wig was usually a spectacle. Oftentimes, he would appear to be disheveled and unkempt. I now realize this may have been in direct relation to the life he lived up to this point. A society that has mocked him, shunned him, abused him and forced her to be referred to as HIM. Never realizing this person is a HUMAN BEING and should be treated as such. How is that NOT ok with folks? Leave people alone, mind your task, brush your teeth, drink water, live YOUR life.

We may all find the "what's your pronoun?"  line of questioning strange or confusing. But what it boils down to is respecting people. I realized through 2 podcasts this week: Inner Hoe Uprising's episode titled "Trans Masculinity" and The Read's episode "Noprah Winfrey" (the link goes straight to the transgender issues portion of the show) that I had a lot to learn and there was more I could do to retrain my brain. BOTH podcasts contain strong language and for that I do NOT apologize!

So yeah, I quoted the Bible AND linked to a sex podcast in the same blog and about this I AM PLEASED! This does not make me a hypocrite. This makes me a human. This week I came face to face with respecting other people's humanity as well as my own. We all have done things that other people may not agree with or like. We all need to recognize our own hypocrisy, it's healthy!

Friday, July 28

Little Women vs. Big Boys

Hey, look.... I enjoy a hearty debate. I enjoy tongue-in-cheek humor. But there is a line where those debates become arguments of fact vs. feelings and that humor is offensive and harmful. And I'm so over folks being obtuse about not knowing where that line is and WHY it exists.

So often we as black people have bought into this white, straight, rich male patriarchy that we forget it's: a- not FOR us and b- set up for us to fail. So when we take on certain debates or jokes from this angle it bothers me fiercely. How can their be two sides to topics like: knowingly transmitting diseases, pedophilia and toxic masculinity and what do you find so funny about them?

Arrah is Problematic
Yes , we knew R. Kelly was a pedophile but does that mean if he got away with it once he should continue to do so? At what point are we not going to have to envision OUR daughters, mothers, sisters in these predicaments to give a damn about strangers who are.

I just saw a meme that said: "B****es wasn't complaining about R. Kelly when them old ass dope boys was picking them up from school!" and men with DAUGHTERS were laughing at this. You are holding a 15-18 year old accountable for the actions of an adult man AND finding humor in the pedophilic experiences of "b****es" you know. So terrible grammar aside, you are also referring to the women standing up against this mess- WOMEN YOU KNOW- as b****es.

We gotta unlearn the foolishness
The day of the dope boy was a completely different era. However, most of us are now realizing that much of what we were taught by society then as it pertains to male-female relationships was inaccurate, inappropriate or just plain WRONG! Where is the man's responsibility in going to a SCHOOL to pick up a CHILD!? "She's fast!" because she is attracted to an older man. So what does that make an older man attracted to a CHILD!? Slow, I guess.... but y'all don't hear me.

People who don't want to address the issue usually try to deflect it, so they bring up Hugh Hefner. THIS AIN'T ABOUT HIM. Why are we comparing the two? You're saying that if we aren't "rescuing" the women at the Playboy Mansion who have not reported abuse then we shouldn't care about the Black women whom R. Kelly has manipulated and emotionally and physically abused?

When are we going to stop debating things that SHOULD be undebatable? When are we going to stop finding humor in the constant persecution of the Black GIRL!? When are we going to hold our MEN accountable for their actions? There is the myth of the blameless black man that basically believes that ANYTHING that happens negatively to a black man is a result of the system, the mama, or the chick who set him up. It does not acknowledge his part in something that is CLEARLY poor decision-making.

SN: Anyone that does not see the issue in Rick Ross' statement about not signing a woman to his label because he would need to have sex with her first....... I don't know if we can be friends. Like FAHRREAL!

Let's be good to and for each other, my people. Based on the direction of this administration... we ALL we got!

Friday, July 21

#DontDoThis- Unsolicited Health Advice

Hey, hi, yes, hello!
(Note: I'm considering changing the title of this blog to #DontDoThis cuz I say it DAILY)

I have been losing & gaining weight for years. And each time I get "advice" from someone that I ain't ask nothing. STOP THIS! I don't need your tips, testimonials, hints, or help. If I didn't ask you, I don't need to know.

I am capable of researching. I am capable of asking for help when I feel I need it. I am capable of losing weight when I am good and gosh darn ready. I don't always STICK to it because of who I am as a person (HA!) but you don't KNOW ME like I do. So please, locate your seat.

This is why I hate going to the gym!

I feel constantly scrutinized as a plus sized woman in the gym. Especially by dudes... As If I shouldn't be there. I have had more men "give me advice" than a lil bit. Sir, mind your task! I talk to ONE person & one person ONLY at the gym and SHE has given me the help I need. You, sir, can go THAT way.

I overheard a convo between two trainers at the gym and when I tell you I was DISGUSTED! They were casually laughing at people saying they want their bodies to look like theirs but weren't doing the work. DUDE, You WORK in the gym! You be on the treadmill when I get on the elliptical and you STILL on the treadmill 30 minutes later when I go to the weights and STILL on there sometimes when I leave. There's a 30 minute time limit... sooo how can anyone spend that much time? You don't know people's lives so you cannot and SHOULD not be laughing at someone that wants to look and feel better.

(let me just add how much I cannot stand male personal trainers. I have only had ONE I liked. He knew how to motivate me without making me not care anymore. Most of them motivational techniques they learn at the  Body Shamers R Us Personal Training School don't work on me & has gotten more than one cussed SLAM out!)

I've made several lifestyle changes!

I used to be able to hit the gym for a  few weeks and the pounds fall off. Not anymore, There are many OTHER things that this near-40 body requires. I don't know them all.... give me a break! I am cutting out things, adding things, doubling up on things. I've tried south beach, atkins, paleo, primal vegetarian and vegan. Good food is part of who I am and I HATE being the girl at the table asking "How is that prepared?" or "Can you substitute this for that?" So I am seeking my balance. Seek yours and BE BLESSED!

I am SO glad that you are able to carry all your meals and snacks around all day. I am SUPER happy that you can eat 3 twigs and a spoonful of dirt & meditate AND levitate. I am GREATLY impressed that you have the will power to go to Dunkin Donuts just to SMELL donuts every morning and be satisfied. GOOD FOR YOOOOOU! *sarcastic smile* But that ain't what works for me.


You don't know my life!
If these sounds like excuses, they ARE! and I know this, I don't need nobody pointing that out. So, ha!
I work 3 sedentary jobs. Two of which are mentally exhausting and require me to drive from place to place in the evenings. I was going to say more here, but my point is... Worry about yourself, ok? I got this... eventually.... so hush.

In conclusion to all those unsolicited health advisors out there: Unless someone ASKS you, let them LIVE! If you are not close enough to them to know them WELL, LET THEM LIVE!

Friday, July 14

Can You Hear Me Now?

One of the main things I have discovered in my newly framed womanist adventures is that some men just do NOT listen. Some of them it is willfully ignoring a woman's perspective and others it is just a demand to have THEIR opinion heard. I have witnessed exchanges the last few days on Twitter and on podcasts that have convinced me that dudes just do not LISTEN when a woman is talking about her lived experience with men.


I often have men inbox me on Tha Book and tell me my posts have given them a new perspective on some issues. And of t hat, I am proud.... of myself and them. Growth is a beautiful thing. But then thee are those that must constantly reduce anything said to an argument about women do it too thing. Not realizing this is the same thing that they hate about having a debate about race relations with a person refusing to acknowledge their white privilege.

Why do I have to flip women/men convos into black/white convos for you to realize that you are exercising your male "privilege" to derail and disregard my feelings?

HEARING someone means that you recognize that someone is talking and may have a general idea what they are saying. LISTENING is more active. It's processing what is being said and not simply waiting your turn to talk.

Not believing a woman's lived experience is equivalent to white people not believing black people have it THAT bad with the cops. Remember that...

Shout out to the men in my life who GET it... The men who hear me out... and the ones who laugh on the sidelines at those who don't get it as they are DRAGGED in the post replies by my lady friends. lol

Friday, July 7

Get the FUNK Up Out My Face!

This past weekend I was in a bar because the DJ is MY DJ... ALL HAIL, DJ SOYO!

I met some of my lady-friends out for music but no drinks because I wanted to be sober. At least one of them was a sheet and a half to the wind. She was engaged in some sort of playful tussle with a guy whose face I had seen there before. I stood by and observed and lightly chuckled. At some point, I moved to the corner because I was just there for the music!

The guy walks up to me in the corner minding my business and makes what I can only assume was supposed to be sexy eye contact. He smiled at me, I smiled back and then he comes over and kinda chucked me under the chin. Y'ALL KNOW I WAS HEATED!

I leaned back and looked at him like he had 12 heads. His smile faded. I said, "You don't put your hands on a stranger's face. I don't know you like that!" He had the nerve to be offended that I was offended. Sir, a- I don't know you; 2- I don't know where your hands have been. I don't understand how he thought it was ok to put his hands on my face! No words were exchanged, I didn't know his name, all I did was smile. That was not an invitation to touch.

Of course there are those that will say he didn't mean anything by it. That is the sort of thinking that has led to him thinking it was ok to touch a stranger's FACE. There is a level of familiarity with touching someone that I need men to understand. It's bad enough that you are putting your hands on a stranger but touching my face is way too intimate and doing so without permission with what may have been unwashed hands is downright disrespectful.

He hung around for a while and would make eye contact which I met with a Maxine Waters level "Chile, please!" expression.

He asked me, "You don't like me very much, do you?" I said to him, "I don't even know you. But since you want to put your hands all in people's face at least introduce yourself." He told me his name, I ain't care. He realized his je ne sais quois was doing nothing for me and he moved himself to the other end of the bar to another group of women that were less combative or challenging, I guess.

My mother (LAWD she is going to be embarrassed) used to tell my young male relatives, "Get your penis hands out of my face!" Dude is lucky I said it in a nicer way. But, seriously.... don't touch my face, stranger!

Sidenote: I am a church youth leader.... but all my posts not finna be about Jesus... FYI & BTW! Amen! Be blessed!