Wise As Serpents: My Thoughts on “Male Feminists” and the Women Who Fall For Them (For Some Reason)

Last week, a noted “male feminist” and pretty popular social justice figure was exposed – big time. It seems that he had at least one long-term long-distance girlfriend in another city that he visited occasionally. She was apparently in love with him and he had finally declared his love for her – the day before he married his fiancée. Once he was exposed (by the long-distance girlfriend), he said he “confessed” (I assume to his fiancée as well as the internet). He went ahead and married his intendant.  A day later, it was revealed that besides his long-distance girlfriend, he used Facebook Messenger as his personal savings and loan branch and not surprisingly, all the lenders were women.

That’s as short as I can make that story and as long as I care to. But, this wasn’t the first time something like this has happened in these “woke” circles. Every 16 months or so, there’s an expose on yet another man who duped scads of their social media activist female counterparts into believing they were patriarchy-dismantling, toxic masculinity battling, “male feminists.” They were either sleeping their way through the group, “borrowing” copious amounts of money from women who already had a full financial plate with some ambiguous sob story, promising eternal love to 5-10 women at a time, or doing any other of the things that men are known to do.

Of course, everybody feels for the women who are the targets of these male beings’ bad behavior. I certainly feel some anger when a man thinks it’s okay to deceive his way through a relatively small community in order to get gas money, groceries, and sex from women who, on average, haven’t even begun to have enough life experience or self-concept to accept they are being played.

male feminist

This leads me to two points. The first is that there is no such thing as a “male feminist.” I’ll repeat.

There. Is. No. Such. Thing. As. A. Male. Feminist.

When I first heard that term used, I knew the backfire wasn’t afar off. When has the oppressed (in this case, women) giving the oppressors (in this case, men), honorary standing in the oppressed group because of a few meager acts of “see, I’m a good one” ever worked? Sure, it makes women feel good to know that there may be 2 wholly decent men for every 100 that they’ll encounter instead of the 0.5 (go with it) for every 100 they thought previously existed. But, in my estimation, if you want to know if there is any validity to it, there has to be measurable results.

With all the talk about “woke” men becoming “male feminists,” the wage gap still exists (including the bigger racialized wage gap) and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere any time soon.  Women are still taxed for basic feminine hygiene products. We still have a hard time getting our attackers to see justice. You would think, with all the men who claim to be in the chorus of #notallmen and who furiously claim disagreement with their fellow men in comment sections, 50% of women wouldn’t be killed by intimate partners, with Black women coming in first.

In short, I’ve yet to see one of these “male feminists” or “allies” do anything substantive to battle systemic sexism, let alone rabid Fuckboyitis™ even within themselves.

Slut Walk Toronto 2012

No, Susan, your husband cooking breakfast on Sundays isn’t a sign that he’s a “male feminist” hell-bent on seeing the full equality of women to men at some point in his life. No, your internet boo isn’t “different” because when he came to see you, he paid for the Chili’s 3 for $10 special you two split. Hate to break it to you, but disappointment is a part of life.

Parte Dos.

As I said earlier, these “I luuuuurve and respect women” scammers are a never-ending event; almost like bacteria development or seasonal allergies.

Wisdom is loosely defined as knowledge + judgment.

What do we know? We know men are trash. We know that some of the worst atrocities in human history were initiated and executed by men. We know that most, if not all, of the murderers of that 50% of women I mentioned before were men. We know that most female domestic violence (be it physical, emotional, financial, etc…) victims are so at the hands of men. We know that the male-dominated executive, legislative and judicial branches here in the US have bent over backwards to deny women basic rights. We know that similarly male-dominated governments all over the world have done the same. We know that for many of us, just encountering a group of men on the streets sends our fight or flight mechanism into overdrive.

Judgment itself is defined as good sense or the ability to evaluate a situation objectively. Since we know that men generally ain’t shit (objectively) that puts us in a perfect position to judge them unworthy of all the things these “male feminists” in social justice groups are able to bamboozle out of women based on a few “woke” FB posts.

If we combine the two, and actually put it into action, perhaps these social justice pussy hounds will be forced to find another source of income. Maybe they can start to hurt and scam each other to see if they’ve truly conquered their own toxic masculinity. We as women can’t claim to want to topple the patriarchy but toss all wisdom and logic out the door when one of its soldiers tells us he likes us.

In a perfect world, with top-notch elementary education and involved parental engagement at home, I wouldn’t have to say this but for those who won’t read comprehensively and are poised to accuse me of “victim-blaming” based on 309 of over 1,000 words, know that I find these men reprehensible. We can all wish that people would do the right thing 100% of the time, but we have advanced knowledge that they don’t. At some point, we have to recognize the dogs that bite and stop petting them.

I sincerely hope that the women who were duped by the most recent social justice scoundrel are able to rebound emotionally and financially (if it applies). In fact, I hope that all the women who have ever been taken by these sharks receive some kind of retribution.

Let’s hope that the tide is turning and we’ll eventually get back to the feminism that doesn’t make women feel they need to discount what they know in favor of placating and keeping the company of men.

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Good Deeds Before Men: On Smartphone Generosity

I’m annoyed. I’m not sure why. Maybe I’m annoyed because I’m in Texas and for the last 4 days, the temperature hasn’t been less than 105⁰ and my Seasonal Affective Disorder is getting to me. Perhaps it’s because instead of chomping on a ribeye steak, an unexpected tooth mishigas has me eating cheese cubes. Possibly, being 16 days into keto also has my nerves rattled. It’s probably because the “e” on my laptop is acting up and so I’m having to bang it like Beethoven every third word. On top of that, I have a bunch of personal bullshit that keeps reiterating the point that life ain’t fair and doesn’t give a fuck about it.

sally field

In that vein, what annoyed me the most this week was logging into Facebook and seeing that one of my friends had posted a video of a guy giving a homeless man who was digging in the trash can for food some money. No, this isn’t new. The smartphones and Attention Whoring Age has brought us all sorts of visual fuckery in the past few years. From pancake asses twerking to filled lips puckering, we’ve seen it all. And while I’ll admit that people doing good deeds on film is the least fucknicious™of the fuckery, it’s fuckery all the same.

I digress. In the video, the Samaritan du jour sees a homeless man from at least 30 yards away rifling through the trash can and taking bites of food from food containers that others had discarded. Mr. Nice Guy starts recording before his subject even notices him. He has a commentary, similar to those on National Geographic as if he’s secretly watching the mating habits of a wild boar. He eventually comes up to the man, tells him to drop the food container, and gives him money. The man cries and apologizes (I guess for….IDK, trying to find food), and hugs Mr. Generoso while he (the selfless wonder) tells him that he’ll give him more if he sees him the next night.

noble-deeds-that-are-concealed-are-most-esteemed-quote-1

Of course, videos like this always elicit the tears of onlookers. The comments are filled with statements like, “this made me cry,” and “I know what it’s like,” and “praise God you were there.” I, however, never comment on these vids because I experience a type of secondhand offense on behalf of the targets…I mean, beneficiaries of the kindnesses.

There are two main reasons why I don’t care for these giving videos. First, I’ve known true givers. I believe true givers give because they have a mindset that says that if nobody ever finds out about their good deeds, it’s no big deal; in fact, it may be better. The givers I know don’t feel the need to make sure their camera is rolling before they give. They don’t need their largesse to be documented anywhere but in the receiver’s spirit. Some true givers will even forget they gave at certain times.

Basically, while I don’t believe the people who like to document and display their altruism are bad people, I certainly don’t believe they are natural givers who do so because of some inner awareness that most of us don’t have. I don’t believe they give without expectation of payback, be it financially or through the praises of strangers on the internet. I think they get a rise out of the fact that there are a whole bunch of people that they’ve convinced of their own goodness; and perhaps, maybe one day, they’ll be able to use this viral performance as leverage when they need or want something.

good deed dies

 

The second reason I don’t like these videos is that I find them inconsiderate. Anyone who has ever been down to their last $200 with another week-and-a-half until payday knows that just being kinda’ broke is hard. I can’t imagine being in a situation where I’m forced to rummage through a public trash can at a bus stop to find food. I can only think that the experience is humiliating, traumatic, and does not make the person who has to do it feel the best about themselves.

So, I cannot understand why the people who make what’s akin to emotional pornography think it’s okay to basically put people who are likely at rock bottom on camera and on social media for all to see. Do we think that person wants a whole world of strangers gawking at their misfortune? Better yet, how would that person feel to know that after all the gawking, people are hi-fiving the “giver” because the receiver’s immediate gratitude just wasn’t enough?

Good deeds intention

These videographers would like to pretend to that they are demonstrating a great act of empathy when in reality, they are displaying just how much empathy they lack. Would they want 9287498477959 people they don’t know to know that they may dig in a public trash can just to eat? Would they want these same people knowing they go weeks without access to a shower and sleep under freeway underpasses? Probably not. So then, why would they think that the person they’re “helping” wants to be “outed” in such a way? It makes me cringe to think that any of these individuals will one day be at a computer and see themselves acting as the charity case in someone’s braggadocio.

You can’t pretend to be humanistic while forgetting that the person you are taping is indeed a human being.

michelle o

What I’d like to see instead are videos of people who were once down on their luck talking about the person or the moment that changed their course. Let the receivers applaud the givers instead of the givers applauding themselves. I don’t know about you, but that’s far more inspirational in my estimation. Those would be stories of hope and maybe, instead of people sitting back and patting the benefactors on the back for their generosity, more of us would take the opportunity to give to others in the best way we can – earnest and discreetly.

 

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.” – Matthew 6:2

 

 

Rot In Pieces: On XXXTentacion, Black Hypocrisy, & Delusion

Last week, a rapper called XXXTentacion was killed in a drive-by. News of his death was reported on pretty much every major news outlet. I had heard of him only because a few weeks before his death, he was a part of Spotify’s short-lived campaign to no longer endorse the music of artists who had histories of abuse.

I wasn’t surprised to hear that XXX (from now on, that’s all I’m typing because I don’t feel like typing all that shit) was killed. I mean, you live by the sword, you die by the sword. When you build your life around glorifying or making light of violence, it’s no surprise when violence stops by unannounced and eats everything in your house, including you.

dylann roof

What was troubling was how Black people reacted to XXX’s death with weeping and gnashing of teeth knowing that this was a person who, based on his history, would sooner kill them than appreciate their blind devotion. But, before I get into the meat of this piece, let’s briefly travel down memory lane, also known as XXX’s rap sheet. According to this article, he was into bad behavior as early as middle school (I’m excusing the stabbing incident at age 6). He had done time for a number of other crimes like gun possession, robbery, and assault. At least one of his earlier assaults was against a cellmate he referred to in an interview as a “faggot.”

The coup d’ grace was domestic violence, which happened more than once and included beating, strangling, punching, etc…his then girlfriend after threats to do things like cut her tongue out and stick a BBQ fork up her vagina.

Since XXX’s death has been announced, we’ve been beleaguered by people, famous and not, sending e-condolences to XXX and his family. We’ve also been beleaguered by memes and tweets scolding those of us who either generally don’t give a damn or feel like XXX got his just desserts considering all the mayhem he visited upon others during his short life.

Those e-admonitions about our lack of sympathy made me think about the delusion and hypocrisy in the Black community where Black male pathology is concerned.

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I got this meme from Facebook. A “friend” shared it yesterday and when I looked at the source she got it from, it was a committed hotep. I’m sure whoever made this meme thought he (because I’m willing to put money on the creator being a male), was on to something brilliant. Well, he’s not. The truth is that the way society in general, and the Black community specifically is set up, if Maya Angelou had died a young sex worker, nobody would have cared and in fact would have tried to blame her death on her own actions.

I can hear it now, “Well, if she hadn’t been turning tricks, the pimp/John wouldn’t have killed her. She should have gotten a normal job as a maid.” There would have been no empathy. No declarations of how she could have eventually grown and reached a spiritual and emotional maturity that would have surely caused her to become someone great.

How do I know? Well, my years of being Black and a woman, and therefore having to deal with everybody’s bullshit has taught me some things. Plus, I’m generally an astute, highly observant person in my own right.

This is the same community that blamed Sandra Bland’s death on her being “sassy” and not knowing when to shut up but wanted us to rend our garments and open our wallets for Alton Sterling, who had his own history of domestic abuse and was a sex offender. This is the same community that had  #fasttailgirls that brought awareness to the fact that Black girls are often blamed for the evil actions that men perpetrate against them. When you take internalized misogynoir into account (all the women who co-sign this bullshit), it’s like an avalanche.

death to darkskins

My second observation is our tendency to make up fairy tales even though all evidence suggests that what we’ve constructed will never be the truth. The only difference between romanticizing XXX’s potential to become a decent human being and my recurring daydream from ages 6-8 that I would marry Ralph Tresvant, followed by Jordan Knight, and then Shaquille O’Neal (in 7th grade) is that I at least knew that none of them would happen.  XXX is gone. He’s never coming back. He was not “the next Tupac.” He was not on track to become some law-abiding citizen who respects women and supports anti-domestic violence initiatives. Talking about a rehabilitation of which there were no signs is delusional. To be quite honest, even if XXX were planning to change once he got back home, it doesn’t matter because he didn’t make back home. XXX did exactly what he wanted to do while he was here. His book is concluded.

jidenna

Thirdly, these attempts at comparison make no logical sense. Being a sex worker, as Maya Angelou was, doesn’t inherently entail beating people to a bloody pulp. In fact, women who engage in sex work are far more likely to be victims of violence than to perpetuate it. Further, single motherhood isn’t a crime. Kweisi Mfume’s arrests for “suspicion of theft” didn’t leave a woman beaten almost to the point of being unrecognizable. If people like Jidenna and the hotep want dangerous criminals to have the chance to “grow” and develop into something less heinous, they need to move people like XXX in with them, take them to the altar, and wish upon a star; and in the meantime, pray that they don’t trigger these people to the extent of being threatened with sticking kitchen utensils up their genitalia.

mcdonalds denmark

As a parting gift, I can’t help but point out the hypocrisy of celebrating the downfall, harm, or death of a politician who held an unfavorable political ideology but mourning someone who was a walking nightmare and frankly a danger to all women but that’s for another time.

Until then, I hope the people who XXX inflicted his brand of terror upon are able to sleep a little easier and that at least one weight is lifted.

Objections: Dawnta Harris’ Lawyers Should Stay Off Facebook

Believe it or not, I hardly ever write when I’m mad. Miffed? Yeah. Mildly annoyed? Maybe. But, real mad? Hardly. Well, that ends tuh-day.

This week, in Baltimore, a police officer was killed when she was run over by a 16-year-old in a car named Dawnta Harris. He was the alleged “mastermind” behind a series of burglaries with his friends. This particular incident happened after 4 arrests within a period of 6 months and multiple attempts in the days leading up to his coup de gras of killing the officer to contact him and his mother after violating the restrictions of a type of juvenile probation program Baltimore has. He was on an ankle monitor and his caseworker and others in the program tried intently to track him down once they saw that he was not following the edict to only go from home to school and back.

Now, why am I mad?

Well, before I knew anything about this incident, I was innocently strolling my Facebook timeline when I saw that someone shared a “statement” by Harris’ attorney. I read it. I was, for lack of better word, livid. I’ve posted the statement below.

Dawnta Lawyer

Reading this statement, I had more objections than Perry Mason.

First of all, I have said forever that I object to the notion that teens (the ones who don’t organize crime operations), must be reckless, deceitful, disrespectful and generally amoral. I object to this because I’ve seen so many teens show a consistent pattern of good behavior. I was one of those teens (and I’m not just saying that).

For Dawnta Harris’ attorney to chalk up his 4 arrests in the last half-year, failure to comply with the conditions of his program, and eventual murder of a police officer to him being a child who “is not perfect” is frankly offensive to so many teens out there who manage to go through the emotional, mental, and physical upheavals of adolescence WITHOUT a rap sheet.

Secondly, I object to the insinuation that this is more the system’s fuck up than Dawnta’s or his parent’s. Yeah, he should have never been out on the street in the first place. It was a complete misstep to allow someone who had his record to be integrated back into society. But, his attorney’s last statement, that implies that the environment in which he grew up caused him to make decisions that were not “advantageous” to his social welfare is laughable. Who the fuck cares what’s “advantageous” to someone who not only burglarized people’s property that they worked to acquire but killed someone’s daughter/sister/mother/ friend (even if she was a cop)?

That leads me to the third objection. Apparently, the general public is supposed to give a fuck about Dawnta being charged as an adult and being held in an adult detention center. Apparently, because he’s either Black or from Baltimore or both (first three lines of statement), “we” are supposed to embrace him even though he has proven, more than once, that he’s a danger to “us” and a bane of his own community. When the attorney asks if the public is comfortable “forsaking” him, I offer a resounding, “fuck yes!”

Let me pull over here and say that I can’t help but notice the irony of his lawyer invoking The Almighty when it clearly states in the “good book” that we all reap what we sow. Maybe his lawyer missed that part, or maybe he thinks it doesn’t apply to his client.

But I’m not done yet.

After I read that dreadful nonsense from Harris’ attorney, I broke the international rules of reading anything on the internet and perused the comments. I feel like several of them were worse. I just screenshot two.

Dawnta crazy comment

Ob-mutha-fuckin’-jection!

First of all, I’m not a cop sympathizer by any stretch but you have to be one deranged person to read the account of what happened and come up with this as your response. Cops are paid by taxpayer money and I can say for certain that Lanear, who doesn’t know the difference between “hear” and “here”, would be one of the first ones to howl if the cops took her up on her suggestion to “mind their fucking business.”

Next, Lanear, in a stunning display of contradiction, sounds a little miffed about all the cops who don’t “actually” do their job. At least she has a weak grasp on sarcasm to make up for her misunderstanding of homophones.

For the finale, Lanear asserts that (apparently), Dawnta Harris shouldn’t be held accountable for his actions because cops in general kill so many “prince” [sic] and “kings” in the Black community.

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Now, I don’t know who these princes and kings in the Black community are but I cannot wrap my head around someone saying that a cop should not have been doing her job as a response to a thieving recidivist killing her.

The second crazy comment…*sigh* where do I start?

Dawnta crazy comparison

I’ve chosen to ignore the Go Fund Me part because I don’t know what to say but, “damn that!”

Let’s talk about how Candice shows up in the clutch with the sound financial advice to nix the Go Fund Me campaign and just but it on the boys’ books once they are sentenced to life. Great idea, Candice. I have another idea. Donate to a victim’s assistance organization. Help someone replace the things that were stolen by Dawnta and his friends.

Mdot Innc (which I’ve decided is just a YUGE typo), comes back with the fact that George Zimmerman, an adult who murdered a child who actually did NOTHING wrong (unlike Dawnta and his homeboys) had a Go Fund Me. I love how Mdot notes that George Zimmerman was “clearly wrong” when Dawnta Harris has confessed to running over the cop. Plus, you don’t get put on an ankle monitor and a probation program because there’s confusion about whether or not you did anything wrong. It’s as if Mdot isn’t clear whether or not burglary and running over someone on purpose is a “wrong” thing to do.

For her final stroke of genius, she notes that a white kid killed a family of four (I’m thinking he’s talking about Affluenza) and got probation. Here’s what, MDot, Dawnta Harris was in a probation-style program too after 4 arrests within 6 months sooo…..I guess the “if they can do it, we should be able to do it too” defense is out the window.

To that end, it’s terrifying how people like Lanear and MDot will choose the most horrid, base, wretched behavior to declare their desire to be equal to white people. All the hardships our ancestors fought through to get us here was not so that we could comport ourselves as badly as white people and get away with it.

Here’s the biggest reason why this pissed me off:

it’s another dazzling display of how in the Black community, we willingly overlook, downplay, and even excuse Black male pathology at all stages of the game. Dawnta Harris (and probably his friends too) should not have been free to exist among us-at all. Even Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore’s state’s attorney who stuck her neck out over the Freddie Grey case, seemed very dismayed that Dawnta Harris wasn’t locked up where he should have been.

Though I have divested from everybody but Black women and (law-abiding) children, this thing where the community makes up excuses for the criminal behavior of Black males still affects me and society at large, to be quite honest. Similarly, this problem spans across all of maleness, as even the Santa Fe shooter’s father has attempted to shift the blame for his son’s murder spree on being “bullied.”

This bullshit has got to stop.

To Dawnta’s attorneys:

No it wasn’t basically a “traffic stop.”

No, he was not in “survival mode.”

No, it wasn’t an “accident.”

No, it’s not a problem if the officer showed “aggression.”

I don’t need to see the video. I have common sense.

To the rest of you dunderheads who came out of your keyboard to type some bubbameister defense of Dawnta Harris:

what if the officer he killed was your family member? Would you be so quick to engage the mental gymnastics you’re performing now to excuse his actions or would you want him and his clique under the jail? Be honest.

As for me, I’m on #TeamUnderTheJail.

In my estimation, Dawnta Harris’ lawyers are a part of the same “system” that they are blaming. The county allowed him the opportunity to further victimize those in his community by not keeping him locked up and now, his lawyers are trying to minimize the fact that this child is a serious problem and needs to be treated as such.

I understand what lawyers do and I understand it’s their job to defend their client. I think they would have been better off leaving that baloney attempt at a soliloquy about how less guilty their client really is off of Facebook.

Crime is perpetual. We know this. But if our communities keep cradling these males this way, nothing positive will ever be accomplished long-term.

2520s: The Scourge

Scourge

[skurj]

noun

1.

a whip or lash, especially for the infliction of punishment or torture.

2.

a person or thing that applies or administers punishment or severe criticism.

3.

a cause of affliction or calamity:

Disease and famine are scourges of humanity.

 

I don’t have a clever entrée for this piece so I’m just going to go for it. White people are a scourge upon humanity. I know it. You know it. They know it. As addiction science teaches us, the first step is admitting the problem. I’m naming the problem: white people.

In the last two weeks or so, those of us who read have read several accounts of white people calling the police on Black people for doing innocuous things from napping in a college common area, to barbecuing, to not waving and smiling at them (if that’s not some early 19th century “yessa’ master” racist bullshit, I don’t know what is). These incidents are not only infuriating because they are clearly raced-based, but they demonstrate that the dark underbelly of white racism is alive, well, and going nowhere. Further, white people apparently relish in it.

 

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Sarah Braasch: the woman who called the police on fellow Black yale classmate for sleeping in a common area.

 

Most Black people can relay at least one experience of white people being hall monitors, getting into their business, and turning a benign situation into something way more serious than it needed to be. These white people didn’t do it because they really cared, but because, just as in the days of slavery, they felt the need to flex their muscle and show the power they have as white people (this is why any white person who says they don’t understand that racism = prejudice + power is lying).

 

rape

Jemma Beale: woman who lied about 15 rapes over the course of 3 years. k

 

These days it’s worse, as, in the last 6 years or so, there has been a barrage of unjust police killings of African-Americans and even white citizens exacting their racism on Black citizens; even children like Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis. With the acquittal of the murderer of Trayvon Martin and the judicial system’s failure to prosecute police officers who killed people (children included) for literally doing nothing wrong at all, white people have received a contract renewal to continue terrorizing Black people at whim.

 

white guy

Ronald Ritchie: man who called the police on John Crawford and lied; leading to Crawford’s execution by police. 

 

I think we all knew that white people are crazy; and by crazy, I don’t mean mentally ill but more like a general malevolence that’s so pervasive that it’s almost undetectable. It’s a depravity so ancient that it has masks, and costumes, and is able to bend and shift better than any CGI sci-fi creature.

This wickedness walks amongst us every single day in the form of those whom we are taught to trust like teachers, firefighters, police officers, doctors and nurses, and even clergy.

But that’s not all.

This brand of atrociousness is so treacherous, scornful and arrogant that it will work its barbarity and then turn around cry that it has been harmed.

 

Crying-White-Lady-Oakland

The racist white woman who called the police on Black people barbecuing and then started crying that SHE was the one being harassed. 

 

Over the past few days, there have been think pieces written about why white people call the police on Black people for any damn reason. Some suggest that it’s white people’s fear of Black people that cause them to run to the police. Some suggest that as gentrification becomes more and more the order of the day, whites see calling the police on Blacks as a way to lower crime and protect their newly Columbused neighborhoods. There’s also been a suggestion that it’s merely a way to preserve the racial hierarchy.

First of all, why would whites fear Blacks unless whites had done something to Blacks that would merit Black people’s disdain of white people? According to white people, all their bullshit is “in the past” and we should “get over it.” So, why be afraid?

Gentrification? They could just go back to where they came from (advice they like to give Black people all the time) instead of threatening the people who were there before they even thought about coming or stay out in the first place. I mean, if the place is so crime-ridden, why’d they come? Seems like a simple enough solution to me.

As for preserving racial hierarchy…I thought racism was dead and a figment of Black people’s imagination because we don’t want to work hard and want to play the race card and blame white people for all of our problems, que no?

I have another theory. White people are just no good. En masse, collectively, in sum, no good. Their affinity for unabashedly causing problems wherever they go and then feigning ignorance, heroism, or good intention when called on it reeks of an arrogance that’s annoying at best and dangerous at worst. Their ability to lie so smoothly, without so much as a blink of their eyelash, is the stuff of any Black person’s worst nightmare.

 

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Carolyn Bryant: the woman who lied on 14-year-old Emmett Till and caused his death at the hands of a white male lynch mob.

 

What to do? They aren’t going anywhere and even though their reproductive numbers are declining, I don’t foresee them not existing any time soon.

white kid

I support what I’ve seen a few tweets propose. Black people should start randomly calling the police on white people. Little Emily standing in the booth behind you at Chili’s and staring at you? Call the police. Who knows what she’s plotting? If 12-year-old Tamir Rice can be killed by the police for playing with a toy gun after one of them called the police on him, little Emily needs to be taken in for questioning at the least. Susan holding up the line at Bath & Body Works because she can’t combine coupons? Call the police. She’s being disruptive and trying to commit coupon fraud. Chad, Jr. having a tantrum at Kroger? Call the police. He’s disturbing the peace and his parents are accessories to his crime for not putting his ass in check. White waitress at Waffle House taking too long to serve your food? Call the police. It’s attempted murder because you’re starving and she doesn’t seem to care.

Call the police and then walk away as if what you’ve done has no consequence just like they do.

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People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes floating back to them, poisoned.” – James Baldwin

 

On My Divestment From #BlackLove

I’m done with Black men romantically.

I sat staring at a blank Word document for several minutes while skipping through Pandora songs and trying to figure out how I wanted to start this piece. A friend of mine suggested, “Black love is an oxymoron,” and although I agree, I didn’t necessarily want to start with that. Then, it occurred to me that the easiest way to say something is just to say it.

Warning

Before I get into the guts of this entry, I want to make a few disclaimers.

No, this has nothing to do with my divorce. Many of my friends can attest to the fact that for at least the last three years, I’ve said that if I ever ended up single again, I wouldn’t consider re-marrying to a Black man.

No, you’re not going to hear some hood tale about how I have 10 half- brothers and half-sisters all across the metropolitan area that I’ve never met or that I grew up with absolutely no male presence and therefore have some Black man-sized hole in my heart.

Thirdly, I know that not every single Black man on the planet is a completely undateable, low-achieving, unchivalrous, pathological liar/cheater with babies all over the place. So there’s absolutely no need to respond to this post with any variation of “not all” unless you’re trying to convince yourself of that. In which case, stand in front of your bathroom mirror and say it 100 times until you believe it, it has worked its way out of your system, or Bloody Mary shows up and takes you away.

bloody mary

Fourthly, I know that there are men of all races who consistently show us they ain’t shit. No need to remind me of that either.

Lastly, I suggest you read the hyperlinks and screenshots that are placed throughout this entry before you kneejerk yourself into arthroscopic surgery.

Now that that’s out of the way, some background. My grandfather died in 2015. It wasn’t sudden but of all the men I knew, Black men in particular, I considered him a great example of manhood. He had one wife, my grandmother. His ONLY children were by the woman he married, my grandmother. He worked and made sure they had a roof over their head, food in the refrigerator, transportation, and made sure the utilities stayed active. He had very little vices and didn’t throw his money away. I never grew up with stories about how he was a rolling stone and I may have three other uncles and an aunt on the other side of town somewhere. He had a lot of dignity. He had a lot of honor. He was respectable.

I was well into my marriage when I realized that, as far as Black men go, that kind of excellence, en masse, would be seen no more. Was it the profusion of webpages, YouTube channels, Facebook statuses and Tweets from Black men verbally abusing, advocating for the harm or murder of, and otherwise being wretched towards Black women? Was it #theothers that Black men used to express their desire to only date non-Black or half-Black women because they were more (fill in the blank because to be quite honest, after a few conversations about it, I’m still not sure what the fuck they were getting at)?

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Thankfully, Bougie Black Girl fixed this meme. But read between the red. Brought to you by the “brothers.”

Perhaps it was the graphics and hood “artwork” that insisted that Black women are unsupportive of Black men even though every time one of them gets molly whopped by the police, it is overwhelmingly Black women who organize, march and even go to jail for them while Black men scoffed and ridiculed Sandra Bland who was brutalized and eventually lost her life for actually no reason (yeah, I went there). Or was it when any positive press about Black women and our accomplishments was released, there always managed to be a least 10 Black men in the comments noting that “just because” we achieved what they haven’t, that “doesn’t make” us valuable…to them? Was it the countless videos of Black men harassing Black women or watching their brethren harass and harm Black women and standing idly by laughing?

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Spoken like someone who only has penis to offer. Lucky for him, he has plenty of company. If a woman getting an education and a career endangers and emasculates you, you’re already sunk.

Maybe it was Black men dehumanizing us because of our hair, skin tone, physical shape, make-up choices, clothing choices, etc…and telling us no other man would want us but them (aka emotional and verbal abuse); then when we start to date white or other men, calling us “Negro bed wenches” who were being used by the white man like back during slavery while Black men dive headlong into every non-Black vagina that’s open for business. Perchance, it’s because they are the only men I’ve seen call a woman a “gold-digging hoe” because she expects the man to pay for dates (yet, they never make enough money to have sterling silver, let alone gold, to dig). Let’s not forget their desire for June Cleaver without even the wherewithal to be Ward.

serenawilliams

This comment was made in reference to SERENA WILLIAMS after she became engaged to Alexis Ohanian. Notice how he refers to her as a “that.”

Maybe it was the fact that in the last five quarters, I know at least six Black women in my age group (not including myself) who have divorced due to their husbands cheating, lying, disappearing, engaging in financial fuckery, being “on the DL,” or plainly being emotionally unavailable assholes.

street harassment

Brought to you by the illustrious Tariq Nasheed.

 

Conceivably, it’s because they regularly shrug off the rates of child molestation amongst Black girls by Black men or call the little girls liars or insist that the little girls purposely “entice” men to violate them. They do the same with intimate partner violence rates among Black women.

 

Black abuse

“greater good” = keep him out of jail because the white man is already mean enough to him.

 

It could be because they seem to be the only men who are old enough to shave every day but think the women of their ethnic group are the ones responsible to clothe, feed, house, ride AND die, and freedom fight for them plus procreate, raise their children and go half on bills. It may be because they are the only group of men I’ve ever heard talk about having multiple simultaneous sexual relationships with women as if that’s not pathological behavior. Or, it’s because they are the only group of men I’ve seen collectively blame everything they didn’t manage to accomplish on the women of their own ethnic group or white men.

ninasimone

A post in reference to the fact that both Nina Simone and Zoe Saldana, who played Nina Simone in a movie, dated/married white men. #negrobedwench….apparently

I can’t point to one specific thing, but I know that I do not believe in #BlackLove anymore. Several empirical studies have been done on Black relationships and they all point to one major conclusion: outside of making more Black people, there is no real benefit for Black women to couple with Black men. I think this is a simple cost-benefit analysis. In other words, are they worth the effort it takes to try build a viable relationship with them? You can answer that question for yourself but remember when I said to read the hyperlinks.

simone biles

They weren’t even dating but how dare an accomplished BW share space with a non-Black man!

Over and over again, Black men have failed to establish a standard of care for the women who birth them, feed them, house them, bail them out of jail, work 2+ jobs to materially support them, birth and raise their children, and the biggest of all: forgive them and remain loyal to them, even foolishly so, to the end. As a Black woman, I’ve developed friendships with several other Black women and the consensus is that, when in a relationship with a Black man, a significant amount of time is spent waiting for the other shoe to drop. Even the older Black women who chose, for whatever reason, to stay with their Black men will often express that they can’t and don’t trust him because of his history.

A couple of years back, Black men said that “white girls are winning” as a way to taunt Black women. It turns out that white girls are winning because they aren’t messing with Black men at the same rates as Black women are.

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Being the swami that I am, I already know all the rebuttals.

“Where are these men you are meeting?” In your state, city, and living room, sir.

“I don’t know any men like that.” You’re lying, sir. As a matter of fact, you’re probably one of the “men like that.”

Cue Iyanla

“You’re choosing the wrong men.” Well, sir, given the male penchant for, um, impersonation, that may have merit. It also has merit when you’re ranting on Iyanla about how some Black woman 15 years ago didn’t return your phone call and therefore you needed a life coach to fix yo’ life on national television. But you want to guess what all the men that were “chosen” have in common, sir? Basically, when Black women choose better men…I’m sure you can figure that one out for yourself, sir. 

The thing is, I’ve dated the spectrum. College-educated, blue-collar, white-collar, American, non-American; it doesn’t seem to matter at all. How far down into a pile of maggots is one to dig to locate the grain of rice?

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“It’s because of systemic racism that we, Black men, can’t get ahead.” Sir, we are Black and women. Double whammy. Yet, somehow, we manage to push forward without being complete terrors to our communities and pick up everybody’s slack in the process. Why the men, the KANGZ, who demand unquestioning submission and a permanent smile can’t do the same, I don’t know.

“It goes both ways.” Sir, I’ll just let one of my Facebook friends answer this one for you:

Oshun

This blog has become past brief but before I hop off, I want to share an anecdote. Saturday night, I was scheduled to meet with three male friends to conduct some business. I was the first to arrive. When I pulled up to the building, there were probably 8 Black men standing around outside. Most of them were smoking and they were talking to each other. I instantly froze up. When I was in undergrad, I had a friend (Black) who said she was afraid of Black men. At the time, I thought she was weird. But age and experience….Anyway, I waited in my car until two of my male friends pulled up so that I wouldn’t have to directly interact with the men who were standing around outside. This was probably the clearest portent that finalized my decision. The thought that I automatically expected the worst behavior from them unto fear, was my confirmation that I’ve made the right choice for myself.

Those of you reading are free to do what you want to do but I’ve never been a gambler, and if I have to play, I’m going to play to win.

Chad Over Becky Any Day: Workplace Becky & Why White Women Actually Are The Worst

Picture this: a young Black woman starting her career in government. In her immediate office, there are two other women who seem to be friends. The Black woman is nothing but professional. She comes to work on time, dressed appropriately, puts her head down and does her work. One of the other women finds out that the young Black woman, besides clearly being intelligent on her own, is college-educated and secure. They invite the young Black woman to lunch for pizza and she declines. One of the women tells her friend, the other woman, about the young Black woman’s impeccable background and that begins a reign of office terror. The women begin spreading rumors about the young Black woman. They begin tracking her every move. The young Black woman can’t sneeze without it getting back to the manager within the hour. The young Black woman is called into the manager’s office to address false allegations. When the Black woman provides proof that the allegations are false, she is sent back to her office without so much as a “mea culpa.” The reign, however, does not stop and eventually, the manager moves the Black woman to three other offices since she, “can’t get along” with anybody. The rub is, all the young Black woman has done was come to work, work, and go home.

Toilet scene

 

Dig, if you will, a Black woman in the middle of her career. She is educated. She is quiet and always has been. She goes to work for a mid-sized accounting firm. Her work product is beyond reproach. She shows up early and often leaves late. She even shows interest in the little irrelevant moments of their life like recitals and shit. Three months in though, it starts. One of the women starts to tell her boss that the Black woman is behind on her work. When the boss comes to her office and questions her about it, the Black woman is able to produce every file and every piece of work that the co-worker told the boss she hadn’t done. The boss is satisfied. Seeing that the Black woman didn’t get in trouble, the woman then raises “concerns” about the Black woman’s demeanor and whether or not she’s a fit for the company. After weeks of this, the Black woman is unhappy and starting to apply at other firms.

snooping

 

Since bad things come in threes, a Black woman who has worked at her company for almost a decade in B2B sales, and exceeds her target every month is constantly harassed by her female boss. One month, it’s the female boss “forgetting” to correctly tabulate a large chunk of the Black woman’s sales. The next month, it’s the female boss fraudulently taking credit for the Black woman’s work; a matter that ended up having to be escalated to her boss’s boss. The month after that, it’s the Black woman being reprimanded for losing a client based on bad information that her female boss gave the client in an after-hours venue where the Black woman wasn’t even present.

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What do all these stories have to do with each other, you ask? Well, first of all, they’re all true.

But more importantly, in all three stories, the lying, conniving, insecure, envious female co-workers were white bitches.

Ask 95% of Black women who are or were of working age and they will be able to tell you at least three stories a piece about how a Workplace Becky tried to sabotage them at some point in their career. There is a clear pattern and it all adds up to white women being the worst.

I know Black men have an issue with white men but as a Black woman, my worst work experiences by far have come at the hands of Workplace Beckies. I thought about this most recently a couple of days ago after reading yet another tale of a Black woman just trying to live her life, work, and support herself and being administratively bullied by the Workplace Becky du jour in her office.

What is their fascination with Black women that makes them want to emulate us while simultaneously hating us? I have a few theories:

  • Awareness of their own mediocrity. Usually, in situations like the ones I’ve described, the Black woman in the office is smarter, better educated, more competent at the job, and has more life-long potential than Workplace Becky. Workplace Becky should never have been hired in the first place but you know, white privilege and all….When you know you have no business being where you are, you can’t help but act like an emotionally rabid dog towards the people who are sure to pass you up. If you can get the more excellent out, the pressure is off. White women have gotten by for centuries bringing little to nothing to the table but somehow are on that same pedestal that systemic racism put them on centuries ago. The thing is, they know they don’t deserve it. Basically, you can think you’re cute until you have to go and stand by Naomi Campbell, figuratively, of course.2cf27de1f1ef3ef5a83bb44e4f4cdc0c--annie-lee-ego-tripping
  • Jealousy/Envy. It’s been said that women are naturally jealousy of other women. That claim may have some merit. But when you mix racism with jealousy, that makes for a helluva drink. White women, where Black women are concerned, tend to unleash a special brand of treachery when a Black woman is stuntin’ on them in any area of life. Maybe it’s the fact that we have lips to actually apply lipstick to. Maybe it’s because we can change our hair every single day if we want. Maybe it’s because, in the words of Nikki Giovanni, we are so hip that even our errors are correct. Who knows? But workplace Becky seems to be pressed like ham about it.no butt
  • Feminism. More like white feminism. Another theory I’ve kicked around (because theorizing is another talent that Becky can hate me for), is that white women sat under the thumb of white men for so long that they need to control (read, fuck up) somebody else’s life. Who’s the easiest target of their bunco (look it up)? They know the corporate structure and systemic racism and sexism are not going to let them screw Chad over without question. They also know that Black men have an intra-community safety net and someone will come to his defense. But Black women….the double whammy. We have no friends so that makes us easy targets. White women, in the name of deranged feminism, will stick together no matter how wrong they are. What I didn’t tell you is that in every one of those stories, the bosses and managers who dangled the Black women’s jobs over their head based on nothing more than hearsay were also white women. You see how that works?

As I’ve grown older, I now fully understand what my mother and her mother and Black mothers and grandmothers everywhere meant when they would say that white women are dangerous. Them lying and getting someone’s Black child lynched or thrown in prison is just the tip of the iceberg. Their bullshit has infiltrated every place you can imagine and for Black women, who are most often heads of household or the ones called on to care for sick elderly relatives or other children; who go to college and rack up student debt in hopes to get an education good enough to put them in places where they can not only support their livelihood but effect change, the workplace is one of many precarious places for us to be because of Workplace Becky.

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But what makes them dangerous is not only that they have it in them to behave this way, but that they are using the systemic racism this country operates in to get away with it. When are the (mostly white) men in the C-Suites going to check Workplace Becky? When is the white female boss (who was a diversity hire) going to use her brain and break rank when Workplace Becky decides it’s her job to be the hall monitor of Black women colleagues? When are people other than Workplace Becky’s targets going to tell Workplace Becky to sit the fuck down or take a pink slip? Probably never. And that’s why she keeps doing it.

Mommie Dearest

People laud Black women for being the newest crop of blossoming business owners but did anybody ever stop to ask why? Maybe, on top of the normal reasons that most people become entrepreneurs, we’re sick of having to play office politics with Workplace Becky who operates like Mommie Dearest the minute she feels threatened by us simply breathing in the same space. Perhaps, we’re tired of everybody else’s resting face just being their resting face but our resting face = “angry,” “aggressive,” “not a team player,” “not a good fit” when Workplace Becky doesn’t get the worship she wants from us. *shrug* Just a thought.

I know white men feel like these days they are getting a lot of heat; and to be honest, they deserve a lot of it. But, I’ll take Chad over Becky any day of the week.

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Why I’m Tired of Hearing About “Wokeness”

It’s 2018. We are seeing notable socio-cultural changes every day. A 99% Black movie is probably on pace to make half a billion dollars by the end of its first week out. There are white people who are willing to admit their privilege, and gay teens are unabashedly giving the object of their affection Valentine’s Day gifts on camera at school. Arguably, all this “wokeness” is great. People feel more affirmed, more comfortable in their own skin, and free to be who they are a la Marlo Thomas.

Unfortunately, that also means that people are free to be as openly daft as they can be as well.

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Being labeled “woke” is the new “smart.” It’s equivalent to the senior superlatives in high school and there are multiple trophies for that particular award. And, just like the senior superlatives, I find that being “woke” usually doesn’t amount to much and doesn’t necessarily have any basis in fact. Don’t get me wrong; I think it’s great that people are starting to examine the systemic issues that have long plagued our society. Reflection and introspection is always a productive venture.

I just wish these “woke” people would get “woke” about the rudiments of life.

broadway bitchin'

Who wants to bet that if Broadway did that, the next Tumblr post would be about how it costs too much to buy so they still had to bootleg it because “poor people deserve” to experience Broadway too? -TWD

I can’t tell you how I cackled upon learning that there are books and classes for the generation who can explain why capitalism is evil to learn how to balance a checkbook or call and make a doctor’s appointment. The fact that these adults, in all their ire at the death of free checking, need help adulting between trying to argue you down on Facebook about why economically prudent procreation is a form of eugenics is one of the richest desserts that have landed on my plate.

 

 

When I was in the band in high school, there was a girl in our section (clarinet) who didn’t know her scales. We were all practicing and found out then, that despite decent performances in stage and field shows, she knew not one scale. She wasn’t kicked out of the marching band but she was placed in beginning band class so that she could at least learn her scales. We were all a little shocked. Even the band director would never have thought she didn’t know the basic nuts and bolts of the instrument she had been playing since elementary school. She was offended that she had to go and take a band class with 9th graders but alas, life isn’t fair.

To me, that illustrates the modern-day “woke” crew almost perfectly. They’ve learned just enough to deal with what’s in front of them and can even hear just well enough to blend in but when it’s time to deal with the things that require a foundation that allows them to actually maneuver themselves, they’re pretty much imposters.

abortion

Imagine being so “woke” that you don’t even want to call women, women. I’m pretty sure calling people something other than what they are is in the “woke” list of sins.-TWD

I have a working theory that the “woke” ones tend to sound and/or be ridiculous because they jumped from knowing a little bit of nothing to being “woke” and knowing everything in the “woke” handbook, but not much else (hence, the adulting books). They lack a knowledge base from which to build substantive or at least well-thought ideas. Add that to the fact that I believe many of these people are trying to use “wokeness” to try to heal unresolved personal issues and it makes for a pot of mishmash stew that’s only slightly edible.

lesbian trans

IDK if it’s true that she’s the only lesbian in porn but I’m still trying to figure out how being committed to “vagene” is transphobic…since, you know, “transwomen are women.” Oh wait….! – TWD

In that vein, I’m trying to figure out how the “woke” are any better than those who are asleep. I mean granted, the sleep people may not be able to offer such treasures as suggesting that lesbians are transphobic for shunning penis but as far as I’m concerned, both the sleep and the “woke” are using (or not) the same part of their brain to arrive at their respective life ideologies.

Can’t they all just get along?!

stop the madness

When are people going to get “woke” about the fact that you have to ring up the actual items you’ve selected in self-checkout or it’s theft; not a “poverty hack?” When are people going to get “woke” about the fact that their theft poverty hack is part of what makes the high prices they rail against high prices? Better yet, when will they be “woke” enough to not admit to theft in a public forum? When do they get “woke” about the fact that no business, especially not a bank, started on the premise of being nice to people irrespective of economic status? Can we get “woke” to the fact that if sexual orientation is innate, that will usually include genitalia? How about getting “woke” about how scamming the gas station with your debit card is not a feasible long-term plan?

Nothing big.

Just the simple shit.

I’m sure any “woke” person that reads this will call me sleep. I’m really more of a pragmatist who is socially conscious, yet plugged into reality at the same time. Most of my circle is the same way. And the beauty of it is that we didn’t have to consult Tumblr to get there.

jane

Déjame: The Self-Care That People Seem To Hate

I’m going to let you all into my life a little. I work a day job. I get up and go to work most days of the week. I work long hours most of the time. On my day(s) off, I mostly sleep, do laundry, grocery shop, prepare my lunch for the week, give sassy responses to the men who contacted me on dating apps, and try to catch up on all my shows on the DVR.

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I know that this doesn’t sound too much different from the lives of most adults my age. The thing that’s different is that I’m pretty sure that at least 75% of the people at my job need to be committed long-term (insert cries of ableism). There’s also another large segment who feel the need to be up your ass all.the.time. You can’t pop the top on a Crystal Pepsi without a barrage of questions that are all code for, “can I have some?” or some other way to inject themselves into your time, space and/or business.

at work

Another thing about me is that I don’t really make friends at work – ever. I’ve met some cool people at this job and I’ve even met a few that I want to keep in contact with when it’s time for me to move on. One of these people really crossed one of my personal boundaries Friday, however, and now I’m starting to re-think where or if I want her in my life long-term.

The thing is…I don’t like feeling trapped. I don’t like feeling smothered. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I actually fear the thought of being constricted. Friday was already a stressful day. I’m on the verge of PMS and the constant chatter was just irritating me. I put on my sunglasses, popped in my earphones, and worked away. Yet, it seemed that every half hour or so, somebody was trying to get my attention, not for work-related shit, but just because they didn’t feel like working in that moment. I felt like I had been locked up in a cell with a bunch of motormouths and, more than usual, it was a living nightmare.

screaming

Things came to a head when I ordered delivery for lunch. I went outside and got my food (shrimp) and came to my desk. I put my earphones back in, shades back on my face, and continued typing away. I didn’t even open the sack. Like clockwork, one of the people at work that I actually like came a-knocking. I didn’t even look in that direction, shook my head, and kept working.

wannabe-busy

Long story short, that lead to some adult form of the silent treatment (which in and of itself is a paradox if you ask me) for the rest of day. I was told I had a “stank attitude” that this person didn’t “have time for.” Let’s be clear, I already knew what was going to happen. This person was going to ask what was in the bag and then eventually if she could have a taste, (though she had already easily eaten 600-800 calories worth of snacks and other foods, before I even ordered my lunch).

whatever

On the drive home, I started to think to myself: why does society have such a problem with people wanting to be left alone? What’s wrong with someone not having something to say and deciding not to talk just to hear their own voice? That’s wrong with people wanting to enjoy the silence (cue Depeche Mode)?

I live in the south. Here, if you don’t walk around like you’re at Disneyland, you’re “cold,” “mean,” “uppity,” and any other word that’s used to try to guilt people into being social. If you’re a Black woman, you can add in the (apparently) obligatory accusation of anger. I’m not talking about the smart-alecky extrovert vs. introvert memes. I’m talking about the lack of understanding that people have a right to their space; and that someone asserting that right should not be considered to have committed a social faux pas. And though it doesn’t rise to the same level of sexual harassment, the irony is not lost on me that people are all-in (at least verbally) on taking consent seriously but still have a problem accepting being denied people’s time, space and emotional/mental energy.

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Just like we accept that annoying people can’t help being annoying and that nosy people can’t help being nosy, we need to collectively make peace with the fact that people who don’t want to spend the bulk of their time unnecessarily interacting can’t help being who they are.

Speaking for myself, I find people exhausting. When I was 16, I had a job that involved heavy interaction with customers and I knew then that I wasn’t cut out for constant interplay with others. I was “shy” as a child but in adulthood, I literally become physically tired by too much interaction at times.

We talk a lot about the importance of self-care these days. What if someone’s self-care is silence and needing others to leave them the fuck alone until they can re-charge? Energy is precious and I will never apologize for trying to preserve mine. If you’re like me, you shouldn’t either.

If you’re one of the bigmouthed offenders, it’s time to stop. Someone wanting you to go be interested in something else but them at any given moment isn’t a personal slight but if you keep transgressing their boundaries, it could become something you can’t bounce back from…

bette

2017: The Year From Hell For Which I’m Grateful

2017 was probably the hardest year of my life, thus far. It started out okay but when the leaves began to change and the temperature became colder, so did my life.

In 2017, I lost my husband (through separation) and one of my favorite people in the entire world, my grandmother, through death.

Yet, out of what seemed like the worst of times, the best of times also emerged. You see, I’ve always liked learning and 2017 was the teacher that I needed. Being somewhat of a Type A personality, I always thought that I stayed prepared for the worst, but 2017 taught me how to really gird my loins.

2017 taught me a new fighting stance. 2017 taught me how to jump higher, run faster, duck lower. 2017 was the steeplechase that I needed to train me and get me in shape for what is to come. 2017 went in and found all the cracks and leaks that were going to cause me worse problems in the future and went to work on them.

Most importantly, in 2017, I learned I’m much stronger than I thought. I learned that the things that I thought would be Mt. Everest experiences for me were really hills that I could easily surmount.

mary tyler moore

Nobody can promise us anything. People wish us well and have good intentions when they do so but life, I find, isn’t subject to any of us. Life, for those of us claiming to want to be better and do better, will sometimes serve us dishes that are more bitter than we like with the purpose of training our taste buds, so to speak. It’s up to us to be open to the road that leads us to where we say we want to be or reject the pruning and stay trapped where we are.

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Though I shed many, many, many tears in 2017, I’m grateful that I made it. I’m thankful that I didn’t just make it, but that I came out of it with a new perspective on life and a fresh concept of who I am. I’m not trying to BS you with some new age/shout it to the universe and you’ll get it/think positively balderdash. If anything, I hope you take with you the fact that life can be difficult but, unlike people, when life gets hard, it’s not to harm us but to propel us. Our job is to be attentive students.

Best wishes for 2018.