I Am Not Your Feminist…

Yesterday, millions of women marched in protest against what is happening in the United States. My city organized a sister march in solidarity.

Yeahhhh….I didn’t go.

I watched Netflix. Played with my dog. Did chores. Tweeted. For me, it was any other Saturday. Because the things everyone was protesting about were the things that happen to me on any other day.

You see, when the event was first announced, it was called “The Million Woman March” and everyone got REALLY excited, but me? I had a “but wait” moment.

“But wait…didn’t the Million Woman March happen 20 years ago?”

But I bet y’all didn’t know about that one…do your googles.

The organizers changed the name. Then, I read that the “official” march excluded sex workers, and had partnered with a group who were anti abortion.

“But wait…I’m friends with sex workers and women who have had abortions. Who marches for them?”

——–

When I was about 8 or 9, I proudly announced that I was a FEMINIST. It was the 80’s and “Working Girls” were everywhere. My mom, my Aunts, and my friends’ mothers were all out there, every day, working. I only knew two stay at home moms during my elementary years.

My mother would kind of shrug off my “FEMINIST” declarations. She didn’t discourage them, but she never overtly encouraged them. I foolishly chalked it up to cultural differences and a generational divide. By the time I reached my teens, I was such a “FEMINIST”, that I could’ve been cast as the “progressive teen girl who inserts facts and figures into EVERY conversation (and wears glasses)” on any sitcom or movie. While writing a paper for my politics class, 17 year old me asked my mom if she ever protested; if she had burned any bras.

“I was too busy working to protest and bras are expensive. Who was gonna buy them back for me? Cha.”

(for those who don’t know, “cha” is a disdainful expletive used by West Indian women to express annoyance, my question was highly annoying)

“But those protests were important! Without them you couldn’t go to work!”

“I was ALREADY WORKING. What did you think we were doing?”

When one of my Aunts passed, her obituary read like a shopping list of achievements. There were a lot of “The first…” type sentences in there. In my eyes, she was my Aunt Jenny: a nurse who was the first in her family to come to Canada, and paved the way for her siblings. She worked insanely hard (nurses hours); maintained a household, raised two kids, and still managed to grow beautiful roses and fresh mint in her backyard. She was also very intimidating in a Maxine Waters kind of way. She didn’t come this far for any of us to come half way.

My mother was a divorcee. She had to move back in with the sister mentioned above, and then to get her own place, worked two jobs, raised two kids, attended every parent teacher conference, and cooked every meal. Every single one.* When technology changed in her chosen line of work, she went back to school at the age of 40, and upgraded her skills.

Looking back, I realized that the women in my family didn’t have to fight for the right to work, they were already putting in the work and then some.

By the time I reached adulthood, I realized that I too had put in a LOT of work. Plus, I had endured sexual harassment in the form of fondling by the guy who owned the clothing chain I worked for (he grabbed me by the ass). A boyfriend had assaulted me in broad daylight. I had been rejected from opportunities even though I had worked “twice as hard to be half as good” since I was child. I had put in the work and then some. I was out protesting for a better tomorrow…hell I was protesting for a better today.

But I didn’t see the results.

In fact, instead of results, I’ve had my citizenship and my parentage questioned by so many other women, and therefore my commitment to “the(ir) cause”. I realized that mainstream FEMINISM does not welcome me, just like it didn’t welcome my mother or my aunts.

So I followed her lead. I did the work. When I was invited to protests, or meetings, or groups. I just didn’t respond to the invites just like they didn’t respond to my questions about the(ir) cause.

Don’t ask me to lean in when you haven’t even invited me to a seat at the table.

But I will be here. I’m going to do the work like I have been doing, the way my mother and my aunts did, and I will support every effort simply becuase:

I am a feminist.

I’m just not YOUR feminist.

This photo perfectly captures my feminist experience:

 

*my mother is embarrassed by my lack of cooking skills and brings it up often.

Dream Analysis – HALP!

My subconscious is trying to tell me something. Again.

Two strange dreams. Both during the same sleep cycle.

Dream #1

There’s a dude I’ve known for almost 20 years.

About 10 years ago, he admitted that he had a thing for me waaaaaaay back when. But I curved him.

Uhm. NO I didn’t. I didn’t realize he was expressing interest. Because, clueless. Carrying on. 

About 6 years ago, he made an overt move. Initially I said no…but then I said yes, thinking, “what have I got to lose”. Well. The moment I said “yes”, he disappeared faster than David Blaine and David Copperfield combined.

It was beyond being stood up. Dude basically had me standing around looking more alone than Tom Cruise in Time Square.

Meh. Bygones.

But I had a dream that he made another play and I was accepting of it. I’m not in contact with this guy and honestly? Haven’t given him much thought since the Great Curving of 2010. Why him? Of all people? I would think that if I were going to give someone a chance, it wouldn’t be him.

Hmmm.

Dream #2

My ex boss offered to take my blog and produce a series out of it. Strange because a) he doesn’t know THIS blog exists (he was familiar with HLBB) and b) WE don’t keep in touch.

Funny part: that whole dream was from my POV, looking down at my phone as the offer/subsequent conversation took place via text message).

 

So here we have it kids: two people from my past, that I don’t keep in contact with/think about, have offered to “improve” my personal and professional lives.

What gives?

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson…

When that room stood up and gave an ovation at just the mention of your name…

I fear you are too modest to realize what this means to see this as a Black woman.

Knowing that we don’t get ovations. We don’t get the praise. We don’t get the tributes. That we haven’t had the opportunity to bask in that praise.

Not yet.

(But yes we can…)

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Don’t be mad at the guy who stayed seated. He’s obviously Secret Service. 

With grace and with grit and with style.

 

My Fantasy #ObamaFarewell Speech – January 10, 2017

( “…” = “the Obama pause”)

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Who gonna stop us? We in this. 

Good Evening my fellow Americans…

As I prepared my final remarks as President for tonight’s address to the nation, I had the opportunity to…reflect on a few things.

Looking back on these past eight years, we, as a nation reduced unemployment…

Caught Osama…

Made health care accessible to more people who need it…

Improved our relations on an international level.

We…did a good job.

But then…I realized something.

(The President opens the top drawer in his desk and pulls out a pack of cigarettes. Sparks one up and takes a long drag.)

I… did this.

Yes. I had a Vice President. A cabinet. As well as…some other folks. But…

Let’s face it: I did the damn thing.

Now…you want ME to sit here and hold this seat for and unqualified…inexperienced…uncultured…simple…minded…and obtuse…mother…fucker

And give him this office.

You know what else I realized? I’m the leader of this here free world. Since you are so hell-bent on having an oligarchy…or a dictatorship, so I’ve decided to give you one. So tonight, my fellow Americans, I’m here to announce…

I’m…

Not going anywhere.

Myself, Joe, Michelle…Jill. We are not leaving. My daughters…Malia and Sasha. Not going anywhere. My mother-in-law, Marian Robinson…isn’t going anywhere either. Because we all know, Black grandmothers don’t believe in saving seats for anyone.

Soooo…

(pauses to take another drag on his cigarette)

Yes. I’m smoking. Who is going to stop me? No one. Just like no one is…going to come in here and ruin my legacy. No sir.

We’re not going. I’m not going to try and ratify the constitution. Or speak to the supreme court. Or congress. We are just not…going to go.

Simple as that.

(takes another drag)

Right now, I have the navy, the army, and the air force under my command. You wanna call Russia? You can. Because I’ve got bombs too. You…need to understand. I’m from Chi-raq. I got people. I still got Rahm on speed dial.

(ashes out cigarette and lights a new one; leans back and puts his feet up on the desk)

Whatchu want America? Call Amber Riley… because you…

And you…

And you…

You’re gonna love…

(takes a drag on the cigarette)

Me.

God bless you…and these United States of America. Because come hell or…high water. They will stay united. Y’hear? Thank you and good night.

The Worst Non-Tinder Tinder Ad. Ever

One of my friends sent this to a group of us for a laugh and so I introduce to you: Malik. The 40 year old sociopathic virgin.

Oh Malik…

Has it really come to this dude? REALLY?

AS creepy as it is that you’re basically advertising yourself like a lost dog, or some low budget focus group, it’s ever creepier what you’re asking for.

She must be White, Hispanic, Asian and or Native- American – specifically Apache. Now. MAYBE there are few Apache chicks running around New York for Malik to meet. But all I can think is that dude watched that Kimmy Schmidt show on Netflix, and didn’t realize Jane Krakowski is in Redface.

“Curvaciously”, “Thick-bodied” with “Thick, sexy legs” – but not fat. Guy. For reals? Thick thighs don’t have gaps; you’re going to need to pick a side and the FUCK are brown shaded thigh highs? Having had both a thigh gap and thick thighs in my life, I can promise you that skinny thighs won’t hold ’em up.

Points for kinda (?) knowing the difference between nationality and race, but uhm…

(NOPE. Taking them away. You’re more obsessed with Native Americans than Daniel Day Lewis and Mel Gibson combined)

Have long finger AND toe nails?

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Ewwww. Even though there IS a FB group with over 2000 members who love long toel nails. No. Also, Malik my friend, it’s hard to get long ass toe nails into 5” heels.

Pay attention class, notice how Malik is SO ADAMANTLY against “hookers” ,“trannies”, and “he-shes”, BUT he wants threesomes and foursomes?

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Yeaaaaah. We know Malik. You SAY you don’t want ANY of them, but we know. Shhhhh. It’s okay…sit down. #WhoHurtYou? Because Malik you doth protest too much.

Your favourite show is Law & Order SVU. You watch it and take notes so you can avoid prosecution.

BE REAL/PORNSTARS ARE WELCOME

Malik, just because YOU’VE never had sex with a non-pixelated woman,  doesn’t mean porn stars aren’t real.

Unless you just jack off to hentai, then yeah, they’re not real.

“Employed and smart”. But if she were these things, WHY would she take your number?

No commitment. No marriage. No kids. Based on everything else you’ve said, I don’t think this is going to be a problem. You good.

Reggaeton?

 

Serena Williams is Not Your Ex…

Okay. I’m gonna try and come at this Serena Williams engagement thing from a place of compassion and understanding.

My darling male members of the species, let me walk a mile in your shoes. Let me look at this your way.

(Steps into a pair of Timbs)

So here’s Serena. Super accomplished. Fun. Geeky. Beautiful. Amazonian in a Wonder Woman kind of way (IMAGINE her instead of Gal Gadot?) A woman who can crip walk on centre court, twerk with Beyonce, and smash a window with her serve all while dressed like your WCW’s Saturday night Instagram pic.

(the good stuff happens at 4:30)

Yeah. That’s cool. But she’s still not “feminine” or “delicate”. You like them like that. I get it.

She starts to date your boy Lonnie. Y’know he’s cool though right? He’s like alternative n’ shit. Probably borrowed a dollar from her from time to time. But you know, YOU wouldn’t smash it. Lonnie would. But he likes those alternative chicks with the phat asses.

Serena’s ass tho’. Yoooooo.

But I get it…she’s not “conventional”. She’s not really your type.

Oh! Remember when Drake started taking her out? Weird, right? How does mans go from RIHANNA to Serena? Serena’s kind of a big girl though ain’t she? I don’t mean “fat”. She’s just like, really tall. Not delicate. What? She’s only an inch taller than Rih? Well. Sheeeeit. She SEEMS bigger. Alright alright, still…Rihanna is an exotic ting tho. She’s got that accent. She got them green eyes. Serena’s just y’know. Regular. Drake has bare panties thrown at him, he doesn’t HAVE to settle for regular.

So. I mean. Like. Can we agree it’s kinda CONFUSING she’d just suddenly pick up with a White dude? Some geeky internet guy. Like. C’mon! She could get an athlete or another rapper! How she just gonna pull up with a WHITE guy who created like – a MESSAGE board? Right? So, YOU don’t think she’s attractive. It doesn’t mean that another man won’t find her attractive! She just didn’t give Black men a chance!

Okay okay okay. I’m not saying she HAS to give Black men a chance. But a STRONG BLACK WOMAN ™ needs a STRONG man, youknowwhatimean? Queens need Kings, amiright?

Oh wait…dude calls her “The Queen” on a regular? Like publicly? On his social media n’ shit? Not just in private when they chill?

Oh wait…they don’t just chill? They go out? Like OUT OUT? Oh…wait, you mean for EVERYONE to see? Like they do #couplesgoals shit like dress in goofy onsies and hang out with friends?

Look, I know a lot of you would do that with the RIGHT girl…when she comes along. But y’know, she could’ve TOTALLY done that with Drake if he hadn’t snuck her through a side entrance. Drake is TOTALLY capable of couples pics on the ‘gram. Look at him and JLO!

But sometimes, these females, they just want a RICH dude. They don’t care about how the man looks at that point; he’s paying those bills—

Oh. Wait. Serena makes MORE money? Dude founded REDDIT…oh. She made 10 times he did last year? So it’s NOT money?

What else could she possibly need? She has money. She has success. She’s the GOAT*!

(*GOAT among women. I’m mean there’s still King James…)

Why is she choosing to marry THIS GUY?

(Takes off Timbs…reverts to my natural state)

Sigh.

Love. L-O-V-E. Love.

That’s all it is folks.

Is this really THAT hard to understand? That someone can love whom they love. Imagine that. Dating a variety of people and figuring out what you do and do not want in a relationship. Then, you MEET that person. The one who meets your expectations.

ALL your expectations.

They give you that strange elusive thing called: happiness.

Serena is your ex. The ex you maybe feel a little bit guilty about being an ass to. The ex you dated as filler, an in-betweener. The ex that DIDN’T hit everything on YOUR list. So you kind of let it linger. Not out of malice. Just because you weren’t all in.

Guess what? That’s okay. That happens.

But when (NOT if, WHEN) she moves on, you do not get to evaluate her choices. You don’t get to weigh in, critique, assess, or judge her choices. Because I need to you remember one very important fact: she didn’t meet your expectations.

Do not fault her for finding someone who meets all her expectations just because you don’t meet hers.

 

im-going-let-you-think-about-one-minute-sip

The Culture of Comparison

Like many, this is the the time of year I start to reflect. I actually start in September, because I treat my birthday as my new year, and I give myself until December 31 to toss out clutter – both physically and metaphorically speaking.

One thing that came up in my refelctations (yes, I’m Wendy Willams-ing words), was that there were people in my life comparing me to them. Or comparing themselves to others. There was a lot of comparing. This… is not cool. Because the comparisons felt so different from my reality.

A few examples:

Comparison #1 – My Dating Life

It was assumed a few times that my dating life was filled with opportunity and privilege. That I had greater access to a wider pool of men and therefore, I had a better dating life.

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Reality Check

I have not been asked out on a date ALL year. Like, all 365 days of it. Unless you count the dude who thought of me as a side dish on his fuck buffet. The year before that, it was NOTHING until November. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

I’ve had “opportunity”, but I’m the opposite of Harvey Specter – I can’t close. I’ve talked at length to men I’ve found attractive and left with no number. I know their blood type, but I don’t even know a last name. Attempts to follow up? #FAIL

So please, stop assuming that your romantic/sex life is the worst. Enjoy a good date for being a good date. Enjoy sex for being sex. Don’t place expectations on yourself based on what you see on the ‘gram. You don’t know what that relationship is like when the filters come off.

Comparison #2 – My So Called (Bougie) Life

I have, a nice apartment in a nice trendy neighbourhood. I have a cute dog. I dine out. One time a friend walked in and said, “look at all you got”. I’ve been told that my life is parties, fun, and…I dunno, “cool”?

Reality Check

My apartment is expensive. I haven’t traveled anywhere in so long my passport expired and I didn’t even realize it. I have a dog that I bought on sale. He eats President’s Choice kibble – and table scraps. He is more therapy dog than he is accessory and yes, I was advised by a professional to get him to improve my happiness (and he has).

I have worked between 70 and 80 hours a week. (Trying to cut back to 50!).

While I truly enjoy my solitude, it would be WONDERFUL to come home to a meal because the thought of cooking (and cleaning) for ONE is exhausting. So I buy takeout instead of groceries. Laundry? Yes, it’s great I have en suite…because sometimes in order to have clean clothes I have wash a load at 12:30 am. I often come home and fall asleep in my clothes because I. Am. Tired.

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Me, almost every weeknight

I do not begrudge your vacation pics…do not envy my rooftop patio pics.

Comparison #3 – “Well you can find clothes easily. It’s harder for some of us.”

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Reality Check

I’m 5’3-ish, 150 lbs. My mother calls me fat. Old on the street call me fluffy. Cat callers will call me a fat bitch when ignored. The labels range from size 8 to size 12 and they all fit the same. I’m not built like a video girl and I live in a city with a disproportionate amount of video girls. So those comparisons are ALWAYS there and they annoy me.

I would rather eat all the foods and do all the nothing. But I can’t. I have a chronic illness. My diet and exercise choices aren’t determined the size of the clothing label; my illness has dictated that for 25 years. If I don’t maintain a delicate balance, I literally cannot walk. I’ve blacked out in the street. I often crawl on the floor of my nice apartment to the bathroom to throw up, because the soles of my feet are in fiery pain. There are days I scream and cry in pain until I pass out. I’ve missed birthdays, christenings, milestones, events, and work because of it. So I do what I can holistically, because pharmaceuticals aren’t effective. If that means the tradeoff is I’m a standard size, then that’s what it is.

Comparison #4 -You have it easier than me because gender/weight/skin tone/income

Reality Check

Think whatever you want. We could sit and play Oppression Olympics all fucking day, and no one is gonna walk away with a medal. We will sit and compare bad thing to bad thing to try and make the other person feel better about their shit until the end of days.

The facts are there are things that are good for me and there are things that are good for you. MY good doesn’t automatically mean that it’s BETTER than your good, or should be the good that you have. Get it?

You know how a bunch of folks will be saying, “leave x behind in 2016”? I wish we could leave behind this culture of comparison. Can we stop using other peoples’ #BestNine as our personal vision boards? Can we take our relationships with each other and focus on what we have in common versus what we have in comparison? I know what load I carry, and if you think this post was in any way some “woe is me” moment, you’ve missed the bloody point.

Trust. There is something that you have someone else envies. Compare what YOU don’t have to what you DO have. If there is something you want for YOUR life, go after it. If there is something in YOUR life causing clutter, GET RID OF IT. Make space for the things you want. DON’T look at someone’s good fortune, good moment, or good filter and think, “I wish I had that”.

“That” which you covet? You don’t want THAT.

You want how it makes them feel.Fill your life with the things that give you THAT feeling.

Because you don’t know what the tradeoff was for them to have that.

/rant