13 10 / 2012
I recently read ‘For Coloured Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf’, and haven’t been able to get the Lady in Green’s poem out of my head. It’s been haunting me. Somebody actually walked away wid alla MY stuff a while ago, and Ntozake Shange’s poem has given me the push to reclaim my shit.
I just thought I’d share it:
“Somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff. Not my poems or dance I gave up in the street, but somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff
like a kleptomaniac workin hard & forgettin while stealin. This is mine; this ain’t your stuff. Now why don’t you put me back & let me hang out in my own self.
Somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff & didn’t care enuf to send a note home sayin, “I waz late for my solo conversation or two sizes too small for my own tacky skirts.” What can anybody do wit somethin of no value on a open market? Did you getta dime for my things? Hey man, where are you goin wid alla my stuff? This is a woman’s trip & I need my stuff to ohh & ahh abt. Daddy, I gotta mainline number from my own shit. Now wontchu put me back and let me play this duet with this silver ring in my nose.
Honest to God, somebody almost run off wit alla my stuff
And I didn’t bring anything but the kick & sway of it. The perfect ass for my man & none of it is hers. This is mine. Notzake ‘her own things’ that’s my name. Now give me my stuff. I see ya hidin my laugh and how I sit wif my legs open sometimes to give my crotch some sunlight. And there goes my love my toes my chewed up finger nails. Niggah, wif the curls in your hair Mr. Louisiana hot link, I want my stuff back. My rhythms & my voice, open my mouth, & let me talk ya outta throwin my shit in the sewar. This is some delicate leg & whimsical kiss. I gotta have to give to my choice without you runnin off wit alla my shit.
Now you can’t have me less I give me away & I waz doin all that til ya run off on a good thing. Who is this you left me wit. Some simple bitch widda bad attitude. I wants my things. I want my arm with the hot iron scar and my leg wit the flea bite. I want my calloused feet & quik language back in my mouth. Fried plantains, pineapple pear juice, sun-ra & joseph & jules, I want my own things. How I lived them & give me my memories. How I waz when I waz there. You can’t have them or nothin wit them. Stealin my shit from me, don’t make it yours- makes it stolen.
Somebody almost run off wit alla my stuff & I waz standin there lookin at myself. The whole time & it wazn’t a spirit took my stuff. Waz a man whose ego walked round like Rodan’s shadow. Waz a man faster in my innocence. Was a lover I made too much room for almost run off wit alla my stuff & didn’t know I’d give it up so quik. And the one running wit it don’t know he got it. My stuff is the anonymous ripped off treasure of the year. Did you know somebody almost got away with me? Me in a plastic bag under their arm, me danglin on a string of personal carelessness. I’m spattered wit mud & city rain & no I didn’t get a chance to take a douche. Hey man, this is not your perogrative. I gotta have me in my pocket to get round like a good woman shd & make the poem in the pot or chicken in the dance. What I got to do I gotta to have my stuff to do it to. Why don’t ya find your own things & leave this package of me for my destiny. What ya got to get from me, I’ll give it to ya. Yeh, I’ll give it to ya around 5:00 in the winter when the sky is blue-red & Dew City is gettin pressed. If it’s really my stuff, ya gotta give it to me. If ya really want it, I’m the only one who can handle it.
Somebody almost run off wit alla my stuff!”
(Play: “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf”)
18 6 / 2012
I hate hearing black people making deprecating comments towards other black people and what makes us intrinsically black, like natural hair or dark skin. The amount of times I’ve heard that I’m just a bit “too dark” to be pretty or that I should “put some relaxer” in my hair. It’s annoying, but at least those type of people are open with their horribly misinformed comments. What annoys me the most are the people who give backhanded compliments. e.g, “Your hair is soo nice…For natural hair” or “You’re so pretty… For a dark-skinned girl” as if there’s something inherently wrong with my dark skin or natural hair texture. And then, if I’m audacious enough to show my irritation, I’m in the wrong. Just because some has made these comments in a casual context, it seems to unnoticed by some. Hurtful, hateful comments do not need to be shouted at you by a stranger.
21 5 / 2012
I came across this picture on Facebook earlier I didn’t know what to think.
I was annoyed because the OP put a poll in the description: “A)This is cute. I like it. B)They’re too young for this. I don’t like it. C)Bad Parenting.”
It wasn’t the actual poll that annoyed me, it was the responses: 38 people voted (some people selected 2 choices- one conflicted person chose all 3) and some 23 out of 38 people opted for option A; that this is “cute”.
It’s bad enough that any person would consider this a Kodak Moment and take this picture, but to put it online..? Who would do that? It made me withdraw in shock and I was immediately saddened. What was the most striking for me were the provocative poses juxtaposed with the clichéd cute image of their small feet in ‘Mummy Heels’ making this look like a perverse game of dress up.
The whole picture smacks of adult interference… I don’t think that children their age -they look at 5-7- will be able to perfectly coif their own hair or put on lipstick so well. The suggestive clothing itself seems like it was picked out. What does a 5 year old know about matching their bracelet to their belt? Or about breaking up a strong pattern with a solid colour?
It’s highly likely that these two children were just dressed up for the photo-op, but children are being encouraged more and more to dress “sexy”. In recent years look at how many people have been outraged by the clothing offered to their young girls? Padded bras for girls as young as 7, t-shirts emblazoned with disgusting slogans (I’ve seen with my own eyes a top made for toddlers saying ‘so many men, so little time’ a good few years back) and thongs made specifically for young children.
In the media, the celebrities teetering around stages in heels and short shorts are getting younger and younger. A few years ago, I’d be watching music videos watching women parading around in next to nothing, with a big age gap between myself and them. However, as my age has increased, these womens’ ages have been decreasing until we’ve met in the middle. Just look at Miley Cyrus on her 17th birthday -my age- she was put all over the internet dressed in hot pants and heels and is regularly seen in skimpy outfits.
It’s not just music videos. Television shows aimed at teenagers feature fairly graphic sex scenes with the main actresses wearing shorts skirts and low cut tops. Once these people get famous, young children are going to want to emulate their favourite stars. I don’t think in anyway that sexy outfits should be banned on television or sex, but clothes stores should not AIM these type of clothing at younger children. Yes, children want to imitate Kim Kardashian or whoever else is “hot” and all over magazines, but allowing them to do it is something else. Clothes lines making revealing clothes to fit children (case and point in the photo above) seems to validate allowing your child to dress sexually.
Recently, Johnny Depp’s daughter was photographed wearing some quite skimpy outfits. I didn’t know what to make of them, believing her to be about 16, but she is 12. There’s nothing wrong with wearing shorts and a tank, but when your butt cheek is coming out and your bra is showing it borders on skanky. If she was 10 or 20 years older she would be labelled as desperate for attention or whorish.
I’ve never believe in terming children as “sluts”, “whores” - the epithets themselves make me feel uncomfortable because of what they connote. People should be allowed to express themselves sexually as they choose to and using degrading terms because of one’s sexual proclivity just seems paleolithic and wrong. Morals should dictate to an individual not harm other people with sex by taking advantage of someone or by cheating on someone who you’re in a relationship with because you felt like having sex with someone else. Regardless of your opinion on the words in general, we need to be aware of the society we’re living in; the way you dress makes people form preconceived opinions about you. The same way you might see a person wearing heavy black make-up and spiked leather and think “goth”, seeing a girl dressed in a cropped boob tube and a skin-tight skirt will make you think she’s “loose” or “slutty”. Who wants their child to be thought of like that?
Prepubescent children and those just going through puberty are just as exposed to all the sex in the media as we are, but it’s up to parents to try to explain and help their children to understand what they’re seeing because they’re not mature enough to. We’re shown everyday how to use sexuality in the wrong way; to manipulate and control, to sell things and to gain attention. There’s no doubt that a child seeing all of this sexual objectification with no context everywhere is going to think that it’s right. Young girls might think of themselves sexually before they’re even developed and the affect on pre-teens, who’re now coming into their own is probably worse. And what happens when you’re not sexy or when people don’t look at you sexually? How do you feel then?
We’re still trying to overcome institutionalised misogyny and this Sex Culture is hugely detrimental to that struggle. Horrific things like rape are “justified” to some and the victims are blamed because of how the victim behaves and dresses. The way that an 11-year-old girl who was gang raped in Texas was depicted by people in her society because of her dress and other things seemed to suggest they believe she had it coming. A rape victim never deserves to be violated. A paedophile even got off lightly in a case with a 10 year old because the judge said she dressed provocatively
I strongly believe that when you’re not old enough to own or even begin to understand your own sexuality, you should not be able to objectify yourself sexually through dress or sexual behaviour. Ultimately, it’s up to parents to monitor (within reason) their children and to develop good relationships with their children so that they’re able to address their sexual concerns. I have not even began to address the risks children are exposed to by being too sexual from paedophiles.
24 12 / 2011
Intellectually, I know the state of the world. I know of the injustices that other people face daily and how unfair society is. I know that there are people who are willing to kill because of ignorance and that some people cannot leave their homes because of the threat of persecution.
But emotionally, if I’m honest with myself, I generally find myself feeling down, because I feel short changed that I am not physically attractive and I feel hurt I do not have “enough” wealth to buy myself the latest material items that, perhaps, will fill the empty hole that hurts my heart and soul when I am left alone to think too much. I feel alien and subhuman because I do not have someone of the opposite sex who will sacrifice everything for me.
Isik Birgul in Turkey, who was shot by her own son for speaking openly about her domestic abuse. It is about my breasts, which do not sit perkily 4 inches below my collar bone like every other 15 year old girl I know. When I feel depressed I do not remind myself I am living in a country where, I can leave my house freely and roam without the fear of soldiers pointing a gun in my face and cheer up.
These are symptoms of a sickness caused by first-world society, and there is no drug that can be prescribed to me to fix it.
27 10 / 2011
To me, what most girls don’t seem to understand is, that being the man in a relationship does not automatically mean that there is a responsibility to meet every expectation on your damned checklist. A male does not owe you a goddamned thing. Don’t let anybody fool you, sweetheart.
What a relationship is about is doing your bit to make your boyfriend feel like he is wanted and needed and he should do his bit to make you feel wanted and needed. The both of you need to also put in a bit of love, trust and consideration.
A relationship is not a crutch to prop up your flailing self-esteem and self-confidence. So if getting a man doesn’t help (which it will not), you need to take time out and spend some time alone to work out what you can do for you. He can’t do that. He is his own person with his own problems.
The perfect relationship is one in which both parties have their own lives, feel fulfilled and each person is a complement to the other.
16 10 / 2011
I’m constantly being bombarded with media propaganda
Giving me the ideal of beauty, and it’s the polar opposite of me.
I am not beauty.
I’m constantly being bombarded with media propaganda
Telling me that to be beautiful is the most important thing you can be.
I am not beauty.
What do I wake up for in the mornings
In a world where someone like me, doesn’t even count?
I am not beautiful.
27 7 / 2011
I seriously hate when people constantly talk about how much they hate society. People who say things like “I hate society’s general lack of respect of women” - fair enough, but the people I’m talking about are those who say things like, “I hate society… Everyone’s just so… The same. Everyone likes the same music, clothes, films etc.” I was speaking to someone just like this recently, and after making a complaint similar to my made-up quote, they told me “that’s why they’re a metalhead.” Oh? That’s what you did? You escaped anti-individualism by becoming a member of a subculture and therefore became an anti-conformist by categorising yourself as having the same clothes/music tastes and same general lifestyle as hundreds of thousands of other people. Makes sense.
Those persons who advertise their apparent misanthropy by putting it in every facebook status, as their msn screen name and having their MySpace name as something like “Danny SocietalApathy” or “MisanthropicMeg” are no better than the 12-year-old attention-seekers who call themselves “Smirnoff Barbie” or something because they think that the partying lifestyle is cool, and no less obvious in your affectations.
Might I suggest that you channel your hatred for society into self-hatred? Because really, there’s something more wrong with you than someone who dresses like all their friends. That’s categorised by a human need to belong. Your hatred of that person is characterised by your being a giant dickhead.