September 8, 2014

"Why Doesn't She Leave?": Ray Rice, and Why Victim Bl/Shaming is Stupid

(Ray Rice, wife Janay, and their daughter Rayven)

My parents have been married 37 years. My parents are still together.

My father, an ex-cop, returned from the military shortly before I started 5th grade. Before that, I had a dream like vision of my dad, a super strong military man who visited on leave. I didn't know they had technically been legally separated since I was about 3 and his stint in the military was for him to "get his life together". 

My father beat my mother more times than I could remember. Or that I can remember because I've blocked most of ages 8-18 out. My father was abusive,neglectful, controlling, manipulative and in some ways still is. He had several children outside his marriage. He had no remorse, felt no guilt, and did what he pleased. When he got out the Army, he was underemployed and drank a lot. That's stopped......(the drinking that is). When he became gainfully employed, money made it worse as he could exert all his control with his purse strings. 

But despite all of this...despite the fact that he'd pulled a gun on her and drug her into the yard.....despite the fact that he's torn doors down in the house....despite the fact that he's made a scene more than once in public (most memorably at my maternal Grandfather's funeral).... my mother remains with him.

My parents, again, have been married 37 years. Maybe 1 of those years was a "good" year. I wouldn't know because I never bothered to ask my mother.

As I saw the Ray Rice video leaked from TMZ today flood my FB timeline, I thought, "Surely, now with THIS type of evidence, something can be done". This man got a slap on the wrist. Poor Mike Vick is still being assaulted by PETA , paid his debt, but this man, Ray Rice was only sitting out two games. Another dude was busted for weed. Let's face it..he's a habitual weed smoker and got 1 year suspension.

 And then it was over. His contract was terminated. He is banned from the NFL. My thoughts quickly turned to his wife Janay. Would she feel the wrath of him not having a job? Would she leave? Or would she just stay?

On FB, the court jesters of opinions, folks are weighing in. Some are blaming the media. Some are blaming the NFL for perpetuating and condoning the behavior. Why did they sit on this tape for months and it wasn't until TMZ supposedly leaked it that they wanted to take a harsher stance? But most disappointingly, most people are blaming Janay Rice, who stood at a press conference just months early,  basically apologizing for causing shame to HER husband, for getting herself knocked out, and for causing a stir with the Ravens organization. People, especially women, were of the belief that she provoked him. Even if she shoved him, his frame and body are built and conditioned to hit hard and with force. Those are no excuses. I wept as I watched Janay sit there with her eyes downcast, rubbing her hands together feverishly, as if she was going into her own cocoon. As if she was rubbing a genie's lamp, hoping she's disappear. She avoided all contact and just felt as though she was reading from a script like a mindless zombie.  The fact that Ray Rice said (in the press conference w/ his then fiancĂ©)  "I won't call myself a failure. Failure is not getting knocked's not getting back up". Sometimes you gotta laugh at the irony to keep from crying cause this fucktard is just........... clueless.


 We will never know why, even after that incident, she chose to marry him. We will never know why Janay stays (if she stays at all) or why any woman in abuse stays.  Everyone has a different reason. But what I do know is that we cannot blame the victims. We cannot say the media and Janay are "trying to bring a black man down". He brought himself down by laying hands on her. No matter how much counseling he will get, he will always be a woman beater.  Even those in "recovery" still get labeled... A recovering drug addict is always one relapse away. 

It has taken me most of my life to realize that. I harbored so much resentment toward my mother for staying with such a lying, cheating bastard like my Father.  But she had her reasons. I remember her once saying "I take my vows seriously. I know when I die, I did what was right". So serious she is in her devotion that she was willing to subject herself to more than I could bear. She grew up in a 2 parent home. Her father, to my knowledge, wasn't abusive but he did drink in his older years. Perhaps my mother wanted the same for her children. My mother has been chronically ill most of her life and mors recently dependent on my dad for, among a lot of things, health insurance and as her health increasingly gets worse, she is more and more dependent on him as a care giver no matter how poor he is at it.  "DEPENDENT".  That is the key word.

Men are saying "Well Janay got a baby and is staying to get that check".  I know a lot of people have endured a lot for money  and sold their souls but to reduce to her a gold digger willing to be a punching bag is absurd. Even Evelyn Lozado left Chad Johnson when he headbutted her. Gold digger or not..she had good fortune of leaving with her life. Perhaps Janay doesn't have that option. Perhaps her family is saying "but he's a good man" "think about the money or "Dont anger him .. stay for the baby..." or whatever rationalization they can think of. This is all speculation.

What I am sure of is that we need to pray for Janay, her safety, and the safety of their child. And for Ray's sanity.  Even if she leaves him, she isn't completely safe from his wrath of abuse or worse. 

No matter how many times my mother stayed at my aunts house. No matter how many times my father yelled or screamed. And no matter how much he lie(s)d mother always goes back. Well... went back. Right now she's there until she death does them part. She once lamented to me "where will I go? Who will want me?" She was a disabled retiree with no college degree and no savings.  Janay's dreams may be wrapped up in the same packaging-- a woman who sees no other options. Who knows...

I never really have talked about this part of my life. And if you ask my mother, she has a "selective memory" when it comes to those darker days. I remember some. My brother remembers as it was part of the impetus for him moving out at age 18. But I do know it's affected me in a huge way. Will I ever be in Janay's position? Or my mother's? I pray to God that I am not.

But I also have the insight and foresight to not judge or shame the women who are. 

We have to have empathy. We have to be compassionate. We have to be better human beings.

For Janay and all the "other" Janays. 

Even those who are old enough to be your mother....

August 21, 2014

Let Onika (Attempt to) Twerk!

*blows all the dust off this sucker*

I am 30 days away from getting married so I haven't been able to post as much!

HA! Yeah right! I just don't have sh*t to talk about... until today...

So Nicki Minaj released the video for her song "Anaconda" which samples Sir-Mix-A Lot's" Baby got Back".

If you do not remember that song....................take a look here

It was a gloriously cheesy song that celebrated the black woman's backside in a time and era when big butt were not en vogue. Sistas around the world enjoyed shaking their rump to this song and just having a good time.

Fast forward almost 20 plus years and we have Onika "Nicki Minaj" Maraj sampling Sir Mix A Lot's song in all it's campiness. The song is trash. Pur and utter fluff and trash, void of any real substance. LOL and the video is deliciously lame. Take a look. Warning it may be NSFW (unless work is Magic City....but ok........... really it isn't even that bad! lol.)

I was on the treadmill at LAFitness and I am sure they thought I was crazy because I was watching it on my Iphone and laughing SO LOUDLY. OMG..poor Nicki. All that (allegedly paid for) DUNK and she can't twerk for sh*t. Not to mention.... lots of the folks in there don't have THAT much dunk. It's like..average black girl booty. The lyrics are bad. The scenery is just loud and visually is is doing too much BUT does a good job of adding a lot of Sir Mix's came lameness. Nicki herself looks beautiful and glowing. The part with her trying to twerk it on an ever willing Drake...... a struggle in itself. LOL. Isn't she Caribbean? That's sad, yo..........

But now folks and feminist are in an uproar for the twerking nature of the video and all the butts and Nicki's own butt being at the forefront of this video (which it really isn't............the promo for it...however is another story.............) Nicki went on an Instagram tirade, posting pics of thinner (whiter) bikini clad models and asking "is this acceptable?", a retort which was in direct response to those who are saying her pic was unacceptable. Whatever........ I see her point totally. But folks weren't trying to hear it, saying she was objectifying herself for record sales.

Look, Nicki has a big ass. It's her body. She has the right to flaunt it however and to whomever she damn well pleases. I think Nicki believes in girl power and all that jazz, but she is a woman who knows that sex sells and while she has the body, she's gonna use it. I mean, she's not some pseudo-feminist jumping on a bandwagon (a la Beyonce' ) but she is just a girl in a male dominated industry, scratching and surviving. I don't care what she does. The real problem for me is that she even HAS to defend this or that she has to DO this in order to survive in Rap.  What happened to the girl rapping in sweats and Timbs w/ a bad weave and a cheap bag??  That's the Nicki I miss. "Mixtape" Nicki. The girl can rap. She flat out can.............and doesn't NEED to do all this. But the rules of the game don't work that way. She's trying to get these checks. But let's not label the girl some kind of "sex worker". She sells sex............but not her p***y! Feel me?

Folks were calling her a modern Venus Hottentot, telling her she needs to go and view Kara Walker's "Sugar Sphinx" and get her life. Ya'll............please. Let the song and video stand for what it is: a cheesy, celebration of the black woman's ass. A butt, mind you, that white women are now spending a LOT of dough on to get.

When Sir Mix A Lot made "Baby Got Back", we rarely had any celebrations of our bodies. The "waif" look was in. It was the 90s and heroin chic was all the rafe. Nicki is in an era now that still objectifies and yet glorifies black butts.Strippers are rock stars. JLo gets love for her butt. And Nicki.... She loves her butt (real or not). She loves her curves. And most importantly, what I took away from the song was men LOVE women with curves. And that in itself should be celebrated.

So let Onika attempt to twerk till her big butt's content! *shrug*

But for me... I will continue to laugh at how bad this song is. It's not that deep to me

.....and I'm a feminist, sex-positive person :)

May 23, 2014

Beauty and the Boudoir

As part of my wedding photography package, I opted against doing traditional bridal portraits in favor of bridal boudoir photographs. I had done something "similar' in my first marriage but my ex husband was involved...and I hated the fact that he was in most of the shots. Needless to say...these would be different.....I'd be totally alone.

I was so nervous. I spent days and nights planning and picking out outfits.... I had been working out but I was self-conscious because I wasn't as fit as I wanted to be for these photos. I was going to call the whole thing off but my mother seemed excited for me...and my aunt thought that this would be the perfect gift to give my fiance' on our wedding day. I had a room and floor full of Lingerie and Louboutins.....everything that seemed "sexy" or bridal...I had it out.

I labored for hours over my hair and makeup and nervously paced the floor waiting on our wedding photographer and his wife (and thank God she was there!). I opened the door and they were so excited. They put my at ease. They made sure things would be tasteful and that my fiance' would love them. His wife fixed my hair in every shot...she even adjusted my boobs. They kept saying "it's just the simple things that make it work".... We had music going and I even had a "shot" to ease my nerves. He was creative and a patient....he and his wife eased my self consciousness and after a 2 hour shoot....I was relaxed.

Then it was over.

 It happened so fast. All I heard him say was "I think we got it!" and he was packing up his camera bag! His wife hugged me and said "You're gonna be such a pretty bride! See you in September!".....and they were off.

I didn't get to see many of the images...the photographer would teasingly flash the camera's screen at me then laugh. I had trust in him...but the truth is...I didn't have trust in myself. What if my rolls were showing? What if I looked crazy? What if I was sweaty?

Weeks and weeks went by...until finally my photographer sends me an email simply stating "they're ready"....with a link to a Zip file of the edited shots.

I opened the first mouth fell open.and tears dropped from my eyes. I was speechless. I realized after about 15 minutes I was simply staring at my Ipad....

Was that really me??? Was I truly that beautiful? Is that was Jay sees when he sees me, stripped down and just with raw emotions? Or glammed up in this way?   It was the first time in my 35 years of existence that I had seen myself like that: beautiful, glamorous, elegant, sexy...... 

I shot my photographer a quick email with the exclamation of " that really me!?" He said "Yep..that's all you! I'm just the dude with the camera!" The photographer and his editor/assistant had done amazing job! I scrolled through picture after picture...amazed at what I saw before me. Sure they were edited...but it was me! It wasn't to the point where I was unrecognizable. Just as my photographer had said. was all me. They were edited but not perfect...just me.... I was really beautiful. I mean...I was stunning....

I am itching to show my fiance'....but they are a total surprise. Once he opens the book as he gets ready on our wedding day...I am sure he will be amazed that his wife looks like that. And be in total anticipation of the wedding day....(and night! ;) )

But then again....he's always felt that way. And all it took was a photograph to make me really see what he saw in me....

PS: If you are interested in my photographer and you are in the Atlanta area or Southeast, look him up!

Montoya Turner of Made you Look Photography!

*and no....he isn't paying me to say this or even giving me anything free!! I just love the man for his work!*


May 1, 2014

Marshmallow Blues and Honeymoon Dreams

My wedding is in 4 months and 20 days............

I work out. I eat right 90% 85% if the time...  Granted I've been sick off and on for the better part of 8 months as well....and my fear is that I will appear like this coming down the aisle:

I've always had a struggle with maintaining a healthy weight. Even when I was in high school and barely 125 lbs..I had "thick thighs" and got teased. So naturally, I do not want to waddle down the aisle looking like a big, puffy marshmallow. I picked a wedding dress that will suck in my shape. But knowing the tag says "Size 20" is so disheartening. And most of it is boobs and my tummy...blah!

I have a dress fitting in almost a month. And I know that I will not have lost anything. I thought about doing some Arden's Garden detox for a few days. Or just forgoing meat. Or giving up my daily, 2 oz chocolate habit....

But I like food. And I like working out. But I also don't like having liver issues or a slow that makes it even harder.

Not to mention...I wanna wear a bikini for the first time on my honeymoon. I wanna come out the water like Halle Berry on James Bond.....or like that amazon Serena Williams on the beach...

(I hate her *smh*)

I wanna be able to not have my gut hang over my bikini looking like Rasputia from "Norbit". I wanna go sarong-free. But no matter how hard I try. How hard i push myself each gym session How hard I switch up calories and what I eat... Nothing. Is. Working. I joined the 90 Day Challenge a with some gals on Instagram and I feel like I am failing miserably.....

I think the greatest lesson I've learned in this is that I have to accept the 35 year old body I have now and work with it. I will just lace up some corsets and keep it moving under my dress. I will just rock a sassy one piece and not that Wonder Woman Bikini I was thinking about........ 

I've vented to my mother and my FMIL who both are like "Girl bye...just rock it and keep it moving"........ But I am paranoid about back fat and waving arms............ I feel so sick.


Then I think about my fiance's face. Who will prob be wet with tears when he seems me coming down the aisle on my brother's arm..............and who , on the honeymoon, will be ready to take of ALL clothing and will be like "Why you packing clothes in the first place?" (LMAO)............

At night he whispers to me..." I'm so excited....I cant wait to see you come down the aisle..."and somehow that eases my apprehension........

...then I dream about myself in a giant cloud of white foolishness....with seeping back fat. :(

Lord help me.

March 31, 2014

Random Wedding Vents: From A to Z

( were beautiful but girl..3 dresses?? Nah....)

Random Wedding Vent: After watching a few (ok countless...) wedding videos on Vimeo...these are the things that annoy me

a) when folks do a Bruh-man "bop" down the aisle or a slow two step or some kind of elaborate processional. Foolishness. Just walk at a normal pace....
 b) explicit rap lyrics at the reception. Granny does not need to hear "F*CKING Problems"by A$AP Rocky in all its glory 
c) folks who eat before the bride and groom get their food. We get are hungry....
d) bridesmaids dresses that do not take into account everyone's body type. Everyone doesn't need to be in short or strapless. How rude of you....
e) lude and "bedroom" type private dances for the groom. Dont't nobody's MeeMaw need to be subjected to that either. 
f) actually choreographed dances to Beyonce or anything else makes me sick. We get it..he made your 'LOVE ON TOP"  or has you "drunk in love" or some other Bullsh*t...smh
 g) too many dress changes. This is not a fashion show. You paid good money for that dress..wear it!
h) shaky camera work. DO better....
 i) getting in front of the photographers to take a pic w/ your ragged ass Iphone. We got photographers for that!
 j) people who disregard the assigned seating chart. You're just an asshole. 
k)people who are wearing Jeans and T-shirts and then someone else is in After 5. Be explicit about a dress code. That's truly the bride/groom's fault...and well..some folks have no tact.
l) 80 bridesmaids. Ask yourself? In a year..will you still be talking to these people? Will they be praying for you and your mate? Can you count on them in a jam? My guess is prob no...
 m) Vows dryer than day old bread. IF you are gonna write your own vows and aren't that creative, just ask someone for some's quite alright.
 n) Pastors who wanna sermonize and admonish the bride and groom. Really??? Aint the time or the place, bruh!! smh.
o) couples who want to sing to each other...and they can't sing a tap! whew! Spare us!
p) Dudes who make mad inappropriate speeches at the toast about how many "hoes" your dude had or how much of a "wild" dude he used to be. Who wants to hear that shit?
q) Your drunk aunt/uncle. While they tend to get the party live, you gotta watch out for them at the open bar.
r) People sitting in the "reserved" area. While you may think you are aren't family. I don't care if you are called "play cousin" everyone doesn't deserve the "front seat" in your life
s) gaudy makeup with gaudy jewelry and gaudy dresses. Just...gaudy.... I can't explain it.
t) crying kids. If you know your baby gets easily agitated..why the hell would you bring a baby to a wedding? Weddings are for adults generally..adults who wanna get sauced! Now the baby can be heard all on the wedding video. *smh*
u) not allowing the bride and groom to eat...nah I dont play those bald-headed games. We eating you can get a pic later....(LOL)
v) wedding hash-tags. They are just uber lame to be............#YouarenotaTrendingTopic
w)complaining ass guest. The keywords is "GUEST" and being invited to a wedding is an honor. I get if it is late (which I hate and is super rude to your guests)..but you aint gotta eat the food..cake..or drinks or like the DJ. LOL
x) late anyone: vendors, guests, on TIME.
y)Wedding planners who look a mess. You are the wedding planner and you need to look hella professional. That means you need to have on a nice dress, comfy but stylish shoes,  hair done and makeup on.  You need to have business cards on you to give out. How do you expect to drum up any more business looking less than on point?
z) and finally..making up your own RSVP rules. If we said 2 seats are available..then that's what you get. You do not get to scratch that out and add 8. Not how it works, son! This is a holy sacrament, not the VIP at the Velvet Room or Mansion or something... also just not RSVP-ing at all and showing up and expecting to be seated front row. Get your entire life!

Welp...I have 5 more months to go...and I am sure I may come back to this list and expand it beyond the letter Z! LOL

February 25, 2014

Life Lessons: Kiss Me Anyway.....

Yesterday I was mad.

I mean boiling-point mad, at my fiance'. I think it's the stress of everything. Wedding planning. New Home. New Job. My mother being ill. I've been ill......a lot of stuff. And it all spilled over one fateful Monday. Well actually, to be fair, it started on Sunday, and spilled over into Monday. I had had it up to HERE with everything, and that included my fiance' (quite unfairly).

We rode to work together in relative silence, only chuckling here and there over the morning radio show. As I exited the car, I said "Ok bye"...and entered my building.

Later on that evening, he returned home. He said his day was "just ok" which to me translated into it being kinda crappy. I was like "Oh"....and he said something very poignant:

"When I dropped you off, you didn't give me my sugar (kiss). When you kiss me, that's my covering for the day...........I missed my sugar. Even if I am mad at you or vice-versa, then kiss me anyway.....".

That dude...wise beyond his years and like a seasoned pro at being married (and we aren't even married yet!)

I kissed him a few times....more than a few times....... *wink* to make up for my lack of kissing him. I learned then I shouldn't do that again.

"The Dude" (as I affectionately call him) kisses me when he enters a room. When he leaves the room. When he comes in the door. Before he leaves the house. Before I exit our vehicle for work...randomly when he meets me in an aisle at the grocery store.......he kisses me.  To know that my kiss, that one single solitary and almost routine act was a covering for him, was really profound and powerful. It reaffirmed that marriage, a union, is indeed a spiritual ministry. It reassures him that I am there for him....I have his back...and I make his day better. Without that support, it can take a turn for the worst. What if I hadn't kissed him and he was gone....and I never saw him again? He got into an accident? Would my one regret be that I didn't kiss him goodbye? That I sat in silence and wasn't affectionate as usual?  I seriously believe it would have been...

Lesson Learned:

..and I will remember to cover him everyday...even when I am mad... I will kiss him anyway....

ETA: My friend R, after reading my blog, brought this video by The Ma'at's to my attention. GOOD STUFF! And check out that kiss!! *woooweee*

January 24, 2014

Lessons a Divorcee' Learns Planning Her Second Wedding

(no that's not me...or my groom! LOL)

*blows dust off this puppy*

Hey y'all!

It's been far too long since I've blogged. But my good friend @EarthAngel172 on Twitter was curious about was doing and how the wedding plans were going! Now that I was forced to sit my booty down  (I had some minor outpatient worries..I'm good)...I can now sit and am forced and I am willing to write this blog.

Wedding planning is...well.....I will say that I've learned so much as a bride for the second time. Here are the highlights

1) You Cannot Compare Apples to Oranges... so stop doing it!!

This experience of being a bride for the second time is not going to be like the first time. It's not. Our major arguments and disagreements during this process have largely been about "Hey..I did that the first time so I don't wanna do it again". Silly stuff. Like a personalized aisle runner. Or who to invite...or even having a wedding at all. Most of all...My new groom is nothing like my "starter husband". Nothing like him. He has his own vision and his own ideas. These two weddings and marriages will be different. I am older, wiser and not concerned about the same things I was concerned about almost 10 years ago. It's different...not better or worse....different...for the better :)

2) You will change your mind (and it has a lot to do w/your groom)

I was adamant about not having a wedding. I really was...but here i am...about to don the dress and heels and veil again....and I have no regrets anymore about it. I said I didn't want a wedding because of the pomp and circumstances and MONEY that I feel was wasted. But my groom didn't feel that way. He wanted the experience of seeing me come down the aisle and "have his breath taken away" (direct quote from The Dude). Is it far to deny him my beauty (LOL)? probably not. But a guy has a vision for his wedding...and you have to respect it.

3) You will realize what's truly important...and what's not

Given that this isn't my first time at the rodeo, I know what I like and what I don't. What is a priority is not having hundreds of people there to eat your food and gawk at your dress. What's a priority is family and tradition and having an intimate event to celebrate your union. It isn't about how much money you've spent. I have been to weddings where I know hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent. It's about having fun and not stressing about the little things. It's not a production. It is a holy sacrament and needs to be treated as such.

4) You No Longer Have to People Please

The mistake most brides make when they plan a wedding is trying to please people, especially family. They want you to invite their best friend from childhood and even that heffa from church they don't care too much for. They want you to have the best...yet do not want to kick in money wise. I think planning a second wedding allows me to do things on my term. I can have it look the way I want. Pick the sexy dress I wanted. Spend the amount you want to spend on things...or NOT spend. You are not obligated to feed everyone! It's your vision...the second time around. The first time it is about pleasing parents. This's about you and your groom. (this becomes tricky if the groom has never been married...but I can happen...)

5)There is No Pressure to be Perfect (But You Can Still Have Your Fairytale)

You no longer have the pressure of being that 12 year old girl who collected Brides magazines, planning your big day with an imaginary groom.  Because you are doing it your way, you will have absolutely no regrets (or at least..that's my hope) But, you do not have to "short change" yourself. It can be the fairytale that YOU all want. You get to make it as fabulous as you want it to be..and if things do not go's going to be ok. In the will be married :) You are hosting this really cool event, a sacrament and a big ol' party with the people you love. No amount of money you spend or not spend will be a reflection of the love you have for your spouse. I know one thing..for me it's not about the money. Perfect is how you interpret it. And for is about family, friends and food. Our theme is "Eat, Drink and Be Married" that is what it is about for us. Not the money. Not the decor. That's all relative at this pint. We gotta live afterwards too. Having a healthy, functional marriage takes precedence over anything else.

6) Being a Bride a Second Time Isn't a Do-Over...(but it's still kinda fun.)

..and it most certainly is no reflection of the type of WIFE you will be. I made many mistakes as a wife the first time that I am declaring not to carry into my second marriage. Nevertheless, that type of feeling shouldn't stop me from enjoying being a bride this time. It's fun. Although I am not trying to "repeat" or "do over" things, I do want to experience new things.  I never had a Bachelorette I am having one. I never got to go on a honeymoon..and with an international and well-traveled husband, I will. I wanted a more "planned" shower...and I am sure I will have one.  I don't want social media taking over my wedding or reception. The cool part is I get to incorporate my fiance's Caribbean culture so that'll be different. I get to be sexier..freer...I just wont care what others think! I will be 35 and just in my own skin....

So that's it for me and the wedding planning...and my thoughts. It is a lot of fun. But the fun part to me is just getting to be this dude's wife..and that he chose me...and that God has preordained this...

That's fun  <3

December 16, 2013

Pop-Washing Feminism.: Irresponsibility, Sexuality and The "Stans"

*blows the dust off the blog*

Ya know, I said I wasn't going to do this. I wasn't going to utter the single word on my blog about this  lady...but alas........

I am a true audiophile. I LOVE LOVE music. Seriously...and a wide array of artists. There are tons of artists I just do not care for that others enjoy with a fervor that is borderline "religious". Artists such as Alicia Keys. Ke$ha,  Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Madonna ............. There are others that I "mildly" tolerate  because although their antics are borderline unstable..they do have talent such as Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Kanye West....

But no other artist brings up more hysterical debates, fervor and foolishness..than Beyonce.

I am no fan of Beyonce. Never have been. Never will be. I didn't like Destiny's Child. I wont be paying my rent money for her tickets. I won't be buying her music as gifts. I maybe have two of her songs strictly as instrumentals for my work out mix.  My musical tastes have always been a tad bit more sophisticated...(with only the occasional dash of "ratchet pop-hop-ness" for dancable moments).  But it is as if as a black woman, you cannot say loudly "I do not care for Beyonce" without being called everything but a child of God....or as most of the hood-rats would say... "a hater".  I have every right to choose with whom I'd like to spend my hard earned monies on. While folks were in an uproar about her latest Itunes efforts, I was like Miss Celie...just waiting to see the colors on the walls. All the whooping..hollering..and crying. I mean I get it..we have our favs....I've cried at a few concerts and while listening to a great song. We all have different taste levels. I am not here for her musically and I find her marginally talented.. Hey...she isn't my cup of tea... Hey. I even joke and call her "BeFunyon", because just like a "Funyon" (those tasty, ghetto snack treats), she is airy, musical "junk food", and lacking little substance other than "fun" for those who enjoy.

..but you can't seem to say that out loud re: Beyonce cause "stans" will work all your black nerves and make it seem like you are "anti-woman empowerment" or "hating" some sh8t. It aint that deep. I try to keep my dislike strictly on a musical level... but this new turn in her adoration is stepping on the necks of black womanist and feminists who have done the work, pounding the pavements, breaking the door on the ivory towers and getting dirty in other ways. Not just the gyration in Louboutins and wild weaves. It's not about being "bootylicious" and what not. That ain't the totality of black feminism

Look..I don't know that lady.She might just be nice as they all say she is. Do think she is good at marketing and business? Sure? Do I think accusations of saying she "faked" a pregnancy (embellished maybe..but faked?? Nah) or saying she's the Illuminati (Look. Let's be real. She's black. a Real "Gs" move in silence) are really lame?? Most def. But what I DO know, that I am really adamant about, is not hailing her some neuvo-poster child for Black Feminist Thought lest Patrica Hill Collins and Beverly Guy Sheftall clutch their pearls.  Gimme a break ya'll......

Feminism is deeper than gyrating your hips or talking about how you give head (So no Nicki are def no feminist). Feminism is greater than making your own money and being a "boss b*tch".  Feminism SOME of that...but it isn't ALL of that. And now Beyonce is being hailed as the second coming of Audre' Lorde and Nikki Gionvanni....all because in the midst of a Rachetville song...she threw in a very powerful speech by author Chimamanda Adichie from a TedTalk she did last year. And now..Beyonce, in addition to being the Queen of the Beyhive.... is the Queen of Feminism!

Spare me. PLEASE oh Please...spare me!!

I have a real problem with them hailing Beyonce as this "neo-feminist". Yeahhhhhh..... *pause* No. lol I am not here for that. It is the same disdain I have for hailing Lena Dunham a feminist because she shows her flabby pale body for the masses to see. Feminism IS NOT just about the body. IT IS NOT! I've read far too many books, taken far too many classes and been engrossed in too much of the work to even recognize her as such and solely as such.

 I was shocked they (the media) said Beyonce used Adiche.  I was shocked....because hearing her  (Beyonce) speak...Beyonce sounds a bit on the (for lack of a better word) "slow" side. No shade..but the girl does not appear to be eloquent and not very well read. *shrug* Her letter to Michelle Obama proved that for me.  Perhaps someone in her camp brought that to her attention. This also isn't to say the woman isn't a "researcher"........but.......... something in my spirit  about that doesn't sit well with me. It just...doesn't seem authentic.

*insert "Oh you're a hater* by her fanatics*


Do I believe Black Feminism is all encompassing? ABSOLUTELY. It is the ability to move your body the way you want. Dress the way you want. Express it how you want. It is about how you perform gender and how you do NOT perform gender. but it is NOT just about the body. It is not just about saying how you "suck a mean D8ck" or "get on that ass" or whatever. It also isn't about money. It isn't about how you are so "independent" or how you "buy your own rocks" and the like. That's not black feminism. That's pretty much the summation of Beyonce..Certainly more "I buy my own sh*T" than "We run this town".....therefore that most CERTAINLY isn't black feminism. And before you even go there...... Yes...I love Janet Jackson too (also another artist who is a great performer but weak vocally)..but yes...these same arguments were made about Janet 20 something years ago when she released "The Velvet Rope"...........and I still stand by  what I am saying now..and that too applies to Janet. Loving an artist doesn't mean you won't call them out on their sh*t...whether it be a bad album or some bad theoretical comparisons.

My same sentiments seemed to be echoed (although in a much more aggressive way) by Real Colored Girls in their Article "THE PROBLEM WITH BEYHIVE BOTTOM BITCH FEMINISM" . In it the authors write:

"Insisting on a rank and file consent and approval to these ‘terms of engagement’ is a form of bullying and in the spirit of Audre Lorde we remind you that silencing dissent will not protect you.  We feel strongly that it is our duty and imperative to engage multiple perspectives in the marketplace of ideas, supporting open discourse, lest we find ourselves guilty of policing one another into a dishonest respectability........"Can’t we just love Bey as an amazing corporate artist without selling out the hard won accomplishments of our black feminist and womanist foremothers? Can we not love her for the gorgeous and fierce mega pop star she is without appropriating her for some liberal, power feminist agenda?""

And I totally agree. There is room for MULTIPLE perspectives.  However, let's not just limit it to body performativity and sexual expressions. Especially not for black women.. We've come too far to throw it back like that. If you want to ride for Beyonce as a fan of her music..her business acumen or even the love of her husband, then so be it.... but. Let's not hail this woman for the feminist agenda.

I can't stand it....

So go on and buy $800 tickets and such...pull out all your edges and hail her new video as the second coming of Christ....that's all well and good. Hey...I may do the same whenever Maxwell drops his albums...but let's face facts: I  doubt we'd see Beyonce at a NOW rally with Gloria Steinem or bell hooks...or as a guest with Melissa Harris Perry....anytime soon. Let her live in that world.... and allow her to be "feminist when it's fun and not costly".



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