Woman, don’t you know your place?

Work has had me out straight lately as Mainers are fond of saying (translation, real busy) yet despite being busy as hell, I have been paying attention to the world happenings and frankly it’s scary. Is it me, but have the powers to be, whoever those powers are, decided to launch a full scale attack on women? Oh, it’s easy to look at all the “progress” women have made but at the same time, while we are busy living and well…being busy, it seems everywhere we look; people are looking to put women back in the safe box. I think of the popularity of the show Mad Men and wonder if the popularity of that show is reflective of a desire to be back in a simpler time in America when women and the darkies knew their place?

So with the economy in shambles and no clear path to turn the economic ship around, why are we even discussing women’s bodies? Seriously. Yet that is where we have been recently, back in 2010 when health care in the US was overhauled one of the provisions was preventative care, and part of preventative care includes free birth control. Seems like a no-brainer to me, after all preventing pregnancies unless they are wanted is a win-win from a cost standpoint, yet religious institutions and technically I work at one aren’t too happy. Specifically religiously affiliated institutions would have to pay for birth control, so now we have the Catholic Church getting pretty pissy. For real? Hey, Catholic Church you have far greater problems than a professor at one of your schools getting free birth control, pipe the hell down. Obviously this thing is making for great sound bites especially in an election year. Funny thing is even Catholic women in 2012 are rather fond of birth control and often take it regardless of what the church says.

Shifting gears we had the debacle with the Susan G. Komen folks and Planned Parenthood folks, who in the end while they reversed their decision to defund Planned Parenthood, showed their true colors and who lost a lot of goodwill. How the hell does an organization supposedly focused on saving women’s lives decide to fuck over another organization that saves women’s lives too? Politics and a warped belief system, I tell you. Despite the fact that abortion has been legal in the US for damn near 40 years, we are still harping on it, if you don’t want one, fine don’t get one, but trust that women who do make that choice are of sound mind and please get out of other folk’s business.

Just a few nights ago, we had the Grammy awards and a documented abuser of women was applauded. Worse yet, some young women took to the social media airwaves announcing how they wish Chris Brown would beat them. Really? Society has us so twisted that we downplay abuse against women. I am a big believer in second chances after all if there were no second chances, you wouldn’t be reading this post. That said, with alarming regularity we see celebs like Chris Brown, Charlie Sheen and others who perpetrate violence against women being given chance after chance. That says a lot about us especially because we still live in world that judges women and people of color far more harshly. Of course if you happen to be a man of color but rich and or famous you get some of the privileges typically afforded only to white men. Beat ya old lady, hell kill her and do no time. Looking at you OJ.

Lastly we have washed up rappers making videos instructing boys and young men on how to sexually assault girls and women. Too Short made a video of so-called fatherly advice, and XXL magazine put it up on their website…of course now that the chorus of protest has come out, folks are back pedaling. Problem is the cat is out of the bag, so once again women’s bodies are not our own. If a young man actually listened to Too Short’s advice the take away is that women’s bodies are only here for the pleasure of men.

Frankly as a woman raising a girl who will one day become a woman, I am saddened. As the mother of a young man, it saddens me to think that some young woman may find him strange and less than manly because he was raised to respect women, not just their bodies but their minds.

Clearly we are at war and this time the enemy is not overseas but instead all around us, waiting to come out and strip our humanity. To reduce us to mere bodies to be controlled by men, and damn it, I am not going to take it.

Celebrities are people too and….

They make dumb ass decisions just like the rest of us, as evidenced by the fact that apparently Rhianna and Chris Brown have decided to get back together and work on their relationship. I am not a celebrity watcher in fact when the story broke that Chris had physically attacked Rhianna, I really didn’t know much about them. I guess they are popular with young folks.

This is one of those times where I realize I am not privy to all the details since I don’t know these folks personally but knowing that in today’s society where celebrity is celebrated and looked up to, the fact that a young woman decided to get back together with her attacker really bothers me. I wonder how many young girls may end staying with a so called good guy despite the fact that staying is dangerous to her health.

I am also saddened that I read a report where Rhianna’s father and I am paraphrasing basically stated that he trusts his daughter….look, call me old school, you can even call me crazy but when I was coming up, if a young man had put his hands on me the way Chris did Rhianna (if those pictures floating around the net are real, it was quite ugly) that is a young man who would have had hands laid on him by my male relatives. Of course my father is a minister so the young man would have really gotten hands laid on him….

Yet in this case and again I am acknowledging that I don’t know a lot, but even celebrities like P. Diddy or whatever he calls himself these days is helping these two work out their issues. (damn, did I miss where Diddy went and became a licensed therapist?)

I’m sorry but this whole situation sends out a lousy message to the worth of young women especially young Black women, if a pretty, young, rich and talented female can still get her ass physically kicked by her man and she takes him back, what does that say to LaShonda?

On the other hand if parents and relatives and other concerned adults would rise to the occasion to be a part of young peoples lives maybe we can have a shift where the people young folks look up to are those who are real and active in their lives…. perhaps we can have a shift. Parents, too many of us have given up being parents instead we want to be friends….no! Our job is to parent, and in being parents we must model the behavior we want our kids to take on, kids are too precious to let tvs and other media resources raise our kids.

Today is one of those days, I can’t quite put an end on this post but lets look at our lives and lets looks to be positive so that the message our kids take comes from us and not so called celebrities.

As for Chris and Rhianna, maybe they can work out their issues but considering what all he allegedly did to her, I doubt that was the first time he laid hands on her. On the other hand, maybe they can prove an old lady wrong.

Hands are not for hitting

“Hands are not for hitting” this is what I repeatedly told my kids when they entered the hitting phase that kids are prone to taking part of. For most of us the desire to hit our fellow human is a passing phase especially as we get older but for kids raised in homes where violence is prevalent, in many cases they grow up imitating the behavior they witnessed in their households.

This may be the case with a certain Chris Brown, who decided that being young and famous with a cute girlfriend wasn’t enough but decided to lay hands on Rhianna. For the record, I don’t really know who either of these kids are, they are young enough to be my son’s peers and at this stage in my life, I don’t do pop music or whatever passes for in style music. I’m a ole school kind of gal, give me some Marvin, some Anita, hell give me some New Order or Cure.

However the blogs and online rags have been blowing up about this young Chris fellow doing his Ike Turner impression on Rhianna, so I got curious and figured I would read up about it. I will be honest, what I have read doesn’t sound pretty but what concerns me is the number of young folks who seem to think maybe Rhianna did something to deserve what by all accounts sounds like a ass beating.

Look, I am about to say something that might piss a few folks off. While I don’t condone laying hands on anyone (my ex tried this shit once and that is a large part of why he is an ex) I will say that humans being what they are, there are instances where I might concede that a fairly non-violent person might get violent. Case in point, should I decide to step out on the spousal unit and be brazen enough to say bring some other human home to our marital bed and the spousal unit walked in on the sordid affair, while my hubby is a laid back fellow, I suspect he might start to snap, crackle and pop like a Rice Krispie. A sista might even get hit.

Now should he hit me, that would be some wrong ass shit, on the other hand…lets be real and say it would take one hell of a person to not get angry and fly off the wall. Look, if I came home and found some other woman in my bed, I’m gonna be real honest and say I know me and it would not be pretty.

However the example I gave is one that most folks rarely encounter since most folks that are creeping around on their partner tend to want to hide the shit.

No, for the most part no matter what, hitting someone is not cool and the fact that so many young men and women think its justified is down right scary to me. Look hands are not for hitting, a basic lesson we should learn early on. If we are with someone that brings out the basest instincts in us which might include the desire to physically lash out, perhaps its time to reconsider our choice of partner.