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Archive for the tag “feminism”

Can Professional Women Make Great Wives?

Now that’s dumb.

Yes.

Any woman can make a great wife or a great girlfriend if one, they find the right man. And two she works at it with even more enthusiasm than her career.

For some reason, our culture has, when it comes to women or feminism or anything it always wants women to choose one path and stick to it.

Working moms look down on moms who stay at home. Moms who stay at home write venomous blogs about how what they do is more important than what working moms do.

Women who don’t have kids or don’t get married trash women who do and say they aren’t living up to their truest potential, while on the flip side the married moms rail on about how the over worked childless women don’t have values, they aren’t real women if they haven’t given birth or wiped poop, they don’t know tenderness they are selfish and cold.

I was having a discussion with a man the other night when he asked me what feminism was.

And I started to laugh.  I said feminists are people who basically support women choosing how to live their lives as they please, they believe women should get equal pay for equal work and that there are no limits on what women can do in their private and professional lives and they should not live with shame or be shamed for their decisions.

He was surprised at my answer. I was like, what did you want me to say? I feel like there are stereotypes of bra burning angry women who are always mad about something and who want to be better than men and who don’t need men.

I don’t live on Amazonia. I’d never agree to that. So he asked, well can men be feminists under your definition?

I told him most certainly.

But anyway, I’m all riled up because I was engaged in a conversation on twitter with a relationship blogger from Canada who I dig. I think he is an intelligent brotha. He brought up an interesting topic and I just couldn’t resist. I made one comment and then he pulled me all the way in. Then some other dude jumped in and at that point I got tired.

Most of what this guy said, I agreed with and said so. But as the discussion evolved, it made me think. And there are so many levels to this convo, it’s hard to even encapsulate it in a twitter discussion.

It started with the blogger saying that “When professional women bitch and moan about being single I wonder if they realize their job title doesn’t make them wife material.”

At first, it sounded harsh and felt a little offensive. I even replied ouch. But I did say it was something to think about and that it was true.

I further said that I have noticed on a number of occasions while out with my professional friends that we know or met other women who didn’t have the same education and careers who were married.

So the blogger and his co-signer were going on about how men aren’t looking for degrees and high-powered jobs when they are looking for women, they are looking for a good woman.

But I call bullshit on that, for a couple of reasons. One in society, men are expected to be breadwinners and leaders. It isn’t uncommon for men to not care about a woman’s ability to bring home money or support the family because it is assumed he will do it. So you see it all the time with athletes and musicians. They can grab women and hangers on out of obscurity and it’s all to the good. They just have to be pretty and go along with the program.

In that case, it’s far more easier to date and marry a less educated woman who may not make as much if she is working. That will help eliminate a power struggle that I will admit, a lot of professional women have, especially if they do date men with less education or who make less money.

Women of all backgrounds no matter how professional, do want to find men who can be financially stable. I hear it all the time. However, yes, in gaining education in working our way up, we display more aggressive tendencies, we are clear on what we want, what we don’t want and that may seep over into our love lives. But I did ask the blogger, doesn’t all this talk put the onus on the professional woman to change and try to be “nicer” and more “palatable” but absolves the man from maybe dealing with his insecurities that may come with dating a professional woman?

So he said he doesn’t have a problem with dating a professional woman, and his home boy jumped in saying that “As soon as they walk across the stage, they forget to be likeable.”

Gulp.

So it’s magic. We take off our caps and gowns and put on our bitch hats with our Jimmy Choos. Excellent (Mr. Burns voice)

Cmon. That’s so easy.

So professional women forget to be likeable. We are just garnering degrees and success and forgot how to be people.

Ooookay.

When I asked if they gave up hope for professional women, the homeboy said his girlfriend is in fact a professional and degreed woman, but that’s not what made them compatible.

See, I think it may not be the primary thing (even though in DC it is), but your education and status play a huge role in who you date. I don’t care what anyone says. In theory, both of these well-educated men could make the philosophical argument that it doesn’t matter. Actually, the blogger was wise. He said it SHOULDN’T matter.

So for that, I give him props.

I don’t know. Discussions like this give me an icky feeling about the labels being put around the necks of professional women. And on the flip side, what do these arguments say about women who are less educated and may not have certain kinds of jobs? Does that mean, because they aren’t making as much money or in high-powered jobs, they have a greater capacity to please their men? To not be as difficult?

I wouldn’t dare paint my other sisters with that brush. It’s not right. To me that’s an insult.

Let’s face it. The two gentlemen are right status and education has nothing at all to do with love. They are often avenues by which we meet like-minded people and form connections.

So in saying that, can we say it’s safe to say whether you work at a fortune 500 company with an office on the executive level or you clean the bathrooms in that building. If you are a human being you are going to love who you love, you are going to give your all to who you want to give your all to and it’s not limited to what you do, or what school you graduated from.

I’m a professional woman and I’ve loved. I’ve loved so hard. I’ve cooked and cleaned and encouraged and prayed for. I joked around, and danced and grinded on, and freaked and massaged. I’ve treated and picked up bills and I allowed myself to be treated. I took criticism and I gave it. I know how to sacrifice and give. I know how to smile and laugh and play and forgive. And no, I don’t need a degree to do those things.

But being a working professional also taught me a few things about negotiation, understanding your worth and fighting for what you believe in, speaking up and being a little selfish sometimes. Now anyone can learn these things, but in your every day working life, you will sharpen those skills and see the results. And in a lot of cases, as I mentioned to the blogger, women will carry these things over into our personal lives. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But some women do need to learn the art of balance.

So can professional women make great wives?

Of course. Cmon.

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I’m dying for a love song.

On my way to work today, I carefully listened to the words of Rico Love’s “They Don’t Know.”

The beat was sexy. I was about to drift off into my sexy thoughts and get in to my Mrs. Carter/Crazy Horse Dancer mode when something stopped me dead in my tracks.

The actual lyrics.

I’ll put them at the bottom of the blog. It’s actually worse if you read them. But I found that as I kept on driving,  I kept getting more angry.

I used to rock out to “OPP” and all sorts of songs about ratchet behavior and man-stealing, and still consider myself a classy chick, so I asked myself: “Self, what about this song in particular has you so upset?”

Welp, I do think it’s my three-year stretch of bad dating and no real relationships being formed that last past two months. I can do the chicken or the egg thing and wonder if it’s me or if it’s who I’m picking and why I’m picking who I’m picking. But the nearly 32-year-old who has just had it, and is over it was pissed at this song, pissed at the people who wrote it, sang it and the people who will consume it and love it. I’m pissed for the young women who think as long as a man gives them lavish gifts and trips in return for their bodies, loyalty and silence to be “shared” with his wifey, (who apparently lives under the same terms and conditions as the beloved, discreet side chick, but with the title, and probably the kids) that’s the ideal life.

The funny thing is, there’s nothing new to this. And some women will argue they have given it up for far less on far more ridiculous and unworthy suitors.

In this song, Rico’s lady love meets up at hotels, goes to the all-star weekend, with the latest Birkin bag on her arm. She is prime, on call vagina.

What have I been doing with my entire life? Why didn’t I think to sign up for such a thing?

Oh, Rico would have us believe as he croons, that the situation is puppies and kittens. Two women who know about each other, and (it is implied) are willing to have sex with one another with or without him and everyone is pleased as punch with this arrangement because, they are living the lush life.

This is on the radio.

There are no words of love, there isn’t even the illusion. He says so himself. Because Rico gets a kick out of no one except his wifey even knowing who this girl is. She’s just in the shadows, dressed to the nines, flown to where he is in the G5. He won’t even say, girl if loving you is wrong I don’t want to be right. She’s just something to be used up, and quiet and just take the money and the cars and the stuff. This fool takes it further, and says his name is on her body, so this chick took permanent steps to tat his name on her body, and he says you belong to me. I guess so. She was bought and paid for.

There has always been the concept of bitch, look pretty, shut up and open your legs as long as I’m paying. But in a day in age where women have come so far, gained so much and in a lot of cases actually out earn men, have more degrees, the fact that this kind of music can be so popular, that we say it’s only music, and we don’t demand better, it breaks my heart.

I’m going to have to listen to Stevie Wonder for the rest of the day, to get 4 minutes of Rico Love out of my system. I guess I am getting old. And that’s fine.

“They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t,  they don’t know They don’t know

We be in the same room N’ we don’t ever say shit Let’s  keep it between me and you N’ we cool, ’cause they don’t know

I’m the one you’ll be texting When you be up at cho job  (they don’t know) I’m the one that bought that Benz That’s in your garage  (they don’t know) I’m the reason you don’t stress when shit gets hard And  anything you want It’s all yours (they don’t know)

On your birthday I’m the one who saw yo birthday suit (They  don’t know) That the Birkin bag It bought that birthday coupe (they don’t  know) I keep it all real I ain’t gotta tell lies to you You the only  one who knows, the truth

They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t,  they don’t know They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t,  they don’t know They don’t know

We be in the same room N’ we don’t never say shit Let’s  keep it between me and you N’ we cool, ’cause they don’t know

They don’t, they don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t, they don’t  know They don’t know

They don’t even know I know you You don’t be talking like a  lame bitch You follow the rules but keep it cool ‘Cause they don’t  know

We was at the same hotel Superbowling all star week (they  don’t know) You be acting shy But you chu really an all star freak (they  don’t know) That you got my name tattooed on yo body They don’t know you  belong to me, yeah (They don’t know) bout the cold nights And the secret  island trips (They don’t know) when I be up in that pussy I be calling you  my bitch (they don’t know) They don’t know you like me They don’t know you  like me They don’t even know that I share you, with my wifey

They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t,  they don’t know They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t,  they don’t know They don’t know

We be in the same room N’ we don’t never say shit Let’s  keep it between me and you N’ we cool, ’cause they don’t know

They don’t, they don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t, they don’t  know They don’t know

They don’t even know I know you You don’t be talking like a  lame bitch You follow the rules but keep it cool ‘Cause they don’t  know

You deserve the rewards G5 planes, you deserve the board Tell them other lames They can swerve of course And I swear to God Imma  curve the broads ‘Cause they don’t know Vacations they don’t go You  stay patient and I respect that ‘Cause you know how to play ya post

Them other bitches get antsy That’s why a nigga never  treat’em fancy You get urs off, in Bergdorf While they bargain shoppin on  Delancy You ain’t even tell ya sister Mama thinking you don’t even like  niggas Instagram, you don’t even like pictures That’s why I’m fucking  withcha

They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t,  they don’t know They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t,  they don’t know They don’t know

We be in the same room N’ we don’t never say shit Let’s  keep it between me and you N’ we cool, ’cause they don’t know

They don’t, they don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t, they don’t  know They don’t know

They don’t even know I know you You don’t be talking like a  lame bitch You follow the rules but keep it cool ‘Cause they don’t  know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t, they don’t know ‘Cause  they don’t know”

Read more:  Rico Love – They Don’t Know Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Bonus Post: The Beyonce Conversation

I think even people living under a rock found out about Beyonce’s surprise new album that dropped this week.

The reactions to her musical colossus were all over the place. It left culture and music critics scrambling to figure out how to describe it and define it. The feminists were in a tizzy about how feminist it was or it was not. People who weren’t big fans of hers were irritated with the saturation of their social media timelines and the fans/stans/etc. their cult-like praise was in over drive.

So people have been sending me the articles either in favor of, or against Mrs. Carter, Beyzus, Yonce, Sasha Fierce, Peaches, Baddie Bey, King Bey or whatever you want to call her.

My feelings are mixed. I was accused of being a stan this week when I was reacting to Bey’s whopping 17 videos released with the album on Twitter. Because they were all pretty awesome and visually stunning. Then on the flipside, I was sent a link that was basically ripping Bey to pieces and saying she is a horrible person for black or brown women to aspire to be.

Here’s where I fall, in case yall wanted to know or care. And you may be so tired of Beyonce right now, that you don’t feel like reading yet another blog post or article about her. Here is what I wrote to the person who sent me the more negative link.

When Beyonce came out with Destiny’s Child, I didn’t like her. I was shamed into not liking her because she was always singing lead, she was the light-skinned girl and her daddy managed the group. I was shamed into not supporting her because if I did, it would affirm to others that I believed light-skinned girls were prettier and better than everyone else and they were allowed to have the spotlight regardless. As a light-skinned girl who saw the beauty in all women, I didn’t want people to think that. Folks assumed that about me anyway. Me and Bey are basically the same age. I could not openly stan for Bey. So while I enjoyed DC’s music, I publicly hated Beyonce. Made jokes about how she won’t let the other girls sing, and I gushed about Kelly and said LaTavia seemed to have the spunk of the group. Greg made fun of me about what a Bey hater I was and he even brought up the light-skinned thing. I shrugged him off, but he was right.

Some time had passed and VH1s Divas came on. Beyonce was about to break out in her solo career and she preformed “Dangerously in Love.” And.She.Nailed it. She wore a gorgeous gown and sang her face off with so much soul. You could tell she wanted to prove to everyone she was much more than the lead singer of a group and that she deserved her spot in the light. At that point, I felt like she finally “earned” my respect. I’ve seen Beyonce shows. That woman works hard and has so many people picking at everything she does. Beyonce hasn’t gotten into any major trouble, she’s been meticulous about her brand, she is a philanthropist and does a lot of work for women and children in Houston, back home. And you can tell she admires smart people. She stans for Michelle Obama because she is so educated and has used her mind to be successful. To me, that says a lot about Beyonce and the kind of woman she wants to be, and the woman people assume she is.

I think the hero-worship and fandom/standom is scary. But I actually respect Beyonce a great deal. I can respect anyone who is a hard worker and she really works at what she does and has high expectations, down to every detail. I think it’s safe to say, she pushes herself to new levels all of the time. If every fan decided to work at what they do with the same vigor, despite haters and negative talk about them, we would have a nation of very strong, capable people. If Beyonce can inspire women to be better and work harder, that’s the message that should get out there. But because people are so stupid, they take a lot of stuff at face value and they just want to be rich and beautiful and sexy. I love the fact that people of all cultures and mainstream and black magazines alike are really trying to dissect her latest album and discuss feminism and culture and how black women are looked at. There’s another article floating around that Beyonce isn’t for regular black women because she flaunts her wealth. What who and what is a regular black woman? After reading a powerful and sad article in the Washington Post about a woman waiting on her assistance on the 8th of every month and getting her children to apply for ebt cards so they can get more food for the family, that’s not me either. I’m not knocking that woman. But let’s face it. The world either wants me to be her, or Sharkeshia. They don’t even expect me to be Beyonce. That’s all we have. That’s mostly what the media wants to project us to be. I’m not even Michelle Obama, but I can still relate to her. And thank God she’s real. She’s not an actress, she’s a real person who worked hard, and achieved and landed in one of the most powerful houses in the land. But among those figures, it seems like black women don’t have much wiggle room and that bothers me. Because I know all kinds of black women. Funny, serious, silly, sexy. Hard-working. Impressive, quiet, loud, sensitive, courageous.

I appreciate the conversations Beyonce is generating.  That says a lot about her influence. You can’t be mad at that. I’m not. She had all the intellectual black women going nuts at the fact she sampled Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie‘s recent TED talk in her song “Flawless.” I went nuts too, because I recently watched that video the week before and loved everything that young woman said. I plan to purchase and read some of her books over the holiday.

That is not the move of a vapid, pop star. Something else is evolving as Beyonce matures and I’m probably going to like her music even more going forward, because even though I’m not a wealthy, beloved pop star and sex symbol, I’m a woman in my 30s, feeling more comfortable in who I am, and making firm decisions about how I define my life, and success and love. I better understand my value, my faults, what I know, what I don’t know. What makes me happy. What I need to leave alone and what I need to do to make my life fuller. That my inner voice is very real, and should have a significant vote.

I don’t like how people attack her for being proud of being a wife. Black women should want to have in tact families and be in healthy relationships where there is genuine love, respect and partnership. And even though I would have never seen it coming, she coming from a two parent upper middle class family and Jay, coming from the projects with a dad who left, their relationship should give folks hope that it can be done.

I don’t like the vitriolic hate and I don’t like the religion-like cult blind allegiance either. But that heifer works hard. She’s not Kim K. She works for everything she’s got. Period. And she continues to push herself. Bey could be lazy at this point. But nope. She was quoted saying she put this album out the way she did because she was “bored” with the traditional way it was done. She knew she had the power and the influence to just drop it. Surprise. She knows her fans, her brand and her product. Folks are scrambling. You know Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, they are all taking notes. Record company execs minds are blown right now. Who’s going to try it next? When you can have confidence and power to take risks, that’s real power. That’s higher level thinking. Regular broads won’t wrap their heads around it. That is being a bawse. That’s moving up from a 2000 focus to a 2013 elantra. LOL.

I don’t think I’m a stan. Because I don’t want to be Beyonce. But I salute any woman who is on her grind, who pushes herself even when she really doesn’t have to and inspires others to do the same. Do I feel sexy when I play her music? Yes. I like dancing around in my heels and panties and pretending I’m a vixen too and then I put on my clothes and go to work. I like that she’s saying as women we really do have a choice to be those things. As a journalist, I respect anyone who creates legitimate conversation on real things. And love her or hate her, the conversations have been created and will continue.

Bonus Post: Depression-Era Grandmothers Can Fix the Economy

I was reading a very interesting article today in the Huffington Post’s Women’s section.

I was initially interested in it because the headline hinted at the amazing Meryl Streep one day playing the role of the also amazing U.S. Secretary of State, former Democratic Presidential candidate, and former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

That’s not really going to happen in the immediate future, but that was the running joke at a recent event both ladies participated in at the Women in the World summit.

All of these powerful females gathered from all parts of the world to discuss progress and leadership and all of that great stuff. They also discussed the national uproar over birth control (which is really pissing me off for a number of reasons, and I’ll save that for another post- in short, controlling our own reproductive organs is best for everyone in the end). The timing of this gathering of about 2,000 global female powerhouses is fitting as March is Women’s History Month.

The one quote that stuck out above all others to me was one from the International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde. “She suggested that the financial crisis might have been averted, or at least been much less serious, if more women had been at the helm of financial institutions.”

“If Lehman Brothers had been a bit more Lehman Sisters … we would not have had the degree of tragedy that we had as a result of what happened,” Lagarde said.

She added that recent studies have shown “what the level of testosterone in a given room can produce when you do trading.”

As one of my boys would declare upon hearing something profound, “That’s a headcrack.”

It is. What would it have been like if more women were a major part of the final decision-making in these financial institutions?

I do think anyone and everyone has the capacity to be greedy and underhanded under the right circumstances, but I do think women have an advantage over men in terms of getting the bills paid and prioritizing on behalf of others.

Yes, we will splurge, but we are going to handle the important stuff, somehow, someway.

Here’s my theory.

Men are historically and genetically hunters and gatherers, while women organize and distribute. Women have to plan and make sure that whatever is hunted and gathered is going to last and will be enough for everyone to survive. She figures out how to store the extra, recycle the extra into something useful, or sell it or give it to someone else for use.

Ask anyone’s grandmother who was a pretty young thang during the Great Depression, and they are going to tell you what miracles they worked for a family of five with just nickles.

I’m not knocking men. I know guys who are far better budgeters than some women I know, but overall, in countless households, I see it over and over. Women handle the day-to-day bill payment and household organization, while the men don’t give it much thought. They hand over their share and it all just gets done.

Would the financial crisis have been averted if women were at the helm? I’m not too sure of that, but I do agree that things could have possibly not been as disastrous.

I think women do think about the future more than men, I think women also think more deeply about the effects of their decisions on the greater good and try to deliver the lightest blow possible if there is a negative result.

Send Depression-Era grannies to Congress to work on our budget. We all may be eating cabbage soup everyday and wearing patches in our clothes and shoes for the next five years, but I bet you we’d have a surplus by the end.

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