emergingfree

Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the category “What Do You Think?”

Excuse Me Little “Black” Girl—Part 2

Rock-a-bye baby in the tree top….  Excuse me little “Black” girl, I wonder about you.  YES, YOU!  I wonder how many of you have experienced a period of peace, a time when you had no worries and was carefree.  I wonder if you have two loving parents, parents who often tell and show you that they love you.  Do you tell and show them that you love them?  YES, I mean ACTUALLY SAY  the words:  I-LOVE-YOU-Mom-Dad.  Do you come from a loving home, a place where you are valued and protected, encouraged and supported, challenged and taught?  Is your foundation solid or is it shallow?  I wonder…about you.

Sad Girl

When the wind blows the cradle will rock…. Have you experienced bullying–on the playground or in the classroom?  Have you ever been picked last because you are a girl?  Has a teacher overlooked your raised hand to call on Jim, not that his hand was raised but because he should know science?  Have you ever been teased for being too light or too dark, for not being Black enough?  Have you been told that you think you are white, talk like you are white, act like you are white?  Have you struggled to understand what this means, and what this really means for you?  Do you embrace your uniqueness or do you try to fit in?  When the wind blows, what do you do?

Unique

When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall….  I wonder if you are aware of the injustices that await you in this world–injustices related to your gender, to your race, to your gender and to your race.  I wonder about your preparation for being a healthy, well-balanced being operating in a world that defines so much around gender, race, and economics.  I wonder about your preparation as I think about my own.

Mom and Daughter

 

You see, there is a need to introduce race and gender scenarios to you in safe environments so you can ask questions and get answers, so you will learn to analyze matters for yourself without depending on media messages and mainstream citations to parrot.  As you go forth to be boldly brilliant, you will see some heart aching events.  Some, you will experience firsthand.  Allow yourself to grow in maturity, to experience a range of emotion.  Grow in patience and in perseverance.  Being you, being Black and female, is not a bad thing.  It is a blessed thing.  You will gain insight and strength unlike no other.  You will see that storylines have been created for you, but that you are created to create headlines.  Write your own script once you have captured their attention.  Be open to diverse friendships.  Live outside of confined narratives.  When the bough breaks, change the ending.  Surprise some people and soar!

Soar

Those Lyrics

I ended my relationship with him because his music of preference degraded, devalued, and denounced women.  How did we get to this place?  When did I become his enemy?  Surely, he did not think of me as a friend!

“Oh, the lyrics are not about you,” he would say.

Ughhhhhh, my frustration rose with every point he missed.  Of course the lyrics are not about me specifically, but its collective implication is placed squarely upon my shoulders.  The weight is heavy.  The conversation is lacking.  Maybe if I were not a professional woman, I would not notice?  Maybe if my life did not require me to be in situations where I am the only one, I would not be bothered?  How have we gravitated from R-E-S-P-E-C-T to O-P-P?  Perplexed and tired, I ended the relationship.

If you are wondering, yes we are still friends—the one, he says, “that got away “.  What an interesting choice of words when considering the bondage his ideology would have placed me under.  Walking away, I was left wondering if he would ever know A Woman’s Worth.  I can only hope so, but I still don’t know.

peace

Unless empathetic, people only seem to understand “a thing” if it has a direct impact on them.  Have we become so desensitized that we only have empathy when catastrophes occur?  Don’t we know that by the time we see the physical manifestations of inequity, inequalities have already run rampant?  Many seem to think that if they do not have a dog in the fight, then the fight is simply theater.  “Get over it”, they say.  “It’s not that serious”, they insist while attempting to bully via shame.  “You are too sensitive”, they sing.  Their perspective, however, does not change your reality nor how such attitudes affect your life.

“Oh, the lyrics are not about you” become about me when I show up to defend someone in court and have to check a dude who calls me honey.  They become about me when I am in a meeting and the males are addressed by their respective titles and I am by my first name only.  They become about me when the salary being offered to me is less or when I am overlooked for a promotion, not because of my work product, but because of this rule that a man—and many times a white male—is simply worth more.  How could he not be worth more, right?  People like to do business with people like them and most big business deals are done between men—white, wealthy men.  Now, you know like I do that most people are not white and wealthy and male.  Yet, the oppression amongst those of us who are not continues to pit ally against ally.

Women Sitting Across From Each Other

Although at times slow to make mainstream rotation, songs empowering women are being written and played.  Their vehicle is not limited to the radio, but more readily seen in life.  So, what songs do you turn up…or turn off?  Are the lyrics being sung about you?  The big picture, most miss.

My 2015: Professional Lessons

That time of year has come when I take some time to re-evaluate my year.  A year ago, I was determined to make some major changes and some major progress.  My spirit had reached the point where it was no longer interested in playing second fiddle to anyone or anything.  I knew that I was overdue in accepting God’s love and its manifestations in my life.  Sure, I had been saying for a number of years prior that I wanted all that God wanted to bless me with and I wanted to be a blessing to others.  The being a blessing to others part came easier for me.  Well, at least I was half way there right?

2014

Many, many, MANY years ago I got a very clear vision of me helping a large number of people.  What I saw was likened to actual footage of what this looks like.  Its memory serves as a constant reminder and motivation, but you can understand how at times it can be frustrating—can’t you?  Just think about it…there you are, sitting like a child at Christmas on Christmas Day looking at gifts with your name on them, but you can’t unwrap them (yet).  “What am I doing wrong,” I thought.  What must I change?

Around the middle part of 2014, I began to seriously consider relocating.  Some potential opportunities were presented to me, but my spirit was strongly against such change.  Trust and Believe! was my reoccurring message.  Oh, the struggle was real yet I challenged myself to remain still and to gather lessons of the season.  Being still forced me to be present.  Being present allowed me to become more conscious, more centered.

challenge be yourself

I made it a point to slow down.  Spending more time with my family replaced mandatory meetings.  Discovering new hobbies and returning to known ones creates for me environments which support my growth.  In doing so, I began to write again.  One of my 2015 goals was to complete my second novel for publicationDone!  What the mind can dream, one can achieve!  Now, I am looking for a particular literary agent.  I am looking for a literary agent who enjoys both topics of faith and that of gender.  (HELP ME by sharing this request/blog/post!  Someone may know someone or that someone may be you!  Email:  emergingfree@gmail.com  Now, THAT’S growth!)

In 2015, I grew professionally as well.  I finally understood the importance of surrounding myself with people who value my gifts and talents!  This was easier once I trusted God to provide for me professionally.  Being goal-oriented, it is easy to get so focused on reaching the goal that God is left out of your equation.  Once I surrendered to God being the equation, I confidently became uncompromising about my self-worth and the value of my gifts and talents.  He and He alone is my Source, my Provider, my Resource-Sender.  My ability to discern increased and this is vital for the sustainability of healthy working relationships!  Amazing and supportive environments are waiting for me and YOU to show up.  Show up!

As a result of my professional surrender to God, I realized I had a mental block that was thorn-ish.  (I think I just made that word up, but stay with me.)  Once I understood, however, the bigger purpose of what my professional pursuits serve, I was able to see its connection to the vision(Aha!)  Through my faith, I was able to find rest.  Do you think faith-based people generally identify their professional lives as being intertwined with their spiritual lives and divinely-inspired purposes?  Do you think they find rest in that?  For me, this revelation was MAJOR!  Don’t you just love it when you can see God’s work in your life?!  (I’m sure I will blog more about this later.)

i awake now

As I look back over the last twelve months, I can see progress and that fills me with excitement.  Thank You God for progress!  I have grown as a professional and I understand how such growth allows me to be a blessing within God’s Kingdom.  I am aware of the importance of setting boundaries and how such boundaries allow for life to be enjoyed.  If you are like me, there is a potential for us to become vulnerable spending time and energy doing good things because our flesh encouraged us.  Setting boundaries, however, keeps us focused on doing things directed by God because we understand our purpose.  I needed to apply this principle to my professional life.  I needed to merge my professional lessons with my God-inspired vision and grow.  Do you?

peace

 

Commentary On The Land Of The Free, Home Of The Brave

Am I the only one disturbed about the female, (societally-labeled) Black student being yanked —-wait, no…that is too mild of a description—ripped from a desk while seated, body-slammed, dragged, and….well, was she tossed by a much bigger, stronger, male School Resource Officer who appears to be (societally labeled) “white”?  For some reason, I mistakenly thought that this would be a hot topic today.  Maybe it was….somewhere?  This is heartbreaking; This is real news.  Oh well, maybe tomorrow this storyline will broadcast more.

Forgive me if Lamar and Khloe’s marriage is not of interest to me.  I am sorry not sorry that political talking points bore me when those talking points do not ever seem to point to the injustices within The Land of the Free, The Home of the Brave if such points offer no dividends, fail brown paper bag tests, and struggle to value its women and girls.

In a classroom full of people, just one reportedly attempted to come to the helpless student’s defense.  That one is said to have been another female, (societally labeled) Black student.  I am not surprised by this.  Consciously or subconsciously, she identified with the victim.  Now I ask you, “Why are we, humans, failing to identify with each other?”  Generation after generation, beliefs go unchallenged which keep people divided.  At the end of life, how silly these things must seem when real matters find priority.

As I sit here, I wonder if I am the only one asking myself, “What kind of culture are we living in where people are conditioned to just sit and watch atrocities occur without so much as a consideration?”  Have we become desensitized as a people, of people?  Then, I think of history.  We can send people to the moon, but seem to struggle with tolerating respecting accepting loving one another.  Millions of people attend faith-based services weekly where love is the taught foundation, yet their acts of love are…….well, where are they?  I want to hear more of those stories.  I want to smile while watching the ripple effects of small acts of kindness.  Am I alone?

Several times, I have watched the video of this excessive force against this young, female student who happens to be (societally labeled) Black.  With each viewing, thoughts surface about the ill-treatment of people based on race, on gender, on ageism, on power, or the lack thereof…..  These thoughts surface, but the perpetuated silence on these topics will hold their posts in keeping The Land of the Free, The Home of the Brave paradoxical.

3.26.15 Instant hand on neck - Copy

What Say You?

Does the rule change when you know of, but have not been raised by both of your living, biological parents?

girl pouting

Imagine a situation where you call your best friend to chit chat about the highlights of your workday and your excitement is met by the sounds of sobs.

“What is wrong,” you ask.  Instantly you become protective.  Where you are from, friends are family and best friends are siblings—-splitting images.

“I just want to know him,” your friend says.

“Who?”

“My father.”

You are speechless.  Should you offer suggestions?  Is it best to remain silent?  You want to say something, but hesitate.

Truth is, there are a lot of people walking around carrying the pain of not having a healthy relationship with their absentee parent.  The question is, whose responsibility is it to make the, most times repeated, effort to establish such relationship (when possible)?  Is it enough for the parent to make one or two seemingly failed attempts with the now adult child or is it the child’s duty to seek out the parent?  Maybe wanting a healthy relationship is just that, an out of reach hope.  For some, this is true.  I will acknowledge that, but what about the rest?

Everyone is not faced with this dilemma, but for the numerous individuals who are……what say you?

Dude, Hire Me!

I had a very honest conversation with a male friend of mine which has inspired this blog entry.  I truly appreciate my friend’s honesty.  The conversation left me pondering a couple of things.  I’ll touch base on a few….

So there I was, comfortably sitting on a sofa when my friend casually mentioned that he is significantly reluctant to hire women.  “WHATTTTT!!!!  WAIT…..”, I must have not heard him correctly!  Sure enough, I did.  For a split second, I struggled believing that this was his true thought.  How could my friend, a guy who I have seen debate unflinchingly in support of women earning equal pay and having equal protection under the law, have this bias.  I have seen him argue against injustices, not just on behalf of women but on behalf of other oppressed groups as well.  Surely he did not admit that his personal preference is to hire men because to him a man will always be his best candidate for any non-domestic job, did he?  YES, he did.

I resisted the temptation to argue with him.  Whatever he said would be unsatisfactory to me.  Anyway, I was more interested in determining how my friend could hold and potentially practice this view.  He explained his position, typical opinions I have heard before.  We would have to agree to disagree.

Mentor Needed

I left our conversation that day with many thoughts.  I still wonder how many men in hiring positions share his views.  Such practices, when gender is replaced by race/colorism, seem easier to spot and more commonly shamed…at least in theory.  The issue, at least with my friend, is not a question of “qualification”.  It is the idea of the traditional roles of women, minus the barefoot part (I hope).  In a society where so many women are financially heading households, in many cases singlehandedly, can she realistically expect to reach the top of her professional and financial ladders, even in situations when the entry door is slightly cracked for her entry?  Do women have a responsibility to help each other succeed?  Is such collective operation necessary for her individual success?  My thoughts…my thoughts…these are only a few…only to be met with that last one of, “am I the only one with them”.

I am happy that not all men follow this practice.  I have been hired by both men and women.  In turn, I have hired both men and women. Both genders have helped me further my career.  Both have tried to hinder it.  I have learned that not everyone is comfortable with a strong, opinionated, educated, professional, and in my case minority-labeled woman.  Let’s face it, when found outside of our traditional roles women make a lot of people uncomfortable.  Oh well, we are here now.  If “dude” won’t hire me, I will be left to determine whether I should hire “dude”.

In Her Defense

A few nights ago I was reading the comments from an article regarding Bill Cosby. One comment in particular stuck out. It was from a man who expressed his shock that so many women were defending Bill Cosby. The term “so many” is subjective, but I understood his point.

Girl Silenced

In pondering his question, I now wonder if these women’s defense is in fact of “Bill Cosby” the “hero”, or are they of William Henry “Bill” Cosby, Jr. the man. I wonder whether their reaction would be consistent if the alleged perpetrator had a different name, one other than that of “Hollywood Royalty”. Accusers numbered 1…2…3.

Sure, the Statute of Limitations may have run out for some, if not all, but that is not his point—or mine. Accusers numbered 4…5…6. Do we as a society truly value women or is her worth limited to “sex”? After all, marketers have proven that sex sells and she is often the seller to corporations’ net delight.

As I sit here, I am wondering, “Do we as a society truly not understand how money and power can silence a voice?” A governmental survey, specifically the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, cites that 1 in 5 women surveyed said she had been raped or had experienced an attempted rape at some point. It also states that nearly 2 million women are raped each year. Furthermore, the survey found what many may have suspected, that sexual violence affects women disproportionately. With a societal problem this egregious, why is she still selling sex? Accusers numbered 7…8…9.

Images are powerful. They can trick people into being afraid of someone whose skin complexion is different. They can have you walk pass a dirty person who is begging for food without giving him a glance. They can have you question the wardrobe of a woman, a woman who has been raped. Accusers numbered 10…11…12.

I do not know if William Henry “Bill” Cosby, Jr. is guilty or innocent, but I will not be another barrier for these women to overcome to have a voice. Accusers numbered 13…14…15…and so on and so forth? I am listening. Are you?

A Girl’s Voice?

Do you think we (as a society) coax girls to find their voices? Last night, I was watching a documentary on Richard Pryor. It told the story of when Pryor found his voice. Supposedly, he was in the middle of a comedy routine when he had this epiphany. It resulted in him walking off the stage. It was thought that his career, by abandoning his set, was done. Years later, he emerged as the comedian most now know—powerful, purposeful, and a change agent.

By the time girls graduate from high school, most have seriously thought about being a mother. When would be a good time? How many children to have, if any at all? How does having children fit into pursuing professional goals? These are questions many of us seriously consider, along with our ticking biological clock.

Some girls have high school sweethearts, making the dream of marriage (forever) more believable. No one is thinking about the divorce rate, which has lingered around 50% for some time now. Nope. Teenage love….well, some marriages last, right?

Since the early days of toting baby dolls and “playing house”, girls have been encouraged to be a parent, a caretaker, a wife, a nurturer, and if necessary a financial provider. Through music, movies, magazines, and media, girls (and women) are encouraged to be sex objects at all times. When, however, is she urged to find her voice if it lies outside of these predetermined boxes? When is she pushed to discover her unique self, her purpose, and her power? ….And for those of us who are…oh how odd we must seem.

Girl Holding Up Award

What Do You Think?

An interesting thing happened. A man told me that my life is easier because I am a woman.
Frog
At first I was a little stunned. So many thoughts battled to be heard. The most obvious question was, “How would you know?” Instead of partaking in a conversation that could have resulted in us both being upset, I honestly said, “You know, I am so tired of people saying my situation is worse than yours. It’s a different experience. Why not just share your experience to educate others and be open to being educated by theirs? No one has a problem-free life.”
He responded, “You know, you’re right.”
I could have listed the numerous injustices which target women, not just in this country but world-wide, not just historically but present-day, not just theoretically but practically. Maybe in another setting, to another audience.
As I ended my conversation with this man, I found that I appreciated his candor. It was his thought and he did not say it with malice. In truth, he made me think about how little I actually hear women share their hardships (in a public sense). In that way, I can see how people may conclude that women have an easier life.
What do you think?

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