Self-Marriage the Societal Demands Faced By Women

YASMIN ELEBY MARRIES HERSELF

So by now I think we have all heard Yasmin Eleby’s story. The 40 year old married herself in a ceremony at the Houston Museum of African American culture followed by a lavish ceremony where she performed R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” before her ten bridesmaids, family and friends. People Magazine reports that Eleby promised herself she would go through with the event if she did not have someone to marry by age 40.

I didn’t expect the story to get as much traction as it did, but it’s obvious we have social media to thank for that. I expected a few laughs and raised eyebrows here and there, but the tidal wave of opinions were quite alarming. People, especially women surprisingly, blamed Eleby’s event on everything from low self-esteem to feminism. But what I found missing from these jokes and discussions were the pressures women face to “have it all.”
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Living In A Secret Society

Overcoming the Shame of Rape

SECRET SOCIETY (140x140)I know all too well how it feels to have a secret that I wish I could tell someone, yet at the same time if I told this secret, it could potentially ruin my character. The moment after it all happened; I knew instantly that I should keep my mouth shut. I had already been deemed a young lady who was lost with a hard time finding her way. I knew it was my fault; had I just followed my intuition and went home that night after celebrating my 22nd birthday with friends, perhaps I wouldn’t have found myself waking up to him raping me.

After a night of partying way too much and having too many drinks, all that I remember is blacking out in the backseat of my friend’s car. The next morning, I found myself going in and out of sleep, not really sure where I was or how I got there, but I also felt a heavy weight on top of me. As I began to open my eyes and began to comprehend what was happening, I was finally able to process the activity of rape. I started to mumble, “no,no”. Then I mustered enough strength to demand that he removed himself from on top of me, “get off of me…stop, stop! get off of me!”
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Bisexuality and the Magic of Oppression

BISEXUAL (140x140)

This past Wednesday, September 24th was Bisexual Visibility Day, a time to celebrate those in the LGBTQ community who have an attraction to more than one gender. Of course, social media was filled with stories, shows of support and discussions regarding and involving those who are bisexual. One such discussion focused on whether or not women who identify as bisexual are more accepted and tolerated than bisexual men. It appeared that the majority voted “yes.” As the discussion pushed further in the affirmative direction, I disagreed and had my opinion dismissed as inaccurate.
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Does Being A Side Chick Hold More Clout Than Being A Wife?

SIDECHICK PERKS

I have to admit, I am a die-hard reality show fan. I faithfully follow the story line of Love & Hip-Hop, Housewives of Atlanta and Ex Wives of Holywood/LA; and as much as I have tried to convince myself that I am supporting a very toxic and negative perception of Black women, I can’t help but to be enthralled by the deception and the drama that has manifested in these people’s lives.

Whether the story line is fantasy or reality, it’s definitely low-quality entertainment that keeps the anticipation going amongst thousands of viewers each week. However, I have noticed a very peculiar trend within the most recent seasons of these reality shows. Many of the male cast members have left their “main chick” for their “side chick”, with no remorse or shame.
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Is a Man Ever Justified in Hitting a Woman?

WOMAN HITTING A MAN

Stephen A. Smith, co-host of ESPN First Take, has been suspended for making, what has been deemed as, impervious comments about the role women take in domestic violence.

During Friday’s airing of First Take, the Baltimore Raven’s running back, Ray Rice’s domestic violence case was being discussed amongst Smith and First Take regulars, when Smith commented that, women often times “provoke” men to act in a violent matter towards them.
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Self Care in the Age of Social Media

SOCIAL MEDIA (140x140)

In the age of social media it can feel as if everyone is living a fast-paced, glamorous life except you. We instagram everything – our dinners, gifts, vacations and lovers. In such overt displays of “happiness” we can find ourselves (sub-consciously) aiming to match our friends, or even trying to best them at their game.

I think I’m a pretty secure person. Years of therapy have proven that I am quite honest when it comes to myself. I’m able to see my flaws, able to say yes and no for the most part and mean it. But lately, I’ve had to realize that I have given into this need to be living “that” lifestyle. I was starting not to remember the last time I said no to an event or gathering, immediately determining that my life and my finances came first before my desire to please.
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Basic Chicks Want Exceptional Men

BASIC CHICKS

So, my new VERY informal mentor, Tariq Nasheed (aka Tariq Elite, aka K-Flex) has schooled me on a plethora of topics from the importance of group economics, to Black Male/Female relationships. During his weekly radio show, entitled, Mack Lessons, Tariq keeps it ALL THE WAY REAL with his listeners, and perhaps steps on thousands of toes, hence making many of us scream ‘OUCH’ from the top of our lungs; However, if the listener is open to correction, the ‘OUCH’ isn’t just an aggressive tantrum- like reaction, it is a loud wake-up call.
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A Private Issue Leads to a Public Victory!

A PRIVATE ISSUE LEADS TO A PUBLIC VICTORY! (140x140)

As I unveil the far from perfect reality of who I am, I have slowly revealed a tragic display of shame, guilt, embarrassment, heartbreak, victimization, lack of self control, pride and many other demons I have yet to defeat. Although I have displayed a public misfortune; an unhealthy depiction of womanhood (which has been everything I never wanted to be), the truth is, I doubted my own ability to claim victory against the enemy’s schemes.
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And Another One: Marie Claire and Kendall Jenner’s “Epic” Braids

AFRICAN BRAIDS
In another case of brands using social media wrong, yesterday Marie Claire magazine posted a photo of Kendall Jenner rocking side braids in her hair. The picture would have been noticed and forgotten in the quick scroll of twitter, if it had not been for the accompanying tweet which read: “Kendall Jenner takes bold braids to a new level.”
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What’s the Big Deal about the ‘GIRL’ Album Cover?

GIRL ALBUM COVER

The topics of Black women and skin color can be touchy for some people, and this past week’s events certainly supported this claim.

Grammy winner Pharrell Williams released the album cover for his upcoming project GIRL and not every “girl” was extremely pleased with his “ode to women” visual.

If you have yet to see the cover, it shows Williams and three other women all wearing bathrobes and sunglasses. But, after seeing the new visual, many were left wondering, Where are the Black women?
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Black Women and The White Gaze

BLACK WOMEN AND THE WHITE GAZE

I’ve started and abandoned this post for over two weeks. My aim was to dissect a white woman’s gaze of a Black woman in her yoga class, but I’ve come to realize I have more to say than I initially anticipated.

Being a Black woman that finds myself within white spaces more often than I would like, I am all too familiar with the white gaze. I see how my clothing, hair and overall body language is dissected. I, more so than when I was younger, do not feel the need to conform in any certain way to “fit in” or alter my appearance to make anyone more relaxed in my presence, but I would be lying if I said I haven’t wished for a sinkhole to swallow me in some instances.
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Women, Power and Relationships: What Lala Anthony Got Wrong

LALA ANTHONY - THE LOVE PLAYBOOK

Relationship advice books for Black women continues to be big business as Lala Anthony joins the fold with The Love Playbook. Her project is sitting lovely at the top of the New York Times bestseller list. During her promotion for said book Lala claimed that “We [women] have all the power at the end of the day, but it’s about knowing how to use that power and really creating a happy life for yourself, for your household, for your mate, that’s what it’s about.”
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No One Wants a Bone: The Other Side of Body Shaming

BODY SHAMING SKINNY GIRLS

“Eat more!” “Why are you so thin??” “Real men want meat not bones!”

I’ve grown up hearing all those comments and then some as a naturally petite girl. In a family full of curvy women I always felt completely out of place because of my frame. Regardless of the fact that mainstream lauded women with my figure while ignoring and demonizing women who were shapely, I felt the pressure of my immediate circle more than the rest of the world.

When body-shaming is addressed rarely does it involve those who are considered skinny/thin. Although we are the societal norm, those of us who fall in certain racial/ethnic groups feel the need to appear more “womanly” aka “curvy” to be seen as sexy and desirable.
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When the Bubble Bursts: When Your Dream Is No Longer Your Passion

LOSS OF PASSION

When I was an undergraduate majoring in Political Science I envisioned a great career in international politics for myself. The dream wasn’t so far-fetched with a mother who once worked in an embassy and a plethora of professors pushing me on, endorsing me for great internships at every turn. I graduated when the recession was its lowest valley and my plans were deterred greatly. Putting my international goal on pause, I entered the non-profit sector and worked in education and the family court system, always keeping an eye out for when my “dream” job would be in reach.

Fast forward a couple of years later, I landed the “dream” job only to find that it hasn’t been all that I believed it was. Don’t get me wrong, I love it and I can say that it has taught me more than any college course I ever paid for, but a “dream” it is not. There is that old saying that says sometimes you won’t know what you want to do until you get the opportunity to do it — and I can say I am living proof of that.
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