photo via Hello Beautiful
I never really thought that I was a feminist. I thought feminist were butch dykes that wanted to be seen or privileged white women that wanted to be respected by their husbands (I was very wrong). Hell, in my community the last thing anyone was worrying about was equality in gender. There were more pressing matters like food on the table, or who had enough gas to pick me up from soccer practice. Feminism didn’t seem like a black thing.
As I’ve grown, I see that being a feminist is a woman thing, period. Also, it’s very much a black thing. In this world, where most outsiders think black women are always pregnant or always angry, it’s time for us to use our voice. Feminism is about more than burning bras, (to me at least), it’s about being seen for who I am. I am not uneducated, lacking of morals or standards, a gold digger, on welfare, or anything like the black women you see on Love & Hip Hop. My voice is as important as the other race or gender, and I’ve earned by right to be heard.
I would love a big ol’ ceremony between the other feminists but it seems like some issues aren’t aligned. Some feminists are fighting high-class wars, and I just want a chance to go to Disney World without a fear of my future black son getting shot and killed. I just want to be judged by my credentials and not my name. I know there are barriers that make brown issues foreign to the outside world, but my fight shouldn’t be ignored as a feminist issue.
So FEMINISTS: I am sick of rules. From my basic understanding, the goal of a feminist is to empower and enlighten woman so we can be thought of in the same regards as men. BUT am I not a feminist if I want to get married and become a housewife? I mean, after all it is my God-given right as a woman to choice whatever lifestyle I want (that’s what we’re fighting for right?) Isn’t it also my right to be submissive if I see fit, and overtly raunchy when I want as well. I’m not with rules, standards or secret codes about what makes me a feminism or not.
So FELLAS: Please just stop being dicks! Double standards are played out. I will not have more respect for you if you sleep with six women in one night than a woman who does the same with men (I really don’t have respect for either party, that’s just nasty). It’s also okay to be a house husband. If you wife is comfortable bringing home the turkey bacon, then you should be okay with taking care of the children you helped her make. Being a man is not a contest that you can win, it is a character trait. Some have it, some don’t. It is not however our job to coddle you. Relationships are a partnership, and if you can’t find a common ground, please stay single. Please stop telling me how a lady should dress or should act. Some men are not good examples of how anyone should act.
What have a learned from my readings and teachings:
1. Being a black feminist is a different beast
2. I’m not into rules
3. Life is not a beauty pageant
4. All boys don’t become men
5. Our voices matter
Ultimately, the biggest thing I learned is to be myself. I’m going to have weak moments when I just want to be held at night, but that doesn’t make me less of a feminist crime fighter in the morning. I am still here to break down any sexist walls still standing, and to move forward the freedom to be a woman our own way. I believe that women are the strongest creatures on earth and we should be treated as such. xo.