When Black Women? When?

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I love being a black woman.  I love what we are made of; incredible strength, resilience, courage and the capacity to love in spite of the hate spewed towards us.  I love our opinions, our sass, we have spice!  Our beauty is unmatched, we are uniquely and divinely made, so many different hues of beauty and style.  There are so many things that make me proud to be both black and woman.  However, it’s time to grab my sisters by the hand and usher them into the meeting room.  It’s time to have a real conversation amongst the “sistahs”.  We have some work to do, some problems to address and real issues to confront.  Come have a seat at the table…

SISTAHS…WE ARE IN A STATE OF EMERGENCY!

We are in some trying times and we are being attacked from all sides.  Racism, sexism and the continued battle to be valued respected and protected by the men in our own community.  Quite honestly, I’m exhausted.  I feel like I’m always fighting to be heard, understood, and valued.  The world is filled with racists, narcissists, misogynists, fuckboys and hoteps but right now, the issue I have is with you…that’s right…my sistahs!

I’M TIRED OF FIGHTING Y’ALL!

Understand that I am a woman who whole heartedly believes there is strength and power in sisterhood.  It is the sole reason why I created this website, The Sum of Many Things.  It is the reason I created my Facebook group, “Safe Spaces of Sisterhood”.  We are being attacked, disrespected, diminished, undervalued, underappreciated, abused and even killed at rising rates by so many.  So why do we continue to fight one another?  I swear I’ve dealt with this my entire life and I’m not alone. Every black woman I know has felt the hate of another black woman at various points in their lives.  We don’t stick together.  We don’t uplift one another. We don’t support and encourage one another. We laugh and gossip about one another.  We delight in another black woman’s pain, heartache and trauma.   We slut shame and victim blame. We disrespect and dishonor our sistahs who are struggling instead of offering correction or help in love, compassion and understanding. 

ISN’T THE WORLD DOING ENOUGH OF THAT TO US ALREADY?

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We throw our friendships away quicker than we get rid of makeup. We’ve kept no good men and too tight clothes longer than we’ve kept some friendships.   Sometimes, aren’t some relationships worth saving or fighting for? How many times did you forgive a man for his transgressions yet throw years of friendship away over something trivial or petty?   I can’t lie either…I’ve been guilty of it too. We all have but perhaps it’s time to re-think some things.  Isn’t that the beauty of our evolution?  We can always choose to do something differently.  I’ve been thinking about friendships I’ve had with women who are no longer a part of my life now.  I’ve thought about the reasons they ended and the reasons have all been similar; jealousy, competition, miscommunications and insecurity.   Then there are the women who “can’t stand me” that I don’t know or hardly know.   When I learn about a woman who doesn’t care for me, the reasons are always silly and superficial.  “She thinks she’s cute”, “Her hair…her body…who likes her”. etc. It’s ridiculously basic.  

DAMN! CAN A SISTAH JUST LIVE?

I get it, I’m not naïve to believe we can all “Kumbaya” all the time but damn…it seems like some unity and solidarity amongst the “sistah circle” would do wonders for our struggles against the world.   We are in the middle of attack but some of you don’t know who the real enemy is or what we are really fighting for.   The enemy is toxic masculinity, wage inequality and abusers.  The real enemy is racism, sexism and gender bias.  The real enemy is the microaggressions of white women who refuse to acknowledge their privilege in the feminist movement.  The real enemy is a culture hell bent on fetishizing, demonizing, over critiquing and undervaluing black women.   I literally read a “Black women need to…”, “Black women are…”; “To keep a man, Black women need to…” type of post on social media every single day.   The “Hotep” and “Fake Woke” tribe has met, strategized and they are attacking Black womanhood every single day.   They have their loudest soldiers on the front line; The Umar Johnson’s, the Killer Mike’s, the Tariq Nasheed's,  the grammatically challenged, Tyrese and more. 

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It’s crazy! It’s like we ae suffering from PTSD from generations of misogyny and patriarchy.   Some black women have a severe case of Stockholm syndrome; justifying and identifying with the very ones who disrespect and dishonor them.   I’ve watched it with my own eyes in horror and dismay.   Women who join in on the respectability politics when discussing the murders of Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, and Korryn Gaines and whether or not they deserved to die based on their “attitudes”.   We defend or attempt to understand those who abuse instead of those who have been abused.  We try to defend Chris Brown’s misogyny while calling his victims stupid or gold diggers. We join in the discussion on toxic masculinity, questioning what Ray Rice’s wife did to upset him or what Floyd Mayweather’s ex-girlfriend did to deserve being beaten.  We even join in mocking the abused? We attack and berate sexual abuse victims instead of their attackers.    Attacking the teenage girls and young adult women who’ve accused R. Kelly, calling them fast, hoes, etc.,  instead of questioning the numerous accusations and proof (sorry, I read the court documents) of a man who clearly at minimum is a misogynist and quite possibly a long time pedophile and sexual abuser.  We even continue to give him our money and pay to see him and defend doing so!  We call Emily B a gold digger and a dumb broad who knew what she was getting into and who deserved to have two of her teeth knocked out by a man she’s been with for years and bore 3 of his children instead of thinking, “do you know how hard that man had to hit her to knock out two of her damn teeth?”    We laugh and join in the stereotyping of black single women and black single mothers even though many of us may have been raised by one then we criticize and demonize them for being single moms in the first place instead of demonizing the men who made a decision to walk away from fatherhood.  We blame the women who didn’t walk away from parental responsibility for the men leaving their kids?  Huh?

We trash and over analyze Cardi B for being an ex-stripper and Tiffany Haddish for being “ghetto” meanwhile the entire Kardashian clan has made a living off of “ghetto” culture and style.      We join the rest of the world that thinks both are “less worthy” because they aren’t “respectable enough.   We call women like Jill Scott, Janet Jackson and Halle Berry crazy because they’ve ended more than one marriage.  Something must be wrong with them right?  We don’t say the same when men like Future, Floyd Mayweather and countless others have multiple kids and multiple baby mamas.  (Is he crazy? Does he have “daddy issues”? )  We even join in trashing Ciara for meeting and marrying a man who is helping to raise her son as a responsible stepdad.  A woman who made mistakes in love but appears to have “gotten it right”.  Lord…we are mad when she dates idiots and mad when she says I’m celibate until I meet the right one! GOOD GRIEF!!!   We sit online and co-sign fake hoteps and fuckboys in their consistent attacks and false narratives of what makes a black woman “acceptable, wife material, mother material or just all around worthy of protection”.   Whew!  Sounds crazy right?

The sistah circle is in need of some cleansing and some healing.  (Sage Anyone?)

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What will it take to strengthen the bonds of sisterhood amongst us?  When will we stop being envious of another woman’s success or accomplishments.  When will we stop judging one another or competing with one another based on superficial things like appearance, hair and body types? When will we stop judging one another choices, decisions and even mistakes and instead offer support, encouragement or some guidance, empathy or even correction in love?  

I’M SO EXHAUSTED ALREADY!!!

I feel so fortunate to know some amazing black women in my life.  I can honestly say every woman in my friend circle is dope and doing dope things in their lives.  We celebrate one another, we lift each other up and we handle disagreements “In house” and would never publically “diss or attack” one another out of respect and we aren’t afraid to correct one another when we aren’t right.   We look different, dress different, our body types and hair is different, we have different opinions and life experiences, we love different, we’ve made different life choices, we’ve made different mistakes throughout our lives, yet we love and respect one another enough to do the work to sustain our friendships.   The ones who’ve left this circle didn’t live the by same codes and as much as I’d like to say “they are dead to me”…they aren’t because at one point, I called them my sistah.  That’s a hurt we rarely like to acknowledge but it’s real.  How many of us feel the hurt caused by one of our sistahs?  How many of those relationships could have been salvaged with a conversation or a real “apology”?   How many of those relationships didn’t have to turn friends to enemies but to women who can be cordial with one another?  Those types of betrayals are devastating and leave open wounds that don’t allow us to allow other women friends “in”.   Let’s deal with the real…we’ve hurt each other… A Lot.  We gotta deal with that amongst ourselves. Stop allowing men to have opinions of your sistah relationships.  This is some in house work we have to do.  Men have enough work to do on their own…IJS.

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I think it’s why I’m so protective of my friends.  When it comes to my “safe spaces of sisterhood”, I’m like Okoye in Black Panther, ready to fight, defend and protect them at all times.  My sistah’s are special to me.   I love seeing “Squad Goals” pictures online! I love the increase in woman only blogs, groups and organizations that are focusing on sisterhood, healing, transformation, black feminism and progression.  Seeing groups of black women united enjoying one another and life is the epitome of “Black Girl Magic”.   With the incredible weights on our shoulders, the attacks we are under, black women are beautifully resilient and are able to laugh and succeed in the face of any adversity.   I love us and in spite of the mistakes I’ve made with my sistahs and the mistakes made by other sistahs towards me, I still believe in the power and strength of sisterhood.   In the spirit of transparency, I can honestly say, there have been times I’ve failed the “sistah circle”.  There are women I’ve refused to forgive and I’ve lashed out at women who dislike me for silly reasons, stooping to their level of petty.   Yup…I’ve been there.  But right now…

I’m a black woman living in Trump’s racist America surrounded by misogynists, Hoteps, fuckboys and white privilege and other awful things… I have enough battles to fight.  I’m tired of fighting y'all….

Like For real…

D. Sanders