Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

So we have talked about the feces in the dating pool right… well BABY, it’s dead bodies too. I met one at a bar last night.

So a little background… I have had a boyfriend or husband consistently since high school. When my last relationship ended, I got very clear on what I could no longer tolerate, no matter how much love was bring professed. But I also didn’t want to get comfortable in my FTN energy… so I said, hey, let’s meet folks. Ya’ll call it dating… but again we know how much muck that is, so I considered it just what it was, dinner, coffee, a FT chat session. Not dating, because I’m not giving you multiple times to show me you are trash. You get one time. If it’s an off day, well prepare better, take a rain check, aim to be great daily, but I’m only giving limited time because all I have is limited time. I’m trying to get a whole PhD, you think I have time for your games. Nope.

“Only this, and nothing more”

So, I meet a guy. Tall, nice-looking, entrepreneur, good conversation, seems decent. We Facetime chat, he’s got a cute dog, I’m like ok seems at least mildly promising. Good Vibes. So, he asks me out, I say ok. Dinner planned for this evening. But yesterday he calls, asks have I eaten, I say no, and he says well I’m starving and I’d love your company. Spontaneous is cool. So we meet at a bar. That’s where the good part of the story ends.

“This is it and nothing more”

I get there on time, he calls says he’s running a little late but near and on his way. Strike One. Be on time to some shit you asked me to.

He walks in, we greet each other, he sits down and says I smell good and “clean”…

Strike Two… I instantly smelled Black Love perfume oil, fake wax print ink, and incense… there was none, but I smelled it.

So, I have a drink and shrimp tacos, because you are late. It’s a work night. So he orders food, tells the waitress he’s hungry. There are two waitresses, they both ask him if he wants anything to drink. He says no. He orders a burger. Who eats a burger with nothing to drink. So while waiting for his food, he sees me look up at the tv at a basketball game. He says, oh yeah you like sports. I said yes, I do. He says… sports are barbaric. Just let that marinate. Sports are barbaric. It was basketball ya’ll… not cage fighting or lion taming or Russell Crow screaming “are you not entertained…” It was college basketball yo. Sigh. Strike Three.

I knew then this would be our only time seeing each other… because something in the milk ain’t clean… and clearly it’s not me because recall… I smell clean.

Ok so his burger comes. He examines it and then says to the waitress, I smell pork. I look at her, she is looking at me like WITEF. She says, yes it has bacon jam on it. He pushes it away and says, give it to someone else, I’ll pay for it, but I don’t eat pork. He continues, I don’t eat anything unclean or hoofed, (looks at my shrimp taco) or shellfish. The waitress says well you are hungry so do you want the burger remade with no bacon jam. He says, I’m not hungry. Uhhhhhh that was the whole premise upon which you asked me here. He looks at me and says…

We can just go somewhere better tomorrow. TOMORROW?!?!? Nope. All the nopes in Nopelandia!

So, I just drank my drink, ate my tacos, and talked to the waitress. It was her second day. I planned to give her a nice tip. We chopped it up about sneaker releases. Cuz this nigga is nuts.

“Perched, and sat, and nothing more.”

So, after much prodding by the waitress to fix his order, get him a drink, whatever, HE got annoyed. He asks for the bill. He looks at it. He takes out a $20 bill and says, are you ready? (I laughed… what is the $20 for? A tip? You trying half dine and dash…) I said no, but have a good night. Oh you are staying, he says. Yep! He then slides the bill and $20 to me. He starts putting on his coat… I give the $20 to the waitress and pay the bill. The bill for the outing he asked me to leave my house to come to. She takes his food off the bill. I could have eaten leftover meatloaf and watched Snowfall… this shit was a waste. I’m leaving out alot… but isn’t this enough?!?!?!

Two guys at the end of the bar move down towards me… one says, yeah I knew when light skin came in he was uncomfortable and odd. The other says, we work here, so we see this all the time. These guys are socially awkward, so alone or on the phone it’s all good, but in person, they are weird. He probably plays video games all day. So I share the barbaric and clean/unclean dialogue. They were both like oooooooohhhhhhhhhhh…. He just extra lightskinned, he is trying hotep his way to blackness instead of just being. LPS. We talked a few minutes more… and I wished them all a good night.

No hoteps for the kid. I an anti-hotep. And I like my dudes a lil dirty… some meat from a hoofed animal and a lil bourbon sounds like a sexy time to me. Even if you are vegan, vegetarian, you don’t talk about unclean animals. Are those shoes leather my guy? FOH! Basically, dude had the appeal of roadkill. And you cheap? My girls be trying to get the bill before I do, let alone the men I know. I barely know what my wallet looks like unless I’m alone. I haven’t paid for a date I was invited to, EVER. I never will again. Yeah naw. Dating is dumb. God will provide. I’m gonna just chill, do this keto, get this PhD, and stay outta sucka shit.

To “quoth the raven.., “Nevermore!”

All quotes taken from The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe

We don’t talk about Peri

There are a lot of things Black folks don’t talk about… Nana’s full mustache, Uncle James and Uncle Charlie are not just roommates, Cousin Tanya’s drug habit, that baby don’t look like Ray, and menopause. Your mother & grandmother either hid it, described it only as hot flashes, or they had complete hysterectomies and never experienced it. Whatever the case… we gotta talk about it. Specially peri menopause, cuz it’s that joker right there that is not for the weak.

So let’s get into it!

Peri menopause is the transition into menopause, which is the end of a woman’s reproductive years. It is during this time estrogen levels rise and fall and cause a myriad of symptoms that basically feel like everything from your hair to your feet is on that bullshit! An internet search led me to a few lists of symptoms: irregular menstrual cycles, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood swings, incontinence, bone fragility (1), more severe PMS, hair loss, weight gain, inflammation, headaches, back pain, forgetfulness, loss of libido, inability to concentrate (2), shortness of breath, heartburn, loss of appetite, depression/anxiety, vision issues, bloating, skin breakouts or dryness (3). And just personal one’s I’ve noticed… cold feet, spatial confusion, and tastebud changes. It typically starts in a woman’s 40s, but may start in her 30s, and can last anywhere from a few months to over a decade. (4) Not talking about peri is no bueno!

It makes no sense that women have to get surprised by this very normal and natural phenomenon. It’s not just hot flashes and your cycle ending… it is a whole fucking life change that women need to be prepared for, especially Black women. We know that Black women often face disparate treatment in healthcare settings because doctors don’t understand or have compassion for our unique health concerns, not enough medical research is done into the health realities of Black women, healthcare access is limited in poor and urban communities, and health education is lacking across the board for and regarding Black women’s bodies. When you add our reproductive health into the fold… we need to talk about Peri! She is a whole beast wrecking unnecessary havoc out here…

Our hormones are tied to damn near every physical process in our bodies. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency,

The endocrine system, made up of all the body’s different hormones, regulates all biological processes in the body from conception through adulthood and into old age, including the development of the brain and nervous system, the growth and function of the reproductive system, as well as the metabolism and blood sugar levels. The female ovaries, male testes, and pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands are major constituents of the endocrine system. (5)

Women with hormonal ebbs and flows are a whole environmental concern lolol! Why? Cuz we are literally a whole emotional system out in these streets, suffering from physical changes that mimic everything from mental illness to going blind. She is not to be fucked with. She might bite you. She is savage af, and she is probably sleepy and hungry simultaneously. She can wake up completely happy,

and in a matter of moments cycle through every emotion from confusion (about people, places, things, everything),

irritation,

uncertainty,

disinterest and lack of desire… to do anything,

upset,

choosing violence,

choosing calm & scary violence, or

scaring her damn self.

But whatever it is, she need to be adequately prepared to face it. And ladies, we have been thrown into the pits of hormonal chaos without a life preserver all because we don’t talk about Peri.

So if this sounds like you, if you read this and feel seen, talk about Peri… ask your sista friends, talk to your doctor, find another doctor if the one you have doesn’t listen and tells you that you are imagining these very real symptoms, and peruse social media. Women aren’t being silent… we gon talk about Peri’s raggedy ass!

Check out @kari_wright on Tik Tok… life changing!

******************

(1) mayoclinic.com (2021) https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/perimenopause/symptoms-causes/syc-20354666

(2) Cherney, K. (2020). Healthline.com https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/difference-perimenopause#symptoms-of-perimenopause-and-menopause.

(3) Sharkey, L. (2021). https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sex/i-have-weird-symptoms-with-perimenopause

(4) health.harvard.edu (2020). https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/perimenopause-rocky-road-to-menopause

(5). USEPA (2021). https://www.epa.gov/endocrine-disruption/what-endocrine-system

My Lips Hurt…

Patriarchy is a hard word.

So I just watched the Janet Jackson documentary. She is a national treasure, be clear! We all knew she had a few marriages and relationships over her lifetime… not atypical for any woman, but especially a beautiful, famous, talented, sweet soul like she is. So no secrets there. But then, Jermaine Dupree comes on the screen… and announced his relationship with THEE Janet Jackson ended because he cheated on her. Now be clear, beautiful women get cheated on all the time. Beyoncé, Halle Berry… I could list names until my fingers fell off. Point made though. But Jermaine Dupree cheated on Janet Jackson…

I’m now convinced it’s some chromosomal defect.

You hear it all the time. What’s wrong with so and so…she’s pretty, successful, nice…why she can’t keep a man, why is she not married, why is she single, blah blah blah. Folks wrote books about what rules women should follow, what women should stop doing to find a mate, what top ten things women need to do to get a man, how to think like a man but act like a woman to get a man. I mean the dude that wrote the latter book allegedly cheated in his wife of 16 years with his current wife. The dude who starred in the movie cheated on his current wife when she was pregnant. And not that women don’t cheat, do wrong, ruin relationships… we certainly do, but the point here is different. This is particularly about how women are made to be responsible for being single and divorced or in a series of failed relationships, when it is COMMON KNOWLEDGE that many men have a problem keeping their penis in their pants, and that is often the cause of her singleness and failed relationships.

Jermaine Dupree claimed the fact that other women wanted to date him because he was dating Janet Jackson is the reason he cheated in her… WHAT!?!? They just wanted to see if they could compete with Janet sir, they didn’t give a damn about you my guy. The story was not I smashed JD. The story was, I smashed JD while he was with Janet. I mean…

So I need everyone to stop playing. We need to stop acting like women are to blame for the bad behaviors of unready and unsteady men. These dudes don’t walk up to you and say… hey girl I’m gonna hurt you, but give me a chance. They promise you the same things men who honor their word do, except… they don’t. They don’t wear a Scarlet A cuz guys don’t wear those. It’s okay for a man to be a whole heaux then decide he’s ready for more, but a woman who has sowed an oat or two has not readied herself for marriage because she has turned a few trick pages. Men can collect notches in their bedposts, but women are supposed to be pure and untouched… but who they getting the notches with tho!?! Men can be grimy but women have to be pristine? I call bullshit, and patriarchy. And we can argue patriarchy is an unfortunate reality, but a reality nonetheless. Yet, so is racism and if that is worth fighting against whenever it rears its ugly head, the idea that men are somehow more valuable than women because they are men, should elicit the same upset. I am no less valuable than a man or a White person. Period.

Men should be held to the same high standard women are held to. Men should be called to task and demanded to be better, more honorable, faithful, honest, loyal, etc. just as women are. A mans choice and decision to be dishonest to his woman and to lie to her about his outside sexual activity is manipulation and coercion to get her continued consent. Women don’t ask for that. In general women may know something is off or wrong, but we aren’t mind readers and don’t see visions in crystal balls, so we typically have operated in a space of unknowing until we know. But it isn’t our responsibility to stop or start doing something to get a certain behavior from a man… doesn’t work that way. Men should be the ONLY person held responsible for his behavior. Its too many women with the same story over and over for this to be just a woman issue. Cuz the common denominator in all this shit is the bad behavior of men. Just be single until you can be good. Who is telling dudes that with the same frequency you telling women what to do or not do?!?

Anyway… we tired. I’m tired. Tired of dudes who are determined to wrong us no matter how right we are. Tired of men and especially women giving women advice on men all the time, but never telling bad behaving men to stop that shit. We are tired of having to keep telling ya’ll this shit. Tired of having to explain that this shit is patriarchy. Tired of raggedy men being let off the hook because they are men. Our lips hurt.

But Thank You, Jermaine “These are My Confessions” Dupree. My guy made shit real clear this fine evening. Salute!

Bonnet Applebum

Ya’ll have taken bonnets so far… to places they never imagined they would go. Misgynoir. Hating Black women. False narratives. Freedom. Being chastised by a woman with her breasts hanging free in a robe on a video broadcast beyond just outside, but for everyone to see. My sweet babies never did anything to anybody but try to preserve your roller set while you slept. But like ya’ll do, it’s gone too far.

This is simple shit. Let me tell you what it is not before I tell you what it is. It’s not misogynoir. Stop it. Stop that now. So someone pointed out to me that it’s been said durags, the Black male version of a bonnet, are worn outside and haven’t received as much static. Others that the bonnet is just a stand in for anything that represents a Black woman’s freedom, and this backlash as a way to police our freedom by limiting our comfort. Nope and nope. Back in the late 90s when durags came in black and the occasional white, Black guys started wearing them under their caps, tied with the flap in the wind, or untied flaps to the side similar to a Nemes headdress worn by Egyptian pharaohs. In fact it’s designed in exactly the same style.

In 2001 and 2005, this primarily Black cultural item was banned by the NFL and NBA and then several school districts as gang related. This item made specifically to help lay down hair to create a 360 degree wave hairstyle, which was coincidentally (or not) started in ancient Egypt was not gang related but used as a tool of racism. So it cannot be said bonnets are receiving some unprecedented hatred. In protest, durags in multiple colors and styles started being worn by Black men and women. This isn’t new… but I would venture it is different.

Venture with me… take a walk if you will. The original version of “Bonita Applebum” by A Tribe Called Quest was rapped by Q-Tip in a typical rap cadence that confirmed to the beat. He read an 1985 issue of SPIN magazine with an interview with Miles Davis who spoke about using pauses, or moments of silence in the song, to create space for conversation between the notes, the instruments, or in this case, the words. When the song was mixed for the ATCQ first album, Q-Tip slowed down the cadence and used pauses to mimic having a conversation with a young lady about his interest in her. “Hey Bonita (pause) Glad to meet ya!”

Bonnets, Bonnets, Bonnets…

Bonnets aren’t being chastised by the White establishment as some object of racial negativity. This is mainly sistas talking to other sistas, a moment of pause, to create a conversation about the phenomenon of wearing hair bonnets outside as a head covering. Every sista doesn’t engage her peers in the most compassionate and understanding way… understood. However, this isn’t an attack, it’s an observation and the attempt at conversation. Women in my age range were taught that you don’t go outside representing yourself poorly… you can be unique,yourself, and comfortable while being the best version of yourself. There was a separation between what you did in the privacy of your home and how you showed up outside those doors. Women in younger generations seem to attach themselves to the IDGAF mantra, and present and dress however they want in any forum. Social media has blurred the lines of private and public and all of your life is on display, so there is no privacy. No one is trying to police Black women, but simply trying to understand and educate. The hair bonnet is a tool of self-care, like your perm rods to set your natural hairstyle, your nightgown, your unicorn slippers, your pajamas with the feet in them, or the little pieces of paper you stick to your face after you do your weekly facial. Self-care can be many things, and one of those things is engaging in sacred self rejuvenation to reenergize and reinvigorate. We typically emerge from these rituals ready for the opportunity that awaits us. Oh you fancy hunh?

And that doesn’t mean we present how men want us to, or White people want us to, but how we feel our best and most prepared selves. Being able to present that self to the world is freedom. She can be fresh faced or made up, hair natural or straight or brown or blue, clothing tailored or bohemian, pierced or tatted or bejeweled or thicker than a snicker. But she is prepared for the opportunities she wants to find her, so she can scoop them up and take advantage of them. The blurring of the private and public is real, but that doesn’t make everything private, it makes it ALL public. Saying mind your business is cute, but if I’m the one with the opportunity that you want, good luck with that! How you present is my business. Freedom is more than just doing what you want. Lots of people in jail did what they wanted…

Freedom is the ability to be our best self without constraint, to practice self-determination in a responsible and bold manner, and to have equitable access to the reservoir of opportunity. When our choice of head gear was being used to discriminate against and punish us along racial lines, we cut patterns out of floral velvet, lace, and rhinestone mesh and made a fashion statement of it. When our hairstyles were being banned at work we made noise, made our natural hair a cultural phenomenon, and got legislation passed to protect our right to wear our hair as it grows from our head or any other way we choose. But labeling bonnet gate some kind of ministry against Black women by some phantom Black woman hater is bordering on the dramatic. Mainly because it’s us heeding the call. I don’t hate Black women… I am a Black woman with a drawer full of bonnets, naturally curly hair, and an occasional bad hair day. Yet I despise seeing women in bonnets in public.

Now I’m not gonna sweet baby you to death and approach you about the bonnet on your head in Target. I am not gonna do a bonnet call to action. I’m not going to tell you what you cannot do… you certainly can wear a bonnet in public. But I am going to tell you that object was not made for outside wear. That object is a tool of comfort, and if you feel most comfortable in it, more power to you, but chances are you are hiding or protecting what’s underneath it. If you are hiding it, trust that the bonnet is worse. If you are trying to preserve your curls for your date night, trust that ain’t the way. There are a bevy of scarves and headwraps made so that you can do just that, and still present like the free woman you are, who does and wears what she wants, who is ALSO prepared to meet all the best opportunities the world may offer you at any moment. You are best prepared for that with your bonnet on your bedside table. Trust me.

What I am not interested in though, ever… is the false narratives we didn’t author being the reason why we make choices. What White people or men think… which is often the underlying idea… especially when those thoughts are teamed with racial and sexual stereotypes and biases, should never be our raison d’être. Ever. Fuck racism and sexism twice. That is not our ministry. Everything that centers Black women does not have to be about or regarding negativity surrounding our Blackness and our womanhood. Black women are highly policed in terms of how we present. Black women are also highly criticized for how we look while simultaneously mimicked by the most famous White women in the world. So I get it, but this isn’t that. This is simply another sista reminding you who you are, what our freedom looks like, and how we can seek and express that freedom responsibly and boldly free from racist and sexist gaze. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves, especially our younger selves, that our freedom, my sweet babies, doesn’t look like anyone else’s… it’s intersectional, complicated, and more nuanced. Let’s not confuse us reminding each other who we are for misogynoir. That’s not hot. And you can accept it or reject it, but I’m gonna always put you on…

Don’t be this guy…Updated!

This is Kevin Samuels in 2009.

This is Kevin Samuels today… a self-labeled relationship expert and luxury lifestyle guru… and a whole ass clown. A whole one. Red nose and all.

There is nothing cute about him… yesterday or today. Let’s keep this in mind.

I’m sure we have all heard this rant to the woman who called into his podcast saying she wanted a man making six figures because she was a successful woman. He went on to roast her about being old, average looking, with a 13 year old, saying no high earning man… which coincidently makes him above average… wants an average woman and unless she was willing to date an average man, she would “die alone!” I listened and I wanted to fight him in his face for her.

Look… Kevin Samuels has no authority to talk about a woman’s looks or what above average men like… scroll up, look at that picture again. If he can be “honest” with old girl, we can be honest with him. But first let me just say this. Six figures is not billionaire status, be clear. Most of the men and women I know make six figures, and most of the men I know are not clowns either. These men love the gamut of women… because they are different men with different preferences. Some of them like curvy women, others like athletic women, some like em short others tall, some like em a bit younger or a bit older… there is no standard woman in terms of attractiveness or desire.

Furthermore, a woman is entitled to whatever standards she sets for herself, and reserves the right to bend and change those as she moves through the world… but on her own terms. Those preferences we hold closest on to, other than basic character traits, which don’t define someone as an emotional, mental, or spiritual being, but instead define them by their aesthetic or physical shell most likely lead us to miss out on good men or women. But we still have a right to our preference and standards. Men and women. There are very few things a man wants more than a woman, and his money and clothes and home and car are all objects of security meant to attract women. So yes, women, across the board, are attracted to stability and security. That shouldn’t change because of where some clown believes she falls on the looks rating scale. But then too, men who are married tend to be more successful and more wealthy. A man who findeth a woman findeth a good thing says the Lord.

I saw many posts saying there was truth to what he said… mainly by men. Be better than him, please. Don’t co-sign this wack ass, insecure, stupid shit. First of all, rating women on some scale is played out… unless you want to be rated on the length of your penis, the girth of your wallet, and the size of your credit score. Those things alone define a good man just as much as a woman’s looks alone define a good woman. Sure… we should all be attracted to our mate. But what that looks like is different for all of us and not based on some ratings scale from eighth grade. A man who comes into a woman’s life should be ready to provide and protect. A woman should come ready to provide peace and refuge. That doesn’t mean he needs to be a billionaire, but he should be stable. That doesn’t mean she needs to be a supermodel, but she should be her best. Stellar looks are icing on the cake… but the cake can stand alone.

Insecurity is a mofo. It will lead you to break down other people to their lowest common denominator just to make yourself look good… but it’s not long lasting. It doesn’t matter how far you’ll go to dead someone else’s shine to shine brighter, your shit will stay dim. You see only those of us that are good to each other ever truly become stars. This guy is posed up on Instagram and posting YouTube videos like he’s some sort of guru, and no one ever heard of this clown until World Star Hip Hop posted his rant. The same sight that posts NSFW photos of reality stars is what catapulted this fool to internet stardom… and we’ll forget about him soon. But that woman he spoke disrespectfully to will remember being put down and having it broadcast across the net, forever, in the name of honesty. Honesty is not based on opinion.

But my bet is that Kevin Samuels, despite claiming to have to fight young women off with a stick, doesn’t like women. His shtick is too familiar. There is a whole subculture in Atlanta where homosexual men marry and date young, attractive, childless, and connected women so they can rise up the corporate ladder and join Black networks under the guise of being a straight man. The DL. I suspect he is apart of that subculture. He is trying to make a name for himself, not help people. He puts down women and their want to be with stable “high value” men, and then gives men value based on their wallet and penis size. First of all, how does he know what penis size is desirable to women? Second, WHAT MAN asks other men that, that aren’t interested in men? I’ll wait… thought so. Bottom line, he hates women, and I don’t think it is because he dislikes women’s standards. You usually hate, not to be mistaken with dislike or disagreement, what you most want to be. Facts. You don’t get to roast sistas because you want to be a Queen. He’ll never be royal.

A perusal of his YouTube videos shows he thinks late blooming men, which he must see himself as… see 2009 photo above… are the best because they reach their full potential financially and physically in their late 30s and 40s and can finally attract the type of women they want. But be clear, those men were likely taken care of and coddled by hat he considers “average” women prior to their come up… and now are too good to consider those women as mates. I call bullshit. A Hermès belt and a rented Bentley on the weekends does not make you the cream of the crop.

Listen… Kevin Samuels and his particular brand of women hatred, telling women they aren’t young enough, attractive enough, or small enough to get a man who makes six figures or more is a certified crime. Especially coming from a man who is espousing this toxic garbage as a means to make himself look and feel better. You can’t be a whole two trying to tell a whole five she isn’t cute enough. Furthermore, I suspect the inly thing in his closet aren’t Gucci loafers and Tom Ford pants. You are truly telling on yourself beloved.

Originally posted 12/20/2020.

Update: Grand Opening. I just looked at my wrist. I got time today. It’s May of 2021, and the comments on this post are nothing short of hilarious. First, Black people who love and honor our rich history are descendants of Kings and Queens, and are therefore royalty. Any attempt to discredit that is ignorance… read a book.

Second, my qualifying him as a woman hating possible homosexual is not an attack on his sexuality as much as exposé. Being homosexual is not a bad thing. He very well may be standing straight up, walking in a straight line, or straight outta Compton… but he CLEARLY doesn’t like women. Dude is either upset most women want nothing to do with him and didnt want him in 2009 when he was “low value” or he is insecure about his true identity. Men who are interested in women don’t fight women off with sticks. Men who are interested in women don’t put down women especially about their opinions on another man. Men who love and appreciate women, may have a preference in a partner, but believe the feminine is always beautiful and sacred. They speak to women with tenderness even when they need to school them. He isn’t giving lessons, he’s giving out insults by the pound. That screams insecure, unhappy, and desperate. It also reeks of toxicity, man bags, and male waist trainers.

But moreover, these attempts to insult my writing because you disagree is cowardice bullshit. Feel free to disagree. Your disagreement does not sway my opinion, but if it is respectful then I can engage. I meant what I wrote, and I wrote what I meant. My relationship status does not determine my value, my character does. So all that lonely, single as a dollar bill venom is wack. Men who put down women, hate women. Facts. So you come in these comments calling me names because I gave you my opinion on a man that presents as a horrible person … a man you likely don’t know, it’s clear what your issue is. You feel attacked because you subscribe to this archaic, caveman, superficial garbage, and you are projecting your lonliness and your bitchassness. I hope you carry tampons in your manbag, because you must be bleeding. I cut HANs with metaphors and similes.

Here’s the bottom line. I don’t care what your preferences are, high value, middle value, or low value. I really could care less. But I will always stand up for Black women first, and Black people. I don’t care what color you are, if you speak to brothas and sistas like they are non-valuable because they have reached a certain age, are no longer welterweight, have children, don’t have the proper size wallet or penis… you subscribe to the colonized way of measuring a partners worth… and I might check you on it. I also will call it how I see it. Keep commenting… thanks for reading! Now back to my high value man who loves me and treats me like the Queen I am. Grand Closing.

A Woman’s Worth

Womanhood is this special and magical belonging that is both mysteriously hard to describe, sometimes difficult to traverse, but also somehow wonderfully comforting and supportive when you get inside of it and feel it surround you like a cocoon. Being a woman is a really specific thing… but it’s a myriad of experiences, shapes, hues, tones, notes on the scale, and every color of the rainbow. It is emotional and powerful. It is beautiful and soft, but then strong and resilient.

What makes a woman… or what doesn’t make one a woman? Hmmm

I am not a woman because I have curves, breasts, physical peaks, and valleys. Some of those things you think of first make me female, but she is just my sex. It is much more the way those curves move around and touch the insides of my sundress in the summer; the outlines of my femininity. I am a woman because I own those peaks and valleys, and control how you get to see them or if you never do. I am a woman because I possess myself… and I only allow others access to me at my whim. I am a woman because of how what’s on the inside directly dictates how you experience me on the outside.

I am not a woman because I am not a man, or because I partner with him. I don’t exist as the antithesis or opposite of manhood… for I was made from his rib not the mirror image of it. I am not a woman because of his gaze. My worth as a woman is not dictated by his opinions, thoughts, reactions, or judgments. My value is determined by the fierceness of my compassion not the fixation of his desire. I am a woman because I have the ability to soften his heart, whether as his mother, woman, sister, or daughter. I allow him to see the softer side of the world that constantly demands to see his bones but denies his skin. My curves give him places to lie his head, hands, and troubles. My womanhood supports and nurtures his manhood, but also exists independently from it. I can create movements alone, but only together with him do we build the life force.

I am not a woman because I give birth from my womb. For many women never know motherhood. Yet I am woman because within me is the birthplace of humanity, the cipher. It is where beat meets rhyme, paper meets pen, MC meets DJ, and hip meets hop. It’s the dopest place on Earth… the only place whose potential deems it more worthy than it’s reality. There is holy land resting inside each of us deemed celestial enough to be born a woman.

Women are miraculous vessels of human magic… protect women always!

Happy International Women’s Day

Take Two of These … and don’t call me in the morning

So I don’t wish the physical pain and lack of sleep I have had for over two weeks on anybody… well not anybody probably reading this. Jk…sorta.

Anyway, cuz HIPAA says I don’t have to tell you my medical business, I won’t, but just know that a lack of sleep is not humane and physical pain for someone with a ridiculously high pain tolerance is not a good thing when trying to communicate how much pain and discomfort you are suffering to doctors. Nurses get it. Every single nurse I have had the past few weeks, during scheduled doctor’s visits or ER visits has tried to make me comfortable and only poke me once with the IV needle. Yet many doctors have questioned me like I might be lying or stupid or both, or just focused on shit that at this moment really does not matter. Partially because I was not screaming in pain or walking in yelling “Where the doctor is!” Oh but next time I have as much as a hang nail…

However, as I have talked to people in or formerly in my position, and just based on general knowledge, this isn’t uncommon… especially with women, more so with minority women, particularly so with Black women… these doctors don’t fucking listen! I’ve seen in mostly with white male doctors, but I won’t assume that is the only demographic that is guilty. Not only do they have a listening problem, some of them, despite their expertise, also just don’t know how to treat some of us… treat medically or professionally. Weirdos.

So first, my biggest message is advocate for yourself! I mean treat this shit like it’s a career change, and you won’t settle for another piss poor job, boss, or paycheck. Bitch run me my money vibes… on run me my healthcare reality. Talk to them like you are already sure of what you need… because if you listen to your body… you are, you just need to be listened to. If you are in pain, tell them… pain should and can be managed properly. If something isn’t right… tell them to go look at it… some scan or another. If something feels wrong, looks wrong, is acting wrong… show them and assure them that ain’t your norm. And if the doctor won’t listen, ask to see the nurse… they treat people, doctors treat conditions. Then ask the nurse who to go see who will listen. Period.

So do that first. Then do this…

If you run into a doctor that’s just a bit weird or as my nurse friend pointed out “socially awkward” but he/she can get the job done, cool that can be overlooked as a personality flaw. But any doctor who is not being upfront and honest with you and doesn’t care about how certain things manifest and affect YOUR body, which can only be gleaned by his expertise in concert with listening to you… that doctor ain’t for you! I believe those physicians who have zero bedside manner are particularly so because they are uncomfortable with the patient… all the medical knowledge in the world cannot make up for being invested in the individual health of the person in your immediate care. Your Aetna, Blue Care Network, checkbook, ACA coverage, and humanity dictate that you deserve health and proper health care, but also doctors and practitioners who CARE. It’s proper selfcare to ensure you put yourself into those people’s hands only!

Women should not have to rely on women physicians and Black people should not have to rely only upon Black physicians to take the time to care about who we are as a group and as individuals. One of my favorite doctors ever, who was neither Black nor female, after seeing me as a teenager and not knowing exactly what was wrong, said in his thick accent, that he was going to go find out and come back and let me know… to whatever question I had asked him. I was never so impressed. But that should be the norm when you are treating people… no condition will affect everyone the same, especially when we have certain ethnic, hereditary, and environmental factors that factor into how our bodies work. But if you work in healthcare, you should make it your business to promote the health of every patient u see snd show you care by communicating with them openly and honestly, and if necessary, doing a little more research into how that promotion might look based on who they are in totality.

So, I just wanted to share this little reminder… that self-advocacy is your assurance that you will get the support to meet your needs! I wish you abundant health and wealth and all that good stuff! Now go off and get some sleep so you won’t be irritable like me.

Black… and Yellow

Some mediocre singer made a song calling herself (and referencing men who want) a “yellowbone” or light skin Black woman with yellow undertones… similar to the term “redbone” which refers to lighter skin Black women with red undertones (perhaps from mixed heritage with Native Americans). Folks are like “OUTRAGE” it’s colorism.

The system of privilege that is begat from favoring people of lighter skin color over those of blacker skin color… that is colorism. Talking, singing, writing about complexion is not colorism, Being light skinned should not be a source of shame because it comes with privilege… mainly privilege we didn’t request and don’t want. I can assure you as a “redbone”, I don’t want any parts of colorism. Matter of fact don’t call me a redbone. My preference.

Ya’ll… we cannot be this silly. Let this girl make a song and get her coin. She’s light skinned, she thinks she’s the bees knees, let her. Men have been referencing redbones in their songs for decades, and nobody writes whole articles about some random song. But again, the problem here is that (1) women are held to a different standard than men and expected to stifle ourselves to promote and suport the masses when the masses don’t support us and (2) Black folks think we can ALL only be about some universally Black ideal and anything else is a problem.

Women can’t tall about our bodies, our hair, our wants, our dreams, the kind if men we want, nothing without some backlash on how what we said makes us look. I’m a hoe if I’m comfortable with my sexuality. Im a golddigger if I like men with their finances in order. I’m a golddigging hoe if I only date men who have stock options. But he can want a hoe, talk about his money, swipe his credit card down some chick’s ass and it’s all good. Hell Lil Wayne had a song Redbone Girl and Childish Gambino’s hit … like BIG HIT… was just entitled Redbone. But Danileigh (I know nothing about her so I had to look up her name) says “Yellowbone” and she’s a full on racist. Stop it. Stay woke.

Black people run the gamut from the palest to the darkest with everything in between. She simply said “Yellowbone that’s what he wants
Prada, me in Saint Laurent”… not Pulitzer Prize winning lyrics… but not worthy of outrage. It’s fake outrage. Be clear, it’s a horrible song and I’m sonically outraged, my ears are upset… but that’s it. She didn’t put anyone down. I think team light-skinned is dumb… but SO IS team dark-skinned… because we are one team. The facts are some men/women prefer light skin, some men/women prefer dark skin. It’s all good, like hair, it’s skin… it covers your body, it’s great. Whatever color it is. Bug let the girl sing her little song.

“French Vanilla, Butter Pecan, Chocolate Deluxe…

… even Caramel Sundae” (Ice Cream, Wu Tang)

It makes ZERO sense that a light skinned woman cannot attest to her virtues the same way a brown skinned woman is celebrated for attesting to hers… despite the past or the present. A brown sister posts that she’s a beautiful chocolate melanated Queen and “Yaaaassssssssssss” fill the comments. We should all get that same love if we celebrate ourselves. Black women are the least celebrated people walking the planet… all of us should come together to big up each other, skin color be damned. If she thinks she’s “sweeter and thicker than a Chico stick” (Sometimes I Rhyme Slow, Nice & Smooth) then that’s her prerogative the same as “drip broke the levees when my Kellys roll in” (Brown Skin Girl, Beyoncé). As long as she’s not proclaiming that she is the only image of beauty in the diaspora of Black skin… it’s all good. Relax.

Again, we have to stop being so judgmental of whatever sits outside of the box that Black Twitter has created. We are not meant to fit in… boxes or stereotypes. It is a stereotype that all light skin Black women are conceited, narcissistic, and vain. It is a vestige of racism that dark skin is inherently bad and therefore lighter skin automatically means a person is smarter, kinder, more beautiful, more desirable, more refined, worth more. That’s a lie that has been told to us… because in general we are darker than those who built the White power structure. It isn’t light skinned Black people racism was meant to exalt… be very clear! These ideas are not our own, they were given to us. It’s time to give them back. We can’t get over this hump because it has been so deeply ingrained that the lie keeps getting passed down in our DNA. I personally have benefitted from that dumb ass line of thinking and never ever wanted it.

There is a reason why a lot of militant ass folks… Huey P Newton, Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Kathleen Cleaver were light skin Black people… on the receiving end of racism but somehow labeled the perpetrators of colorism. Nope… I will not be the bearer of your hate because the darkness if my skin was tainted by your rapist kinfolk. FOH! While it’s hurtful to be on the receiving end of racism and colorism surely, it is MADDENING to be both hated and seen as the puppet of your hater. I don’t subscribe to any tenets or byproducts if racism. I see beauty in all that Black people are… and I don’t have to damn any part of it as pennance for my privilege. I’m militant AF. Black mixed with Black. Be completely clear. I’m also smart, cute, and the whole bag. My skin color is apart of me just like my eye and hair color. All together that shit is popping. I hope you feel the same about yourself!

Frankly, Im tired if discourse on this subject, but it’s still a very real source of trauma for Black people. As such, I’ll do my minuscule part in helping solve the problem. But we gotta start with giving each other a bit more grace. If we are going to chastise this girl, let’s berate her on the quality of this song… cuz it swings real low on that scale. But if Childish Gambino can sing to his “peanut butter chocolate cake with Kool-Aid” (Redbone)… then she can sing about being yellow. Revamp those he-man woman haters club bylaws and take the fake outrage out. These ultra raggedy dudes still out here calling beautiful brown skinned women “blackie”… be outraged about that shit please!

“Let the Willie Lynch theory reverse a million times with Complexion/Complexion don’t mean a thing…”Complexion, Kendrick Lamar

Comma La

So I know today I will hear every rendition of Vice President Kamala Harris’s first name as there are versions of Yesterday by the Beatles…

Ka-Mah-la; Cam-ah-la; Kamal-ah…its Comma-La! Get it right!

But no matter what you call her… she’s a boss, a leader, a G, and higher up the political food chain than every single white supremacist on the PLANET. 🤷🏽‍♀️ And today she is every Black woman’s assurance that we are dope, capable, and necessary! I am my sister’s keeper… and I am my sister.

Black Women DO

We have been trying to tell you. We have been organizing lives since we stepped stolen foot onto American soil. We were 80% of the female population of America. We brought our knowledge of medicine, herbs, cuisine, midwifery, child-rearing, and the feminine gender to a relatively male populated land. We birthed the first generation of America. Our role as child-rearer, cook, cleaner, and house maid in White households meant many American sensibilities about women were taught by us and then simultaneously denied to us… denied as part of our nature and to us in practice. And this has continued into present day.

Black Women CAN

Yet despite what racist American policies were at play, either during slavery, Jim Crow, or now in the age of technology… we persisted. Harriet Tubman was a revolutionary and abolitionist. Shirley Chisholm ran for President. Mae Jemison went into space. Nina Simone sang freedom songs. Toni Morrison wrote novels that taught us who we were. Oprah became a billionaire. Kamala will be the Vice President. And despite what was thrown at us… the mass incarceration of our men, lack of opportunity, low wages, we organized and we found a way. We braided hair, did nails, sewed, made fish dinners, baked cakes, babysat, did taxes, learned real estate, made wigs, hustled and came into our own using what we knew and the resources available to us. Single mothers put themselves and kids through school. Grandmothers raised children while parents worked multiple jobs to feed them. We are the real American Dream.

Black Women LEAD

We lead our children to college and beyond. We lead the companies we worked for in entry level jobs into multi billion dollar wins for their White owners. We lead ourselves into prosperous entrepreneurship through our support of each other even when we were shut out of small business grants and loans. We lead in the increase in Bachelors, Masters , and Doctorate degrees in the last 20 years. We lead by babysitting for each other so we can take that late night class. We lead by sacrificing for our children and grandchildren. We lead by being of service to everyone, all the time. We lead because we are bosses.

Black Women ARE

So today when Kamala (Comma-La) becomes the first Black Vice President and the first woman Vice President in the history of this nation… Black women everywhere will feel a sense of vindication for each and every moment we were assumed to be incapable. Assumed because that is what the privileged and biased have convinced themselves to explain their biased policies. All along, I believe those same folks knew we were more capable than even we knew. They are still chasing the legacies of their ancestors. My sistas… we are the manifestation of the hopes and dreams of our ancestral Kunte, Kizzy, Binta, Chicken George, Fiddler, and Omoro. We are rooted in greatness, and our names are extensions if the greatness our parents saw in our eyes minutes after we entered the world. The greatness of Barack. The star power of Beyoncé. The legend of Thurgood. The genius of Oprah. The history of Kamala.

Oh, and like they could pronounce Kunte’s name but called him Toby in order to break him from his lineage of greatness, they can pronounce Kamala too… they just disrespectful AF. But I bet they can say Madame Vice President…

Kamala Harris by Tracie Ching

Sending your coochie through the phone

Ok so I am not calling ANYONE a ho… period. Your coochie, ultimately you do what you want with it. However, if you really want some semblance of a relationship you cannot serve yourself up like a T-bone, and expect the recipient of the meal to keep the bone after he is done. that’s now trash… it’s meatless, it’s dry, it’s pointless. So let’s stop hoping someone will take a bite by broadcasting ourselves as not just available, but ready, wide open, and STILL available. Sis put your phone down, binge watch a show, make a smoothie, stretch, window shop online, plan your next house project, read a book, look up some stocks, apply a face sheet mask, something… but stop sending your coochie through the phone. That ain’t the way.

Single folks get a bad rap… why you single, how are you single, what’s wrong with you, blah blah blah. The older you get the more intrusive snd ridiculous the inquiries and assumptions get. The game people play pitting married women against single women… is even more problematic and ridiculous. Be clear, the entire point is to be happy and successful… and there are many married women who are miserable. They have been cheated on, cheaters, lied to, liars, stolen from, disrespected, and chosen many times to stay with that loser because they’d rather be unhappy than single. All of that is their business, until they claim their married status makes them better or somehow in a better state than you because you are single. Nope. So I get the whole dilemma. But I’m here to tell you it’s bullshit and your coochie deserves better treatment than to be laid bare and unprotected as a lure for a man. Your coochie is lure for a man in panties, stockings, pants, and a full length coat. It’s like a worm to a fish… you ain’t gotta do nothing but have one. Then don’t let it be attached to someone dope and smart and loving… girl bye… you the whole prize. But you diminish that prize when you send your coochie through the phone. Don’t do it.

Plus it’s a whole pandemic. I get it, it’s highly entertaining scrolling through inbox messages and having conversations with folks from all walks of life interested in your wares… but trust me, The Undoing is more entertaining. Put your phone down. I also know that it can be a lonely time for folks who live alone. But folks carrying COVID in their pockets, so the most you can do safely is talk or engage on social media… and once you have pulled him with ur coochie he really isnt interested in your life story. So just be sure of what you want, and act accordingly. Cuz what you lead with is what you plead with… you can’t go asking for quality time and words of affirmation when you were only seemingly seeking horizontal attention and hinting at mouth massages at the outset.

See no matter how much Shawnee Easton tried to get Q to take her bait, he wanted Monica. She didn’t have to do anything but comb her hair and put on a dress and baby was banging. He stared a hole through her. She didn’t have to twerk on him, promise to “leave him satisfied” or otherwise make it known she was ready for whatever. She was who she was and that was enough…. say what, oh you are just being who you are too? Girl bye. Behavior and personal traits are not one in the same. Being easy isn’t a personality trait it’s a bad behavior. Stop. When we can identify why we are acting a certain way, whether it be insecurity, constant disappointment, fear of lack of control, etc. then our outward actions as a result are behaviors not personal qualities we are born with or nurtured into. Nope again. I guarantee, if you work on bring authentically you, the right guy will notice and come scoop you like the French Vanilla, Butter Pecan, Chocolate Deluxe treat that you are. I mean old boy is staring at her like she’s a milkshake… and you know what they say about milkshakes and boys.

Point is… mo matter what lies someone tells you or what mistruths they hide behind, no one wants to be alone. No one. So we all understand the desire to share your status so folks know you out here. But desperation and reckless availability is not whats up. A man that findeth a woman (cuz he had got to find a woman well before he finds a wife or anything else) findeth a good thing if she is a good woman… but that entails being a secure, confident, self-respecting woman. Now again, you can give your coochie to the masses and send it to the universe via rocketship if you desire… more power to you. But if what you’re really trying to effectuate is a great relationship with a great guy, chances are he has seen all the coochie grams you been sending through the phone. Great guys accept coochie grams too… but the probably won’t buy that you all Proverbs 31 too. I mean… I’m just saying… Don’t shoot the messenger.