‘Cuz You A Bugaboo. You Buggin’ What? You Buggin’ Who? You Buggin’ Me and Don’t You See It Ain’t Cool…Is Honesty the Best Policy: How to Get Rid of a Way Too Persistent Suitor

Reprinted.  Latest article over at Madame Noire.
Source: madamenoire.com

As the seasons change and the weather becomes nicer, Iʼm trying to prepare myself for all of the foolishness that spring and summer will certainly bring. I donʼt know what it is about the sunshine, but it seems to give men a boost of confidence, assertiveness and outright audacity that doesn’t always exist in winter months. Is it me, or are the pick-up lines and tactics that men use to gain the attention of women far more exuberant and bold when itʼs hot!? And not only are men more creative, they are far more persistent when the sunʼs out. Iʼm from Chicago, and winter is no joke. No man wants to stand in the bitter cold for long trying to convince you to take his number, but that same man will follow you down the block until he wears you down when he can leave that coat in the closet.

The sun is shining stronger and longer these days and you should expect men (and ladies too) to be on the prowl. A simple walk down the street can be exhausting when youʼre a woman. Street harassment is real people! You WILL hear “Aye yo, shawty!” Miss lady. Sweetheart. Lil mama, and all of the other phrases and terms by which men choose to refer to women. Sometimes a quick no thank you will do when trying to dissuade eager suitors, but there are some men who are tenacious and donʼt seem to take no for an answer. If youʼre like I once was, you donʼt want to hurt anyoneʼs feelings so you try to find ways to nicely nudge men in the opposite direction. But let me just tell you, itʼs never a good idea to tell a man anything that you donʼt mean. If you arenʼt interested, say that and keep it moving. You may end up in undesirable situations otherwise.

I find that some men have a comeback for every variation of no thank you that exists: You: “I have a boyfriend.” Suitor: “What your man doesnʼt know wonʼt hurt him.” You: “Iʼm sorry, but itʼs not a good time.” Suitor: “Well take my number until the right time rolls around.” And this charade could go on forever. It came to me one day that what most men today donʼt want to deal with is an overly religious, holier-than-thou kind of girl. Most men think this girl keeps her goodies to herself and they promptly walk—sometimes run—in the opposite direction. So I had the grand idea to talk excessively about Jesus when hyper-persistent men who I was not interested in approached me. That is until I met a man who halted this foolish habit with one action.

He seemed like a nice guy, but I simply wasnʼt interested. He wanted to buy me dinner and whenever I tried to nicely decline, heʼd try to be more convincing. So I decided to pull out my fool-proof deterrent: “You know, hereʼs the thing. Itʼs all about Jesus these days for me. Iʼm really working on my relationship with God. I just want to be closer to Him. I love Jesus.” In my mind, Iʼm thinking 5,4,3,2…gone. But surprisingly, he was still standing there, and he hit me with the following: “Yeah, my relationship with God is important to me too.” What!? It was apparent that this one had come to the field to play and hardball was obviously his game of choice. When he continued to not take no for an answer, I foolishly decided to kick it up a notch. I told the gentleman that I wasn’t giving him my number but, if he came to my church, I would have dinner with him. I told him the name of the small church I attended at the time and casually told him that it was on the corner of such and such. I knew I wouldnʼt see him again.

Fast forward. Itʼs a lovely, ordinary Sunday morning. Iʼm at church, where I always am on Sundays, teaching Sunday School, what I always do on Sundays. I end my class with the tots, grab my things and head to the sanctuary. A girlfriend, who happened to witness my exchange with persistent gentleman number one, meets me at the door. “Your friendʼs here,” she says. When I ask her who she’s talking about, she say’s again, “Your friend.”

Thatʼs right. Mister Man had taken me at my word and not only would he attend Sunday service, but he for some reason came to Sunday School! And I assure you he was hungry and ready for dinner when it was all over.

Do not, I repeat, do NOT tell a man anything you donʼt mean just to get him to leave you alone. Honesty really is the best policy, but you have to be nice and honest at the same time. As the weather gets warmer and warmer and men become as persistent and brazen as the summer sun, find a better way than the younger version of myself, and politely decline every suitor you are not interested in.

I know I may be in the minority when it comes to finding oneself in this particular situation, but certainly youʼve said some things you regret as well to get a guy off your back. Are there any times when you should have said no thank you and walked away, but you said something that came back to bite you in the behind instead?

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Reverse, Reverse, Slide to the Left…Rewinding the Sexual Revolution: Can We Place Some Value on Sex Again, Please?

Reprinted.  Latest article over at Madame Noire.
Source: Madame Noire

Can We Reverse The Sexual Revolution? Please.

As the first quarter of 2012 wraps up,  I find myself reflecting on the yearʼs progress thus far and I am reminded of the bizarre way this year started for me. While at a friendʼs house ringing in this new year with other young professionals, I had a rather disturbing encounter with one of the other partygoers. He was obviously enjoying the libations a bit more than perhaps he should have. Heʼd ventured too far into my personal space on a couple of occasions already that night and he continued to throw glances my way that hinted at the fact that he was not directing wholesome thoughts toward me.

After some time, he walked over calmly and said simply, “I really want to f**k you.” Without hesitation, he proceeded to pull money out of his pocket and asked, “Will this interest you?” When I told him that it certainly would not, he decided the best course of action would be to up the ante, and to do so again until he figured heʼd reach an amount that would yield a yes. He went as high as the money in his pocket would allow and assured that what wasn’t in his pocket, was definitely in the bank. I remained calm as I told him that his actions were extremely disrespectful and that he should stop talking, immediately, and walk away, swiftly.

Men say crazy things to me all of the time, but what struck me most about the encounter with this man is how comfortable he was with treating me like a prostitute. There was no awkwardness or embarrassment present in his speech; he spoke with ease. We live in a society where sex is everywhere. It is in the images we view on television; itʼs in the lyrics of the music we consume daily; itʼs plastered throughout advertisements for the food we eat to the products we buy. Sex is no longer this intimate thing secretly confined in the boudoirs of lovers. It is so prevalent that men deem it appropriate to proposition women in small gatherings of friends apparently.

It is clear that few people continue to revere sex as something sacred to be shared between two people who love or at least really care for each other. It is completely permissible to engage in casual sex with people who aren’t quite lovers and are quite nary friends. Itʼs totally fine to discuss oneʼs sexcapades in public. Itʼs common behavior to laud men for their perceived sexual prowess and to applaud women who are in control of their sexuality and are liberated in the bedroom. It is certain; we no longer live in a sexually repressed society, and this progress can be looked at in both a good and bad way. The way men and women handle each other these days suggests that all we are to each other is cu*ts and co*ks.

There are undoubtedly some great things that have come from the liberation that the sexual revolution brought about. But since then, weʼve gone too far left of right. When Iʼm treated like a hooker at a friendʼs house, I canʼt help but ponder—in an age when it is so acceptable to publicly reduce men and women to objects of sexual pleasure (by both men and women alike)—how do we work our way back to something more decent?

While everybody seems to be in the business of selling sex, perhaps we should be having more candid conversations about its return policy. I’m just saying.

Then a knock on the door, The gun’s in my hands, He opens the door, I can’t believe it’s a man…It Could Happen to You: Gay Men and the Women Who Date Them

Reprinted.  Check out this article I wrote for Madame Noire!

Source: theafronews.ca

A few months ago, I went on a date with a gentleman who  really had me scratching my head. When I initially met him, I can recall thinking that he was perhaps more sensitive (aka, feminine) than most of the guys I engage. However, I decided to be nice and at least get to know him a little more before drawing any conclusions. I left my number with him and within a few days he’d arranged to take me to dinner at a restaurant I had been eager to try. While I had resolved to keep an open mind, in my head was the reality that I would need to see some unbridled manliness (whatever that is) during this date in order to be comfortable with seeing him for a second one.

The evening of the date, he greeted me with a single red rose, opened the passenger car door, waited until I was all buckled up before he returned to the driver’s seat (manners!) and we took off. We did the precursory small talk and enjoyed popular tunes courtesy of satellite radio. Not long after being on the road, he began to enthusiastically sing all of the songs. Now this perhaps might be cute and silly behavior for a boyfriend hanging out with his girlfriend, but amongst strangers it somehow struck me as awkward behavior. I could feel my discomfort levels rising, but—self-admittedly—I often have hyperbolic notions of masculinity so I tried to shirk my confusion. But THEN, Lil Kim’s  “Crush On You” came on, and this good sir bypassed all of Biggie’s part and Lil Cease’s lyrics and decided instead to passionately rap every word of Lil Kim’s verse, including the “I’ll be undressed in the bra all see through” portion. Major. Side eyes. Ensued.

As I sat on edge in the passenger seat, frantically wondering how I’d endure what I was sure would be a long night at this point, I tried to maintain my composure. The next 15 minutes or so were fine but as we got closer to our destination and began to look for a parking space, he blew my whole mind when he said “NO he don’t!” I turned toward him with the blankest of blank stares and asked, “What?” To which he replied, “Did you see what he was wearing?” I said no, and before I had time to mentally process this ridiculous-ness, he asked, “Do you have gay friends?”

Am I being “Punk’d”? Are my friends going to jump out from the bushes with Demi’s ex-love and camera crew at any moment? Sadly, that didn’t happen. But what did happen during the rest of the date was that the gentleman told me that one of his closest guy friends came out to him and consequently he had to stop being his friend because, “[he] can’t be friends with a gay man.” He later confessed that Eric Jerome Dickey is his favorite author, that he doesn’t like when women say that lots of men are gay, and he decided to stop talking mid- conversation because a Ne-Yo song came on and he felt the need to turn the volume all the way up and sing every word. In the end, he danced, AND clapped, like I have never seen ANY hetero man dance– EVER.

He was attractive, and a perfect gentleman, expressed no interest in playing games and appeared to be more interested in finding someone with whom he could see himself long-term. He was extremely financially stable, family oriented and held the same religious beliefs as I did, but of course, I knew I would not see him again. As we concluded the night, I was baffled by the idea that this man had sustained long-term committed relationships with women—that he actually sought them out and that women obliged. I had come to the conclusion that this man was gay or, at the very least, was far more effeminate than anyone I could ever be romantically involved with.

I walked into my home that night with so many questions swirling around in my head, because I knew I had seen men like him with many kinds of women. How is it that women comfortably date men who appear obviously gay? I think we all recognize that there are men who are charismatic and masculine, who exude sex appeal and aptly woo women, but who secretly desire and have sex with other men. It, perhaps, is understandable when a woman is duped by a man deeply, seriously on the down-low. However, what is to be said of women who willingly date men who exhibit characteristics more consistent with the behavior of the gay men in their lives rather than the heterosexual ones? Is it that the women honestly don’t notice? Is it that they’ve noticed, but because the man treats them well and has a lot going for him, they’re willing to overlook it? Is this even a matter worth discussing? In this day and age, it just might be.

Have you ever found yourself being seriously pursued by a man that you honestly thought was gay, or have you found yourself scratching your head because you knew someone who was dating a man who you were convinced was gay?

It Could All Be So Simple: I Want Love With No Fear In It

Man, I really have to stop taking these long breaks between blog entries, smh. Well, since the thundersnow has a girl all stuck in the burbs without a chance of seeing the bright city lights any time soon, I should probably get to writing.

I recently attended a concert at the House of Blues where the very lovely and talented Ms. Hill blessed the mic. Anyone who truly knows me knows that I am a diehard Lauryn stan. I’ve been quite concerned about her over the years, as it appears that she’s morphed into something so utterly different than the force that so many of us fell in love with what seems like ages ago. I approached the concert with such nervous anticipation. Would she be the Lauryn who was so authentically hip hop that she alone could spit verses that both effortlessly beat to the cadence of a woman’s heart AND pierced the most impenetrable facades of hard men who remember love? Or would she be the Lauryn whose eyes bore no semblance to those of the woman who saw way past her years and changed a culture because of it?

She was different yet recognizable. She performed songs that all of us in the crowd had loved the very moment we first heard them, but they were not totally familiar at this point in time. She started to sing Ex-Factor. Now there’s a classic. The energy in the place was electric as she began to belt “it could all be so simple…” It was clear, I was in the middle of a moment. It was one of those special times where the fine hairs that canvas the body stand at attention and tears streak cheeks without being summonsed. She sang the verses that every woman who had ever loved a man and every man who had ever loved a woman could identify with. She sang the song that makes one remember love lost whose taste was as sweet as peach nectar and whose bite as deadly as a thousand black mambas. As she sang, she took me to moments in my mind and recesses of my heart wherein I had loved so eerily similar to the way she sang of. With her melody alone she teleported me back into a world when a fierce love existed despite the reality that it should in fact end. Yep, I was in the middle of a moment.

So much about me since that world has changed and even still so much of me has remained the same. I’ve learned about myself that I love real hard. I’ve learned that once I make the decision to love, I can’t help the tenacity with which I choose to do so. That’s never going to change. If I love you, I loooooove you and if I don’t, I just don’t. I’m an all or nothing kind of chick. I’ve found that what has changed is how I choose to behave as a result of knowing this about myself. I must admit, these days I’ve been pretty over love. I’m not saying that I don’t think it’s a beau-ti-ful thing or that it is something I never want. I’m saying it hasn’t been something I’ve wanted lately, and definitely not something I’ve been pursuing. The thought of investing the kind of time required, giving of such large portions of one’s heart, compromising, sacrificing for a person who is often afraid of reciprocating the same things literally makes me itch. My closest friends know that the quickest way to stop receiving phone calls from me these days is to get too serious too fast. I don’t want to hold hands and look into each others eyes; I don’t want to talk on the phone everyday and until the wee hours of the morning; I don’t want to meet your family; and don’t even START talking about marriage- dude let’s talk about the football game! I want to be easy breezy. I want to kick it. I want to have fun. I want to laugh and be comfortable. I want things to be Uncomplicated. I want to be friends, really. I can say, assuredly, that every man who has approached me in the last year or so who was too obviously trying to work his way up to lover instead of fostering genuine friendship with me, I have STOPPED communicating with. But the crazy thing is, I’m a hopeless romantic. I’m like the love rock star, but man! My tolerance is low. I recognize that there are few men who are able to give and receive the kind of love that comes naturally to me. And in light of this recognition, the thought of even the possibility of love seldom crosses my mind with most men.

So I was in a moment. Isn’t it amazing how one song can take you to an entirely other place?

Ms. Hill sang, “tell me who I have to be, to get some reciprocity, see no one loves you more than me, and no one ever will” and I swayed to the rhythm of this dysfunctional love anthem captured by a world where I was once wrapped all up in love, a world I left reluctantly but one I’ll only return to soberly. The reality is that I am a woman and like most, want to spend my life with a man that I can love passionately and who passionately returns all that love to me. But I’ve said before that I’ll never fall in love again. If you fall in love, someone’s bound to get hurt. The next time I find myself in love, I will have chosen to walk in love rather than fall in it. She sang, “no matter how I think we grow, you always seem to let me know, it ain’t working, it ain’t working” myself caught in a world that I remembered both painfully and fondly. She sang the rest of the song as memories of who I once was and snapshots of who I am today flooded my mind.

I’m no cynic. I’m still in love with the notion of love. I’m not bitter. I still love men, probably waaaaaay more than I should. I’m not hopeless. I choose to be single. I’m a rare find; I can definitely upgrade you and am willing to for the right somebody. I’m just prudent, perhaps a little guarded, but open- nonetheless- to, at the right time, share my heart with a man truly worthy of such a risk.

It’s been difficult to articulate accurately where I stand and what exactly I want. The one thing that I have been able to say to people that makes sense to them is that although I’m not interested in pursuing romantic relationships, I haven’t been as turned off by the idea of allowing a friendship to blossom into love organically. But even with that, I’m not interested in an ordinary run-of-the-mill kind of love. Remember, I’m an all or nothing kind of chick. When I walk in that direction again, I want a something serious kind of love. Now in the dark, crowded, hell-hot House of Blues, I’m lost in a moment swirling with thoughts of former, and perhaps future, love with Ms. Hill providing the soundtrack and it happened. Toward the end of the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill classic, Ms. Hill began literally singing my life with her words. “I want a fearless love; I want a pure, pure love; I want a fearless love; can you give me fearless love; can you do fearless love; I want love with no fear in it; I want love with no fear in it; I want love with no fear in it…” She was singing verbatim my heart’s refrain.

Love, in the absence of fear- on my part and his- is all a girl really wants. But that kind is rare, and until a fearless love develops, I’m more than good. I just wanna be friends. You ain’t gotta be my boyfriend. Maybe sometimes we can hook up, hang out…just chill.

For realz,
She

We’ve Got to Find A Way to Bring Some Lovin’ Here Today

Source: goldwatchgoldchain.tumblr.com

Okay, so it’s been way too long since I’ve blogged. Well here goes. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how African American men and women relate to each other. Honestly yo, these are the kinds of things that pull at my heartstrings and deeply sadden me. Far too often I’ve heard men refer to women as b@tches and h@es, bust downs and broads when they should be calling them queens, and sisters, life bearers, good things, beautiful. Just as frequently I’ve heard women refer to men as n*ggas and dogs, trifling and no good when they should be calling them kings, and brothers, warriors, protectors, strong. I’ve seen beautiful black men and women tear each other down instead of building one another up. And when we aren’t tearing each other down, we are speaking different languages and gross misunderstandings ensue. I’m at a loss sometimes because there is so much darn work to do, where is a girl to start?

Well, let’s just get some fundamental truths out of the way. Men, it’s not cool, NEVER cool, to degrade a woman, call her out her name, view her as nothing more than tits and a_____ to be used for sexual pleasure alone, never cool to put your hands on her violently, to undervalue her and refuse to give her mad respect when she steps up and does the things that naturally you should do when YOU refuse to handle your business. Ladies, it’s not cool, NEVER cool, to disrespect a man, to emasculate him, to provoke him to violence because you know he “won’t” hit a woman, to treat him like a subordinate in wait of orders, to under-appreciate the fact that he puts in work to be with your difficult self and to pimp out the coo-coo for cash and then be hurt when you’re treated like a prostitute- someone who engages in sexual activity for cash.

Men, stop hating on other men who are more established than you are, more financially secure, emotionally healthy and mature, who actually want to be in loving, committed, monogamous relationships. Ladies, stop competing with women who are prettier than you are, better put together, more ready to give and receive love than you are and thus have men, whose lives aren’t necessarily better but rather different than yours.

We have to do better y’all. We have to start edifying each other and adding value to one another’s lives.

In a world, where as an African American woman, I am bombarded with images of educated- but ever perceived as sexually loose- women (who most certainly won’t get married because that’s what statistics say, *side eye*) in hues akin to my own caramel canvas, I can’t tell you how much a genuine compliment makes my day. I can imagine this is true for a number of other women. When a man tells me I’m beautiful and then, get this, WALKS AWAY, I love it! When he doesn’t ask me for my number or if I have a man, when he’s not looking at me as if he’s undressing me, when he simply wants to pay me a sincere compliment, it makes me feel great. FTW! When a woman tells me she thinks I’m a cool chick, or that I’m pretty, or compliments an outfit, when she does anything aside from waiting to snicker with her girls about how I’m not this or that or snarl and look at me like I’m competing with her for only God knows what, it makes me feel great.

It’s sad, but I think that we’re so nasty with each other and so rarely take the time to show just plain decent consideration, that we don’t often know how to act when people are genuinely just being nice. If you’re a woman and you’re nice to another woman, unfortunately, because she’s not used to it, she may think you have ulterior motives. And Lord knows, that if you are a woman and you are simply being nice to an established, fairly attractive (or not even) man, you run the risk of him thinking you’re into him and are trying to get on. Men, get over yourselves, PLEASE. And, if a committed relationship is what you want, dude look around because there are tons of lovely wholesome women to choose from. Admit the issue is often that you want her to come terribly close to perfection. Well, that’s not going to happen for everyone- so let’s just be realistic. And ladies, some of us are so starved for attention, that if a man tells us that we’re beautiful and walks away, we CHASE his behind down and become CONVINCED GOD said he’s our husband, smh. Take a compliment as a compliment and keep it moving. If a man is interested, he’ll make it known and he won’t mind working for you like you’re worth it. And when he does work for you and you decide to give him your heart, treat him right and stop making him pay for all of the mistakes of the men who preceded him. He’s not them!

I’m just saying, in my Marvin Gaye voice, we’ve got to find a way to bring some lovin’ here today…to bring some understanding here today.

So let me start the discourse on a day that tons of people are playing a numbers game on FB telling each other what they think about each other. Well, there are some people, some I talk to regularly and some not so much, that I have mad respect for. I just want to throw love your way because you’re that awesome.

——————————————————————————————————————

Kevie- You my n_____ if we don’t get no bigger, lol! Girl, there are times that I don’t like you but I love you fiercely EVERYDAY. I will fight for you because I believe in you like I believe in myself.

Tia- I’m soooooo glad that you are a part of my life. I crack up every time I think about you declaring that you couldn’t stand me when you saw me at orientation and ironically we became friends the very FIRST day of high school.

Ash- honey there are no words to describe how much I love you babes. You are the kind of friend that only God could build from scratch. You have enriched my life in ways untold. I am proud to be your best friend, to have been the one standing beside you at your wedding and to be Godmother to that lovely child of yours. You are the kind of woman for whom such a word is deserved.

Latrice- You and I are as different as fire and ice, but even still, there is no mistaking that the same blood that runs through my veins runs through yours. We have fought over the years like only sisters fight, but just like sisters our bond is a special one. I love you girl; you have one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever seen. Really.

Moya- you are a freaking rock star. We don’t talk all of the time but I’ve always considered you a friend, not a designation I give to many. I had some good times with you at HU. Your love for Christ and your authenticity with Him is inspiring. I’ve got mad love for you and I’m so excited for you and your budding family.

Janine- girl no matter how much time passes, I can pick up the phone and we pick up just where we left off. I love you girl and will always be in your corner. You give me the freedom to be my whole self with you and I want you to know that you really can do the same. And boy, we’ve had some LAUGHS over the years.

Alfia, Diane, Robinzina, Tiffany, Valencia, Tarsha, Domekka, Marsa, Bridgette- I won’t even start to try to describe how much you mean to me. I think you’re all such fabulous women and I want to be the kind of sister that makes you proud.

Kiesha- You are crazy as all get out but I love you so much. You once joked about being a butterfly in another life (I crack up whenever Kevie tells that story) but I think that rings true. You’ve endured so much, but everyday you spread your wings and soar above it all.

Autumn- Boy am I glad my Aunt Rosie put us in contact. It would be a shame if I had gone on without the pleasure of ever making your acquaintance. We met as adults, but I feel like I’ve known you a lifetime. I guess blood’s like that.

Mecole- I think you’re beautiful- inside and out- and I’m so glad that we’ve become friends. Who would’ve thunk it, lol.

Nikki, Raquel, Tymesha, Sheena- ladies, you all were my homegirls in high school. You were the cause of all of the foolishness we’d get into when we really should have been paying attention in class, lol. And you were genuinely there when my parents died. I’ll always appreciate that.

Shayla- I’m grateful for you girl. I respect your strong convictions and recognize you as a true woman of God. I really pray that God grants you all of your heart’s desires because you deserve it.

Bashiri- I’ve got so much respect for you as a man of God and I’m humbled by the simplicity of your love for him. I appreciate being able to spend time working with and getting to know you as we prepared for the Assembly. Every time I’m crunching on ice at work, I chuckle.

Curtis Monday- You know I love you right. I’ll always appreciate that you opened up your home to an emotionally disturbed teen girl -who does that- who you claim ate ALL THE HONEY B’s, lol!

Walter- I’m honored to have a brother like you. Truly. I hope you get from life all that your heart desires.

Aaron- dude, I appreciate your heart for God. I’m proud of the man that you have become and view you as a true brother.

LaDarris- I think the world of you man. You’re not just a friend, you’re family.

Mr. Beckham- I threaten you everyday! But seriously, I see greatness in you and just want to encourage you to keep striving to be all that God wants you to be.

Mike- I’m glad that Shayla introduced us. I think you’re such a nice guy. Thanks for always coming out and showing your support. I’m so happy for you and your recent engagement. I like to see nice guys win 🙂

Okay, there are too many of you to name, so this is not a conclusive list by any means. I’m simply saying that I want to be the kind of friend that builds you up and speaks life and love to you. I appreciate you for who you are. That is all.

Peace,
She

Stop Blaming Other People, Oh It’s Nobody Else’s Fault!

Source: lutheranzephyr.com
Okay -so as many of you know- a couple of months ago, I left my comfortable life in Chicago to volunteer as an English teacher in the Republic of Georgia for a year. Well, today officially marks two weeks that I’ve been home, on American soil. I decided to cut my time in Georgia short and return back to Illinois. I’ve intended to post a blog entry detailing the specific reasons that lead to my arriving at such a decision, but frankly there are so many other important things happening in America right now that I’m going to be brief about Georgia related things.
I’ll start by saying that there are few people of color in Georgia, and as such there is an inherent curiosity about individuals with darker skin tones. I knew prior to departing the United States that I’d encounter frequent stares and that people might actually go as far as wanting to touch me. In fact, one nice summer afternoon, my Georgian host family decided to prepare a lovely meal to eat outside and enjoy the weather. As we set the table and waited for our invited guests, my host dad asked if he could touch my hair. Now, self-admittedly, I have issues with personal space; I don’t like it violated. But, those of you who know me, know that a sister will switch up a hairstyle in a heartbeat and will go from straight to curly over the course of a day. As I’ve been asked a number of times in America “how do you get your hair like that,” I couldn’t be too upset with a Georgian man for being curious about a texture of hair with which he’s wholly unfamiliar. I sucked up my discomfort and obliged him…in the summer sun, with lots of people around.Now let’s just get down to it. On an unfortunate night, weeks later, I sat at the dinner table alone and sick while my host dad sat closely behind me on the sofa; his wife was in another room washing dishes. He began to speak to me in Georgian and I, of course, was unable to make out what exactly he was saying. The only word I recognized was pretty. Because of his gestures, I was able to finally gather that he was asking to touch my hair again. I thought to myself, “we’ve been through this already.” But as I was sick and hadn’t eaten all day, I didn’t have the energy to try to figure out how to convey this; I obliged again. He began to play in my hair, he went from playing in my hair to rubbing my face and he went from rubbing my face to rubbing my breasts.
Now, most of you are thinking “whoa! did you snap, did you cuss him out” and my answer is no. I completely froze; it was hard to imagine that it was actually happening. I mustered up the strength that I had to say no in Georgian. Shortly after, he repeated the process. He began to tangle his fingers in my hair, he then began to rub my face with his rough hand, and he went from rubbing my face to rubbing my breasts to the point that the first few buttons of my sweater had come undone. I pulled away and repeated no. He then started to run his fingers through his hair and began to ask me if I wanted to touch his. I told him I did not. To make a long story short, this incident led to the conclusion that it would be the best decision for me to remove myself from this situation as I’ve never known a man who made a first move who did not also make a second. Ultimately, I hopped on a plane and brought my tail (and my breasts) back home.My sister always told me “you chew the meat and throw out the bones.” I am appreciative of the time I spent in Georgia; I didn’t walk away on a negative note. I met some wonderful people. I had experiences that I’ll remember for a lifetime. And most importantly, God did some amazing things in my heart in such a short amount of time. I returned from Georgia a better version of myself than the one that departed, and for that I am eternally grateful. And speaking of being grateful, I have never, in my life, been so grateful to be an American citizen. I have a deeper appreciation of the privileges that are afforded to me by merit of my simply being born in this great nation.Yesterday, all across the nation, people cast their ballots in the midterm elections. Since I’ve been back home, everything has seemed a bit more tolerable. There have been very few causes of dissatisfaction because I’ve seen how drastically different things could be. But yesterday, yesterday I was deeply saddened for the first time since I’ve returned. Many people failed to go out to the polls and partake in the civic responsibility of voting. Many of those people are already marginalized and sorely underrepresented in Washington, yet failed to take action that could actually improve their lot in life. I heard many people proudly proclaim that they were not intending to vote as if it were something worthy of boasting. Democrats lost House majority yesterday and maintained the Senate.

I’m not a partisan voter. I vote for candidates that I believe can do the job they seek, and candidates who are actually capable of being elected. There were certainly candidates on this year’s ballot who I had legitimate issues with and couldn’t support on every angle. However, I have a President that I believe in and deem capable of effecting the kind of change that lead millions of people to cast their vote for him. He cannot do it alone; he needs people who are willing to partner and ally with him in order to accomplish such a feat. It saddens me that the droves of people who flooded the polls in order to ensure his election, and people who still claim to support him, failed to show up and vote for individuals who are committed to helping him pass legislation to bring about that change. It also grieves me to think that there are people who are staunchly against the Republican agenda but dissatisfied with current Democratic activity that thought it a better use of their vote to cast it for independent and green party members.

While it is your right to vote for those people you believe in, it is also your responsibility to acknowledge that if you do not support the Republican agenda (and it would be fine if you did) that in a race as close and critical as this one, such a vote is an advantage to the Republican party as it ensures that the votes that could actually tip the scales in favor of the Democrats go to a candidate who surely will not garner enough support to touch election with a 10’ pole. In many ways, voting in such a way, is really similar to casting a Republican vote. If you’re fine with that, I am as well. I am not a partisan voter. But if you would not vote Republican, you probably should think more carefully about voting independently.

After living in a place where the rules of the game are totally different, I am disgusted by such a display of apathy yesterday. I am moved to the point of tears when I think of the disparities in quality of life that exist in this nation and to think that there is a process in place that allows people to have a say that people refuse to participate in is unheard of. And to get uncomfortably specific here, it has been a mere 45 years that African Americans have actually had the privilege of voting. To drive the point home more, this is such a short time ago that there are people alive today who were also alive when it was illegal for blacks to vote. So I say that if you are African American and failed to show up at the polls yesterday, shame on you. The blood of the predecessors who fought for this right is indeed upon your hands and you should be shame and not proud to proclaim that you did not vote.

Now some of you will think this next statement is ungodly, but it’s like something that Jesus said once. If you think that it is okay to go about this life civically unengaged but you complain and expect things to get better, I say that it is better for you to jump in the lake with a large stone tied around your neck. *Kanye Shrug* Harsh: yes. True: YES. In my Lauryn voice “wake up you’ve been sleeping, take up your bed and walk, stop blaming other people, oh it’s nobody else’s fault.” People who know better should also do better.

C’mon Son,

She

Let’s talk about sex baby, let’s talk about you and me, let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that can be, let’s talk about sex.

Source: happyblackwoman.com

“Pause,” I’ve decided to take a break from the Georgia updates and talk about some things going on back home that have been on my mind lately.

Now, while I’m the first to admit that I’m no saint, really, I do believe in at least striving to maintain a life of purity and wholesomeness. I’m Christian and believe that, regardless of whether one falters while trying, it should be the aim of the adherents of this faith to revere sex as something special that should take place within the covenant of marriage. With that said, I’d like to also say that there’s a whole “lotta” more talking about sex that we need to be doing, especially in the church.

Far too often, scandals of extramarital affairs of clergy members and illicit sexual encounters with underaged youth are uncovered. If you’re Catholic, you’re cringing far too often at breaking news of yet another priest who’s taken shameful liberties with defenseless boys. And, if you’ve spent any substantial time working with or for a protestant church, then you’re well acquainted with your fair share of teenagers who join the ranks of parenthood and with fallen brothers and sisters who sullenly admit to congregations that they are infidels. But while the topic of sex still seems to be taboo in the pulpit and lots of Christian homes, there is obviously a whole “lotta” knocking boots going on.

What is it that makes us think that because we identify ourselves as Christians, or any other religious sectarians, that we cease to be sexual beings? What is it that makes us vilify the very notion of sex when the Bible paints a picture of a God who created everything and declared all of his creations good? Something as magnificent as sex, I imagine, would have to be created by a God that is certainly good. And while we walk around with our sanctimonious selves purporting to be above the yearnings and longings of base desires, we secretly harbor animalistic urges and fall prey to the enemy every time, doing in the dark what we pray never sees the light of day. But dear heart, in my Jill Scott voice, “comes to the light, comes to the light, EVERYTHING.” So while we outwardly don our sanctified suits and glory in our royal rights to robes of priesthood regalia and live above the world of sinful sex, inwardly our hearts are stained by the marshy swamps we traverse to get to the lairs of this world in the dark. And while we preach the gospel and place our thoughts only on heavenly things, leading our lives as epistles to be read of men, we molest little boys in our chambers, we bone other men’s wives, we get knocked up by cuties also in youth group, violate babies who only look like women, and seduce the husbands of the same sisters we’re in Bible study with. Wordlife, enough is enough. Let’s stop freaking in the dark and start having an open discourse about sex.

How powerful would it be if we began to talk to our children about how great sex can be? About how wonderfully vehement it is when shared between two people who love each other and are committed to each other for life. Can you imagine what good would come from children actually having their first conversations about sex with parents and role models rather than prepubescent peers? How totally gnarly would it be for Christian husbands to be able to share their sexual desires with loving and RECEPTIVE Christian wives who actually want to excitedly fulfill every one? And in the same vein, would it not totally rock if those wives were actually honest about the things that satisfy them sexually and provided the transparency necessary to share true ecstatical moments with their husbands? What if we stopped treating sex like this ungodly thing that should not be discussed but rather pulled the covers off of it and talked about its deliciousness when experienced within the proper framework? The God with whom I’ve been building a relationship over the years seldom seems to operate in darkness. In fact, he shows up and darkness is dispelled. It seems that darkness is often the enemy’s domain. So how is it we expect to keep sex hidden away in some deep dark hole and live in Christian bubbles without inherently cultivating sexually repressed men and women who go on to have horrid sexual indiscretions?

God created sex and he doesn’t seem to be on the hush hush about it. In Genesis, he admonishes Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply and to replenish the earth. Come on, we’re adults. There is no translation needed, he’s talking about sex (between husband and wife of course). Now as I value true literature to the utmost, a girl like me steers clear of all pop erotica mumbo jumbo trash, yet even I know that the most beautifully erotic text that exists is the Song of Solomon found in the Bible itself, and the Old Testament at that, hmph. Now you Bible scholars who believe that God gave the inspiration for all scripture must also believe that God therefore has no problem talking about sex. The sacred text begins with a damsel inflamed with passion for her lover: “let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth for thy love is better than wine,” she says. She warms up and proclaims “ a bundle of myrrh is my well beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.” Now you can pick up your good book and read passage after passage in the Song of Songs and quickly realize “it don’t take a rocket scientist” to figure out they are talking about doing the things that lovers do. Now please beg my pardon; we can have a full out erotic account in the holy book, but can’t talk about sex from the pulpits of our churches nor on the sofas in our Christian homes?

Maybe it’s time we totally change the way we handle sex. Maybe we stop preaching to kids all the time about it being something they can’t do, but rather make them excited about how darn good it is when they wait to do it the right way. And I don’t mean watered down, censored good; I mean Song of Solomon, “the roof of thy mouth [is] like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak” good. Maybe when we’re having those conversations about what makes a good and godly marriage, like we so often like to have in church, we break up some of the monotony of the submission thesis and talk about the importance of good sex. *Kanye shrug* I think husbands would be appreciative.

All I’m saying is that we are sexual beings. It is the way we were created and there is nothing about that that is shameful. Those of you who are holier than thou who don’t have at least a fleeting sexual thought deceive yourselves. So since sex is in the very fabric of our being, why aren’t we talking about it more? We should be having conversations about sex far more often, and normal ones—not the fornicators will have their part in the lake that burns with fire ones only, or else we just might find ourselves numbered with those of whom we speak.

Maybe, just maybe, if we were creating avenues to talk openly about sex and our struggles with it, we would see way less brothers and sisters fall victim to its ardent lures. Let’s talk about it baby. Let’s bring sex to the light. Perhaps if we walk in the light, we’d grant ourselves less opportunities to be caught with our pants down while lying in the dark.

For Real,
She