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Category Archives: women

Dear FLOTUS: Various ‘Love’ Letters

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A beautiful dedication to the First Lady of the United States.

Thank you New York Times.

 

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Women’s Equality Day

Supposedly, that’s today… Is it really or just a hashtag?

Yesterday, I bumped into an acquaintance that I hadn’t seen in a while; she is blessedly pregnant. She is going on 40 and never thought she would have children because that’s what she’d always been told. 

As I shared a bit about pregnancy and motherhood, I asked her how she was doing.

It’s been interesting.

She said that about three or four times, but with a smile so I wasn’t worried. What she said next changed that… her employer does not have maternity leave. 

[A quick aside: I worked for an employer with no maternity leave, however this was a small non-profit and there was short-term disability after seven days.] But we are talking about a large, stable organization. 

Not only is there no maternity:

  • There is no STD until 90 days;
  • Can’t use the sick leave bank (even as a participant) unless you have a cesarean; and
  • You can’t have leave donated to you.

Her plan: bank as much leave as possible until December, tap her savings and get back to work as soon as she can.

But they have FMLA so at least she’ll have a job to come back to…

It’s 2016 y’all! Happy #WomensEqualityDay!!!!

 

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Black Lives Matter

It is amazing to me that so many can be offended and feel the need to misconstrue such a basic statement. A statement that is so basic and human that it begs the question: why would anyone feel like they need to make the statement at all?

But then again, I belong to the group that must make such a statement…

Last week was an extremely long and emotional one. On Wednesday morning, I was late for work trying to say the right words to my beautiful daughter to melt the mask of rage on her face. The slaying of a black driver in front of his fiancée and child was too much. And what do I say to make sense of the nonsensical? Especially following the videotaped murder by police in Baton Rouge? And how can I convince her of anything when my heart is so burdened?

That evening, she attended two rallys: one in our neighborhood then another at the White House. She was feeling better but I was not.

The next morning at work, I was asked to proof a statement that would be sent to our employees; a statement in response to the killing and wounding of officers in Dallas at a Black Lives Matter rally. It needed a black girl set of eyes…Why was there no statement the day before or the day before that? Hell, where was the statement two weeks ago following the Orlando shooting at Pulse? Where was the statement when churchgoers were murdered in their place of worship in South Carolina? I gave my feedback and suggested that it not be sent as is. The content was thankfully changed to address the unrest in the country rather than to only express sorrow about the police officers.

This morning, I bit off my man’s head because he was sharing some ridiculous “points” that Guliani made on In the Nation. “If I were a Black father, I would tell my son…” Well sir, you are not so you don’t need to fibish that sentence. You have no idea what it’s like to have to have conversations with your children that are literally life and death. It is unfair, it is heartbreaking and it is necessary.

#blacklivesmatter

 

 

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What is the Definition of Freedom?

I missed Jesse Williams’ powerful and honest speech a few nights ago (not a supporter of BET). I am hopeful that Debra Lee (and the audience) was paying attention…

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Jesse Williams accepting the 2016 BET Humanitarian Award

 

Peace peace. Thank you, Debra. Thank you, BET. Thank you Nate Parker, Harry and Debbie Allen for participating in that.

Before we get into it, I just want to say I brought my parents out tonight. I just want to thank them for being here, for teaching me to focus on comprehension over career, and that they make sure I learn what the schools were afraid to teach us. And also thank my amazing wife for changing my life.

Now, this award – this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country – the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do.

It’s kind of basic mathematics – the more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize.

Now, this is also in particular for the black women in particular who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.

Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people everyday. So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.

Now… I got more y’all – yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday so I don’t want to hear anymore about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on 12 year old playing alone in the park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich. Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better than it is to live in 2012 than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Dorian Hunt.

Now the thing is, though, all of us in here getting money – that alone isn’t gonna stop this. Alright, now dedicating our lives, dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back for someone’s brand on our body when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies, and now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.

There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There is no tax they haven’t leveed against us – and we’ve paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. “You’re free,” they keep telling us. But she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so… free.

Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter, but you know what, though, the hereafter is a hustle. We want it now.

And let’s get a couple things straight, just a little sidenote – the burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander.That’s not our job, alright – stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest, if you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.

We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil – black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though… the thing is that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.

Thank you.

Now do SOMETHING!

 

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Belated Father’s Day

My First Love

Trips to the beach
Weekend shopping sprees
You holding my hand in yours,
Protecting me from the world.
I was your “Boop”.
Tall, lean and caramel brown;
A clefted chin and
Beautiful smile.
Your singing drove me to breath-taking giggles-

I thought no one could compare…

My hero
My king
My love.

Lonely days of waiting melted into lonely nights
And inconsolable tears.
Years went by.
You came back, charming as ever.
With your sincere words and tender kisses, that would lead to
Days unaccounted for
Unexplained.
Broken promises,
Money borrowed.
The shock of your fist knocking me to the floor.
The flashing lights,
Me giving a statement
As a crimson print settled onto my pale cheekbone.

At graduation you came smiling
As if you had a hand in my milestone.
Be nice and smile for the camera, said mom.
You had no right.

My hero
My king
My love.

So save the apologies
And personal attacks on my integrity.
You were an asshole long before the rock
Became your motivation.
I remember Mommy on the floor of my room
With a blood-stained Afro.
Me, wide-eyed in four-year-old feety pajamas
And you, swooping down to take me.

I remember our trip to Florida in a yellow, foreign car
You shimmying up a tree to get me a coconut.
Then twenty years later without decency or restraint, you shattered that tender memory
with the truth-
A truth that would have changed my identity.

My hero
My king
My love.

So excuse me.
Excuse my contempt.
For you
Your family and
Your life.
Excuse my hardened heart
And inability to trust.
That mean streak that everyone loves to hate-
Lovingly molded by you.
Excuse me,
For shielding my children
From your poisonous nature
And lobotomizing you from my life.

As a woman, my journey continues.
For the one to console me
Who will guide and protect me.
To rub my hair
And tenderly kiss my forehead
As a father would.
To rescue me
From the world
From myself
From you.

A girl never forgets her first love.

 

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Emojis Strike Again

google female emojis

Last year, emojis scored the Word of the Year. Then, we learned of more globally-inclusive and representative icons to complete our digital chats.

Well now, we have female emojis that move away from the stereotypical. Thanks to some designers at Google, these female empowerment emojis could be coming soon.

The team chose professions dominated by women as well as ones that show a rising female workforce, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the US Department of Labor.

Since 78 percent of women use emojis, we want what we want…

more female emojis

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2016 in Career, Girls, women, Youth

 

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His and Hers Ride Hailing Services?

As a mother of an out-of-town, non-driving female college student, I am a HUGE Uber supporter. Just the other day, I was remarking about how the creators Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp had truly earned their billions. I love, love, love that I can see a picture of the driver, license plate and make/model of the car picking up my daughter who is 250 miles away. I know when she’s going and where! She doesn’t ever need cash or have to wait for long periods alone.

The female-only ride hailing apps are an interesting, but not surprising development. Given the unfortunate Uber-related assault cases and personal feelings of female acquaintances, safety is a real issue especially at night. However, from a legal standpoint I understand how such services present the proverbial “slippery slope.” I hadn’t even thought about opening the door to discrimination or exclusivity regarding other groups. It is unfortunate that in our “civilized” society, women have a need to feel safer.

 

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