Author Archives: nyeshamarie

Twitter Beef && Reality TV

So I know you’ve all heard of the popularized twitter fight; to believe all this mess started over he said she said mess. But I believe a lot of the actions today are the result of all these reality TV shows. Now don’t get me wrong I can enjoy the drama of Bad Girls Club and Basketball Wives or Atlanta Housewives any day but I know the difference of Reality TV and REAL life. You cannot just go and fight someone and record and put it on the internet and think that it is ok. These young females need to realize that they are jeopardizing their future with all of this mess. Do they not realize that employers look at your Facebook and twitter when they consider you for hire? Just the other day I was sitting with my sister when I noticed that she was texting one of her friends. I so happened looked over and seen what they were texting about (boys of all things); I asked her who was this little girl and she pulled up the little girls Facebook now mind you this is a 10 year old girl and she is on Facebook for one and the her profile picture is too too provocative for a 10 year old. I could not believe it. The black community has to do better in putting positive images in front of these girls and show them that it is ok to go to college and get an education and it is cute to wear your clothes with your midriff and backside or breast covered. We need to show them that your brains and inner beauty is what makes you attractive not some sleazy too grown outfit and heavy makeup. I just don’t understand these girls nowadays and how they feel like its ok to fight over these social networks over nonsense and then to take a step further and violate this girl at her home. Now her life is messed up and she will never be able to fulfill her full potential because she has an record. I want these young girls to WAKE UP and see the light of day!!

Killing me softly.

In class we discussed the objectification of black women’s bodies. That intrigued me to blog about this because it is too important and it is being allowed. Something needs to be done to correct.  Tanisha mentioned the vodka commercial and how they show the woman’s bod parts and then continue on to become a robot dancing. While it is a funny commercial on the surface; when you look into the deeper meaning you realize that there is an objectification of the woman’s body. I feel that this reason alone is why people feel the way they do about the woman’s body especially the black woman’s body. There is so much emphasis on the big butts and big boobs. I deal with it on a daily basis. I cannot help that I am heavy up top; that doesn’t give any man or woman the right to objectify my body and focus on my breast. I have noticed numerous times that men will just boldly stare at my breast it is embarrassing. It almost makes me want to walk around with turtle necks all the time. I could be in the middle of a conversation with a male or female and notice that they will be staring at my breast instead of focusing on what I am saying. The popular media is to blame for the way people act. With all these rappers and commercials focusing on the woman’s body instead of her personality is disrespectful. I guess the saying “sex sells” is the main focus of this campaign. The film Killing us Softly is the perfect resource to see all the sexual objectification of the woman’s body. I was outraged by the amount of media that partakes in the objectification of women’s bodies.

The worst part of this all is that women take part in the campaign against their own bodies. They capitalize on being “video vixens” and showing of their voluptuous body parts. The argument they have is why allow someone else to make the money off of their goods when they can capitalize and make the money themselves. Why that is a correct argument, I would encourage women to take a different approach find other ways to break the business of objectification of women. If all women came together and fight then it would end and we can change that way. Don’t play into the game and allow people to objectify the body.

 

 

Your Famous..soo you cant be in the courtroom

Listening to the radio this morning I heard that they were finally choosing the jury in the case against William Balfour who is Jennifer Hudson’s ex brother-in-law who is accused of murdering her brother, nephew and mother. This is the kicker the defense attorney is trying to make it so that Jennifer Hudson will not be able to be in the court room because she is “too famous” and her appearance will persuade the jury’s opinion. Seriously I knew it would be hard to choose jury because Jennifer Hudson is known around the world but at the end of the day justice needs to be done for her and her family so that they can start to fully heal. The other thing is that if you have a juror that knows nothing about JHUD then there would be concerns about the persons judgement and where they have been living. I believe in innocent until proven guilty but the victims also deserve the right to face the accuser famous or not.

Follow the Case 

 

Labels…..Are we what they say we are?

I found the picture above while looking at my live feed on Facebook and it interested me. So this week I decided to blog about labels and stereotypes and how society uses them. For one the label of being Muslim and automatically you are a terrorist. That is not true in any way shape or form there are many terrorist In the US even the world and all of them are not Middle Eastern men and Muslim. The label of being homosexual and sinning; doesn’t the bible state that all sins are equal, & everyday people sin by drinking smoking and doing harm to their bodies or even politics people treating others as if they were not equal so who is anyone to condemn a person for being homosexual. The biggest label in the picture is that of being black is most degraded stereotype there is. Racial profiling as it pertains to crimes, law enforcement are quick to look at black people as being the aggressor whether they are victims or not perfect example is the Trayvon Martin case. Have they arrested Zimmerman yet? I rest my case even when a woman of color is claiming to be raped they will scrutinize the woman and interrogate her and accuse her of lying and stating consensual sex than believe that she was assaulted. The rich and the poor are labels as well the rich get all the amenities while the poor struggle and the middle class is left out by having to exist between the other two; Of all the people living in America the 10% of people that are rich own at least 80% of property. Then they monopolize and knock out the mom and pop stores or the made in America brands. People would rather go buy expensive clothes and shoes made overseas by a third world slave than to buy something that’s not name brand in America. And they wonder why the economy is suffering? Rich people tend to get the best treatment and when it comes to law enforcement they are handed easier punishments. The best example is Lindsay Lohan she has been in trouble how many times? And they keep giving her a slap on the wrist and rehab. I mean really lock her up with general population and give her the sentence she really deserves one time she will stop for good.  And what about this woman that threw flour on Kim Kardashian. I honestly thought it was quite funny but as soon as she did it they locked her up. But its ok for these stars to break their fans phones and punch them in the face?

I feel that the US is the biggest example of inequality. They try to hide it with Affirmative Action and Equal Employers but at the root the US are some racist, capitalist, sexist, classist bigots. The US wants to brag about being the best country in the world, if that’s the case why did it take almost 400 years for us to have a president of Color, and we have yet to see a woman. The labels and stereotypes that society lives by is causing the economy to crash and it will lead us into a depression if something isn’t done soon. I honestly feel that the US should take pointers from the Communist China and some of their practices because they are thriving and they are nowhere near the debt the US has.  At the end of the day The Rich need to get a little Poorer and the Poor needs to get a Richer. All of these labels we live by need to disappear and people just need to be people and it will all get better.

Women in power

“Imagine a woman as the president of the US”. Is how Dr Hill started her lecture. A very strong statement. Then she followed with this quote “A world that is good for women is good for everyone.” Dr hill spoke on the world changing as a result of the hearings against Justice Thomas. Important issues as sexual discrimination, race and equality in the workforce. In relfecting upon her lecture I realized that Dr hill had so much courage and power to stand alone when no one believed her. She is a pioneer in the gender equality movment of the 20th century. We need more women like her that are not afraid to stand up and take a stance.

Dr Hill also mentions the foreclosure crisis and health concerns and how they are connected to gender equality and the society prospering. she talked about how women and black women specifically are the highest amongst foreclosure rates. I could not believe that women are targeted for foreclosure and that a woman is most likely to lose their homes than men. Partially due to men being paid more and women having higher interest rates.  Dr Hill stated that some lenders called it “Granny Hunting”. I feel that this needs to be addressed head on. And the fact that womens health care is so far behind is unbelievable. We are still fitting for the rights over our own bodies. Women still have trouble having children and being in the workforce. It has only been in the last 30 years that maternity leave was implemented. Dr Hill mentioned that before 1993 women and people of color were not included in lab studies. They even at one time would not test on female lab rats. Are you serious? This lecture opened my eyes to so many ways that this society has to still progress, even though we have come so far. Some of the stuff Dr hill said seemed so ridiculous, but it is true! I believe if we all take a stance and work together towards gender equality the economy might start to get better and the recession will slowly go away. I agree with Dr Hill that more women need to be in congress and take a stance towards gender equality.

You’re not really Black because……..

Being the proper little black girl in a room of “real black people”, has lived with me for so long.  When I was younger I attended an predominately white elementary school. I attended etiquette classes and danced ballet. I was in this world of privilege and afforded the opportunities that many were not. In that life I spoke properly and acted a certain way dressed a certain way. Once I left elementary my mother enrolled me into an arts magnet school. The only problem was it was predominately black. I felt like an outsider the first day of class. In class I spoke to properly in dance I stood out because I could do a plié and I danced to classical and alternative music instead of the popular hip hop. I was picked on and talked about so much the first day I refused to go back the second day.  My mother convinced me to go back to school and give it another try in which I did but that is when the trouble started. I would get in trouble every day for fighting and arguing in class. Eventually I switched middles school and it was a mix crowd and I excelled in class and finished top of my class.

The purpose of me sharing this story was brought on by the bluest eye and the way Maureen was treated by Frieda and her sister. I could relate to Maureen because I was too treated in evil ways by people of my own color because I spoke properly and dressed in a “yuppie” way. But who is to say what is being black enough. Where is the line drawn because I speak properly and I dress with purpose then I am not black enough. I feel that the experiences I had as a child have some ways influenced my lifestyle now both negatively and positively as well. As far as language and speech I continue to speak properly because that is the way it is supposed to be and not TXT talking in a professional setting. But in a negative aspect I have changed ways that I act as far as attitude to mimic what a “black girl” is supposed to have to someway try to fit in. I no longer practice ballet because it was not considered a “black girl” thing.  For the longest I struggled with my identity because I was terrorized so much as a child for my mannerisms and speech. I am slowly but surely again finding myself and creating the identity I chose to be.

Black Women and Drag Queens

This week we focused on perception and in one of my other WGST classes we spoke about perception as well so I thought this would make for a great blog post.  The perception of black women in terms of drag queens; I’ve noticed that black women cannot stand drag queens they do not want to associate with them or be around them. It has become more evident in recent times with the premiering of RuPauls drag race. I never understood why until I read the article “Is Paris Burning “-bell hooks.  In the article she states that black women are not too keen on black drag queens because they feel that the black drag queens aid in the stereotyping and discrimination of black women. The glamorous beings in all their makeup and over exaggerated hair and costumes “give women a bad reputation.”  Usually the black men depict black women as the object of ridicule and scorn. In popular culture Eddie Murphy as Raspushia, or Jamie Foxx as Wanda, even Tyler Perry as Madea. These images meant to be funny are disempowering to the black woman. In a world where black woman are the objects of abuse and ridicule black man aid in the reinforcement of everyone’s power over black women.  I also came across an article concerning black women and Drag Race show.  In October before the show premiered Loretta Devine was recruited to be on the show as a guest judge and she accepted well this caused a big frenzy because many prominent figures in the black church were outraged at her supporting the “gay lifestyle” and this type of behavior.

My thoughts used to be well let them be, allow those drag queens to do what they do best. I believed that what they did was an art and still do to some sense. I was once a huge fan of the Madea movies until I seen the more complex meaning behind them. Understandably Tyler’s inspiration comes from his grandmother but the media has screwed the meaning and understanding behind the movies. They all have a special and important message behind them but I hate the way the women are portrayed in the movies. For example Angela in Why did I get married; a smart woman who has a degree in college and started her own product line and owns her own salon. Well you would think that positive and shows a powerful woman. Wrong! Because on the other hand you have Angela the insane woman always insecure about her man arguing with his baby mama and acting all ghetto, she is also a heavy drinker. Then you have Dianne who is so career crazed she neglects her family. Last but not least there is Trina the typical whore who is willing to sleep with any man that has money and doesn’t think twice about stealing a man from his wife.  This is just one movie if you actually took the time to watch a movie or a play and look at the deeper meaning it might change your mind about his films. I am far from a Tyler Perry Hater. I just want the public to take notice to these stereotypes portrayed in films. I admit his films have always been funny and I will occasionally pop one of the stage plays in and laugh but not as hard and I take notice to what is really going on in the media.

More Reading

“Reel to Real: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies”-bell hooks

“Drag Queens and Drag Kings: The Difference Gender Makes”– Leila J Rupp

“Gender Trouble“- Judith Butler

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Tyra Sanchez

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Sheneneh

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Rupaul Charles

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Wanda

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Raspushia

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Mabel "Madea" Simmons

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Bebe Zahara Benet

This one is for the Single Mothers!!

First I want to say rest in peace to a great woman Whitney Houston

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The readings for this week inspired me in this topic. Plus I felt I needed to honor the woman who raised me. I wanted to talk about Single mothers. Not just black women but single mothers of all races because it is hard raising a child on your own and for all the mothers that do it, they deserved to be recognized. Single mothers do it all; they become the head of the household and take care of children. Most single mothers even go to school full time while juggling all of that so they can better themselves to provide a better life for their children.

In my own experience my family is full of single mothers, who have all raised their children and beat the statistics. My own mother worked fulltime and took care of my brother and I by herself and went to night school so that she could finish her degree. She now has a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in the medical field. My brother and I are both in college and did not become a statistic of the black community. Looking at the US census in 2000 the brief states that children are less likely to obtain further education and live below the poverty line. But I’ve never known a day I went hungry or wanted for anything my mother always made sure we wanted or nothing and instilled in us morals and standards. A lot of people talk about how a child raised in a single mother household don’t  turn out right well I can give you a couple of examples of people who flourished in a single parent household.

Dr Ben Carson the first doctor to separate Siamese twins.
Former President Bill Clinton
Alicia Keys
Current President Barack Obama
Dorothy Dandridge (never knew her father raised by her mother and lesbian lover)
Mary Shelley
Oprah Winfrey

She may not have always done everything right, but she did right by us and I wouldn’t change a thing about my childhood. My brother isn’t selling drugs or in jail and I finished High School and do not have any kids so she must have done something right. The family structure is changing and more single mother families are emerging and they are some powerful women who raise children just as well if not better than two parent households. I even found a forum website that supports single mothers (Link).

 

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My grandmother, Myself, My Great-Grandmother, and My Mother after graduation

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Myself, My Mother, My younger Sister & Brother at my moms Birthday Dinner this year

 

Discrimination in our own race??

I felt the need to talk about this situation, because it absolutely boils my blood. I had another topic I was going to post this week but today I encountered this situation and I needed to get this off my chest. No offense to anyone of any sexuality or gender but this need to be said.

We as women need to realize that we already are a minority and being AA that’s another minority so we are already two strikes down; I can’t seem to understand why there is no sisterhood amongst us. We would rather talk about each other and discriminate because the hue of our skin. It makes absolutely no sense why women of color cannot get along. African sisters would rather talk about AA women not being real African descent because they don’t know or practice the ways of ancestors or light skinned women thinking they are better because they are closer to white. One of the worst examples sad to say are the Greek sororities. The biggest rivalry are the AKA & DST, two prominent and intelligent group of women who can’t get along because one feels that the other is not competition because of the skin color. They would rather fight and argue with one another than to come together and be powerful. These sororities were not created for this purpose and they should not be carried on in such manner.

Another issue that boils my blood is how as AA we cannot come together as one and support one another. I am a lesbian, plain and simple. It annoys me that some of my friends and family judge me because of my sexuality. I do not discriminate any sex, race or, class; so I can’t understand why people my own race judge me and shun me for what I am. As AA people we know what it is like to be oppressed and not being able to live and love freely so what gives us the right to deny someone else the right to love freely? I feel that AA people need to see the bigger picture and stop being so shallow minded.  We seriously need to come together as a race of people and support our own race no matter the condition, women, men, homosexual, or heterosexual.

Queen of Soul

Etta James was a force to be reckoned with. A true gift to music and a woman of great spirit and courage.

Her raw tone and the passion she put forth on a record spoke to me at a very young age and has continued to influence and inspire me throughout my career. She will NEVER be forgotten, her voice will forever live on and she will inspire talent for generations to come. –Christina Aguilera

“This is a huge loss. Etta James was one of the greatest vocalists of our time. I am so fortunate to have met such a queen. Her musical contributions will last a lifetime. Playing Etta James taught me so much about myself, and singing her music inspired me to be a stronger artist. When she effortlessly opened her mouth, you could hear her pain and triumph. Her deeply emotional way of delivering a song told her story with no filter. She was fearless, and had guts. She will be missed.”-Beyonce

The recent loss of this great singer prompted me to honor her. Etta James died January 20, 2012 at the age of 73. Ms. James left behind a legacy of not only drama but a great legacy of music, inspirations and innovations. Etta started her career during an era when black music was finally getting its notoriety. Her first recording was at the age of 15 “Roll with Me Henry.” Her next song is what kick started her fame “the Wallflower” it was #2 on the R&B charts in 1954. She signed to Chess Records in 1960. She was among great singers such as Chuck Berry, Muddy Walters. During her time there she made popular songs “At Last” and “All I Could Do Was Cry”. Etta has been inducted in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame as well as Blues Hall of Fame. She is the winner of 6 Grammys including one in 2003 for her lifetime achievement she also won 17 Blues Music Awards. Etta was an innovator in the music industry amongst the men she dared to stand out and stand up. Etta was known for making her opinion known and cursing and smoking in public. She dared to sing about the taboo and take control of her career as an artist. I loved how Etta straddled the line between R&B and Rock and Roll she mixed the two and created her own brand, she was versatile in her music she went from racy to sultry tunes. In all her fame she had her downs in her battle with drugs but she states that recovering from drugs helped to shape her in her latter life.

I love how Ms. James led her life she dared to be different during a time when black people let alone black women were not noticed. What women wore platinum blonde and sexy attire? Nobody but Etta James. Etta has been the inspiration of many of today’s singers including Christina Aguilera who names Etta as one of her idols. Looking at the music and the time period when Etta was in her prime years she almost stood alone in the industry. There were artist like Billie Holiday that came before her, but Etta kind of paved the way for women artist to have the freedom to sing about what they wanted. She paved the way for women to have the freedom to be provocative.

Ms. James will truly be missed but we have her music to keep us. 

Beyonce Sings “All I Could Do Was Cry” in her portrayal as Etta James in Cadillac Records