Author Archives: simonehoward

Everyone Should be a Feminist.

EVERYONE SHOULD BE A FEMINIST.

Why?

Equality for all human beings.

loVe for everyone despite race and gender.

Emphasis on EQUALITY because everyone should be entitled to the same rights and privledges.

Respecting our biological differences and understanding that it is because of our differences we are here today.

Youth, what are we teaching them, if we are disrespecting our women in the media and the private homes?

pOwer as we are stronger as a force together, rather than divided and easy to conquer.

No longer neglecting women from sectors of the society. We should be able to be involved in the political, economical, and social of our world.

Equality once again. Who can has the power to take away our God given rights to have a place in this world?

One thing this class has taught me is that we have to be advocate feminism and inspire those to embrace it. Because of the negative images surrounding the word, many people refuse to be associated with the term. This reduces the power of our force against sexist oppression as we can not only trying to convince men but women.

I think it is sad that here we are in 2012 (the year everything is suppose to “end”) and we are still fighting for equality among races and sex. I think that as the US is the current hegemony nation of the world, we should lead by example and should already have equality for all! We are suppose to be such a civilized, advance, technologically powerful, and modern society, yet we are still fighting for rights that was never suppose to be taken away in the beginning.

Act Like A Man, Think Like A Woman

Everyone should be familiar either with Steve Harvey’s book, Act Like A Lady but Think Like A Man, or the movie the book is based off of, Think Like A Man. The book is a self-help guide for women to help them understand men and relationships. It gives women tips and advice as how to approach men and keep them. Some of the tips vary such as implementing a 90 day rule before having sex, not to cut back on sex, and how to deal with “mama’s boys.”

Though I think this book is entertaining and educational, there are some issues that came to mind…

1. The title. I’m not pointing my finger solely on Steve Harvey, but there is always an association with men thinking logically with their minds, while women think irrationally, emotionally with their hearts. This gives women a disadvantage as it gives the impression that men are smarter than women. In order to be the perfectly happy woman (presumably with a man), a woman must think not like a woman, but a man.

2. The need to have a self help book for women, in particularly African American, in the first place. There is always the myth that African American men are the worst as they have commitment issues and can not own up to their responsibilities as a father or husband. Therefore, this gives a negative image to African American women as they receive backlash for being loyal to “good for nothing” men and suffering with hard breaking consequences. Single mothers and poverty is two popular images associated with Black communities.

3. There is a constant stereotype that women need to cater to the needs of men before they can be ready to be in a full committed relationship. Women must adjust who they are and how they act, in order to entice and keep men interested. Almost along the lines of manipulation, women must learn how to use their main biological difference, their vagina, to attract his interest and then satisfy it. This highlights a big problem as it gives men “excuses” or “passes” for infidelity, while women learn how to accept and deal with it. Men are not held responsible for their actions, while women are left to clean up the actions. Men are allowed certain behaviors, while women are excluded. Women must always “act like a lady”, when “boys will always be boys.”

Nevertheless, I heard this movie is great. I’m adding it to my (long) list of movies to see and the book? I’m currently reading it now. So far so good, but while my opinion may be bias, I feel that women think more rationally than men, therefore, men should think like women.

A New Appreciation For Dark Skin

I am a HUGE Trey Songz fan (I loved him even when he had his braids!) and was pleased with his video to his newest song, “Sex Ain’t Better Than Love”

The song is about how causal sex with women does not measure up to the true feelings of love. In the video, Trey has the video showing two sides to every situation; one side illustrating the frequent and different women in and out of Trey’s life and the other side highlighting the main love in his life. The woman he chose to symbolize his love, was a woman with darker skin who wasn’t dressed as skimpy as the women who were in and out his life.

 

How does this video relate to African American Feminism? I’ll tell you.

It has already been discussed that media portrays a “preference” for lighter skinned African American women. Usually darker skinned women are dressed very provocatively as if this is the only way they can receive attention from men.  So the fact that Trey has chose to symbolize a dark skinned woman in a positive manner is a huge step in the right direction in my book (YOU GO BABY!).

I think more artists like Trey Songz need to incorporate a more positive image for women, not just on the basis of complexion. African American women have to constantly battle stereotypes that are displayed in the media and music videos can be misleading to the un-informed or mis-educated. I do not solely blame the artists or the creators of the videos as one of the main reasons these images exist is because it sells. There are many other key players in this recurring phenomenon that cooperation will be necessary to end these negative images of African American women.

Nevertheless, this is a good song to listen to and I would say the video is pretty much PG-13. I have included the music video to this blog, so if you haven’t watched it yet, help yourself.

And if you have already seen it, watch it again because Trey Songz is oh so good looking! But with moderate eyes! I told you already I have claimed him. Lol!

Anita Hill : Speaking Truth to Power

Seeing that everyone else posted their opinions regarding Anita Hill’s speech, I felt the need to share mine as well. Remember that this is my personal opinion, and you are not entitled to agree with it!

Being that I share the same interest in law as Professor Hill, I have heard different opinions regarding the allegations of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas sexually harassing her while they were employed together. I somewhat hold a neutral position being that while I do believe her story that sexual harassment did occur, I question the timing and motive for when she went confronted his actions publicly.

So you can imagine that I was very excited to discover she was coming to our school to speak about sexual harassment. I assumed she would give more insight to the case that stirred national attention so I could better form an opinion or a stance regarding the situation.

Surprisingly, I was disappointed to discover that Professor Hill did not go into depth into the situation. She did mention it for a very brief moment then proceeded to discuss topics and issues that were covered in her book. I think this is what led to my biggest disappointment as I felt she spent more time promoting her book rather than fulfilling the expectations of most of the audience.

While I wasn’t impressed by her speech, I did agree with many things she mentioned. Health care for women is an extremely important issue that is often exploited through extremely high prices. Sexual harassment is has moved to be an important issue in the work place since Anita’s case. Despite the many advancements women have made in history, women are still denied and restricted from many freedoms and liberals of the counterparts of men. I agree that women have a long way to go before we can achieve equality in society.

Interracial Relationships : Just Be You!

First off, let me start off by saying that I am a BIG advocate for interracial relationships! Not only am I a hopeless romantic (whatever the hell that means) but I’ll be the first one to break out into a big Kool Aid smile when I see interracial couples!!!

With that being said, let me get into the purpose of this blog. In regards to relationships, I hold no discriminations towards any race! If I’m attracted to you, I could care less if you were brown, white, yellow, or red!

Most recently, I befriended a male classmate, who is white, who just admitted that he has always had the biggest crush on me. Extremely surprised, I asked him why am I now just hearing about it. He replied that he was scared to talk to me at first because he didn’t know how to talk to black women! Out of shock, I slapped him in the face and cursed him out!

Wait… I’m kidding. At least about the slapping and cursing part. If I would have done that, it would have just reinforced his fear of black women. But seriously, I was shocked yet not surprised to hear that. One thing I’ve always noticed with white guys who are brave enough to approach me off of a first encounter is that they feel the need to come at me as if they were “black” . When I say that, I mean that they’ll start talking to me in “slang” or popular terms or ask me things like “do you date white boys?”  I try not to be that person by going into a speech about how black girls are just like all other girls but really that is what I want people to understand.

Just because I’m black doesn’t mean guys of another race has to approach me any differently than a black guy would. I would actually prefer you to just be you. If you like Maroon 5 or Coldplay, don’t be afraid to like them (hell I like them too!) around me! Don’t put on a front like you have to listen to rap or be “swagged” out to even have a chance with me. Most importantly, DON’T BELIEVE THE STEREOTYPES. Not all Black women are materialistic and money hungry so don’t approach me bragging about how much money you have thinking I will become interested.

Just be you and approach me like you would any other woman of any other race (as long as its respectfully). Trust me when I say, Black girls are just the same as everybody else.

Our society is just tragic! There was a movie that just recently came out called Hunger Games, which is based off a book written by Suzanne Collins. The movie was very successful as the book enticed many fans to go support the movie. The movie made $155 million in the first opening week! [maybe I should be going into the entertainment business verses law…] Despite the success of the movie (I have yet to go see it), I was surprised to read an article about how ANGRY the fans were responding to the movie. It wasn’t because the movie was terrible, or it didn’t illustrate the book well, BUT because of the director’s choice of casting actresses/actors!

Let me break it down for you:

As you should get from the title of Hunger Games, you can imagine that there are going to be some characters who are going to die in this movie! One of the characters who meets this terrible fate is Rue. In the book, her race isn’t necessarily stated however there are a few parts that describe her as a “dark skinned” girl. Nevertheless, most of the book fans must have IGNORED that small description and envisioned Rue to be any other race but African American. So, when watching the movie and discovering that Rue was portrayed by a Black girl, many of the fans for the movie was disgusted and upset! Many people expressed their feelings on twitter saying various things like,

“in other news, Rue from the hunger game is black…”

“is it just me that imagined Rue in the Hunger Games books to be white? Disappointed.”

“I was pumped about the Hunger Games. Until I learned that a black girl was playing Rue.”

Cray right?!!? When I read the article, tons of questions popped in my head.

1. Why did people envision the good characters to be white?

2. Why are people upset that some of the good characters AREN’T white?

This led me to believe that people living in our society in 2012 ignorantly believes that BLACK PEOPLE CAN NOT BE GOOD! Why must it be assumed that if you are unaware of the skin color of a person, and they possess desirable traits, then they must not be black?

Here’s the article to read for yourself! Tell me what do you think?!?!

The Article

What If?

I feel that in order for people to really understand the injustice of racial inequality that Blacks have to endure, they would literally need to step foot into our shoes. We can paint dramatic pictures or tell amazing stories but I feel that in order for it to really stick, for others to really understand is to experience it for themselves.

How many of you have ever watched the movie, “A White Man’s Burden?”

It’s an amazing movie ( a little older) illustrating exactly what I was previously discussing. It follows the story of a white man who endures the struggles of a black man today. I don’t want to tell too much of the movie as I think you should watch it yourself, but I will try my best to discuss it without giving away too many spoilers.

This movie is very interesting as it takes the very concepts that we all possess as humans regardless of race such as providing for our families and wanting the best things in life and illustrates how these concepts can be interfered once the perspection of color gets involved. The color of skin shaped society to where it was hard for those inferior to the superior could manage their lifestyle. There was a scene when the white boy begged his father to pay way more than he could afford for the black doll as it was cooler than all the other cheap dolls (they were white). This illustrates how society also shapes the minds of our young adolences as they create a self hatred for themselves for being different from the rest.

What I found most interesting about this movie is how the “black woman” role is portrayed. This role is illustrated by a white woman as in this movie the society is in reverse in what we know it as. The white woman (remember she is suppose to playing the black woman’s role) received a different, sympathetic reaction from the audience than if the woman really was black. I found it to be interesting because she did the same things that black women would do in her situation such as move in with the her mother while working a part time job to help provide financial resources to her family. She even became a single mother once her husband was wrongfully gunned down by the police. The audience was making “ooh and ahh” sounds as if they were surprised at the brutality of the system. I was shocked because while this is a movie, situations like this happen in real life.

I think this movie is important as it gives an alternate feel as to how systematic oppression can trap particular individuals.

If you have seen the movie, leave comments and tell me what do you think.

Raising the white kids and neglecting the black ones.

I was watching Tyler Perry’s, A Madea’s Christmas over the weekend (for reasons I am not sure) and there were several themes that related to African American feminism. In one of the scenes, the mother (who is a domestic servant) just discovered her daughter is pregnant and sleeping with the husband of the family in which she works for! Her daughter’s excuse as to why she is in the situation she is in now is because her mother was too busy raising other kids instead of her own.

This issue is very important to black families as black women dominated the domestic sector of society during and after times of slavery. Black women had to not only clean and cook in the homes of the whites, but raise their children as well. This requried alot of time and energy from Black women that was taken away from raising their own kids.

It made me think about the statistics of how many times African American kids have been in troubles in contrast to the whites. I thought about the statistics of how many African American kids are continuously pursuing a higher education in comparsion to the whites. I thought about the self esteem of African American kids in comparsion to the whites.

It is sad that the effects of slavery are still prevalent in today’s society. African Americans were more than just robbed of their freedom. They were robbed of providing the necessary foundations for the success of their children. The future of African Americans will always be tainted. 

Waiting to Exhale

If you have not had the chance to see this movie, you should ASAP(after you’ve been slapped for not previously watching it!)!!! Though this movie features women of color, its appeal is extended to all women. I’m not going to go into detail as to what this movie is about (especially since I’m expecting most of you reading this HAS WATCHED IT).  However, I will give a brief description of the characters and how they relate to African American feminism.

Savannah, despite having a successful career, is in a relationship with a married man.

Similiarly, Robin is a high power business woman who is the mistress to a man who mistreats her. Even when she decides to leave, she struggles finding a decent man to place his place.

Bernie (Bernadine) decided to focus on her family instead of pursuing a career like her friends. Ironically, her husband leaves her for a white women. To symbolize a new person, she cuts off her gorgeous long hair and torches most of his belongings!

Finally Gloria is a single mother raising a teenage son who is soon to leave home. She spends many years alone as it is discovered her ex-husband and father of her only child is now gay. Though she resisted hard at first, she ends up falling for her new neighbor.

I think it is important to evaluate these characters as I feel that their life stories introduces many issues within the African American women community.

Starting with Savannah and Robin, they have amazing careers, are financially independent, beautiful, and intelligent women who despite all these characteristics do not feel “complete” without a man. To add insult to injury, these men are already taken by other women, presumably black women, thus adding conflict amongst each other.  I feel that this is one reason as to why black women can be insecure about other women “taking” their man. It’s almost sad that women all do not honor the “Code” or standards and will settle in being a “homewrecker” to be with a man. (Trust me ladies, there are ENOUGH fish in the sea)

Bernie is a sad story in which many middle class African American women dedicate their lives to taking care of their homes and their family. Unlike Savannah and Robin, they are financially depended on their male spouses as they do not have careers that pays of their own. It makes them vulnerable to situations if the husband decides to leave as they will have to hope to get a good settlement on the divorce. To make matters worse, if the fact your husband is leaving is bad enough, but with a white woman can destroy a black woman’s soul. It’s a concept of self identity is violated as a man moves up in social status and feels a white women is more appropriate than a black one.This may make it difficult for future relationships to occur with white women which is essential for the promotion of women rights as a whole.

Finally, Gloria is a woman in which many women can relate (maybe not on the husband being gay, but raising a child on your own). It’s hard enough for a woman to raise a child on her own, but to raise a man is a whole different subject. All boys need a influential male role model in their lives that will help them develop into a man. No matter how much love a mother can give her son, there are some things that are better taught by men. Luckily, Gloria’s son was able to have that relationship with her new boyfriend. But in reality, there are many boys who do not get to have that relationship. This is sad as black men have the stereotype of being a “dead beat dad.”

Like I previously stated, you should definitely watch this movie (whether you’ve seen it or not). And as you’re watching it, evaluate the situations each of these women are in. Reflect within yourself the positive and negative effects they have on the African American community. Which ones do you see today? Do you recognize yourself in any of these women? What are you doing to prevent yourself from landing in the same shoes at these women? Try to answer these questions whether or not  you watch it (though you should).

R.I.P WHITNEY HOUSTON. YOU WILL BE MISSED DEARLY!

Black Men Who Prefer Light Women

While watching BET hit show “The Game”, I realized an important issue amongst the African American community: black men who only date light or white women. One of the main characters, Jason Pitts, is a perfect example of this. He is light skinned male who is constantly teased about his preferences of women as it is obvious he prefers white women over black. When he does decide to date black girls, they are lighter in skin tone with straight hair (white features).

While I am light skinned, I am perturbed by this issue. Being a student on UNCC campus, I have encountered many black males who only will date light skin women (who are usually bi-racial) or white women. Coming from a bi-racial home myself, I’m personally for “mixed” relationships. However, my problem is when guys purposely exclude dating girls who fit a racial profile. I find it extremely disrespectful to black women as it can be viewed that black girls are not as special as someone who is light or mixed. Just like Chardonnay in The Game, black women are then subjected to negative stereotypes as bitter, money hungry, and ugly. When I encounter men who has these preferences, I always question where they get their perception of women from. I just find it interesting that black men will exclude black girls even though their own mothers are black!

In this season of The Game, I do believe that Jason is going to come to terms with his selection for women. In the first espoide, Jason realized his daughter was beginning to perceive men the same way he saw women. Picking his daughter up from the movies, he discovered she was dating a white boy. Questioning her decision, he was shocked when she stated she learned it from him through his choice of women. This in addiction to being called out about his ways, I feel that he will open his mind to include black women in his dating pool.

It really is a sad thing to come across black men who are prejudice over black women. How can we tell our children that black is beautiful if black men is defining beauty as light or white?