Is being a statistic.
I think all my life this has been a fight of mine. When I was younger, it was about not being uneducated, or being a baby mama, unwed mother or teen mother. That fear (or that of my mother) had me scared to to many things, including embracing self and what may come along with it. As I got older, it was a shift in being a statistic. Now I wanted to be one in the realm of having a degree, having a passport, traveling, not being a burden or unworthy… yet still not being an unwed mother, baby mama, ratchet, etc. And as I continue to grow older, I’m back to the not wanting to be a statistic. The one where black women are the least married cause over educated, that we are bitter and angry, that we are petty, or that we are unwanted. Those haunt me more that I like to admit, and for those who know me… know those shadows creep closer to the surface than I often let on.
Is being told an “independent woman” is a negative thing. In the last 6 months I had someone come at me for being an “independent woman.” He made comments saying that because I was an independent women, especially a proud black one, I didn’t listen to anybody, especially no man. I chuckled, stayed quiet… then thought of his daughters. Because the reality is… I don’t exactly have a choice but to be an independent black woman. I live far from my family, I have a dog to care for, and my mother (nor anyone else for that matter) doesn’t pay my bills. What else am I supposed to be? And if it means living rent free and someone paying for my lifestyle, sign me up hella quick! Although, if I didn’t work, I’d be a leecher and gold digger… yet I’m teased for handling my business which no one else will. I’m lost. I moved out my mom’s house at 17… not sure was ever an option for me to go back. And that’s all okay. And how does me paying my bills, cooking and cleaning, feed into my ability (or inability) to follow. Seriously? Men are complaining women don’t do this. Yet I do, but now can’t deal with men. Huh? Can I tell you how much I’d like to follow? I work in positions of leadership… man I’d love to go home and not have to think. Just tell me where to go. Does me maintaining a job and part of an household really go against that ability to follow? Like really? Damn.
Is always being blamed.
Hotep men tell me that it’s my fault as a black woman the number of fatherless black children, single parent households, and even the rise of homosexuality in our community. I’m also tired of being blamed for the state of black men, and the shift in feminine and masculine energy. Everyone forgets osmosis… and that only when there is room, do things shift for balance. Also, it seems like speaking up for what’s right, calling out BS, and holding people accountable has become a negative thing that I’m now punished for. I have also been told to lower my expectations, because my fault I have requirements. Ouch.
Is maintaining self esteem.
Especially when society tells you you are the most UNdesirable. When pro-black men tell you the demise of our people is your fault. hard to keep your head up when you love those men unconditionally. And when you’re constantly reminded not good enough, or just good enough for a backup plan… my God the weight. Hell, a nation won’t even march for you (unless Sandra Bland, although countless others most can’t recall), but you are at the front line for every black man,but constantly reminded unwanted or unworthy. We all carry the pain. Black men die, their women (mothers, aunts, daughters) still carry the pain. Do all parties effected, yes… but it’s not a lone struggle where we are stoic. Can’t imagine how it feels to be a mother to bury a child. Homies miss a dude and wear shirts, but now a father is gone, vows are uncompleted, and a literal part of one is missing. We carry it too. But it’s not enough. Cause we’re told that everything but what we are is more desirable, down to features. Don’t get me wrong, I know black men who LOVE (romantically) black women, nor do I think love has a color. But when I’m in groups of women who will ONLY date and marry black men, to then be in a room where not ONE black man has a black love interest… something isn’t balanced, and all the above is telling me it’s my fault.
Is having to defend my self, yet not be typical. Why can’t I be angry? Why can’t I be sad? Disappointed? Why do I have to take a blow, suck it up, and then reply with a calm head? And why is that still not enough? I can’t even be emotional, even when not cursing or being belligerent! I can’t stand up for being played, without becoming the bad guy. I can’t speak out against rape and rape culture, without becoming some angry black feminist. I have to accept being places in boxes, by people who think they know me, cause it’s easier than letting me be fluid and myself. And I’m not allowed to speak up, or I become that black women so often complained about. Fuck matching underwear and stretch marks… can someone really see how much weight that is? … And still have to maintain household, jobs and healthy relationships. Can black women do good and be honorable? Can I support fellow women and not be cast aside and reminded not worth a phone call? Oh and not worth the word given, yet mine I will be accounted for. Can I not blame myself for speaking up against wrong doing, and not be the one crying as if I fucked up again by doing the right thing? Stupid me, right? Speak up + do the right thing = typical angry, black chick. No wonder I’m single.
Is I ain’t a woman. When other women speak out, they’re feisty not angry. When other women take care of their men, they’re supportive not coddlers. When other women are emotional, they’re feminine not manipulative. When other women speak out about injustice, they’re leaders, not castraters. When other women are insecure, they’re sweet not weak. It’s like we do the same thing, but the connotation of our actions is ALWAYS negative.It’s hard being a black woman in these streets. It’s forever a balancing game, on a type-rope no else is made to walk on. I would love to claim the idea of being bitter… but honestly I’m kinda sad (insecure and awkward… Issa Rae), and also just getting cathartic release. Because I’ll still walk that type-rope. I’ll still smile and support. I’ll still speak up for injustice. I still won’t settle for being someone’s back up plan. I’ll still handle my business… cause I have to. I literally have no other choice in this world if I want to be successful in only be my own definition. Cause reality is I am what I am and that’s all I can be, but it scared me cause I am starting to under stand Lil Kim’s plight more than I used too… and she started off fly. Just imagine.