Monday, June 30, 2014

Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Decision: A Setback for Women

Today's Supreme Court decision brought about a major setback for American women. Corporations are now allowed to deny women the right of full healthcare coverage if it conflicts with their religious beliefs.

So the 5-4 majority decision (notably voted for by all men and not a single of the 3 sitting women justices) has voted that religious rights trump women's rights. And furthermore, corporation rights trump individual rights.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Black Women & Patriarchal Relationship Advice

A lot of the relationship advice directed towards Black women is quite frankly scary.

Unfortunately, I'm not just referencing "relationship help gurus" such as Steve Harvey and Tyrese. I'm also talking about the advice you'll get from your mom's best friend, your auntie, your older cousin, and the well-meaning ladies in the church.

I find the advice given to Black women particularly discouraging in light of the fact that Black women deal with some of the highest rates of intimate partner violence and sexual assault. So you'd think we'd have created and sustained enlightening advice that supports our self-determination and physical and emotional health. But instead the intent of most given advice is towards pleasing and subordinating ourselves to (Black) men.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Road Trip while Black: Running into White Vigilantes

I have to share the story of what happened to me this past weekend. Fortunately, I was with friends when the situation happened.

Friday, June 20, 2014

When They Say: "If She Does X is She a Ho?"

Not too long ago I was talking about what I've come to call "modesty culture" (a topic I wrote about extensively in my "On Rihanna Teaching Me to Say No to Modesty Culture" piece). As I said in that piece, clothing choices are only one aspect of patriarchal control of women's bodies. Sexuality is a major component. I see this in no more succinct terms than when somebody asks: "If she does X is she a ho?"

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"We're All Black" Is Not the End of the Conversation!

I see it all the time. When an issue comes up within the Black community that highlights intra-group oppression somebody inevitably says: "At the end of the day we're all Black!" to end the conversation. Another popular line is that "Whites see us all the same!"

Not only is it NOT true that whites see us all the same. But more importantly, it's true that we don't even see each other in the same way. Intra-group oppression exists and is real. Colorism, heterosexism, transphobia, classism, and sexism are real in our communities and it impacts the way we navigate our lives.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

On Rihanna Teaching Me to Say No to Modesty Culture

I immediately fell in love with Rihanna's outfit for this year's CFDA Fashion Awards! I do not know much about fashion but the outfit reminded me of the 1920s. It heralded back to Josephine Baker.

I also loved her acceptance speech for the "Style Icon Award" where she spoke about the meaning of fashion to her life. She talked about how she used fashion as a buffer against the meanness of others, as a way to elevate her confidence and feel good about herself.

Rihanna was sending a message to women that extends far beyond the realm of fashion. She was speaking to the importance of self-defining and doing what it takes to feel worthy and confident and not asking for permission to do so. This is directly in contrast with modesty culture and patriarchy derived male entitlement.