February 22, 2015

4 Top Feminists Posts This Week from non-Feminist Blogs

Rarely do I venture into blog curation-land. Mainly because there are other sites that do it better. I tell stories, and believe in staying in my lane. However, I came across a few posts this week that blew my mind. This is also something that rarely happens because I'm can be a critical little bee. Anywho! Take this top 4, cherish it, share it, look cooler to your friends, etc.

1) Black, queer, feminist, erased from history: Meet the most important legal scholar you’ve likely never heard of. By:

Now, Salon actually bothers me. As in, I boycotted them after the "Inner N*gger" article about President Obama. No, I will not link. It was trash. I also do not always agree with Professor Cooper. This article, however, was a beautifully simple re-telling of history- history that I would never had known otherwise. As the piece is hardly controversial, I also doubt it received the clicks it deserved, so go do that.

2) Fifty Shades of Gilded Cages. By: Arthur Chu

This is one of the best "50 Shades" critiques I have ever read. No, I have not read the book. I saw two pages of the physical book and refused to subject myself to torture. Is literary BDSM a thing? Anywho, Mr. Chu broke down real appeal of this Christian Grey guy and it seemed pretty spot on. Not only that, but he wove his analysis into the gendered consumer nonsense that gets hurled at us daily. I love when an author can link pop culture to broader issues, kind of like this blogger I know... ;)   

3) Mo'Nique: I Was "Blackballed" After Winning My Oscar. By: Seth Abramovitch

I am listing this article because it makes sense. Of course there are always two sides to every story, so whether or not she deserves to be pushed out of roles and is actually "difficult" depends on who you talk to. The deliberate course of action however- taking her name off the table for roles- is very real. I haven't seen her in ANYTHING lately. I mean, not even in a BET commercial, and this is after her being EVERYWHERE for nearly a decade. The specifics may be murky, but there is no doubt that gender/race/size play a part in this. It is a reminder that it is never good enough to "get skin in the game," but that you have to always be ready for the unwritten and ever-changing rules.

4) 5 Mistakes We Make in Relationships By: Superwoman 

OK, I'm cheating a little bit with this one, but I was on her channel for 50 minutes yesterday, so this mention is happening. I've also come to the conclusion that we should be friends/Bhangra dance partners, or maybe I'll just stalk her on-line like a normal person. Either way, I really like what she has to say, and I dig the way she says it. (And Yes, I'm Columbusing because she's been doing her thing for about two years.)

There you have it. These were just a few things that stood out to me this week. For regular feminist news, definitely check out Feministing.com. For more Diamondback musings sound off on Twitter!

February 15, 2015

Lost in Love: A Valentine's Word of Caution

I debated on writing this post for a few weeks- fine up until two hours ago. Valentine's Day is one of the few Holidays that brings out the absolute worst in people. This year I helped out in a flower shop and saw men trying to make up for a whole bunch of "whatever I did" with $100 arrangements. I heard about women stealing other women's flowers that were delivered to them at work. I saw a lot of posts about Netflix and sadness. Then there are the struggle pics of "gifts" from imaginary boyfriends, but I'll just leave that alone.

The thing about Valentine's Day, and why it punches buttons, is that it is pretty darn dishonest. If you want me to cut you up with my eyes, tell me a lie. Liars upset me because I believe in the "Golden Rule" and pride myself in my intelligence. So when V-Day shows up like "Hey Baby, I know it's been 364 days since I seen you, but I love you like a fat kid loves cake." I'm all, "NO! I LOVE CAKE. You're just a made-up day full of poop." I mean, it's not even a real Holiday if the bank isn't closed, so I should just stop writing. . .

As I continue to write, let me ask all you readers a question. What does it mean to be single? In a very literal sense it's a number, one. Wait, number one! See what I did there? Being single does not have to be, and in my humble opinion, is not, a tragedy. It is not a tale of the girl who looked wistfully at couples kissing all day, but rather the adventure of the girl (or guy) who does whatever she (or he) wants.

Now I wasn't always this cool about it. FULL DISCLOSURE ALERT! I was one of those girls always in a relationship. I didn't flaunt my relationship status, but I sure as hell couldn't tell you who Erin Parks was, what she did, or why she did it. Now I know that I am a fabulously dysfunctional being who will get jiggy with it in Bangkok like it's 2004.

I know that I love, love, and that there are no limits on how I express it.

Do not be fooled. Losing yourself, or whittling your existence down to your relationship status is silly. Especially on a day when everyone is doing the exact same thing. Do you want to be unique? Want to be number 1? Whether you are single or in a relationship here's how:

1) Learn new sh*t! I cannot stress how important this is. That is why I put it first. You want to be awesome? You want to spice things up? Never stop learning! Whether you are single or in a relationship nobody will be impressed with the fact you only know two words in Spanish 5 years from now. Did you read that part where I helped out in a flower shop? Yeah, cause I'm testing out my floral arrangement skills. Holla at ya girl.

Yeah, I did that. *Brushes dirt off shoulders
2) Get your sh*t together! You know what I just did? I watched the Suze Orman Show. I love that woman. I love that show. She dishes out tough love to people who need it the most, so they can turn their lives around and not end up in a cardboard box condo. I dig that. Be an asset to your friends, family, man, woman, or whatever by not being a broke-ass.

3) Try new sh*t! No one is impressed by your pasta. NO ONE. It's sauce and noodles. Try to make Chicken Cordeon Blue, make some chickpea casserole, hell, conquer the world's most difficult dessert. You can do it. Believe you can do it. If this sounds familiar see number 1 (LEARN NEW SH*T.)

I tried a new stylist and came out
looking like a diva. #thatisall
4) Help other people do sh*t! You want to be loved? Give. My most rockstar moment was hanging out in a fourth grade classroom at my old elementary school. You think you need love? Try being a domestic abuse survivor with two kids in a shelter. I think it's a bit more tricky. Count your blessings then pass them on. I don't have a car, but I do have a healthy body that can do a quick jog to the bus stop, which leads me to...

5) Put sh*t in perspective! Rarely is it as bad as it seems, and even when it is, trouble don't last always. Short of sounding like an old negro spiritual, all I can say is that it's not always about you, all the time. Just look at what happened to Beyoncé

Ok I'm out!

P.S. If you're reading this you survived Valentine's Day. Now, finish off that bottle of wine and keep loving on you. Based on these FB posts, some of y'all really need to work on that.

Do you have more self-love tips? 
Hit me up on Twitter or add it in the comments!

December 10, 2014

'Tis the Season... for Sisterhood

You cannot be a feminist if you hate women. Honestly, it's about the only hard rule. I rarely use the word "hate" because it is such a strong word, but I have to talk about it. I have to talk about the insidious nature of hate. I have to talk about how hatred toward women is also rarely called out as such, until it shows it's a** in an act of violence- a la Chris Brown for example. While he has become the poster boy for the He-Man Woman Haters Club: MMA Addition, his attitudes towards women did not start the day we saw photos of Rihanna's face. Ray Rice did not just get a little out of control that one time, and Stephanie Moseley was not just shot and killed by her husband because she "must of done something wrong."

subliminally tell me my hair texture
is bad and give it a low grade.
Loving women is hard. Hell, we struggle every day just loving ourselves. Every magazine says we should be so thin, so thick, so tall, and if you're not tall enough get them Louboutins. If your hair is not long enough go buy some. Let's be clear, Korean shop owners have been putting their kids through college off Black women alone for the past 2 decades. Meanwhile, all we have to show are trust issues and a messed up hairline. Even with the natural hair movement, all curls are not created equal and some are graded. This is not victim blaming, this is a charge to change the culture.

I had to change.

As a daddy's girl in pretty much every sense of the word, I didn't really see the value of female relationships until the later years of high school. I was something of a Régine a la Living Single without all the priss- waiting for a knight in shining armor. Well, after he knocks you off the noble steed a few times, you wise-up and buy your own damn horse. Then you find a group of horse riding ladies to wreck havoc on some poor unfortunate souls.* Ok, that was a bit dramatic, but the point is after I shifted my relationship priorities, I felt more balanced.

Loving and valuing women, does not mean you hate men. FTR: That is not feminism. It means that if you see your sis getting harassed on the street you ask if she's OK. It means we call out Don Lemon for quizzing rape victims on how to prevent rape. It means, my house will be available if my girlfriend is in an abusive relationship and the shotgun will be close at hand.

While I have had a few memorable romantic rendezvous, it is the friendships I fight for that have changed me, helped my career, and shown me real love. The truth is, loving women should be easy. There are so many of us, and collectively, we do everything except time travel. When the culture does not show us for who we really are- choosing instead "Real Housewives," Make-over divas, and thots- we all suffer. We become harder to love and we harden our hearts to each other judging whose feminism is better. We have to be there for one another. When we say #BlackLivesMatter, women should be included.

From the Author
*Single women as a whole, are not Disney villains, but Ursula was really trying to show Ariel what's up in a tough love auntie kind of way. IMHO

Also, check out Truth in Reality, an organization dedicated to fighting against negative portrayals of women of color in the media.

Oh yeah, men can be feminists too. Got something to say, hit me on Twitter!!!