July 15, 2015

Poor Camille

The title of this post really says it all. Like if I didn't type another line I think everyone would understand exactly what this post was going to be and why I stopped. However, the show must go on... and that is exactly what we are witnessing.

A few facts:
1) Bill and Camille Cosby were married in 1964
2) They are seven years apart, Camille playing junior
3) She has been a "shrewd businesswoman" and manager for Bill Cosby
4) She is alive and well at 71

I would like to point out the first and last facts as the most important. Meaning that the parade of women who have accused Bill Cosby of rape date back to 1965 all the way up to at least 2006. Ma'am, what exactly does the word marriage mean to you? Going into the last fact, that to anyone's knowledge, she is not incapacitated or suffering from any illness that could cause memory loss, means that she must have/must be well aware of her husband's infidelity, but swears by his daddy do-good image. Um... madam?!

The last I checked, remaining married to a serial cheater is questionable at best, but refusing to distance yourself and play a part in the farce is just plain sad. This is the kind of behavior where you can no longer just say she was in it for the money. Those women raise their 2.5 kids, have vacation houses, and drink vermouth- or so I've been told. At best, they come out a few times a year as a couple for some gala or another. This is all quite contrary to the very active role Camille has played, which is undoubtedly her trying to defend her worth as a woman in the world. But boy did she pick the wrong one.

I'm not married, I've never been, and the closest I got to a serious relationship was being stuck in an expensive dress in Macy's. So I am comfortable with critics who will shout, "but you don't understand luhhhve...," because I don't. I don't understand this kind of love for powerful men who are incapable of being faithful. It always boggles my brain.

The real news breaking accusation for me, besides the more recent allegations that were settled in court (he was 60-something? EW.), came from Therese Serignese who not only shared her story, but provided copies of the paperwork of a payout. Now she says it wasn't hush money because she still hadn't even admitted the incident to herself, but as Bill "Jell-O Man" Cosby, what obligation would you feel to pay a woman you hardly knew, especially 20 years later, $5,000? THEN, as a wife involved in your husband's business, how could you not notice/question said payout? Granted 5 stacks is like peanuts when you have a hit show on, but still. Did she just assume it was a charitable donation?

At the end of the day, Sway ain't got the answers, and neither do I. This whole trainwreck is horrible to watch. I mean the fall of a false god is never pleasant, but for the women who love them, I truly send my condolences.

Full comments from family friends on the New York Post

July 14, 2015

The Rebel Flag Is Down, In One State,
Now What?

Symbols have meaning and illicit strong emotions. This is a fact. I will not argue that hateful symbols should be removed, but then what? While the media was telling us to argue with racists about something that will have very little impact on our everyday lives, decisions were being made about an even more powerful symbol. The Almighty Dollar.

If you don't know about DuckTales tho, we can't go together.

Real friends talk about money. Not the "I really hate to ask this, but can I borrow..." conversations, but the "Are you investing in X" conversations. A real friend wouldn't want their friend to be broke. So as a friend to everyone reading this, I feel need the need to share two things: 1) As a nation, we're all kind of broke, and 2) It's not really an accident.

The minimum wage is bull sh*t. (Sorry, I'm not sorry.) 2 or 3 dollars above min. wage is still crap, and it disproportionately affects women. Women overwhelmingly take on jobs in the service industry, not because they're "easy," but because that's where the jobs are. Prior to February of this year, for every job that opened at Wal-Mart, a SNAP application was almost sure to follow. Recently I moved to Denver, CO from NYC, and became one of those women.

Now this is the part where I confess that it hasn't been all glitz and glamor. I was working two crap wage jobs (see: 2 dollars above min wage), freelancing, and barely paying for my expenses. My parents had to give me a few pep talks and money to get my hair trimmed. My brows were looking CRAY, and at one point I was dealing Blackjack in the basement of a former mansion, turned event space. Not because I had done anything wrong, but because I wanted to give myself a new start, which everyone deserves.

Enter, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) bill*. While we were appalled at how South Carolina could fly a symbol of hate, Congress was making a decision that could impact the livelihoods of most women in the U.S. I will fully admit here that I am not a political analyst, but I do I know how to read a graph. The truth is, the economic aftermath of the free trade agreement passed during the Clinton administration, known as NAFTA, wasn't pretty, and the Obama administration is gearing up for what some real political analysts are calling NAFTA 2.0.

To avoid sounding like a conspiracy theorist and give you time to check the resources on this agreement and what it could mean, I'll keep this short. My message, and hope for everyone who reads this blog, is to be open. You should trust your heart, but it's OK to check under the bed when you catch your man home early from work. Be down for the cause, but know that it could be bigger than you think and the target could be somewhere off center.

EP Out!

Oh wait, while we're talking about money, I'm just going to go ahead and tip my hat off to Rihanna for the #BBHMM video and all the silly people who got in their feels.

That face you make when you know someone BSing you,
but you bout to get yours...

*The bill itself has not passed in full, but a "fast track authority" was approved in relation to the TPP.

Resources on the TPP Business
The Guardian
The Washington Post 


March 26, 2015

Wednesday's Woman to Woman Salute:
The Next Generation of Women

The news over the past year has been pretty terrible. Any pessimist could easily point to the CNN news cycle as a reason to finish stockpiling their fall-out shelter with canned goods and guns, but I digress. The point is that in spite of the near apocalyptic state of things, there have been some amazing women who have and are continuing to blaze the trail. What you are about to read in awesome number and bullet-list fashion is brief Star-Trekian analysis of women's history. Speaking of, let's start with space:

1) Going Where No Man Has Gone...
  • Then: It takes a lot to be an astronaut. The tests are rigorous, and if you are even somewhat of a basket case they won't let you fly. I love this sentence from Wikipedia: "Mae Carol Jemison is an American physician and NASA astronaut." She also just happened to be Black and a woman. Oh, and she's also been on "Star Trek: The Next Generation." 
  • Now: Empowering girls to believe they can do the impossible is exactly what the world needs. Fortunately, Kimberly Bryant has been doing exactly that with her organization Black Girls Code. Teaching young women that they have a place in science and technology has taken the form of workshops, camps, and conferences across the nation. Love.
    Founder of Black Girls Code, Kimberly Bryant
*Must mention: Nichelle Nichols is most well known for her role as officer Lieutenant Uhura aboard the USS Enterprise on the original Star Trek TV series that aired in 1966. She is still rocking out and looking fabulous at 82. Trekkie Salute.

2) Building It Up in Business...
  • Then: Of course I'm going to talk about entrepreneurs. The local businessperson is Part 6, Section 8 of what it means to be an American. No, there is no real manual on how to be an American, but Maggie L. Walker certainly deserves her chapter in the history books. Chartering the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank in Richmond, VA in 1902 made her the first female bank president in America.
  • Now: Mellody Hobson is not just the Mrs. to George Lucas. How do you think you snag a billionaire fantasy world maker in the first place? The woman has smarts- like finance and investing smarts. Hobson plays with the big boys and also speaks out against structural racism. Yeah, I'm a fan. Get Money Salute!
*Must Mention: Tyra Banks. Yes, a model who built an empire. Say what you want, but you low-key were working on your "Smies."

3) In Writers' Pages We Trust...
  • Then: There is this weird thing about women writing, we're awesome at it and men hate it. Every woman who has ever tried to write about her life, the lives of her friends, or even a scholarly stroke of genius have had to defend it like a small child. Zora Neal Hurston being among one of the most amazing writers of the 20th century died with little recognition for her work. However, her resurgence in the 70s was no accident. The lady was everything. 
  • Now: Michelle Alexander is the author of the award-winning book, The New Jim Crow and has shaken up bookshelves everywhere. 
*Must Mention: Maya Angelou, duh.

4) Don't Stop the Music...
  • Then: Lena Horne was a talented singer, dancer, and actress who hung out with Harry Belefonte. I mean, just go watch this because these sentences will quickly become babble.
  • Now: While it is easy to go by record sales and Twitter followers as setting the bar for "Most Influential" people, I can't. When you can be successful without compromising your values, it's remarkable. Even Cover Girl couldn't deny it. Yes, I'm talking about Janelle Monáe, and she is about the only artist right now I would empty my bank account to go see. Electric Lady Salute!
*Must Mention: Donna Summer had such a beautiful spirit. I didn't know her, but "Last Dance" got me home when I was getting off work from Sonic's at 11 or 12 at night. I can honestly say, I didn't fall asleep and die because that song gave me life.

5) We Shall Overcome... 
Florynce Kennedy
Photo Credit: Richard Avedon
  • Then: Florynce Kennedy is an unsung hero. She does not appear in many history books, but not only did the woman have style, she could lead. Kennedy graduated from Columbia law school in 1951 and went on to found the Feminist Party, which nominated Shirley Chishlom for President.
  • Now: Aja Brown is currently the mayor of Compton, CA. She is the youngest mayor to ever serve the city, but has already made big changes. Political Maverick Salute!
*Must mention: First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray. I want to be her. That is all.

There you go. I highlighted some women that I love and have loved learning about over the years, but this is no where close to being THE LIST. I could make a list post every day for three years and it wouldn't come close. Just venturing outside the U.S. would have me up for a lifetime. Eva Perón anyone? So go check out this list, and this one, and this one too just in case you thought
your va-jay-jay made you weak.