It’s been a few weeks since my last entry. Much has transpired during that time but some of the things still rest on my mind. One thing of interest I want to tell you about is the ebb and flow of gender and socialization since you left. Specifically, the edification or lack thereof Women in our nation. You can say we need to continue allowing the candle of hope to burn on this one. There have been great strides over the past years as well as setbacks. We all know that progress requires both. Without the setbacks there is no fire to light and path to blaze.
I am happy to write that there are activists of all genders and walk of life advocating for the better regard and respect of Women in many different facets.
- There is still disparity in pay between genders in the work force but more data is being disseminated to educate EVERYONE in their role to alleviate this discrimination. Women are even being empowered to learn how to negotiate benefits and face their fears with being competitive in the work place. Now, we just have to become more consistent and congruent with our practices with accountability.
- There are more research articles and case studies provided to help Women of all ethnicities, religions, and races better understand how to supervise and support each other in the work place. It is not enough that we have Women in Administration, Management, Supervision, etc. We have to continue sharing and learning each other’s story. I had the privilege at ACPA Conference 2013 to attend a host of presentations that focused on empowering Women in the workplace and managing differences in cultural differences.
- Additionally, I had the privilege last March (2014) to present at Women’s Leadership Conference in which the presenters and attendees were active in identifying how to better mentor and develop the current networks of Women as well as the young ladies that are growing into leadership.
These opportunities allow me to feel opportunistic regarding the reception of Women in any setting. However, we do have a ways to go.
- Some may look at videos of female entertainers and advocate empowerment by owning our on sexuality. That’s a double edge sword. Owning sexuality also requires helping our young ladies and girls to know that their talent is governed by their sexuality or limited. Owning sexuality requires having pivotal truth based conversations about relationship building, coping, building identity, and making your own decisions regardless of what friends, celebrities, and albeit even parents (all parents do not render best guidance-check the news).
- I am even finding it harder to celebrate music the way that I used to due to the hatred of Women. Our music is saturated with disdain for women but most times if you show up to a concert it will be majority women. I can’t point the finger at anyone but women on this. I’ve been a part of this problem for years. Even sometimes now I have to catch myself. We can’t keep lying to ourselves and buying the lie that bitch, ho, thot, whore, and whatever else are terms of endearment. No, those are the seeds of hurt being spewed by women and men that have deep seated pain involving women. They just haven’t gone to counseling yet Auntie. They don’t know.
- Finally, our heterosexual men have got to be held to a standard of congruence Auntie. Stop telling little boys they throw like or worse than a woman. There are women pitchers, ball players, etc. that could lap any man on earth. Athleticism spans all genders. These same God fearing men would tell you they mean no harm but you are a part of the problem by downing or likening ‘girl’ to some derogatory thing. Stop it. This was one small example, but if we listen closer to what our men are saying—there are seeds of hatred towards women there. This is not a male bashing rant. It’s a call to listen harder to what is being said and confront it. It’s also a call for Men to do their part in ownership towards the lack of regard for Women.
As you see Auntie, things are neither all good nor all bad. We’re not in the middle either. Always will be work to do but I am happy there are more websites, groups, and all genders championing equity in the treatment of women. Some days I still feel like it hurts being a woman but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
PS-next chat Auntie Coretta-we’ll have to clue people in on advocacy/justice for the lgbtqia community. But for now, we’ll leave them with this.
“I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice,” she said. “But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’” “I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream to make room at the table of brother- and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people,” she said. – Reuters, March 31, 1998. (C.S.King)