Lemonade: Rejoice or Simply Recede  

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I finally tasted #Lemonade and it wasn’t anything like it was portrayed to me. It was a full bodied thirst quenching tall glass of amniotic bliss… It was a rich visual embodiment of the call and response like conversations that women of the diaspora play out internally on a daily basis. It is sheer and utter blaspheme to paint Beyoncé as an “Angry Black Woman” seeking to publicly air a lovers spat…The images… so carefully crafted are delicate representations of our strength as black women… don’t you see?

It’s a celebration of life and vibrancy in face of dull toned turned backs… It’s a chin held high in face of misplaced applause… It’s the acknowledgment of the side eyes we’ve dished out to those whose very image we were trained to covet over our own… It’s an ode to the colored girl… and an antidote to the colorist. If you watched an hour of sunshine and chose to see rain… I can only deduce that it either wasn’t made for you or you were not ready to receive it. 

I was ready though…I been ready. I needed this more then I knew I did… a burst of brilliant blue-black ultra violet light. So many talented womenfolk pooled together in a single contiguous heart string… lined up in Formation… calling me with their eyes saluting me, emblazoned with the symbols of our pride.

I’m glad to be alive in these strange times…these fearful, exhausting, yet awe inspiring times. I finally tasted #Lemonade and all I could muster to say out loud was thank you … Thank you to the ancestors for laying the foundation for Formation by turning lemons into Lemonade under the watchful eyes of your little girls…because you never know who you are raising until they rise up.

 

What We REALLY Lost On Tuesday

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Tuesday night sucked… hard. The progressive movement suffered a number of losses but none more important that our loss of faith in the Democratic party as a whole.

I’m finished begging the Democratic party or anybody else to pay attention to issues that matter to me and people who look like me. I’m not going to concede in fear of Trump; if he wins it’s our own damn fault for ignoring the cries of the 99% and divesting from education, industry, and infrastructure for far too long… My generation is a casualty of trickle down economics, austerity, shitty foreign trade policy, a 15 year war, regressive racism, and the continued misguided political decisions of our predecessors…We have every right to be angry about the condition of world we are to inherit. I refuse to reward negative behavior and give up the rights my grandparents so viciously fought for me to have.

If my Grandfather were alive I know who he’d vote for…

If King were alive I know who he’d vote for …

I’m not a sell out. I’m not a sore loser whose pride is blocking a vote for Hillary…

I’m honoring my ancestors legacy by standing tall in principle surrounded by those stooped over in huddled pragmatism.

I am not easily knocked down… There is just too much on the line to be disillusioned by the expected voter and information  suppression accompanied by election fraud. Those of us who know that 4 more years of the same could end in unspeakable tragedy for so many understand that we have to ride this thing until the wheels fall off.  I am still on board with Bernie Sanders and if the stars align I’ll be in Philly this July channeling my Ancestors, and the millions of people who just want a fair shot at a decent life. Yes, Tuesday was disappointing but if we pull this off wouldn’t it make for a great read for future generations who will reflect bewildered by our society’s prolonged lack of empathy. I can’t wait till all of this feels like a lifetime ago but until then keep calm and Bern on.

 

An Open Letter: to the passive aggresive broads trying to school me in feminism and guilt me into voting for Hillary…SPOILER ALERT: It ain’t working.

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Dear Kate Cronin-Furman, Mira Rapp-Hooper , and all the other woman trying to school me in feminism and guilt me into voting for Hillary,

I believe your assertion that for some “late-breaking sexism often means later-onset identification with the principles of second-wave feminism”, however that experience is EXACTLY why I’m CHOOSING to vote for Bernie Sanders as opposed to Hillary Clinton; and I’d like the think pieces on why I’m naive or somehow less of a feminist than you are to stop.

I am an HBCU Dean’s List grad. I am a Black Single Mother of a 4-year-old daughter. I am a proud member of the LGBT community, and I have been eking out an existence working 10-12 hours days for $12 an hour in one of the most discriminatory industries (Hollywood) in the world. You assume that because I won’t blindly vote for Hillary I must be naive to the discrimination of the business world or the social structure of this country in general; this position is not only disparaging, but sexist, and ageist all bundled up nicely in a tight fist that I’m tired of being assaulted with.

I’m proud the woman before me have paved a pathway for us, but didn’t they do so in order for me to have the freedom to vote about the issues and the candidates’ political and social anatomy not their physical anatomy? Making young educated women out to be people pleasing and inexperienced shows a level of callus that is scary and truly disheartening. The woman of the baby boomer age were once idealist…what happened to that belly burning fire that was emboldened by opposition and in search of true progressive change? Why settle for just any woman when there is more at stake here than ovaries in the oval office? We have a Supreme Court justice nom on the line, we have oil pipelines from Canada pending, we have a trade deal that could dismantle what little democratic power we have left over corporations, and we have a privatized prison system that threatens to sue if we don’t continue to fuel them with free labor. I and thousands of other women graduated from college as the economy fell apart; we faced even more abysmal job prospects than we would have had we been met solely with the sexism already expected in the workplace.

I am not some starry-eyed child who doesn’t know what’s good for me. I am the product of my history, culture, and environment. I am the niece of two Uncles jailed by Clinton’s 94’ Crime Bill. I am a bi-sexual woman who is puzzled that the same woman who supported her husband in signing DOMA, the HIV travel ban, as well as overseeing the doubling of LGBT discharges from the military in his tenure, can act as if that never happened or claim to have magically “evolved” dismissing my and countless other peoples pain. Hillary didn’t fully support same sex marriage until 2013…yes…2013! She flew in the face of change and only joined our ranks as the prevailing winds of pew polling blew. She’s never stood true as a weather vane for equal human rights for all…only the humans who benefit her public image.

Bottom line: I don’t trust her. I don’t trust Hillary to do right by me or any of the issues I care about. If I were a man the very women who bash me would respect my right as an American to vote for the person, male or female whom I’m most ideologically aligned with. However, I am not a man…and these women… my sisters claim “there is a special place in Hell” for me and that I only support Bernie because his camp is where all the boys are. The legacy I want to leave my daughter isn’t one of forced affiliation or entitlement; it’s one of progressive ethics so I’ll stand tall in my opposition. If Bernie wins on a platform of revolutionary change I can take comfort in the fact that regardless of which side they played ALL women will benefit both directly and indirectly from that.

I do hope that a woman will inhabit the white house one day soon, but that isn’t my ONLY hope… I pray that by the time my child is of college age she won’t have to tackle the issues I have had to. I hope she won’t have to decide between living a life and paying back student loans. Yes, sexism is very real but so is the need to reduce income inequality, corporate welfare, and the cost of health care. I have aspirations for myself and my daughter that are bigger than the shadow cast by Hillary and when I look into my child’s eyes and my own in the mirror, I know there are better female candidates out there, but we as women need to recognize them… let’s not squander our “1st woman” card on a layup.

Please.

Most Certainly a Feminist,

Lauren J. Croom 

“Hey Ladies! Blame Yourself For Society’s Ills!” — Matter — Medium

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by
Jamilah Lemieux Ann Friedman and Heather Havrilesky

Matter and MSNBC.com are rereading
Susan Faludi’s feminist classic, Backlash. Here’s
our conversation on Chapter 12.

“In the first half of the ’80s, the advice experts told women they suffered from bloated egos and a ‘fear of intimacy’; in the second half, they informed women that atrophied egos and ‘codependency’ were now their problems. In the decade’s war on women, these popular psychologists helped fire the opening shots—then rushed to the battlefield to bandage the many wounds.” — Susan Faludi, Backlash, “Chapter 12 — It’s All in Your Mind: Popular Psychology Joins the Backlash.”

Read more of what the Ladies of Matter and MSNBC.com had to say about Susan Faludi’s feminist classic, Backlash on Medium.