I am blessed in my life to be surrounded by very strong and beautiful and highly intelligent women. They are my guides, role models, all of them young and old. I give thanks. They show me stability and power, without these figures in my life I’d certainly not be the woman I am today. My mother is a matriarch and no hurricane can move her, it’s from her that iv learned to be a formidable force, a princess and a warrior.
My women and I, all likeminded of course, for the most part anyway, often gather to converse and meditate on life and things. We talk about the importance of academia and diligence; we talk about the evolution of jazz and hip hop, the evolution of feminism and femininity. We talk about the challenges of being black and female in a white world. Yes, we need to come into our own glory, our own becoming. We sip on good wine while swaying to and giving thanks to our legends Miriam Makeba, Letta Mbulu, Nina Simone and Etta James. Yes, as the incense burns, and we reflect on the sweet melody that is life. Me and my women, on a Friday night.
But there is more to a woman, and we all know the stereotypes. I read in an online mag about something they call the Modonna/whore Theory, and I was so glad to see my thoughts and feelings wonderfully articulated. A woman is not one or the other. Society, globally has set it up so that woman have to choose between being “good girls” who spend their days finding things and people to nurture and nights reading the bible and avoiding activities above PG13. If this is not you and you dare to vocalize all your desires, speak of ambition, or sex and chooses to wear clothes appropriate for the Summer then you are lesser. This ladies and gents is what we call the Male Gaze, in all of its supremacy and oppression it leaves no space for self-exploration and full development of the females desires. And this is where words like slut, whore, loose and even lady and wifey material come from. Um, what is the shit? What is all of that? You see, all of those terms have certain meanings and connotations to them that as woman we must by all means try to avoid or aspire to, and all of them very specific to women exclusively.
I had this conversation with a Zulu man just recently. Why are these terms not relative, what are there masculine equivalents? The ignorance and arrogance of this man was deep, it came from a place of all knowing and that’s all he knew. Pity. It is also a pity that there are women out there who also perpetuate these ideas, so is there no progression on the matter? Must we now and forever more suppress our truths and desires that some of us love to dutty wind to Bey and twerk to Nick too, this says nothing about our rationale and intellect. There are tons of intelligent women who have MBAs and successfully run households with their eyes closed who also enjoy putting on a sexy number just to have it torn off in heated moments of lust, who talk dirty, who touching ourselves in the mirror and can be vixens of pleasure in our own fantasies. I find this Madonna/Whore theory unfair and outrageous when like our male counterparts we have instincts too.
My women and I understand it’s all very complex, but we appreciate brothers that are open minded and converse and associate with us on an equal plain, it is these brothers, though far and few between, that come to know our minds and hearts. We do not care to preach to our fellow women who do not yet understand our school of thought, my women and I had no room for shaming. Coz when the mood is right and the song is right we all move to the same rhythm.