Friday, January 31, 2014

Sexual Objectification

I am a woman.  
I am a black woman.  
I am a beautiful black woman.  
But I am NOT your sexual object.
I am not your toy.
I am not your play thing.
I refuse to live in your black barbie world.  
I was not put on this earth to swivel my hips and lick my lips for your own bemusement.   
I am not as your sweetie.  
I will not fulfill your exotic chick desires.

I have hopes.
I have dreams.
I have fears.
I have thoughts.
I want to change the world.
But you don't care about that do you?

All you care about is a donkey booty vs. a stallion booty.
You like my curly hair.
You like the color of my skin.
You like the way my eyes look in the light.

You tell me you want to take me home but you barely even know my first name.
And when I ask you to stop referring me to as sexy you still do it anyway...
You don't care about if I could be Mrs. Right.
You just want me for tonight.

You have a mother.
You have a sister.
You have a daughter.
Would you call her a slut or a whore?
Would you allow someone to treat them the way that you treat me?

When while you stop thinking of me as the next notch on your belt?
When can I stop being known for my ASSets and become appreciate for my assets.
When can I be just a human being?
I just want to be me.


----- Di Mo



Now check out this video which sums up sexual objectification and the problems that result from it.  Has some strong language so might not be NSFW!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Interdependence

Let's face it. In most of life we really are interdependent. We need each other. Staunch independence is an illusion, but heavy dependence isn't healthy, either. The only position of long-term strength is interdependence: win/win.                                                                                                                                 ---Greg Anderson


We are all interdependent.  Despite what you think, in the grand scheme of life we are all interconnected.  I truly believe that in some way that everything we do can effect someone thousands of miles away from us.  We all create these ripples in the world that can have a far reaching effect.  Without acknowledging this interdependence we are lying to each other. From the big things to the little things we need each other in order to survive. So now that I told you that, let's really act like we are interconnected.

I have long said that technology is both a blessing and a curse.  Technology has allowed us to have access to information quicker and easier.  We are able to connect with people across countries and time zones.  It is easy to find a friend from high school or even middle school (I am actually Facebook friends with most of them).  Through Twitter we can reach out to our favorite celebrities or even just an author who's article we enjoyed reading.  Instagram allows us to view both funny and intimate pictures of friends and those who we admire from a far.  So that's the blessing...

The curse is that we are more far apart than ever.  When is the last time you sent someone a letter?  Or maybe even a card other than for Christmas?  I can remember the time when we only had one telephone line in the house that would not work when we were using the dial up internet.  Now most people use wi fi and have no land line because everyone has their own cell phone, maybe more than one.  After relishing in the days of talking to a guy for hours I now slightly cringe when I see that someone is calling me.  I have become a habitually texter.

I feel that this ability to be arms-length available has hampered the effectiveness of our interconnectedness.  It is easy to not know what our neighbors look like, much less what their names are.  They days off holding the door for one another are few and far between.  And saying please and thank you now seems like a gesture from the 1800s.  We lack compassion.  We lack concern.  We lack a care in the world past Justin Beiber's newest arrest and whether Beyonce is too sexy.  What happened to "It Takes a Village"?  Or neighborhood block parties?  And helping old ladies cross the street?  Are we too wrapped up with ourselves to stop and realize our role as a small cog in a huge human network?

So what can we do to reclaim our interdependence?  One PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE.  Well don't put it down if you are reading my post from your phone, just wait until after.  What else?  Volunteer.  Work with kids, homeless, animals, whatever you have a passion about.  Doing this will help you to connect with us and any kind of service is usually humbling and puts your life in perspective.  Ok now pick your phone back up.  Call someone instead of text them and asking them how they are doing, and really mean it.  Read an article about something going on far away from you.  So this is only a start, but I encourage you to get connected again with society.  Like it or not everything we do or don't do indirectly affects someone else.  I am positive that small changes will eventually make a big difference.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Right to Remain Silent



You may not have noticed this but I can be a little bit opinionated.  I might not have an opinion about everything, but when I do have an opinion most of the time it is strong. Over the past year I have realized that maybe my opinion doesn't always matter.  In fact, maybe I just need to remain silent.

Of course everyone has opinions.  I never feel like I am being malicious when I am sharing my own, but I realize that some of my friends feel attacked with my expressions.  I mean only to help people with my words of wisdom that maybe I am harming them.

Therefore, I have decided to keep things to myself.  I am going to keep my opinions, my experiences, my thoughts to myself.  While it sounds like it is in retaliation it really isn't.  I want to work on being a better person.  I think that I need to work more on the art of listening and less on inserting my opinions on others.

I told my friend jokingly earlier in the week that things were easier when I thought I was perfect.  The truth is that I never thought that I was perfect, but I didn't realize the extent of my imperfection.  So on my quest to better myself I will choose to remain silent personally.  Don't worry, I will keep blogging though.  Wish me luck!

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Exotic Chick

Grammy Awards 2014 (E! Online)

That is Kevin Hart and his girlfriend Enkio at the Grammys last night.  I saw them on the pre-awards red carpet and I thought that they both looked amazing.  This morning, I was reading an excerpt about Kevin Hart in the February 2014 edition of Upscale Magazine.  In this article Kevin talks about how black women hate on him and his new relationship for many reasons, one of them being that his girlfriend Eniko, looks "exotic".  In actuality, he points out that she is Jamaican.  For a few months I have wanted to talk about the "Exotic Chick" syndrome that many black men, well really men in general seem to have.  But today I write from a different perspective, a woman who sometimes is grouped into that very same category that I complain about.

Until today I would have complained about men wanting an "exotic chick".  To my readers who might not understand what an "exotic chick" is I went to Urban Dictionary for a definition:

exotic 
being from asia, south america, caribbean, mediterranean, persia, arabia, etc... basically, anyone with tan skin, black shiny hair, big lushious lips, can dance and gyrate, curvy and smart. Exotic people have mysterious, alluring and sensual eyes. ALL will surrender to those eyes when an exotic girl permits a guy she likes to catch a glance of them.

It is hard for me.  As a follower of Christ I believe in love and that everyone should have love regardless of what you look like.  But the black woman in me has issues, and I know it's not right.  I just have not gotten over that reaction of feeling passed over every time I see a powerful black man with a non-black woman on her side.  The fact that another black man doesn't want an equally powerful black woman by his side can be irking.  
However today I had a realization.  To some people I am that exotic chick.  Let me describe myself.  I am black.  Both of my parents are black.  My mom has very light skinned, to the point where I thought that if she was light skinned I had to be mocha, but alas I am not.  My father, was dark skinned maybe considered brown by cultural standards.  Me, I'm light skinned I suppose caramel in color.  I have long curly hair.  Most of the time people assumed that I am mixed.  I am asked where I am from and I am never sure if they mean state or the country where my ancestors are from so I usually just go with Maryland to be on the safe side.  I have been mistaken for Latina, Ethiopian, Dominican, and even Indian.  My cousin told me once that I could be mistaken for an exotic chick myself, and it wasn't until today that I actually believed it.
Here is the thing, why do I have to be anything?  Why can't I just be me?  I mean what if I am "exotic"?  Does that mean not that I should not be able to date who I want?  Does that mean I should only date someone who looks exactly like me?  Am I not entitled to my own happiness?  Sure some men might have their fantasies about being with someone that looks like me but that is not my fault.  I certainly do not go around boasting about my hair and my skin, despite the fact that at least weekly someone else will remind me of it.  And why is that ok by the way?  Why is it ok for everyone to tell me I am light skinned and I have long hair or "good hair" while the reverse comments would be social exile?  I know the history of the stigma with people of dark skinned complexion, but their is also a long history of stigma with light skinned black women as well, but I digress...
So I am not trying to change anyone's mind today.  All I really want is some understanding and compassion.  God wants us to love everyone because he loves each of us despite our flaws.  So no matter how you look you should love and receive love.  Let's just keep it at that.  Kevin love who you want and I will too!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Too Close to Home





I live in a town right next to a town that has been touted as a racial utopia.  Columbia, Maryland has been the center of Howard County.  An ideal place to live.  Filled with good schools, safe streets, and a community that embraces several different, races, cultures, religions, and sexual orientations.  At the center of Columbia, is the Mall in Columbia.  One of the few strong traditional malls still left in the area.  It is literally at the center of the town.  I remember joking that if you are ever lost you can still make it back to the mall from any direction.  Today this quaint town and a place where I basically call home experienced a shooting at that same mall.  And it is all really too close to home.

I know what is going to happen.  It is the same thing that happens after every major shooting tragedy.  There will be talk of gun violence.  A surge in people calling for gun control measures, while there is an equal response of pro-gun lobbyists.  Maybe some laws are changed, maybe not.  But it will all be forgotten, as with any other tragedy in a few months, only to remember in each annual memory of the tragic day.

Today is different.  Why?  Well the shooting comes on the cusp of numerous public shootings in the past few days and weeks.  In fact, I was commenting with my friend just yesterday about how it seems like there had been a college shooting each day this week.  We are becoming so plagued by violence that each CNN alert I receive is referring to a shooting somewhere.  I never thought that today's shooting would be five minutes from my house.

Don't worry this post is not going to be a call for gun control legislation.  And no I am not about to declare that I have a pro-gun stance.  No this post is about compassion and love.  You see to me, all of these shootings across the country are a sign for help.  It shows to me that many people are hurting and are in turn hurting others.  I am convinced that we as a nation need to show more love and caring for each other despite our differences.  It is time that we all realized that we may be individuals in this state, country, and world, but that does not mean that our loves are not interconnected.

I also think it is time that we really start to take a serious note of mental illness.  In many communities mental illness is treated as a taboo never to be talked about.  Mental illness is not a sign of weakness.  It does not make you any less of a person.  Treating mental illness can no longer have such a stigma attached.  We all need to become comfortable with both noticing the signs and helping friends, family, and co-workers receive the help they need.  

So today I ask that we stay prayed up.  I ask everyone to show more compassion to both those who you know and to those who are strangers.  You never know what is going on in someone else's world.  Maybe a a smile, laugh, a hug, or just simply treating someone like a decent human being could be the difference between a tragedy and just another day.

#HoCoBlogs

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Don't Call Me Sweetie




Dear Men/Women Who Call Me Sweetie:

Don't call me sweetie!  In fact don't call me sweetie, honey, hon, baby, darling or anything similar. So please refrain from using them.  I know that you probably don't see anything wrong with it.  You might even find it to be a term of endearment.  Listen up I don't know you man.  Lady I don't know you either.  Hey creepy guy online, I have yet to even talk to you on the phone.  You don't know me therefore no term of endearment is necessary.

Why do I hate pet names?  Well for one most of them are patronizing.  Do you call me these names because I am a female?  Do you think that I am a damsel in distress who needs rescuing?  Do you think that I am less of a person because I am a woman?  Do you think that my existence is any less valuable because I have breasts and a vagina?  Well I will let you know I am a strong female. I am just as smart as you.  I am just as worthy as being a person as you.  You can try to patronize me all you want but I will stand strong!

The other reason I hate pet names because it feels ageist.  I don't like that feeling of people thinking I am this cute kid.  It makes me feel like you don't take me seriously.  It as if you think that everything I say is humorous and I don't have the capacity to be serious.  I am 32 dammit!  I am might have a baby face but I don't have a baby tongue.  I am a force to be reckoned with.  And you most certainly will find out if you call me baby again!

So I think you get the point.  You can address me as Miss, Ms., or Ma'am. Save the baby talk for your boo's.

Thanks!

Di Mo

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Fork in the Road

In my last post I revealed to you that I have been dating someone for about a little over a month.  Sooner than I would have liked, we have gotten to a fork in the road.  You know that fork where you decide to either take things further or you decide to discontinue the relationship attempt all together.

You see he wants to take things further.  I am about 90% sure that he likes me more than I like him.  I don't think that it is necessarily a bad thing.  I feel for the first time in a long time, heck maybe ever, that I feel more clear about what I am looking for in my next beau.  Knowing what I want, and correspondingly what I don't want, has allowed me to really process how things are going with this new guy.

Part of me thinks that I should cut my losses now and just wish him well before things get more serious.  I definitely have a few concerns about him and about us if were to enter into an official relationship.  But probably the biggest issue I have is our communication skills.  There is nothing more frustrating in trying to tell someone how you feel only for them to be dramatic and leap to conclusions.  At times I feel like I have to walk on on eggshells.  And for anyone who knows me, you know that I am a pretty direct person eggshells will be crushed in my presence.  I tell it how I see it and I do not appreciate having to sugar coat anything.

Not to mention that he speaks negatively.  I understand venting here and there.  I also understand being angry once in awhile.  But as a person who herself tends to veer toward the dark side, he's negative all the time.  Of course it is not all day, but it is enough for me to be irritated.  I really don't care to start my morning with a string of curses, complaints, and threats of punching people in the face.

I think we argue because our differing communication styles.  He tends to be loud, curse, and cut me off.  I feel like he doesn't really process what I am saying and where I am coming from.  He assumes that I don't listen to him.  I do no matter how long and how much he rambles.  And I understand his points.  I listen and maybe I cut him off too, but that's because I will forget my point if I don't say it immediately.  And many times I cut him off because he has said it 5 times already.  But all of this, this is exhausting to me.  I know relationships are supposed to be work but I am not sure if it should be this hard this soon.

However he does have many very nice qualities.  He is very very sweet.  And not a day goes by where he doesn't tell me how much he likes me and how great I am.  I know he cares about me a lot.  He is also smart and easy on the eyes.  He does attempt to be funny, but clearly I am the comedian of this duo.  Most of all, I know he is trying.  I recognize that it is hard for him to share his feelings.  I know that it is has been a long time since he has truly been interested in someone.  Sometimes I think it is important for me to remember that not everyone thinks and acts like me.

So yes back to this fork in the road thing.... I am still not sure what to do.  Maybe for now I need to stay here at the fork a little while longer until I figure things out.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Learning to Take the Compliment

I have been dating a new man for about a month now.  GASP!  I know, I know, I have been holding out.  We will call him the Bartender.  Obviously he is a bartender (we met at where he works, while he was working).  He is cute, tall, intelligent, is bald with facial hair (just my type), and he seems like he is on the cusp of being a reformed thug without really being a thug.  He has an edge but reminds me to of words I never use like banal and groups I forgot about like Jamiroquai.  We have been spending a lot of time together and for the most part things have been going really well.  We are the epitome of what I used to hate and now embrace with open arms, people who kiss in public!  However, in the midst of the whirlwind that comes from a new romance I am learning something about myself, I have to learn how to take a compliment.

Over the past year I have been on an "I love me" campaign.  Essentially, it took me a few years to both know and truly believe that I am indeed fabulous.  Shoot, I even wrote about it a few months ago (I Am Fabulous and I Am Not Apologizing).  And if you really know me, you know I will let you know this every chance I get!  But today I realized that I had convinced myself that I didn't need anyone else to express to me their affections because I loved myself so much.  Herein lies the problem.

The bartender is very affectionate.  He tells me constantly how much he likes me and how he is crazy about me.  He tells me I am beautiful and how special I am. I mean this is what a women wants right?  Shoot this is what I have been waiting for, a man to tell me what I have known all my life, that I am the best thing since sliced bread.  Yet, when he compliments me it makes me feel uncomfortable.  It actually makes all of the doubts and thoughts that no one would ever appreciate me rise to the surface.  It almost makes me think that he can't possibly like me because I am fabulous.  No, he has to have some ulterior motive.  I mean look at all the other people who never realized it, what does he see that everyone didn't?  All of the other guys didn't fight for me, they easily let me go, so what makes you different?

I am ashamed.  Ashamed that I constantly tout my self-love but at the same time have these deep dark feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.  It makes me scared.  It makes me sad.  It makes me feel like maybe I am damaged goods and perhaps I will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I will end up alone, with my mom, and 50 cats, which really sucks because I don't do the pet thing.

NO.  I am NOT going to give in to my pessimism.  I am not going to let negativity taint my quest for positivity nor will I will let it effect the possibility for me to find real love.  I am going to keep loving me and I am going to allow others to love me without doubting their sincerity.  I am not going downgrade myself in order to take a compliment.  No, instead I am going to learn how to take compliments and bask in the feelings of warmth, closeness, and companionship. I am going to enjoy those beginning stages and embrace it all instead of pushing it away.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

My New Year Cleanse in Review

This year I decided I would start the new year off with a cleanse.  I mean why not?  I had been eating as if I was having my last meal before death row, each meal.  And exercise was non-existent.  I kept imagining that because of all the eating I was going to sound like Biggie Smalls while I was on the elliptical.  So yeah, I started a cleanse January 1st.

I had wanted to do a cleanse for awhile.  I had been researching different ones for the past few weeks.  I came across this Dr. Oz.  I mean they really had me at Dr. Oz, how can you not trust that man?!?!  Anyway, I also liked the fact that it consisted of smoothies and that is was only three days.  I figured it would be worth the experiment and I would be done by the weekend.

THE PLAN

I followed the instructions almost perfectly:
http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/dr-ozs-3-day-detox-cleanse-one-sheet
They said that this only cost $16 dollars a day.  NOT TRUE.  In fact I feel that sweat beads were about to drop from my eyes as I was at the grocery store.  I feel like I should have made some substitutions, but I was already too far in to turn back.  Also, by spending as much as a small fortune I felt like it also forced me to follow through.

DAY 1

Morning

Drinking tea in the morning.  It is normally what I have anyway.  Although I just stuck to Splenda so I could save on the costs.

The morning drink was not bad.  I foolishly thought that this was going to be an easy few days...

Lunch

I felt like it took me at least 20 minutes of prep time for this drink.  The taste...interesting.  I am not the biggest celery nor cucumber fan.  And something didn't blend well so I felt like I was drinking and chewing.  That feeling is not one I would like to experience again.  It yielded a lot so I had leftovers which I was going to use as my snack.

Snack

I skipped having the snack drink.  All day I pretty much felt terrible.  I was tired and had a headache.  I read that these are symptoms of cleanses, I just didn't realize it would happen so fast.  I was basically useless most of the day yesterday, but at least I have seen every episode of ABC Family's Ravenswood...

Dinner

I might have waited a little to long to make this past drink.  I just kind of ran out of energy.  This drink was interesting.  I was unsure if I liked it or not.  I love spicy things, but I think I have not mastered the strong liking of spicy drinks.  But this was way better than the lunch drink.

I didn't take the Epsom salt bath because my bathroom only has a shower.

I went to sleep feeling much better than during the day.  One day down.

DAY 2

I woke up feeling very refreshed.  Also felt much lighter.  My aunt asked me if I had been pooping all day umm no lol.

I had the breakfast drink.  It was good, maybe I liked it even better than the yesterday.

For lunch I had my leftover drink from yesterday.  It is still gross.  Perhaps even worse than yesterday.  I am slowly sucking it down.  Even if I drink 10,000 gallons of water it will not cure the taste of this thing.  Tomorrow I think I will have less celery and more pineapple. Actually maybe less of everything.

Dinner drink was good.  I think I put less cayenne pepper in this time so it was very refreshing (yesterday I had a mishap with the pepper).

I had trouble falling asleep last night too.  And I was starting to crave foods, but maybe because I was on Pinterest for hours lol.

DAY 3

The end is near!  I woke up with a headache.  I made my morning drink and the headache is worse.  I think I might need a morning nap.  Morning drink was good as usual.  It also was snowing and I couldn't leave the house so I knew I had to put something together.

Lunch drink.  YUCK.  I tried to alter the recipe and it was even more chunky.  I drank about 5 sips and threw it out.  I then decided to break my cleanse because I was starving.  I ate chips and they were delicious!


OVERALL-  It was an interesting experience.  I think I could do a cleanse again but never again that Dr. Oz one, the lunch drink is just too disgusting.  I also lost 7 lbs, which I am sure that I gained back this weekend with my bad food lol.  It's ok I will be back on it tomorrow :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Society of Mean

When did we become the society of mean?  When did we stop caring about others feelings and start caring only about our own opinions?  Was it when Al Gore invented the internet?  Or maybe it has always been around but not as bad.

Let me introduce you to a concept that I have termed "internet balls".  Definition?  Internet balls is a noun but can also be used as an adjective to describe when one talks a lot of shit online but would never say the same things they said to someone in person.  For example, you know when there is an article or a picture posted online and there are those negative most obscene posters, yes, they have internet balls.

It is if people think that they because they have the opportunity to comment that they should.  It is the hold other people to a higher standard than they hold for themselves.  It is like they feel comfortable spewing hatred and meanness that they would not even say to their mothers.

But it doesn't just stop on the internet.  No, I know some people who say they most vile things about people that they call friends.  They tear down those in their inner circles, behind their backs mind you, insulting them on their skin, hair, makeup clothes, and intelligence.  And most of the time the insulters wouldn't think twice about their comments unless they were checked by someone else.

But why have we become this society of mean?  Is it possible that we are projecting out our fears and anxieties on others?  Perhaps if we insult others we can prevent people from confronting us about our own flaws?  Or maybe just maybe it makes us feel better to know that others share in our own misery.  Either way, let's make a 2014 let us turn our negativity into positivity!