What I love about being in Brooklyn is that I can just sit outside, on a warm summer day, and listen to the club below me play music.
My neighbor was playing J. Cole and I fell in tune with a line that went like this: “I used to think it was to overthrow oppressors, see if we destroy the system, that means we’ll have less of greed. But see, it’s not that simple.”
An issue of mine that I realize I won’t try to battle in life is the oppression in what I wear publicly. Fashion –the apparel industry – one of the most ancient tools we’ve used as humans to trade, buy – and sell.
Remarks on my choice of clothing, which I guess, can be stereotyped as “sexy”—from strangers, friends, family – and what I choose to post online seemed to make certain people unhappy – and as I was told the wrong people happy – in the wrong way – whatever that means.
I wanted to fight the fight of being able to collectively be sexy, intellectual and independent. And although, I didn’t cross that off my vision board – I know, there are guidelines to getting what you want but having to make sacrifices – and that’s the reality of it all.
It just sucks that – as women, or even, humans – we sort of have to bargain with life.
We all make compromises, all over the world.
It’s why I applaud someone like Kim Kardashian.
Everyone questions why I’ve always been a loyal fan – but the truth is, it isn’t just who she is, it’s the message in her story.
What the Kardashians – mainly a female clan – have been doing what men have done to women in the spotlight for years – but getting their cut.
Trust me, Marilyn Monroe was underpaid and over ridiculed.
And Kim, like many beauty icons has been able to have the privilege to be sexy, intellectual and far more independent that most of us will become.
I’m not a Kardashian – but it doesn’t come from a place of envy that I don’t get to live like they do, as a woman, you have to respect her game. Not to dismiss the slut-shaming and attacks she faces. (Mind you, I don’t know who she is, I’m just a fan).
Even the other day, I sat at a juice shop; where a Cuban woman told me that Cuba was great; healthcare was free, school was free (they have the highest literacy rate in the world) — but she’d decided to come to America for freedom; knowing she would have to pay her debt to society for that.
So, I guess, what I took from that J.Cole line (and I haven’t listened to the whole song so don’t crucify me – this isn’t Rap Genius) is that if we tackle issues head on like Amber’s Roses Slut-walk, “free the nipple” – all of these highly influenced by pop culture – feminist movements that have the intentions to let us live freely without threats of being shamed or sexually abused – it just wouldn’t be that simple, people get greedy.
That woman went on to say there are simply two things in life: “Cause and Effect.”
In essence, life truly is like a game of chess. Your next move dictates what you’ve opened yourself to.
Posting sexy pictures online – doesn’t mean you are a prostitute or an escort, it means you’re sexy and you want to show off – and you should be able to, but people who aren’t woke aren’t going to understand that.
And I get it, children who are exposed to social media (when they shouldn’t be) – may process my sexiness that I believe is a power we all hold (fat, skinny, medium, brown, white) as something else.
Although we can point the fingers at the parents who aren’t administering their child’s interaction with the world (on some 1984-George Orwell-shit) – we have a responsibility of aiming to send a message in the right way.
And in order to get what you want out of life, you’re going to have to be a part of the system and slowly create a world where, hopefully, for future generations – the social laws that limit us to express ourselves, will diminish – and one day, we can all look at a women’s body and not completely sexualize it – nor shame it.
I applaud everyone who is a nonconformist, who plays the villain. It’s a tough role.
Funny thing is, I was sitting next to a 4 year old on the bus today and she told me her name was “bad girl” – I told her she didn’t look like a bad person, and she was like “well, I have to be a superhero to fight off the mean people.”
I was impressed.
Either way, if you are included in a movement that’s pushing us to practice a freer mentality; and you’re going Malcolm X style, like that little girl on the bus or the women who take on being the ‘villain’ or the ‘jezebel’ to show those very people – we can be anything – the ”mean people” – “the oppressors” — or what Dj Khaled calls “they” – lol.
We can also take the MLK route and peacefully push for a better movement.
The truth is, both of those leaders were killed, but they did make an influence.
Their legacy has been spoken and taught for years – which way is best? Who knows.
And not to compare black lives with feminist issues – but both are oppressed peoples – and finally for the first time in history we actually give a little bit of a sh*t when someone black is killed.
Even if it’s a hashtag, it’s progress. At least, I hope so.
In the meantime, I can only be an observer and play my part.