Last night after the No Regrets event I took the F home and there were two incredibly drunk guys in my car, middle-aged white guys in button-down shirts, not young fratty bros. They were hugging a pole in the middle of the crowded car, talking to each other loudly, moving unsteadily, slurring…
“Listen to me closely now: The people who dare to ask for an expansive, life-altering love, who will be alone rather than settle for less, are the ones who find it. People who accept less, who figure they don’t deserve any better, who figure that it’s too much of a risk to tell the truth and scare men off, are the ones who live with a constant feeling of disappointment and neglect. When you neglect yourself and your feelings, you get neglected by others, too.
Stand up for yourself. Stand up for what you want. Does that make you That Girl?
Then BE. THAT. GIRL.
Because That Girl is a shining beacon to the rest of us. That Girl doesn’t play along and call herself whatever some dude is calling her, whether it’s “pal” or “that chick I’m sleeping with” or “her, over there.” That Girl doesn’t sit through drifty, disconnected conversations with men who can’t show up. That Girl doesn’t care if you think she’s attractive or appropriate or easy to be around or not. She’s not caught up in some dude’s love affair—with himself, with his stuff, with his fantasy of how easy and sexy and mysterious True Love will be when he finally finds it, just like a porn flick starring him with a soundtrack by The Shins. That Girl is willing to risk his disapproval for the sake of her own happiness.
Fuck the critics. Fuck the onlookers. Fuck this cold, disapproving world, that doesn’t like That Girl or really any fucking girl at all, when it boils right down to it. BE THAT GIRL.”—
I secured an apartment in Brooklyn this weekend and I feel like I’m finally moving forward with my life. I’m not saying this in a “PROMISED LAND OF COOL PEOPLE” manner, but in a general sense of positive change. I’ve wanted to move out of the area I’ve been in for a long time, and i’m finally being proactive in that want. These past three years have been rough (and probably were before then, but something about 18-23 made me less aware or more resilient, or something). While I still have very little clue as to what I want to do with my life, I’m ecstatic to be making those steps towards change.
“The reason black feminists (overall) are less critical of marriage than white feminists is because black women use marriage to access rights and privileges that white women have automatically on account of whiteness. Like the ability to be viewed as a good woman/desirable. because if a white woman is unmarried it’s her personal choice but if a black woman is not married it must be because nobody wants her because she’s loud, assertive, domineering/other racist & sexist stereotypes. Like the ability to be a mother without getting looked down on every time you’re in public because being a single black mom = being a welfare queen/a leach to the system. Because being married helps you avoid vitriol if you have degrees/are professionally successful. because of the myth that successful black woman aren’t marriageable. But a successful unmarried white woman is on the top of her power feminist game ‘leaning in’ like Sheryl Sandberg. What’s sad is not that Bey named her tour “Mrs. Carter” but the possible motivations behind it (besides a genuine love and respect for her husband). But white feminists don’t get it.”—
I don’t even know if I would say that Black feminists are less critical but are differently critical. Our criticisms come from a DIFFERENT history, world view, perspectives. Remember what Audre wrote about differences?
I must say that I find amusement over the anger about Beyoncé’s tour being named “The Mrs. Carter Show.” People are angered that she didn’t use her “maiden” name. Look at that last phrase. “Maiden” name. Research that. Then, realize that her lineage, like most, is patrilineal. “Knowles” is her father’s last name. Even if she were from a single parent home and had her mother’s last name, “Beyincé,” that still comes from her mother’s father (Lumis Albert Beyincé). Her first name alludes to this same last name.
But names also become OURS. Women aren’t just empty boxes where our names do not matter. Parents give the original names. It’s still not the child doing the naming. The feminist policing and politics around names need a revision.
White feminists want to use “feminist” and “human” interchangeably for Black women. This is not acceptable. To them, they have to “approve” a Black woman’s feminist praxis before they can view her as a full human being. Unacceptable. And in the case of marriage, if they were not so drunk on White supremacy, they would see the financial power, social capital and protection that they pretend to never desire are given to them as a birthright and set as a standard that Black women do not “deserve.” Hence Beyoncé’s eradication of their boxes and having what she wants (not even trying to meet White women’s “having it all” mantras) is so appalling to them that they scramble relentlessly to insult her and Black women in general. Notice that theism, Christianity, possible monogamy, marriage before parenthood, two parent home and economically sufficient—all “standard” markers used to claim “respectability” for White women—are ignored in Beyoncé’s case. Respectability politics go hand in hand with racism itself. They’re born out of White supremacy and double standards.
Mainstream feminism involves a lot of demanding Black women reject things that White women are entitled to and Black women need or never receive. Good damn bye with that!
I love the politics and sociology of naming. Just wikid and it’s called anthroponymy. Such a good word. Anthroponymy.