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Feminism

Why You Must Share Your Story

every-woman

The women in my world are warrior women.

They are strong. They are brave. They are courageous.

They are not warrior women because they are flawless or because they live perfect lives or because they never fall apart.

They are warrior women because when they do fall apart they find the strength to write themselves back together again.

They are brave enough to share their stories. They are courageous enough to show their scars because they know their words can help heal other women’s wounds.

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Why I Won’t Shut Up About Being a Girl or Being Black

black-girl

Lady. Babe. Girl.

These are three of my favorite words,

but some of my fellow feminists believe I should expunge them from my vocabulary.

Yes, I am a feminist, which means I believe in the equality of the sexes, which means I want equal pay, equal opportunities, and equal respect.

This does not mean I want society to pretend I am not female.

Earlier this year a widely read blog for female creatives wrote a eulogy for the popular hashtag “#girlboss.”

“Would a man ever call himself a boy boss?” the writer asked.

Probably not. But who said I was trying to do business like
a man?

A reader of my own blog, SeeJaneWrite.net, took offense recently when I called myself a lady writer and referred to my personal notebook as my lady journal.

Look. I get it. I understand that “girl,” “lady,” and “babe” are all words sometimes wielded against women as a verbal weapon to put us in “our place.” But it was when I decided to reclaim and redefine these words for myself that I found the courage to take my place. I found the courage to take a seat at the table and, with all my girl power and lady might, flip the table over.

I don’t call myself a girl boss so I will be less threatening to the male ego. I call myself a girl boss because I want you to know I can take your job while wearing pink and flipping my hair, if that’s what I choose to do.

This is why I won’t shut up about being a girl.

I’m also not going to shut up about being black…

Read the entire article at B-Metro.com. 

5 Things That Made Me a Happy Feminist This Week: Rio Edition

1. #BlackGirlMagic in Rio

Simone-Biles-Simone-Manuel

Of course I’ve been over the moon about the medals on medals female athletes have been winning at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, but I’m especially giddy for all the #blackgirlmagic that went down Thursday night. Simone Biles, who is already being proclaimed as the greatest gymnast ever, won the gold medal in all-around gymnastics and Simone Manuel made history by becoming the first African-American woman to win a gold medal in an individual swimming event for the United States.

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Open Letter to a Mother: Why a “Black Girls Rock” T-Shirt is OK

Tonight the 10th anniversary celebration of Black Girls Rock awards will debut on BET at 7 p.m. CDT. In honor of the ceremony I revisit an article I wrote for the November 2014 issue of B-Metro magazine

black girls rock tee

You see an African-American girl bouncing through the aisles of your local supermarket donning a T-shirt that reads “Black Girls Rock,” and you’re offended. You want to approach her parents and ask how they would feel if your daughter wore a shirt declaring “White Girls Rock.” But you decide against it.

You believe that if your daughter did wear a “White Girls Rock” T-shirt, both she and you would be declared racists and you don’t think that’s fair. You think it’s a double standard.

You’re right. And double standards suck.

But you know what else sucks?

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I Contain Multitudes

i contain multitudes
Image via B-Metro.com

Sometimes I feel as if I’m caught in a love triangle—writing and teaching both tugging at my heart. I was born to teach, but I didn’t realize this until after working in education for seven years. When I was a girl, I named all my dolls and other toys, arranged them in nice, neat rows in alphabetical order, and then launched into a lecture on whatever struck my fancy at the time. The classroom called me early in life, but I didn’t know it.

But I was also born to write. This I’ve known since the day I wrote my first poem. I was only 7 or 8 years old, so it was terrible, and I’m sure it included the line “Roses are red, violets are blue.” But it was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with the written word. And it was this love that led me to study journalism. I had dreams of working for Essence magazine and one day starting a print magazine of my own.

But a career in education was still whispering in my ear, flirting with my future plans. In graduate school at UC Berkeley, I was a graduate student instructor, or GSI, and taught a communications class for undergraduate students. I was charged with breaking down the complicated concepts and theories the professor discussed in her lectures. I did such a good job that students assigned to other GSIs would ask to come to my class, willing to sit on the floor or stand in the back if there weren’t enough desks.

I applied for Teach for America. I was accepted by Teach for America. I turned down Teach for America. I had also been offered a job as a features reporter in a city that I loved with the man whom I love. Writing won my heart again…

Read the entire article at B-Metro.com

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