I’ve been ignoring this blog since my departure from the Danger Project a couple of months ago. Though I’m no longer a member of that project, I’m grateful for that opportunity because without the invitation to become a participant, I probably would have not been nearly as motivated to start a blog, the creation of this blog means that I would HAVE to write. I have moments when I aspire to be a writer – a good writer; but I’m not sure that I have what it takes or that the voices in my head should necessarily be given the opportunity to have an audience. Not because my thoughts aren’t relevant or valid – but because they are; and not everyone will welcome or appreciate my musings. That said, I can only hope that if nothing else, my random thoughts will give you something to think about. If not today then tomorrow.
Originally, this blog entry was going to be about how distasteful I’ve found the way some women and specifically our women (women of color) treat each other. I say “our” because I am a black woman. I was raised by a white woman and I was taught that women – all women should hold each other up. Women of color I give special reference to because we are a minority of a minority. Our mothers, aunts, grandmothers, great grandmothers, etc. survived through some of the harshest times in the history of this country because they were able to depend on one another in hard times. I wonder sometimes if those “harsh times” ever came back, if we as a sisterhood would be able to survive. From what I’ve seen, I’m not so sure. Here’s an example:
I’ve recently had an instance when I’d taken one of my granddaugthers out to a store and encountered a young girl around her age looking her up and down and rolling her eyes and looking like she had something nasty in her mouth. My granddaughter is beautiful, and I’m not saying that because she’s my granddaughter, she’s one of those children whose mother (or grandmother) is stopped regularly in a store, restaurant or some other public place and told how beautiful she is. We thank the observer and keep it moving. She is 8 and not really comfortable with being singled out – and has never really been. So, on this outing where she was looked at by the other little girl with such disdain, I sideyed her reaction. She looked at the girl, gave her a “who do you think you’re messing with? smirk” rolled her eyes and kept on walking. When we left the store, I asked my grandbaby about the little girl – wondering if maybe she knew her. She said she didn’t but that the little girl gave her a nasty look and to quote her exact words said: “I gave it right back to her ZsaZsa – I’m not a punk! ” To say that I was shocked that 2 little girls who don’t know each other would act in that manner – shocked me is an understatement. In my day (yeah, I’m old!) or her Mama’s day, the taste would have been slapped out of our mouths so quickly, we wouldn’t have had time to prepare for it. Apparently, “The Golden Rule” Treat others the way you want to be treated – is no longer in vogue or of value? I’m not sure. While I know that life is ever-changing and the only constant is change, respect isn’t a fashion accessory. It is ALWAYS in style until someone does something to provoke a change in status.
Women universally belong to a sisterhood. We (most but not all) are the nurturers and not just for our children but for the world at large. We have set and enforced the rules in our families and though not always successful, set the example. Now that the example is changing, I wonder what kind of women our little girls, grands etc are going to be? We have the most input when it comes to raising the children. If my friend Muhjahid Woodson-Qahhar’s stats are accurate, most of us women of color are rearing these babies by ourselves. I shudder to think what our example is showing the next generation and how they will implement what they’ve learned?
After we left that store, I wondered to myself about the other little girl. “What example must she have witnessed for her to see another little girl and immediately treat her so nastily at first sight?” Why is that okay? What kind of women will these little girls grow up to be? What kind of sister-friends will they be? What happens if they as women and specifically as black women face a time in history so tumultuous that they’d need to fall back on one another? Would they survive – would we survive?
As a member of Facebook and an admin in a couple of rooms, I’ve seen the dynamics between other women in certain groups turn from sugar to spit in a short span of time. It’s usually caused by a lack of respect – a lack of acknowledgment that the other person in the equation should be treated the way that person (whatever their capacity) would want to be treated. I wonder where exactly generationally the breakdown has occured and wonder even harder at how you fix it? Can it be fixed?