Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My article for Be Good To Women Day 2012

Happy Be Good To Women Day! To the women ready to let the men love and appreciate us today and to the men who love and cherish us. Again, happy Be good to women day! I will say though, without quoting rape statistics and ranting on health care and domestic violence laws not in our favor, in the face of the abuse we allow to happen to women, that today is “Be good to women day” I am faced with acknowledging my own conflicting visceral responses to the slogan and because this journey would be better with company, I ask that you do the same.

When I hear “Be good to women day” there is a part of me, as a woman, that exhales and wipes my brow like… “Finally, it’s here.” I mentally put my feet up, relax and honor myself, women in my family, my women friends, acquaintances and ancestors. I take time to accept myself completely. Enumerate where I went wrong and what I did right. I also admittedly hear “Be good to women day” as a woman in an abusive relationship might hear “Happy Valentine’s Day.” Like, “Yeah, right. Give me the teddy bear and the wilted flowers and smile and then go back to your verbal and physical abuse tomorrow.” And even though cynicism rides in the backseat of this conversation I, as a woman, mother, daughter, friend, sister, am honored. I already told you, my emotions were conflicting.

While I understand that “Be good to women day” honors and celebrates all women, I will speak specifically as an African-American woman. I am often disheartened when I see, hear, hear of us shutting down our brothers with our pointed fingers and those four razor words You. DON’T. Get. It! In response to our struggles, our paths, our lessons. When there are men right there in the thick of it with us trying to get it. Trying to get us (as if we are an easily gotten group). While we relive our abuses, health issues, family problems there are men there, hanging on in there. Thank you, brothers. Thank you. Thank you for having to deal with your own drama and carrying our load with yours.

All of that said, how can we create authentically honoring and celebrating women on “Be good to women day?” Well the creation can be an individual thing. One may choose to publically present flowers and speech while another may declare new resolutions to ending violence against women, and still another may use his voice, power and presence to protect, love and honor women. Whatever the actions I am thankful that this day exists.

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