Wednesday, November 19, 2014

To be black and woman and have a voice is to be constantly at war with society

When you speak out about misogyny , sexism , and homophobia expect to be attacked .

As it stands, we live in a society where white patriarchy dominates conversations and culture . We live in a society where the norm perpetuates misogyny , racism , and homophobia . Without the oppression of these groups , the status quo cannot remain . Thus , when the status quo is questioned in a way that we are not taught to question it , the questioners are abused .

However , what I do know is that I am not perfect and I don't claim to know the absolute truth of everything in life . That would do me a disservice . That would mean I have no room to learn and I don't value growth .

What I do know is that I can speak to my experiences on being black , being a women , and being a black women . I know that everything about me is political.

I claim to know myself and my experiences better than others because I work everyday to deconstruct the patriarchy that has been internalized within me. I am at constant conflict . But I understand this . I take up this responsibility . I own it.

I have taken a choice to make myself vulnerable to criticism because to assert myself in places where I was never and still am not welcomed is powerful to me. It is empowering to me and empowering to so many other women who are working to deconstruct patriarchy .

As a black women , I am forced to navigate both through systems of sexism and racism to survive . In order to deconstruct these two system I have to understand how they operate to benefit some and hurt others .

I am constantly asked to put my humanity on trial. Those who benefit from my oppression become my judge, jury and executioner . They force me to speak on their terms . They create this window of rationality that only benefits them. They claim objectivity on a matter that pertains to my personal experiences . Then they turn around and call me bias .

This playbook is so unoriginal and boring . But because I want to deconstruct the system that benefits you and hurts me, I understand why it is so hard for people to unmask their privilege and begin to listen . I understand the pushback. I understand the misunderstanding. I understand it but because of my deep love for my people, I want us to always to better. I want to always do better. It is my deep love of people that I feel compelled to speak out about injustices.

I have been there before . I have not always had the answers and I do not admit to have them now . But I have always been a learner. The only way I have been able to learn is by educating myself and by listening but most of all making myself uncomfortable . Forcing myself to think . Challenging what I have been taught.

Change does not come out of comfort .

Otherwise ,

What incentive does one have to break the systems in which they benefit from ? What incentive does a man have to denounce misogyny ? What incentive does a white person have to denounce racism ? What incentive does a heterosexual have to denounce homophobia ? It takes a special type of constant introspection that is not fun nor comfortable .

To find out that what you've been taught your whole life is a lie . That your existence is predicated on the oppression of others is not something to look forward .

When you live in a world that perpetuates your ignorance and favors your violence , there is rarely an opportunity to find a space to deconstruct it .

What may be true today may not be true tomorrow but I embrace that . The beauty of life is that we have the unlimited capacity to learn . But in the same breath , there are facts that exist today, in real time that help us operate in today's world.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion but not their own facts . As it stands there are Institutionalized systems of oppression that effect my livelihood . I am told that my narrative is not enough . I am not told that statistics are not enough. What good is engaging those who don't respect your humanity and intellect enough to listen ?

Which is why I firmly believe self education is the best education . Everyone must always be willing to constantly educate themselves and listen in on spaces that are reserved for those who experience it .
I don't ask for your sympathy . In fact I don't think any activist wants your sympathy . I simply want the space to be human . To experience joy while actively deconstructing systems and speaking out on things that affect me and millions of others .

If you are not interested in the work or are not interested in adding value to the conversation , I ask that you respect that .

To be black and woman and have a voice is to be constantly at war with society . I own that and I am okay with that.

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