Thursday, March 31, 2016

Dating While Feminist

Living while feminist in an anti-feminist world is torture. If it wasn’t for my sisters and all the ancestors who came before me, I simply could not survive.

Dating while feminist? Now that is one of the hardest task I have encountered as of yet.
I have always been relatively picky. In my late teens and my earlier 20s, my standard was pretty classist. He had to be a man of God or at least very spiritual and very in tune with himself and the world around him. He had to be college-educated with a good job. He had to be assertive and a self-starter. Someone who likes to do. Someone who likes to take risks. Someone who is weird and awkward yet comfortable in his weirdness. Creative personalities who like to think outside the box and question everything. Someone who supports me and inspires me. He had to be genuinely interested in me as a person and not the superficial persona that people project onto me. My introverted yet awkward confident ability to navigate through any circle at any time and somehow become the life of the party. I needed him to not be intimidated by my autonomy and my competitiveness. Someone I could compete with in a healthy way. Someone who understands my flaws and critiques them in a way that makes me a better person; not worse off or insecure. He had to be meticulous about his clothing and his hair and his scent but he couldn’t judge me on my hair, clothing, or my ever so unladylike habits. Someone not afraid of a little armpit, leg, and pubic hair. Because how else am I supposed to stay warm? He had to genuinely be interested in me as a person. My corniness. My dry humor. My random bursts of improv and my highly anticipated stories of all the things that are wrong in this world. I needed him to be everything I am but a little more. Because for me its difficult to open up. But I am open and self-aware. I am a hopeless romantic who has always been in love with love. One who has always been boy-crazy, switching crushes everyday but always staying focused on the one who would always get away. Because of my weird, awkward, na├»ve vision of how I wanted relationships and love to be , derived from the pews of the Catholic church girl who loved God so much but wondered why God made life so hard for a woman like me. You can say I have a type but I guess I just want to be enamored. Forever inspired. Forever amazed by the intricate details the universe put together to make him. I no longer believe in soul mates because I have met many who have been compatible with me but lacked chemistry. Chemistry but lacked compatibility. There are so many things I want , but dating is hard. Dating is difficult.

At the brink of 25, still young and still learning about myself. I am more comfortable in my skin than I have ever been. I am more sure about who I am and what I want and who I need and what I desire. I am confident enough to be unapologetic about my feminism and my hatred for misogyny, racism, ableism, homophobia, classism, transphobia, and etc etc etc etc etc. I am bold enough in my body to fully proclaim that I cant and wont tolerate those who choose not understand or stand up, speak out, or advocate against oppression.

Living while feminist is torture, but dating while feminist can be even more rough. I am selective about who I bring into my space and why. I no longer care for the man of God, college-educated with a good job. Everything else on my list remains with the addition of (see below lol). Make no mistake, I still want a man with lots of cashhhhhhh. But I am less concerned with how many degrees and what type of job he has, as opposed to how he thinks, what he does, what he values, and the type of things he has already/wants to accomplish. I am less concerned with the formality of school and more concerned with the depth and complexity of his thought process. I am more in love with the ways he creates opportunities for himself to grow spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. I need someone to grow with. I need someone who can challenge me to grow. 

Someone who respects me as a human being. Someone who recognizes the humanity of women and acknowledges the daily personal and structural struggles that women have to navigate through. Some one who doesn’t only respect me as a human being or give me some fake pedestal until they are finally over trying to change me. But someone who recognizes the humanity and respects the autonomy of every woman on this earth. Someone who understands and is willing to navigate through the oppressive waters with me. Someone who is in it for the long haul. We will get burnt out. Many times we will need to come up for a fresh breath of joy. We will need to celebrate life and progress and change and simply being (existing when everything tells us we should not). Everyday I want to do that , but I do not want to get so lost in love that I forgot about the world around me.

So many people are in love with the idea of me, but not the actual person. They don’t love me. They think my feminism is cute. They think I am going through a phase. They wonder how such a beautiful, educated, privileged woman with so much opportunity could worry about all the negative things in the world. I don’t want someone who forces positivity on me to avoid the world's miseries. I want that really. That gritty. I want to feel. I want to know. I want to seek. I want to be inspired. I want to be human and I want someone who will be human like me and with me.

Patriarchy has limited so many men’s ability to feel, to communicate, and to think. It has stifled people’s ability to truly define themselves and be open to change. So many men view women as objects to dominate and toy with. They mask entitlement with their colonized version of love. Showering her with gifts, taking her on trips, reminding her of the silent bliss the runs between their undeniable love and connectivity. Or so it seems. But I want that and more. I do not want someone who makes my passions feel small.

I don’t want some who makes my goals feel stupid. I do not have room to feel in inadequate in a world that is built on my oppression. I want to talk. I want to feel. I want to be human with someone. I want to open every part of me with someone. I want depth. I want to be enriched. I want to give and give and give so much of me to someone without feeling used or disposable.

I don’t need someone to complete me. I want a partner who is willing to share his life with me. We may not be together for a lifetime. We may not even be monogamous. But I want us to share moments in time together. I am looking for someone who complements my life style. My passions, my goals, my outlook on the world. I want him to get it. I don't want to teach him what I feel a fully functioning adult at his age should know and has access to. I don’t want him to do what he thinks he should do. I want him to understand why he does things. I want to explore the world with him. I hope he can teach me things and push me to view the world in ways I never have imagined. I want a lot.

I swear ten minutes into every date, I know it won’t work. I know that they are fascinated with everything about me, except for me. I know they find feminism laughable. I know they think they can “ deal”. By the time I’ve looked up to take another sip of water, they’ve already found a way to say something sexist. They’ve already asked me inappropriate questions that might’ve worked on the last 50. They probably tried to elevate me above all the uneducated, ratchet females they be dating.  *eye rolls* They have already offered my cooking skills up as our second date. I can already play out the date in my head: the beginning, the middle, and the end. So sometimes I don’t go. Sometimes I just avoid making eye contact or any type of conversation with men because I am convinced they will disappoint. And that my friends, is unfortunate.

Which makes it difficult to date while feminist. I am comfortable with where I am. I am comfortable with what I want. And because my standards are high and because patriarchy prevents men from stepping outside themselves to truly see me as an autonomous human being. I always fall short of love. Sometimes I am convinced that it will always be like that. And so I just spend hours writing love poems, creating this imaginary person(s) I hope I one day can meet.

I am a hopeless romantic and I am unashamed. 

We Igbos

Taboo taboo 
Mother I'm depressed 
We Igbos do not get depression 
Don't you see what I put up with 
Do you see what I've been through 
Your father 
His family 
Your siblings 
My family 
The community 
Everyday I feel helpless 
Everyday I wonder if this life is worth it 
But I work . I keep working to take my mind off the pain and trauma I've experienced 
We Igbos do not get depression 


The burden

Burden of shame 
I do because they say
I say I don't want to disappoint 
But I try 
I try to hide my feelings of inadequacy 
Resentful of those who don't bear this cross 
Constantly creeping on hot coals
Tip toeing around my inability to speak up and out 
Wondering when I will burn and break 
Carrying this burden of shame 


Love is helluva

I love that you are human 
The way your expressions freely flow from the warmth of your protruding lips 
I've never had words pierce me so dearly 
Immense heat between my thighs 
My heart 
My god 
I think I'm in hell 
Blissful hell 


Thursday, March 24, 2016

What is logic?

I am an irrational feminist because I believe in the full autonomy of women.
Often times, men try to use “ rationality” and “ logic” as a weapon against feminist women who speak up. To be man is to be logical and rational.

What is logic?
  1. a proper or reasonable way of thinking about or understanding something
  2. a particular way of thinking about something
  3. the science that studies the formal processes used in thinking and reasoning
  4. the science that investigates the principles governing correct or reliable inference.

So what is logic? What is the proper or reasonable way of thinking? 

What is proper?
  1. correct according to social or moral rules
  2. behaving in a way that is correct according to social or moral rules
  3. exactly correct

What is reasonable?
  1. fair and sensible
  2. fairly or moderately good

What is rational?

  1. based on facts or reason and not on emotions or feelings
  2. having the ability to reason or think about things clearly

What are emotions?
  1. a state of feeling

So isn’t logic and rational based on your emotion at the time you are trying to reason and think things clearly? Isn’t that a feeling in itself?

As I scrolled through “ Merriam- Webster”, I left even more confused or maybe I left feeling more affirmed. Logic, proper, rational, reasonable. All these words are bullshit. These words are used to reinforce what is “ proper”. What is proper is determined by those who hold power, thus, these types of words are used to reinforce the current power structure. 

In relation to women, who holds power? Men

Whenever men want to exercise their power, they immediately state that a woman is being irrational or illogical. Men holding power is rational and logical. Men use logic and reason to determine that it is rational and logical for men to have power. It is irrational for women to reason with men about how illogical it is for women to be oppressed by men. The current structure is rational and logical especially since it reinforces mens power. 

See how confusing that shit is? We could be here all day talking in circles, derailing conversations that have real life impact on a woman’s everyday lives. But we won’t. Because men are logical and they exercise their logic by talking in circles all day using the words logical, rational, proper, and reason. 

Who knew it was so easy to be logical. 

My savior divine

Black girlfriends 
Black girls 
Black mothers 
Black sisters 
Aunts grandmothers daughters friends lovers
Between the sheets 
Hand in hand cuffed 
Smiles exchanged from across the way 
Fingers massaged in my scalp as I get ready for my new hairstyle 
Tension reduced . Mind clear 
Waking up from a memorable night that I can barely remember with you
You Save lives 
Every Time you(I) feel yourself going down under
You give life
Miles away generations apart 
Never met . Visit frequently . Saw you once
Connected through oppressive experiences 
Dead alive presently here 
Falling failing failure 
Sometimes I don't know you personally 
Highly correlated and relevant to me. I get you 
I know you I see you and you save lives 
My savior divine.