My Ovaries, My Choice

All around the world, Abortion Law Bans have been a heavy topic of discussion due in part to news coming out of Georgia and Alabama about anti-abortion efforts. When you get a chance, please start paying attention to the news coverage. The shortened version is that there are a bunch of men who want to decide whether a woman can be penalized for an abortion and the possible punishment of a doctor who performs the procedure.

Why is it anyone’s business what a woman does to her body?

In Georgia, they are arguing that an abortion can be performed until the doctor detects the heartbeat, around six weeks. In Alabama, any doctor that performs an abortion could face up to 99 years in prison. In Texas, in April, there were talks about any woman getting an abortion could possibly be charged for manslaughter.

Again, why is this anyone’s business?

I want to be clear. This post will not be about the morality of abortion. The point is that these lawmakers, mostly White men, are creating laws that in no way impact them. Why does a man get to punish women for making a personal decision about their own bodies? Why do they care?

What pisses me off the most is that there is next to no stipulations for a situation involving rape or incest. If a woman gets pregnant as the result of a rape, why should she be forced to keep a constant reminder of such a horrific experience?

My worry is for people who are overly determined not to have a baby who may go to extreme measures to get rid of the fetus. And for these women who are forced to have these babies they don’t want, now you have children being raised in a home with a neglectful and resentful mother. These children grow up not feeling loved and experiencing emotional and sometimes physical abuse.

When it comes to getting an abortion, it should be the sole responsibility and decision of that one woman. None of these lawmakers will be on hand to assist with morning sickness or a complicated pregnancy or any of the stresses and worries that go along with having a baby so their opinions should not be forced on people.

Never thought I’d say these words, but this is why it is so important to research the people running for office at the local as well as the national levels.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

I had a conversation recently with two older women about marriage and how it’s viewed by my generation as opposed to my grandmother’s generation. The consensus was, wives back in the day put up with a lot more from their husbands while women today throw in the towel too easily.

They told me of a woman who was married to her husband for years whom she had children by. He had an affair that produced another child and when he died, the extramarital child and mother attended the funeral. The wife knew of the affair as the mistress called the house regularly (this was long before people had separate phone lines and cell phones).

When I asked why she didn’t leave him, the conversation morphed into people deciding for themselves what they will and will not put up with in a marriage. For some women, cheating is seen as second nature but they will not tolerate a man being abusive. For others, cheating is the big no-no but a push or shove every once in a while is excusable.

All of this made me wonder, when it comes to marriage in 2019: are we giving up too soon or have our values changed? (and yes, I heard this as a Carrie Bradshaw monologue in my head).

I think the easy answer to this question is that our values have changed but I think that’s a result of an increase of options, especially for women, if they decide to leave their husbands. Back in the day, not every woman was in a position where they could hold down a full-time job. There was no Monster.com or Indeed.com around to help them find a job. And if you’re a mother on top of that, the price of child care on one salary can be more than difficult and the idea of footing the bills by yourself is daunting enough to make someone second guess a divorce.

As for us giving up too easily, I do agree that too many people recognize divorce as an option before they walk down the aisle. But this also comes with some people not being considerate or careful about who they’re marrying and assuming that marriage is not supposed to be accompanied by hard work.

It’s a lot to consider but my overall conclusion is that I can’t really judge someone for the decisions they choose to make in their marriage. It’s even hard for me to say what I would or wouldn’t do if I was faced with those same situations. I don’t think you ever really know how you’re going to react to things until you’re forced to answer the tough questions and make the hard choices.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Letting Go, No Looking Back

When I wrote the title of this blog I started humming the Wayne Wonder reggae song “No Letting Go” but my remix would go “I’m letting go, no looking back.” Not as romantic as the original song but it is far more powerful.

Letting go is essential as you get older and the philosophy could be applied to bad habits or bad people. As bad as the habit, or person, could be, letting go is never easy. We all get complacent and don’t want to deal with the withdrawals of getting rid of something or someone that has been a staple in your life.

I won’t pretend like it’s always easy for me to make those tough decisions. But I have to force myself to think about how my life would look and feel if I didn’t take action.

The future of my health and happiness is worth far more than the awkwardness of “breaking up” with something that is causing me stress. I look around at all of the things I have currently going on and all the things I have yet to accomplish and I know I can’t afford to let inconsequential things stand in my way.

Look at your future. Look at those projects you have on the horizon. Now think about the toxic habits or people that currently inhabit your life. Will that thing or that person help you reach your goal? Or will they be a hindrance? Will they encourage you to work hard and be patient while you perfect your grind? Or will they be a distraction?

Don’t feel guilty for putting you and your goals and your family before everything else. THAT IS YOUR RIGHT. And as hard as it may be to hear, some of those habits and people are not meant to go along for the ride.

Letting go is the first step and as hard as it can be, resisting the temptation to look back can be even harder. Removing something from your life doesn’t mean you don’t or won’t miss it. It’s natural to mourn the loss of something you once held dear. However, looking back can cause you to rewrite history and can open the door to reintroduce that toxicity into your life.

Stay firm. Keep your eyes forward. And trust yourself.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Mothers by Brit Bennett: Book Review

I first learned about this book from actress Gabrielle Union via an Instagram story from years ago. She was sharing with her followers all of the books she was gearing up to read and this happened to be one of them. After reading the synopsis, I recommended the title to my book club for us to read and discuss together.

The Mothers refer to a group of elderly women at a church whose job is to pray for members, give unsolicited advice and gossip amongst themselves. This story revolves around two teenage girls, Nadia and Aubrey, and their friendship. Both are motherless teenagers who tackle life differently.

Nadia lives with her widowed father and constantly wonders why her mother committed suicide. She avoids church and prefers instead to travel and hang out alone, until she starts dating the minister’s son Luke.

Aubrey involves herself in as many ministries as she possibly can at church and is the sweet to Nadia’s spicy. She lives with her sister due to an estranged relationship with her own mother and tends to keep her head down and her nose clean.

The culminating moment of the book occurs when Luke gets Nadia pregnant and at her insistence, she gets an abortion. From there, each character experiences the joys and pitfalls of growing up.

The story moved at a steady pace and I liked how each character was given the chance to tell their own individual story. In the midst of getting their points of view across, the “mothers” of the church offered a bird’s eye view of the circumstances and situations happening in their church. This allows the reader to see how the characters are viewed overall and this, along with the characters’ own words and thoughts, gives the reader permission to make their own conclusions.

The characters, even some of the minor ones, are pretty layered which makes it interesting and sometimes difficult to be completely for or against them. This was not a lengthy novel, only 288 pages, and more pages could have been used to address some of the open-ended situations.

HIGHS

The author opened my eyes to the trauma an abortion can have on the potential father. We get to see Luke be vulnerable and haunted from the death of a baby he helped to create and it’s a beautiful thing to behold.

LOWS

Nadia, as a character, doesn’t show much growth from the beginning of the book when she’s a teenager, to her adult years. The times where she does something for someone else, it comes across like she’s doing it out of a sense of responsibility as opposed to actually caring about the people in her life.

FINAL THOUGHTS

This story could and should have been longer as I would like to have some closure with some of the characters. But overall, it’s not a bad book and you will be able to get through it quickly.

M2W1 Rating: 3/5 Quill Pens quill penquill penquill pen

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

ΗΘΜΣCΘΜΙΝG: A Film by Beyoncé – RECAP

If you are one of those people that hates Beyoncé for whatever reason, then this post might not be for you. And if you are one of those Beyhive members who look for any and every excuse to shame someone not as devoted as yourself, then this won’t be for you either.

I like Beyoncé as a singer and a dancer and watching her documentary film on Netflix made me like and respect her as a businesswoman. For those not in the loop, Beyoncé did a behind the scenes documentary on her headlining performance at Coachella in 2018. The concert was an homage to the Black college experience with an amazing drum line, dancers, a baton twirler, trash talk and a step show.

Here are some things that stood out for me:

  • In one of the scenes, she is speaking to a group of about 50 people and explaining to them what she wants in her show. Her husband, Jay Z, is sitting at her side and though he has just as many years in the business as she does, he remains quiet and lets her do what she needs to do. He offers that silent spousal support that is essential in every relationship.
  • She talks openly about the weight she gained during her pregnancy and the struggle to feel like herself once her twin babies came out. I loved hearing her openness about that because so many women keep these feelings to themselves and walk around thinking they are alone with their insecurities. Being pregnant, I felt like an alien was trying to claw its way out of my stomach. I felt weird and not at all beautiful and magical like they describe it on TV. And afterwards, your body is this foreign entity that makes you feel uncomfortable and unattractive. For some women, you never come back from that feeling.
  • If you look closely at the background dancers, they are every hue and size. The first time I saw thick women in a music video was in Redman’s I’ll Bee Dat. While I was happy to see them, it almost felt like they were props. They were chosen for the video because of their size but in Beyoncé’s documentary, the thicker women were chosen for their dancing ability, I assume. As a thick chick myself, seeing these women being just as sexy and confident as their skinnier counterparts was refreshing and appreciated.
  • In addition to talking about her pregnancy, Beyoncé waxed poetic about the struggles to be a working mother. Sacrifices must be made and sometimes that might mean missing bedtime with your babies or missing that deadline at work. You are constantly scrambling trying to be everything to everyone but eventually you get to the point where you have to prioritize. Putting your family first can be a difficult transition and sometimes it seems impossible to be ambitious and a good mommy at the same time. Everything is doable but convincing yourself of that is never easy.
  • Once the documentary was over, and the credits started to roll, I saw “Written, Directed and Executive Produced by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter” and it made me smile. I assumed she was a hard worker, most successful people in the entertainment industry have to be, but seeing all of those titles before her name made me proud. All of those positions require different skills and in addition to handling those tasks, she also had to manage being a mommy and wife and sister and aunt and friend and all of that. Obviously she has assistants and a team of people to help her but that doesn’t take away from the work she put in with the documentary and her career.

I really enjoyed it and it left me feeling inspired and proud to be a woman.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Prada Plan #5: Book Review

*This is the first book review that I am including in my blog. I have written book reviews for various publications but those listed here have not and will not appear anywhere else. In the future, I will also create a rating system in the future.

It has been a long time since I have lost myself in the pages of “street lit.” Back in my 20s, I gravitated toward any books written by African-American authors and other young people like me fell in love with the genre that gave us heated arguments, drug dealers, and justified or unjustified murder.

Sadly, my 20s are long behind me and these types of books just don’t do it for me anymore.

When I first saw the cover of Prada Plan #5 by Ashley Antoinette, I immediately rolled my eyes. Even the title indicates that this was one of “those” novels. I won’t sit here and act like these types of novels didn’t hold my attention once upon a time but now, not so much.

Based off the title, I surmised that this was the fifth title in a series starring the same set of characters. There is Disaya aka “YaYa”, a newlywed with a husband she loves and lusts over and a little girl. Indie Perkins is her extremely wealthy husband who, though holding a legitimate job, still has ties to the drug world he can’t let go of. And then there is Parker, Indie’s first love and potential mother of his first child.

The premise of the book is simple: Indie is torn between his first love and being faithful to his new love. They have both born him children and he just wants to do the “right” thing by them both.

HIGHS:

A definite page turner. Each chapter is filled with enough drama and action to make the pages fly by. Readers could easily read this tale in 2-3 days. The story moves at a fast pace but it is still easy to follow.

LOWS:

There is so much drama that at some point it seems the drama is there just because. None of the characters are blameless in their actions and many have no redeeming qualities. Without reading the first four books in this series, it is almost impossible to understand the motivations for each character.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Despite this book being an easy read, there was little to no substance. If you want to read a book purely for entertainment, then this is for you. But don’t open this book expecting to find something thought provoking or inspirational.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Can You Stand the Rain?

The old saying, “when it rains it pours,” has been true in many different stages in my life. My mother likes to say that though rains may fall, there is a rainbow on the other side. I started to think about the impact rain has on certain things and certain kinds of people.

When I think about dirt, excessive rain turns it into mud, duh. But outside of the spa, mud is dirty, sticky, and murder on your tires or your toddler’s new shoes.

ARE YOU MUD?

When troubles come your way, do you allow yourself to get stuck in your situation? Do you sit in the middle of your bed and rehash your worries to anyone and everyone willing to listen to you whine?

Now, think about gravel. A lot of rain not only makes the roads slippery and treacherous, but it can also lead to erosion. Those lovely potholes that wreak havoc on your vehicle most likely came as a result of a torrential downpour.

ARE YOU GRAVEL?

When troubles arise, do you give it the power to break you in mind and spirit? Do you accept your fate and assume that nothing will change for the better?

And finally we come to plants. Whether you have a green thumb or not, and I absolutely do not, you know that at the bare minimum, plants need water to grow and flourish. The rain may cause the plant to bow under the pressure but it will remain firm.

ARE YOU A PLANT?

Do you take the troubles and issues that come at you, yet remain firm? Do you relish the hard times, or “rain”, knowing that you will emerge stronger and healthier once the storm has passed.

In theory, we all want to believe that we are plants. No one wants to admit that they allow things beyond their control to stop them in their tracks. But too often we get stuck in our circumstances or become broken beyond repair.

We allow troubles to weigh us down to the point where we can’t see a way out.

Rough times typically come in droves and are meant to knock us out, at least temporarily. But it’s how you handle what’s thrown at you that matters. Despite how it may feel, these tough times were never meant to last forever.

If you need to scream, do it. If you need to vent for a little while, speak up. If you just want to crawl in bed with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and a glass of Pinot Grigio and watch reruns of Martin or Friends, you have the right. But do not allow yourself to wallow forever.

Have your moment and then figure out your next step.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized