Society

The People’s Definition of Beauty

“The Dark “Natural” Black woman has long been a fetish, even, I’m sad to say, to our own race. She’s the one who “dares” to exist as she was born in a world that encourages her to conform to Eurocentric beauty standards, and therefore, from the get go, she is viewed as a hostile/stubborn/strong individual; someone to be forced into submission through self-hatred. She is reminded of her colour, her ethnicity, every time someone mentions it and makes it seem like a handicap.

I find it interesting to note though, that people who measure beauty by aforementioned Eurocentric standards, people who look to Pop Culture to inform them what’s hot or not, still refuse to embrace Lupita as an icon. I find myself wondering whether it’s to do with the fact that embracing her beauty would have to mean actually facing the fact that through the mainstream media we have been told and shown that we’re not considered desirable, something many deny, or whether the self-hatred runs so deep that women who look like her will not be deemed worthy to such people, no matter who says so.

Many dismiss her as “average”. “I can find a woman who looks like her just walking to the store,” they say, insinuating that the average woman to them isn’t in the least bit attractive or worthy of attention, no less admiration. To understand why Lupita is not a Goddess to many, why her triumphs are insignificant, we will need to understand that the bar has been contorted to fit only a specific mould and her acceptance will see her not only altering it, but possibly maiming it and proving it redundant and unrealistic. And during this process she will obviously face resistance, as we’re currently bearing witness to.”

 

My first piece for C Hub Magazine. Read more here.

Destiny’s Child: A Letter To Young Women

It takes strength, determination and commitment, as a young woman, to get up from under the thumb of Society’s expectations and burdens.  We’re raised to believe we need to put others before us in a way that goes beyond simple altruism. A woman is to carry her family, her friends, her neighbours and society at large on her back and do it gracefully. 

But who thinks of the woman’s needs?  Who thinks of her dreams and aspirations?

Society’s taken strides to encourage independence in women but I’ve found, whether in a bid to keep us realistic or simply because a lot of people still feel that way internally, their encouragement always has a limit. 

A glass ceiling. 

How many of our own parents have encouraged us as young women to truly be independent?

Destiny's Chils

No one seems to discuss the fact that a degree doesn’t guarantee that.  Nor does money or a car, although they might make your life a bit more comfortable. 

Independence starts from within.  It, like knowledge, is something no one can take away from you without your consent. 

As one grows, one experiences loss.  We lose friends, partners, family, mindsets and assets. In fact one might say the only constants in your life right now, truly, are yourself, and change. 

But when was the last time you thought about your goals and aspirations? Without the little voice in your head reminding you of what everyone else expects of you. 

When last? 

To quote the author  Paulo Coehlo  “To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation.” 

It sounds a bit unrealistic, granted, but the older you get, the more important this message will become.  There will never be a shortage of people who want you to do what they want you to do, and everyone seems to know what’s best for the next person while never taking their own advice.  

As much as I don’t know anyone else’s destiny, I can tell you this, it’s never to become somebody else’s project/puppet.  Your separate existence as an entity is so for a reason.  You have a life and you have choices. 

Destinys+Child+Survivor+Crop

Independence also requires a lot of self love.  

You need to love yourself enough to want the best for yourself, by your standards. But desire is not enough, you must also love yourself enough to seek it out.  This will mean endless hours of self actualization, some of which may be rather tedious. You may become the boring [read: focused] one, and you WILL face quite a few hurdles, but the adversity faced will seem rather minuscule once you achieve your goals. 

There is no specific mold to the perfect life.  No one has the blueprint and therefore, no one can truly tell you you’re wrong to follow your passions. 

A woman is capable of so much, far more than we can ever imagine.  

destinys_child

Why not achieve it all? 

Put yourself first for a change. Put your dreams first. 

Put your Life first. 

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” 
― Paulo Coelho, Alchemist

Destiny-s-Child-in-Independent-Women-Part-I-music-video-destinys-child-30898154-400-225

It’s no secret that the world is a rather unsafe place for women.  We’re basically walking targets.  I’m reminded of this fact every time I log onto Twitter.  I swear that place is Rape Apologist Central.  Or Facebook, where people seem to find any and every reason to justify violence against women. These are the voices and opinions of members of society. People we walk past everyday.

Whether in our homes or on the street, in a bar or a mosque, in a bikini or a suit a woman needs to constantly be vigilant.

See somewhere along the way we were dehumanized to the point where our mistreatment became the norm. It’s unfortunate but while we work on making the majority of people realize that women are in fact an important part of society, to be respected and treated well, the fact remains, a lot of us find ourselves in uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situations.

Understand that we have the right to protect ourselves in a world that constantly makes us targets. 

Protect yourself, by any means necessary.

Below is a list of everyday objects you can use to defend yourself should you need to.

I hope it’s helpful.

1. Pepper spray.

But if you don’t have it, body spray/hair spray could be sprayed in the attacker’s eyes.

2. A Nail file

Could be used to stab said assailant.

3. Pens 

This everyday writing tool can become a deadly weapon for self-defense moves when thrust into the soft tissue of the throat, under the jaw line or the eyes.

4. Your bag

Could be used as a shield should the attacker try to stab you.  If you have enough heavy shit in there, swing it.

5. Stick like implements: umbrellas,brooms, golf clubs etc

Thrust these into sensitive areas or powerfully strike areas such as the knees,head and neck.

6. Objects with weight/mass

This includes bricks, heavy vases etc.  You can’t merely toss it and hope for the best though. Aim, target. The head is always a great place to strike.

7. If you have the time, for example in a home invasion/attack situation, stuff a pillowcase and use it. (And for you campers, a nice rock-in-a-sock is one of several self-defense weapons available in the woods.)

8. Nearby bottles/glasses/large cups.  

Again, go for the face/head.

9. In the kitchen

Pots and pans.

Plates can be smashed over the assailant’s head.  Knives, obviously. Hell, aim that hot sauce in the attacker’s eyes.

Use ANYTHING you can if you’re in danger.

Youtube has a lot of videos on Women’s Self Defense.  Watch them, they might come in handy some day, unfortunately.

 

It’s been written that usually, in the case of women, we find it hard to defend ourselves, even when we can because we never want to be the violent ones in situations. I say if this in fact the case, it needs to end.

It’s only right to protect yourself.

Do so.

Our President, Who art in... Where exactly?

ILLUSTRATION BY THEBE PHETOGO

Imagine my shock at discovering that our President’s been in the news for more than donating blankets and increasing alcohol prices lately! If you’re not from Botswana, you might think that this is a joke, but I’m sorry to say, it really isn’t.

Our President is notoriously known for applying military tactics when it comes to his movements. From disappearing for months on end with no explanation to the people, only appearing in rural areas to donate blankets and hold hands with old ladies, to confusing the enemy.. I mean, the people.. By introducing alcohol levies that supposedly were meant to go towards building a rehabilitation center, which we never saw.

He travels for wildlife summits, participates in local radio stations’ weight loss/fitness competitions and wins while maintaining a perfect afro, improves his Setswana and runs this country from God knows where, most of the time, without breaking a sweat.

Amazing isn’t he?
He’s like.. Super President.

Except the average city dwelling Motswana isn’t happy with Rraarona. Unlike their village dwelling peers, they aren’t easily impressed. When they do decide to vote, their vote can’t be bought with a few blankets and a handshake.

For some, it is to do with constantly having to change their drink of choice because every other year it becomes even more expensive. One goes from Cabernet Sauvignon to Autumn Harvest and they must wonder who’s to blame for the disorder in their lives.

For others it is because he seems to be a phantom president, appearing only really during election year and on certain holidays. The people want to know where he is, what he’s doing, and if it’s benefiting them.

The more politically/socially aware chaps say what they’ve said since he started making decisions: Why does this feel like a dictatorship? When do WE get consulted? Why don’t things add up? And why is everyone silent?

Save for a few lighthearted [read: fearful] articles by anonymous/brave writers asking all the difficult questions, no one speaks of our Leader. Even the brazen individuals on Botswana Twitter refer to him using code names because nobody knows if the legends of the Big Boss Man making calls to have a pesky citizen “dealt with” are true or not.

We’ve heard rumours that John Kalafatis was shot for a bit more than just being a hardcore criminal, but that’s neither here nor there.
The story itself was probably the first time our generation and possibly the one above it had to question government’s now gangster like tactics.

All we got were vague statements and mentions of ongoing investigations.
The accused got 11 months in jail, only served a few months and are now free to traipse the streets.

And then John’s father was attacked by unknown assailants and left behind Sir Seretse Khama barracks. Unfortunately he did not make it.

A while later, his son and John’s brother, Costa, was shot by what he described as plain clothes officers in a government vehicle and after months of fighting for his life, survived.

And what did our good old government and police force have to say?

Wait for it..
Wait for it…

He’d snatched a handbag in G West and he had been a fugitive.

I pity the fool that believes that nonsense, which, if I’m being honest, might just be a lot of Batswana.

As I read the post explaining why the police were looking for Costa, on Facebook, before the shooting, I rolled my eyes and was both offended and annoyed at what I read.

Costa denied any involvement in the purse snatching and really all I’d like to say is that if snatching a purse gets you murdered, we’d have much higher death tolls.

Theories continue to sprout about exactly why the poor family has been befallen with such grief and more questions are raised in the minds of Batswana.

Evidently there was a silent “D” for “Discretion”when His Excellency got into power.

Yarona FM News reported yesterday that our esteemed Leader “hasn’t attended a single United Nations General Assembly or African Union Heads of State Summit but has attended six Conservation International board meetings since assuming power in 2008.”

This was apparently revealed by Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Mokgweetsi Masisi in Parliament.

“The AU provide an effective forum that enables all Member States to adopt coordinated positions on matters of common concern to the continent in international fora and defend the interests of Africa effectively while the United Nations on the other hand, aims to promote international co-operation.

Conservation International, whose board Khama is a member, empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature. He also has personal interests in the sector with significant investments in tourism.

Masisi said Botswana has been represented in all the AU and UN meetings by either the Vice President or Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on behalf of Khama.”

Now I cannot say why the Father of the Nation did not attend these meetings, I know nothing of the man and can only assume that maybe he feels it more important to be one with nature than to attend to trivial matters brought up by the AU.

He might just be a busy man.

Too busy in fact, to keep up with the promises that he makes to constituents.

Yarona FM news reported again that President Ian Khama has failed to deliver on his promise to help resolve the poor water drainage system in Gaborone West South.

“Khama said during his popular presidential walkabout in the constituency last year that he will address the problem which causes floods during the rainy season.

He told the residents that the new backlog eradication initiative would take care of the situation.”

And yet Yesterday when the area MP Botsalo Ntuane asked when the affected areas in the constituency would be rehabilitated, Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Botlogile Tshireletso told Parliament that due to competing priorities and budgetary limitations, rehabilitation has not been possible.

The people were told that hopefully, 2014/15 would be the year.

Oh, politics.

A messy, filthy thing, only for the gullible and those with slick tongues and shifty eyes.

[No, I’m not likening you to snakes. Well, not really.]

It is election year.
After this post I may not be around to see the polls.

Of course we already know how this is going to go.
The BDP is kind of like the ANC and in a sense, ZANU PF, in the sense that, although you don’t know if the people are voting for the political party or the leader, the outcome is always the same.

From what I hear cigarette prices will be going up too soon.
I’ll just be here, hopefully still in one piece, smoking half a cigarette rather slowly.

These are the days of our lives, kids.
I think we’re all grown up now.

Fuck you, Pay Me: On Business, Sex Work and Courting

I often find myself discussing sex work with possible suitors.  Probably a cringe worthy notion to some. Why would you discuss sex work with a man who’s trying to woo you? Won’t that dissuade him?

2 things.

1.   I don’t really care if it does.

2. I’ve found a person’s opinion on something like sex work says a lot about their mindset.

It’s no secret to those that know me that in the future I would love to actively work in the sex industry.  Now here, for most people, their first thought is “She wants to be a prostitute” because to them, it is the end all, be all of sex work.  This thought is usually followed by “Why would a sane [haha, I haven’t been that in YEARS] seemingly normal person willingly want to be a streetwalker?” and when we get here, I have to turn back and explain a few things.

Sex has never been taboo for me. As far back as I can remember, it’s always fascinated me beyond the prepubescent frenzy things kids shouldn’t know causes.  I’ve always wanted to understand it, how it makes people feel, what it does, the effect it has on the body and the mind.  As much as many over the years tried to dissuade me from viewing it in a non taboo way, it hasn’t worked.

I still marvel at how something so simple, so natural, has so much power.  How cleavage can cause a ruckus.  How the female body can be seen as both the Devil’s playground and  a mecca for society at large.  How a man’s body is viewed by society as a Temple, a pillar, no matter how ugly it is.  How the meeting of these two, for pleasure, for financial gain, with consent or without, is viewed  by society.  What it means.

My views on sex were never as simple as “It should only be had by people in love”.  Bodies were Legos to me.  Where’s the fun in only joining the two pieces that fit exactly together? What can you learn from that? What does it create?

Because I appreciated sex, I appreciated those who had it.  You can’t love the product and hate the producer.  Sex workers, to me, were kindred spirits.  I read about them, I watched movies about them, I wanted to know their stories, their backgrounds, who they were beyond what society says.

image001

And I did.

And the more I understood, the more at home I felt.

I’ve often told people, writing about sex isn’t something I chose, it chose me.  The life that I live is conducive for that and honestly, it comes too effortlessly for me to NOT think it’s one of the things I’m meant to do in Life.

Oprah, Karrine Steffans and Asa Akira are the closest to role models I’ve ever had.  People worlds apart who fit perfectly in my mind when it comes to my goals.  All three women have been trail blazers in their respective fields and are celebrated worldwide for their achievements.

Oprah has an award winning mouth, Asa an award winning anus and Karrine, an award winning mind.

I deem them all glorious.

BeHlo8GCEAACIEa

I’ve met so many women over the course of my writing career who just needed some reassurance.  A helping hand, an ear. Understanding.  And I have related to each and every one of them.

I have friends who are sex workers and I have friends who are chaste and unapproachable on the subject.  I have seen both sides and I judge neither.

A lot of people use the law to shit on the credibility of sex work.  People who watch pornography and listen to urban pop stars and have galleries full of scantily clad women will be the first to spit on a prostitute should they meet one.  Or judge women with Sugar Daddies.

A person with a favourite pornstar will be the first to yell out how whores are disgusting.

The cold, cold irony.

They pick what makes them feel morally clean without logically and critically thinking of their statements.

An escort and a porn star aren’t worlds apart.

A street walker and a stripper one can pay a little extra for other favours aren’t worlds apart.

Hell, the modern day pop star isn’t all that different from a stripper.

pole_dance_main

They all deserve respect but a lot of people don’t see this. Even in the sex industry itself there’s classism.   The porn star will think she’s better than the prostitute.  The lady with the sugar daddy will think she’s smarter than the stripper.

And that is honestly how a lot of people are.

When people ask me with thinly veiled contempt if I’d be a prostitute my response is “I wouldn’t particularly WANT to go into that avenue, I’d rather be an escort but hey..” And it’s not a classist issue for me. Hell, it’s not even a safety issue per se because at the end of the day you end up behind closed doors with a stranger.  Escorting would just be way more convenient.

No, I’m in no way trying to gloss over the problems sex workers face.  The abuse, the rapes, the loneliness and solitude, the shit side of it, but I’m saying, as a society, viewing them as unworthy of compassion or understanding, as less than, because they do what they do, is grossly hypocritical considering that in one way or the other, everyone is connected to the billion dollar industry that is.

Sex work stories need to be told.

Not just porn star memoirs, we need more honest depictions from both those who joined it out of necessity and those who joined it of their own accord. We need to make this a safer place, a stigma free place, for those who partake in it.  And I want to be a part of that transition. A part of that change.

First and foremost I dedicate what I do to educating and assisting. I’ve found I make the little difference that I do through relaying honest experiences and sharing what I’ve learned, and that isn’t changing.

That isn’t changing and I need possible suitors to understand that my mission, my journey in Life, though not set in stone, has a path, and what’s on it may not always be peachy and mainstream.

I don’t desire the “Sex work is disgusting” men. I don’t desire anyone who has a problem with what other people do to survive and thrive, that doesn’t affect them.

And so the “I’d pay for sex but sex work is immoral” people are written off.

So are the “Why don’t you do something more noble?” people.

People need protection and they need someone in their corner.  They need understanding. They need to be heard.  What they do with their bodies does not suddenly rob them of their rights, contrary to what a lot of Governments and society tends to assume.

So, if I do become a full fledged Whore, I will do so wholeheartedly. Because what is ownership of one’s self if what one does is still dictated by everyone else?

Tainted Love: Hell Is Empty And All The Devils Are Here

Print

Society hardly ever paints women as the aggressor or the manipulator in a relationship.  The  “Angry Black woman” is the main portrayal of a dissatisfied/uneasy woman in our circles, and so it’s all people have chosen to believe exists.  Evil, manipulation and destruction are kept for the males in a relationship.

And so the men who suffer at the hands of abusive women are often neglected.

Most of them don’t even know they’re being emotionally manipulated and scarred.  They are men who tried to love a restless woman and got caught up and dragged in her hurricane of a “love”.  The “good” men who met a woman who lost that part of her way before he came around and makes him suffer for it.  Men who are too “nice”, too hopeful to know when to leave.

Partners can be vindictive and try to package it as one of the things they do for love.  I’ll admit people love differently, but I’ve learned that certain forms of love leave you battered and bruised and some people never run out of apologies.

Excuses, excuses.

Abusive people never lack a sob story.  Reasons why they can’t help but hurt you. It’not them, it’s the fact that their father walked out on them.  It’s not that he’s a bad person, it’s that he constantly needs to “test” your love by doing things that emotionally cripple you.  She can’t help herself, the fact that you have female friends makes her do what she does.

It’s never them.

I dated a man for two years and watched him turn into someone I no longer recognized.  We were happy until we weren’t.  Until he started going through my phone and cussing me out for having male friends he didn’t know.  Until he started locking me in the house as he went about his ways because “If you leave the house you might meet another guy and leave me”.  Until he started kicking me out at odd hours of the night or in front of his friends.  Until I became something he wanted to keep around as a safety net and I realized his love meant taking out his frustrations and insecurities on the one thing he knew couldn’t leave him.

And don’t tell me I could have walked out.

It wasn’t easy when this was someone I’d invested that time into.  I believed I could love him better. I believed time would change everything and I believed every time he apologized, he meant it.  He really couldn’t help it.  I believed it really WAS because he was high or he treated me that way because he really WAS scared of losing me and he just COULDN’T be without me.

And who doesn’t want to feel needed?

Who doesn’t, deep down inside, want to be the saviour?

Who doesn’t want their relationship to overcome hurdles and survive?

Except abuse is not a hurdle to be overcome.  I learned that the day he tried to punch me and I moved as his fist connected with the wall.

That was it for me.  I realized like my father, like many men I know, he had reached the point of no return.  The point where he thought it was perfectly alright to strike me and his apology for that might heal my black eye.

It was time to go.  Time to walk out on the one person I had thought I was learning true love with.  Time to abandon what I knew because it was crippling me inside and trying to bruise me on the outside.

And fucking hell it wasn’t easy, but it was necessary.

Weeks later, while drinking with friends, my ex’s friend walked up to me, grinning like a Cheshire cat and said “Did you hear? Your ex updated his Facebook status and said he has HIV.  You should check that out.”

I’ve never sobered up that fast in my entire life.

I shook as I logged onto Facebook and read  what was there, plain as day:

“Hey guys. So I wanted to tell you that I have HIV but it’s cool. I’m still eating well and fucking these bitches raw, just as I’m supposed to.”

I was gutted.

Absolutely fucked.

His phone wouldn’t go through as I tried to reach him and nor did his sister’s.  My mind raced.  It must be true if I can’t reach him. He’s probably left town and gone to his parent’s to sort this out.  What the fuck am I going to do? How long has he known?

Everything within me seemed to stop.

I went to his house the next morning and there were new tenants there who informed me he’d left town, but he’d be back in a few days.

Those days dragged past.

When I finally saw him and asked him if it was true all he did was laugh and ask me if I wanted to fuck.

It amazed me how easily someone could turn on you when they have no claim to you anymore.

I spent the next week contemplating suicide and binge drinking, living in a friend’s dorm room.  I didn’t know how to explain to my mother that the man I’d treated my family like shit for might have knowingly given me the HI virus. I didn’t know what kind of future to plan, if at all.

I knew nothing.

The day when I finally decided I’d commit suicide, not having tested by the way because I was too scared to know, my friend came to me, looked at me, and told me “Bakang. You have to go talk to your mother about this. I can see you’re thinking some reckless shit and I’m not gonna let you fuck around and do some bullshit. Go see her. I’ll come with you if you want, if she kicks you out, come back here and we’ll figure something out. But go tell her.”

I walked into my mother’s office looking like I hadn’t had a proper meal in a week and I was having stress for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I told her everything and for what wouldn’t be the last time, she looked at me dry eyed, hurt, shocked and tired.

We went for the test, discussed what we’d do if the results were positive and waited.

I was negative.

I called my ex immediately afterwards to tell him the results and his response floored me:

“Of course you’re negative. I was just fucking with you. I thought if I told you I had HIV you’d come back to me and we’d be together again.”

My mind stopped working.  This man, this man who’d treated me like shit and told me I was worthless had done ALL that, to spite me? To keep me? To break me then swoop in and save me?

How long was that gonna go on for?

Why would he even..?

But you know, I wasn’t mad. I couldn’t be. After all I’d gone through internally, I honestly couldn’t bring myself to get mad.

I went on with my shit.

I learned that desperate people will go to ANY length to keep those they’ve claimed as their own.  Some people are sick, internally.  They cover up their illness, their entitlement issues, insecurity and commitment issues, with excuses.  And “love” is always on that list.

I learned to avoid affection from people who bring me no peace.  And honestly, I can’t love people who honestly believe they don’t deserve affection, they will do ANYTHING to prove themselves right, including breaking your spirit to prove to themselves how fucked they are.  You will fail to love them and, if you don’t learn when to leave, die trying.

They always guilt trip you into staying.

They’ll emotionally abuse you and when you muster up the courage to leave guilt trip you.

My ex’s favourite was “Who’ll be here for me when you go? You’re all I have.”

“Fine, be like everyone else who leaves me…”

“You said you loved me..”

And you know, you really did. You did. But you really can’t anymore. Know when to go.

My friend’s ex girlfriend cheated on him then when he tried to leave her she said “Fine. Leave. Who’d love someone who’s been raped anyway?”

She hadn’t been raped, she’d willingly slept with this guy, this came out as her lie unraveled. But she’d said it.

And that’s how some people are.

She accused this random man of rape because she simply wanted to keep someone she KNEW she abused and manipulated.

Human beings rarely shock me because I’ve come to expect the unfathomable from them, especially when they claim to be in love.

Because most of these people have no idea what love feels like.

We’ve all been infatuated.  But most people never move past that stage.

They take infatuation, attraction, obsession and ownership and sell it as love.  They have no idea how to NOT destroy what they claim to care about.

They cripple in order to keep.

Shamelessly.

And those who haven’t known anything different stay.

They stay because someone cries.

Because they claim to love them.

Because their abuse is familiar.

 

I can say it all I want but some people have to learn that you cannot love these people better.  They will kill you internally and keep your corpse as a souvenir to remind themselves that maybe once they were worthy of love.

And you end up fucked.

You learn the hard lesson that human beings are selfish.  Some more than others.  Some would give you a  gun, ask you to shoot yourself if you love them then complain when you don’t die fast enough.

People are so fucked I could write a book about it.

But these are things everyone needs to learn on their own, including those I love.

I have seen it for myself.  I’ve watched my friends experience it for themselves, and I have learned, cautionary tales are fully believed when lived.

You just have to make sure you step away and live through it to learn from it.

Because like dream hampton said:

“That time you confused a lesson for a soulmate.”

That time needs to come and go or you will be stuck in the same redundant place, mold growing on your heart and mind and subsequently, your entire life.

People who nourish themselves by draining others will never let their sources go.

When it comes to most people, you tell them you love them and they will let you kill them as slowly as you want.  They take it because who wants to believe someone who says it so passionately could possibly harm them?

Who wants to believe human beings are really educated barbarians?

Anyone with the ability to speak has the ability to lie.

I never forget that.

I can’t afford to.

And that might be weird coming from a writer.  But I’m telling you the truth because I had to live through it to get it.

And not all of us are strong enough to live through these things.

I’m telling you so you don’t have to go through it and possibly lose yourself in the process.

This is life.

And it’s grimy.

These are people. With desires and ulterior motives.

And they’re just as grimy.

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” – William Shakespeare.

I hope you don’t encounter them .

And if you do, don’t let their human  appearance fool you.

Superhead: The Brains, The Brilliance and The Blowjobs

As a woman in this society your sexual exploits tend to infamously stick with you til your dying day.  Clinton will be remembered as the President who got head in the Oval office. Monica Lewinsky, the naive, home wrecking cock sucker. Marilyn Monroe will be remembered for her beauty and skill, as well as allegedly sleeping with both the Kennedy brothers. Rihanna’s broken records and made more money than the average person’s great grandchildren combined will probably ever make, but most pop culture enthusiasts are more concerned with whose hotel room she was seen walking out of than her net worth.

This is how it is.

I’ve always loved the Mary Magdalenes of the world. Someone needs to love the “hoes” Snoop Dogg encouraged everyone to leave out in the cold.  I always want to know who they are, where they came from and what they want out of Life.  I always want to know the person behind the vilified persona.

“Superhead.”

superhead

I first heard her name on Game’s “Wouldn’t Get Far”. I had no idea who she was nor what she did, really. I just assumed she was a random video girl with a skill. After doing a bit of research, the crevices of the Internet proved I was right about one of those assumptions.  The name stands for what she’s [in]famous for and that’s how the average person seems to want to know and remember her, it seems.

So imagine my surprise to find that Karrine “Superhead” Steffans is actually a best selling author, entrepreneur, mother, certified Interior Designer and more.

053112-celebs-out-Karrine-Steffans-book-signing

That’s the shit they never tell you. That she wasn’t just a nympho hopping from video set to video set looking for victims, she was actually only on the scene for a year or so.  No one discusses her achievements since then nor how she became who she is.  No one gives her her props and most would sooner call her “the bitch who snitched”, rather than “the Island girl who wrote a book and ended up on Oprah”.

oprah

The media focuses more on her tumultuous relationship with Lil Wayne than anything else, really, and so what did she do? Write about it. [How To Make Love To A Martian].

Karrine-Stefans-Martian-Book-Cover-The-Jasmine-Brand.jpg-

I’m currently on my fourth book by her [The Vixen Diaries] and I absolutely adore her way of writing.  Her matter of fact way of telling her story and the introspection that comes with them have me hooked.  I’ve found reading her work to be akin to listening to an older sister tell you about life and recently, decor.

Karrine, to me, is a perfect example of the duality that exists in any woman.  She’s been strong and brave enough to NOT be boxed in by society’s definition of who a woman can and can’t be.  She’s intelligent, she’s gorgeous and she’s focused.  In my most indecisive moments I’ve found solace and guidance in her words.

She’s amazing, and although I don’t agree with all the things she says, I can’t deny that I feel that she’s a voice many a young woman need to hear.

Follow Karrine on Twitter: @KarrineandCo

And check out her site: http://karrineandco.com

karrine interview

Pop Culture: On SAPS, sociopaths and Khuli Chana

Why do we as a society place people on pedestals then resent them?
Do we as a society create celebrities not just to love them or celebrate their work, but to have a common entity to hate, judge and critique with less guilt because hey, you don’t know them and you’re not the only one doing it?

One only has to look at the comments on articles regarding tragedy befalling others, any celebrity’s mentions or read Twitter discussions to know that in many people’s minds, there’s a certain nonchalance that they regard human life with, especially when it comes to celebrities.

As we become more immersed in pop culture, the Haves and Have Nots and Us VS Them,separating the average from those we deem extraordinary, are we also moving further from understanding empathy and altruism?

Pop Culture: On SAPS, sociopaths and Khuli Chana

Red Light Special

“Dude, I’m so horny but I’m on my period.”

“So?”

“What do you mean so?”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“Eeew. You mean..? No. Eeew.”

 

What? No really, what is it?

See I could understand being iffy about having sex with another person while on your cycle. It’s not everyone who’s willing to run the red light, so to speak, but what of masturbation? Is it also taboo during that time of the month?

period-power-neon

We’re led to believe menstruation is filthy, and well, it isn’t the most glamorous time really.  I can often be found moaning about how it looks like a Spartan battle field down there when it’s particularly bad. However, I no longer feel the shame and emotional discomfort associated with my menstrual cycle.

The Bible tells us a woman on her cycle is “unclean” and to be avoided.

Our mothers treat it as a secret. A cross we must silently carry in our wombs.

Our partners more often than not are grossed out by it. It’s  foreign territory to them that they don’t need to explore, nor acknowledge.

And we take all of this in and internalize it.

We keep the shame, the silence and start to feel that way our own selves.

Is the fact that it’s blood what truly offends people?

Something so normal for any woman, something we will have to  experience for approximately 40 years after reaching puberty, is still considered “disgusting” yet we don’t feel the same of urinating.

Why does your menstrual cycle have to bring about despair and torture?

I mean, you feel bloated, hot flashes, you’re hungry and irritable and you deny yourself the simplest little pleasure you can give yourself too? An orgasm?

The fact is, it is your vagina, your blood, your pleasure.

To love yourself, your vagina and your pleasure, means to be with it through all it’s transformations.

What is the real shame behind pleasuring yourself  whenever you want to?

Is it the blood? Because there are tampons for that.  A shower, tampon applicator and clit rub away lies momentary relief from the vile feeling of discomfort.

Orgasms actually relieve menstrual cramps, and I personally look at them as.. making love to yourself.

So why not make love to yourself when you need it the most?

When you’re feeling disgusting and undesirable?

Wouldn’t that be the best time for said.. comforting?

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 12.17.10 PM

Grown women are taught to repress their postpubescent body or hide it. When you start puberty and you start growing hair you’re taught to shave it, because no one’s supposed to see it. With your period, it’s something that you conceal—no one’s supposed to know. It’s almost pedophilic—and I don’t want to throw that word around. But this feminine ideology we have, of the woman being a prepubescent girl, is how we’re taught to change our bodies. – Petra Collins*

*Petra recently designed the above line drawing for American Apparel. An image that caused quite an uproar and has been described as “vile”, “disgusting” and “obscene”.

In an interview with Vice she said “That we’re so shocked and appalled at something that’s such a natural state—and it’s funny that out of all the images everywhere, all of the sexually violent images, or disgustingly derogatory images, this is something that’s so, so shocking apparently. ” It makes one realize, as a society, we’re almost always focused on the wrong thing, huh?

 

The Ladies Guide To Dating Multiple Men

Or should I say “How to get Society to label you a Ho?”

Let’s not pretend it’s not logical or even something some of us desire.  Sometimes, you simply want the company and attention of more than one man, and you have the right to get what you want, no? 

As women we aren’t all seeking to be wifed up and baking for The One. Life is like a box of chocolates, and so are men.  You never know what you might get, but it’s up to you which ones you taste and swallow. 

1. What Do You Want?

Do you want to “play the field” or are you seeking a partner to settle with? Do you simply enjoy feeling wanted? WHY do you want this? Knowing this is very important and will guide you when you reach a few snags along the way.  It’s kind of like, starting the gym and having that one picture that reminds you exactly why you do this everyday. Except a lot less, mechanical and calculated. 

2. How Do You Want It?

In the event that you’re in this for the fun of it, it’s quite important to remember that and never cross certain emotional boundaries.  If all you want out of someone is their company and possibly sex, avoid being the “I know we aren’t together but where were you last week I heard you were seen with a Lady” person.  Of course you may feel territorial, it happens, but with enough suitors you’ll find it happens less and less.

If you’re seeking a partner, it’s a different process.  Approach these men with the intent to learn about them before you’re ready to stick the “Boyfriend/Lover” label on them. Looks aren’t enough here, nor are basics manners. You can choose whomever you want , in no rush. Don’t feel the need to snag the prettiest man, or the funniest, even if you aren’t compatible. 

Take the time to weigh your options.

3. R.E.S.P.E.C.T

Avoid men who want to shame you or box you in, period.  These are decisions that you’re making about your Life based on your desires.  Seek companions who respect that, and you. 

You too should respect them and that they may be doing the same thing.

We’re all adults at this point and should feel free to lay expectations on the table. We don’t need to waste each other’s time nor drag people along who don’t understand nor feel comfortable on the ride. 

4. Discretion 

Is the first “D” you should get. No one needs to know your business. Oftentimes one finds themselves sharing every sexual experience, date and glance with friends, and really, we don’t need to do this. 

Granted, there are things you might want to share, and really feel free to. But not everything. It isn’t always necessary and it isn’t always advisable

5. Act like a Human Being, Think like a Human Being

This is not a mind game.  The plan isn’t to have minions and sex slaves clamoring for your time and adoration. 

I am not Steve Harvey and you are not stupid.

Rational, emotional human beings aren’t to be pulled into situations and treated like dirt.

6. Control

You are always in control. You decide what you want, what you can handle and what you’d rather not have. The people in your Life are those who you’ve sought out and accepted. Keep this in mind and treat them accordingly.

7. The sex

Due to society looking down on a woman who lets ANY penis into her, you might find it hard to get intimate with these partners. I say in that case, think of this as a dance rather than a gangbang. You waltz with one dick here, twerk on another there. 

A woman’s sexuality is only truly in her hands when she takes it back from society’s mold and reshapes it herself. 

You can fuck them all if you want to. 

At the same time, if they agree. 

And that’s all you.

It won’t change the world. 

It won’t bring back Jesus.

It simply will Be.

 

 

Who you choose to date, how and why is all up to you.  The fact that people have an opinion on it doesn’t mean that they have a say in it.  You have the right to know how many licks it takes to get to the center of the O, and what kind of different Licks exist, after sushi and wine.

And remember: Shame is an inherited emotion meant for ugly people. 

Image