Black.

Here at the intersection of my various identities, I hear with my Black ear, I want to respond with my Higher Education academic voice, embrace with my Southern arms and comfort with my feminine heart. I wonder what it means to be at the university where as I walked back from a meeting, I saw three BMWs and a Ferrari all driven by students.  I wish I could give my students my experience of sharing $100 worth of food stamps between 6 people just to save our money for the Alpha party on friday night.  I wish I could gift them with a Jocelyn Milton, a Denelle Niles-Brown, a Demetrius Richmond, a Jane Redmond, an all of the other mentors that we had at UT who pushed the Black students to be not only successful but to achieve things far beyond our eighteen to twenty-two year old vision.

I get so angry sometimes with administration who claims to want to increase diversity, yet makes it so difficult for those students to stay here. I get frustrated at no step shows, no cookouts, no sets, no cultural identity here on this campus.  It falls heavy  on the backs of one student organization that has no frame of reference or invested support.  But then…there are those who lend their time, and love, and advice, and will help you in any possible way but they cannot do everything for every student.  What is the solution? Is it more money? Does it go deeper than that? Why is it a struggle…why do I have to convince you that the welfare of Black students is and should remain a priority of university administration?

I thank god multiple times a day that I am my mother’s daughter and do not hesitate to question authority or speak out against the status quo.  I am grateful that for the times I have asked for help, it has been offered to me.  I am proud to be a Black woman in pursuit of a PhD from the south in a family that appreciates education and the importance of pushing outside of one’s comfort zone.  And I often get extremely sad when I hear about stories that make my own the exception.

I ask myself, often, how this work–the work of diversity and educational equity, minority retention in higher education, and specifically the success of Black students–will take shape in my life and my work.  It is just a much a part of me as spirituality and as one of my major defining identities, has definitely shaped if not guided many of my decisions. How can I use the passion I have for this work in a productive way that will not severely alter my faith? I find, far too often, that when I have had “the race conversation” it is never genuine, it is never productive, it is never more than mental masturbation.  How can people learn without me teaching? I always thought that if I was simply myself, this amalgamation of alleged anomalies: an educated Black woman from the south with supportive family, no illegitimate children or baby’s daddies, who speaks well, writes well, can articulate herself clearly in an array of populations, etc….if I were just me then people would surely see that maybe Black isn’t what I always thought it was.

I don’t know if I was right.

I am not sure if that is enough. Maybe I need to paint a broader stroke with a bigger brush.  What I know is that, it pisses me off that my people, Black people feel they have no resources; specifically my students, surely they know all the people in their corner rooting for their success?  Where is the disconnect?  Can’t you see me doing this work, talking on these committees advocating on your behalf? Programming, advising, mentoring, don’t you see I just want to help? And its not enough, and if I continue on this path it will exhaust me. It can’t be this…the work has to be different. This work is not my work, it is everybody’s.  And the fact that we don’t see that…

Being American is Killing Americans Pt. 4 (Mastery of Man)

Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself.

-George Orwell in Animal Farm-

And isnt’ it true? What do we give to the earth? What do we give to animals? Currently our food and agriculture system is so controlled by private interest, corporations, and lobbyists that those trying to make a positive difference are being driven out of business.  (Aside: I would encourage everyone to watch the documentary Food, Inc. ) Cows are fed corn, chickens growing so quickly their bones don’t develop and they can’t even walk, farmers forced to keep quiet about their agricultural process for fear of legal action and financial disembowelment.  Its disgusting. Since cavemen man has sought to become master over nature. If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.  ~J.K. Rowling And if it is so, that we are in fact masters of nature, then we’re piss poor excuses for men.  What do we give to the earth, again I ask?

Not to slip into religious dogma, but lets just for a second, superficially…Nature, or God if that’s what you believe, is fighting back, fiercely.  Science can’t keep up with ever-evolving strands and mutations of disease, infections, viruses, and bacteria.  We cannot prepare a city enough to survive destruction of national disaster. One after another, tsunami, hurricane, earthquake, flood, and the cycle continues. Bend or break. And that’s to us, from mother Earth.

Look out the window golly the sky is electric blue
Mamma Earth is dyin and cryin because of you
Rainin cats and jackles all shackles disintegrate, to residue
Silly mortals haven’t a clue
as to what the fuck is goin on
I’m on the telephone, dialin the Dungeon
“Hello?” This Dre, bring the MP and the SP
Meet me at the center of the earth and travel carefully
Baby grab the baby cause baby it ain’t much time
Mamma Earth is tossin and turnin and that’s our sign
Omega Nigga IFO’s are landin in Decatur
Hope I’m not over your head but if so you will catch on later
Play the track, guess she could not take it anymo’
Rapin her heavenly body like a hoe, coochie so’
from niggaz constantly fuckin her never lovin her never showin
appreciation bustin nuts in her face when they done

-Outkast (Andre Benjamin) “Da Art of Storytelling Part II)

What do we give to the Earth? Carpooling?  Recycling? Oh well after we’ve already produced the plastic, the aluminum, the cardboard, killed the trees, polluted the air, we’ll try not to do it again. We, Americans, act like rebellions teenagers, however I’d argue that developmentally we are infants. Never attached to our mother. Never bonded, never connected. The first Americans were. However, modern man sought to prove himself, superiority at all cost…and briefly, can we explore that? Alfred Adler believed that feelings of inferiority is derived from physical disability or from faulty relationships, and that inferiority lead to a need to prove one’s self to one’s self.  Faulty relationships…the truth is, in the relationship between man and nature, we could never even minutely give to Earth what she gives to us. Our inability to recognize this, to bow to her in reverence is killing us. Killing her too, but trust, we’ll go long before she does.  Continuing in my psychobabble, Adler also explores social confirmation…an excerpt from text: confirmation is that the person seeks that which was missing in their childhood. The infant needs love from the parents. If this is not forthcoming, or if it is not sufficient in quantity, then the infant is not confirmed in its social persona and its ego will become fragile and unstable. The ego, is our reality drive. Our entire reality is askew because we did not bond with our Mother.

What to do…is it too late? For a reconciliation? Namaste, I bow to you, sit at Mother’s feet and weep. Tell her we’re sorry and ask her to forgive us? Show her that we’ve learned to do better, and that we’re committed to working on our relationship. Show her, don’t tell her. She’s heard those words before. Furthermore, it must be on her terms…not ours. We cannot compromise with our provider. We can demand our way, but ultimately we will suffer for it. We are suffering for it. We are in the days of samsara.  If its true that a mother’s love is everlasting and undying, then we have a chance…are we willing to take it? Bend or break.

Ouch! Its *still* hot

Taking a break from my political commentary, I’ll get back to it later today, but I gotta make this post cry (HOV!).  Yesterday was supposed to be easy breezy, wake up do some work, check in at my office, do laundry and chill with Deeds. Well, it was that easy initially. Then… well first I went over to my moms to get my Gain, and she asked me to wait there til she got back. I knew it was a mistake but I waited. Then she got there and she asked about me and Deeds…and I knew it was a mistake to tell her what I told her, but I did it anyway…and she pissed me off. Royally.  I’m officially under the impression that she is just going to be a bitch about meeting him, which makes me want to keep him far away from her. Can I run away? No? not yet? Lets continue.

So then I get home a bit later and my dad texts me…he wants something. Of course. I just give up here really. Not that I expect anything anymore, but I just am completely indifferent to his existence. Which probably isn’t good. Vesting myself would be touching the stove again…or more like just leaving my hand there. Been there done that. I called my aunt (his sister) looking for my Grandma because it was her birthday (partial reason he text)…She tells me his dog died and he was pretty upset about it and she’s never seen him so upset. When I talked to my Grandmother she told me the same thing. I couldn’t help but think about the fact that a) I didn’t talk to him for three years and he was more upset about a dog? Then the fact that he never told any of them about my accident…I just got enraged. I wanted to break stuff last night. Instead, I bottled it in and said it’ll be over just go to Deeds.

We were fine…then he did something pretty minor, I think? I don’t know because when it happened it felt like someone just popped my bubble and slapped me in the face. The thing that angered me most was, well this has happened before and its always an accident on my part. I just wish I never knew because it tipped me into out of control, emotionally.  It was the perfect ending to a shitty day.

This morning I walked to work and listened to my “singing hard in the car” playlist and lip sync’d the words as I walked and by the time I got here I was nearly in tears. My emotions are on high right now. All because I kept touching the stove yesterday.  I know at some point today I’m going to break down. I feel on the verge right now. I’m hoping I can keep it together and everything will just subside and I can get over it.  I just don’t want to feel today. I know its wrong. I just don’t.

Being American is Killing Americans Pt. 3 (Roots)

We like to say that our families are the most important things to us. I’ll tell you why this is a lie. Its a lie because we’re too busy debating to fix the problems that effect families. Instead of pouring money into education, we’re on waiting lists for iPhones, iPads, watching HDTV, and eating McDonald’s. Does it have to be one or the other? Yes. YES! And why isn’t it family? Why is there even a debate about universal health care? Why is it legal to sell food that’s barely even food anymore? Why isn’t it mandatory that the public be made explicitly aware of the content of our food? Not only that but the care of the animals, the food that they consumed. Why? Because we don’t really want to know. So long as everything looks ok, it is ok. We, my fellow Americans are Don’t tell me that my child’s kindergarten teacher is on meth, because Sara passed her CRCT with flying colors. (Aside: I find it absolutely appalling that teachers don’t have to undergo drug testing, and psychological assessments. I had to do so to be a bill collector at Verizon, you telling me your child isn’t more valuable than your cell phone?) Don’t tell me that my Big Mac is nearly 1,000 (HALF the daily caloric intake for the average American) calories, it tastes good, plus its all beef right? We just don’t want to know. Because if we knew what we don’t want to know then we’d be responsible for it. If we knew better and didn’t do better, that speaks to our character, so best we don’t know.

Currently, the government is urging states to adopt a new National Education Standard that will retrain math and science teachers, putting writing emphasis on all courses, and trying to relieve some of the pressure put on by end of the year testing. While that sounds novel, will it really help? Perhaps in twenty years when, no doubt some other regime is in charge and come up with another way to “improve” the education system. The fact of the matter is, primarily, formal education should be supplementary. More aptly put, primary school should be reinforced learning, not introductory. Parents, where is your involvement? We have given a tremendous amount of responsibility to teachers, and stripped them of resources and authority needed to produce. There has to be cooperation. More often than not, it seems like parents don’t even care if their child is learning, just as long as it looks like they are. Just as long as they get to graduation. (Another aside: I find it tongue in cheek to host these kindergarten and 8th grade graduations, those things are milestones, yes, but really how much should we celebrate the expected? Its like praising a cat for meowing)

Quality time. What’s that like? Do families eat around the dinner table anymore? Discuss their days? Call me outlandish but I really think a turn for the worse for the American family came as a result of the working wife/mother. No longer was there the mother, the constant at home support and nurturing parent there to car pool, be active in classroom support and function, assist with children’s homework needs or extracurricular involvement, feed them.   This figure has been alleviated leaving a crack in the foundation, and here we’ve been building on this foundation and our whole society is askew.  I hesitate to blame all of the problems of American on the working woman, I will say that I believe it is a strong contributing factor, however it is the responsibility of all family members to uphold the priority of the family unit.  To conclude, I believe that we, as Americans, have largely suffered because we know not the role we should play. Women, we cannot do what men do. Men, you cannot be children. Children, you cannot be grown.  I do think that the over independence of women, the passivity of men, and the expedited maturation of children has completely thrown off our society. A woman believes that now since we work, and can provide for ourselves, that a man is accessory, optional, or even unnecessary. We are grasping to find the utility of modern man. Meanwhile men have lost a major component of manhood-provision for family is rudimentary.  If a man is not allowed to be a man, he will not survive. Ladies, we know you can do it…but you don’t have to do it all.  Give a man a purpose, and he will perform. Men, stop feeling sorry for yourselves and step up. Show a woman why you’re needed. If she makes her own money, show her how that money doesn’t comfort her, hold her, support her, nurture her, make love to her…being a man isn’t about a money clip. Children…well this is loaded. Many are having to grow up before their time, but many others choose to. Enjoy your childhood. You have far less of that than adulthood, and trust me-its better. Can we please take it back to basics?

Being American is Killing Americans Pt. 2 (Grind and Shine)

If America had a word, it would no doubt be “work”.  We put work above well-being, rest, sanity, and sometimes even family.  Is it because our self-definition is entangled in our crafts? What are we working so hard for?

God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables – slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won’t. We’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.

-Fight Club-

Its no lie that stress is killing the American population. Stress related illnesses manifest themselves both mentally, physically, and of course the culmination-physiologically expressed mental illness. Migraines, muscle tension, heart attack, heart disease, insomnia, some forms of arthritis and cancer are all examples of stress related illnesses. We. Are. Dying. Why?

We have to have it. Whatever it is, if its newer, stronger, faster, better, we want it. We want the most expensive, the most exclusive, the rarest, just to say we have. Somewhere along the line the American dream got auctioned off to Macy’s. Somebody shake our nation and tell them happiness cannot be purchased. Happiness is the only reason I can think of that we would work so hard. With constant career overturn, second careers, multi-careerism and countless American’s reporting unhappiness at their jobs, I’m going to assume we’re working for survival.

It used to be that we worked to provide. Now we work to thrive. We ingest inferiority if we can’t afford wants. We have a government broke from bailing out a nation of people who were broke and living on credit. Lets very briefly discuss credit…there’s so much emphasis on credit that one would think it would be regarded a bit differently. Rather than “can I pay what I owe” a lender may look at “how much I have vs. how little I owe”.  However, those with little or no credit in our country are treated worse than those with bad credit.  Why? Because we, as Americans, in our minds and in the minds of the laws that govern us, believe that trying to have it all is better than not.

We’re letting “stuff” run our damn lives. And its such a ratrace for the “stuff” no one bothers to stop running and ask, what the hell am I running for? We’re sheep, herded by the media.  Hillary Clinton isn’t the secretary of state, Philippe Dauman is. Forget Timothy Geithner,  our pockets are run by Martin Sorrel and Philip Lader; and trust me there’s a reason you don’t know these names.

What about family? What about friends, peace, joy, nature, if we’re not enjoying it, and we’re dying because of it, why does this “stuff” even matter? We gotta be somebody. Not only that, everybody has to know we’re somebody, if not everybody then anybody. Acknowledge me, affirm me, validate me. We’re too busy on the clock to even tell ourselves we’re worth a damn. Damn.

Being American is Killing Americans Pt. 1 (Individualization)

There’s a Simon and Garfunkel song that bodes the lyrics:

I’ve built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.
It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

This, unfortunately, is woven in the fabric of our national identity. No longer does it take a village to raise a child, as a matter of fact, we’re more likely to house ire for our neighbors for “interfering” in the rearing of our children. Why is that? When did it become absolutely necessary to be an island. To be self sufficient? To not need? Perhaps from our economic foundation. Capitalism.  Karl Marx writes,“Capitalist production, therefore, develops technology, and the combining together of various processes into a social whole, only by sapping the original sources of all wealth – the soil and the labourer. …the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property. We Communists have been reproached with the desire of abolishing the right of personally acquiring property as the fruit of a man’s own labour, which property is alleged to be the groundwork of all personal freedom, activity and independence.  Hard-won, self-acquired, self-earned property! Do you mean the property of petty artisan and of the small peasant, a form of property that preceded the bourgeois form? There is no need to abolish that; the development of industry has to a great extent already destroyed it, and is still destroying it daily…” Now I’m not saying that we need to be communists, but I’m saying there’s something of note there. In this necessity to enterprise, and industrialize we have drained the natural resource of community. A man who has to sell/buy/barter for goods will eventually see that someone, besides him, makes a profit because of him. Rather than think that in the greater whole of our society perhaps this balances out, The American thinks, how can I marginalize that profit?  Well if you can produce the product or service yourself then you’ve cut the need to collaborate. You’ve increased your individualization, strengthened your enterprise, and perhaps become a peninsula on your way to an island.

What is the problem with this? Well we, humans, are not meant to be alone. We are social creatures by nature and interaction is innate. Pair the two thoughts. As a man/woman, I must be social, yet…as an American, its more beneficial to be an island. What we’re left with is selective socialization and widespread distrust. Look at our political system. Democrats vs. Republicans. Rather than admit that each party has valid points, we have found some utility in selective socialization. Socializing, with those who either give us most comfort, or most benefit. The two may or may not be mutual. (Aside: comfort would be socializing with those who are like you, as far as race/gender/SES/etc, benefit would be socializing with a group for some reward, be it monetary/social status/intrinsic).  Both parties are guilty of it.  Each of us is guilty of it. We have friends who are like us, and we volunteer with the underprivileged for community service hours for scholarships/personal satisfaction/organizational requirement.  Everyone is out for gain. Take also, the distrust. As we have been hard-wired as Americans to be islands, it is only in us to think that everyone else is also out to become an island. What then, does person X want (in the long run) when he/she chooses to socialize with me?

Look, for example, at the origin of the word “friend.” It derives from the German word frend which means to love. However, look at the modern Merriam and Websters definition, “a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter: a member of the same nation, party, etc.” We have attached our  ideals to a word more pure in nature.  A friend is someone who gives? Why must they give? Is giving a mark of love? What must they give? If a friend gives something you are in surplus of, do you need that friend? Then look back at the lyrics… friendship means pain, and I don’t need that. Pain can distract in my goal of becoming self sufficient. An entrepreneur who relies on solely himself.  Is it this that may be the Achellies heel of America?

Our desperate need to be self-reliant, whole without others, the privacy that we value so much keeps us from connecting…truly connecting to not only the inhabitants of the world, but the world itself. We cannot save another man, nor nature, if it comes at the cost of self sacrifice.  I can give you what I have to spare, but not before I fill the needs of my island. Why? Because we might not get it back? Interesting thought for a nation built on “Christian” ideals. In God we trust… but in self do we invest.  Perhaps that is the problem. In our quest for individualization, this privacy, the right to bear arms, watch porn, and marry inside the gender box, we have cut off all regard for the greater good. Whatever that is.  We don’t talk to our neighbors, hell, we don’t even talk to our friends for fear of being socially persecuted, thought of as weak, and regarded as insufficient. If we are truly the best, why are we so desperate to prove ourselves?

Freshman Fatties

A long (long) time ago back when I was but an undergraduate, it used to be that everyone could tell the Freshmen from the upperclassmen because well…they usually had on the trendiest new clothes, and/or high school ‘nalia especially if it rained, they had on make up, and they had their blessed nice tight high school bodies. Gone are the days of that. It seems that they gained their freshman fifteen over the summer because as I walk around my campus I’m noticing that wide-eyed freshie has muffin top, love handles, beer belly, chub rub, and every other fat kid affliction. Now…not dissing at all, I’m actually quite concerned. Maybe parents really ought to be out there with Jamie Oliver fighting the good fight over healthier school lunches. Perhaps there really IS a need for intervention from the government.

Is it irresponsible parenting that leads to childhood obesity? To some degree…in my opinion. Of course, by the time kids are teenagers they are pretty independent and usually eat on the go, or lots of fast food. To counter that, though, I remember the girls whose families ate well always brought their lunch in high school and usually had healthy foods, i.e. sandwiches on wheat or rye, fruit, veggies, hummus, etc. Yes, we did go out to eat (a lot) in high school, but we worked out (a lot) as well. I’m kind of curious to know the activity level of kids these days. Are they as active in extracurricular activities as they were 5 years ago? 10 years ago?

I know for a fact my younger sister was way less active than I ever was. She rarely played outside, didn’t get involved in anything active in middle school at all. When I was her age we were at six flags every weekend, we skated, swam, walked EVERYWHERE, and I cheered. Now that she’s in high school she is in marching band and her first week of band camp kicked her lazy butt. Granted she just happens to be 5’8” and a size 00 but that’s genetics, nothing at all to do with her health. I pray my sister doesn’t start UGA with muffin top!

Some of you guys may not have access to a college campus like I do, but seriously notice any teenagers you see around the mall or at the movies. They’re bigger than we were…and SMOKE! OMG! What is going on in America…family values are just out the window (this is another post allllltogether) I knew something was wrong when I worked with the local middle school cheerleaders and asked them to run a mile and most had started walking after two laps. Please save us Michelle Obama

Comfortably Numb

I’ve started school again, forgive me in advance for the large gaps in entry posts.  Anyway so I was sitting in class and we were talking about the history of psychotherapy which included of course the use of shock therapy, and uppers/downers. All it takes is mention of things like that to set off my train of thoughts it went something like this:

  • Meds
  • America is still over-medicated
  • No…White America is over-medicated
  • Why?
  • America’s word is work most definitely
  • Well but don’t medicines sedate us? ooooooh
  • We medicate to work
  • We medicate…to work

All in all, most people seek mental health assistance when they aren’t able to function normally.  When their coping mechanisms start to fall short, and they can’t deal anymore. I’ll take a gamble here and say that most people in America work. We have to, to survive.  Children’s work would be school, and the same rules apply-when you can’t function properly in school you seek help.

Now, knowing these truths: we work to survive, and we seek help when we can’t work. Its only logical to want a quick fix.  Quick fixes provide us with the ability to get back to work as soon as possible. If, for instance, a person has to go through counseling therapy, then their rate of recovery is considerably slower and thus their work productivity becomes efficient over time. This may put the person’s work position at jeopardy.  The problem arises because medications do not, of course, fix problems. They treat symptoms.

A cold medicine does not cure the cold, it suppresses coughs, relieves fevers, or aids in decongesting.  Much in the same way, mental health medication treats symptoms. There is no cure for depression in pill form, but  there are mood enhancers so you don’t feel depressed.  We medicate, to work.

Who really cares if I’m not depressed anymore as long as I don’t feel depressed because then I can be productive…at work. Not only at work, but at home, or with friends. I work.

The thing that we ask ourselves is at what cost? Well…that’s the thing that people don’t ask themselves.  Of course, studies show that a combination of medication and therapy works best so that the actual problem is treated while symptoms are being managed.  The goal, however, is to be able to live med free. We’re not built to need supplements. Our universe dwells within us, right?

I try repeatedly to reconcile my hatred of medicine and psychiatry, and in responsible practices I am ok. My personal problem comes when  we’re unethical. Of course the client just wants medicine, but as a professional who knows better and works under ethical guidelines how do we prescribe medicine without also mandating therapy.  Mandated therapy is a problem in and of itself, and thus the psychologist (not trained to counsel but trained to diagnose) gives half-hearted therapy and the cycle continues.

A classmate of mine asked why do psychiatrist make so much more money than therapists…well because that is where we (Americans) place the value. Pharm companies work with psychiatrists pushing pills and they tell you you need them, when honestly, Do You? Look at the side effects, is it work stroke, sleeplessness, dry mouth, heart failure, suicidal thoughts, etc etc? But as American’s we want to be productive without working, the caveat of course. We want results with minimal effort as is the plight of the capitalistic society.

Sigh.

You’ve done everything to end your life but pull the trigger

Lately I’ve been really blog-stalking. Checking in on friends *and strangers’* blogs of interest and reading them like all day until I catch up on where they’re head is.  Well of course something always comes along to stop you dead in your tracks..that, today, comes from my dear friend The Oracle.  In this particular post, she took the time to vocalize the things she would say to people if she had the guts. Pretty heavy stuff, check it:

Things the Oracle Would Tell People If She Had the Guts

I am sorry I cheated on you.

The reason you don’t have any friends is because you are a terrible friend.

You need to pay me back the $1,100.00 you owe me. Bitch!

I never loved you.

I am in love with you.

I am glad you are in jail.. You are a child molester. You betrayed the trust of my parents. I am forced to carry YOUR secret because if I ever told it would destroy the family. I hate you.

You really get on my nerves.

Your friendship is very draining.

You are the reason I got into psychology.

Your mother is the reason why you have crappy relationships with men. Blame her.

The man you are in love with is an ass.. He will eventually hurt you. (via: The Oracle)

There was an episode of Grey’s that addressed this recently as well…a man was dying and he recorded video tapes where he told everyone in his life what he really thought of them. When it turns out he wasn’t dying–he still mailed the tapes.

We all have things that we don’t say to people we love for fear that we’ll hurt their feelings or damage the relationship in some way but I ask myself…what kind of relationship am I in where I can’t be honest?  There is, of course, a way to be tactful. And your opinion doesn’t have to be reiterated daily…but no sense in holding it all in…is there? Zip the lips or let it out?

P.S. the title of this post is my attempt at brutal, Oracle like honesty…

Submit

Stiff and unbending is the principle of death.
Gentle and yielding is the principle of life.

Thus an Army without flexibility never wins a battle.
A tree that is unbending is easily broken.

The hard and strong will fall.
The soft and weak will overcome.

Tao Te Ching (76)

So I’ve been marinating on this theory for a while now…the unwillingness of women to submit to their men.  Yesterday BFFT asked why did submission have such a negative connotation, I guessed its due to our culture.  In America the person who works hard and who is unrelenting will receive their just dues. We cannot yield, we cannot compromise, we must overcome and conquer.  That is two-fold for women.  We have been made to surrender our feminine qualities in order to excel in the workforce.  Not be soft, not be emotional, not be nurturing, not be who biologically are.  If we speak in terms of social evolution, the traits of masculinity have been selected for in American culture so those wanting to survive are having to adopt them.

However…we have to look at the flip side, while women are dominating higher education and breaking barriers in terms of professional achievement, the American family is suffering, and has been for the last fifty years.  I don’t think its coincidental.  If a man wants a woman, and a woman has been forced into masculinity, why does he need her?  Why does she need him? In short, we are not submitting because we just don’t know how anymore…how to turn it off and how to still remain a sense of strength in that submission.  Re-read the above quote.

Its is from Taoism, obviously a facet of Eastern culture and not our own.  Yet poignant, soft overcomes hard.  Strength in yielding.  There is nothing wrong with allowing a man to be a man.  To be the head of the household.  To have the final say.  If you don’t trust him to do that much then why are you with him?  Submission is not weakness, it is-if anything- conviction.  It is saying that I trust, not only in your man, but in his respect for you, in your relationship bond, in God.  It takes a stronger back to bend and bow then stand again.

Balance. Right now the family is on the far end of the pendulum arc and the feminist movement and working women pushed it there, things will slowly move back towards the center.  I’m sure some women will fight me tooth and nail on this topic, and maybe you think I’m calling for total submission, no not at all.  I’m calling for a return (if there ever was) of trust, of true love, of honesty, of Men who are male and Women who are female.  An alpha male just is not going to be in a household with an alpha female, its a constant power struggle and as we discussed a while back, men need to be needed. If you constantly tell a man I don’t need you I can do “bad by myself” he’ll give you the opportunity.

P.S. for the believers…See: Sarah