We, as a minority group, are powerful, fearless, and strong beings…but we are still somehow fighting to be seen and valued as equals to our male counterparts. We are the beings that are able to create and birth life, like literally an entire human being coming from our vagina or being cut from out lower abdominal area (shoutout to those who birthed through cesarean), but yet we still have to prove our value and substance in the workforce, politics, society in general and in some instances, in our own households. We still have to assert our views and opinions a little more aggressively just to be heard…while still being cautious of being viewed as a b!t@#.
I'll never forget that episode of Girlfriends where Joan Clayton, played by Tracee Ellis Ross, was trying to contribute her thoughts regarding a case that her firm was handling. No one in the room, all men of course, paid her ideas any mind. Some men even stated the same thing she had said and were applauded for their great ideas. She was tired of this constant lack of respect and refused to be ignored and just seen as someone hired to make the 'quota' (black and female). She decided to deepen her voice as if she were a man and gain the attention of everyone in the boardroom. She had to make her voice heard by any means and not continue to allow her ideas to be credited to a man just because his worth is seen and valued in the workplace and hers is seen as a pretty face. Reminds me of the brilliant women of Hidden Figures whose impact in history was silenced, hidden, and attributed to their males counterparts, mainly due to them being black, BUT also being a woman. Katherine Johnson was the only black AND the only woman in her specific department of NASA. With all the ignorance, disrespect, and humiliation, she came in daily with her head held high, walked a great distance to use the colored bathroom, came back (late due to the walk) and performed better than any man she worked with, even with all of the roadblocks thrown in her way. She persisted.
We face these challenges daily in all aspects of our lives, whether it’s noticed or subliminal. Recently I started a tee shirt line including powerful messages for women. So while I was doing mock up shirts and selecting shirt styles, the styles were broken into various categories. Normal right? Uh, no. What I noticed was under ‘style’ it had the options classic, premium, and then ladies. Of course as a woman, especially a feminist, I’m thinking “why didn’t the category say men and give their options like they had done for women. In so many instances, the norm and basic is saved for men as they are viewed somehow as the majority, making women, the givers of life, the ones who can hold down a household, a job, a side hustle, and hold it all together making it look easy, are still the minority.
For those who may or may not be familiar with exactly what a minority is, a minority is the smaller number of two groups. Webster adds that a minority is a part of a population differing from others in some characteristics and often subjected to differential treatment. Employers usually have to hire a certain amount of women and minorities under Affirmative Action which only came into play because people of color and women were being discriminated against in the workplace. Opponents call it a free pass or whatever but what they fail to realize is that it holds the company accountable by NOT discriminating because of someone’s race or gender. They don’t hire less qualified employees, they just are now required not to dismiss equally qualified candidates. People piss me off saying “you probably got in because you’re black” or “they needed more females to diversity their company.” Bih what? I got in because I had a 3.81 grade point average from Johns Hopkins University WITHOUT special treatment, while working full time as a 5th grade teacher, married, pregnant, and beginning a non-profit! THAT’S why I’m qualified! Miss me with that bruh.
We are the majority in these “United” States. According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau, women make up 50.8% of the population whereas men, the ‘majority’, makeup 49.2%. Ladies, WE are dominant and powerful! With the exception of this unfortunate president and his passive and silent wife, how many decisions in the White House were truly made without the detailed and well thought out logical input of the former First Ladies? I mean we have men in power making decisions about OUR uterus, our preventative measures, and our pay! How sway? In the words of the great legend in my book, Mrs. Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, our persuasion can build a nation. We truly have endless power! Therefore, we run this mother…
Recently I read a powerful piece entitled “Sweat” by one of the world’s greatest authors, Zora Neale Hurston. The story was amazing but what truly captured my attention was the author’s background which I was already familiar with but learned a little more. This woman was a true beast. She moved to NYC with $1.50 to her name. She didn’t have a job nor friends but she had an enormous amount of hope and faith and I don’t mean to take yall to church today but how many believe that all you need is faith the size of a mustard seed!? Won’t He do it! She was the granddaughter of slaves. Her determination fueled her passion. The power of a woman. This granddaughter of slaves, authored Their Eyes Were Watching God, which was made into a film starring Halle Berry, the first black female to win an Oscar for best actress. Did you catch that? They paved the way for millions by growing roses from concrete. Neither of them let the impossible be their impossible. They used stones that may have been thrown their way as stepping stones to walk the path they made for themselves. Let’s wake up our dreams and put some fire to our passion. You got this!!! Ladies, let’s M.O.V.E.!
We M.O.V.E. [Motivate, Overcome, Value, Empower]