…And Now Elizabeth Warren.

Image result for elizabeth warren
“I’m running for President…that’s what girls do.” -Senator (D-MA) Elizabeth Warren

I am a fan of the mother, turned law professor, turned Senator turned Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren. I think she is brilliant, knowledgeable and ambitious. But let me tell you a secret–America hates ambitious women. HATES THEM. Being female in this republic is to live in this state of being hemmed up and leashed on a constant basis. You are expected to stay a size 6; have kids and never stretch marks; make your own money and know how to be taken care of; give head on demand and make Thanksgiving-level meals everyday and never be late for work!

We won’t even begin to talk about what is to be female, Black and ambitious in this country! Whew. But, I digress. Let us continue.

Women are penalized consistently for their ambition. For their willingness and daring to do what a MAN can do. Sexism is trash. Toxic masculinity is trash. The fact Elizabeth Warren is no longer running for president is trash–trash AF! I haven’t totally processed this, yet I am well aware what this means. Once more and again, America has shone itself to be more sexist than anything I could ever read about. Ever.

There is this type to curse to being an ambitious woman! You are this alien hodgepodge that has to be handled with suspicion, contempt and awe. You are not allowed to be feminine and powerful–and competent. It is exhausting.

For all of my ambition, because I am a woman? I am consistently told I shouldn’t have it: I should ‘pull it back a bit.’ I wonder if Elizabeth Warren, for all her education and experience, her home state of Massachusetts couldn’t vote for her! Yet, they champion her, retweet her, and when life is hard, they call Senator Warren’s office.

This space is not big enough, or adequate enough to talk about how cannibalistic sexism is to ambitious women. This space is not adequate enough to talk about how being an ambitious woman marks you among other women and certain men want to see you annihilated, stymied frequently and often. You are asked how you, as a woman, should be allowed to strive for success outside of what they deem appropriate for women?

Whether it be college, graduate school, starting a business, running for office–you cannot be woman and ambitious in this country without it being an issue. You can be the best in the field, and a man will be called an expert before you. It is exhausting…

This time, the nation may have gone too far–sexism (once again!) has outpaced what is best for the country. She had plans, experience, and diligence to execute all her plans to make the nation a little better: healthcare, education, the environment. Yet, Senator (I-VT) Bernie Sanders–recently recovering from a heart attack!–said “a woman can’t be president.”

Sigh.

I was waiting for a President Warren. I was hoping for a President Warren. I was going to vote for Senator Warren to become, President Warren. Now, we are stuck between 2 white men to be the 46th president.

I quit.

This situations makes me want to pour into my children–daughters. It makes me keep at the work I am doing. It motivates me to keep reaching and building and dreaming. It keeps me working and building and believing in myself! The adage is that the wise plant trees they will never see the shade of. The same thing goes for ambitious girls!

If you can encourage a girl, if you can encourage her and speak to her gifts, water her with support and love–she can change the world. The gospel according to Beyonce says, “Who run the world? Girls!”

Someone need to let these scary old White men know…

[image from Time Magazine]

For My Daughters-Lesson 3: Ambition & Dreaming

 

 Dearest Darlings:

I want you to remember one thing, if nothing else:

If you believe you can, it will be so.

Most innovation and change in the world has come from someone dreaming. It is that energy, to build what only you may see which fuels ambition!

They go hand in hand, loves.

I want you to be bold about what you want from this life! If you do not see it, build it! I want you to take every gift, talent and skill and master them. Push them. Explore them!

Do not be persuaded or dissuaded by the opinions of stagnant, dreamless, vapid people. Do not fear the outcome of something before it begins! Don’t fear failing or falling! It is okay to be anxious, dear ones. It is even okay to be scared. Life is sometimes scary–especially, when you are embarking on something the surrounding world thinks you shouldn’t be doing; or succeeding in a field women, Black women, shouldn’t be in!

I am raising you to Torches!

This means your power is in three parts:

Light. Heat. Strength.

From your light you can, do and will inspire. You will lead a groups, movements and a generation! You will be all God has asked.

From the heat of your Torch, you will be able expose injustice, as well as provide compassion! You will be able to be strong when it is easier to quit. You will be able to care for those who can’t, and speak when others may not be able.

Torches provide strength, even when they stand still. They are a beacon–a place of hope. This is the flame of ambition. This is the power of dreaming! Strength is power put to use! You can do, will do, so much! And even being able to light the way for someone else is just as crucial.

Go forth and do good, dearest ones! I am already proud of you.

‘Stop Taming Us.’

 

Viola Davis, in December 2018, at Women in Entertainment Event hosted by Hollywood Reporter Event

I am 37. I am young, gifted and Black. I have also been told that I am descended from a family ‘too’s.’

I’m too smart.

I’m too loud.

I’m too driven.

I’m too ambitious.

Which is why when I heard Viola Davis say the phrase “Stop taming us?” I felt the same way I felt when saw Captain Marvel basically go hypersonic, and tear up that enemy spaceship to protect Earth!

I felt that I had been seen, understood and affirmed.

What I have learned in my almost 4 decades on planet Earth, is that people love classifications.

They love categories.

They like to be able to group, change and identify things (or people) they feel are interesting or strange. Ambitious women, especially ambitious minority women, are just that. Black women, especially, suffer from this systemic identification. There was a quote from the glory of the internet that says:

“Black women will always be too loud of a world never intent on listening to them.”

I agree.

For all my prowess and intelligence, I still have people that I know love me that wish I would ‘do a little less.’ That I shouldn’t want to own the platforms I post on. That I shouldn’t have the vision that I do. I ‘should just write and not worry about anything else right now.’ That I should pace myself.

Yeah, about that? Fuck that.

I work at the clip that I do because there was  time where the words wouldn’t come because I was shattered. There was a time where the words were alien, and bitter and were enigmas.

Once my heart was healed, the words overtook. My vision restored and by God, I was not going to be dictated to by people who were not and will not be doing half of what I’m doing!

So, no I’m not going to ease up!

No, I’m not going to listen to nay sayers, haters and the trolls, crows, cows or chickens that desire to stop me. Seeing since they cant’t out pace me.

I refuse to be tamed, because I have taken too long to burn! When I was 23, I got a tattoo on Black of the Japanese kanji for Phoenix. This was a nod to my sister, Ashley:  whom I admire more than she thinks I do; and whom I am not truly worthy to call a little sister. Octavia Estelle Butler, herself  ‘a rare bird’, says that in order for a Phoenix to live, it first must burn.

I have come too far, to have someone tell me to stop.

I write for the Oracles in West Africa whom I will never meet. For the Kings and Queens of whom I am daughter, benefactor and granddaughter:  whom forged courses with whit and faith. I create for the conjure women I am descended from whom could not read. For my enslaved foreparents whom had the stories beat out of them. Or were killed for daring to say what was a lie!

I breathe fire because my great-great-great grandparents and my beloved father and mother, walked through fire to get me here!

I know women like me and my ilk scare you. I know we’re loud. I know the drive frightens you. The fact we curse, say ‘No’, and make our own spaces and taketh no isht makes you clutch your pearls.

But saddle up buttercup. We ain’t going no where.

We are coming for everything they said we couldn’t get, with the mantra of:

If you don’t let me in the front door, I’ll do around back. If that’s locked, I’ll buss a window and jump in.