Archive for the ‘women’ Tag

Are You A Groupie? By Angenita Williams

GLPIC

 

Are you a groupie?

Merriam-Webster says a groupie is a noun that means a fan of a music group who follows the group on concert tours.

Urban dictionary says a groupie is a young woman, often under age, who seeks to achieve status by having sex with rock musicians, roadies, security, and other band-related guys.

Does that describe anyone you know?

I heard the song Groupie Love by an indie artist Young Mac about a year ago. (Check the photo.) The more I listened to it, the more I really get it. Although the title would have you thinking otherwise, it’s obvious that the woman being described in the song is a hurting woman.

“I can tell it’s groupie love cause she aiming to get rich.”

Listening to the lyrics on the surface would have you think the narrator is talking about the typical groupie – backstage at all the shows. Heels on point. Body a ten. Making sure she gets chosen. But a deeper listening reveals that this “groupie” isn’t typical…she has the “aim” to get rich…but the “rich” isn’t the rich that one thinks of when they speak of rich.

In this aspect, rich means love. She wants to be rich…in love… jumping from body to body in search of this elusive love…the love that every girl dreams of. Yearns for. And when that love isn’t there, then substitutes are there to take the place…money…attention…sex. Selling herself short for the illusion of desire. She’s broken. And the narrator tells her, “I can feel your pressure.”

How much pressure are we under to find love? For us single ladies that are 35 and up, how much pressure do we bear when we wake up next to pillows every morning? When you just wanna hug and hear a deep masculine voice say it’s gonna be alright? I know…Momma never said there would be days like that….because Momma never let it show that there ARE days like that.

Navigating the world of relationships is real tricky. Mainly because everyone has baggage to unload, and everyone wants to remain selfish….when love has nothing to do with selfishness…it’s so selfless. You willingly give your all because love is about growing the other person, not what you can get out of them or from them. You have to make sure that person has your best interest at heart…But you can’t wait too late or you’ll end up broken and bitter.

Self-love is the key to deflating the pressures of being single. No one can love you if you don’t love you, and if you don’t love you, you can’t possibly love anyone else. So for the groupies in the world….take a pause…love you…Nothing will give you more satisfaction until you realize that love you seek is right there in you…

“Go ‘head and show that groupie love…go ‘head, you know that groupie love….”

Am I Not Good Enough? by Angenita Williams

*This is NOT a blog about being sad, or feeling unworthy. It IS a reflection.*

In the midst of my reading and studying, I usually play music or have the TV on for background noise. Sometimes, I have both. But yesterday, I decided to listen to the YouTube personality April Mason. She is an empowering woman with some really good points. I just wasn’t ready for what she had to say.

She had a letter from a young woman who explained that there was a guy she was “dating.” He was nice. He treated her well. He was fine. His sex was awesome. But he didn’t want to be in a relationship. Although he did all the things that couples do, he made it clear that a relationship was something he did not want. She was understandably confused. His actions did not match his words….definitely something I can relate to.

April went through all the usual relationship advice: why buy the cow when you get the milk for free; you allowed him to dictate the “relationship;” you must love yourself first…and so on and so forth. But then she said this:

“This may sound harsh, but you are not good enough.”

I stopped studying.

“You are good enough to hang out and go to the movies with. You are good enough to share meals with. You are good enough to have sex with. But you are not good enough to be his WOMAN. You are a placeholder for his permanent one.”

I sat up. Not good enough to be his woman?

I’ve often felt like I was never good enough. My self-esteem hasn’t been the highest. Although I was always told I was beautiful, I didn’t really believe it – I was fat. I didn’t have a nice shape and I was bigger than most guys – but I was still cute and my smile lit up a room.  I knew I was smart – my grades showed it. I was a little short on being street smart until I got to the streets and had to learn to navigate. I never quite learned how to navigate relationships with men though.

I was always good enough to converse with because I do have a nice conversation. I have a brain and I can go from goofy to intellect in a split second. I was nice to hang around because I carry an aura of comfort; of loving. I can cook a little bit, so of course I was good enough to make meals for a man. Of course I was always good enough to have sex with. I’m a nice looking, fluffy woman that’s well endowed. I take care of my kids. I’m smart. I’m funny. I’m loyal.

But I still wasn’t good enough.

 I wasn’t good enough for my father to love me enough to show me that I was indeed worthy to be treated like a human being.  I didn’t have a very high bar to compare any man to. Attention was enough I suppose. I wasn’t good enough for my ex to not marry a woman that I knew was all the way wrong for him, but yet he still came to me on plenty of nights until I stopped him. I wasn’t good enough for the guy who told me he wouldn’t hurt me, but he didn’t want a relationship…after sex. Or the one that said that no man would really want me because of my ready made family. Or the one who stopped talking to me when I took sex off the table. Or the one that sent unsolicited penis pics. Or the one who thought I would stay despite his abuse.  When I got married, I felt that finally I WAS good enough…I secured a lifelong bond with a man I was madly in love with…

But I wasn’t even good enough for my husband. No matter how loyal or loving or supportive I was, I just wasn’t good enough to keep him from the abandonment or the side chicks.

In the aftermath of all of this, I find that I am still just not good enough. I’m good enough to hang with or converse with, or even to sex…but I’m not good enough to be a man’s significant other. I’m not good enough to be the ONE.

My attributes are great. I am wonderfully flawed.  I’m beautiful. I’m sarcastic. Intelligent. I like sports. I cuss like a sailor. I am articulate. I can get moody. I can appear standoffish or disinterested.  I can discuss politics, Beyonce, Maya, and Bugs Bunny. I am lovingly loyal – I would say to a bit of a fault. I am a sweetheart when I want to be. I’m the perfect homegirl. I’m caring. I’m supportive – an awesome cheerleader. I adore my children and my grandchildren. I will go to war with the world over my children. I love my family. I work hard. I hustle harder. I strive to be the best I can be with all my flaws. 

This year marks my 40th year on this Earth. I look at the world through a lens of life experiences. I do have faith in God, something I can’t say I’ve always had. My confidence level as definitely increased by the multitudes. But, in the area of relationships and commitment, something always falls relatively short. And with all the #inboxfoolishness I get, with all the dates that are made but never completed, all the notions of just wanting sex from me and nothing more, I wonder…

Will I ever be good enough?

Well Done, Maya by Angenita Williams

She rose from the depths
Of what society said
She should be
Tall, black, woman

Silenced
For years
After her words killed
A violator

But still, she rose

Her stature captured nations
Civility unmatched
Humble beyond measure
Loving spirit

Wisdom…
A teacher
A motivator
A Queen

And still…

Clouds produce storms
Rainbows are the products of storms
And clouds
They happen when the sunlight reflects moisture 

In the air
At just the right time
And angle
Nature’s splendor 

And still…

Her quotes…
Made you say…
Where did she get THAT?
How was that obtained? 

And her works
Will guide
On exactly where it was
Revealed 

And Still… 

Her voice…unmistakable
Her spirit…full
Her life…of purpose
Her legacy…everlasting
Her honor…noble
Her being…marvelous

Simple, awesome…love

When I wrote the blog last October, Clouds and Rainbows, I knew that Maya Angelou was ill. She was still boisterous, funny, and full of wisdom, but her body was frail. The shell that housed her was getting weak. But in her strength…she didn’t let it be known…

The strength of this woman is unlike many I have seen. By rights, a teen mother should not be this successful and full of life. She shouldn’t have all these experiences. She should grow to be a welfare mother with a house full of children with no daddies. Stigmatized. Alienated.

But through love and guidance, THIS, teen mothers, abused women, lost and lonely girls…THIS…is what you CAN be. Life can toss you so many things, and people can give you so many excuses as to why they can’t do something. But the LIFE of Maya Angelou dispels everything that anyone can say to you to impact you negatively. Her statuesque life. Her larger than life personality. Her…spirit motivated you to want to move. A simple reading of any of her works will get you up and out your seat.

God called her home on May 28, 2014. His purpose for her shell is done.

Rest in Peace, Dr. Maya Angelou. I’m sure you have already heard this by a bigger voice than mine, but, job well done. JOB WELL DONE …

Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it…

~Maya Angelou

Unbelievable! by Angenita Williams

symbolic illustration on violence against women - stock vector

It’s undeniably unbelievable that a man can be convicted of raping a woman, and he gets sentenced to twenty years, yet doesn’t do a day in jail. He gets to have eight years worth of home detention.

A pound of marijuana gets you up to three years behind bars.

Last time I checked, possessing marijuana isn’t violent.

Maybe he got to go home because he raped his wife. I mean, it IS her wifely duty to sex her husband, right?

Last time I checked, a woman can say no to any type of sexual pressure, no matter WHO it is.

This has me so heated because rape victims rarely come forward because of the scrutiny they face. It breaks down to a he said she said. And if her skirt is a little too high, her shirt a little to low, it is deemed as an invite for sex. I mean, she should know better, right? Like if she doesn’t want sex, she should cover herself and act like a lady, right?

Last time I checked, we can wear what we want, when we want, how we want, and we shouldn’t be subjected to the assumptions or force of men to fulfill their desires.

While I’m ranting, let me mention the woman in Indianapolis who was shot fourteen..yes…fourteen times by her ex-husband while they were in the midst of a custody battle. He was arrested in Kentucky and brought back to Indiana. She survived the attack. He was placed in jail on $100,000 bond. However, his bond has since been decreased to $25,000.

Why was his bond decreased? He pumped fourteen bullets into a woman. He is VIOLENT. WHY should he be offered a lower bond? He didn’t shoot her once or twice. He shot her fourteen times. He had malicious intent to kill, but now, if someone puts up $2,500, he could be walking around the neighborhood, looking for another opportunity to take her out. Oh, not to mention, a protection order was in place when this happened.

Unbelievable!

The only solution that I can think of is to be prepared. But really, how can you be prepared against a husband who forces you to have sex, then gets to go home? Sure it’s on his record. But he can have access to you. He can still be a threat. And you could call the police. But, would they make it in time?

Drug Testing Welfare by Angenita Williams

stock photo : A doctor holding a urine sample

There’s no doubt that women make up the demographic that most receives Temporary Assistance for Needy Families – TANF. This past week in Indiana, a law passed through the state House of Representatives, and now awaits a vote in the state Senate. Of course, the Republican side sees this as a necessity. However, the common sense side knows this will cost more and stop nothing. It also targets poor women.

First off, there is a test the applicant has to take. This test determines whether or not the applicant will be selected for random drug tests. This sounds a lot like the literacy tests given from the 1890’s to 1965 that were used to keep minorities from voting.

Second, we’re not talking a boatload of money; $229 a month for one child, $288 a month for two. I mean, really. That’s just what I spend on gas per month.

This law was passed in Florida, and it was struck down as unconstitutional after four months of existence. In fact, only 2.6 percent of the state’s cash assistance applicants failed the drug test, or 108 of 4,086, according to the New York Times. The most common reason was marijuana. The testing actually cost the state an estimated $45,780 more than if the state just issued the benefits. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/us/no-savings-found-in-florida-welfare-drug-tests.html?_r=0)

In Virginia, it was determined that the drug tests would cost the state $1.5 million to administer the tests and save only $229,000 in benefits stripped from recipients who tested positive. (www.thinkprogress.org) The measure was killed in the Senate.

Now, why is this on the drawing board for Indiana?

First, Florida proves there is no cost savings. Why spend thousands to “save” hundreds? Why target the poor? Is it automatically assumed that poor people do the most drugs?

Second, hardcore drug users know how to cheat the system. Meth, crack, and cocaine leave the system within days. Marijuana stays in the system longer depending on how much fat you have, so it would be detected the most. Prescription drug abuse is hard to prove with a prescription, and Medicaid will pay for those. So much for taxpayer money not going towards drug abuse. And, what about alcohol? It leaves the system at a rate of an ounce per hour. Plus, alcohol is found in many household products such as cold medicine and mouthwash.

This bill looks just like another kick to the downtrodden or those who fell down on their luck. And the legislature wants to take away civil liberties and rights for $229 a month? How does that even begin to balance out?

I feel this bill is a waste of my taxpayer money. Can I get a refund? Better yet, let’s test the proposer of this bill. He had to be on something to even dream it up.

I understand the theory, but the approach is wrong. You want to stop the fraud of the system. Drug testing isn’t going to stop fraud. Nothing is going to completely stop fraud. The more roadblocks you build, the more creative fraudsters get. And this law is designed to keep people from applying, no matter how bad they need it. It’s a shame, really.

Avoiding the Void by Venessa Bowers

On December 14, 2012 – at the same time the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut occurred, I was in surgery. In September, my doctor told me that it was critical that I have a radical hysterectomy and that it needed to happen as soon as possible. Like most women, my hustle would not allow it to happen as fast as my doctor wanted it to happen so I simply had to “pencil him in” and think about it.

 

It took me a while to fully understand that I was consciously and unconsciously avoiding this procedure. Not because it would hurt or because I was afraid, but because of the void that would be left in place of my malfunctioning uterus. It was a void I did not want to have in my life. Forget that for more than a year I suffered unrelenting physical pain. Forget that that I had to have a surgery in August to try to alleviate said pain. Forget that my hormones were raging off the chart and in turns I would scream like my hair was on fire and then cry about the fact that there was only one bag of potato chips at the store – I do not eat potato chips, so who the hell cares? Rationally, none of this makes any sense. But it did to me because of the void.

 

The word void is equivalent to words like barren, empty, meaningless, purposeless, blankness worthlessness. And for a woman who does not have children – magnify those words by 1000. Women are supposed to have kids. Isn’t that why we are on the planet? Well, deciding to not have children in order to focus on my career was one thing – it was all “kiss-my-ass-feminist” and it was cool. Not having a child because my body did not work was about a failure. It was about me failing as a woman. I would never be a mother.

 

The first time I said those words it hit me full in the face – the grief dropped me to my knees. I screamed and cried and tried to remember why my career had been so much more important than a family. And then I remembered – it was not more important than a family. I work with children all day every day. They have become a part of my family because of the intimacy we share in their healing process. If I had children of my own, someone would suffer – my kids at work or my kids at home. I could not do the work I do with traumatized kids and come home to my own and try to be “normal” – whatever the hell that is. I could not explain to my own child why I work 18 hour days. I could not explain why my child would feel like those other kids and their problems were more important. As I did this processing I realized that there is no void – there is a space in my physical body and now there is a space in my spiritual body too. The space is filling with the lives of children who need me.

 

I am no longer in pain. I am no longer feeling incredibly crazy with rapidly changing hormones.

There is a purpose to my life. There are children in my life. There is love in my life. Saying goodbye to my uterus and all of its sickness is like saying goodbye to the part of me that has on some level always hated who I was. (Don’t judge that statement, we all know women fight with themselves about what they hate about themselves). When it was gone, the pressure of society to be the “good working woman/mother” was gone – it did not matter anymore because it was not possible. It was freedom.

 

Today, I am working on filling the space with peace and joy. With love of myself. With acceptance of who I am and what I can contribute to this planet. And the best part? No more tampons!

 

Bright Blessings

 

scared

WE GOT TO DO BETTER…By Angenita Williams-Childs

 

DISCLAIMER – I just want you to know that I really mean no harm, but ignorance has got to stop…like now…

On Sunday, I was sick. I lay in bed until around 4:00 pm. I got dressed, gathered the dirty laundry, and took my girls to my mother’s house for some homemade lasagna (which was fire!) I talked with my brother and sister-in-law, played with my one-year old nephew. We left and did laundry; I dropped my stepdaughter off at home. I decided that Babygirl and I would go to Kroger to pick up a few things for dinner. And that’s when it starts…

We walk down the aisle where the cold cuts are. At the end of the aisle, there is a freezer, and someone who wasn’t looking quite so fresh with two small children and what appeared to be a young teenager. I took note, but headed to the soup aisle. I overheard her talk to the young lady. Lady in Question wore some crazy hat with ear flaps, some printed capris, no socks, tennis shoes, and a shirt and a jacket that looked too small.

“Nun uh. Grab ‘dem shrimps. He eats shrimps,” she said. I wasn’t sure if she was trying to walk cute, or just drunk. I walked down the soup aisle.

“Oh, yo’ hair pretty” she said as she walked past me.

“Thank you,” Isaid. Babygirl looked on.

We both headed down the pasta aisle, and she pulled her panties (I assume) from her butt. Babygirl was about to bust. I gave her that look that said, “You better not.” She turned her head. The lady bent over to examine some boxed pasta, and said out loud, “I can’t wait to get locked up on Tuesday.” I froze. Did I hear her correctly?

My daughter looked at my face, and stifled a laugh. I can only imagine my expression. I looked at Babygirl and she looked at me.

So, the lady that was so ready to go to jail, walked past me again, and asked, “So how you do that with yo’ hair? Rollers or somethin’?”

I shook my head and said, “Pipe cleaners.”

“What’s dat? Oh, nevermind, I know what them is.”

All the while, my daughter looks like she is about to die because she wanted to laugh. I tell her, “You better not, young lady.” I couldn’t contain myself. But the situation was not funny. It stank of pure, unadulterated, ignorance.

For the life of me, I cannot fathom being a parent, and want to get locked up. Why would you want to go to jail for doing something that will take you away from your kids? What sense does that make? I had an arsenal of questions to ask her, the main one being, “Why?” I guess making sure the kids had food while she was gone was a good thing, but wouldn’t you want to be home to cook it?

I reflect on society today and it reminds me of how sad the times we live in really are. Any time anyone, let alone a woman with kids, sees jail as a vacation, it baffles me. It absolves them of responsibility of living. And we, as a society, allow it. We put people away for petty things. We allow our judgment to be clouded by so called morals. Then we have those like this young lady, obviously lost somewhere in this world. The more I think about it, I feel sad for her. Looking forward to being caged like an animal tells me a lot about her…that she doesn’t think she’s good enough to be free. I hope she doesn’t reach the goal of jail time. I hope the opposite occurs. I feel like I should have reached out to her and asked her why she felt like that. Then again, that type of mentality would have had me in the parking lot going to war. So instead, I used my prayer to fight that battle. I know that it’s won.

Loving the Regrettable – Venessa Bowers

Often, women like you and me spend a lot of time thinking about the things that “could have been.” We spend so much time thinking about those past, long-lost dreams that we cannot see the “now” of our lives. We cannot see the new dreams and goals we have set for ourselves. Because let’s face it, as women, we are always planning new things. In fact, we have to in order to survive and eventually make sense of the lives we have lived and are living.

Let me tell you a story. When I was growing up I used to spend a great deal of time daydreaming. So much so that my maternal grandmother used to call me “Alice” as Louis Carroll’s classic work Alice in Wonderland. On its face, it sounds like being called “Alice” was an endearing nickname. However it wasn’t. My grandmother’s belief was that “there would be no dreaming in her house.” So whenever she caught me daydreaming it was as if I committed a class-A felony. And she made me pay for that infraction in countless, merciless ways. But here’s the thing – she couldn’t break my spirit, no matter how hard she tried to break my body and mind. So, defiantly, I kept daydreaming.

In those days, daydreams were about being a famous writer who would tell the most captivating tales of magic and wonder. Or, being a famous musician (after all I was classically trained on several instruments), or being a Rockette, since I was an award-winning tap dancer. But the recurring theme in those daydreams was finding a way to leave the life I was forced to live under the care of people who couldn’t have cared less about me. When I was ten, I wanted to be fifteen – when I was fifteen I wanted to be twenty. I never learned to live in the moment of those years because I was always planning an escape. But those dreams didn’t come true and I regretted even having them for a very long time.

My escape came in the way of college. I was a voracious reader and that, in fact is what saved my life. I could disappear into a book and no one could call that “daydreaming” because it looked like school work. Most of my family could not read above a third grade level so I decided that I would “get smart at them” and be able to read what I wanted without the fear of punishment. Being the first person to go to and finish college in my family was a struggle, but I did it. I also earned two master’s degrees – my dreams shifted to being an academic, not a writer or a musician or a dancer. But that didn’t work either. Being a “hood-rat” as I was often called by my colleagues didn’t fit the “vision” of an academic – those people are the ones who spent their whole lives in the academy – white, men, with money. So, clearly, I couldn’t fit that bill.

So, I changed my dreams again. And in the process of changing dreams and looking at the past without minimizing it, dismissing it, or wallowing in it, I was able to begin to love those things I once found regrettable. I love that little girl who had such big dreams of being famous. I love the teenager who dreamed about out-thinking her abusers, I love the young adult who struggled to make it through college and try to give back to people just like her – teaching in colleges where women, so many women, faced the same struggles that she did. She helped them to find their way and overcome the barriers to their dreams.

I love the woman I am today – at 40 years old, I am learning to love the regrettable. It’s regrettable that I didn’t have a family who loved and took care of me – how many of us actually get that? It’s regrettable that I didn’t throw myself into developing my artistic crafts. It’s regrettable that I couldn’t be a tenured professor. BUT – what is not regrettable is who I am because of those experiences. We women, are not resilient “in spite” of the pain, but rather because of it.

Can you love your regrettables? I bet you can. I challenge all of you to look deep inside to find that little girl who wanted big things for her life. Then go get them. You have the power to have the life you want – but might have to slay a few dragons on the way. But you can slay them. In fact you’ve been doing that your whole life.

No matter who you are, where you came from, what you lost, what you gained, what you wanted and what you needed but didn’t get – YOU are not regrettable. Start unpacking the luggage you’ve carried that is full of your regrettables. Look at them honestly and openly and love them. They belong only to you. Only you can love them.

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