As I’m sitting here writing this post, it is Monday, Labor Day. Which means that many of you are busy devouring a plate of that barbecue chicken and ribs that Uncle Ray Ray hooked up whilst wearing a pair of these bad boys…
You’re also probably licking each one of your fingers that are dripping with that special secret homemade barbecue sauce that only — and I mean only — Auntie Loretta (Uncle Ray Ray’s wife) knows how to make. And as you’re now reading this post on Tuesday, you’re more than likely eating a plate of leftovers from yesterday and laughing to yourself, because everything I just said was oddly, yet extremely accurate.
Anyways, getting to the real point of this post. As I mentioned in MMW Vol. 1, I’m finishing up a book I’ve been reading by the late and great Dr. Myles Munroe, titled Understanding the Purpose and Power of the Woman. This book hits a lot of points, but today I would like to focus on one that he made regarding the demanding of rights:
“If you have to demand something from someone, you are admitting that they own it. When you do that, you are devaluing yourself, because you are, in effect, relinquishing the possession of your rights to someone else… laws can’t grant us our rights; they can merely acknowledge the rights that we already have.” (p. 19-20)
I agree with this statement 111%. Since I happen to fall into two social minority categories — I’m a woman who also happens to be Black — I totally get what Dr. Munroe was saying here. Many of us have become so fixated on the fact that we aren’t being treated or valued the way we should be, that we try to prove our worth by demanding rights that we actually already have. For instance, when Black artists get upset and demand recognition from predominantly White award shows, they are, in essence, devaluing their art because they are giving power to their lack of acceptance by another group of people. But the lack of acceptance by one group does not validate the art and talent that the artist already possesses. The mere act of demanding your rights from someone else is actually quite contradictory in itself because it’s telling the other person/group whom you are addressing that they have complete access and authority over your innate, God-given power. Which segues to my views on feminism.
Before I even read this book, there were always a few question marks floating around in my mind pertaining to the ever-evolving concept of feminism. Now before all my sister soldiers come for my head, let me just say something right quick. I am all the way down for certain feministic ideologies that focus on addressing equality and sexual harassment in the workplace, violence against women, and promoting women’s empowerment (i.e. uplifting women in areas of self confidence, love, health and wellness, spirituality, etc.). But what I personally — note I said PERSONALLY (as in my personal opinion) — can’t get down with is stuff like women on their menstrual cycles “free-bleeding” through their clothes to prove a point, whatever that point is (besides a severe lack of sanitation); Amber Rose hosting a SlutWalk to
promote “demoralize” slut-shaming women (another concept I’m having a hard time grasping); many women exercising bigotry, oppression and sexism towards the opposite sex (which is basically everything feminism speaks out against); and/or telling other young, impressionable women and girls that it’s perfectly fine to have sex with as many boys as they want to, because double standards suck (this is a whole n’other subject on its own, so I’ll get into this another day).
So here’s my thing: it’s a given that society has devalued women — especially Black women — substantially for centuries. So I agree that it’s imperative for us to openly address issues that depreciate the pivotal role we as women play in society. But what I more so have a problem with is the approach and actions behind our address. Many of us women have become so obsessed with paralleling our capabilities to those of men, from sexual promiscuity to social, economic and political status. And for what? To prove our worth? Why are we trying so hard to prove something that has already received God’s stamp of approval? Why are we exhausting so much of our time and energy trying to compete with our male counterparts when we already have an equally unique power and purpose as WOMEN?
This is why I don’t fully agree with the concept of feminism. Women don’t need to acquire sameness with men in order to prove our value because our power actually lies in our distinction from men. We are just emotionally, physically, and mentally different, which means we were designed to carry out a different purpose. And please note that “different” DOES NOT mean “inferior.” The problem is that men and women alike have lost sight of our individual and joint purpose, ultimately leading to the excessive amount of male/female dysfunction, oppression and abuse that we experience today. But it’s time we start openly addressing this, and that’s exactly what I plan to do in this blog series. So stay tuned and please share your thoughts!
Oh, and keep a lookout for Uncle Ray Ray and Auntie Loretta in future posts. I’ll be referencing these two quite a bit throughout this series.