Monday, April 23, 2012

'Thinking Like A Man' Is Not My Bloomin' Job.

If You Don't Act Like A Boy, Maybe I Won't Have To 'Think Like A Man'.

Ha! In the face!

I wish I could go back and paste that reply on all the retarded posts I've seen where men detail what women have to do to trick them into committing. The irritation I've swallowed! The exclamation marks I've bottled! The expletives I've deleted!

Oh, yes. Typing that felt good. I would have to do some kind of jig to express adequately exactly how good. DAMNED good. Kicking-too-tight-shoes-off-at-the-end-of-an-extremely-long-day good. In fact, I'm going to type it again, just for the warm 'n' fuzzies. If You Don't Act Like A Boy,Maybe I Won't Have To 'Think Like A Man'. Yeah I said it. I ain't even read the book and I'm telling Steve Harvey to shut up an go shine his head. Yep.

Go shine your head with a rag.
A couple of nights ago I was talking to my friend on the phone(red, cordless and jammed between my ear and shoulder) when we hit one of those points of mutual clarity, and my face went hot as the dinner I was cooking. "What IS it with that way of thinking anyway?!" we screamed at each other, "CHOOPS!" (the sound of lucian irritation) and that's when the killer line (lovingly typed above) gushed forth. Sometimes from a rather mild temperament not unlike a British sky, a Caribbean storm rage-th. I had come to a boil, babies. My voice went up a full octave, I'm pretty sure.

Every so often, you feel like you need a mental colonic after all the crap you've been hearing. And there is a lot of crap flying around that one is not allowed to call 'crap' lest one be labelled bitter. Especially as a 'black' woman. If a 'black'woman is angry, it is always a problem with her and never a problem with the world. (Ironic, huh? Being on the thorny side of both race and gender, one is immediately pathologized instead of examined in a social context). The Black Lady Must Not Protest! But I am sweet not bitter. I am a joyful smiler, a romantic, and the type who cries when watching even a mildly emotional film. A secret dancer of the highest order. A handwriter of letters and love poems. The type of mum to go racing through the park on her boy's scooter. No. I am not saying this because whatever needs of mine have been frustrated and so on and whatever and all that and so forth. I am about to blog some rant right about now beCAUSE:

(about me)
I am 1) not retarded and 2) not deaf/dumb/blind and 3) will not act as such by failing to comment on a trend I find deeply upsetting and 4) I come from a long line of women with both moxie and self-worth in abundance and I am determined to act like it. Right.

(about the issue)
The film. Subject matter? Boo! Michael Ealy? Yum!
5) Feminine identity is regressing like a mofo (yes, that's the scientific term) and  7) male self-entitlement in all its toxic (to everyone) glory is going from strength to strength! Let's run the track:

"Chick you better learn to do stuff to keep your man!"

"Girl, you better learn how to compete! "

"You better know how to cook a steak naked while balancing three pints of beer on your head!"

"You better not have sex until three months into a relationship or until marriage/menopause/death so he knows you're not so whorish as to actually ENJOY it (perish the thought!) and then when you do have sex you better be a living porn movie or don't blame your dude for subsequent disappearing acts."

"Cheat, lie, wrangle, manipulate, hypnotise and finagle that ring out of that man by any means necessary and Who You Really Are and/or What You Really Feel Doesn't Matter."

"What's wrong with you? You want to be some worthless career girl artist or world-changer? Naaaaaaaaah. You ain't diddly jack squat without a man! And furthermore, a man is the prize to be won. YOU are a poor worthless beggar in high heels. Ya dig?"
Excuse me?

Wake up gentlemen. You are better than that!
Ladies, let us not be complicit in our own demise!
Let me make it clear. I LOVE love. Love is a powerful transformative force - a glue that cements families,mends wounds, provides incentive and inspiration for ever higher levels of achievement and self-actualisation. It is practically useful, allowing the pooling of resources and duties. It is how we learn to be vulnerable and compassionate. It's how we learn to share. It is an invaluable source of stomach flutters, smiles and laughter, great songs and even better-er orgasms.
Through the lens of this revolting paradigm, love is a game where a man expects a woman to be grateful for the merest attention, where he 'concedes' to settling down/marriage and - most chillingly! - where a man is expected to use, abuse and disrespect any woman who doesn't know 'the game' (without he himself having any accountability or responsibility for establishing a  moral code of conduct (as every grown up should!)). 

("He punched you in the face? Well bwoy, don't blame him. He was perfectly in his rights since you were standing there like that. You shouldn't have been standing there! Don't do that next time.")
This revolting paradigm says of men - they are immature, simple-minded beasts. And of women it says, your only power is that of manipulation and your only worth is the man on your arm and whether or not you 'convinced' him to 'put a ring on it'. ("Here comes the aeroplane....! Come on boy! Eeeaatup...!" (please)).
(No (wo)man is free while others are oppressed - if you're fighting for racial equality but don't take gender equality seriously, shame on you!)

I'm a lover not a fighter - but I WILL fight for love.
I expect a man to be able to look at a woman and know his own heart and know that - with the right woman - he will become better, deeper, stronger, more generous and more prosperous than he could ever be on his own. I expect him to know that. I expect him to respect women as having intrinsic value as human beings outside of their role as romantic or sexual objects.
I expect a man to Think Like A Man so I bloody well don't have to.
*drops the mic*
(smooches, innit?

1 comment:

Bo said...

Gemma! I couldn't agree more. I read the book years ago, after a female friend touted it as "the answer". My reply to her was "Let everyone think for themselves!"