When I was a teenager, my high school had a strict dress code. Ironically enough, one of the requirements was knee length skirts. Most of the time, we wore them with joggers outside in the winter. I just find it funny that they didn’t seem to offer the levels of protection Ms. Badu seems to think they do. Grown ass men still were on BS, especially with a shelter right next door.
I guess it’s easier to police fabric and thread than the heavy lifting of policing adults in being mindful of their words and actions around kids. Yes, fully developed teenage girls are still kids and that’s a good place to start. Awhile back I posted a meme about when is the first time you remember men looking at you sexually and it averaged between 9-11 years old. So I’m not understanding why the onus isn’t completely on grown ass men AND women. Yes, women because I know too many guys who had their first sexual experiences by way of rape. While most see it as getting lucky but there’s something very wrong with engaging in a sex act with a boy if you’re an adult. Horny doesn’t equal consent when children are involved. That’s another rant for another day.
The best way to protect girls isn’t in skirt and sleeve lengths. It’s making open and outward lusting towards girls unacceptable. Honestly, I can totally understand why Erykah’s Twitter rant happened. She spent the day at a high school full of kids who had no idea who she was as she sang a song older than all of them. That may have created the saltication of her ego some. Plus, she said R. Kelly was her brother and done more for Black people than anyone. When you can take your consciousness on and off like an afro wig….Pin It
As a Chicago native, I’ve seen plenty of pimps in person. They’ve always seemed like caricatures of humans with their brightly colored clown suits and slick talk. I could never take them seriously and deemed them entertainment.
The older I got and learned more about what they actually did, I had more questions than answers. I could not understand why someone would give all of their money to someone when they did nothing to work for it. How could they offer you security when they’d hit you just as quickly as a trick would? I watched (and loved) The Mack, was entertained by Snoop’s little pimp phase and even threatened to dress as Bishop Don Juan for Halloween. I laughed myself into a stomach cramp when 3-6 Mafia won an Oscar for “Hard out here for a pimp.” I guess because it seemed to over the top to be real.
I saw a documentary about teenage girls in NYC who were lured by pimps. I’d even watched a scene where a pimp attempt to pick up on girls in a food court and insulted them when they chuckled at him. Hearing the different interviews, I realized these dudes were not clowns, they were monsters. The level of misogyny they operate at was insane to me. They’re like emotional chameleons. They sniff out what these girls are lacking and become that. Once they make the girl feel loved and comfortable, they systematically tear her down to complete and total dependence. It’s really sad. I’m finding out lately that it’s not just girls. There are people who prey on young gay boys whose family’s put them out too.
I’ll be the first to admit, I used to judge that situation. “If he hits you, just leave and run away”, “I wouldn’t sell my goodies and give the money away..hell no”, etc. I assumed these girls chose this life. I judged and assumed but now I empathize.
There’s tons of things to unpack about this. We have a huge problem with glorifying pimps and emulating their culture. You can go to any Halloween store and find pimp costumes. Sadly, I’ve even seen them in baby sizes. What the hell are we teaching our boys? Another big hurdle is blaming the victims! It’s not The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, these girls had their backs against the wall and were taken advantage of. On a regular basis, many girls just don’t feel any protection of their innocence (here’s a great read on that), we need to change that. By EMPOWERMENT!
Help me raise money to empower children, put away pimps and put a dent in a huge problem that goes unnoticed right here on US soil…in metropolitan cities.
Donate here: http://donate.iempathize.org/fundraise?fcid=318692Pin It
November 30th is Small Business Saturday! I think it’s an incredibly cool thing. It’s really hard to find good mom and pop establishments these days. For quite obvious reasons, I’m partial to Black and WOC owned businesses. Here’s a list of my favorite small businesses:
Rachel Stewart http://rachelstewartjewelry.com
She makes extraordinary pieces of jewelry. I love how Afro-centric and modern they are. Rachel’s also an artist and her painting are often for sell as well. My very favorite item was a peacock feather headband (it’s discontinued), the craftsmanship and quality was great.
Melody Ehsani http://www.melodyehsani.com
Whenever I wear my custom necklace or ring, people stop me on the street trying to figure out where I got it from. I’ve been a fan of Melody for years. My best friend put me on to her and I’ve been a goner ever since. I made a visit to her flagship store 424 1/2 N. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036 to get my nails done at Candy Paint. It was a nice treat to meet her. Her jewelry line is very LA fly style. You could close your eyes, pick out anything and I’d probably LOVE it.
LBay Bath and Body https://www.etsy.com/shop/lbaybathandbody
How fortunate am I to have such creative friends?! One of my homies, Lauren, started a bath products business this year. She’s always very crafty. I’m talking amazing detailed party decor and such. I ended up getting a couple of items for Christmas gifts as well as a little something for myself. I love the shampoo bar and clay cleanser. I did not know the joys of lip scrub and how much it’s been missing in my life until now. Quality products that smell fantastic. Tell her, Tish sent you 🙂
Whipped Goods http://whippedgoods.com/
I had issues with my dry and itchy scalp for the longest. The scalp creme therapy has been a life and game changer. It’s literally been the only thing that works. Lauren Wiley’s always been into this type of thing. She grows a lot of her own food, makes her own butter and such..so it was a given her body care products would be great. She makes everything from incense to oil blends.
GORGEOUS garments made of genuine African prints, Cameroon, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Kenya to be exact. The prints are absolutely fabulous and lush. I love the dresses, skirts and blazers the most. They have gear that can go for something more formal as well as casual or work. I’m a fan.
Love Affair http://www.shoploveaffair.bigcartel.com
Love Affair was started by my good friend of 20 years and her sister. Chiquista and Simone are both very stylish and put together, I was excited to see what their jewelry line would look like. I’ve purchased a few items already and I love them. They have cute and stylish pieces that are both trendy and durable. I wear my bow earrings on a regular basis. I always get compliments on them.
I think the holidays are mostly for kids. This site has thee cutest dolls, quilts, art and such. I think I swooned looking at all the cuteness! I love the baby doll slings. I got the warm and fuzzies thinking about the dolls and pillows my Gram would make for me when I was a little girl. A handmade toy will always be more special than anything you can get off the shelf at Toys R Us.
Miss Zee http://misszee.net
I love this children’s line of t-shirts, decor and stationery. The adorable, simplistic design caught my attention right away. The character Miss Zee has a big afro! That’s just the positive reinforcement a little girl needs to love her hair.
I was so hard to dwindle my list down but I hope you end up purchasing some merchandise for these small businesses.
Sir & Madame http://www.sirandmadame.com
Boutique deBandeaux https://www.etsy.com/shop/BoutiqueDeBandeaux
Peace, Love and Sunshine products https://www.etsy.com/shop/peaceloveandsunshine
Republic and Company http://www.republicandcompany.com
So Best Man Holiday opened in theaters over the weekend. There was a lot of buzz about it because the original was such a favorite. A couple of bloggers went to advanced screenings and promised that everyone would enjoy it. Word, I’m in there like swimwear!
Well Saturday after the opening, a meme started circulating giving away a major part of the plot. I saw it a good 4 times and not to mention the replies in that pesky ticker on Facebook. At first glance, I just looked at it as a balloon popping dick move and that was it. I wasn’t pressed and I didn’t even want to know why it was done…no explanation would’ve made sense to me regardless. Then in true Tish form, I gave it some more thought. People are just allergic to fun. Period.
I’m not going to go deep into the conspiracy theorists and their drink more Ovaltine decoder rings. The whole thing just reeks of the same tactics that religious zealots use to keep people in bondage and fear. I should know, I’ve been in that same bondage because of fear. I thought every little thing was a spirit that was going to jump in my body like Oda Mae Brown and make me evil. So yeah….
Years ago, some friends and I went to the final of weekly party that used to be held on Sunday nights in Chicago. It was called Supa Soul Sundays (long before the OWN network, by the way) and it was a time to cut a rug all night. The DJ didn’t play any top 40, just good soul music. So there was this one guy who was just standing in the middle of the dance floor with his arms crossed. At first, I just noticed that he had a halo of fuzz around his much need of a rebraid cornrows. When we got a little closer, I saw he had this grimacing look on his face. If he didn’t want to be there there were 2 exits and a row of couches to sit on…nah this wasn’t that. He came to fight. This song is on and you’re standing there like this …nah dog. I made sure my guy friends stayed out of his way. The truth of the matter, PLENTY of people go places that are meant to be fun to wreck havoc. They fight and shoot up nightclubs, parties, amusement parks, movie theaters, hell even Chuck E. Cheese. Allergic to smiles, fun and laughter.
Lately, I’ve noticed a trend with their inability to be entertained…and the need to openly judge those who are. I don’t know if it’s the influx of “reality” shows or what that keeps people from knowing fact from fiction. I’m also intrigued by people and their selective morality. Murderous, drug dealers are fine but having a fictional affair is the end of the world as we know it. Every song, every show, every movie gets dragged. Granted, there are some kinds of movies that I don’t care for. I don’t like Madea Goes to Camp movies and I’m vocal about that but I can’t see myself trying to purposely ruin it for someone. It’s not just a movie for some. It’s date night for some, it’s a “we got a sitter let’s go see a movie that’s not a cartoon for once”, it’s a time to connect and socialize with loved ones. It’s fun. The thing we’ve become allergic to. As a society, we’ve become uncomfortable with being content. Everything from ruining a movie for people to implying that sports games are always rigged, we just don’t know how to lay back and have a good time. I’m not on a high horse because I’m guilty of it at some level too. I don’t like crowds and I always end up complaining when I go to concerts. Hell, I’ve even shared memes that gave me instaguilt. I’ve done and laughed at some funny jerk moves. Even today, I got a good chuckle out of someone writing an “f” in front of a sign for an art show. So I don’t really have a dog in that fight. While I don’t understand the fun in ruining the plot for someone on purpose, I’m not really in my feelings about that. Scratch that…the person who made this meme though, full blown assnugget. Someone said it best, we need to treat the cause, not the symptom. Well, I’m going to “treat” the cause…in the Chicago sense of the word.
Dear Person who took the time to find a meme generator and ruin the plot,
So you probably saw the movie on opening night or got in one of those advanced screenings and that’s cool or whatever. Clearly, you weren’t that much above the Best Man Holiday to spend your time and/or money to see it. The part you gave a way was a major part of the plot and it could’ve really destroyed someone’s experience. I’m sure you thought it was cute to make a meme to spread like bacteria on Facebook and Instagram but it’s trying too damn hard. Perhaps you aren’t funny and witty like myself and this is what you have to do for humor. The funny thing is your probably enjoyed yourself at the movies, like most people did, this is just your brand of humor…your sad, pathetic brand of humor. It’s like having a piece of cake and then pouring salt on it so no one else can have any. I pity you, douchelord.
Seeing that meme several times and seeing the discussions in my ticker didn’t ruin my date night. I still had a fantastic time with le bew and our friends. It made me look at how I view my relationship, friendships and even my role as a godmother with so much gratitude. Knowing that part, did not ruin MY experience at all. Nice try though.
So yeah, it’s okay to take off the blues, smile, laugh and do something fun. It’s really not a bad thing at all. Go see a movie, play a board game, dance to a stupid song, become the sofa side life coach of a TV character who makes bad life decisions…something. It’s bigger than a spoiler meme, it’s what we’ve turned into as a society. Our default setting is hater. Just don’t let the ills of the world consume you to the point nothing that brings you joy comes in.Pin It
I’m never ascribed to the “ignorance is bliss” theory. There’s no reason to not know anything with so much accessible information. Granted, I’ve been snipped at by elders for being “intelligent” and laughably seen people get offended by my extend vocab but never felt the need to dumb myself down for anyone. Ever.
However, there are some things in life I wish I didn’t know. You know how once you see something you can’t unsee it. Wrote a list about it, like to read, here it go:
(no specific order)
1. Hulk Hogan’s sex tape. Man listen, I could beat curiosity’s ass for this one. Hulk Hogan is one of those figures that just takes me on the express train back to childhood, brother. Unfortuanely, someone posted an article with a link on FB…I was. not. thinking. Ugh, I know far too much about Hollywood Hulk. (emphasis on: TOO MUCH)
2. Food deserts and insecurity. The difference between grocers in one neck of the woods to another is damn near ridiculous. One of the major reasons why I refused to move to one hood to another was food. I lived in the Woodlawn neighborhood briefly and went to the corner store to get some milk for a recipe. The store had the following: pop, fake juice called Mr. Pure, lotto tickets, chips and melted cheese for your chips. Umm really? Meanwhile, I’ve gone to corner stores in Lincoln Park and found brie and organic fruit. Most people don’t care that grocers don’t respect them enough to provide fresh produce, meat and canned goods that aren’t expired. I wish I was oblivious to it, really. Finding out that school lunch is the only meal some kids get a day makes me sad in a real way. I HATED school lunches in public school (until I got to Jones HS). With SNAP benefits being cut, I can’t help but think about how many kids are suffering and hungry. Grrr.
3. These damn gray hairs right in the front of my head. I have a reverse Cruella Deville patch and I hate it so much. I’m far from vain but my grays age me. It’s bad enough I’m at that wacky age where no one really makes clothes for me. Juniors look too young and misses look too old. I obsess far too much about looking old even though I’m sans wrinkles. I like to use black color (shout of to racially insensitively named Bigen Oriental Black hair dye) because it covers my grays so well. Yet, the grays are popping against the dark hair when they grow in. Woe is me, dammit. I always zero in on those 8 strands of hair (yes I counted) and it drives me bonkers!
4. How men perpetuate colorism more than ANYBODY. I don’t have enough time nor do I feel like dedicating enough keystrokes necessary to unpack this but men got this shit bad. Women cut eyes at each other, drag each other in forums, get defensive…basically over men’s standards of beauty. When are we going to learn to stop letting them throw the rock and hide their hands? Chicks stay compromising the value of sisterhood over the attention/affection of somebody’s son. Do better, ladies.
5. The bloodlust to harm children. There’s nothing topic I’m not going to go mad deep into now but there was a rash of evolved slave beatings under the guise of discipline that went viral. Most people said “if that was my daughter, I’d beat the shit out of her, etc, etc” but nobody once said “I’m not worried about my child doing (insert stupid thing) because I’ve taught her better than that and to love and value herself.” Nope, not a one. Telling isn’t it?
6. When people who I think are otherwise smart show me how incredibly gullible they can be. I think growing up in church, I had a ringside seat to scare tactics. I know the scare you from getting knowledge horse and pony show when I see it. I’m so sadden by the Chicken Littleism that the internet has created. I know it’s an escape. I also a way for people to not have to responsibility to their actions and/or inactions. Still sucks to see though, it makes me feel like I’m in Guyana seeing people I care about drink the koolaid.
7. Leggings as pants. I know I’m treading the line of respectability politics but shit…c’mon, son. It’s one thing to have a showing panty line but do I need to see all of your pannies though? Leggings look best with a tunic or if they are a quality pair that look tasteful.
8. Luxury items that are so out of my price range. Gotdamn you, Louis Vuitton Neverfull..you bastard. You too Goyard tote!
So there’s my list for now, this might become a series. As you can see, much like my moody ass, some are serious and some are more lighthearted. What do you wish you could unsee or unknow?Pin It
Why must people be on such fuck shit? Oh social networks, you never cease to amaze me with those grand displays of codependence. This this ass backwards way of think valid because of the words over a stock photo of Beyonce and JayZ? You know that very private couple who only allows the public glimpses of their relationship. I feel like Mugatu…I’ve been taking crazy pills. This kind of thinking is unhealthy!
Let’s unpack this though:
This whole thing reeks of insecurity and neediness. You can’t have trust without privacy. I don’t care in love you are, you’re entitled to some privacy. Unless you plan to merge into your significant other, you need some interests of your own. My SO and I have open computers, devices and such around with zero desire to invade each other’s privacy. We have phone conversations where we both have to step out of the room. I don’t assume the worst and neither does he because we trust each other. I trust my instincts above everything.
This “I’ll do whatever you want” tone is annoying. Compromise is everything in a relationship. You don’t have to dim your light to allow someone else’s to shine. You can’t possibly be satisfied like that. Being faithful to someone doesn’t require losing yourself in the process. C’mon, son.
So yeah go ahead and try to function in a relationship with no trust and privacy…let me know how that works out for you.
As I wished her a happy birthday, I felt a familiar emotion. Longing. I hate to miss people. I get a flash flood of memories and I feel like crap for the whole rest of the day. Not trying to live my life looking in the rearview mirror but I wish I could turn back time. I don’t have many regrets and I try to rationalize the ones I do have. This one I can’t really rationalize. I spent much of my life in a haze back then. I was in various states of infatuation, intoxication and insecurity. I had an uncanny ability to ignore the worst in people and live this Polyanna existence. It was a way to try and remedy the rough patches of my childhood. I was horrible at protecting my spirit knowing full well how sensitive I am. That combination of factors created a perfect storm and I lost something valuable.
I remember walking away from the MAC counter with her birthday gift in hand. Chestnut lip liner and Oh Baby lipglass. This paled in comparison to the gift of friendship she gave me. A person who absolutely understood me, even the parts I never revealed to others. Marathons of movies, traded booked and magazines, inside jokes and new words to our lexicons. We bonded over those long train rides after work but I know this friendship was willed into existence by our mutual friends. Started by mutual friendship and damaged by mutual friendship.
Some people thrive on chaos. I ignored the signs of resentment and various negative factors for a chance at freedom that I never experienced before. Friendships before this one were so full of judgment. I never felt free enough to leave my buttoned up existence as my darkest moments were thrown in my face. Sharks smelled the blood in the water and created chaos. While those friendships ran their course, they could’ve been done decently. Never again, I said. Just like that, I went from caution to recklessness. My biggest regret, bringing a friendship that was pure into a place I knew wasn’t. On the surface, I was happy that we were meshing well but deep down I feared history would repeat itself. It did and I allowed it. I could see the signs, felt the divide and played dumb. That Pollyana shit coupled with the 3’s company theory, I gambled and lost. The only person I can blame is myself. Naivete along with that aforementioned haze and down right stupidity caused this. Things escalated quickly and I wanted to be shocked but deep down I saw it coming. Chaos. I threw my harmony into chaos on some greedy shit. My friends can be your friends and we’ll all be the best of friends. I was wrong. I was so very wrong.
Things are much better, forgiveness and hugs. I still can’t help but think about how I put our sisterhood in harms way. On her birthday, I played the song we heard and said in unison, “I love this song.” I miss her. More importantly, I miss us. I’d give anything to have another delirious laugh seeing the sun after being out all night.Pin It
One thing you’ll learn about me is I’m passionate about child abuse. Very few things annoy me more than how normalized child abuse (physically, emotionally and sexual) is in the Black community. A problem that seems to stretch across race and class lines is child murderers who are in relationships with the mother of their victims. I can never understand what would possess a grown man to punch or choke a defenseless child. I know some stellar stepfathers who bonded with their significant other’s child(ren) and took on the role of father figure, so it just boggles me. There’s the theory that men lack maternal instincts and have a harder time bonding with kids that don’t share their DNA. That’s possible but it’s too broad of a generalization. There’s even been people who said the kid is a constant reminder that their SO has engaged in unprotected coitus prior to their relationship. C’mon, how up your own ass do you have to be to think like that? Whatever the reason, do not fight a child like that! What in the blue fuck could a 2 year old do to make your ball your fists and punch he or she repeatedly? Not a gotdamn thing! If you don’t like kids or you don’t have the patience to deal, DON’T FUCK WITH CHICKS WHO HAVE KIDS!! How simple is that?!?
Today, we heard the news of Adrian Peterson’s 2 year old’s passing after being brutally attacked by his mom’s boyfriend. WHY IS IT ALWAYS THE BOYFRIEND? Here’s my theory:
No little girl says, “I want to be a baby momma when I grow up.” The relentless shaming of single mothers created this need to have a nuclear family, by any means necessary. Having a child out of wedlock, in some circles, is the worst thing you could possibly do. There have been loveless shotgun marriages since the beginning of time just to keep up appearances. Some of these women just want a family or to play house. There’s nothing wrong with being a single mother. The same people talking shit about your child out of wedlock would’ve called you a murdered for getting abortion. We live in a sexist ass society! Desperation makes people throw caution to wind anyway. Do you really think anytime is taken to be selective? I’ve witnessed all types of trife life from moms when it came to their man. From cooking gourmet meals for the boyfriend while their kids had the sodium bomb that is ramen noodles to letting their boyfriends punch their little boys in attempt to “harden” them. Sick, sad world.
Now even though, a weak woman’s desperation may have set the stage, the primary blame is on any grown ass man who fights a little kid. Bitchassness to the max and beyond. It’s real easy to steal on a toddler because said baby can’t fight back. Guys, if your girlfriends kid is angering you to that level, walk the fuck away and never come back. It’s a matter of life and death. There’s NOTHING a toddler can do that bad, a toddler can barely articulate their thoughts! If you have put your hands on your girlfriend’s child and you read this blog, do us all a favor and go die in a fire. The Earth is a better place without scum like you.
This can’t be stressed enough: EVERYONE YOU DATE IS NOT WORTHY OF MEETING YOUR CHILDREN! They have to really prove themselves to you. Also, boyfriend =/= babysitter. Don’t leave your kids with your boyfriend just because your nose is open. Remember that scene in Baby Boy when Rodney kicked over JoJo’s fort, shit. like. that. happens. for. real. There’s nothing wrong with being protective of your kids. Even wild animals protect their young! If dude is hard pressed to be alone with your kids, red flag city.
Please be selective. Please be cautious. Please be protective. Even if you never planned to be a single mom, just be the best one you can be. You are not a part of any problem because you chose motherhood. Your kid’s welfare trumps appearances any day.
Please be honest, if you have no interest in her kids. If she insists that it doesn’t matter and want to be with you anyway (and I’ve seen this for myself), just go. The kids are a package deal, even when they’re adults…they’ll still be in her life. Please control your temper, these are little kids…not another grown man on the streets. Listen to me, if you don’t have the patience or interest in children that aren’t yours, move on. Like I said before, it’s a matter of life and death.
My heart goes out to the Peterson family and everyone else who has had to experience such senseless tragedy.Pin It
When I was a little girl, my 2 neighbors knocked me off of my big wheel and put in their porch. Everytime, I tried to go up the stairs and get it, they threw rocks at me. The logical thing would’ve been to go tell my mom to go over to Mrs. Crowley’s house and get it. I was about 6 or 7 and that was asking too much. I went in my yard, grabbed our collie mix by the collar and walked her to the porch. I knew Tippie was mean (much like the Yorkie that was later named after her) to strangers. I turned her loose, she ran up on the porch and then chased them. Needless to say, I got in a WORLD of trouble. When I asked how could boys who I thought were my friends do such a thing, my mom told me, “they just like you.” Problematic.
For years, I thought being mistreated was a part of being a relationship. I rationalized getting all dressed up and then stood up with the same reason of getting my hair pulled by friend’s cousin. I spent a huge bulk of my 20s in love with someone who was nice to everybody but me. Simply because of the wack ass conditioning. The book and movie, “He’s not that into you” went hard on the excuses we make for getting treated like shit. I read it and so many of the scenarios were all off up in my business…still didn’t have a lightbulb moment. It took having a single moment of feeling so hurt, I could barely breathe. I know it wasn’t supposed to be like that. It wasn’t right. So many ideals and traditions that were passed down from patriarchal to patriarchal ass generation were dead wrong. Love won’t always be rainbows and glittery unicorn farts but you should never be purposely hurt.
Stop telling daughters “oh he likes you” when someone’s bonehead son mistreats her. Tell her that he’s a doucher in training who is being mean to her because he lacks home training. Just don’t have another generation of women who think being a doormat is acceptable.Pin It