Whenever anyone asks my mother what I was like as a child, she always responds by telling stories of her first attempts to put me in a dress as a toddler.
“I would just finish dressing her and she would be looking like the cutest little princess,” she usually relays, “After I turned my back for one moment, I would look to find her in a dirt pile giggling and covered with mess.”
I was not a very “girlie” little girl. I liked to run around, climb trees, rollerblade, discover large yucky bugs under rocks and roughhouse with the boys in my neighborhood. And my mom really didn’t mind. After a while, she just sort of gave up on the idea that she would have the kind of little girl that would get all dressed with pink ribbons and bows and host imaginary tea parties. She let me be me; Tiffanie the explorer and adventurer. I am always grateful that she did. Keep reading »
Dear Hollaback & Rob Bliss Creative,
I have watched your collaborative video depicting the menacing street harassment of a young, white woman as she casually walked through the streets of New York. You captured dozens of men making unwarranted comments — some more “innocent” than others — as well as the incredibly uncomfortable actions of a young man who silently followed the woman down the street for an entire five minutes.
At first, the video looked like an obvious display of patriarchy and street harassment in its most evident and outrageous form. Those men had no respect for the personal or emotional space or boundaries of the woman who crossed their path. However, upon closer examination, it seems that your video is also an obvious display of one of the worst and most dated forms of racism: Black savagery and its inherent predatory hunger for White women. Keep reading »
Many of society’s roles and traditions that govern the male/female relationship have their roots in a single biological imperative: to procreate. We long understood that in order to keep our species from going extinct, certain rules and guidelines must be put in place to help men and women get along and keep it together long enough to produce offspring. So belief systems and institutions were created to reinforce the importance of mating and pairing like gender roles, chivalry, dating and marriage.
That was before technology came about and completely changed the game. Society has already witnessed the great impact birth control like condoms, the pill, shots and other contraceptives which have revolutionized the ways men and women interact and the societal rules that govern those interactions. Gender norms that were once rigid and unchangeable have been transformed in ways unimaginable. Without the constant of pregnancy, women and men can more freely express their sexuality and desires. Keep reading »
When riots broke out after citizens of Ferguson took to the streets to protest the murder of Mike Brown by a police officer, the media was littered with imagery and stories of violent and savage Black people destroying the city. To a large extent, those images overshadowed the reason for the protests and even gave some the reason to excuse the mistreatment, oppression and brutality faced by African-American people struggling against an often unfair judicial and legal system. The painting of the African-American population as violent is a common tactic used to derail and misdirect necessary conversations about the racism and discrimination that still plagues the nation. This is especially evident after witnessing how the media treats “Black” riots vs “White” ones. While there is no “good” reason for a riot, some are most certainly better than others. To combat these stereotypes, let’s explore some reasons why Americans, both black and white, riot.
Last week, I had a stalker experience that left me feeling very uneasy. I frequent a Starbucks about a mile away from my house and sometimes just spend the entire day there writing. On one particular afternoon, a young man came into the cafe. I just happened to look up at that same exact moment and we made eye contact. I politely smiled, then returned to my work.
The following day, I was walking my dog on my street, when a very familiar guy approached me.
“Hey, what’s your dog’s name?” he questioned.
“Um, it’s Sam,” I responded casually then noticed his face look very familiar.
“Hey, didn’t I see you yesterday at Starbucks?” I asked the stranger. He haphazardly nodded, responded, “Yeah, I think so.” Then we both said goodbye and parted ways.
I didn’t think too much of it at first. I figured the guy just happened to live on my street. A coincidence, right? That was until I got home and checked my Facebook inbox and noticed one unread message in my “other” folder. Keep reading »