20 Feet Tall [and other ways that we run the world]

On the tail end, it’s the 31st and there’s less than two hours of March left on the East Coast, of the month of March I had to come write a blog about…WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH!!!!! If you didn’t know it was women’s history month, well it’s not too late to- actually yes, yes it is too late celebrate because you know it’s practically April-but I’m guessing it’s kinda like Black history in that you can celebrate 365 if you want to…maybe. Anyways, March was women’s history month and of course, being the crazy little black feminist that I am I had to dedicate my March post to the ladies and our complete awesomeness.

I’m currently in the process of composing and polishing off the first draft of my thesis, which is a black feminist analysis of the works of Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Janelle Monae, and Erykah Badu. Through the analysis of their latest albums I’ve been up to my eyeballs in black feminist glory and I love it. Digging through the sexual freedom of Beyoncé and the revolutionary nature of The Electric Lady is pretty much the most awesome research I’ve done up to this point. And as I watch Erykah Badu challenge groupthink in her “Window Seat” video or listen to Nicki as she out raps and earns the respect of her male counterparts, I can’t help but think My God women are awesome.

As Bey once sang “strong enough to bear the children and get back to business” and even if we don’t bear the children-which we are under no obligation to do & should only do if we so choose-we’re still amazing. We face the multitude of barriers put in front of us and we push through and survive. It’s not always pretty, and it’s not always appealing or attractive to our male counterparts but hey we make it. I, of course, can only speak from a black middle class perspective, but I know enough lower class and upper class women who-although their struggles are different- have resisted the titles and stereotypes and expectations pressed upon them. Patricia Hill Collins notes the goal of black feminism is to work toward group survival and institutional transformation and I must say I’ve seen enough surviving and transforming to know that we are well on our way to some type of black feminist glory. And if the thought of black women, or any women, fighting for their rights as a woman with the same vigor and passion that they do as they fight for their rights as people of color, or their rights as an impoverished person ,or any other intersection of marginalization intimidates you or bothers you or “rubs you the wrong way” or troubles your sensibilities, well:

That's me caring about your bothered sensibilities
That’s me caring about your bothered sensibilities
and that's side eyeing you for getting in the way of my revolution
and that’s me side eyeing you for getting in the way of my revolution

And while you’re over there being a hater and holding fast to your patriarchy, me and the rest of the awesome women who are fighting the power and staying strong in the struggle will just be over here like:

yup
yup

and like this too:twerk in the mirror

Because we are women, hear us roar.
Badu opens her New Amerykah 2 album with the song “20 Feet Tall” where she says “and then I recall I’m 20 feet tall”. And that has always encouraged me because sometimes we get beat down-by whether we’re keeping our weight in a good place or whether we’re being supportive enough friends or if we have the right amount of makeup on to make it look like we don’t have any makeup on [so that all the rappers who want us to “stop hiding behind our makeup” will stop devoting four minute plus songs to us and assuming that we have self esteem issues because we wear makeup and weaves] or if we’re being good mothers or if we’re balancing the right amount of stoic so that our male counterparts won’t dismiss any valid point, we’re making in either an argument or in the workplace, as us being “too hormonal or emotional” with the right amount of feelings so as not to be mistaken for the cold hearted wicked witch of the West- and we forget that we are in fact magnificent.

That we are capable of any thing we put our minds to, and not just being the best wife ever or being the mother that your {hopefully} non-misogynistic sons will dedicate Proverbs 31 to, but really ANYTHING we put our minds to. We can be President, if you know the U.S. decides to tuck in its misogyny, or we can raise our kids on welfare and minimum wage and still get up in the morning even though as soon as you turn on the news you’ll probably be bombarded with elitist, classist propaganda that you’re only poor because you choose to be. Yet you go on about your day, you put in your hours, you do what you got to do and you try your hardest to not internalize the hatred. As Janelle Monae sings, “Carry on Ghetto Woman, I see you working night to morning… carry on ghetto woman cuz even though they laugh and talk about the clothes you wear….and when you cry, don’t you know I am crying with you…oh ghetto woman hold on to your dreams and all your great philosophies you’re the reason I believe in me”. And that’s true, we are all the most fantastic beings to be placed upon this earth by God herself and we should never ever forget that.

So even though I’m late I just had to come and give my fellow ladies a shout out because we’re awesome. Look at the leader of “doing the damn thing”, Maria Stewart. The first woman, of ANY race, to speak to a co-ed audience was Maria Stewart, like back in the 1800s when women couldn’t vote and there’s good chance blacks weren’t free. She was a devoted abolitionist and she before her life ended she opened two schools for free African American children in DC. She was THAT deal and she is female history and black history. We’ve been doing magnificent, life-altering, powerful stuff for centuries women, and we got a ton of centuries left to keep making change and fighting the patriarchy.

Never forget you’re 20 feet tall.

swagging

Stay vigilant and know that She is always standing beside us,

Bri

P.S. if you’re thinking of letting the phrase “but what about the men” slip from your mind to the keyboard, just don’t

“They were around me on every side. But by the Lord’s power I destroyed them.”- Psalm 118:11

 

 

 

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