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RSI 101 – Black Love: Part 1

Black Kids Cheek KissThis is probably going to be a really long piece for a lot of reasons. I want to talk about love, about relationships, about being black in relationships (aka Black Love)… and further, after having done a recording wherein I barely touched on everything I want to say tells me that this needs to be a 2, maybe even 3 part discussion.  I have a feeling that some of my readers/listeners are going to feel alienated because much of this is going to be Black People specific, but remember, its Black history month, I’m Black, and as far as I’m concerned, some conversations are just to important to be PC about. Which reminds me…

About this Black history month thing: It shouldn’t be thing… more specifically, it shouldn’t have to be a thing. Black history, as we in the US commemorate it, is American history. It should be a part of the history curriculum. It should be included in English, Literature, and Reading lessons because we have there are Black American writers. Slavery and racism should as be openly and HONESTLY discussed as the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln. Little Black girls ad boys shouldn’t be relegated to only learning about people who look like them during the shortest month of the year. It shouldn’t be that Blackness is only open for discussion in 30 second video clips before commercials. February shouldn’t be the only month people are encouraged to cram all of their/our appreciation of Blackness into. Just like people should be aware of breast cancer and heart disease all year, so should Black people, and our experience.

V Day ChocolateSimilarly, Valentine’s Day shouldn’t have to be a thing. We shouldn’t need a specific day to remember to show appreciation to our significant others. Further, the media should be ashamed of themselves for suggesting that men need to spend exorbitant amounts of money and women simply need to supply the sex to show appreciation for our significant others. Unfortunately, if it wasn’t for Valentine’s day, many wouldn’t get to know they were appreciated until something bad happened in the relationship…. because who really remembers Anniversaries anyway? Many married men would have to wait for God knows how long for their wives to remember that lingerie can be more enticing than comfy pajamas, or that men deserve to feel special too.

Now let’s combine this and get to what I really want to talk about: Relationships. Black Love & HappinessNow, if you’ve been reading me since the beginning, you’ll know that I don’t like giving romantic relationship advice… I will, but I don’t generally like to. This time I’m going this because there are people on my feed and in my family who have thoughts ad questions, that I think deserve a attention. First, history and upbringing… as they relate to Black Americans. Up front, I think it bears mentioning that a lot of what I am making Black people specific, is actually universal, thus, if you’re not Black, and reading this, you might still be able to relate.

All the messages we receive put us at odd with one another. As men and women, regardless of sexual orientation, romantic relationships are painted in hard and violent colors. There’s a battle for dominance; a question about who wears the pants in the relationship, that just makes things difficult.

Time to dig deep…

Back in the day, marriage was a form of ownership. Women, having no rights of their own, or value other than their ability to bear children and tend to the house were basically sold into servitude by their fathers to their husbands, or their husband’s family (depending on the age). Is it really any wonder that since the day women started working outside the home (because parenting and housekeeping is work) that a functional dynamic of relationships has been difficult to maintain? I’ll go deeper. Black women in You Don't Deserve HerAmerica have always worked outside the home. Whether it was raising the master’s children, picking the cotton, cooking, cleaning… slaving in general was work. And then they had to go to wherever the slaves slept, and work more for their own families. Although white women were undervalued in their homes, they could at least count on the protection of the men in their lives. Black women could not; Black women had to bear the brunt of all of the abuse, the rape, the indignity, knowing that no one would be coming to save her… not her father, brothers, or even her husband.  Her mother or sister might be able to offer herself up to the master to offer a reprieve, but it wouldn’t be man, at least not if he valued his life… not if he didn’t want to risk being sold to another plantation. Throughout history, women have had to do the parenting thing alone. Men were off hunting, fighting wars, and forging frontiers. Even when they were around, they were mainly there for sex and food. They gave women more work to do. I’m not trying to diminish the value of having a man in the home, I’m simply saying that not having a man at the home isn’t a new thing either. The value of male-female companionship didn’t actually come into play until much later.

Now, I can already hear some of you saying “That was then, this is now Reign… time to move on Reign.” But see, if you look at where we are in relationships now, where we have to be specific about “Black Love”–as if love isn’t complicated enough–especially with the women’s movement having given rise to messages that tell men that we, women, don’t need them, I want you to really understand
where that comes from. So where am I going with this?  Simple: women don’t need men… LOL… Okay, no, that isn’t where I was Storm Black Panther Kissgoing, but  had to say it. Because we don’t need men the way we needed them back then. Like all women, we need companionship. We need partnership. We need bed warmers. We need someone to be special to. Yes, we need you. The feminist movement, while I still consider myself a proud feminist, got that message wrong, or at least incomplete. More specifically, as a Black woman, I have to speak directly to the need for Black men. The complaint about Black women being too hard, too independent, too masculine… if you look at the history, you’d understand that we didn’t have a choice, and that being penalized for it is an injustice that is still prevalent in Black relationships today. Not just as companions–straying from the romantic element of relationships for this–but as partners in the struggle. When we are agonizing about #BlackLivesMatter, the people who understand through experience are Black men. The man you are least likely to have to explain why and how racism is still a problem for you personally, even if you never stepped foot in the hood, is a Black man. When being a “strong black woman” was in style and it got mixed in with the feminist movement, the message got twisted, everything fell apart, and the idea of Black love became a novelty. It became more about devaluing men and their role in our lives, and less about empowering women. Suddenly, “taking care of home” was a weak woman’s job; a white woman’s job. The rhetoric about men being unnecessary, more specifically how Black men “ain’t shit” became more important than strong families. I’ll ask this: What’s the point of being a strong Black woman if all you let yourself see are weak men?

At the same time, men were hearing all those messages too; and the message was loud and clear. So why are we surprised when they
fell back on their role as men? Why shouldn’t they have switched to only focusing on what they need us for? If we don’t need them to do the right thing, why should they? What’s their incentive? They’re told they aren’t necessary, but they’re still expected to pay for the dates, pay the bills, be physically present in their children’s lives–technically a new requirement–and sometimes the lives of children that aren’t theirs, be emotionally and financially stable, be able to fix stuff around the house, be educated, committed, and faithful… and in return, they might be able to look forward to sex. Where’s the equality in that? Where is the love in that? Since we’re out working, they can’t expect a cooked meal when they get home. They can’t expect well raised, respectful children who understand the value in patience and perseverance over the acquisition of things and instant gratification. They can’t expect anything because like the song says, “we run this.

I’m the kind of feminist who actually believes in equality, only with a realistic twist… Love Never Failsbecause we aren’t equal; not in all things. There are some things that should be exclusive to men, just like there are some things that are exclusive to women. Allowing this dynamic to break down; allowing the incomplete messages to corrupt the fundamentals is one major component to why relationships, specifically relationships between Black people, has become so difficult. Unlike most other racial groups, there’s a lot more to Black love than just love… and I have a lot more to say about it…

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I know that was long (especially on top of all this)… and I have even more to say about it. So come back next week for Black Love, Part 2.

In the mean time, Do More, Require Better.

Be A Better You Without Beyonce

So I’m back, but be patient with me because life is taking a sudden turn! Some things are the same some things are very DIFFERENT! But that’s not what I wanna discuss today. Not about me today!

Achievements. Competition. A Better You!

Sounds like some motivational crap that I might just burst into outrage or advice about…and that may happy. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I write and post just as the thoughts are reaching me and my fingers! Well, I picked up this new thing where I say, “right?” after every statement I make. It’s so annoying and I don’t know where I got it from, I’m trying to get rid of it so be patient with me!

Anyways!

So I try my best to be my own competition, I could care less what anyone else is doing, blah blah blah I’ve said this to you before, RIGHT?! Yea, so a friend of mine told me that a friend of hers has been measuring herself and her accomplishments up next to other people that she knows and sees. She believes that she is somehow inadequate because they are either within the same age her or have had the same opportunities as her. I have yet to speak with her about this because she is not really a friend of mine but if I did, I’d tell her that she needs to STOP! WHO CARES what other people are doing? What makes you think that God wants that for you? You must remember that what is excellent for someone else could be a disaster for you! AND for the record, you should not even be paying attention to what anyone else is doing because you have you own life to worry about! I saw a quote that said, “They milk is good for your teeth. You know what else is good for your teeth? MINDING YOUR OWN DAMN BUSINESS!” (Giggles!) Let them mind theirs, and you mind yours. If you do that you won’t feel inadequate because you won’t even know what anyone else is doing!

That makes you A BETTER YOU! Spend the negative energy creating something positive, right? Don’t give anyone the space in your mental that should be used to build yourself up into the person. Everything you do should be for you and the family that you have that cares about your wellbeing and success!

Is this boring to you? I’m bored! But I just needed to get that off my chest!

JAY-Z Beyonce and Solange!

OMG I’ve been wanting to talk to you guys about this for the longest! I can’t wait until I actually get people to comment and discuss with me! Anyways!

WHAT THE HECK?! First off, thank you TMZ for being such creepers! You are awesome. Since then, I am no longer friends with someone because they told me I was an idiot for thinking IN MY OWN OPINION, which is based on the media, that they weren’t a real family unit and there was no real love. Explanation for my reasoning:

So if I am married and my sister literally drop kicks my husband for any reason, I WILL NOT stand and watch as she does it! If I truly love my husband and those vows meant anything to me, then that would be completely unacceptable regardless of the situation. The argument was that they are family and families fight. Correction, families should only be feuding. Physical altercations amongst families can turn into domestic violence or be a result of domestic violence which IN MY OPINION is not love. Make all the excuses you want, but this is my ground and I’m standing on it.

Not that I have to explain why I feel this way, but just in case someone decides to ask, I now have a place to refer them to! 😉

Seriously though, count your blessings and stop worrying about other people. Jay-Z and Beyonce certainly don’t care about what you’re doing and neither do I!

 

–Realistic Royalty

Letter to my unborn son.

This isn’t going to be like my regular posts. Work increased this week and i haven’t been able to properly focus to write like I should, but fear not, this to shall pass. Still i did have a notion i wanted to pass on, probably not that insightful, but given how things seem to be going at my job i think someone needs to read some helpful advice. I bring you a letter to my unborn son, i hope this helps.

 

Son,Defeat has two meanings. There is the verb which follows: Win a victory over (someone) in a battle or other contest; overcome or beat.T

hen there’s the noun: An instance of defeating or being defeated.
Let me tell you my definition. Defeat is quitting. You may lose, you may fail, you may not have reached your goal, but my son you are never defeated. So long as you raise again, you are not defeated. So long as you trudge forward, you are not defeated. You may lose you allies, your money may turn to ash, all that you have amassed maybe scattered, but until you lose your will, until you raise your hand in submission, until your bones are nothing more than ash you are not defeated.

I’ve lost more times than i can count, I’ve failed more times that I’ve succeeded, I’ve broken so much that i thought the pieces would be ground out to dust, but because I’ve risen, because I’ve persisted, because I’ve never said i’ll never be good enough, i’ll never be strong enough, i’ll never be smart enough, because i know that while today brings the bitter taste of failure so long as i can raise again i know i will taste victory. Tomorrow is always on the horizon, waiting to come into today, and yesterday has faded, it means nothing more than a path traveled waiting to be swept away into nothing.

Son if i teach you nothing please heed these words: You can do whatever you like, make whatever you dream, go where ever you imagine, be the man you’d never thought you could be and the ticket to those things, the power to make it so lies in two traits, courage and tenacity, without one the other is useless. How can you be tenacious without the courage to act when others balk? How can you be courageous if you give up when there is trouble? The future can be yours, reach up and claim it.

Ruthless on relationships…not yet

Why I haven’t written a relationship advice/analysis post yet.

It seems like my private life from time to time gets in the way of my public persona. One of the biggest ways it does that is expectations. When we announced this blog one of those expectations was the particular topic of relationships. Why? Who knows really. Maybe it’s the ruthless manner in which I talk about everything. Maybe its my “other” nickname. Maybe its the Lex Luthor look. Maybe its this rant from 2009.  I have no idea. Whatever the reason, they think I’m supposed to drop a rant, or a reasoned, logical, methodical approach to the subject. Why is this coming up on a Monday? Because after I woke up in what I can only call a Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas deleted scene involving my condo I had questions from a couple friends. Now Facebook is usually how I get these questions so I wasn’t surprised when my screen was staring back at me like “YO! You gonna answer these RW? People want your advice.”

After I got some water and came back to the mortal plane to the sound of hail I answered them. That wasn’t the end of course. The moment I dropped some signature yet specific insights they came back with the same things anyone would that doesn’t want to believe the situation they find themselves in. And let’s get real here. Why believe my advice? Forget that I was an overly optimistic kid who’s bad choices in the women he’s been with left him more than a little jaded, and necessitated the Ruthless Revolution that made me your favorite neighborhood Super Villain. Forget that entirely. Why pay any attention to my advice? Well its because sometimes you need the seemingly free spirited, constantly relaxed, yet intellectual insight. But mostly its because everyone needs someone to tell them the things they already know to be the right way of doing something. And they need them to push back against the bad path/advice that comes up in their heads when the situation happens.

Which brings us back to WDDIJ. I’m not going to say I won’t rant or otherwise discuss these things. I’m sure the inbox over at yourruthlesswonder@gmail.com will fill up soon with requests once we get more readers[People tell your friends.]. If you do send mail there please put WDDIJ in the subject line. This isn’t the only blog spot for the words of THE Ruthless Wonder, and I don’t wanna mix things up too badly. But I personally don’t want to be the first one to drop WDDIJ into the ocean of that subject. Roddi P and Ronin may have other ideas for their columns when they get up on the page, but I’m trying to stay away no matter how hard the current situations are making it to do so. I’m your super villain. I’m your Ruthless Wonder. And with that comes some requirements yes, but just because my poetry is littered with love doesn’t mean its going to take center stage over here.

That said I will gladly let you know what’s coming down the pipe. This week there should be a couple more columns from me. Ronin is getting used to wordpress so everyone bug him about getting a post up. Roddi P is doing his thing but you never know when the resident lyrical genius will put some work in on the page. We’re also looking at doing the first 4th R segment.  What’s The 4th R? Guest columns. I’m glad to say I have a few friends running blogs out there. They have some great content and so from time to time we’ll be tapping them to do a guest spot. First up for a 4R segment is “Can there every be love?” himself, our boy Rufus. So look out for that. And look out for something a lot more Ruthless from me than usual coming up. And since your Ruthless Wonder loves you I want to leave on this note. Call it a teaser for whenever I hit the relationship bit. When Wale got on Tiara Thomas’ track Bad he dropped this lil gem.

“Bad girls ain’t no good,

and the good girls ain’t no fun

And the hood girls want a smart dude,

college girls all want a thug

So it seems we fiend what we don’t need”

Now I’m not a big time Wale listener. Dude has some good stuff out there, but I’ve been heavy on Strange Music lately to the point of passing up much else. Good or bad. In those few lines though something profound is being said. I find myself agreeing with the sentiment more than I would expect to. My number 1 rule has always been “Don’t be boring.” That goes for friends, girlfriends, family, the whole 9. If you’re boring I have little to no time for you. But is that really the right idea? Especially in relationships you need a little bit of boring so you know you are really into the person, and not just a fiend for the feeling. But searching only for those who aren’t boring tends to lead to the opposite type of person you need to have in your life. Relationships are generally ways to balance us out. The perversion of them in modern times notwithstanding, that’s really the point. Make each other better by having us calm more than wild, reasoned more that reckless, a movement by ourselves, and a force when we’re together.

Can you really get that when all you go after is the type you by all rights should clash with? I know why I sometimes get with the absolute wrong women. Because I know they won’t be boring for however brief our time is. And you can only hear so many good girls tell you you’re just as bad as the others before you’d rather be with the bad girl who calls you her good dude. Why keep with the people who make fun of your habits when you can be with people who like them? I’m getting off track here. So before I start into why I want to meet Yaya Han and Ivy Doomkitty lets finish this teaser trailer up with a question to you. If you want a relationship based Ruthless Wonder post, what kind should it be? Rant or regular? And bonus followup. What would you like to hear me touch on? I can’t promise that your topic will come up right away but I’ll get to it, and I always answer emails. So put responses in the comments, or email me at yourruthlesswonder@gmail.com Remember to put WDDIJ in the subject line. I’m out for now. Things to do and less time to do them in.

–          THE Ruthless Wonder