All Articles Tagged "discussion"
According to the site, Kollege Kids:
“There may be a big lawsuit in preparation against the oldest and most renowned sorority founded for African American women. Men interested in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, also known as MIAKAs, are threatening to file a lawsuit against Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a sorority founded at Howard University on Jan. 15, 1908. The group of men, whom all are homosexual, are alleging homophobia and gender discrimination by the sorority.”
There is not much about the MIAKA out there except a few pictures posted mostly on blogs and online message boards. In these photos, you see these men donning the pink and green, signature colors of the organization, wearing AKA paraphernalia and doing the signature “Ske-Wee.” But from what I gather, the group in question has established themselves at Prairie View University, a HBCU in Houston, Texas, sometime around 2005. The group is said to be rogue chapter of MiAKA Inc., which really stands for Men Interested in Alpha Kappa Alpha. MiAKA Inc., acts as a support auxiliary for the sorority, much in the same way that Alpha Angels Inc., Omega GEMS, Kappa Sweethearts, Sigma Rhomeos Inc., Delta BEUAX Inc. and so on work to support those fraternities and sororities. However, real members of MiAKA Inc., according to the message boards, strongly contend that they do not support or condone the MIAKA chapter at Prairie View.
No lawsuit has been officially filed as of yet. MIAKA has no official website (that I know of) or leader to speak on nor confirm this issue. So right now the story seems to be all speculation. However, MIAKA is real. And this story raises all sorts of questions about the intersection of gender, sexuality and inclusion. It seems that the same sort of national conversation on gender identity, which found its way at the steps of the Girls Scouts, the Ladies Professional Golf Association and the Miss Universe Pageant, now has landed on the yards of black Greek-letter sororities and fraternities. And while the authenticity of this lawsuit can not be fully confirmed, the reality is that it may not be too long until we start having to have this conversation. And there is no better time than the present. So in the interest of creating dialog: would it be homophobic and discriminatory for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., to deny homosexual men membership into their sorority or are these guys barking up the wrong Ivy vine?
I am not a black Greek. In fact, the only colors I wave with pride are the red, the black and the green, so I don’t have a horse in this race. But personally, I am leaning towards the latter. While I can sort of understand their reasons for wanting to challenge the status quo of gender-specific organizations, I find their quest for acceptance a bit misguided. For one, from what I have read, none of these men, while gay, identifies with being women. They are not transgendered or even women, who love the same sex. In fact, I would be more sympathetic and willing to side with them if these were transgendered women. But to claim homophobia, or even gender discrimination against a sorority doesn’t quite jive with me.
I don’t think members of the AKA organization are upset with these young men for trying to have a group of their own to identify. This is less about discrimination than it is about appropriation, peppered in with a little misogyny. The reality of a male-centered society is that women do not have a significant political or social identity or existence outside of the realm of what men have decided as appropriate definitions and actions of women. Thus, women-centered circles, such as sororities, which were created in response to women being excluded from the male fraternities, help to create a space on college campuses where women can bond, network and assist each other for a common goal. This is especially true of black Greek-letter sororities, who established themselves not just in response to male fraternities but because of their exclusion from the historically white sororities as well.
Yet these men, while gay but certainly still men, have taken to adopting the colors, symbols and other paraphernalia of the AKAs, which is not only tantamount to theft but also disrespectful to the historical identity that this women’s group has fought hard to establish. And while these men probably don’t see their actions as insolent–in fact, I’m willing to guess that they truly love the AKA organization – you have to ask yourselves, if this was truly a matter of inclusiveness, why not direct their angst at the fraternities as well?
There are a number of LGBT black Greek-letter organizations all over this country. For example, there’s Omicron Epsilon Pi Sorority, Inc., the nations first Greek letter organization catering to the needs of black lesbian women, and Delta Phi Upsilon Fraternity, Inc, whose mission is to improve the public stature of same gender loving people by supporting a progressive interest in the social and civic welfare. There is, indeed, a need for such organizations because, just like the rest of society, there are folks within these sororities/fraternities organizations that do not openly embrace the GLBT community. In that spirit, I have lots of appreciation for the MiAKAs, who just want to be accepted and celebrated for who and what they are, and also support the AKAs when they can. However, I also believe that this rouge MiAKA chapter would probably blaze more trails, if they would, in addition to fighting for inclusion of our GLBT brothers and sisters into these organizations, help the existing black LGBT Greek letter organizations establish more chapters on black college campuses as well as take their rightful place among the Divine Nine.
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I remember my first true encounter with the green-eyed monster known as jealousy. It was summer 2006 and I was one-year strong in my first “mature” relationship. The relationship had been going so well that I was sure I had been living out some Disney fairytale, until this one day, which seemed like any other. I had just gotten home from a job I’d snagged for the summer, I raced to my bedroom to call my Prince Charming whom I hadn’t heard from all day. “Hello,” I said eagerly as soon as I heard him pick up the phone; however, something wasn’t quite right. I heard a female’s laughter in the background. “Who’s that?” I asked twisting my face up, hoping he would say a cousin or relative. “Oh, that’s Shamika, the girl from across the street.” I sat on the other end of the phone silently. My heart sank. I felt like my face was going to crack and I was overcome with an intense feeling that I had a hard time identifying. I’d later come to know this intense and overwhelming feeling as jealousy. My logic told me that there was probably nothing up with this girl from across the street, but my imagination and emotions went running in a completely different direction.
Jealousy is one of those erratic and unreasonable emotions that can transform a fairly mild-mannered woman into a ranting, probing, lurking lunatic. A jealous woman can be like a terrorist to a man in a relationship. You know the deal: checking cell phones, cracking voicemail codes, Facebook passwords, Twitter passwords, cell phone company records, etc. You name it, I’ve done it. Little did I know, jealousy would be a frequent visitor in my relationships.
After my second or third encounter with this feeling, I began to realize that I had a problem. The crazy part is that I knew something about it was off and would’ve traded almost anything to get rid of those feelings. They were practically consuming me. It was as if a “Shamika” had been assigned to every last one of my relationships and just when I thought I had overcome it, the overbearing and suffocating feelings of jealousy would resurface. I would always try to work through it, convinced that this time I would beat this feeling. Each time I failed. I had no peace. After awhile I began to realize that these feelings were stemming from something internal, and if I were to ever truly overcome them, I would have to start addressing the issues that lie within. It was a quest that I would have to take on alone.
If you are wearing pearls and have been known to clutch them often because you think that discussions of sex should only happen in the bedroom, the following post is not for you. But if you are down for an open and frank discussion about sexuality, by all means, continue reading below.
“In 2001, Glamour magazine assigned entertainment journalist Margeaux Rawson to interview the four Queens of Comedy — Adele Givens, Miss Laura Hayes, Mo’Nique and Sommore — about sex. The specific assignment was to uncover the “10 Commandments of Sex,” as decried by the Queens. Armed with all the buffalo wings and bottles of Veuve Clicquot her expense account could manage, the writer met the quartet of comediennes in a Los Angeles hotel suite. Alas, it appears as if the champagne and chicken should have been left in New York: Glamour deemed every inch of the transcript too “blue” for its perfume-scented pages. Lowbrow, on the other hand, considered the interview just lewd enough…”
Lewd is not quite the term I would use. This exchange about the dos and dont’s of all things sex with the self-proclaimed “Queens of Comedy” is balls-to-the-wall out there. I mean, from jump Mo’Nique sets it off with stuff that we can’t probably print in this post without making some of you blush. But lets just say the conversation involves lots of discussion about fellatio (both giving and receiving), junk size (and I quote: “If your package is too small, my favorite position is with another muthaf****), the avoidance of butt-play and S&M.
This conversation sounds familiar to me. I can remember vividly those days when a bunch of girlfriends and I would sit around – whether it be the bar or on somebody’s couch – and dish about what we liked, didn’t like so much, wanted to try, were NEVER gonna do (unless we were married) and all the other graphic details about our sexual conquests. You heard many of the words printed in the Jezzie article plus many more not even thought of.
Likewise, we were all different sexually – there was the one girlfriend that did and tried everything under the sun and always had a juicy story to share. There was the other girlfriend, who would blush and shake her head in embarrassment over our stories–that was until later in the conversation when she would drop some freaky bombshell that had the rest of our mouths wide open. And finally, there was the eavesdropping dude (perhaps the older brother or boyfriend of one of the girlfriends), who sat close enough to hear all of our sordid details without actually being involved in the conversation but would, from time to time, chime in to say something like: “I always knew girls were nastier than boys.” These frank and colorful dialogues were the essence of our sister girl circles. We felt free and safe to not only exhale but to inhale and exhale some more.
While you might like to work on impulse, some things need to be discussed thoroughly before you leap.
Check out at least four decisions you should chit chat about before you do anything too hasty at Your Tango.com.
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(The Root) — To his credit, the nation’s first black U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, has not shied away from discussing race and its impact on our criminal justice system. Shortly after he was confirmed, he famously said that ”in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards”–a statement for which he was roundly criticized, but for which he deserved praise.