All Articles Tagged "lady"
Now that some time has passed, I’ve been able to wrestle with and digest more completely much of the discourse that Lupe Fiasco’s “B***h Bad” sparked this summer. The song, whose hook repeats “B***h bad, woman good, lady better,” had many a tongue wagging—particularly in the feminist community. The reality is that not many feminists aspire to be the stereotypical “lady.” I respect that choice. Further, I certainly have great respect and appreciation for anyone who vehemently challenges the system of male dominance and advocates for the equality of women. But here’s the thing, I am unapologetically a lady and while you may choose not to be, a lack of respect regarding my choice to be is kinda not cool.
I am a woman who takes care of herself, thinks for herself, and who looks for a partner rather than a master in men. I am independent and progressive and very much a lady. I reject the notion that my pursuit of ladyhood is an attempt to fit into antiquated ideals constructed to make men comfortable. I leave some things to the imagination when I get dressed. I don’t speak vulgarly. I cook; I clean; I decorate; I’m demure and unabashedly submissive when a worthy man is involved. I don’t do these things to make men comfortable—I do them because I like the way they make ME feel.
I feel swexy and empowered and womanly when I walk into a clean home with a soft décor that reflects my personality and a fragrance that excites the nose like perfume that lingers on flesh at the end of a long day. I get an exhilarating rush when I am in the kitchen experimenting with spices that titillate various areas of the tongue. While playing with and pairing different textures and tastes I am often caught up in ecstatic fits. And when there is a man who meets my needs, hears me, sees me, honors me, treats me like an equal and makes me feel safe, I want to cook his meals, rub his bald head, listen to his dreams and make him feel the way he makes me feel every day. I want to be gentle and not crass, to possess a quiet strength and a soft power; I’d rather purr than roar any day. These things make me feel the way I love to feel—they make ME comfortable.
To each its own. You may never want to be a “lady,” and that’s cool…for you. However, my deliberate actions to be don’t make me a Stepford Wife and don’t advance the agenda of patriarchy, and your rejection and denouncement of ladyhood doesn’t make you any more enlightened than me. I believe in the equality of women and have a vested interest in the annihilation of systems that seek to keep them subjugated, but at the end of the day how I choose to live out my womanliness is my business. I respect your choice, now respect mine, especially in the one space where all women should feel safe and accepted. As women, sometimes we have a way of tearing each other down…even when we aren’t consciously trying to.
We must do better. Shall we?
Sheena Bryant is a writer and blogger in Chicago. Follow her on twitter at @song_of_herself.
By Kendra Koger
I don’t know about everyone else, but it seems to me that there has recently been such a loose usage of words like “classy,” and “lady” in our society. While watching TV there is usually a gaggle of women who not only discuss their classiness with quotes like “I’m a classy azz b!tch…” -Catya Washington of Bad Girls Club but defend it, like my favorite quote, “I am a fucking lady…” courtesy of London Charles, aka Deelishis, from Flavor of Love 2. The debate is so prominent now that you can find women in stores, on the street, or in classrooms spouting out about how “classy” they are.
My husband once told me about a time he took his grandmother grocery shopping and they ran into his old friend, Theresa.* (The name has been changed to protect the ignorant.) She and her three year old daughter were in the checkout lane when she saw a girl that she had been beefing with. The argument covered a myriad of topics, including ugliness, stupidity and promiscuity. When the topic of “hoe-ness” was discussed Theresa adamantly exclaimed, “Whatever, b—-, I’m classy! You’re the one who…” and before she could finish her sentence Theresa, her daughter, and other innocent bystanders promptly got a face full of pepper spray, courtesy of the girl she was arguing with. While her eyes were burning with pepper spray, Theresa blindly swung her fists in the girl’s direction, not checking on her daughter or anything. Classiness at its finest, I suppose.
It makes me wonder, what institutes a woman into having class? Is it dependent on socio-economic factors, like how much money you have in the bank, or having expensive (or expensive looking) things? When these topics of class break out, there seems to be an accompaniment of revealing the names of designers that the woman in question is wearing or how much she spent on such objects. Bragging about “red bottoms” and Gucci paraphernalia seems to come with the territory of identifying class these days. Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t buy your favorite designers if you have the money. Just know that buying them doesn’t mean that you’re buying class. You’re just buying material objects. A woman who has a large wardrobe, full of things made by Chanel, Fendi, and Gucci, could be the same woman who abandons her children, or leaves the grandmother to raise them for her while she’s out in the streets. Is that class? Paris Hilton has millions of dollars and is able to afford all the top designers; but honestly, is she typically regarded as a woman who has class?
When I think of classy women my mind immediately goes to women like Dorothy Dandridge and Eartha Kitt. Classiness wasn’t defined by what they had, but by persevering through tumultuous times with a level of grace and elegance. Their behavior was an indicator of maturity and inner strength. A woman who used to walk away from a fight was considered the classy one by society’s standards. But now, we have women who are trying to show class by yelling the words “lady” and “classy” as a battle cry to all who will listen, before they pounce on the offending lady/ladies.
But hey, maybe that’s just me.
But what do you think, readers? Are women using these terms too loosely?
Kendra Koger is a writer, blogger, freelance book editor, and all around life enthusiast. You can follower her on twitter @kkoger.
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