All Articles Tagged "woman"
This is a man’s world!
James was wailing passionately. My dad, like most men with soul, is a James Brown fan. And he was putting me on to some of his classics this day during one of our many road trips. Immediately, my junior feminist radar kicked in. This is a man’s world?! Then as if James knew I didn’t hear him the firs time, he hollered it again.
This is a man’s world!
That was it! I bolted up in the backseat as I said, politely, yet with authority, “I don’t think I like this song.” My dad smiled, a knowing and prideful smile and said, “Keep listening baby.” And that’s when James brought it home.
“But it wouldn’t be nothing, without a woman or a girl.”
I know that’s right James! I nodded in acceptance and understanding as I sat back and settled into the groove.
From an early age, though society was hellbent on telling me otherwise, I always knew it was a great honor to be a girl and later a woman. While boys and men were constantly boasting about their physical strength and superior intelligence; I always had an inkling and then an assurance, that it was all a farce. That really, at the end of the day, men weren’t all that much better than women. In fact, they weren’t better at all.
Men may have been able to lift things and complete other physical tasks; but a woman’s strength was emotional, psychological and in many instances practical.
My sophomore year of college, a bill came back from my University saying that I owed some thousands of dollars. I showed the letter to my parents but they couldn’t help me. They didn’t have it. I’ll never forget the difference in the way my father handled the situation and the way my mother handled it. My dad, whether out of embarrassment or frustration, kind of shut down and pretended like it wasn’t happening. While my mom was the one who talked to me about how I should go about collecting financial aid from other places. That’s when I learned that what they say about men and their need to problem solve is true. My dad couldn’t provide the solution to my problem; and instead of directing me to someone or something that could, it was better for his pride to pretend like it wasn’t happening. That was the day my mother told me that while both of them would always be there to support me and do what they could; at the end of the day, there were certain things I just had to make happen for myself. There are certain things men cannot do for you, even if that man is your father.
All of our lives as girls and eventually women, we’re told to be seen and not heard. Keep your mouth shut. You talk too much. There’s always someone who wants to silence you, whether that person is in the world or in your own family, men and women alike. At around 10 years old, annoyed with me and my sister’s constant giggles, my grandfather told us, rather sternly, “Be quiet, you know you all laugh too much!” For a minute I thought to be embarrassed, ashamed or offended; but then I remembered my grandmother telling me that laughing was both good exercise and good medicine, so instead I just laughed at the ridiculousness of his comment and kept it moving. My sister followed suit. There’s no such thing as laughing too much.
And there’s no such thing as crying too much either. I’ll never understand why men, and subsequently women, get so freaked out by tears and the act of crying. Remember how Hillary’s tears made front page news in 2008? Instead of recognizing her tears as a sign of passion for her country, many took it to mean she was incapable of running it. Tears are not a sign of weakness. They’re physical evidence of a strength of feeling, conviction or passion.
“Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not built to suit a fashion models size, but when I start to tell them they think I’m telling lies. I say, it’s in the reach of my arms, the span of my hips, the stride of my step, the curl of my lips. I’m a woman phenomenally. Phenomenal woman that’s me.”
Have you ever wondered why so many men of other races are attracted to or drawn to the beauty that is the black woman? Has the question ever crossed your mind, why do men of a different color stare at black women in awe? Have you ever wondered why men of other races are so fascinated with black women? Well, I have and I found the answers to these and other questions. A while ago, a friend of mine and I were talking and laughing about a slight temper tantrum a co-worker of ours was having at work. We both had a look of slight confusion on our faces before we agreed that he needed to calm down, then all of a sudden, out of the blue my friend said, “He needs to date a black woman so he can calm down!” As I listened to his words I was shocked and somewhat taken aback by this statement because my friend is a man of Hellenic decent, and I wondered why he would say that. So of course I asked him, “Why do you think he would be calmer if he dated black women?” He then began to tell me about his experience with dating a black woman. He started telling me that dating a black woman was an uplifting experience for him. While she was strong in sprit and dominant, she was also nurturing with sex appeal. She knew how to de-stress him after a long days work, she healed his soul with good food and company while boosting his confidence. So then I asked my friend what initially attracted him to a black woman. He enthusiastically stated curves, curves, curves and more curves! He further stated that he loves the curves of a black woman’s lips, hips, eyes, waist, etc. He even loves a black woman’s curly hair! He was also attracted to her spirit ‘faith’ and the woman she was as a whole.
During the course of our conversation my friend expressed to me that his black queen made him feel like a MAN during their relationship. He said that she allowed him to be the man by simply allowing him to make plans, and by allowing him to be chivalrous. He also told me that she knew how to be a lady that a man could compliment while still being Hot. I then asked my friend did she intimidate him, and he said no. I also asked him did she ever ‘check’ him, or put him in his place, and how did it make him feel. He said she did put him in his place, and it felt good because it allowed him to refocus on what he should be doing, and get back to where he was supposed to be when he got off track. I asked him these questions because so often I hear that black women are intimidating to men, or we have too much attitude to deal with so on and so on, but from this Hellenic man’s perspective the stronger the woman she was the better. As our conversation started to end, I asked my friend what he would tell black men about black women. He said that he would tell them that black women are not just black women. We are African-American women, which means there is a lot of culture within who we are, and we are the ones who can and will continue the race with our strength, our pride and or heritage. Before our conversation came to an end, I asked my friend these final questions; what advice would you give to black women about men, and would you date a black woman again? The advice he would give to black women about men is to let a man be a man. And the final question, would he date another black woman? What do you think…? Black coffee, no sugar no cream, men of all cultures do indeed love black women.
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.
If He Wants To Be With You, He’ll Do Right By You: Why Ultimatums Might Be The Ultimate Mistake In a Relationship
“If you don’t marry me, I’m leaving!”
“I’m either going to be your wife to be, or your soon to be ex.”
“If we’re not engaged by the end of the year, I’m moving on with my life.”
How many of us have heard one of our close girlfriends or family members say one of the lines above? Or better yet, how many of us have repeated one of the lines above? Ultimatums are often defined as an uncompromising set of terms or demands given by someone, which can lead to the beginning of a new segment in a relationship, or the severing of one. Ultimatums are generally given by women to men, who have been in a monogamous dating relationship for quite a while, women who are cohabitating without the commitment of marriage, or women who are or have been involved in long-term engagements, and the general purpose of them in regard to relationships are to achieve the goal of marriage. However, my question to women who have given ultimatums and to women who may be contemplating the thought of issuing an ultimatum is, why?
Why would you give a man who says he loves you and wants to be with you an ultimatum? Or better yet, why would you not give yourself an ultimatum instead of your mate? One part of the definition of the word ultimatum people often overlook or ignore is the part where it says that an ultimatum is an uncompromising set of terms or demands. This part of the definition is vital because it lets people know that they should set standards and not compromise them. The mistake that is often made though is that both women and men do not set and establish individual and relationship standards at the beginning of a new relationship. And if they do, they do not maintain them and often become complacent. If people would learn to take the time to establish standards and keep them then maybe there would not be a need to issue ultimatums.
Ladies, issuing an ultimatum may bring you closer to achieving the goals you have set for your ideal relationship, but the goals you have set may not be the goals your mate has, or have in mind. And if you are planning to have a productive relationship then you must be on one accord with your mate. Also, if you do give your mate an ultimatum and you get the results/commitment you desire, is that commitment sincere? The ultimate goal of an ultimatum is to start something new in a relationship, and while it may begin something new, it may also bring forth the forcing of something that should not be. So ladies, if you are contemplating giving your man an ultimatum, ask yourself these questions before you do; 1. Why am I giving him an ultimatum? 2. Will giving him an ultimatum make him commit to me any faster? 3. Will the commitment be from his heart? 4. Am I prepared for results that are the opposite of what I wanted? 5. How much longer do I plan on staying in a relationship that lacks a sincere commitment? 6. Are we equally yoked, and have the same mindset when it comes to commitment?
Answer these questions open and honestly before you decide to give an ultimatum because you don’t want to make a mistake, and the mistake could be you pushing your man away, or you staying and missing the blessing that is your true soul mate…not to mention, blocking his too. I know some of you may be saying that ultimatums work, and that men need a little push from time to time, and this may very well be true. But it is my belief that if a man wants to be with you, and if he is indeed the man for you he will say and show so without any push from you, but a push from his heart. Ladies, it is said that you should not be anxious for anything, and if you believe this then there is no need to think about giving an ultimatum. However, if you do decide to give an ultimatum, give it to yourself. Ask yourself how much longer you will stand for something, set that standard, and do what you need to when you feel the time is right. But don’t pressure anyone else to give you what you want.
Do you think giving an ultimatum is a mistake?
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.
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Dear Single Sistahs,
I am writing this letter to my Single Sistas who desperately desire a relationship, to those whose biological clocks are ticking, to those who are at the end of a relationship, to those who feel as though they will always be a bridesmaid and never a bride, to those who are currently playing the dating game, on a hiatus from it or have simply retired from it, to those who are moving out and moving on, to those who fear being alone, to those who are settling for less, to those who are divorced and refuse to open their hearts, and finally to those who have lost a love, and feel as though they can never love again.
I write this letter to each and every one of my Single Sistas to encourage and lift your hearts, minds and spirits to let you know that being single is not a curse; but it is a celebration of a season often short-lived and over looked by seeking out a relationship. As I write this letter to all of you I want to let you know that this time of singleness that you have is a gift that should not be taken lightly. Your season of singleness has a distinct purpose, and it is not to seek a relationship with the immediate hopes of marriage, but it is to build a profound, individual and distinct relationship with your Creator and yourself. This is the time in your life where you can discover who you are, why you were created, and what you should be doing at this particular time in your life.
Being single is a valuable journey in life we often take for granted because we have often been led to believe that if we are not in a promising relationship, engaged or married by a certain age then something must be mentally, physically or emotionally wrong with us and our value as an individual seems to decrease.
However, what many people fail to realize is that being single is a part of life that should be celebrated and honored as much as marriage. This stage in life should be celebrated as much as marriage because this is the time of life where the knowledge of who you are as an individual grows daily. This is the time where you find out who you truly are and stand firm on that knowledge so when the time comes for a relationship you will remain who you are and not morph into who someone else wants you to be.
I know it gets hard sometimes when we see couples holding hands, walking, and out on dates; and I know it is particularly hard when a friend or family member gets engaged and asks you to play a part in their wedding festivities! I also know it’s hard when we see a woman who is not half the woman we (you) are with not only a fine man, but a good one! Hell, it’s even hard to see Facebook and Twitter posts about someone recently engaged to be married! I know all of these things are difficult because as I write this letter to all of my Single Sistas, I am writing it to myself as well.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, nor does it keep track of right or wrong. Love is an action at best, and it doesn’t matter if the one you love is at a distance or within arm’s reach because love is love… It is said that absence makes the heart grow fonder, meaning that when you are not in the presence of a loved one you value the person and their presence more, and you love them more and more with each passing day they are not with you. However it is also said that when you’re out of a person’s sight you’re out of their mind, meaning that if you are not in the presence of the one you love physically then you are likely to become a distant memory.
Are these statements true for long distance lovers? Does absence increase the desire to be with someone, or is it a necessity to be within your loved one’s reach whenever you desire? Based on my personal experience, I believe that both statements are true. I have had the privilege of encountering quite a few relationships from a distance where my significant others were in different states, and while I did long to be with them and miss them I will admit that it was difficult to keep them close. I recall one distant relationship where my significant other and I could not get enough of each other. We called each other constantly; sent each other surprise gifts, planned vacation visits, so on and so on. We did everything we could think of to supplement for the distance, and to keep the relationship going strong, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to sustain a healthy relationship. So shortly after one of our vacation visits, my then boyfriend sent me a very long and dramatic e-mail ending our relationship.
I was baffled when I received this e-mail, but for some reason I wasn’t surprised. I wasn’t surprised because deep down I knew the relationship would be short lived because as individuals we struggled with the idea and the reality of a long distance relationship. We both struggled because we did not fully understand the level of commitment, trust, patience and understanding it took from both parties to maintain a relationship from a distance. We struggled with the reality of a long distance relationship because I don’t believe we were mature enough to handle the distance between us as we were both used to having our mates within reach; we did not have the willingness to commit to each other whole heartedly, nor did we have the patience.
One of my personal struggles with this particular relationship was that I was not connected enough to my then boyfriend on a meaningful level to sustain a purposeful relationship. While we had everything in common physically, we were not connected to each other spiritually and emotionally which made our visits draining for me because I chose to struggle to keep a relationship with him because he was a good man. When this relationship ended, I decided to reflect back on it to see how we could have done things differently to make the relationship work. So the first thing I did was ask myself if my mate and I took the time to become friends. We did not. The next thing I asked myself was did we mutually prepare for being involved in a long distance relationship. We did not. Another question I asked myself was, were we mentally prepared to trust each other and were we willing to commit to a long distance relationship.
I can remember so vividly being about four or five years old and having a favorite cousin, Shaniqua (Yes, I have a cousin named Shaniqua). Oh, how I loved Shaniqua. I followed her everywhere! Everything that she did, I did. If she laughed a certain way, I laughed that certain way. When she came home from kindergarten learning to read, I was determined to learn how to read, too. I used to be thrilled on holidays like Easter Sunday and Mother’s Day when our grandmother would go out and buy us matching dresses for church. I mean, I wanted to be just like her when I “grew up,” which was ridiculously hilarious and ironic because we were only two years apart. As time progressed, I matured and developed my own identity.
While the whole copycat syndrome is very natural and normal among small children as they begin to develop their own identities, what I find disturbing is how prevalent it is among adults. There is a shockingly large amount of grown women who must have never properly transitioned from the whole copycat phase as children and are still walking around imitating one another to this day. Yes, they do exist and you probably know a few of them personally. You know the ones who you hate to go shopping with because the entire time that you are browsing the store they’re behind you picking up, examining, and purchasing everything you pick up in the store? Yeah, them. They have to get some kind of variation of what you picked up, don’t they? Or, how about the ones who have no shame and will show up to work with the same exact dress or shoes you wore last week?
Having a copycat can be flattering and even somewhat amusing, at first. However, after awhile, it becomes outright annoying. I mean honestly, what normally adjusted woman imitates another woman constantly? There has to be some sort of imbalance there. I used to think that the only real issue with having a copycat was the fact that it was annoying, however, I am beginning to feel a little differently about that. If you can’t even trust her enough to discuss future plans out of fear that she may run out and go do it first, you probably don’t need her around. What is the point in having a “friend” around who is constantly studying and looking to imitate you? After awhile you begin to question why. Is she looking to replace you? Does she want want your life? Something about that situation is plain old wrong and a bit creepy. While there is no way that she can replace you in the eyes of the people in your life because you are one of a kind, she can certainly try, which could potentially cause unnecessary heartache and grief for you if she is ruthless enough. But, then the question arises, how do you handle such a childish situation like an adult? You can’t deal with it as you would in preschool by pushing her and yelling “Stop doing everything that I do!” or you will look just as crazy as she does.
I remember my mom lecturing me about a copycat I once had, whom she’d nicknamed “Single Black Female.” In the process she said to me, “If someone wants to try to emulate you, you can’t really stop them, but you’d be a fool to sit around and pass them the playbook.” What she meant by that is you can’t control someone else’s actions, but you can control the access and insight that you grant them into your life. Feed her with a long-handled spoon. In simple terms, put some distance there. If you value this woman as a friend, don’t go starting a fight, just gracefully and gradually back off. If she’s someone new working your last nerve, keep her at an arm’s length or move on entirely. In due time you’ll turn around and she’ll be off imitating someone else.
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Some people refer to this hairstyle as “Ponytail with a bump in the front,” “bouffant ponytail,” “hump ponytail,” or even “The Snooki.” Thankfully, there is a proper term: pompadour ponytail.
Most believe the term ‘pompadour’ comes from Madame de Pompadour because she wore her hair piled high on top of her head. She was the French Royal Mistress of King Louis XV (maybe that’s also why they call it “hump ponytail?”).
The style–which consists of the front of a person’s hair being swept up high off the forehead–has been in and out of fashion since the 1700’s.
There are several different ways to achieve the look, but basically, you pull your hair into an ponytail while leaving out a chunk in the front. Tease the chunk (or if you have thick hair, you may not even need to tease it) and push it forward until it’s as high as you want. Next, use bobby pins to secure it then add any hair behind the bobby pins to your existing ponytail.
Appropriate for the office, dance floor or Saturday afternoon errands, the pompadour flanked by a ponytail is an extremely versatile look. It’s no wonder the style has remained a staple for so long.
Celebrities often rock the style on and off the red carpet. Click through our fab photo gallery and let us know: Who wore it best?
This might sound like an oxymoron, but there are true benefits to being in an entry-level position (no, really!). Starting off in a new company, fresh out of college with no real experience level under your belt or beginning in a completely new field way after college could seem like a step back professionally, as you envision endless days of rushing to get coffee, make copies, answer phone calls and doing very little significant work.
Don’t fret in your position just yet. Working your way up the corporate ladder comes with its difficult times, but it is imperative to look at the bright side to being a little lower on the company totem pole. Seize the opportunity of being an entry-level professional to your advantage, and keep in mind these perks you will come out of it with:
Being an entry-level employee is all about the learning experience you receive while being a beginner in the field or company. This experience is invaluable because many mid and upper-level executives have years of professional knowledge, which could make for good examples of what and what not to do in your industry, and a great opportunity to make contacts and network.
The experience of learning from seasoned professionals in your field (while also getting paid!) is one that you do not want to ignore and resent just because you are a little lower on the totem pole at work. Many other executives do not have the chance to sit back and learn while on the job, so take this aspect of your position as having an upper-hand.
The Option to Explore Other Opportunities
One of the most useful benefits of being an entry-level employee is the time and space you get to explore opportunities in and outside your company. This could be preparing for another career path or choosing to pursue a higher education in order to increase your overall market worth in your field. Just beginning in your field, you have the option to explore other paths and possibilities before anything is truly set in stone for you. Take your time as an employee to explore options you might want to look further into before you are solidified in your field. It might prove difficult to change your career path completely after 10 or so years in the same field.
I know what you’re thinking right now. “Of course, I’m ready for a relationship. It’s what I’ve been waiting so long for! I just need to know how I can get one started!”
Well, I’m certainly not arguing that you want a real relationship. I’m asking if you’re ready for a real relationship. That one’s tough to answer, because it entails really looking at yourself and your beliefs, attitudes and behaviors in a real, open, and honest way. And that’s never easy.
One thing I can tell you is that I’ve been there. I’ve been in that spot where all I could think about was how I so wanted a real relationship, with all of the affection, understanding, support and love that comes with it. And that’s when I asked myself this very same question and I realized that I didn’t like the answer. I had some major changing to do. So how do you know if you’re ready for a relationship before you start one with either the wrong guy or Mr. Right at the wrong time?
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Some say that friends make the best lovers, but I might have to disagree. Whether it’s in grade school or in grad school, we’ll all have one experience being on the end of a relationship where one person wants a little more romance than the other. When it’s all said and done, you can either end up in a loving relationship with your best friend or find yourself with a fragile friendship ruined by the awkwardness of an unrequited romance. While we recently talked about reasons you shouldn’t be “just a friend” with a guy, many don’t realize that we often blindly walk into those type of situations not recognizing that the friend zone is right where we’re headed. Don’t take the risk of being asked to be “just a friend” by avoiding the following roles and actions: