I’m talking to women this whole blog post, so if you have lived experience as a woman come on in. Everyone else is free to read it, and probably should, but I want to be clear on who this “conversation” is between and inform you of your guest status if you fall outside of the intended audience. I’m cussing in here so, be cool.
I’ve been tried in spirit for the last week or so. From having someone come for me and spit off the importance of a husband’s role in the life of a wife, to bible study with my Sorors finding out we never learn Job’s wife’s name (like she wasn’t holding it down going through all that hell right along with him) and now to hear the awful news that we lost a phenomenal woman Kim Porter… only for her to be referred to in context to her ex-partners like she wasn’t out here in these fashion, acting, entrepreneurial and event streets making a name for herself ON HER OWN MERIT.
While I’m not about to give you an abridged history of the illustrious Kim Porter, I strongly encourage you to do your Googles and enrich your life with all that she’s contributed to the World.
Back to my subject, Why do we all just say “that’s cool” to society boiling down our lives to “Such and Such’s Girl”? Hell, even Ellen’s wife is “Ellen’s wife” like she wasn’t ever Nelle Porter and Lindsay Bluth to those of us that attach actors to their popular characters. Imagine going to school, practicing your shit in the mirror for years, standing on-line for audition after audition, finally getting everything you’ve worked so hard to accomplish and then when you die the best they’ve got for you is “_____’s Wife”.
I had a moment when my grandma died, and we’re all sitting around at the house with the deacons and the pastor, and the conversation that was supposed to be all about my Gram turned into “Man, you know Buford.” I had the spirit of “Bitch, please” so deeply embedded on my heart but I was pregnant and I’m still Baptist underneath my worldly vernacular. That night I opened up my laptop and wrote for my LIFE because I would’ve just had to climb on in the box with her if I sat in that church and they made it the Buford 2.0 funeral. I pulled her resume so hard and made sure that everyone that left knew that “ALL THIS SHIT IS WHAT SHE BUILT” in the most eloquent and pulpit appropriate way possible.
Since I touched on the church, I need to circle back around to bible study… It’s not ok that we don’t even know Job’s wife’s name. She gave birth 10 times (one almost took me out the game) and then watched them all die, but she can’t even get an honorable mention. That’s how long the world has been on this diminishing bullshit. It’s got to stop. Husbands and Partners are cool and all, but they DO NOT DEFINE THE TOTALITY OF OUR LIVES NOR ARE THEY OUR CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT. I want to go to bed and wake up in a world that we all freely accept and understand that each human that wakes up to do some good in the world is worthy of their own individual recognition. Because whenever I die, if all you can cook up is Reggie’s daughter, Camden’s mom, Tony’s lady, Al’s niece… don’t even bother at all.
This brings me back to how we talk to one another. Any person that has been part of any 2-man team knows the importance of communication and trust to make that a successful pairing. Can we bury “When a woman has a husband (insert archaic blind submission doctrine)”? I’m going to glide over the fact that sometimes a woman has a wife and that team deserves that same energy… but if we don’t stop holding these men in a light that takes them above and beyond human we can completely forget about ever coming from under the possessive description. He bleeds Boo, he’s got opinions and ideas and SOMETIMES HE’S WRONG, SIS. He has direct access to your toothbrush and all your major arteries while you sleep but beyond that, he ain’t Jesus or a lottery ticket so no need in throwing away your good sense and education.
Here’s what I know about the previous paragraph, someone is going to come for my marital receipts and try to discredit my opinion. That person is part of the problem, even if it’s you, my beloved faithful reader. Marital Status: Minding My Complete Black Business
As Black Women in America specifically, we must juggle race and gender, expectedly, with grace and humility our entire lives. At the very least, and by that, I mean bare minimum, give us our respect when our work is done and the toils of constant code-switching, thankless freedom fighting and glass ceiling breaking have come to an end.
Say Our Damn Name!
My Words are my own, and nobody speaks for me.