Welcome back to my blog! Here in Maryland, we’re nearing 6 weeks of mandated quarantine and home isolation. 6 weeks? 42 days?? 1,008 hours??? It’s driving the girls crazy—myself included! Don’t get me wrong, I understand the importance of isolating and I’m not questioning it, but id be lying if I said it wasn’t taking a toll on my mental.
I’ve spent almost 1,008 hours doing the same activities: meditate, homework, eat, drink, and paint. It was fun at first, self-indulging. But lately I’ve gotten tired of the same routines over and over again— swapping wines doesn’t count as change either— and I know I’m not the only one.
I’ve seen the memes and jokes on social media about reaching out to our exes during quarantine, and I’m here to remind you that it is NOT a good idea! It’s not worth the headache!
If you broke up with he/she/them because it wasn’t good then, 9 times out of 10, it won’t be good now! Don’t let your mind get the best of you. If they were lying or cheating or manipulative then, they most likely haven’t changed, sadly. Sometimes, and because of singlism and patriarchy especially, women value their worthiness based on their attachment to a spouse. It’s okay to be alone and there’s nothing wrong with being single. Stop shaming yourself or feeling like you need someone else to feel whole. Remember ladies, a relationship is supposed to involve to whole parties coming together to share their individual happiness, you shouldn’t be depending on someone to make you happy.
And it’s important to note whether or not you’re single by choice, because this is the lifestyle you want, or if you’re single but actively looking for a partner. Knowing your situation makes all the difference, but you need to be happy within yourself no matter what.
I know you might feel lonely, but you’re not. The act of being alone is not synonymous with loneliness (don’t confuse the two!) and it’s important to find peace in solitude! Embracing solitude could help a lot with creativity, productivity, and overall mental wellness.
With that being said… is texting your ex really going to help your mental wellness? Are you chasing a feeling that’s no longer there? Reminiscing? No, chances are, you’re just bored! If you made the decision to leave before, what’s changed now? Besides the copious amount of free time and little to no things to do? You’re just bored sis. You made the right decision before and now it’s time to stand on it… no matter how tempting it might be.
You’re not lonely. Nurture your platonic friendships if you’re craving social interaction. Craving more? Buy a toy! (we’re all adults here, masturbation is healthy and could very well be what you’re missing from pasts relationships)
Self-isolation is not the time to chase your ex. Take this time to relax, or catch up on things, or learn new hobbies—anything, anything but texting that person you know you shouldn’t be texting. Protect your self! Put the phone down and walk away sis, haha.
Wash your hands, stay home, and be safe. Thanks for reading! *inserts heart emoji*
Happy Tuesday everyone and welcome back to my blog! Today I’m going to talk about the impact of internalized misogyny.
Let’s start by defining internalized misogyny. I touched on it briefly in one of my previous posts . Internalized misogyny, IM, is the form of sexist behaviors and attitudes enacted by women toward themselves or other women and girls.
It can be difficult to identify IM. It’s a subconscious projection of sexist ideas. As independent as we think we may be, we have many preconceived notions about how a woman should exist that stem from societal expectations and gender norms.
A great quote by author and feminist, Suzannah Weiss, reads: “Internalized misogyny does not refer outright to a belief in the inferiority of women. It refers to the byproducts of this societal view that cause women to shame, doubt, and undervalue themselves and others of their gender.”
So, about a week ago, I saw an interesting post on Instagram from my favorite women empowerment page, @florencegiven. (I’ll post screenshots below).
The IG page is run by A London-based artist and writer, Florence addresses social issues with unique, sassy illustrations. Florence’s work confronts oppressive attitudes towards women and their bodies, and she uses her platform to raise awareness of issues surrounding sexuality, consent, race and gender.
The post I’m referring to was an interactive questionnaire between Florence and her 314k followers. The question posed was: “What things has internalized misogyny stopped you from enjoying that you now love?”.
I was interested in seeing how my own followers felt. The response Florence had received were all very relateable. So, I took to my Instagram story and posted my own questionnaire.
I didn’t get as many responses as the original post (one answer didn’t even relate to my post! Lol, kind of annoying), but the responses I got were worthy of a blog discussion. Many of the responses were things I’ve heard before from other women or while growing up, and others where feelings I had experienced also.
Here are the responses my followers shared (I used my phone to edit out tag names for confidentiality reasons):
I’m going to share my thoughts about each response my followers gave. First, I’m going to say how proud of them, I am. It takes courage to share your story. And the whole post is about taking your power back! These are things that once brought us shame, that we now embrace/enjoy and love! It is important to be conscious of IM, and to be conscious of your thoughts and ideas not only about other women but also in regards to yourself. Say it together ladies, empowered women empower women! So keep sharing your stories, keep breaking the cycles of sexism, and empower one another.
“Being emotional!!!! I like to cry and I’m proud damnit ”
I’m happy someone left this answer! Women are often shamed for showing their emotions! I’ve heard people infer that a woman must be “PMSing”— in other words, premenstrual syndrome or feeling irritable/angry/sad between her ovulation and her period— because she showed an outburst of emotion. Whether it be crying, shouting, or anything other than a “normal reaction”, women are labeled emotional. We are human. We are allowed to feel things and furthermore, express these feelings without judgement. Besides, crying is normal.
So yes, sis, cry your little heart out. It’s okay! Haha, I myself enjoy a good cry accompanied by wings and a glass of wine occasionally.
“My body. The curves & rolls, the body hair, etc.” & parts “1/3... 3/3” (all written by the same user)
THIS!! THIS IS THE ONE! I’ve felt this answer personally. The asinine and incredibly impossible beauty standards that men (who usually 9/10 peacefully exist on the far margins of attractiveness) hold women to perpetuate body shaming and insecurities in women. We see women being degraded subtly in our everyday lives – especially in the media. This sets an unhealthy precedent for the idea of beauty. Women aren’t allowed to have hairy legs or armpits, stretch marks, or waists wider than their asses without being harassed by their counterparts, or better yet other women!
After leaving home for college, introducing my body to birth control, and adjusting to a new schedule (one with less cardio, lol), my body changed a lot. Because of social media, comments from friends and family, and even remarks from my— now ex— boyfriend, I thought I was ugly. I thought my natural, God-given body was wrong. I didn’t feel attractive anymore, I felt like less of a woman. It took me a long to time not only accept my weight gain and curves, but an even longer time to love my new appearance. It was a journey.
My journey to self-love took patience and healing, unlearning and relearning. My journey wasn’t linear. There were ups and downs and times that I felt stagnate. My biggest piece of advice is to remain patient with yourself. Be gentle. Healing from internalized misogyny will be a long process so take it slow and try not to be hard on yourself.
I wish self-love unto all of the women who suffer from internalized misogyny. I wish the unlearning of sexism and patriarchal biases upon all women and girls. Forget the standards, they’re all lies! Enjoy your beer, throw away your razor, cut your hair, cry, scream, kick— fuck it, do whatever makes you happy! You deserve to be happy. And don’t let a man, or woman, mother or father, determine what being happy looks like. Don’t let them determine what being a woman looks or feels like.
Be you, comfortable in your own skin.
Welcome back to my blog! This post will be sort of different from my previous posts. Instead of focusing on women, today I'll be writing for the well-being of all.
COVID-19 has changed our lives forever and this global pandemic isn’t over yet. This is the first time our generations have witnessed and lived through such an event. I’ll try to keep this post light hearted, but this crisis is real and should be taken seriously. Please stay informed, stay safe, and be considerate of your action. Listen to our health professionals! (Listen to science, not fear)
Nations around the world have issues quarantines and home isolations in order to slow the spread of the virus and to keep people safe. In some places, this isolation has been ordered for 30 days and in other places, 2 weeks. Regardless of the time length, being quarantined to one place for days on end can be stressful or trigger unhealthy thoughts. Fear and anxiety can cause overwhelming and cause strong emotions in both adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
Today I’ll be sharing tips on coping with quarantine and mental health that I have found helpful— I’m no professional, so please seek further help in serious cases (visit the Disaster Distress Helpline, call 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746. Sadly, home isn’t a safe place for everyone, you can visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224).
Control the narrative
It’s important to keep yourself sane and calm. Try changing your mindset— I know easier said than done. But instead of thinking, “I’m stuck in the house”, try thinking, “Now I can focus on myself/on my home”. Do you have a closet that you’ve been meaning to clean out since Christmas? Now’s the time! Have a book that you never got around to reading? Pick it up. Just try not to think of yourself as a prisoner. Feeling stuck or trapped will only worsen your anxiety. Take this time to focus on yourself and really slow down.
Don’t become obsessed
Big Rona has completely taken over news cycles. Every news channel, social media site, and talk show host is talking about the coronavirus. While it’s important to stay informed and up-to-date, avoid unnecessary coverage. Counting death tolls and confirmed cases will not help your mind stay at peace. Try binge watching your favorite show, or try a new series.
I can’t stress this enough, take care of yourself! It’s important! Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. Self-care needs to be something you actively plan, rather than something that just happens. It is an active choice and you must treat it as such. Take a long hot bubble bath. Turn off your phone, pour a glass of wine, and watch a movie! Try a face mask, YouTube has some great DIYs! Meditate, paint, listen to music— what I’m trying to say is self-care looks different for everyone. Find what relaxes you and makes you happy, then do it! You deserve it.
Create a routine
Routines are good! I know many people’s anxiety stem from breaking their routine. So why not make a new one? It may not be the one you’re used to, but it’s always good to try. Create a deliberate habit, and routinize something small in your life by doing it in the same way each day— pick a time of the day to get up and stretch or do yoga, or a day of the week to dedicate to cleaning.
Now I know this seems obvious but it’s easy to forget. Slow down, listen to yourself, and recalibrate. You don't have to use this time to try to do everything you've always wanted to do. And you're not a failure if you aren't using this as "extra credit" time. It's a pandemic, not a productivity contest.
Practice positive self-talk
Stop comparing yourself to others and be sure to practice positive self-talk. During stressful times like these, it’s easy to think negatively, even if we try not to. Positive self-talk is important! Vital! The way you talk to yourself shapes the way you view yourself and the world. Self-talk is powerful, it will boost your confidence and help you think more optimistically. Make sure you have the right attitude to accomplish your goals and just live your life. Practice positive self-talk, now and always. Besides, of all the people on this planet, you talk to yourself more than anyone. Make sure you are saying the right things!
These are just a few things that have helped me get through this troubling time. Again, I’m not a professional and there are so many resources that could help better than I can, use them! Hard times don’t last forever, stay positive, healthy, and safe. Wash your hands and tune in next week! Thank you for reading *insert heart emoji*
Welcome back to my blog! Today I’m going to go over a few simple steps that men can take to become allies to women.
Believe it or not, under patriarchy, men are apart of an advantaged group in society. In order to create change, men need to be aware of the social privilege that they possess for just being men! As an ally, you’d be committed to building relationships with women, refraining from sexism in their personal life, and demonstrating active efforts to address gender inequities at work and in society.
Listening to women is an easy and very underestimated way of supporting women! My auntie used to always tell me, “God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason. You should be listening more than you speak.” Listening takes more than just hearing the words that come out of a woman’s mouth. Take time to digest what is being said.
Open dialogue is healthy and in order for women to speak up more, women need a space to feel comfortable. This requires a respectful and trustworthy audience. Focus, don’t interrupt. Don’t over-talk or minimize what a woman shares with you. Be sincere, you should appreciate her effort to share experiences with you. Don’t over-talk or minimize what a woman shares with you, this comes with respect.
(Please, for the love of God, refrain from cliche phrases like; “Not all men” or “I wouldn’t treat women like that because I wouldn’t want someone treated my mom/daughter/sister that way”. It comes off as defensive, furthermore, the respect a women receives shouldn’t stem from the attachment to a man. Women are more than mothers and wives and daughters, you should respect them because they are people. And remember, not everything said requires a response, I promise it’s okay to just listen.)
Respect women in the workspace
Women and men often experience different labels for the same actions. A man who works in a direct and assertive manner is often labeled “confident, strong”. On the other hand, a women might be labeled “bossy, aggressive” for the same actions. If a man shouts or yells, he may be labeled “passionate” but when a women has any outburst, people often label them “emotional, temperamental” (furthermore, some may escalate to blame or infer she’s on her menstrual cycle).
This is sexist, infuriating, and stifling to a woman’s career. These misdescriptions, however subtle they may seem, happens across the board in every field of work— just ask Serena Williams or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Changing the language used in workspaces to describe women, is being an ally. Speaking up when you hear/witness sexism in the workspace is being an ally. Remaining silent means being complicit. You can’t turn a blind eye and label yourself an ally. Explain to colleagues what language is tolerated, and what simply is not (this would also be a good way to gain perspective from the women you work with! Ask them what words/phrases/descriptions bother them!)
Don’t be a creep
How else can I say it? Don’t be “that guy”, don’t be a creep. Everyone’s heard of a personal bubble, right? The imaginary bubble around each person that encompasses the acceptable amount of room between you and the next person? This space/room should be respected always, but I’ll give some examples when the bubble should probably be a little bigger for women.
You can’t be an ally to women if you remain silent about sexism. Sure, it may be easy to stand up for women when they’re around, but what about when they aren’t? We’ve all heard of “locker room talk” and we know sometimes it’s not appropriate. The infamous, “Grab em by the pussy” monologue, delivered by Donald Trump, ranks top 2— and it ain’t #2 — worst private conversation made public about women. Trump defended this conversation by calling it “locker room talk”. Private or not, these conversations are not okay. While not all of the conversations are as violent and disgusting as Trump’s, men need to hold each other accountable by stopping each other when sexist things are said, expressing why it’s not okay, and making sure it’s not said again.
Accountability should always be applied to action as well, not just talk! Hold abusers accountable. Who cares if their music, art, or movies are great? How great can someone really be if they’re capable of hurting women? What’s more important?
Create partnerships with women
To be an ally to women is to support women! You can support women by amplifying them. Any good ally-ship is mutually beneficial. Men can share their social capital with women groups, especially when its in male dominated spaces. When I say “social capital” I mean influence, information, knowledge, and organizational resources. It’s important to ASK women’s group how you can best support their efforts, don’t assume. It’s easy to understand how to be an ally to women, but it takes more effort to take action.
That’s all I have this week, thank you reading and be sure to share with the men in your life. In fact, share it with all of your friends and family. Being an ally to women is for everyone!
See ya next time!
Welcome back! And in honor of Women’s History Month, I will be writing about a woman that inspires me in every blog entry this March. In my last entry I talked about the ever-so-amazing Serena Williams. In this post, I will be discussing a woman much closer to me.
There’s a tradition in my family; every first-born daughter, of the first-born daughter, is given “Hope” as their middle name. So, my name is Shyanne Hope, my mother’s name is Kristine Hope, and her mother’s name is Mary Hope. This has been passed down for 6 generations. In this entry, I’ll be telling you all about Kathryn Hope, my great-grandmother.
I was blessed enough to have my great-grandmother in my life for 20 years. We have very fond memories together including shopping, cruises, and family dinners.
She lived in Hawaii for multiple periods of time throughout her life because her husband was in the military (omg, she would send us holiday photos of the view from her back yard and it could’ve been a post card! Her back yard was the beach, with palm trees and a beautiful gazebo over looking the bluest water).
All of her grand and great-grand kids called her Tutu. “Tutu” is a traditional Hawaiian term used most commonly for grandparents of both genders. All of her grand and great-grand kids called her Tutu.
Tutu was an accomplished women, she traveled the world with my grandfather, Commander Walter Gover, who was a career naval officer. She raised four daughters all while having a success career as an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington DC.
My Tutu taught me so many things. She led by example. I admired the woman I came to know through stories passed down from my nana (my grandmother) and through my own memories shared with her.
After graduating from the 8th grade, my Tutu took me on a cruise to Alaska. We sailed through glacier bay national park, went whale watching, and visited multiple cities. Between formal dinners, horse-back riding, gold panning, and trolley rides, I learned so much about my great grandmother.
She told me stories of working as a women in male dominated industries, living through wars, witnessing social revolutions, and raising a family. She stressed the importance of being kind yet strong, humble but confident, and respectful but assertive. She taught me there were traits other than “beautiful” and “soft” to describe women.
Tutu was a patriot. Serving beside her pilot husband in WWII, she drew maps of bombing sites. She embedded in me, the sense of responsibility to vote— in every election. Tutu called it a “civic duty”. (If I have any Facebook/Twitter followers reading this blog, you can thank my great-grandmother for my constant and exhaustive rants about voting, haha... side note, #BetterWithBernie)
Kathryn Hope Gover was the matriarch of my family. She was powerful, loving, and strong. You didn’t have to know my tutu to know how amazing she was. Like many mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers around the world, she held the family together, offered unconditional love, and passed down important retold experiences. There have been women like my tutu for centuries, offering perspective and wisdom for younger generations and shaping the world with their hard work.
Honor a woman you know. Talk to the elders in your family and community. Women around you have been making the world spin since time began, take a moment to share their stories.
Oh honor of Women’s History Month, Ive decided to write blogs about extraordinary women who have inspired me throughout March. Each post, I will pick a single women to write about.
Extraordinary women exist in every space and aspect in our lives. Extraordinary women are innovators, trailblazers, mothers, entrepreneurs, wives, and leaders.
Some of the amazing women that inspire me are famous and their accomplishments are how I became aware of them. Others are women close to me, women who I know personally or grew up around.
The first women that I will be recognizing this month is one of the greatest athletes of all time. Her power and impact has revolutionized women’s tennis.
Serena Williams holds the record for winning the most Grand Slam single titles by any man or woman alone, (23– yes, twenty-freaking-three!). Serena and her just as amazing sister Venus Williams won 14 Grand Slam doubles title. She also won four Olympic gold medals, three of those being doubles with Venus.
Serena Williams is a powerhouse with multi multi-million dollar endorsement deals with Nike, Gatorade, Intel, Aston Martin, and more.
Serena is quite the philanthropist as well. Serena Williams is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She’s on record supporting 13 charities and foundations serving causes for disadvantaged teens/At-Risk youths, Gender Equality, Civil Rights, fight to end hunger, and Equal Pay.
Serena’s work ethic is incredible. She’s been honing her skills since a child, first playing tennis when she was three years old. Being the youngest of five siblings growing up in Compton, Serena has always had to fight. Her ability to overcome the circumstances of her childhood and perfect her talent along the way is nothing short of admirable.
Despite being one the worlds most accomplished athletes amongst men and women, Serena is still subjected to racist and sexist attacks. Throughout the entirety of her career, her greatness has been questioned because of the color of her skin. She has been body shamed countless times, compared to men because of her powerful physique (sounds like they’re intimidated to me!), and racists have made “memes” calling her ape-ly. *yawns*— listen, the racist juxtaposition monkey comparisons are played out!
To be a great, black woman, is to be faced with two abdominal forms of hate— misogyny and racism.
I admire Serena because after all of the hate she receives, after every glass ceiling she has broken, she remains strong, poised, forthright. She fights for what she believes in and she lets her talent speak for her.
I believe all people can learn something from Serena William. Everyone can appreciate her revolutionary achievements, and admire her willingness to help other. Women’s history month is about honoring powerful women. Serena has paved the way for women of color uh in professional tennis and has impacted young athletes around the world.
Happy Women’s History month! Honor a woman you admire, thank a woman you’re especially grateful for, or just share facts about kick-ass women you know in your life. Thanks for reading! *inserts heart emoji*
Though this is technically my third blog post, I believe this is my first real blog entry. It took me a long time to decide what I wanted to kick off my page with. I didn’t know where to begin when waging a war— and please don’t take this lightly, I mean war— against the patriarch. Where do I start?.....
Firstly, let me acknowledge that I know I’m not the only soldier in this war. I don’t mean to sound supercilious. There are men and women around the world devoting their lives to this advocacy. I am one person, but I intent to contribute! No matter how small.... I think I know where to start.
Winning a war requires strategy! My first attack will be to end “Pick-Me” culture. The battle against the Pick-Me nation will require strength, endurance, teamwork!
Pick-Me (/pik-mē/, noun): a woman who competes and/or belittles other women for the attention and/or approval of men— *see internalized misogyny, enabler, sexist
Pick-Me’s often shame other women for their lifestyle choices in hopes that they will win the male approval. A Pick-Me will go as far as to make alterations to their personality in order to appease the men in their lives. Pick-Me women spend their time flaunting their antiquated ideas of what it means to be a “good woman” in hopes of being chosen by a man. I mean, what year is it? 2020 or 1950? It wasn't okay then, and it isn't okay now.
It’s important to tackle this head on! There is power in numbers and the only way to defeat the patriarch, is as a united front. Women should be protecting and defending other women, not tearing each other apart. We should be allies. To do this, we must get rid of Pick-Me culture! And great news, a woman found in a Pick-Me-like state can be saved, it’s reversible!!
Pick-Me women are really just suffering from internalized misogyny. Unlearning it takes time. But there are a few ways to recognize the behavior. Pick-Mes often say things to minimize the value of women and do things to encourage gender biases that favor men. Pick-Mes like to boast about things like celibacy, fertility, and living more conservative lifestyles.
Popular Pick-Me nation rhetoric:
Statements like the ones above might seem harmless and non-violent (in my opinion, they’re really just idiotic) but they perpetuate sexist beliefs. Pick-Me nation is creating an ecosystem that enables women to be controlled because they equate their worthiness to them being desired by men.
Furthermore, dimming another woman’s light will not make yours shine brighter! If you have to belittle another woman to gain the attention of a man, FIND A DIFFERENT MAN— better yet, find a hobby, read a book, or volunteer at a local community service organization of your choosing. Invest your time into things that will better you as a woman. There’s no point in chasing men, besides, I’ve never been a fan of cardio.
I first ran across the term “Pick-Me” on Twitter some years ago, but the act of fighting for men’s attention has been immortalized for generations. Parental figures often plant the first seeds of sexism. No, our mothers and fathers and grandparents are not perfect and have also fallen victim to this syndrome (despite how much they might disagree). Misogyny has rooted itself in every institution of our lives.
The popular Pick-Me nation quotes listed earlier are a bit obvious. But some jabs that women throw, are a bit more subtle, like these:
Pick-Me culture is exhausting! And can prove to be dangerous. Ladies, you DO NOT have to have this perfect list of traits to be worthy of love! You do not have to cook every meal, or keep the house spotless, or dress like a nun, or live without friends or a social life to be a “good girl”. You do not have to “keep” a man. Relationships are mutual and involve people, not property. So, no ladies, there isn’t a magical list of “Do’s & Don’ts” to keeping a man.
The expectations that Pick-Me women judge others by are unrealistic and can cause anxiety and low self-esteem. Pick-Me culture has created a false narrative of what “acceptable” femininity is in our society. Your worth IS NOT determined by the approval of men.
If you think you know a Pick-Me or think you may suffer from the syndrome yourself, relax— it’s not the end of the world! No one is perfect, but it’s important to recognize our ignorance and in return, change our ways. I remember having Pick-Me-ish ways in the past. But I recognized how those thoughts were both hurtful, and just flat out wrong. I would imagine myself as the other women in those situations, and it doesn’t feel good to belittled or disrespected. Furthermore, the belief that women have to behave a certain way to maintain worth is just false!
Battling Pick-Me culture means being an ally to women. Stop this cycle of women fighting women for men! Break the wheel! (Word to Khaleesi— though fictional, Daenerys Targaryen will remain a feminist icon).
To win the war, we must build our forces. Now is the time to support women, believe women, listen to women, defend women, and protect women!
Remember to stay tuned for my next post. Thanks for reading, and be sure to comment, post, and share. In the meantime, remember to support women by battling Pick-Me culture!
Welcome back, ladies and gents! So in my last blog, “Who is Shyanne Hope?", I gave you a quick introduction to myself but I didn't tell you why I had begun the blog to begin with! The mission of my blog will be to advocate for women— *backspace, backspace*— ahem, excuse me, ALL women. Most of the content in my blogs will center around intersectional feminism.
Here's a quick review on why I believe true feminism must be intersectional: Intersectionality-- when applied to social reforms-- recognizes that 1) there are several facets to one's identity (e.g. race, gender, class, and sexuality), and that 2) these facets combined, overlap to create an interdependent system of oppression, creating marginalized groups-- like women.
Without taking intersectionality into account, it is impossible to address how different women of different communities experience different forms of oppression. True feminism, the social, economic, and political equality of the sexes, must take intersectionality into account in order to benefit ALL women EQUALLY.
For example, it's immoral and flat-out wrong to make a black queer woman choose which facet of her identity is most in need of advocating and which facet is okay laying low on the back burner. It's impossible to separate the racism a black woman receives from her gendered oppression and furthermore from the discrimination of her sexuality. You just can't choose one **inserts black girl shrugs emoji**.
Women have been marginalized for centuries because of the patriarchal society we live in. The oppression of women takes many forms, including discrimination, unequal pay, and the fight for reproductive rights. But, the most-cited form of oppression remains violence against women. According to a study by World Health Organization, about 1 in 3 (35%) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
When we factor in race, the statistics get scarier. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention cites that out of 10 black women, more than 4 will experience physical violence from an intimate partner during their lifetimes, disproportionately more than white/latina/asian women.
Let's add another layer to the system that disenfranchises women. Human Rights Campaign Foundation released "A National Epidemic: Fatal Anti-Transgender Violence in the United States in 2019" which was a report honoring 22 transgender and non-conforming people murdered in 2019. Of the 22 tragic deaths, all but one were black. Black transgender women are being murdered around the world with little to no media coverage.
It’s a known fact for centuries that all women are at risk for gendered violence in the United States, but with intersectionality we learn that some women are far more at risk. I want the world to know that if we limit the dialogue about violence against women or any other form of persecution, we’ll fail to address the actual issues at stake, and as a result, we’ll fail to create solutions that dismantle the intersectional oppression. That is why I made this blog, to encourage open dialogue surrounding the way the world views women-- it could quite literally, save lives.
Violent masculinity is perpetuated by society upholding negative masculine ideals. I hope to write about a variety of topics that I believe are responsible for this violence, including rape culture, ‘pick-me’ culture AKA internalized misogyny, and gender roles or stereotypes. By blogging about the practices that society deems acceptable or normal, I can educate others on what they can do or not do, to be an ally to women. I am writing this blog in hopes it will inspire communities to work together to protect women of every race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.
Thanks for tuning in to my blog this week. This post is meant to show my mission. It's filled with the hope that I make a difference. Feel free to comment, share, and post. See ya next time!
I never really liked introductory bios. I never know what to say, or how to start.
Do I open with a story? But I’m not feeling particularly Stephen King-ish today. Or maybe a quote? Maya Angelou is a great choice, but I know this because only a million students before me thought the same thing. I could tell my life story, beginning with my birth, but that’s cliché. I could also give you a rundown of the basics. I’m from Maryland. I study cybersecurity. I’m 21. I love animals, chocolate, and beaches. I hate Romcoms, dirty sneakers, and melted ice cream. I prefer to be surrounded by friends and family, but I can’t wait to travel and meet new people. I’m a roller coaster enthusiast but I have an irrational fear of spiders— when I was in fourth grade, while running from a spider, I tripped and fell and broke my thumb. I can’t forget that I love to draw and paint! Oh, and I’ve got a big ego, and I wear even bigger eyelashes. (I’m working on the ego thing, shout out to Gary Zukav and Elena Jimenez! *inserts praying hand emoji*.) But instead of rambling, I asked my best friend, Mykaela, to describe me in three words. Who else would know me, the REAL me, best? She’s been my best friend since 2007 and has seen my good, bad, and ugly. We’ve gone to the same elementary school, middle school, and high school and now, we’re tackling college together.
So, in the middle of watching an episode of The Office on Netflix, I send my bestest friend a text: “If you could describe me in three words, what would they be?”.
It didn’t take long before a typing bubble appeared followed by her response:
3. Hardheaded / stubborn”
I think highly of how Mykaela characterizes me. She holds me accountable for my actions, whether I’m right or wrong. And I respect her for that because she doesn’t let our friendship cloud her judgement. I trusted her, and overall, I agreed with her.
I think I’m strong. I’m competitive so I may be biased, but I know I’m strong, *el oh el*. Strong is a good way to describe myself. I’m the second eldest with 8 siblings. I’m also the first to go to college. To say that expectations were high, would be an understatement. I was given the responsibility of being a role model at a young age. My siblings mimicked my mannerisms fairly quickly. Sure it was fun teasing them, but I also made sure to show my siblings examples of being a genuinely good student and person.
Compassionate? *inserts eye roll emoji* I hate to admit it but Mykaela’s right. My altruistic ways persuade a lot of my decision making but it’s also my Achilles’ heel. Sometimes I spread myself thin trying to alleviate the stresses in the lives around me. But I like to do what’s right, and a lot of time that means sticking up for others and joining in their fight. I’m a LGBTQ+ ally, intersectional feminist, Black Lives Matter advocate, pro-choice, pro-socialist, pro-body positivity campaigner. I’m a woman who believes in upholding the rights of others and walking the path of good— even if it’s the path less chosen. I fully believe that everyone has the responsibility to do what’s right.
My birthday is May 14th— for all of my non-astrological sign followers, that means I’m a Taurus. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my best friend thinks that I’m “hardheaded/ stubborn”. Though I might be stubborn and stuck-in-my-ways, I like to think of it as being dependable. You can count on me to stick to my guns. (Speaking of guns, you can add gun control supporter to the list.) I don’t think my hardheadedness is a bad thing. If anything, it’s almost like a learning tool. I’m always up for a challenge and I like to learn new things. I welcome opposing opinions because I like to hear new perspectives. Let my friends tell you, and they’ll just say I like to argue, *el oh el*.
I hope this short introduction tells you about myself. It wasn’t traditional and you may not have learned the hackneyed details about me like my favorite color/season/or book— yellow/summer/‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’— but I believe you learned the things most important about me. I’ve shared my passions and character. My name is Shyanne Hope, welcome to my blog. Join me as I share my experiences and how I see the world.