Friday, May 29, 2009
Oh snap, light-skinned brothers are back in style!
You might recall me mentioning Drake, the latest rapper/singer that the kids are in love with. He has a achieved an inexplicable buzz in the past few months, like Lil Wayne did a year and a half ago. In an attempt to convert me into a Drake fan, or as just an excuse to get me to stop whining about young artists and their lack of skill, my brother-in-law recently gave me a copy of two of Drake's mixtapes, Heartbreak Drake and So Far Gone.
And you know what? They ain't half bad.
Lyrically, I'd say Drake is above average - which of course means he's miles ahead of his peers. He possesses Wayne's knockout punchlines, minus the bizarre, drugged-out goofiness. And as a vocalist, he's just as impressive. He's no Luther, but his range easily beats today's acts, including that farce known as The-Dream.
Drake already has acting experience, playing on Degrassi: The Next Generation, has been endorsed by elder statesmen like Jay-Z and is being managed by the same group that help launch Kanye West's The College Dropout. He'll be in those skinny jeans in no time.
Even with all these credentials, even I had to take a step back when I checked out the wifey's Facebook update yesterday afternoon:
"Javacia N. Harris can't stop listening to Drake's "Sooner Than Later."
Keep in mind that this is the woman who only listens to Christian guys who strum guitars and rappers with the surname "Fiasco" or "3000." With softly sung lyrics like this, you can see why the ladies drool over this dude: "When the lights don't glow the same way they used to/and I finally get a moment to myself/I will realize you were everything I missing/and you tell me you're in love with someone else."
Awww, he so sensitive.
Of course, in the next song he's talking about alternating booty calls between three girls and how rich he is (yeah, right), but that's hip hop for ya.
When you see Al B. Sure's mini-me all over the place in six months, remember I told you so. He's sensitive enough to sooth the ladies, and he talks enough smack to appeal to dudes. There's enough raw talent to make an impact. If he can smooth over some of his rough edges, like his needless reliance on that infernal auto-tune and lame beats, he'll even win me over. But y'all know I stay hatin'.
FOX News is reporting that charges brought against three members of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense under the Bush administration have been dropped by the Obama Justice Department. The charges stemmed from an incident at a Philadelphia polling place on Election Day 2008 when three members of the party were accused of trying to threaten voters and block poll and campaign workers by the threat of force -- one even brandishing what prosecutors call a nightstick. The three black panthers, Minister King Samir Shabazz, Malik Zulu Shabazz and Jerry Jackson were charged in a civil complaint in the final days of the Bush administration with violating the voter rights act by using coercion, threats and intimidation. FOX News
Also, check out this story on ABCNews.com and then tell me if you plan to continue to sport those dreadful skinny jeans. (Doctors say they can cause nerve damage.)
Thursday, May 28, 2009
The duo is set on overturning Proposition 8, California’s freshly affirmed ban on same-sex marriage. Their complaint, filed last week in Federal District Court in San Francisco on behalf of two gay couples and formally announced yesterday at a news conference in Los Angeles, argues against Proposition 8 on the basis of federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. NY Times
Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is sure to make for some political drama this summer as the White House gathers a team to push her through and conservative critics sharpen attacks on her past speeches and writings. Conservatives question whether she would deliver equal justice focusing on a speech Sotomayor delivered at the University of California at Berkeley law school, where she said, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on his Web site called the statement an example of "new racism." Wall Street Journal
And check out this segment from The Rachel Maddow Show which explores other criticisms of Sotomayor by conservatives.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I applaud the magazine because this is not some special "big girls need love too" kind of issue. It's just a gorgeous curvy girl rocking couture.
Unfortunately, I'm not really digging some of the clothes or awkward poses in the spread, but Renn is beautiful nonetheless.
Check out some of the photos below and tell me what you think. (Images via SkinnyVsCurvy.com)
North Korea has threatened to attack the South after it joined a U.S.-led plan to check vessels suspected of carrying equipment for weapons of mass destruction. South Korean media have also reported that Pyongyang has restarted a plant that makes plutonium that can be used in nuclear bombs. ABC News
General Motors Corp. says not enough of its bondholders agreed to swap their debt for company stock. This means the troubled automaker giant is almost certainly headed for bankruptcy protection. ABC News
The parents of Daniel Hauser, the 13-year-old Minnesota boy who refused chemotherapy for his cancer, told a judge yesterday they now agree to the medical treatment. The judge ruled that Hauser, who has Hodgkin's lymphoma, can stay with his parents. He and his mother, Colleen Hauser, missed a court appearance last week and left the state to avoid chemotherapy and seek alternative treatments. Colleen and Anthony Hauser told a Brown County District judge they now understand their son needs chemotherapy. CBS News
AT&T, one of the biggest corporate sponsors of "American Idol" is now being accused of swaying the results of this year's competition by providing phones for free text-messaging services and lessons in casting blocks of votes at parties organized by fans of Kris Allen. NY Times
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Sharing your home with your honey will be wonderful at first, but once the newness wears off, chances are you'll want to serve your 'em an eviction notice.
But don't worry I'm here to help. Here are five ways to peacefully coexist with your sweetie:
1. Keep your own stash of cash. I think all couples should have separate bank accounts. Sure, you can have one "family account" into which you both deposit money to be used for household bills. But a girl needs to be able to buy a cute T-shirt from Target without feeling like she has to answer to someone about it.
2. Share the load. Make sure things like cooking and cleaning are equally divided, even if that means posting a chore list on the refrigerator. Yes, I know this person is the love of your life, not your roommate in a co-op, but without being upfront about who will handle what household tasks, the lion's share of work will very easily fall onto one person's shoulders which will very easily lead to a little thing called resentment.
3. Don't stop the love. Just because you live together doesn't mean romance should be put on the back burner. Try to have weekly dates whether it's dinner and movie, a picnic in the park or checking out a concert. If you're broke look for free stuff to do like museum visits, poetry readings or church events.
4. Carve out me time. While it's important to date, it's just as crucial to find some time to spend alone reading a book, painting, writing or whatever it is you like to do. If you don't have a hobby, get one.
5. Don't forget your girls (or guys). Make time to hang out with your friends or else they'll be talking about you whenever they get together and I don't mean in a good way. Besides, you'll need someone to complain to when your boo is getting on your last nerve.
Monday, May 25, 2009
I did a search for lupus-related Facebook groups and found several, including Hot Chicks with Lupus, which you have to love for the name alone. Through the group I was able to learn more about the disease and communicate with other young women who were determined not to let it get them down.
I recently caught up with Kenya Trigg, the awesome gal who created the Hot Chicks with Lupus group.
Kenya Trigg, creator of the dope Facebook group, Hot Chicks with Lupus
When were you diagnosed with lupus and, since lupus affects different people in so many different ways, how has it affected you?
I was diagnosed when I was 21 after several months of several doctors not knowing what to do with me. Seeing my doctors in such a state of confusion was really frustrating. I had joint pain from arthritis, muscle pain from fibromyalgia, and I never seemed to have enough energy to go out and do things that a 21-year-old college student wants to do. Most of my friends understood, but it was hard explaining to people why I couldn’t get out of bed some days or why I was always in so much pain when I looked fine.
How have you coped with the disease and fought to live a full life in spite of it?
There was a point when I decided I could not let the pain hold me back. I changed my lifestyle. I researched all the medication I was on—and you know with lupus that can be a pretty long list—and realized some of them were causing more harm than good. I educated myself and found out what worked best for me. I’ve been in remission for just about two years, and even though I still have to deal with fibromyalgia and arthritis, I try not to let my pain run my life.
When and why did you decide to create the group Hot Chicks with Lupus?
I met a person with lupus a few years ago, and it made me feel like I wasn’t alone. I was so happy to have someone who understood my frustration with the pain and blood tests and awful side effects of the medication. We are young and beautiful women who don’t want to let a disease take over our lives and hold us back. Her case is much more severe than mine, and I felt like I wanted to do something encouraging and fun to keep us smiling on bad days. It’s a blessing that so many more beautiful women (and men) are finding comfort in the group.
It seems to be a pretty popular group? Did you expect this? How does this make you feel?
I didn’t think anyone would even notice the group, so I was quite amazed when the membership began to grow. I am so proud of this group, and I am proud of every person in the group who is refusing to let lupus prevent them from leading a full and vibrant life.
What's the one thing you wish more people understood about lupus or about people with lupus?
People with lupus need support. We need someone to listen and take our frustration seriously, and remind us that we’re still beautiful, even with rashes, even after gaining weight from medication. And I wish more people knew what lupus is and what kind of impact it has on a person’s life. I hope the group and GeorgiaMae.com can help increase awareness!
Friday, May 22, 2009
You can find me at http://twitter.com/writeousbabe.
Have a great Memorial Day weekend!
Do you think Vick should be allowed to return to the NFL?
New rules for the credit card industry that are designed to protect consumers from surprise charges, such as over-the-limit fees and costs for paying a bill by phone, are part of a bill President Barack Obama is set to sign into law. Obama plans to sign on Friday an overhaul of credit card regulations that he blames in part for the economic downturn. Despite opposition from financial companies, the bill cleared Congress with broad support. ABC News
Stormy weather in Florida has delayed the landing of the space shuttle Atlantis. Its crew will have to stay in orbit for at least one more day at the end of NASA's final mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. MSNBC
** The Georgia Mae Morning News will return Wednesday. Hubster and I are going out of town for Memorial Day weekend (Birmingham babes, give me a shout if you want to hang out) but be sure to check the site daily for other great posts.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I'm not sure how I feel about that, but I'm hoping "Southern Belles" will at least show that we're not all horses and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
“I think a lot of people watching in other parts of the country are going to be really surprised at what they see,” Southern Belle Julie Smith said.
It seems Kellie Frey might ensure that "Belles" is good TV. She told reporters, “I like to do things my way, as you’ll see. I have my own plan in life. I break the mold.”
"Southern Belles: Louisville" premieres tonight at 10 p.m. ET on SoapNet. Click here to learn more about the girls and see some sneak previews of the show.
President Barack Obama will make a major national address today over the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison. The address comes one day after the U.S. Senate - at the behest of his own majority Democrats - voted against Obama's funding request to close the prison. CBS News
Authorities say a Minnesota mother and her cancer-stricken son refusing chemotherapy were in California as recently as Tuesday and might be going to Mexico to get treatment. Colleen Hauser and her 13-year-old son Daniel allegedly fled New Ulm, Minn., after a court-ordered medical exam showed Daniel's Hodgkin's lymphoma had worsened. Hodgkin's lymphoma is considered highly curable with chemotherapy and radiation. FOX News
My hometown has made national news, but unfortunately it was over a police brutality case. Five Birmingham police officers have been fired for a January 2008 beating of an already-unconscious suspect with fists, feet and a billy club, a battering caught on videotape until a police officer turned off the patrol car camera. Click here to learn more about the case and see the distrubing footage.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but your favorite singers have been acting like hussies.
But what struck me as odd was Cassie's response to her own pictures, via her Twitter:
"It seems someone has hacked into my computer... that's real foul and evil. Now stop acting like you haven't seen a titty before."
Really? That's ALL you have to say? If someone invaded my personal stash to post my business online, I'd be a bit more salty about the situation. She just seemed mildly annoyed, not upset.
And while we're at it, who keeps naked photos of themselves on their home computer? I've dated, er, heard about, many scandalous ladies in my day, and none of them had pictures of their own booty as a screen saver. And those ladies were broke! Why on Earth would a celebrity do that?
Unless she wanted them to leak. Hmm....
Look at the facts. I had never heard of Kim Kardashian until the Ray J sex tape. Paris Hilton became a household name (for better or worse - mostly worse) when her flick dropped. I still don't know what a Lindsay Lohan is but I do know she's always wildin' out. I guess Cassie is trying to get in that elite company. She'll at least be in line for a reality show.
At least Rihanna's camp attempted damage control. Two or three different sets of Cassie photos leaked and she hardly said a word. I guess she figured any publicity is good publicity - after all, she's the woman who recently shaved half her head, Britney-style, to get attention. It's a shame a sister has to pimp herself out to remain relevant.
Putting party differences aside, the Senate voted overwhelmingly yesterday to limit credit card companies’ ability to raise interest rates retroactively, charge excessive penalties or aggressively market themselves to younger consumers. The legislation, approved 90-5 in the Senate, now returns to the House with amendments. Detroit Free Press
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is attempting to "turn the page" on a troubled period for his party. Steele's recent speech to state GOP chairmen marked an attempt to end the strife in the Republican Party that has stalled rebuilding efforts. Click here to view video of the speech from ABC News.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran test-fired a new advanced missile Wednesday with a range of about 1,200 miles, far enough to strike Israel and southeastern Europe. The announcement will not reassure the U.S. government, coming just two days after President Barack Obama declared a readiness to seek deeper international sanctions against Iran if it shunned U.S. attempts to open negotiations on its nuclear program. CBS News
An Indonesian military plane carrying more than 100 people crashed into a row of houses and burst into flames, killing at least 98 people, the latest in a string of accidents plaguing the air force's beleaguered fleet. MSNBC
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Another day, another rapper lost to violence.
The name Dolla might not ring a bell, but you club-goers out there might remember his minor hit last year with T-Pain, "Who The F*** Is That?" (later edited to "Who The Heck Is That?" for BET).
Dolla, whose real name was Roderick Anthony Burton II, was fatally shot yesterday afternoon in a California shopping center. He was 21. According to the Sun Sentinel:
According to his publicist, Sue Vannasing, she said Dolla was shot in the head around 3:10 p.m. while he and another rapper, DJ Shabbazz, waited in the Beverly Center mall area after shopping.
Details are sketchy, as usual, but police have detained a suspect.
Can't say I was a Dolla fan, but it hurts me to hear about another young guy losing his life.
I can't ever remember not being in pain.
Even in the years before my first flare, I'm told, I often complained of just not feeling well. "I don't know why, I just don't." My parents thought I was making it up to get out of school or social engagements. I had no other symptoms until I was nine.
crying because I couldn't open the fridge. I'm also told that my brother tried to hug me and I screamed and pushed him away.
"better." I threw a temper tantrum, because that just didn't seem fair. But after that, I was remarkably calm. People call me brave, but that wasn't it. I just didn't understand, and I didn't want to upset people. I had solumedral drips at my house three days in a row then, with nurses who were not used to tiny nine-year-old veins. I was on immuran and cellcept, and methotrexate. When I was 11 or 12 I started on Cytoxan. I'd also had 3 kidney biopseys by age 13.
started me on Rituxan, still in its very, very early stages. And by some miracle, it pushed me into remission the summer between my first and second years of high school. My kidneys were functional and I was in no pain, apart from the permanent damage to my joints. I was even off
My kidney disease came back at the beginning of my sophomore year, and that was when the first bits of depression started, in realizing that this is how lupus works - I would feel better, I would get used to feeling better, I would relapse.
When I turned 19 in March I thought, "Wow, I have been ill for a decade." I will be ill for many more decades.
made it this far and I know that somehow I will keep making it.
Making an H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine appears to be more difficult than experts first thought, the World Health Organization acknowledged Tuesday as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and WHO chief Dr. Margaret Chan met with pharmaceutical companies. Health officials from around the world are attending WHO's annual meeting in Geneva this week to discuss the outbreak that has infected 9,000 people in over 40 countries, killing 76 of them. Flu experts have told WHO that vaccine manufacturers will not be ready to produce a swine flu vaccine until mid-July at the earliest. Previously, WHO officials had thought production could start in late May. CBS News
A defense attorney says prosecutors are the real bullies for seeking a stiff sentence against a Missouri mother once accused of scheming over the Internet to humiliate 13-year-old neighbor Megan Meier who later committed suicide. Lawyer Dean Steward represents Lori Drew, who is scheduled to be sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court after being convicted in November of three misdemeanor counts of accessing computers without authorization. The government has asked U.S. District Judge George Wu to send Drew to prison for three years for violating the terms of service of the MySpace social networking site and fining Drew as much as $300,000. Drew allegedly set up a phony MySpace profile for a boy named "Josh Evans" with her then-13-year-old daughter and a business assistant. Prosecutors believe Drew and her daughter created the profile and sent flirtatious messages to Megan Meier in the boy's name to find out if Megan was spreading rumors about Drew's daughter. The fake boy then dumped Megan in a message saying the world would be better without her. She hanged herself a short time later in October 2006. CBS News
Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons has been denied a meeting with President Obama when he is in town next week to attend a fundraiser for Sen. Harry Reid at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Gibbons had demanded a sit-down meeting following Obama's controversial statement that companies shouldn't book trips to Las Vegas if they have received federal bailouts and claims statements he made that were critical to Nevada and have caused economic damage to convention business and tourism business in the Silver State. In a statement Gibbons put out Monday, the governor said Obama's quote that "you can't get corporate jets. You can't go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayer's dime" was seen by many as an insult to Las Vegas and as a message to companies across the nation to stay away from Las Vegas for corporate meetings and conventions. FOX News
Monday, May 18, 2009
But Alabama-based columnist Paul Finebaum, posed some interesting questions on his blog last week about the matter and argues that perhaps UT has done the right thing.
For starters, Hood has not been in any trouble since the incident and even the harshest cynics would have to agree the overwhelming fault in this case was on the friend, who is now serving a 10-year prison sentence. Had Hood been older, the case would be dramatically different. And while we can debate ad nauseam the maturity of a 13-year old, I think Hood was clearly not able to handle the situation. Would you have been at 13?
What do you think? Was UT right to give Hood a second chance or was the move foolish and insensitive to the female students of the university?
A school assistant principal became New York City's first death linked to swine flu, and the number of cases in Japan surged to more than 120 on a wave of new confirmations, prompting government-ordered school closures and cancellations of public events. Mitchell Wiener, 55, died Sunday evening. He had been sick with the virus for nearly a week before the Queens intermediate school where he worked was closed on Thursday. In Japan, at least 121 people — most of them teenagers — have tested positive for the virus. All were recovering in local hospitals or their homes. ABC News
President Barack Obama, wearing the blue gown of the University of Notre Dame, joined commencement ceremonies Sunday at the nation's leading Catholic university amid protests over his support of abortion rights and stem-cell research. Mr. Obama received a lengthy ovation from students and spectators when he walked onto the stage, and later when he was given an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, citing him for inspiring a healing of divisions of religion, culture, race and politics. Check out his speech below:
Friday, May 15, 2009
I bet I get some hate mail for this one.
Back in the day, way before the wifey and I jumped the broom - that means "got hitched," for those not up on their African-American traditions - she hit me with an interesting question.
She asked, "What would you say if I proposed to you?"
That caught a playa off guard. But y'all know me, I kept it real.
I replied, "I'd say yes - but don't do that."
Before my feminist friends start throwing virtual tomatoes at your boy, hear me out. At that point in our relationship, it was a lock that we would be married eventually. But I'll be honest with you, popping the question was something that I wanted to do. I didn't want her to beat me to it.
Is it a manhood thing? Probably.
It makes me wonder what was on David Otunga's mind when he got a recent gift from his fiancee, Jennifer Hudson. Who is David Otunga? Y'all remember Punk from I Love New York.
Check this out, from music-news.com:
Jennifer Hudson gave her fiancé a five-carat custom-made diamond ring for his birthday. A friend said: "Jennifer wanted to give him something really special when she asked David to marry her. It was very sentimental and romantic. They are really in love." The pair were engaged in September, but Jennifer wanted to return the proposal. The designer calls the ring "masculine, yet has a lot of sparkle".
She should have bought Punk some shirts that fit. Look at that photo, that fabric is struggling.
Anyway, poor Punk has had to endure a lot of teasing about his woman buying him stuff he probably can't afford. I remember hearing once that he was a big-shot lawyer (or so he said) but I'm sure he ain't making that "Dreamgirls" money. And you know those Vh1 checks have dried up like New York's scalp.
Look, if the wifey wanted to buy me a five-carat ring, it's ALL GOOD. I'm certainly not one of those guys who wants his woman at home baking biscuits. In this economy, we both need to be chasin' paper any way we can. However, there is just something in many men, myself included, that wants me to be a provider. I think it's that same thing that made me hesitate to allow the wifey to propose to me.
I wonder if it's something Punk struggles with. I know he struggles putting that shirt on.
Do you think men are justified in wanting to be the provider? Or should they step aside and let the ladies do their thing?
Thursday, May 14, 2009
For the rest of the month I'll be publishing several posts to help teach you more about lupus because it's a very confusing disease that many people find difficult to discuss. Sixteen months after my diagnosis, I still barely understand it.
To start things off here are 10 things you should know about lupus:
1. Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body especially skin, joints and organs inside the body.
2. "Chronic" means I'll be dealing with this crap for a long time.
3. "Autoimmune" means my immune system is confused. Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from "foreign invaders" like viruses, bacteria and germs. Autoimmune means your immune system can't tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues and creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue.
4. Lupus strikes mostly women of color ages 15 to 44, but men, children, and teenagers and people of all races and ethnic groups can develop lupus, too.
5. For most people lupus is a mild condition that only affects a few organs. For some it causes more serious, even life-threatening complications.
6. Some of the more serious complications involving major organ systems include kidney failure, pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in your lungs), stroke, memory loss, seizures, and even heart attack. (Don't freak out. This stuff hasn't happened to me.)
7. Many people with lupus also struggle with skin problems, especially a distinct rash across the nose and cheeks known as the butterfly rash.
8. The butterfly has been adopted as a symbol of hope for the lupus cause.
9. Lupus is a painful disease and causes many to struggle with severe fatigue. So give us a break, okay?
10. One of the most annoying things you can say to a person with lupus is "But you don't look sick." So don't say it.
To learn more about lupus visit the Lupus Foundation of America website at www.lupus.org.
If you have lupus and would like to share your story with GeorgiaMae readers, email me at email@example.com.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The event has been described as "an evening celebrating poetry, music and the spoken word in the East Room of the White House."
The poetry jam, which will be streamed live beginning at 7:45 pm ET at http://www.whitehouse.gov/, will feature James Earl Jones, novelist Michael Chabon, jazz singer Esperanza Spalding, pianist Eric Lewis and Lin-Manuel Miranda, star of Broadway's "In The Heights."
With the event the Obamas will make good on a promise to "open up the White House and remind people this is the people's house."
Do you think the poetry jam is a good idea or does it come off as insensitive and wasteful in the midst of the recession?
Via the New York Times, here is a poem by President Obama that was published in the Spring 1981 issue of “Feast,” a 51-page student literary journal of short poetry and fiction collected from the Occidental College community.
POPSitting in his seat, a seat broad and broken
In, sprinkled with ashes
Pop switches channels, takes another
Shot of Seagrams, neat, and asks
What to do with me, a green young man
Who fails to consider the
Flim and flam of the world, since
Things have been easy for me;
I stare hard at his face, a stare
That deflects off his brow;
I’m sure he’s unaware of his
Dark, watery eyes, that
Glance in different directions,
And his slow, unwelcome twitches,
Fail to pass.
I listen, nod,
Listen, open, till I cling to his pale,
Beige T-shirt, yelling,
Yelling in his ears, that hang
With heavy lobes, but he’s still telling
His joke, so I ask why
He’s so unhappy, to which he replies...
But I don’t care anymore, cause
He took too damn long, and from
Under my seat, I pull out the
Mirror I’ve been saving; I’m laughing,
Laughing loud, the blood rushing from his face
To mine, as he grows small,
A spot in my brain, something
That may be squeezed out, like a
Watermelon seed between
Pop takes another shot, neat,
Points out the same amber
Stain on his shorts that I’ve got on mine, and
Makes me smell his smell, coming
From me; he switches channels, recites an old poem
He wrote before his mother died,
Stands, shouts, and asks
For a hug, as I shrink, my
Arms barely reaching around
His thick, oily neck, and his broad back; ’cause
I see my face, framed within
Pop’s black-framed glasses
And know he’s laughing too.
When it comes to discussions about sex and sexuality, however, things get a little complicated for a Christian feminist like me.
As a Christian I respect and admire young women, and men, who decide to wait until marriage to have sex out of reverence for and obedience to their God. And, frankly I think feminists should do a better job of supporting them in this decision.
As a feminist, however, I find it hard to stomach the rhetoric and institutions that seek to make young women and girls (and let's be honest, they always go after the women) who do engage in premarital sex feel dirty and unloved by God, ignoring the Christian teachings of grace and agape love.
Nonetheless, my Christian beliefs and feminist politics both inform my thoughts on sex and sexuality and I have never had trouble letting my sexuality, my spirituality and my feminism coexist.
I was fortunate enough to be raised by a mother who talked very openly and candidly with me about sex and sexuality and somehow my mama managed to bring God into our discussions without bringing in guilt.
I was taught that sex and sexual desires were natural, not dirty, and that they were gifts from God. I didn’t grow up thinking my worth was determined by the wholeness of my hymen, but I was also taught that my body was a sacred creation of God and should be treated as such.
As a teen this belief helped me shut down boys who tried to pressure me into sex. In college it kept me from trying to use sex to make men fall in love with me and today it reminds me that I have a divine right to enjoy a happy and healthy sexual life.
It’s tempting for feminists to want to completely take God out of discussions about sex and sexuality, but if you're a Christian feminist, you simply can't do that. And honestly, I don't want to. For women of faith, I think our beliefs can actually help us love our bodies more and have the good sex we deserve.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Now I don't want to be seen as a hater (I know, it's too late for that...) but I never saw the appeal in those plays. They're ALWAYS the same - a down-on-her-luck black woman dumps her cheatin' man for a new man, and finds the Lord along the way. It doesn't matter if the play is called "Mama Done Burned Up the Cornbread" or "Hot Grits A Flyin'" the plot is always the same. But those plays continue to draw big crowds so the money is there.
I guess since Monifah isn't doing much these days she decided to get some of that "ghetto play" money. I've seen her advertised in at least one of those plays that make the rounds. I can't remember the name - "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime Piece" or something. Anyway, let's reminisce:
Monifah Carter, a protege of Heavy D, released Moods...Moments back in 1996 and it was pretty darn good. Her first single, "I Miss You (Come Back Home)" is what the industry is missing right now - a nice, heartfelt mid-tempo number that little girls can sing to their make-believe boyfriends. Her second single "You" was also a banger.
In 2000, Monifah dropped Home, but not too many people noticed. The only song I remember from that album was "I Can Tell" and it's "shocking" video. The lyrics of the song hint that Monifah knows that her mate is cheating and in the video, her man is cheating with, gasp, another man!
That's the perfect plot for one of those Tyler Perry plays.
Should she come back? Sadly, I think the curtain has closed on her musical career. But if a playwright needs to cast a sassy choir singer for "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Choir Robe" she's your woman.
Friday, May 8, 2009
In the three-plus years of my marriage, I've learned to make compromises. For example, when the wifey and I ride around town together, I'm often subjected to listening to the whiny Christian rock songs she likes. Some of 'em sound like T-Pain WITHOUT using a vocoder.
Don't get me wrong, I love the Lord's music, but some of those nasally singers make a brother want to lose his religion. But the music inspires the wifey, so I endure it.
That's what makes me a good husband, you see.
However, one issue that we have yet to find a middle ground on is breast feeding. She's made it clear that if we ever have a little Edd Jr or Edwina that she'll whip out her mammaries in public if the little one is ready to get his or her grub on.
Listen, I'm not against breast feeding. Nor am I a knuckle-dragging cretin who wants to keep his woman in the kitchen (we're in a recession - I'm more than happy for her to get a check). But some things need to be kept at home. I don't see breast feeding as a disgusting act, but I do not want some weirdo leering at my woman while she bares her goodies.
For those of you saying "no one would do that," trust me. There are some sickos out there. I should know, I'm friends with at least four of 'em.
If Lil' Edmond is hungry while he's in Wal-Mart, hook that dude up with a bottle. That's what they're made for. There is no need for him to be nibbling on nipples in a department store.
Breast feeding is a beautiful, intimate act between mother and child, and the sanctity of that act should remain private and not be on display for the world to see.
It's so hard for me to debate the issue of breast feeding in public because I can't even wrap my brain around why people are so weird about it when, to me, it's such a natural act.
Edd, I know you're probably picturing me stripping from the waist up in the middle of Target to feed our little one (who will not be named Edwina, by the way), but there are ways to breast feed in public without exposing the girls. Some women practice indiscreet public nursing as a way to push the public into accepting it, but others believe the best way to promote change is to quietly nurse everywhere you go so people will realize just how natural it is and stop treating it as some obscene act. You'll be happy to know I fall in the latter category.
If doctors are telling women that it's best to breast feed exclusively for the first six months, but society is calling them lewd for nursing in public we're almost leaving new mothers housebound.
Breast feeding is at the center of much debate right now as some women are beginning to question just how beneficial it is and are pointing out some of the problems with breast feeding exclusively, such as: it cuts men out of the feeding process (which reinforces the sexist notion that caring for the baby is the woman's job), it makes it difficult for women to return to work (unless they opt to use a breast pump throughout the work day, something that's nearly impossible for some women working blue collar jobs), and some folks who are pro-breast feeding have a tendency to look down on women who choose not to breast feed as bad mothers. And that's just lame and unfair.
Nonetheless, just as women should be able to freely decide not to breast feed, we should also be able to freely breast feed without stigma.
I have yet to decide if I'll breast feed exclusively because, well, I have yet to decide if I want to give birth to a little rugrat in the first place. But if Baby Jae gets hungry while we're dining at Applebee's I have no qualms about pulling out a bosom buddy for her. Whether it makes people uncomfortable or not, I have a legal right to do so and that's the bottom line.
Now it's your turn. What do you think about breast feeding and nursing in public?
Thursday, May 7, 2009
I'm sure most of you have heard the news: science may be one step closer to developing "the pill" for men, according to a study published Monday in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
ABC reports that researchers recruited more than 1,000 Chinese men to receive injections of testosterone undecanoate (TU) in tea seed oil every month. After two years, the injections had 95 percent effectiveness for preventing preventing pregnancy overall, and about 98 percent effectiveness for men whose sperm levels dropped off at expected levels within the first few months of the trial.
There are still problems. Some doctors point to the fact that testosterone injections have been unreliable in the past. And others say the injections can be too effective and make some men sterile. So I wouldn't count on a Patch for your dude anytime soon.
But what do you all think about male birth control? Ladies, would you want your men to take it? Fellas, would you be willing to do so? And how exactly will drug companies market birth control to men?I can hear the "No Mo' Baby Mama Drama" rap to go with the commercial already. Ugh.
Bad marketing aside, I think male birth control is a great idea if doctors can make it effective and safe. Why should I be the only one who has to remember to take that stupid pill everyday?
P.S. -- In other birth control news, if you or your lady uses the Nuva Ring, please read this.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
I'm all about supporting my sistas, but I'm also quick to point out when they've lost their minds.
Today, that's Tiallondra Kemp, baby momma of rap fraud Rick Ross.
I'm sure some of you already know all about it, but I haven't chronicled the months-long Rick Ross/50 Cent feud here at Georgia Mae. When I start getting paid for this gig I'll start being more timely. Anyway, 50 has been skewering Rawss since it was revealed that he was in fact NOT a millionaire drug lord but is in reality a former corrections officer.
I didn't really see what the big deal was. Don't y'all know that ALL these rappers are liars? Even Biggie, who professed to be a crime kingpin, was more or less the neighborhood weed man.
But I digress. 50 embarrassed Ricky Ross in nearly every way possible - culminating in the filming of Ms. Kemp having sex with some random dude while 50 mocked the entire thing.
Let me say that again, in case you missed it - Tia Kemp had sex with some random guy 50 Cent dug up just to spite Rick Ross.
And now she wants you to buy her book! From xxlmag.com:
Set to drop on paperback for $14.95, Tia’s Diary: Deeper Than Rap, will be available in bookstores across the country as well as on Amazon.com on May 20.
"The reason I felt that it would be interesting to write a book is because I have had a very big struggle in my life,” she said. But fans hoping to read about Ross need not worry as Tia promises a lot of candid information about the
Rumor is that 50 promised to help Tia get her memoirs published if she'd agree to the sex tape. I guess he's a man of his word. I know Karrine "Superhead" Steffans paved the way for these women to make money from writing about sleeping with celebrities but what on Earth does Tia have to gain from writing this book?
The book is touted as Tia's life story, but we all know the real selling point it the stuff about Officer Ricky. Superhead's book at least had a bizarre voyeuristic appeal - I supposed there is a market of people who'd want to know about Shaquille O'Neal's genitals - but is there anyone out there who cares to learn about the "real" Rick Ross? We already know he lied about his past, likes food and is a mediocre rapper. What else is there?
Even if this woman has a compelling life story her writing career will always be marred. It doesn't matter if she's the next Toni Morrison, she's always going to be known as 50 Cent's pawn.
And did I mention she filmed a sex tape with a random dude? If that's what you have to do become an author these days my memoirs will never see the light of day.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
At the wedding I danced in a couple weeks ago the reverend officiating the ceremony made a statement that I wish I could broadcast in every church in the country. He said that the Bible describes marriage as a relationship based on mutual submission.
As a Christian feminist nothing gets my blood boiling like a person using the biblical command "Wives, submit to your husbands..." to excuse a man who is insensitive, demanding, controlling and even abusive.
These folks tend to ignore the fact that just a few verses down in Romans 5:25 are the words "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."
Both husbands and wives are to give themselves up for their partners, and you don't even have to be a Christian to appreciate that it takes selflessness and compromise to make a relationship work. But if there's only one person being selfless, only one person compromising all the time, that marriage is doomed at "I do."
That is all. Now go brush up on the Electric Slide and the Cupid Shuffle to get ready for all those wedding receptions.
A ladies first weekend is not complete without an estrogen-filled soundtrack.
Here are some of the CDs I plan to rock while I'm on the road:
"Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams," Solange
"Kissing Jessica Stein" soundtrack
"Because I Love It," Amerie
"Metropolis: The Chase Suite," Janelle Monae
"East Side Story," Emily King
"It's Not Me, It's You," Lily Allen
But I still have more empty slots in my CD travel case. Any suggestions?
Monday, May 4, 2009
A reader requested to see pictures. Unfortunately, I didn't take any of myself because I was too busy trying to snag interviews. But this link here should take you to an image of my frock. Obviously, the white woman wearing the dress is not me (I'm black for those of you who don't know), but I must say the dress does look better on her.
Nas and Kelis are splitting.
Kelis, who is seven months pregnant with their first child together, cited "irreconcilable differences" in the filed divorce papers.
The two met at the 2002 MTV VMAs and were married in 2003.
Actually, I'm pretty sure Nas and Kelis married around 2005, not '03 - not that I'd dare to question the brain trust at Rolling Stone. And in case there were any lingering doubts, I saw this weekend that Vibe has posted a copy of their divorce papers, TMZ style. Classy.
Anyway, this news depressed me. As a reformed playa turned married man, I hate to hear about divorce. Word is Kelis accused Nas of creepin' around and abusive language, which is how ALL these celebrity marriages end. That's a shame, especially since Kelis is about to give birth in a couple of months. And I bet Nas is feeling pretty stupid about getting that big ol' Kelis tattoo.
I guess all eyes are now on Hov and Bey.
Are there any marriages in the music industry that have stood the test of time? The only one I can think of is R&B songbirds Kenny Lattimore and Chante Moore. They've been together nearly 10 years now. Wonder what their secret is?
Other than refraining from creepin' and beatin' each other, that is.
What do you think celebs need to do to have lasting marriages?
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Paris Hilton arrives
Chat with Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men
Terry O'Quinn from my favorite TV show, "Lost"
I Heart Nick Lachey