21st Century Feminism….

Well said!

The Urban Talented Tenth

Lately, it has become a common fad of the media to criticize, or rather scrutinize any woman who wants to show her sexuality on a public platform. I’ve personally ignored these poor attempts at trying to evoke some type of outrage amongst the “feminists” of the world, mainly because I thought we as a gender evolved past the point of being boxed in by the stereotypes of what a woman should act like.

Unfortunately, after reading and overhearing many comments and conversations about the subject I’ve realized that we as women, have created a new box for ourselves.

In the year 2014, an age where women are CEOs, possible presidential candidates (go Hilary!), millionaire entrepreneurs & so much more; we have still managed to construct a standard of what a good woman should be. So many feminists have taken a stance against women who openly express their sexuality, women who…

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Silence Breaker

 

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Studies completed by David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, show that:

  • 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse;
  • Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident;
  • During a one-year period in the U.S., 16% of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Children are most vulnerable to CSA between the ages of 7 and 13.

According to a 2003 National Institute of Justice report, 3 out of 4 adolescents who have been sexually assaulted were victimized by someone they knew well (page 5).

Alarming statistics for an act that is silenced over and over again by the victim themselves, family, friends, churches and even authorities figures.  I wonder will we ever have a time when children can feel safe, and not be in danger of being sexually molested.  It is true that  most of us that have been sexually molested were victimized by someone we knew.  For years I didn’t count myself among those that were molested because I was not penetrated by my perpetrator.  However, I always recognized what he did was wrong, and carried emotional scars that negatively impacted by body image for a long time.

Molest means to touch someone sexually when it is not wanted.  I was a teenager in the stages of puberty.  My breasts seemed to have grown overnight, and they were not the normal size you would expect from someone my age.  I was thirteen years old that summer.  I was uncomfortable with the changes in my body, and this incident made me feel even more uncomfortable.  My breasts were grabbed and held by someone I trusted.  Someone who knew better and should have been ashamed of themselves.  I was very shocked, but didn’t know what to do other than call my dad and say come get me.  My dad knew me well and he kept asking me was everything okay.  I kept lying and saying yes, everything is fine.  Just please come get me.  My dad came and I never told him what happened.  My dad went to his grave not knowing what happened that summer.

Fast forward to 1999, when my dad passed and I told my mom and my step-mother what happened that summer.  They both were shocked!  My mom said why didn’t you tell me.  Why didn’t you tell your dad?  I told her I knew it would destroy family relationships, and I felt like what happened wasn’t that bad.  I mean I wasn’t penetrated.  Isn’t it crazy how victims rationalize what happened?

I realize what happened to me defined me for more years than I care to remember.  I didn’t like my breasts.  I hid them as much as possible.  If I didn’t have these breasts, this wouldn’t have happened to me.  Hindsight allows me to recognize that I did nothing wrong, and the perpetrator was a sick individual.  I was well into my thirties before I became comfortable with the blessing God gave me:  big, beautiful breasts!  Finally, I became comfortable in my own skin.

These posts may cause questions from my family, but I don’t care!  I am a silence breaker!  Audre Lorde summed up silence the best for situations such as this: “Your silence will not protect you.”

Be a silence breaker!  Be inspired to break the silence from here.

Image by bryanbope on Flickr

For My Daughter…

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I was thinking about a letter I wrote to my daughter in 2007, before she went to college.  I asked her for this letter, and then remembered I kept a copy of my flash drive.  This letter continues to be timely, and maybe it will inspire you to have a much needed conversation with your children, or maybe you need some inspiration.  There are some grammar errors in this letter, but I decided to not change anything about the letter.

August 13, 2007

9:28PM

Kendra,

Where do I begin?  It seems like yesterday you were biting people at church (lol)!  The years have gone by so fast.  Who would have thought we would be at this time so quickly in your life??  I am so happy and excited for you!  This is a major milestone in your life.  Off to college.

I am typing this letter to you because I want you to keep it and reflect on it those times when you may seem to forget what you focus is for going to college.  When temptation is presented and you don’t know if you can resist the temptation.  Grab this letter and read it quickly!  There are so many things I want to tell you.  Some last minute “nuggets” to help you along the way.  Well, here goes:

IF YOU DON’T REMEMBER ANYTHING I HAVE TAUGHT YOU, REMEMBER THESE TOP 10 THINGS:

10.  Be true to yourself – Don’t let anyone stop you from being who you are.  Don’t wear mask or be phony – be Kendra.

9.  Have fun – you will have to have a balance between fun and school.  Too much fun will be reflected in your grades. Too little fun and you will not be a happy person.  You have to figure out that balance for yourself.

8.  Boyfriends – I know you feel you are in love.  Well, remember that you have to put love in perspective.  Anyone who wants to be with you will understand the need for you to get off the phone, the computer, whatever means you all communicate.  That person will be happy for you and be content in the fact that when it’s all said and done you are still with them.  Any boy that doesn’t have your best interest at heart is not worth your time.  Any boy who has no goals or aspirations to achieve success is not worth your time.  You need someone who shares the same goals, aspirations and dreams that you have for life.

7.  Sex – We have talked about this subject.  For the record I will state my stance – no sex until you are married.  If you decide to have sex, I pray you weigh out the consequences and see if that moment is worth your future.  That’s all it takes is one mistake and your entire future can be altered.  You say you want to be a doctor.  Well, you have to live your life like you want to be a doctor.  There will be plenty of time to have sex when you get married.  There’s nothing like being able to have as much sex as you want and not have to be concerned about the risk of pregnancy, disease or death.  It’s never to late to decide to abstain.  Anytime you want to you can decide that you are going to wait until you are married to have sex.

6. Friends – everyone is not your friend or will want to be your friend.  People will dislike you because you are beautiful and smart.  Recognize when people are trying to use you.  Get to know people before you share your private information.  Don’t let people in your room until you feel you can trust them.  I say meet them in the lounge.  Some people will want to come into your room just to see what you have.

5.  Alcohol – Don’t ever leave a drink sitting and come back and drink it. I don’t care who is sitting there.  When I say drink I mean any type of drink.  Never drive after drinking.  Don’t ride with anyone who has had a drink. Don’t trust your life to anyone who has had any alcohol.  I don’t care how “okay” they may seem.  Don’t take a chance.

4.  Seat belt – WEAR IT!

3.  Intuition – If you feel something isn’t right, even if you don’t understand it; follow your intuition.  If you feel like you shouldn’t go a certain way, don’t.  If you feel like you shouldn’t do something, don’t.  Follow your intuition.

2.  Classes – If you don’t understand something – ask!  This is money we are spending to get a good education!  Make that teacher earn every dime.  Don’t wait until test time to say you don’t understand.  Get the help you need ASAP.  Get to know people.  If you need a study group, take the initiative and form one; because if you need help there is probably someone else who needs help too.

1.  God – You’re going to need Him!  Pray as much as possible.  Let Him lead and guide you.  He won’t lead you wrong.  God is the key to you being successful.  He said “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” Take your Bible with you.  Read it!  Go to church as much as you can.  Church is where you will gain the strength you need to make it.  You need to give God 10% of your time, just like you give him 10% of your money.  You owe Him that!

I am here for you. You can tell me anything.  Don’t ever forget that!  I love you and I am going to miss you.  I’m sad but I’m happy for this next phase of your life.  So many people are in your corner and cheering you on.  I’m sure you can tell from all the gifts and money you received.  People are praying for you to be successful.  I don’t want you to get sidetracked.  Stay focused.  I don’t want you to have to come home because you made a bad decision that alters your future.  Every decision you make now affects your very future.  Please remember that.  Before you do anything, think about the positive and negative consequences.  If it’s too many negatives, it’s not worth it!

You are beautiful, gifted, talented and intelligent!  You are going to be successful!

I will be praying continuously for you!

Much love,

Your Mom.

What do you wish your parents had told you before you left home?

“Image courtesy of mrpuen / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.