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Malala: An inspiration to women and girls everywhere

Black Feminists Manchester

By Shahida Choudhry

Malala didn’t win the Nobel Peace Prize today, but the news around the announcement reminded me of first hearing her story, and how it moved me. This young girl in Pakistan had very nearly paid the ultimate price for standing up for the most basic of rights: the right to go to school. When she arrived in Birmingham, my home town, it was like the arrival of a hero. Local campaigners were being asked to talk about girls education in Pakistan: an issue that had been largely ignored until then. The world’s press arrived – desperate to catch a glimpse of this incredible young woman.

Malala Yousafzai Opens Birmingham Library

That’s the power Malala has: the power to make people think, to inspire a global conversation about the importance of education and about the inequalities that still exist all over the world between boys and girls when it comes to schooling.

To…

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Woman to marry two men in Kenya!!!!

Woman to marry two men in Kenya!!!!.

On being American & considering marriage to a Kuwaiti National Guardsman: I’m not mad at him; I just know we can’t be together.

I’m not mad at him; I just know we can’t be together.

I know he wants forever, connection with me. I know he dreams; but he also knows his reality.

We could kiss forever, admire one another eternally. We could bring forth children that were clever, critical thinkers and free.

We could encourage the health of one another with the meals that we’ve cooked, making sure to never overlook the sweet pleasures in life. I could have been his wife.

He could have been my man, my helping hand, my lover’s rock. Too bad it didn’t happen though.

Too bad money became his captain, his guiding seas. Too bad he loved his money more than he loved me.

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It’s too bad he lives in a country that suppresses his liberty, a place where his employer controls his matrimony. Beginning a marriage with an American is a felony… unless you start all over again.

And Again was something he couldn’t do. Couldn’t throw away 5 years of hard work just to be with his boo. Couldn’t stand not being a bread winning man, not even just for a few. He needed to take care of me, protect me, guide me, whatever he needed to do.

When a man needs help, it’s hard to come to, because he has to allow his woman to be strong, to take care of him too.

All easier said than done. I’ve come to a place where I know what I want. Or should I say, what I need, because I can’t stay with a man that won’t commit to me.

More than a pretty ring or a wedding invitation, I need someone that’s going to assist in the creation of a unit: 1 family, 1 home, 1 lifetime.  I need him to bank on our time spent together.  I need him to adore me even through stormy weather.

But I’m a traveling woman and a traveling woman must find doors to walk through, always seeking the next level, unless… he came along, or I was willing to stay. Either way, we had some serious decisions to make.

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So he chose is money, his security and his 5 years of hard work. He chose to base our future on his potential income instead of basing it on my worth.

What’s a risk taken without a commitment to see it through? A bluff to give time, time to enjoy the woman who’s willing put in effort, effort to support you, with or without your ability to financially contribute. But you’re only in this as long as your money plans work out for you, because if they don’t, we’re over and this just wont continue.

And for that reason honey, I’m not mad at you. I just know that our time is up, and we can’t be together.

The Crunk Feminist Collective

I am sure that by now many of you know the name Jovan Belcher.  If you didn’t know his name (as I didn’t) before this weekend, you know it now.  He is the Kansas City Chiefs player who shot and killed his girlfriend before taking his own life on Saturday.  Headlines and news stories have focused on the tragedy from the lens of the perpetrator (including speculation of potential brain trauma, his involvement, as an undergraduate, in a Male Athletes Against Violence initiative, and his standing as an allstar athlete), in some ways dismissing or overshadowing the lens of the victim, who in headlines is simply referred to as “(his) girlfriend.”

kasandra

Her name is Kasandra Michelle Perkins.  She was 22 years old, a new mother, and an aspiring teacher.  Her picture shows off a beautiful smile and her friends describe her as selfless, kind, and generous.  She was excited about…

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Bag Lady Has a New Man

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As much as I thought I would love to be in a loving relationship, now that it’s at my doorstep, or more so, inside my house, I’m scared as hell.  Things were easy when I could feel comfort in knowing that he did not know everything about me; and this kept my feelings at bay.  But now that he does know, I’m drifting into the deep oceans.  Nothing opens my heart more than knowing that someone can see me  fully and still want me.

It’s like I just can’t let go and allow myself to be put in the position to be hurt.  I guess this makes me a bag lady because heartache still feels so near.  I’m scared to DEATH to be hurt again. 

I almost want to break up with him just so that I can feel normal again.  It’s funny how you think you’ll never get used to being single and then suddenly, that’s your past.  Next thing you know, you’re missing the comfort of knowing that no one can hurt you because you’re not committed. 

This may sound crazy, but I almost want to stop talking to my boyfriend for a while just to get to that place were I feel in control again.  

Otherwise, I’m just falling.

Taking It All Off: Black Women, Nudity, and the Politics of Touch

The Crunk Feminist Collective

Everyone who knows me even remotely well knows I don’t do hugs. Get too close physically and I am quick to let you know that you’re invading my personal space!

So of course, hilarity regularly ensues since it seems I’ve managed to attract a significant number of friends whose primary love language is physical touch. And frankly, sometimes I think these friends just like to lay hands on me for the hell of it.

You can imagine, then, my skepticism when my crew of sista prof friends planned a spa day at one of those places that boasts not only unlimited use of saunas, swimming pools and a range of pay-as-you-go spa services, but also, to my chagrin, openly nude bathing pools. I had heard of such places and vowed never to go to one. Anyway, I decided to be brave, because spa days are high on my list…

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The Crunk Feminist Collective

Down Ass Chick:  a woman who is a lady but she can hang with thugs. She will lie for you but still love you. She will die for you but cry for you. Most importantly she will kill for you like she’ll comfort you. She is a ride or die bitch who will do whatever it takes to be by your side. She’ll be your Bonnie if you are her Clyde. Thugs love these bitches and they show this by showering them with stacks of cash, flashy jewels and rides. (Urban Dictionary)

I taught a class on black masculinity during the pre-summer session and the course covered everything from black man stereotypes, and the patriarchal requirements of black masculinity to big black penis myths, homophobia, and hip hop.  One of our most recent classes on romantic relationships between heterosexual black men and women inspired an interesting conversation that stayed for days…

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