Unmasking the Masked Crusader, the Super Sistah Revealed
I’m feeling bare, stripped, curiously naked and exposed. I’m addicted to privacy and have been from my youth; but there is a time for the dark and there is a time to let the light in. Besides the Superhero aspect of my pseudonym and all its inherent fabulousness, the mask of the Super Sistah appealed to the Clark Kent inside of me. I could be the studious, academic, introvert that is me but I could also switch to my gregarious, irreverent and theatrical side when the inclination arose. Existing behind a mask gave me a certain kind of freedom; I could say what I wanted and do what I wanted without risking censure or criticism. After all, anything that was said against me was not said to my true self, the one I saw every day, but to my counterfeit and copy whose ego was not as easily bruised. But what happens when looking out through the world from behind a mask doesn’t suit? What happens when you have something critical and life changing to say? Can you send your representative to preach the message on your behalf? The Super inside of me said no and the real me agreed.
For a woman who likes privacy letting the world see my true self, without my protective layer, was scary. I had anxiety about how I would be perceived. I came across Michelle Obama at her conservative best if random strangers are to be believed, but inside I was all Halle Berry as Cat Woman— feral and fabulously decked out in leather spandex. In the end I had to choose; the safety of my masked crusader secret identity or to realize a lifelong dream. The dream of reaching women of color on a larger platform. I chose the dream and that dream has grown beyond the need for anonymity and the confines of my blog. My blog readers have encouraged me and inspired me. Their issues and anxieties and their struggles with life and relationships have led to a book, a belief and a movement. The relationship, dating and self-help guide: Don’t Let the White Girl Win comes out in October 2012. Between the pages, the message is irreverent, funny and infuriating but offers real guidance and counsel for rebuilding black women and their relationships. Despite the title, it’s not about the other girl, it’s about us. It’s a boot camp, tough-love guide for how, as women of color, we can help and heal each other and succeed. So I’m going naked, nude and as bare as the day I was born to introduce my fans to the real me. The me without the mask. Hello everyone, Stephanie here.
Are you hiding behind a mask? Have you ever made the fear of exposing your true self get in the way of your destiny?
Tags: Black Love, Black Non-Fiction, black women, Confidence, Don't Let the White Girl Win, Fighting Fear, Girl Power, Identity, Interracial Dating, Self-Help Books, Success, Super-Heroes, unmasking
Nature vs. Nurture: A Killer in Colorado
Recently, some man up in Aurora, Colorado went out of his mind and killed 12 people while maiming and wounding 58 others at the premiere of the movie the Dark Knight. Now everyone knows that the Super considers herself a superhero but that doesn’t mean I intend to jump off any high buildings. In contrast, James Holmes allegedly woke up one morning convinced that he was a villain and took machine gun and disguise in hand and went out to prove to the world that evil does exist. Who is to blame? Some say he was an adult and responsible for his actions while others insist that his parents raised a monster and set him loose to kill and destroy. Who’s right? When people die the answer really doesn’t matter. I say this while wondering about the children I have yet to produce and while thinking about the world that they’ll inherit.
For the kids that exist now and for the parents that are guiding them into adulthood, I question how responsible we are as a society for the actions of our offspring? Where does nature (inherent, genetic predisposition) begin and where does nurture (environmental factors and personal experience) end? If you’re a parent and you raise a child into adulthood with all the necessary moral characteristics to succeed and later that child discards it all and turns to massacre and mayhem, as a parent, are you to blame? Do ordinary households breed and create presidents and world leaders as well as killers and convicts? As a boy did Holmes run around setting cats on fire while his parents did nothing to see to his psychiatric health? The alternative is that he is what he seems which is an articulate and well-educated man who harbored the killing gene inside.
Nature vs. Nurture: as a society we accept praise and adulation for the superior achievements of our children when they are scholars and Olympians doing good. When adult children do unspeakable acts of violence, should the reverse be the same?
Tags: Colorado Shooting, Disguise, James Holmes, Nature vs. Nurture, parenting
Ok to be Gay?
President Obama’s change of heart on the state of the marital union notwithstanding and press the pause button on what the Good Book says about same sex unions and its potential for eternal hellfire, to be gay or not to be gay, that is this writer’s question. It seems every time I turn around there’s a new person coming out of the closet and leaping from the bushes with a rainbow flag in full blaze. You remember the days when homosexuality was something to be hidden? Dem days are done. Leaving out the refusal of a certain Queen of hip hop to keep it real, recently it seems like many celebrities have decided to let freedom reign and declare their preferences loud and clear. Just in the last few years and days, journalist Anderson Cooper, no surprise there, singer Frank Ocean, reggae artist Diana King, Don Lemon, Ricky Martin, Wanda Sykes and many, many more have decided to stop pretending. Despite what I may or may not feel about same sex marriage, I think it’s a good thing that people tell the truth. Too many people are hurt when men and women operate on the down low. In the black community it’s especially damaging when individuals fail to state their truth. The secrecy involved in hiding one’s sexuality results in destroyed families and ruined friendships. It doesn’t make sense to me to date the girl from high school, marry her and give her ten babies all the while pretending to like T & A (tits and ass) when you like D & A. Please don’t make me spell that one out. Stats say that 1-2% of the population is gay but I think they need to put a zero behind that number for us to even come close to the truth.
The moral of the story is whether you do the same sex thing for freakiness, for fun or for forever; it’s my opinion that no one should live their life in a cage. If James Brown were here he would advise the gay among us to say it loud: I’m gay and I’m proud.
Based on the world as it is today, is it now OK to be gay?
Tags: Black Love, Dating, Gay, God, Homosexual, Identity, lesbians, LGBT, Marriage, proposition 8, Relationships, same sex, Sex
Expired – Past Due
Recently a dating prospect asked me the question destined to make me see red. Innocently he said, You’re a beautiful black woman, seemingly sane with your head on straight. Why are you still single? It’s okay, you can tell me. What’s wrong with you?
What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with you, son!! I’m a winner. I’m an Ace of Spades. I’m a catch. I am…single. Deflate. Deflate. Deflate. Still, who the heck was he to question my status or insinuate that I was in any way defective? I’m a woman and not a carton of milk left on the store shelf past its due date? Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t cast stones. After all, he was a 40 year old man sitting alone watching TV on a Saturday night. Women have to wait for the ring so instead of asking about my problems he should have taken a good look at himself? He’s still blowing up my phone looking for a second date but I’m permanently on vacation. The cheeky bastard. I think that’s what they’d call him in England but here in America we’d call him a punk ass.
Now, I know I shouldn’t have gotten angry or taken the question personally but you better believe that I did. Instead of reacting I must accept that as I get older this will happen more frequently. For the record, I’m not milk. I never go bad. If I was milk I’d be Parmalat which has a never ending use-by-date.
Like milk, do women expire and lose their taste? Does brains and beauty have an expiration date?
Tags: black women, Dating, Love, Men, Relationships
Beat-Boxing the Baby
In no way am I supporting child abuse but having rode the NYC subway I know for a fact that there are some bad ass kids in need of a beating…ah…I mean spanking. I don’t mean anything excessive just a few love taps to communicate the importance of not putting your ass in grandma’s face, not blasting your music when God and Sony made headphones for a reason and not telling your friends and the entire world how well you can f*ck when you just got your period and your first pubic hair last week. The Super is old enough (won’t say how old) that I come from a generation where Time Out wasn’t invented, and if you disrespected or in any way disobeyed your parents, there was a strong possibility that your parents might put you in a headlock followed by a suplex. On more than one occasion when I was young my mother snatched me up so hard that I found my feet dangling five inches off the floor. What’s up mama! Was it something I said?
Let me apologize right now to my mother for revealing her, “it’s my way or the highway” or “I put you on this earth and I will take you out” parenting style to the entire web. I only bring this up now because all over the news is the scandal that mega church Pastor Creflo Dollar might end up in Sing Sing because he hit (choked) his child. I don’t know the story behind it and I don’t need the press release, but the incident inspired a question in me. Apparently the teenager defied her parents and as a result her father went ape shit…I mean… got angry and gave the child a beatdown she won’t soon forget. Some folks applauded his actions while the other half condemned him for being a bully. To my readers, riddle me this, in a time when kids have gone wild and parents have lost control of their kids, is it right or wrong for parents to make their parental point by balling their fingers into fists?
As a parent, is it acceptable to climb into the ring to beat-box your toddler or teenage baby until they tap the mat in surrender and give?
Tags: child abuse, children, creflo dollar, discipline, parenting
WifeBeater & Timbs Guy
My sister thinks I might be getting a little high in the instep. She reprimanded me quiet sharply the other day when I casually mentioned that I wasn’t into men who wore wifebeaters paired with Timbs. I told her that I didn’t like the combination as a fashion choice nor as a lifestyle. “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” she responded with heat. She then reminded me with censure that despite my persona that read Bougie our origins were in fact quiet blue-collar. People are always taking you a part, judging you and criticizing you so don’t do it to others! It was a reprimand. I heard her message and I was duly chastised. Secretly in my heart though, I still didn’t think that a man who wore timberland boots with socks and shorts and a mesh wifebeater in a hundred degree weather would be for me. What would we talk about? I would constantly try to rework his fashion and bring it from the 90′s into the millennium. I’m not Donatella Versace but geez.
I’m an educated woman. I work hard and I’m ambitious to the bone. I have plans and dreams. What’s wrong with dating a man who’s my style and lifestyle counterpart? In television shows like the now defunct show Soul Food, Terry, (Nicole Ari Parker) the lawyer, dated the UPS guy. In another movie 35 and Ticking, the same actress was a celebrity Sports Newscaster and she dated and married the water delivery boy. In real life would this happen? Hmmm…maybe?
When I relayed these unrealistic scenarios to my sister she was all over me. “Would you date a construction worker, rich girl? (I’m not rich but that was her way of insulting me)? Ahh, yeah..is he the lead contractor? She grunted in disgust. “Would you date the plumber?” Yup, I said. “The bus driver?” On what shift? I asked quiet reasonably. My response made her stomp her feet. “Would you date the garbage man?” When I hesitated in answering she went all philosophical on me. “50cents wears wifebeaters.” I responded by pointing out that 50cents wifebeaters cost more than my rent. It doesn’t matter she said. These guys in the timbs could be ambitious, smart and the love of your life. I don’t want you to close yourself off and be a childless spinster. Ouch. Did she have a point?
Ok, I said relenting. The next time the cable guy comes to my house I’ll jump his bones even if he starts his sentences with, “what’s up shorty.” My sister kissed her teeth and had nothing further to say. She was done, with the topic and with me. I’m not saying that every man has to walk around in a suit and tie and that blue-collar boys aren’t tasty, but is it wrong for a professional woman to give the guy with the wifebeater and timbs the side-eye?
Do professional women think they’re too good for the urban guy?
Tags: Black Love, Dating, Love, Men, Relationships, Style, wifebeater
I’m breaking up with my doctor. She gots to go. We’ve been together a while so it’s with regret that I’m giving my doctor the old heave-ho. Make she “move and gweh” in Jamaican patois that means I’m giving her white-robe-wearing behind the axe. I don’t mean to be disrespectful but after years of denial I finally had to tell myself the truth: my MD doesn’t like me. Don’t misunderstand, she doesn’t see my name in the appointment book and head for the hills nor does she look at me with hate in her eyes. At my annual exam I don’t shake with dread and mortal fear that she will shove the speculum up my private parts a tad too far. She’s not Dr. Kevorkian prescribing treatments of death. Despite this, I’m not being dramatic when I say that my doctor still makes me fear for my life. Here’s why.
A doctor should be personable, professional but most importantly a doctor should care. Mine doesn’t. It isn’t anything overt, she’s pleasant but even though she’s known me for years I still get the blank stare. I’m a person on a chart with a medical history and no soul. If I’m going to put my life in someone’s hands that someone should care. Every conversation shouldn’t be scripted, prescribed and routine. I’d like for my doctor to ask me about my cat, my back, my grandmother, anything that would give me the slightest hint that she sees me as a person. It’s these side conversations that may lead me to tell her about the lump, bump, bruise or cough that I dismissed but she diagnosed with the quickness therefore saving my life.
I want the opportunity for my MD to fuss about the mole I’ve had since I was ten. I want her to ask me about my boyfriend and question whether we’re having unprotected sex. I want my MD to ask me about my weight and shake her head when the numbers get too high. When I call my doctor in an unplanned pregnancy panic, even though she knows I haven’t had sex in a year, I want her to listen and then casually order psychological tests. In short, I want my MD to keep me healthy with her care.
My doctor and I don’t have this kind of relationship so I’m finished with her, it’s over, done and caput. I want my co-pay to buy me a physician with that loving feeling. Whether the affection is real or feigned is irrelevant. I hold on to the belief that if I have to get naked in front of my MD, she should at least remember me.
In Divorce Court is it right to site inattention and irreconcilable differences in your case against your MD?
Tags: Bad Medicine, black women, black women's health, Doctor's, Health, Relationships
To Catch a Cougar
The Super is not a fan of bear cubs, puppies, baby rabbits or anything requiring training, constant attention and care, but whoa Nelly! Recently I saw a picture of J.LO and her boy toy Casper Smart and I had to do a double take. When Jenny from the Block was with Mark Anthony she looked miserable and morose. Fast forward a scandalously short period of time and Jenny looks happy and hot. Wasn’t she supposed to follow the script? While her ex moved on to a much younger woman after their split, wasn’t she was supposed to clutch desperately to her youth while growing old, out of shape and alone? In the new millennium women are fighting back. They say that 40 is the new 20 and women of a certain age are refusing to languish man-less and dateless while they say goodbye to their youth.
Men like their women tender and now women like their men tasty. Madonna, J.Lo and Halle Berry to name a few are showing older women how it’s done. It’s time for the big payback. Now older woman are going for the fun factor by ditching men with erectile dysfunction and finding themselves little boy toys to love. Will these relationships last? I can’t say but I commend the cougars with their young men for not rolling up into a ball and calling it quits. If their fit and fabulous with abs and butts of steel, then why not show these young men what they’re working with? Looking good and feeling good is the best revenge.
While the Super likes her men somewhat seasoned I can acknowledge that there are benefits to dating young men. Such as:
- They say 40% of men over 40 have erectile dysfunction issues. Young men? Not so much. They are mini Stallions and they are ready to gallop at full speed.
- They have stamina for days. Can someone say first, second and third round?
- They are fun and remind the serious career woman how to let loose.
- They are open to new things and everything is a thrill.
- They are willing to be tutored, taught and educated and are not yet set in their ways.
- They are good for the ego. When they think their women look good they tell her so often.
- They are nice to look at. They are young, firm and fabulous from all angles.
The Super is no celebrity and is not in possession of a body that won’t quit. If I was, would I date a man young enough to be my nephew? Can’t say, but I do believe that being happy keeps women looking as fresh as little girls.
Is it better to ride an aging Stallion or break in a fresh new pony? Like men, should every Cougar catch and capture something wild and young?
Tags: Confidence, Cougar, Dating, Jennifer Lopez, Love, Relationships, Sex, Super-Heroes
Recently, I casually asked my dermatologist about one day getting Botox. He laughed in my face. “Go spend your money on something you need” he said and sent me on my way. Is he blind? Doesn’t he see the lines I see?
Every year I write a birthday post (See Old Dog, New Tale) because sadly, the Super is getting old. Grey hair EVERYWHERE old. Retirees tell me that I’m still young. I’ve determined that this is what old people say to console each other. As yet another birthday blasts by, I realize that Jennifer Lopez notwithstanding, I will never be able to wear a super high mini skirt again without self-consciousness. Gone are the days where I chat with the drugstore clerk about anything other than anti-aging cream. Goodbye makeup free face maintained by moisturizer and four hours sleep. It’s time to get used to cashiers calling me ma’am, bitches, and little boys young enough to be my son trying to make a Cougar out of me. To maintain muscle, I’ll have to up my workouts and…horror of all horrors… watch what I eat. Yeah, yeah, Father Time and I are enemies. I can complain for days, weeks if you give me some drinks, but the Super is all about encouragement, even if the encouragement is for me. So here is what age has taught me:
- I’ve learned tact. If a friend asks me if I think her daughter is a lesbian, age has taught me to say, “I’m not sure, but I’m here if you want to talk to me.”
- I’ve learned that “Karma is only a Bitch if you are” and “it’s none of my business what other people think about me.” (Stolen quotes but they’re all me)
- I’ve learned that if my boyfriend doesn’t like what he sees when I’m naked then he can take his d*ck elsewhere.
- I accept that I’m pretty enough. If I want to look like Halle Berry I have to have her parents.
- I now know that a thousand squats a day will not give me a Kim Kardashian booty.
- I realize that I’m not half as stupid now as I was in my twenties.
- I’ve learned that delay does not mean denial and everyday that I expect a miracle the closer the miracle is to me.
I won’t lie to you, getting older kinda sucks. The gift of wisdom and foresight is rarely given to the young. Aging is inevitable so I’ve decided to be grateful that my heart is still beating, my body is still functioning and my mind is still sharp. In 40 years I’m looking forward to being a Super G, that’s Super Granny. Happy Birthday to me and all the other Aries.
Should we be able to freeze time like we can freeze our faces? Do we wish we could give our birthday some Botox?
Tags: Aging, Birthday, black women, Confidence, Diet & Exercise, Girl Power, Self-Confidence, Super-Heroes
Melting Pot My Ass
Black History Month was in February. Did you notice? No? Me neither. The month designed to highlight the contributions that African-Americans have made to the country went by without fanfare. To highlight how little the month meant to some, TV host Jimmy Kimmel sent a reporter out onto the streets of L.A to interview and ask unsuspecting white people a loaded question: Who is your favorite black person (See video here)? Caught off guard but eager to participate, white people dropped names like Jamie Foxx, Chris Rock, quoted some rap songs and replied, “I don’t watch much television.” As a defense mechanism some folks just blinked into the camera clearly stumped. Obviously the exercise was meant to be funny and highlight our cultural divide but I found the interviews demoralizing and just plain sad. 12% of the population is made up of African-Americans but all the general public could come up with as inspirational figures were some comedians, rappers and actors. It’s no wonder MLK can’t realize his dream, his descendants are in a living nightmare. Clearly Jimmy meant to poke fun at the ignorance of Middle America but I think his test demonstrated just how much more we have to learn about each other. It’s not just white Americans that have to learn more about black people but we have to learn more about ourselves.
Ask me who my favorite black person is and I’ll say: God (don’t get me started on this one), Malcolm X, mom, me, Oprah or The President and the First Lady. My list is vast but I was overly optimistic to think that I would hear even one of my answers on someone else’s lips. Although I was disillusioned, the Super is not about attack, attack and sick him boy on the white race. I am the recipient of a full public school education so I know my Anglo-Saxon history. Ask me though who my favorite white person is and sadly Brad Pitt kept on leaping to mind. Before you ask, the answer is yes, I’m slightly ashamed. After further reflection, President Lincoln danced to the forefront of my brain, I gave JFK a whirl and I got jiggy with some Shakespeare? On short notice I think any of these will do? Ultimately, if it’s a melting pot we want just one month won’t bridge the gap. To understand we must interact.
Who’s your favorite black person? If Americans know nothing about Black History can we declare Melting Pot My Ass a holiday?
Tags: African-American, Black History Month, black women, Interracial, Race
Battle of the Sexes – Mister versus Missus
Despite 5 inch heels that can crack backs and shatter a short man’s ego, in spite of six-figure incomes ballin enough to make the blue collar brother cry, and contrary to the societal shift that has put some sisters in the driver’s seat, still, after years of evolution, women still haven’t changed. No matter how powerful and professional a woman may seem on the outside, she still wants a man with strength and with cojones of steel (figuratively that is, literally might be a tad unsightly).
Enough already with the question, ‘can I kiss you?’ If you have to ask then the answer is probably NO! Take the kiss already and be done with it! Rejection, the occasional slap for presumptuousness, is a part of life. All the heehawing, feet shuffling and hand ringing is enough to drive a strong woman crazy. Men must remember their caveman roots and take charge. I’m not saying to headlock and drag a woman off to some dark place by her hair, but if she has to instruct, teach and perform tutorials on how to woe and win her then her interest has probably already waned. You’ve lost, so long sucker. Hit the Road Jack cause she won’t be coming back no more, no more, no more, no more. Hit the road jack… sorry the tune got stuck in my head and I got sidetracked. The point I’m trying to make is that the feeble, the weak-willed and the fearful have no chance in the battle of the sexes. If the article I read recently is correct and 40% of households are now headed by female breadwinners, then things are bout’ to change. Who Runs the World? Girls apparently. How does the old school dude compete with women who are bringing the heat?
A bit of advice for my male readers, although some women won’t agree with me, I say bring it back to the biblical days. Get your Adam on before the unfortunate snake. Be almighty like my man Moses on the mountaintop. Direct and lead like bad boy Noah showing the beasts of the earth who’s boss. Attracting women is all about swagger, strength and steel. If you have to ask, plead and persuade then you have no chance. Power and personality are attractive to women no matter the amount of loot she might be packing in her purse. If a man fears failure and is easily intimidated then the next woman he meets he should ask her if she has a pair of panties she can spare. God gifted men with testosterone for a reason. Come to the love battle prepared to win.
If both the man and the woman wears the pants in the relationship then who’s boss?
Tags: Black Love, black women, Careers, God, Love, Marriage, Men, Money, Relationships, Super-Heroes, winning
Black Girl – White Face
The Super comes from a family that likes their offspring, light, bright and every shade south of being ebony. Our origins, if we traced them, come way of the mysterious Middle East. Now, although the present day generation is in every way chocolaty, there are still pockets of the family tree that long for our light-skinned past. Don’t get me wrong, the Super herself is no activist. Back in the 80′s, to my shame, my ideal man was described as, “light skinned with good hair.” Yes, I know, just slap me already. In the day, sadly my future spouse had no characteristics beyond being café au lait with abundance of non-kinky curls. As I thought about my mindset way back when, I realized that as backward as my thinking was in the time of acid wash jeans, even now people exist that haven’t evolved past the plantation. I present to the court of public opinion, exhibit A: the use and abuse of bleaching cream. Forget black don’t crack and the blacker the berry the sweeter the juice, for some, the only adage that resonates is white is right. Don’t misunderstand, I’m all for beauty enhancement products and fashion, but going from cocoa to cream, to me, is not like buying a new dress, getting a perm or going from a B cup to a D. If you’re born beige, brown or tan that’s one thing, but I’m against using bleach cream as a weapon. To my mind, there is no reason beyond self-hatred to kill, murder and annihilate all that is ebony. Pigment is not the enemy. For the millions who make hydroquinone related products the #1 seller in the beauty store, in the vast majority of the cases, the lightening of the skin detracted instead of enhanced their looks. Instead of an array of colors and complexions that make black people attractive, we have an assortment of men and women walking around looking like bottles of mustard. Unnatural hues and the telltale light face and brown hand isn’t sexy.
What’s wrong with us as black people that we deny our own flesh? We tell ourselves its fashion, style and a desire for change, but when we risk cancer and other ailments for a creamier complexion, our troubles are deeply psychological. I know the media and society has much to answer for in making us believe that black, brown and any shade of the night is unattractive. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we must love and accept what the mirror sees. Don’t fall prey to the colonialist ideology that there is no beauty in black. White-wash the mind; it is only the misconception of our true beauty that is unappealing and murky.
Black girl in white face? Is it right for women of color to bleach away their black?
Tags: black women, Bleach cream, Confidence, Race, Skin lighteners, Super-Heroes