Issues, I’ve got a few
International Women’s Day was Tuesday March 8. As I have started this business, I have been thinking about my part and how to contribute. The nature of my business is one where I want to empower others to change the world through telling transformational stories of others. I chose this path because I believe in creating art that has a greater value than just creating art for arts sake. Art for art’s sake has never interested me. It quickly becomes tedious and boring, which is why Hollywood has become very tedious and boring. It’s become a factory of sequels that never had much to give us at the outset. So, the more stories you try to birth from an already weak and flimsy source, will only create weaker and more irrelevant byproducts.
The Sunday of the Oscars a friend told me about a reading of the Tracey Scott Wilson play, “The Story” that was to take place at my writing school, The Barrow Group. I had read her play, “The Good Negro” because it was my pick for my book club in December and was therefore familiar with her work. “The Story” is a play about a woman of bi-racial decent who gets a job at a newspaper and because of many circumstances she and those around her are faced with doing what is right or falling to pressure from the weight of being black, female and knowing what that means for the young ones coming up. There is something we have in the black community called, “The Black Tax” which is knowing that because you are black, if you make one mistake, every black person after you will automatically be judged in light of your “failure”. This isn’t just a black issue, but a minority issue and a issue for women. So, imagine if you are a black woman or an Asian woman? Margaret Cho gave an interview last year when the new TV show, “Off the Boat” began. She basically said that after her show was cancelled studio executives said that no one wanted to see a show about Asians because hers had failed. But she pointed out that Matthew Perry who has had about seven television shows fail, keeps getting green-lit without a moments hesitation. No one thinks, “Well, no one wants to see a middle-aged white dude try to be funny any more.” Listen, I liked Chandler too guys, I’m a Friends fan for sure, but maybe we need to move on? I want Matthew to get work, but may be he doesn’t need to headline a show?
” I’m sure there were no black nominees some of those years, say ‘62 or ‘63. Black people did not protest. Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time. We were too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematography. When your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short.” – Chris Rock on the 2016 Oscars
Suffragettes of the 21st Century
I most certainly do not want to go back to the 60’s. But, you would think in 40 years we would have been so much farther, wouldn’t we? And then, I think, why would we? When you think about everything that minorities and women had to overcome just to get to this place, movements take a while. No one calls them sprints. Revolution takes time because you have to change minds. I saw the movie “Suffragette” in November and was appalled by a multitude of revelations on how far we haven’t come. Chief among them being that the wage gap is the same percentage it was when women didn’t have the vote in the early part of the 20th Century.
So, how do we change all that we still need to? You guys, I don’t know exactly. I believe that if we continue to make noise about the major issues surrounding women like equal pay, unrealistic expectations of beauty and making sure we destroy the stereotypes by being authentically ourselves, we will bring change. We need to be educated about the issues so that we have what we need in our arsenal. I’m no radical feminist. I don’t even know if I would call myself a feminist at all. I’m a woman and I want to be able to live a life that is authentic, honors my faith and where I see myself through God’s eyes and not the worlds. I just believe that when I do look at myself through God’s eyes, it reinforces why equal pay is my right. It enforces the denouncement and eradication of crimes against women and the stereotypes surrounding us. The way God sees me is as a Queen, his daughter and to be authentically that person demands that I stand up and fight for my inheritance. It implores me to know what the issues are and to have a voice about them. It begs me to use that voice for change.
So, I ask you today…how do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as priceless? Do you see yourself as royalty? Do you see yourself as one who has an inheritance? If not, I want you to know that you have one and you are all of these things. Ladies, we have a voice, we are powerful and we can change the world. We can change our circle of influence and if each one of us did that with small change, big changes would come. If I want my little niece to live in a better world than I and stand on her Auntie Ebby’s shoulders than I’ve got to do my part. Will you do yours?
To The Revolution!