Reflections

A look back on our coonery

A rush of old tweets from influencers have once again resurfaced in which they made colourist remarks. Granted many of them have evolved and are sorry for the hurt they maybe didn’t realise they caused seven years ago, but unfortunately the devaluing of black bodies has not been obliterated.

Remember when ‘blick’ was a common slang word to describe very dark skinned people? I used to say it too and it was all fun and games, until one English lesson in year eight. Our white teacher furiously declared that anyone who used that word, no matter the colour, would be punished as it was racist and had roots in the apartheid. That word has mostly gone out of fashion but it did make me think.

I am clearly a dark skinned woman and thankfully I cannot remember a time when I have been directly berated for my colour. Looking back however, I can see where I could have been overlooked. I used to be glad that I wasn’t made a target like some of my darker skinned classmates and that thinking alone is problematic. Worse than that, our ignorance towards each other made it possible for a white boy to be brave enough to embarrass another pupil in front of everyone! Although we didn’t make a lot of noise about this sort of BULLYING in those days, it doesn’t discount that the victims were greatly affected. If I could redo my school years with the person I am today I would confidently call people out. It doesn’t make sense to blame that way of talking on age. A teenager knows what words and phrases have the potential to be horrible, it’s almost a disservice to think you were that dumb. Yes we say stupid and hurtful things in our immaturity, but it’s better we realise that the way we thought was wrong rather than use age and society as an excuse.

Cancel culture and constant rehashing of the past, especially for those who have evolved for the better, isn’t profitable. There is no need to constantly say sorry and be at the mercy of the world. Nevertheless there are always consequences for our actions and human nature will make sure you don’t forget it.

Reflections

The PERIOD Blessing

Up until recently, I wasn’t aware of such a thing as period poverty. It didn’t occur to me that there were females, espcially in the western world, who couldn’t afford basic sanitary products. Unfortunately there are many people who may have to choose between buying even the cheapest pads and putting bread on the table. This level of dignity should be classed as a basic neccesity. It’s encouraging to see Scotland create an intiative that allows free access to feminine hygine products for all: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-scotland-sanitary/scottish-parliament-approves-free-sanitary-products-for-all-women-idUSKBN20J1NZ .

Around the world, espcially in poorer communities where culture oppresses vulnerable women, this is a greater issue. Women are forced to feel unclean from the inside out and are unable too boost their safety confidence by at least having a clean way to capture their flow. Periods aren’t disgusting. Annoying but not disgusting. Those of us who are blessed to have a normal period and regular flow should not despise our body’s unique process. Those of us who have a harder experience should not be made to feel like a taboo.

Listen. It can be hard work being a woman. If a man was to experience the full extent of our biological complex, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t ask for it again! However we are built with an extra layer of strength to survive and embrace this phenomenon.

(featured image taken from: https://www.themeteor.org/2018/07/17/the-hidden-shame-of-period-poverty/