Category Archives: BlackGirlsRock

She Ain’t My Wonder Woman: The Problematics of White Feminism and Film

Hey Speakerz! Another Monday, with more material. Most recently, there’s been tons of buzz around the DC comic turned film “Wonder Woman“. The film is the first in history to feature a woman superhero as a lead role and while some have fallen madly in love with the idea of a sword wielding woman taking no stuff, others have felt once again left out of the narrative. Why? Well because Wonder Woman in her fullness has always been a white feminist ideal, even from her inception. So before we delve in, let’s take off our hats of fragility, look at the facts and remember that equality should not come one gender, race, or social construct at a time. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Where did Wonder Woman begin and how? Her first appearance was in DC All Star Comics #8 in October of 1941. She was created by two white men by the names of William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter. The character modeled after the women suffragists of the turn of the century, namely Margaret Sanger, a white woman who like her peers fought for birth control, the sterilization of black women and refused to see past any other fight than that of white womanhood. Don’t believe me? Ask google. It’s factual. Since her inception, Wonder Woman has been given a more muscular look by yet another male artist, George Perez and declared bi-sexual in an effort to give her a broader span of audience.

Wonder Woman, or Diana Prince, as is her civilian name is an Amazon Princess from Themyscira located on mystical and magical Paradis Island. I’m gonna take a guess and if they call themselves Amazons, then they’re located deep in the Amazon Rainforest which is in South America which has the largest population of Black and Brown people outside of the continent of Africa due to the TransAtlantic Slave Trade, but I suppose that in the world of Comics that’s not so.

The thing that makes me question the most isn’t the factual evidence of Wonder Woman as a problematic source. What makes the question is the reaction to her. Are women, specifically white women,  so hungry for representation that they’ll take anything thrown in their way? This leads me back to a post I made a while ago about Nate Parker’s “Birth of a Nation” and the support given to him despite the fact of the one dimensional rape narrative that he presented in more ways that just the film. Being desperate brings about a terrible reality. We will accept anything presented even at the expense of someone else’s humanity. She ain’t my wonder woman because I don’t see any of myself reflected in her but also because she represents everything oppressive that I as a young, black, queer, lower middle class woman has ever known. Even if she isn’t oppressive to you, the fact that I am oppressed and expressing that reality should make a person think twice. If not…why? Why do you not question? Why do you not stand with me in my hurt, even though you will never understand?

Overwhelmingly, the film industry is still run by the rich, white and male. I could say many things about this, but let’s focus on the reality that the male gaze is still in complete control. So no. The film will not feature a complete adherence to all annihilation of privilege. It will have the male gaze because it is still engineered by and for the male gaze even in it’s seeming progressiveness.  What does it look like to completely band with fellow frustrated sisters? It is as though we are all still attempting to get into the “club” that wasn’t made for us in the first place. The “club” exists because someone is on the inside and the outside. It wouldn’t be the “club” if everyone was accepted. What poison do you wish to consume?

I shouldn’t have to convince you of my worth, even if I am well aware of my own self worth in this world. It isn’t this hard. Embrace all of our humanity. Embrace ALL of the Wonder of Women, not just those engineered to satisfy.

Love Always,

Damali Speaks Xx

Talk to the Cat – Woke Diaries: I Am Not Your Negro Review

Hey Speakerz!

Welcome to Talk to the Cat – Woke Diaries! This week’s review is on the documentary “I Am Not Your Negro”. Watch, enjoy, share and let me know how you feel!

Love Always,

Damali Speaks Xx

Meaning-Filled Meditations: On Choices

Hey Speakerz! 

You know it’s our Friday episode time! Today’s episode is about choices! How we make them? Why? When? & all the goodness! 

Enjoy!


Love Always,

Damali Speaks Xx

My Personal Shopping List: Meditations on Partnership & Master Plans

Hey Faithful Blogosphere! I can’t believe that it’s been a week already! Let’s see, we’ve made it through a snow storm here in New York City, I’ve made a lot of clothes and artwork for the week and had many good talks and tea. Let’s get to our topic! This week’s topic came pretty abruptly, as I had no idea what my topic would be until it jumped out at me as it usually does, screaming “Write about me!” and I happily do so. This week is about the shopping list of life and what we choose to put on it. Let’s dive in!

Every time I go food shopping, I make a shopping list. As a Vegetarian/Vegan who is madly in love with Trader Joe’s, I’ve learned to pick and choose where to get things and how, etc. Now if I didn’t make a shopping list, I would wind up spending way more money than I currently possess and bringing home food that I probably wouldn’t even want to eat or get to eat before it spoils. The list helps me stay healthy, keep my head on straight and keep my wits about me. Now, if I see something in the store that’s not on the list, I weigh the pros and cons of going off list and decide from there. Needless to say, food shopping is something I live and love to love. I love food.

I mention this food shopping list because it’s a metaphor and practice, as so many things are. It helps me to stay truly mindful about what I spend my money on as well as what I put in my body, etc. In life, we all have our shopping lists. Maybe on our list is a well paying job, a partner and a few children, or trips to Bali, tons of wine, great sex, etc. What’s on your shopping list for your life? This is where the programming comes in. As socialized genders on the planet, specifically in the United States, we are consistently shown images that project a list that we SHOULD want. As men and women we SHOULD want a well paying job, a partner, a house, a child or two, etc. But what if you decide for yourself what goes on your list? I’m not saying that you should NOT want those things, but what if you’re someone who doesn’t want those specific things in that specific order or even at all? What if as you go shopping, meat isn’t even on the list at all? What then? How do we decide who we are and how we engage with the world around us given the level of expectation placed on our life lists looking a certain way?

I most recently sat with an elder of mine and she asked me with a cute smile on her face if I had a “boyfriend”. Usually, I would feel annoyed at the question, but something in the way she asked it had me stop and actually think. I don’t have a “boyfriend” and I realized then and there that I didn’t want one. I didn’t want a “partner” in the conventional sense. I didn’t and I currently don’t, and maybe I never have. Maybe what I wanted was to have a list that seemed to look “normal”. Needless to say, I replied with surprise, “You know, that’s not on my shopping list.” She smiled back at me and answered “That’s because you haven’t found the right one.” This made me think even more. What was the “right one” if the timing was “wrong” or “right”? I know from experience that relationships without laser focus can lead to life-ache as well as heartache. So, regardless of me finding the “right one” or not, it leads me to a bigger question. Why is it that a romantic relationship has to be on my shopping list? Who told me that I wanted that and why? Don’t I get the option to say no without ridicule?

I personally am not a “relationship” woman. I spent my whole life, trying to put “boyfriends” and “girlfriends” on my shopping list when I should’ve weighed the pros and cons and taken a good look at what WAS on my shopping list! Loving me wholeheartedly while exploring my alone is on my shopping list. Building my brand is on my shopping list. Writing plays, this blog, my youtube channel, is all on my shopping list. That’s a lot to manage and as I’m learning and growing, I’m cultivating myself and my soul. So the questions that I truly want answered, have nothing to do with romance. What I want to know are things like: How do we as human beings cultivate from the things that are on our shopping lists?

It is true that human beings learn from other human beings, but we also learn from ourselves. If we don’t take the time to know who we are and just what’s on our list, how can we hope to make a difference in this world? Ultimately, isn’t that why we’re here? We’re here to make a difference. We’re here to love and heal and learn and grow and to then return to the source? Maybe I should just check my shopping list and get back to you on it.

 

Love Always,

 

Damali Speaks Xx

Depop Shop Up & Running!

Hey Blogosphere!

My Depop is now up and running! Have a look, check it out and maybe purchase something that catches your eye! Also, if you see something and would like to make an order, leave me a message!

https://depop.com/damalispeakz
Love Always,

Damali Speakz

Comparison: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Hey Faithful Blogosphere! I hope that your week was absolutely full of wonder and love! Mine was! The topic this week came at the very end of the week in sort of a shock to my system and wake up call. All of my life, I’ve experienced comparison. I was compared to my older sibling, my friends, etc. Some of the time, the comparison came from my own mind, but most of the time it came from the people around me. This isn’t a singular experience as I’ve come to realize and so in the hopes of rooting out the truth, I figure a blog post dedication is worth it. So the topic of the week is Comparison: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.

 

Sometimes I wonder if it’s natural for human beings to compare themselves to others. We do so with weight, looks, abilities, etc. “Well, she has a better butt than me.”, “He has a better car.”, and yet what we fail to see in these comparisons is that they’re completely unnecessary. Does envy help us get what the other person has? Does it make us value what WE HAVE?

 

The Good

The Good in Comparison is that it works to propel us as human beings forward. I personally choose to compare myself to the person I was yesterday. Am I more grateful today? Am I allowing myself to flow more today than I did yesterday? Am I embracing myself more? If the answer is no, then I’m not doing what I need to be doing and it’s my choice of whether or not to stay stuck or to elevate to who I’m meant to be today. I’m meant to elevate every day, not just on days where I feel like it. Every. Day. Be more. More generous. More loving. More hardworking. More in love with myself. More open. More creative. Be More.

 

The Bad

The Bad of Comparison is pretty obvious. It can paralyze. If we as human beings consistently listened to the lower vibrational pull of “what I don’t have” versus “what they have”, we live in a constant state of envy, depression, greed, jealousy, and overall unhappiness. So why do we do it? Why do we choose to stay at the lower vibration of existing? What’s the appeal?

 

The Ugly

The Ugly of Comparison, especially for those of us in the Black Community where these numbers are escalating, is the source of colorism, homophobia, rape and sexual abuse, etc. How is it that hundreds of years later, we as a people are still elevating light skin above dark skin, straighter hair above tight kinks and curls, and young women are still being sexually abused at alarming rates? Where did we learn this behavior and why does it continue? Where does comparison come in?

 

Overrall, we must CHOOSE to elevate above. Comparison, like any other learned behavior is a choice. We choose to take part. How can we twist things that may seem negative so that we can attain positive results? We must choose to believe in our self. Put out sense of self first above all else and refuse to be brought down. We owe it to ourselves, to this plane, to this planet, to this ethereal world that we take part in every day.

 

Love Always,

 

Damali Speaks

Queen Status: Healing the World Within

Hello Blogosphere! This week has been incredibly beautiful and eye opening. The title of today’s post came from this weekend. I was walking down the block in Brooklyn and a young black man simply said “Peace, Queen” and I responded “Peace, King”. The beauty in a simple acknowledgement. But just acknowledging isn’t enough. What does it mean to live up to those titles?

Let’s start at the beginning. “Woke” black people all over America have dubbed themselves Kings and Queens. You’ve probably heard it in Neo-Soul, on the radio, and in films.  This came about in the 60’s and 70’s when black became beautiful, natural hair was a must and James Brown’s “Say it Loud” played freely on the radio. Black American people reclaimed their sense of self with these titles. To acknowledge each other as African Kings and Queens meant that we were more than just stolen people, we were the highest of the high…royalty. Post slavery, reconstruction and the turn of the century, we had been beaten down as a people, both mentally and physically. The 60’s was a time of taking it back. Studying ourselves and our history became paramount to our survival. 

This is beautiful, however, what does this mean now, in the world as we know it today? King and Queen come from the European ideal. We all know what feudal Europe was like  because that’s all the history we learned in school. We learn about European history first because of white privilege and I personally have NO desire to express myself with such terms. I was told recently that “King” and “Queen” come from Asiatic titles, namely “Qing” which has a specific vibrational meaning. That, to me, feels right. Elevation, feels purposeful and very much like home. To acknowledge someone as King or Queen is to adhere to the European standard. The Queen is always less than with no real power to rule, despite the presence of female rulers for millenia. Those titles have been gendered and in many ways bastardized. I prefer Qing in all it’s vibrational, androgynous glory. 

So what does it mean then to have “Qing” status? Is it like being a Queen? Well, what did the young man mean when he called me Queen? I choose to think of it as a sign of respect, but also a sign of “sight”, of acknowledging strength, beauty, wisdom and most of all knowledge of self. When I look in the mirror and say the same to myself, what am I saying? Acknowledge my own greatness first. My own femininity, masculinity, heart, womb, mind, body, soul, essence, ether. This is a Queen. This is a “Qing”. This is wholeness and purity. Being purely who I am, unashamed, unapologetically. 
Many black people are looking for the next step. Where do we go from here? We continue to live in a world that suggests that we look outside. We look to clothes, shoes, material wealth, monetary value and romantic relationships. But what if the next step is to look within, cultivate our divinity and heal ourselves? With our own healing, we can in turn, heal the world. 

Peace Qings,
Damali Speaks Xx