Em(n(o))tional Labour

We are told frequently that women are more intuitive, more empathetic, more innately willing and able to offer succor and advice. How convenient that this cultural construct gives men an excuse to be emotionally lazy. How convenient that it casts feelings-based work as “an internal need, an aspiration, supposedly coming from the depths of our female character.

Credit 

never question the weight of your word

and you say women should not be afraid to speak up,

but tell me how my voice can leave the tongue when we have been told to quieten down,

that loud voices with thoughts are not becoming of a woman

or when we speak up we are undermined not because of content, but because of gender

how man always sees himself as the dominant, and see no harm in talking over us to silence us

or to question us

tell us to calm down

say it was a joke

ask why are we getting so emotional

as if women can not separate rational thoughts from emotive feeling

how we are mocked at for speaking up

speaking out

when women are the most complex creatures 

but when it comes to the last word

man will utter a statement regardless of its truth, and then belittle women when questioned.

LEMONADE

 

Beyonce has done it again. Released a full length visual album without any exposure. The one hour feature length film is sassy to say the least and it a honest love letter to herself, and to all woman. There is a progression which you can see shift from the offset of the video, up to the climax.

It is angry, it is provoking, it is empowering and it is mindful. Beyonce hits on all themes of jealousy, apathy, anger to resentment. With her screaming at the camera in a parking lot “Who the f*** do you think you are, you ain’t married to no average b**** boy” to her throwing her wedding ring towards the camera. You can sense the bitterness and heartbreak as she shoots down her husband and talks openly in regards with his adultery.

From the likes of Serena Williams to Zendaya and Amandla Stenberg joining her on this visual embarkment, there is a sense of unity and female empowerment. This is one thing which truly stood out to me. The woman were not used as props but more so a visual element to convey a deeper message.

The connotation of Lemonade taken from her Grandmother’s speech at her 90th birthday, the album is a celebration of the women in her life down to her daughter ‘Blue Ivy.’ She appears during the film from shots taken when Beyonce was pregnant to videos of Jay-Z and Blue playing soccer. Beyonce is more personal with this album. There is a raw element to it. She embraces her flaws and mistakes and in a way is showing her human side. Her vulnerable side, mixed with the strong protagonist she is. There are home made videos laced within the film showing clips from her wedding, where she sings in the backdrop “when love was stronger than your pride.”

With the mothers, daughters and sisters of the victims of police brutality shown, Beyonce voices their battle too. Following controversy regarding her ‘Formation’ video, Beyonce understands the precedent of her power. She is a woman to be reckoned with. This is the exact message she is sending to her husband. “You come home at 3am and lie to me.” Let’s not get it twisted though. The whole album is not just regarding adultery. It is about the underlying police brutality to references to Malcolm X stating black women are ignored.

All in all, if you haven’t watched the feature length film yet, you are missing out on the Lemonade everyone is drinking from. 

 

If he has to be “kept” I don’t want him

What is this notion of keeping a man? The birthright of a woman passed down from generation to the next, teaching us how to ‘satisfy’ and ‘keep’ a man. What if the man does not want to be “kept” and enjoys his bachelor ways? What happens then?
Stemming all the way back to our ancestors, woman have had to hold the brunt for various things. Feminism and equality are notions which have been pushed to the forefront just recently. Yet there are still these internalised beliefs engrained in us. These beliefs which men enjoy entertaining and which women, somehow, have come to accept.
From over saturation of sex within the media and social platforms churning out the same repeated garbage, it is no wonder us women are left with low self-esteem. Being the embodiment of sex along with grace, humility, shame and having an oceon of love to span the world and back, the requirements for female is an all time high. With everything being of face value, presentation of a women is highly scrutinised. “Oh that’s too much make-up, oh her clothes are too fitting,” yet somehow these are the basis on how a man should be kept. I, for one did not realise the value of love was translated through the currency of upkeep and maintenance and not affection.
If a woman enjoys being sexual and takes it in her own hands, that is not the reason why she can not “keep” her man. If a woman enjoys being in a powerful position and earns the bread, that is not the reason why she can not “keep” her man.
Her man does not want to be kept if he has made up his mind. Repeat this after me. It is not on the onus of his partner. It is solely him and him only. Her being a “good girl” or being “tolerant” would not have swayed the mans decision anyway. So stop victim shaming women after everything they’ve been through. 

Sexuality is fluid

Sexuality is not restricted. Sexuality is ever changing, it is not caged in a box. It is fluid, running like water.

Sexuality, a taboo to talk about in certain cultures due to shame and respect. But with the new millennial’s ever present to breaking conformity, sexuality is not rigid to how it used to be. With gender neutrality coming to play in major advertising campaigns, such as the likes of Jaden Smith for Vogue Korea, it can be argued that the generation of today have a more varied outlook on sexuality and relationships.

Being Asian Indian comes with it’s set of instructions, one could point out. Religion always comes into play, but what the older generation love to place on our heads is the mix up of culture with religion. Sexuality is an issue not to be discussed amongst women, yet we can discuss anything else in the horizon about men. It is aggravating. Sexual desires are always tossed away. Sexual fantasies, oh darling your ass would be deported back home. But the thought of you meddling with another girl, damn shit would hit the fan.

I guess time has changed and pushed society into hyper speed with change, but culture and tradition will always stay rooted within us. Whether we like it or not. For sure there needs to be a wider and more balanced outlook on sexuality. A more fairer view. A more concerned view for our sons and not an overbearing view on our daughters. A place where I can pull out my vibrator and my mother won’t cuss the shit out of me.