Sexually Inappropriate and Harassing Behavior During Daily Conversation

Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

3/16/2021 6:35pm EST: Updated with a doozy of an example that I forgot about.

Note: Contains sexually explicit language

Excuse the typos, I needed to get this conversation out on the floor real quick!

If you read my recent post on Racism and Prejudice in Daily Conversation, you’ll remember my observation that Zager and Evans’ song, In the year 2525, didn’t offer much in the way of great expectations–other than to wonder “if man is still alive…”

Well, to be fair, they weren’t just concerned with “man.”  They actually continued the thought by pondering whether “…woman can survive.”

So here we are again with me offering my “two cents” about  sexually inappropriate and harassing behavior in daily conversation.

I might even throw in a little story.

And so…

If you are ever confused about what to say and what not to say to avoid even the appearance of being sexually inappropriate, or engaging in sexually harassing behavior, avoid the following statements and/or questions:

  1. “You’re being overly sensitive.”
  2. “What’s wrong with me complimenting your legs?”
  3. “I see you have a tattoo on your neck, where else do you have tattoos?”
  4. “Maybe if you flirted a little, it might help us get <insert thing here>”
  5. “Do blondes have more fun?”
  6. “That’s not sexually inappropriate/sexual harassment!” (An easy out for people who are uninterested in learning about sexually inappropriate conversation/sexual harassment)

This list is not exhaustive.

Again, while some of these points are blatant, others are very subtle yet highly offensive— and today, I am going to include some REALLY blatant shit that people have said or done to me.

For your consideration:

Once upon a time, LadyG was seated at a table reading a book when a co-worker sat down at the same table.

This guy, a real tool, was the son of a well known Dentist in South Georgia.

Anyway, while LadyG sat quietly reading, this jackass started singing his own rendition of Prince’s “Darling Nikki—where he substituted ‘LadyG’ in the verse that talks about “masturbating in the lobby with a magazine.”

It should be noted that this same guy later grabbed LadyG’s behind and stated, “I always wanted to know what a black girl’s butt felt like—Wow! It’s jigglier than I thought.”

And do you know what LadyG did in each case?

NOTHING.

-THE END

It is important to note that I was selected to receive this position by my professors. 

In fact, I was the only female there, at the time, working with three law school students—one of which was the asshole that I just told you about.  

It definitely didn’t help that I was only a sophomore working toward my BS degree.

To be honest, I felt that I was the most powerless person in this situation.  

Flat out, I was the only woman working with a group of men during the height of Anita Hill versus Clarence Thomas.

Chile, I saw what happened to Prof. Hill so I never reported the guy.

But let me be clear, the other law students and my supervisors were very kind and helpful to me.  That said, I often stuck under the other two law students in order to feel safe from the third guy’s advances.  

Now I know that there is someone in the ethers saying, “Well, he was just an asshole.”

He most definitely was an asshole.

But, this was more than being an asshole, this was him sexually harassing me.  

Now I know that what he did was pretty cut and dry, but there are many situations where, like with racism, you can’t “define it” but you know it when you see it.  

My cousin Ron describes this phenomenon perfectly in his post, I cannot define it.

Sadly, this is not the only time that I experienced this, or something like it.

Shall I elaborate?

How about the time I was at the mall grabbing a maternity dress for my baby shower, when this jackass walked right up behind me and said, “Hey, why don’t you let me finish that off.”

Or the time a friend of my family said, “You’re good and grown now, I just want to come visit you.”  Let’s just say, he was NOT my peer and he was not my friend.

Or the time a male who was close to the family told me I was a “fine mother-f’er.”

Or the time I was in the library and a dude, who was in one of my classes, called me over to the table and began counting a large wad of money while looking up at me and back down at the money in a suggestive way.

Or when a security guard at work tried to kiss me in an elevator—totally unprovoked!  He offered to do something else more explicit that I’ll keep to myself.

Whew…once again chile—the shit is tiring and I really could go on.  

I’ve had so many sexually explicit and not so explicit things said and done to me in my lifetime that I cannot count them.

Sadly, the first instances were in childhood and the perpetrators were mostly grown men—none of them were family members.

I never said anything about it or my Dad would still be in jail for murder!

I think Alice Walker’s words, spoken through Sophia in The Color Purple, express it best, “A girl child ain’t safe in a house full of mens.”

So, I think I’ll stop here and encourage anyone who is ready to have a polite and meaningful conversation about anything that I mentioned in this post to drop down in comments so we can chat.

Racism and Prejudice in Daily Conversation

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Racism no longer exists!

-Some Earthling from 7510

Astute 1960s music aficionados will recognize the aforementioned, 7510, as the year that Zager and Evans said, “If God’s a-coming, he ought to make it by then…”

That’s right, over 50 years ago our dear singers predicted that 7510 would be the year of Divine judgment!

Personally, I believe that we are being judged daily–by our own conscience.

That’s assuming that we have one.

Anyway, I find it kinda eerie that while Zager and Evans titled the song, In the year 2525, they don’t say much else about that year–other than to wonder “if man is still alive…”

In fact, it appears as if they simply opted not to complete their thesis about what 2525 might bring.

I shudder at the thought!

Anyway, this post has very little to do with that song other than to illustrate how much farther, as a society, we have to go in order to become more advanced in our thinking; I pray we get there before 7510 because 2525 is beginning to look like a freaking wash!

Ok, so after watching and listening to a whole lot of people talking about racism these days, I decided to put in my proverbial two cents by offering a couple of suggestions on how to avoid racist/prejudice talk in your daily conversations.

I might even throw in a little story.

And so…

In essence, if you are interested in having a genuine conversation on race–or anything else–with black folks, please refrain from saying any of the following:

  1. “Racism does not exist.”
  2. “You’re being overly sensitive.”
  3. “How do you know <insert complex, intellectual, technical, little-known, sophisticated topic here>
  4. “How did he/she/they get a better grade than I did?”
  5. “How did she/he/they get that job, house, car, thing?”
  6. “Family doesn’t mean much to Black people” (Said by some foolish ass congressman, very recently.)
  7. “That’s not racism!” (An easy out for people who are uninterested in learning about racist remarks and behaviors.)

This list is not exhaustive.

While some of the above points are blatant, others are very subtle yet highly offensive. In fact, I’m NOT even going to include the REALLY blatant shit that people say.

That said, I am willing to offer a more slick example of how prejudiced beliefs and attitudes slither into a daily conversation. (This is an example of my 3rd point from above)

For your consideration:

Once upon a very recent time, LadyG was having a conversation with a couple of co-workers about travel.

During the conversation, Lady G stated, “I’d like to go visit Findhorn someday.”

To which one of the co-workers, a white female who fancies herself to be very well versed on just about every damn thang, inquired, “What is Findhorn?”

To which LadyG replied, “It’s a beautiful community in Scotland where they have been known to grow gigantic vegetables by working closely with spiritual beings that inhabit the land.”

Before LadyG could complete her sentence, her co-worker had whipped out her iPhone, looked up Findhorn, and was instantly amazed at how accurate LadyG was in her description of the joint.”

“Hmm,” dear co-worker responded, “And how do you know about that?”

To which LadyG shot back, “I’m just nosey as hell.”

-THE END

Granted, the average person in Georgia has no clue what Findhorn is–never mind where it is.

Hell, some of you are also probably wondering how I knew about it.

Let’s just say that I am an avid reader who loves to learn about new people, places and things.

At any rate, it’s not so much that she asked that question, it’s more the way she asked the question.

It was clear to me that she didn’t think it was possible for me to have any knowledge about a subject that she did not already know about.

Who was I to know so much about something that she had never heard of?

Now, I can hear someone in the ethers saying, “How is that racist, she’s just a know-it-all.”

True dat!

She definitely was a know-it-all!

But here’s the thing…do you think she would have asked a white woman or man the same question– with the same kind of undertone?

Would she have been completely amazed that another white person could know about Findhorn?

I’d wager that she would not have asked another white person that question–at least not in the same way.

She asked me with an air of suspicion–disbelief.

Now, if, in fact, she had asked another white person, it would have been out of genuine curiosity–a “tell me more” kind of situation.

Trust me, as a black woman, I know the difference.

I’ve experienced this, or something like it, more times than I can properly count.

Seriously, I could give you a thousand other examples; including the one where the white male student asked my Political Science professor how I got a better grade than he did on an essay exam. It should be noted that the professor, who was also white, was the one who told me what the guy said.

Oh! What about the time a white co-worker told me that I was not “black… black.” By that, she meant that I was not like “regular black people”–whatever that is.

Or, the time my white Biology professor told me that I was one of only two black students to ever get an A in his class. Why did he feel the need to tell me this?

Oh yeah, what about the white English professor who stopped me after class one day to ask where I was from because she could tell from my writing style that I couldn’t be “from around here.”

Whew chile…it’s tiring y’all!

So, I think I’ll stop here and encourage anyone who is ready to have a polite and meaningful conversation about anything that I mentioned in this post to drop down in comments so we can chat.

A Family Conversation: What’s In A Name?

“A Family Conversation” is a storytelling audio series that features weekly discussions between blogging cousins LadyG and Ron Brown on current events along with favorite posts from each other’s blog.


In today’s audio, the cousins are talking about “The Godfather of Soul,” Little LadyG–the 3-year-old militant, 😂 Don Cheadle and Taraji P. Henson.

We’re also talking about names:

  • Nuances in our dialect and how some names were never meant to be written down
  • Spell it!
  • Nicknames vs. Government Names
  • Names with punctuation marks
  • Names that sound Greco-Roman and other creative name combinations
  • Our eldest sons didn’t escape the “name game”
  • Your Mother’s, Mother’s maiden name
    • NOTE: There’s an old saying in Georgia: In Atlanta, folks ask, “What’s your line of business?” In Macon, folks ask, “What church do you attend?” In Augusta, folks ask, “What’s your mother’s, mother’s name?” In Savannah, they wanna know what you drinkin’😂


Look out for the next episode:

A Family Conversation: Do Your Dance! on Friday, March 19, 2021.

A Family Conversation: We Need To Do Better, Crazy Conspiracy Theories, And The Man Who Incurred No Cost

“A Family Conversation” is a storytelling audio series that features weekly discussions between blogging cousins LadyG and Ron Brown on current events along with favorite posts from each other’s blog.


Catch up on the first part of this conversation, HERE.


Contains VERY Adult Language

In today’s audio, the cousins are talking about:

  • “Un-rehab-able”: More thoughts on the fools in Harlem that beat up a woman for not accepting their advances
  • Re-birthing (See links below)
  • Insurrection!  What is you so mad about?
  • Corey Ryan Forrester’s video RANT!
  • What was the real motivation? What was the plan?
  • Gird up the “democracy”
  • What have you done for Trump lately…Oooooh Yeah! 🎶
  • Fear of losing control of the country
  • Social Media Algorithms leading America to HELL:  “You might like this…”
  • Conspiracy theories are great for marketing merchandise
  • Fools came to town
  • Ebb and flow
  • Don’t argue, be compassionate- no ultimatums
  • Mad for no reason, LadyG keeps harping on this one point!
  • Cult of personality
  • You are of no use, You’re going to jail-no pardons
  • A “moral hazard” –The man who incurred no cost
  • Ron’s haunted lamp


Links:

Healthline: Is Rebirthing Therapy Safe and Effective?

NIH: Rebirthing therapy banned after girl died in 70 minute struggle

My Dog Is So Disrespectful… But It’s All Good

Angel, my pomeranian

Updated: 3/3/2020 4:35pm.

Yes Lord, my dog is so disrespectful, but it’s all good!

No seriously, Angel sashayed into my life back in 2014 and she’s been on self-appointed K9 patrol ever since!
Let me tell you about this little thing here…

As I said, her name is Angel.

My cousin, Shawndra, who gave her to my Dad after my mother passed away, named her–or maybe it was her daughter Mikayla–I’m not sure.

Either way, it was love at first sight for my daughter, Lady J–Protector of The Animal Kingdom!

For me…

Well, it was kinda-sorta love at first sight, but I was a little hesitant because I knew that while Lady J might be Protector of The Animal Kingdom, she is by no means Feeder and Walker of Dog at 5:30am.

That was going to be me!

As for Angel, she didn’t give a hoot, as long as she had a nice place to lay, good food, fresh water and a daily walk.

Now, to the point of this post.

So, we’ve already established that I am Feeder and Walker of Dog at 5:30am-sometimes 4:00am, but I forgot to mention that I am also Do-er of Every-damn-thang else.

Do you think that matters to Angel?

Absolutely not, in fact, she happily goes about her life–disrespecting me, everybody and everything that crosses her path.

Shall I count the ways?

  1. She stands on all of my notebooks–bending and tearing up the pages.
  2. She conducts daily shouting matches, lectures and debates with the neighbor’s dog.
  3. She gets on my lap, places her butt in my face and proceeds to “chill for a minute ’til the next episode.”
  4. She dares Lady J to “cross THIS line” everyday around lunch time.
  5. She chastises the squirrels, birds and the rest of the woodland creatures for living their best lives.
  6. She nudges the bathroom door open in the middle of the night to see what I’m doing–no matter what I’m doing.

I could go on–but, in the interest of time, I won’t.

She is just so disrespectful…but it’s all good!

To be honest, all of this only endears her to me.

Why?

Because this same little disrespectful hobgoblin is the first to notice when I feel sad or otherwise off-kilter.

It’s been said that dogs and horses have a “sixth sense” for these things.

Anyway, it still amazes me how she climbs up into my lap, becomes uncharacteristically solemn and begins to live up to her name–Angel–a heavenly being holding a hallowed space for my spirit to rise up!

Ah, but when she feels that I’m all better, she jumps down off my lap, goes to the patio door and continues an ongoing tirade against the birds for singing in the trees.

My dog is so disrespectful…but it’s all good because I love her–no matter what.

Angel at the window patrolling the woodland creatures

Angel, standing on my notebook

Racial Equity In The Economy Means We All Win

Racial equity is a win-win proposal.


My cousin Ron and I often talk about the nebulous meaning of a “good economy” and how some people love to point to it whenever they want to brag about how well the country is doing.

We heard a lot of that during the previous Presidential Administration.

Back to my point.

Now, if we were to quiz these same people on said “good economy” they would likely be hard-pressed to give a coherent definition of the concept.

To be more specific, I would argue that the measures which determine what is and what is not a “good” or “healthy” economy are difficult for most people to practically comprehend –with the exception of the unemployment rate.

However, a few months ago, I ran across a study that pointed to a direct connection between discrimination and major economic loss in America.

No doubt, this fact is shocking but definitely not hard to understand.

Point blank, discriminatory practices in the U.S. have resulted in major economic loss for the country as a whole, and now is the time to turn these deep rooted practices around.

If we can do this, we will have brought racial equity to the table and we all win.

Sadly, there are those who will gladly accept this and future losses–to their own detriment–out of sheer hatred and stupidity.

But, that said, I’m convinced that more of us are interested in the well-being of the collective.


Here is what the study found:

According to Citigroup, as quoted in this article from NPR, the U.S. economy lost $16 trillion since 2000 due to discrimination and other broad reaching policies that were blind to racial equity.

The article goes on to count all of the losses:

  • $13 trillion lost in potential business revenue because of discriminatory lending to African American entrepreneurs, with an estimated 6.1 million jobs not generated as a result
  • $2.7 trillion in income lost because of disparities in wages suffered by African Americans
  • $218 billion lost over the past two decades because of discrimination in providing housing credit
  • And $90 billion to $113 billion in lifetime income lost from discrimination in accessing higher education

Today’s Black History Month Observation:

Despite popular public opinion, Black people are not asking for handouts, we are asking to have systemic filters removed so that we can proceed through and rise to our highest potential.

LadyG


I don’t want nobody

To give me nothing

Open up the door

I’ll get it myself

Don’t give me degeneration

Give me true communication

Don’t give me sorrow

I want equal opportunity

To live tomorrow

James Brown, The God Father of soul (1969)

A Family Conversation: A Bottomless Pit, Gaslighting, Fools on Facebook and other Such Bull$h!t

“A Family Conversation” is a storytelling audio series that features weekly discussions between blogging cousins LadyG and Ron Brown on current events along with favorite posts from each other’s blog.


Includes Adult Language

In today’s audio, the cousins are talking about:

  • The bottomless pit of violence during 1960s Civil Rights protests
  • Gaslighting: We know it when we see it
  • Acknowledgement would go a long way
  • Eisenhower on documenting history
  • A clown named Tucker (See link below)
  • Fools on Facebook: Ron posts a woman’s lying vitriol after he declined her advances; his son, Adam, intervenes
  • Fools in Harlem: Violence against women– men beat up and rob woman who rejected advances (See link below)
  • Mob mentality
  • Lady G’s club policy back in the day


Listen to earlier parts of the conversation:

Part I

Part II

Catch Ron at The Time Tunnel and be sure to read The Murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson (Referenced in the post)

Stay tuned for next week’s conversation on Friday March 5.


Links:

Business Insider: Fox News won a court case by ‘persuasively’ arguing that no ‘reasonable viewer’ takes Tucker Carlson seriously

Madamenoire: Harlem Woman Beaten Up, Bitten And Robbed By Group Of Men After Rejecting Their Advances

Morgan Freeman on Black History Month

I don’t want a Black History Month. Black history is American history —Morgan Freeman


You can’t extract the history of Blacks from the history of America; it is one and the same.

I am inclined to agree with Mr. Freeman–Black History is American History and should be included, in a substantive way, in our national educational curriculum, as well as the broader cultural lexicon.

According to DNA ancestry, my Black ancestors have been here for just as long as some of my White ancestors and even longer than others (Irish).

Clearly, black history has suffered in isolation for long enough. It’s time to bring it out and give it the honor and respect that it deserves.


Here’s a fascinating and very necessary project from The Atlantic that seeks to fill in the blanks of lost Black history in America.


Here’s a link for more great quotes related to Black History

Bring Back String Instruments–For Our Sanity

I’m not even kidding!  We need string instruments back!

Yesterday, my fifteen-year-old daughter, Lady J, and I had a conversation about the music that she enjoys listening to.  She even shared some of her favorite songs–which shocked me since Lady J, like most kids her age, can be very elusive.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to find that all of those songs had very gorgeous and complex arrangements–they were beautiful—they were lovely—I was touched by the melodies.

As I sat there listening to one song after another, I noticed two things. 

First, the songs were heavily punctuated with string instruments.

Second, they were mostly written, composed and performed by Japanese artists.

You might be wondering where I’m going with this…

You’ll see.

Let me begin by saying that I totally understand Lady J’s current taste in music.

Like her, when I was a teenager, I was mostly interested in music that evoked feeling.

The Late Great Maestro, Barry White said, “When I want to bring emotion, I pull out the strings.” 

I don’t know where I heard that, but, based on his musical catalog, if he didn’t say it, he would likely have agreed with it.

May his soul rest in power!

But I digress.

Back to Lady J.

As a teenager, Lady J has become aware of the importance of finding healthy ways to live and cope with daily happinesses (not a real word) as well as the occasional hazard. She has learned that certain music provides the perfect vehicle for the sound (forgive the pun) expression of a range of emotions.

Have you ever heard it said that someone or something “pulled at the heartstrings?”  

Now, I got no time to google the origins of that saying but I guarantee that it is related in a some circuitous way.

Got it?

Good.

Now comes the part where I have to confront my own emotions about the current state of music here in America–in the Year Of Our Lord 2021.

To be blunt, I am struck by the fact that my daughter kept sharing song after song by artists who hail from elsewhere. I mean, oftentimes my child feels like she has to “go” all over the world—albeit digitally— to find the kind of music that she likes.  

Now, before folks go off, let me check them right now.

I am not writing this to be used as a study in xenophobia because, as a black mother, I don’t play that.

I’ve taught my children to respect the beauty of all races, colors, creeds and cultures.  

However, I have also taught them to learn their own—especially when it comes to music.

But there’s a problem.

Excuse my “Southern-ness”–I know it’s showing–honey, there just ain’t that many folks round here making music that incorporates string instruments—or any other classical instrument for that matter.

That’s why my baby gotta go all the way across oceans to find the stuff that she wants, and I would argue, needs to hear.

But, why am I so bothered? I mean, regardless of where it comes from, she has found the music that she likes, right?

To answer that questions, I must take us back in time…

You see, string instruments were an integral part of my childhood. 

Hell, I even played violin briefly but I gave it up in order to become a majorette—Sheez! 

Priorities!

Anyway, during that time, in the mid to late 1970s, violins, violas, cellos and the like were EV-ER-Y-WHERE—Barry White made sure of that! 

The MAESTRO!  

Enough said.  

However, Barry, wasn’t the only one, string instruments were all over the place then, not just in Soul music (which, I know seems counterintuitive), but in just about any genre that you could think of.

Yes, that’s right, string instruments, the ones of classical music fame, were everywhere—not just at the “INSERT YOUR CITY HERE Symphony Orchestra.”

Granted, I know that violins and cellos were NOT invented in Georgia–nor were they played solo at the cook-out–but that’s not the point. Forget where and when string instruments originated, talented musicians, back in the day, made them do things that Beethoven never could have imagined.

Hell, we were shook by the Delfonics professing love over a wall of high-flying violins in LA-LA- Means I Love You.

And don’t get me started on Bill Withers telling us about a Lovely Day with classical violins, violas and cellos backing him all. the. way. up!

My loves, those kind of heavy handed string arrangements gave me all of the things that I needed to get my emotions out about:

My dying dog, Bones

My unrequited love for…What’s his name?

My very, very, very, serious relationship with…What’s his name?

Flat out, string instruments gave me, and so many others, a quick way to access our emotions about any number of things.

Anyway, you know what I mean.

I just hate the fact that my daughter can’t readily find the kind of mental and emotional tonic that string instruments provide in her own backyard without crossing oceans or sifting through the music of yore.

And so, it seems that the strings are notably absent, but I would contend that we MUST bring them back for our sanity!

This is especially important as we all muddle through some version of a lockdown.

We need string instruments to give us a healthy way to release emotion!

Now, in the midst of my rambling, I must say that I’m grateful that my dear daughter has sense enough to know that mess like Danileigh’s “Yellow bone what he want” is not a good lyric and I shudder to think about the “music” that is enveloping those words. 

Baby, I’m not EVEN gonna address that controversy—it would call for a different post.

Let me just say that if you’ve never heard that nonsense, do NOT google it and consider yourself and your ears blessed.

Moving on…

Right here, right now, I’d like to implore musicians in America to find a way to incorporate string instruments into your music! 

Do your part to help us get in touch with our emotions.

And if you are wondering, the previous sentence was my “call to action” for musicians from a passionate lover of music advocating for her dear daughter-and the rest of us!

Now, if you don’t get my point, consider this whole thing an exercise in academics–and keep it moving past this old woman–who is probably out of step with the times droning on about nothing.

I bid you Good Day!

Muhammad Ali On Risking It

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” —Muhammad Ali

The GREATEST OF ALL TIME hath spoken!


I bid you good day!

No, seriously, as the GOAT advises, accomplishments often require us to consider risking things that we hold dear.

If we are going to accomplish anything worthwhile in life, we must be willing to take risks.


More great quotes here.