I received this email a few years back, and today as I do a major cleaning of my email (as I search for a file) I found it and remembered the truth of it…It specifically talks about us “colored” girls, but I want to extend it to all my sisters. Because, the truth of the matter is that women are women’s biggest critics.
I love each of you. I hug you from the distance. And, I will continue to endeavor to be your ally. I can’t promise that I wont talk about you, but I can promise not to say anything about you that I haven’t said to you!
I am sending this out to you not because I know you personally or that we are the closest or best of friends but simply because you and I share a similarity. We are women of color. But the things that bound us are so much deeper than that, however it all starts there.
When I first heard of the movie “For Colored Girls” I got so excited. I had the idea of getting as many women together that I could think of to go see this movie. I had visions of group discussions and moments shared with one another that would lead to healing and growth, I guess I kind of imagined a Women’s Empowerment Conference type of setting.
Well after I shared my idea with a few women, reality set in and I realized that so many of us wouldn’t be willing to participate for various reasons: You don’t like me, you don’t care for somebody I might invite, you only hang out with certain people, you don’t understand the big deal about Tyler Perry making yet another movie about black people and our issues for all the world to see, you don’t like crowds, so n so is too ghetto, such and such is too uppity etc… It has ALWAYS amazed me that we as black women are each others biggest critics. We are the quickest to bring each other down, find each others faults and nit pick at a sister until she has nothing left, nothing left to give and then we step over her and call her worthless. We take the prettiest women and tear them down for thinking “they are cute” but turn around and dog the average sista because “she know she should take better care of herself than that – can’t believe she got a man!” We call strong women female dogs and accuse weaker women of riding somebody else’s coat tails. We tell a big sista to put down her burger and turn around and criticize a skinny woman for not picking one up. We ride the loud mouth woman for “talking to darn much” and likewise torment the quiet woman for “Being too quiet and needing to take up for herself” Sad part is we don’t discriminate, we talk about everybody!!!
I’ve watched women dog out everybody from Oprah for catering to white people and Halle Berry for not being able to keep a man to young Willow Smith for acting to darn grown in her recent video. All of these females are successful and there is something about each one of them to be proud of but a lot of us can’t seem to see that. I have to wonder since we all share a common thread (whether we want to admit it or not) is there something about ourselves that we don’t like, what has happened to us that we cannot seem to get along. Why is that we fight amongst ourselves, backstab & steal each other’s men (only to find out we should have left him where we found him). We cannot seem to be unified to support and stick up for one another. Everybody seems to be out for themselves while other groups unite against us but nobody else has to bring us down because we trample on the spirits of each other daily.
Even if you live in a mini mansion, drive a luxury car, have good credit, rich handsome husband etc., this does not mean that should look down your nose at the woman with 4 kids, no husband, living in income based housing struggling to keep her lights on. We ALWAYS think the grass is greener on the other side, I had a woman whose child father is MIA tell me that I should never complain because I receive a decent amount of child support and I laughed and let her know that I would gladly give every dime back if he would come relieve some of this overwhelming pressure of feeling inadequate as a parent. If I could get just one full night of sleep or not always be on the verge of losing my job because I’m the one that has to call off or leave work for one reason or another to accommodate my child – yeah he could DEFINITELY have his money if I could have some peace! Money alone doesn’t make you happy (not true happiness), good credit doesn’t keep you satisfied, beauty doesn’t make you any less insecure, fame doesn’t make you less vulnerable or cause you to be a good judge of character and being stuck up and mean doesn’t keep you warm at night or prevent you from being lonely.
You don’t know how the sista sitting right next to could have carefully put on her make up this morning to hide the beating from last night. The teacher you handed your child over to this morning could have sent her children off to school from a dark house with empty bellies. The teller you just got rude with at the bank could know that today is her last day on her job and have no idea how she is going to survive past next weekend. The sista at the office that appears so busy could be typing her goodbyes to all the people that she loves because she plans to blow her brains out tonight after she tucks her babies into bed. The woman you pass in the hallway could be on her way to have an abortion because she fears what others might think or how the woman who sent you this e-mail posted this may drink an overabundance of alcohol every night to mask the nightmares of an abusive childhood.
Ladies we HAVE TO DO BETTER!!! I’m not suggesting that we all like each other and be phony, But I am asking that we all try to respect each other. You HAVE NO IDEA what the next woman is going through, you don’t know what past or current hurt and pains have shaped her into who she is today. We spend so much time trying to be as strong and hard as we are expected to be that we end up cracking from the inside out piece by piece. If we would spend 1/3 of the time we spend tearing each other down to build someone up, encourage someone, show someone some love, we could truly make a difference and save someone’s life. PLEASE don’t be the straw that breaks another woman’s back. Believe me when I tell you that there is a woman out there that needs your smile, your hug, your support, your prayer.
I hope that you read this and get something out of it other than a laugh and that you pass this on to as many women as you can to let someone know that you believe they are somebody special and that if need be you are available to listen. Nothing bad is going to happen if you don’t forward this e-mail but I’d like to think that something positive will happen if you choose to pass it along. May favor be extended to each and every one of your lives, keep your head up and know that someone somewhere cares!!!