Segregation

GOOD GIRL GONE BAD

“I can’t decide whether I’m a good girl wrapped up in a bad girl, or if I’m a bad girl wrapped up in a good girl. And that’s how I know I’m a woman!”
― C. JoyBell C.

I picture the prime and proper girl, who’s never kissed a frog. Miss goodie-two-shoes. The girl we all openly claim to be. The undefiled virgin. Never before touched by a male, never before seen in the dark.

Then there is the loud, red-lipped hottie. The one with the voluptuous body, the one that every man wants, the one whose laughter is loudest in the room, the one whose glass is never empty. That is the girl we mostly will like to be. To be loud in our own right and to be bodacious with ourselves.

We are torn between the girl in the flood light and the girl in the dimly lit corner. We cannot say for sure if being the former will permit us enough opportunities to be completely true to our nature and our desires. We are certainly paranoid about the latter, if we went that way wouldn’t it mean that we have suddenly taken on an identity that is abominable, one that inevitably gives us a name with a thick red sign indicating danger.

A goody-two-shoes stings just as well, however, it is a sting that is safer to bear. We are miserable and frustrated, stuck between the girl we claim to be and the girl we dream to be. What do we stand to lose assuming we jumped ship? What will become of our reputation if we did? How would we survive if we didn’t?

We slumber in deep thought, we toss and turn. We weigh the scales and we consider the sacrifices. We contemplate the price to be paid, we swallow lump after lump, our throat sore with fear, and heart pumping blood with anxiety, our flesh perspire with apprehension, we are crippled by our jittery nerves.

Torn between two worlds, we live two lives, one in the open and the other in the closet. One in the  day light and the other in the dark. One with pride, and the other with shame. We are constantly swung between two realms, two existences, two grande stages. One in white stocking, the other in black pantyhose. One moment we are Mary at the feet of the master and the next we are Mary at the mercy of the mob.

 “There are no good girls gone wrong – just bad girls found out.”
― Mae West

Black Woman

UNAFRAID TO APOLOGIZE

“I would always rather be happy than dignified.”
― Charlotte Brontë

I’m sorry I do not know how to conform to your idea of woman. Do not bother to teach me for I am not in the least interested in becoming your mindless guinea pig of experimentation. You can sulk all you want and smack your head on the ground if you must. I am not in the least keen.

I will not become subject to your senseless ideology in an attempt to fit in. I will not force my tender being through a funnel of such cruel thinking only to emerge a massive lump like yourself. I will not handover my brain to your obtuse traditions nor give my mind in exchange for your poignant beliefs.

I’m sorry I have constantly failed your expectations of me, to become senile, doddering or condescending. I do not match-up to your qualifications for the properly metamorphosed female. Somehow I must have skipped a stage or two, to become unorthodox and the warped and bizarre one among you.

I do not apologize for leaving your precious carefully written script to be swept off by the river nor for forgetting  it time and again by the burner to smolder into ash. Your sacred pages and rules of engagement, oh how you painstakingly scribbled them for my own good, and for the good of all humanity, if only I would show some common sense and cease to destroy them.

I will yet debase them. And utterly annihilate them for I see it is a choice I must constantly make to keep my lovely head hanging high on my neck. Otherwise I would be surrendering my dear soul to imprisonment in the name of qualifying to become acceptable.

I will not subject my mind to puppetry neither would I surrender my wishes to the execution blade of general opinion. You can snarl all you want, sit around your smug counterparts, and grouch over my stubbornness and obscurity. Walk on broken glass if you must, to show your loyalty and devotion to lame titles or status of enslavement.

I will not be, yet another sacrificial lamb just so you can prove a point, one of helpless subjugation. I reject being that lamb and hobble blindly behind you to the slaughter, so I can become another zombie in your dignified gathering or simply another sad addition to the sorority of the haunted, maimed and despondent.

I like your outward disguise and admire your skillful art of masquerading, of pretty dresses and fancy jewelry, of false completeness and deserving the praises and approval of the majority. However, I despise the scars you unfortunately seldom succeed to hide beneath those fancy clothing and sunglasses.

I hear the weakness in your laughter and I see the wincing of your muscles, however so slightly, whenever you try to dance or fake laughter in the open. I sense the looming depth of sadness that hum violently in every given space of silence. It is inevitable, your bared vulnerability, as one can seldom wear a white garment and successfully conceal mud. It would be an eyesore.

I also know that joy cannot be faked, for it is not a garment to be worn but an aura that emanates from within. Thus, in spite of your presumed state of contentment and your glimmering appearance, I chose rather to be who I am and do what I want whenever I so please and at a time that I choose.

I choose my own happiness, I define my own completeness, I chose my path and I chose my seasons. This life after all is only lived once, albeit twice through the choices we make in the end. Hence my resolve, I choose what I choose when I choose it. Thus is my happiness complete, and my meaning settled.

I do not suppose you can see sense in my choices, I do not expect you to. To insist that you do would mean that I become like you. This is not a fight of superiority, neither is it the battle of the titans. It is simply what it is, that some of us do not and will not conform, we simply can’t. Live then, and let live. However so sorely, however piqued. Live, and let live.

I write for those women who do not speak,
for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified,
because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves.
We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.
– Audre Lorde

Masquerade girl