The past week has been rough.
With injustices and tragedies spanning across states, I think we're all raw, pissed off, and tired. But also energized. A strange dichotomy how a thing that drains you is the exact thing that moves you to act, to speak out for yourself and others and against that which attempts to bind you, at best, or kill you (if not kill your spirit), at worst.
This push back is necessary. And it's not the only shift I've noticed.
I see our generation going through an evolution. More precisely, a revolution of social order. I can't pinpoint from where or precisely when the shift originated, but everyday we are witnessing outdated constructs being called out, challenged, disrupted, and dismantled.
Ask the hotel industry how they feel about AirBnB. Notice the dollars taxi cab companies are pouring into lobbying against Uber and Lyft. Even organized religion is experiencing declining membership, with no indication that people are leaving God, they're just leaving church.
People are exercising their power and are pushing with righteous indignation against external forces dictating, projecting personal "isms," or oppressing or denying in any way the genius, beauty, and humanity of the individual.
No one is here for any of that.
When I started this blog 2 years ago I challenged readers to Google this phrase: Why you are still single. Typing in these words set off an avalanche of articles that explained, with the tenderness of a porcupine, 50 different ways you suck as a person--the many reasons you may be single.
Drilling further down, looking at race, black women were (and are) targeted relentlessly with negative relationship messaging. One of the messages being that black women have personality problems, but in the off-chance that a few black women don't suffer from control, attitude, and competitive issues, those too will remain unmarried regardless and not by choice. For a host of reasons, of course.
For a long time there was silence from the women these articles targeted. Actually, maybe they weren't silent. I'd just stopped reading these articles. Then, November 20, 2015 happened.
If you're familiar with the site, VerySmartBrothas.com, then you know how entertaining and, well, smart the posts are. The contributors at VSB are brilliant and it shows in thoughtful and relateable pieces. Plus, they usually say what we're all thinking, but didn't know we were all thinking it.
But then sometimes a contributor comes along and says: "Maybe You're Single Because You're Wack."
The phrase "raked over the coals" comes to mind to describe what happened in the comments section regarding the writer's idea about the possibility of wackness being a reason that good-on-paper black women are still single.
This article, humorous, yet woefully misguided, generated some of the best conversations on singleness I've read, including a follow up piece, "Maybe You're Single Because You're...Wait, Who Gives A Fuck?" from VSB's Editor-in-chief, Damon Young, who wrote, "We know that, for myriad reasons, the numbers are skewered in Black men’s favor. Which is why a Black guy getting on a platform to tell Black women why they’re “failing” at dating is specifically reductive, myopic, and even, at times, cruel" in a show of broader thinking.
The collective push back that this article provoked showed that I was not alone in my disdain for talk that exists to diagnose, condemn, or shame a person weirdly based on civil status.
Now when I Google "Why you are still single," one or two articles exploring positive possibilities exist where before there were none. A clear sign of a shift of consciousness.
Whether it's gay rights, racial inequality, police brutality, gender pay gap, body shaming, shared economy expansion, and yes, even relationship status, we're calling b.s. on systematic contempt.
We're living the revolution.
Photo credit: Ronald Rugenbrink via CC Flickr