If you follow me on Twitter, you already saw some of my thoughts on this subject, but I felt like I had to expound.
Since it's Mother's Day weekend, I have absolutely nothing to do and I slept in until damn near one o'clock. When I woke up and got on Twitter, I noticed that folks, mainly men, were talking about Simping Saturday. My eyes rolled immediately. "Simping" is a construct that's totally new to me. Apparently, there's this thought that men cannot be "manly" if he's too obvious about his interest in a woman, particularly if he's using overly lovely words to get her attention.
Now, don't get me wrong: I understand that there's such a thing as being "extra". There's always someone who takes things way too far. But my question is: When did it become unmanly to lavish a woman with lovely words? I know that we are a society that has a quite binary view of gender identity. There are things that are "feminine" and things that are "masculine" and never the twain shall meet. But let me tell you right now: I don't like any version of masculinity that has no room for romance, sincerity, sweetness and gentleness.
I was raised in a family that has very manly men. But never was I given the idea that in order to be strong, manly men, those men did away with the idea of being courtly toward women. Perhaps it's because my grandfather is from North Carolina. Maybe it's that old fashioned Southern gentlemanliness coming out. But I was raised by men who hold doors, pull out chairs, help women on with their coats, aren't afraid of saying I love you and basically make it clear that they value the women in their lives. And none of those things has ever made me think less of them. They have given me wonderful examples of what it means to be a man. They have shown me that, even in the world of strength and power, there is room for being gentle and accommodating.
I've always known this world to be one of order. I believe that God (and yes, I believe in God - let's get that out of the way) created the world that way. There is a natural order to things. There is a balance that must be achieved so that things work as they should. We all need that balance in our lives. So, brothas, let me talk directly to y'all right quick. Sistas, feel free to continue reading, but the following isn't directed to you.
Brothas, please don't feel that I am chastising you. I'm not. I love you. And because I love you, I want you to love me (and by "me", I mean your women) openly, with no shame. It is okay to be interested in us, to find us beautiful and desirable. And it is perfectly okay to say so out loud, in front of the whole world. It is. Trust me. We like that.
Far too many of you are worried about what the next man will think about you. You give the side eye to everything. Everything is "gay". Meanwhile, your dick is dry. Why do you think that is, sweetheart? We are looking for something you are not willing to give us. Maybe if more of you were willing to explore what you think of as "feminine energy", we would get along better and understand each other more.
You need more balance in your lives. More softness. More sweetness. More love. More peace. Being more open with your feelings is healthier. It allows you to welcome more positivity and loveliness into your life. It's cleansing. There is room for this amongst all your manliness. Believe me. If you look deep, you'll realize that you crave it: that love, that affection, that connection with another human spirit. You crave us. And we crave you, too, my loves.
The sad thing is that I'm the one saying this. Because, as much as I feel it, I'm not the one who needs to be conveying this message. You need to be telling each other. Only a man can raise other men. You need to be passing this message down to your sons. You need to be walking examples that manhood isn't just about physical strength and bravado; that it's also about patience and love and beauty. Maybe if we changed our standards of masculinity, there wouldn't be so many lost and angry young men out there. You need us and we need you. Only in love will all be healed.
I'm gonna talk about whatever I want here. If you are squeamish about profanity or sex, this probably isn't the place for you. I don't curse all that much, but sometimes a well-placed "ass" or "shit" or even "fuck" doesn't go amiss. And sex is just about my favorite thing in the world, so . . . I'm gonna talk about it. You don't wanna read about or discuss sex, leave now.
There will be talk of relationships and my thoughts on the same. I will write poems sometimes, maybe. I'll talk about my kid and my family and celebrities. I will talk about Middle Eastern Dance (bellydance). I will talk about beauty. I am pretty sure I'll post pictures of beautiful people. Because I like looking at beautiful people. I'll talk about my hair because it is awesome. Um, what else . . . ? Stuff. There will be lots of discussion of stuff.
I'm a writer. I always have been. From the time I was able to write and could string words together to make coherent sentences, I have used the written word to process and to share. Words have been my vehicle, my weapon, my paint brush. I revel in their power, their beauty.
Years ago, my words were taken from me. That is my own fault. I allowed it. I stood by and watched it happen and didn't put up much of a fight. I did it in the name of love, but that is no excuse. Releasing my voice sucked the life out of me, dimmed my light. I was caught in the darkness, unable to find my way back. I stayed in that hole for a long time. Finally, I am making my way back. I am reclaiming that which I gave up.
I thank God for dance because when I had no words, it gave me voice. I will continue to dance my life for all those who care to watch. But now it's time to speak my life again, for all those who care to listen.