By: Jay. Tha Poet. (2017)
We've all heard it: "If you want a [insert something allegedly tied to peace of mind], you need to do something with that hair." If you want to get a job; if you want to get a man; if you want to get ahead, you have to change your hair. Really, it's exhausting because this is heard on the daily. In simpler terms, our lives as Black women are supposed to be "easier" when our hair is less coarse. In Mo's Mix: Queen-dom, an intern tackles this assumption when he pitches the product name, "No Press? No Stress."
He asserts that natural hair is correlated with stress, but Mo's Mix, the business, seeks to challenge that notion. Moreover, perms are supposed to "relax" the hair, but calling perms "relaxers" name implies that texture prior to relaxing is "stressful." So, "No Press? No Stress" is saying that there is not an inverse relationship between the hair texture and happiness. In other words, one can live nappily after ever.
You might think this is ancient history and we're in a new, progressive era, but that's not the case. Although the army finally gave its two cents about the fact that protective hairstyles are professional (duh!), this was after a supreme court ruled that a business choosing not to hire an employee because of locs was acting lawfully. As Janelle Monae's character Mary says in Hidden Figures, "Every time we get a chance to get ahead, they move the finish line."
A year ago today (October 26th), I put out a play called Speak Now in honor of domestic violence awareness month. Although physical abuse is often thought of when we conceptualize domestic violence, sexual abuse is a component as well. So, Speak Now is important as women and men are faced with a lethal rape culture that negatively impacts both parties. Women face internal doubts about whether or not they "feel" raped because of how society treats those who come forward. Oftentimes, women are told they are lying about rape, which is why a significant number of victims do not come forward. As for men, they are too doubted because society does not want to accept that men, too, can be victimized by the stigmas around rape. Molina and Marvin, the play's two main characters, honed in on both perspectives about rape.
Grey Rape & Intimate Partner Violence
When are you going to get that sex is choice, not an obligation? Sex is a choice that's best when motivated by trust - not lust.
The "Rebellious Woman" blog is a periodic scoop on hair, love, race, politics, and everything in between. Stay tuned for reflections the life of a rebel with a cause!