Real Talk | Mirrors and distorted images



In the current stages of the #metoo movement, I often question if women of color have a voice or if being in the background and accepting inappropriate advances have caused a rift in how women of color view themselves and have been conditioned to be valued from society and within our own communities.

No, men of color are not the only ones who have called their women a Bitch! However, women of color have embraced the word and empowered themselves by adding valuable action words in front of this derogatory statement to diminish the pain, such as Bad B or Made B or Boss B.

This has been a way of coping with different forms of abuse and degradation. The question is have we done this in other life forms such as with pedophilic behavior? This leads me to the following issue –– Lifetime network that champions women’s stories introduced “Surviving R. Kelly,” a three-night docuseries about an R&B mega star who is being accused of sexually assaulting young girls as young as age 12.

I know that in some forms in the community of color this is considered the norm as young girls are approached in a sexual manner by older guys and are welcomed/embraced by family members who see this individual as a savior who provides stability economically. This is less about the men. It is more about how women view this situation, with accusations and more accusations arising from women on my sister’s Facebook timeline feed. I see they begin to blame the victims, questioning why they are attacking R. Kelly and trying to damage his life and good reputation. The accusations charge these girls wanted it because he was a celebrity, and should have given it up and kept quiet.

It has been verified that this artist frequented Chicagoland high schools to pick up young girls, sexually assaulted young girls and even urinated on camera on a 14-year-old girl. He is accused of changing documents to marry a 15-year-old when he was 28.

Pedophilia is a sickness. However, when money and star power comes into play it seems that individuals are hailed as heroes. The issue with Jerry Lee Lewis, the great Elvis Presley, Harvey Weinstein, R. Kelly, Jerry Sandusky, William Cosby and the many others is that women/victims are shamed by those who should support them. No one speaks out due to retaliation or just being isolated. Even when it’s the older guy with money in the neighborhood who only likes young girls, and we turn a blind eye.

We are conditioned to remain silent, leading many others to continue behaviors internalized as acceptable.

Today how do you view yourself and value the women in your family? Shutters off. No blinders. Eyes wide open. Speak up for those who are voiceless.

Food for thought keeping it real.

Kamara Taylor

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