I’m Every Woman: Why I Don’t Give a Damn About the Male Gaze

By Jasmine Kelly

Yes, you read the title right and no, I am not a feminist. I am a woman who believes in doing what the hell she wants despite if a man is looking or not. We live in a male-dominated society and that fact influences a lot of what we as women do. As a consequence of such, respectability politics come into play. Unfortunately, living in a male-dominated society makes women question our intelligence, appearance, sexual prowess and even the legitimacy of our very own diverse existence. Women, at times, feel that if we do not fit a certain role, then we are not valid as we are. Even though we can sometimes discriminate against each other, in my heart of hearts, I know we have been conditioned to do this mostly because of men. I mean, it makes sense, but it’s still an unfortunate truth.

We as women know how multifaceted we can be and how amazing we are because we just…are (duh!). We understand that we can be college graduates and street smart, professional with a slick mouth and how we can back that thang up on a Saturday night and still be on time for church the next morning. Hallelu! Beautiful attributes, right? So, excuse me if I can’t understand, for the life of me, why some men cannot comprehend the same. In all honesty, I know they do. I think that men simply refuse to accept how multi-layered women are because they don’t know what to do with us when we do not fit into the social, emotional, mental, sexual, spiritual and physical compartments that they try to place us in.

Oh yes, I have some male friends who love Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B, and Rico Nasty among many others. Those women as forms of entertainment is a great idea to them but having these women as girlfriends or other forms of a significant other, where they have to view them as whole human beings? Hell no! These women would be too much for them to handle despite their intelligence, business savvy and overall dopeness. Don’t even get me started about how some men feel about the City Girls. Chile… I can’t roll my eyes any harder.  Personally, I admire Meg the Stallion’s versatility (rapper and a college student), Cardi B’s grind to fame (started in the strip club) and Rico Nasty’s realization of her own life. I see these women, appreciate these women, and most importantly, understand that these type of women exist and can do so while still handling business. I find that it is when we feel that a man will judge us is when we try to downplay such attributes of ourselves and I say…fuck that!

Regardless if a man can swallow it or not, I am going to be myself, in all forms. I am going to handle myself professionally in the workplace, enjoy myself to the fullest extent on the weekends, and demand nothing less than respect and excellence from the men with whom I choose to involve myself with. Why? Because I can! I urge all women to honor the place in their selves where the entire universe resides, where all the women in you hang their hats and honor them because they are valid.


Jasmine Kelly is a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Jasmine is a higher education professional who believes in the powers of Black Twitter. You can follow her on Instagram @chicomydusty.

 

Photo Credit: Refinery29
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