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THE UNSPOKEN BLACK WOMEN'S IDENTITY

Posted on March 7, 2018 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)
I heard, ???A female becomes a woman when she speaks without permission.??? This statement was so powerful to me. Recently in my practices, I have had an increase of women between the ages of 28 to 35, college graduates, who are excelling in their careers. The underline theme has been these women questioning their identity as a black woman. So I proposed the question ???What does it mean to be a Black Woman???. The women I spoke to stated being a Black Woman means to live unapologetically, bold, fierce, driven, not backing down, strength, nurturing to others but neglecting self, misunderstood, queen, diva, mad, outspoken. These descriptors were interesting but I was looking for the meaning behind the words. Women (ages 45+) felt being a Black Woman is individualized and conceptual. Concluding they felt they were seen as a woman first and their blackness second in society. Whereas Millennials felt they were seen through a collective lenses as being black, a woman, and a millennial. This triple mindedness affects their psyche and sometimes proposes a challenge causing psychological reconciliation. Posing an unique scenario for millennials. Although all women interviewed felt within the workplace they always had to prove themselves, work harder, and believed they did not have the flexibility of their counterparts. It was clear they felt inequality in the workplace. Viola Davis stated in an interview that as A Black Woman she has to hustle for her wealth. She stated with the same professional background and credentials she does not get the same opportunities of White Women in her field. This feeling of not being acknowledged for your worth continues to show it???s self in society. It seems there is a shift in what it means to be a Black Woman. In my interviews women reported feeling an increase of empowered within their Black Woman cohorts. In addition they felt there is a movement that black women was starting to appreciate themselves and taking back their power. There are many environmental factors that have influenced this shift. The changing roles of the black family, education, income, and more acceptance of the LBGTQ community. These factors have impacted black women???s persona. Black Women are more educated, the black family dynamics has changed, and new social norms are being developed. Here are some statistics from 2013; 57% of Black women are college educated, 64% of black women have white collar positions, 48% of black women have never married, the average age for Black Women is 35 and around 4.6% of African American???s not specific to women; identify as LGBT. Why are these statistics meaningful? Because they affect social identity of the Black Woman. Dumb down and Ugly UP ???Black women are strong not because they are angry; they are strong because they are strong!!!!??? Not sure who made this statement but yet another powerful view of Black Women. The uniqueness of being a Black Woman includes culture influences. Psychologically most Black Women reported feeling the weight of the world on their shoulders but still having to persevere. One of the surprising central themes from a physical aspect is the conversation around hair. Yes hair even in the workplace. Do you know of any other culture that hair is an office conversation? Even to the point when coworkers feel that having the right to have an opinion of their preference; as to give permission. Especially when black women are natural. There is a consistent debate on if it is too ethnic? I will pause here on the topic because this is an article on its own. I have to give black hair justice because there is a need for liberation in the hair movement! In many instances being the black woman on a team means that you are to represent the entire culture. This notion misrepresents the totality of race, inclusion and diversity. Instead of meeting quotas, the objective should be to represent a diverse dynamic which provides inclusivity to meet the needs of society. One person cannot provide this although it is a start. Therefore if you are at the table you have to represent because if not you, who will? Ladies we have a voice! Everyone navigates life through their personal experiences which does not ensure racial inclusion. For example one???s childhood experiences around race and acceptance impact the lenses in which individuals self-identify. Many of the millennials that I talked to stated the environments in which they grew up did not invoke the racial tension that they face in their current professional environment. Therefore these challenges forces them to rethink their identity, their roles, their responsibility to educate and advocate. This shaping of a women???s blackness has created an environment which Black Women are being recognized by their abilities while being challenged inequitably regarding their value. Building Awareness and Representing Blackness Understanding your womanhood and blackness is an individual exploration but a collective experience. Accepting your individual uniqueness promotes a healthy individual identity. It is the collective experience that we sometimes miss out on. Although it is needed to advancing the equality for Black Women. Creating cohorts that nurture empowerment and acceptance in the Black Community is essential in changing how society views us well as how we view ourselves. Self-evaluation is key and you must understand the energy you bring into the room. Building self-awareness skills are imperative. Here are some skills that can assist you. Crafting the art of dressing up ones language so that you are not seen as the ???Angry Black Woman??? Understanding there is an unspoken probation period before you gain the respect of your co-workers Knowing that even if you don???t want to be at the table; not using your voices is still making a statement Always be prepared. It is to your advantage if you are 2 steps ahead Find multiple ???Organic??? Mentors that are in your presence (not always field driven) Know you are always evolving so your identity as a Black Woman might look differently daily You do not need permission to be you You are unique and wonderfully made. You have been fashioned and shaped based on your personal life experiences. Not everyone can handle all of you! So be intentional in your presentation by knowing your audience. As my friend always says to me ???They ain???t ready for you but you are Ready for them!???

Sex is NOT a Cookie Cutter Experience

Posted on December 28, 2017 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

SEX IS NOT A COOKIE CUTTER EXPERIENCE Recently I sat on a panel as an expert on sex and relationships. The audience was made up of about 90% of millennials, who were black professionals, in the Uptown Dallas area for Happy Hour. This event was hosted The Charm Skool Show which is a Youtube Show. The topic was "Cuffing Season". Cuffing Season is the period between November 1 to about February 1. Cuffing Season is when you choose a "Cuddie Buddy". This experience can be a serious or causal relationship. Cuffing Season was termed due to the change in season and individuals find themselves desiring the need for intimacy.


As I started to explain the difference between intimacy versus sex; I was interrupted by a male attendee who stated women always want "aggressive sex". Meaning every woman, at all times, want their backs blown out while having sex. I explained that sex is too complex to be a one size fits all experience; which led me to want to write this article on why "Sex is NOT a Cookie Cutter Experience."


THE ROOTS OF INTIMACY When I define sex I always explain the roots of intimacy which include the psychological, spiritual, and physical. The psychological can be described as one's self-concept, perception of emotions, past/present experiences, and self-identity. The physical component encompasses what you see, hear, taste, touch, and smell. Spirituality is defined as your intuition, morals/values, and where you find peace. Conflict in any of the three areas will cause conflict in a "women" sexual experience.


THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INTIMACY, A QUICKIE, ROUTINE SEX, AGGRRESSIVE SEX


Intimacy is vulnerability and closeness. It is the exchanges of mutual openness. It is the feeling you get when you know you are special to someone. Intimacy is an expression not just a physical exchange. The connection is the most important component of intimacy.


A quickie is a quick orgasm or release. It is usually intense not necessarily intimate. Quickies are usually deliberate and short. The function of a quickie is to "get one off. " Sometimes individuals like quickies due to time limitations. Quickies can sometimes be "aggressive".


Routine Sex for this article is usually out of an obligation. Partners are just going through the motions. There is no thought put into it. The same old positions and touching. It can be a little longer than a quickie and usually not intense.


Aggressive Sex is usual seen as very intense, physically vigorous, and passionate experience. It can be unpredictable and spontaneous. Aggressive sex can be a power exchange and even forceful. Although NOT nonconsensual. Aggressive sex is when she has been thinking about sex all day and there is a buildup. She needs her pipes cleaned.


THE ROLE THAT MOOD PLAYS INTO SEX To help you understand how mood plays into sex; let me get back to the scenario from the panel experience. The visual imagery I described went a little like this:

"Your girl calls you and states she was having a bad day. You tell her to come straight home after work because you have a surprise for her. When you greet her at the door you take her coat, her purse, and remove her shoes. You tell her not to say a word, just trust you, and follow your instructions. You lead her to the bathroom and remove her clothes. Then you assist her into the tub. You proceed to give her a bath. Then you assist her out of the tub and dry her off. You lead her to the bedroom with soft music, aroma candles, and lotion her down. Whisper "Go to sleep". Then tuck her into the bed. Shhhh "No sex" This is intimacy."


Fellas the sexual experience will not end there because when she wakes up, she will be so grateful, that she just might blow your back out!


One wonderful quality that you can develop in your sex life is knowing and understanding your partner's mind state or mood. Then setting the atmosphere to meet your partner's needs. Sometimes women want intimacy, sometimes a quickie, sometimes routine sex, and sometimes aggressive sex. Your ability to read your partner is a skill. This skill will take you from cookie cutter to an executive chef.


About the Author: Theresa Braddy MRC, LPC is a License Professional Counselor in the Dallas area. Ms. Braddy has a passion for women and their issues. Ms. Braddy has been doing therapy for 20 years. Recently she published a book called "A Girls Has Needs But A Woman Knows What She Wants." Braddy has appear on Good Morning Texas broadcast as a relationship expert and local talk show to offer relationship tips.


Contact info Theresa Braddy MRC, LPC Email: [email protected] Website: boutiquetalkcounseling.com Twitter: @theresaBraddy Instagram: braddy_theresa

COMING SOON in 2018 Theresa's Blog

Posted on December 28, 2017 at 8:30 AM Comments comments (0)
This blog with focus on different topics related to women's mental health. Theresa will post blog articles once a month.

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