Roll the dice: Women and privilege, or black women and discrimination

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Photo credit: Roman Koester/Unsplash

There is a strange dynamic between black women and police officers. There are moments when we may as well be invisible, not seen as a threat, just a woman on-the-go. Then there are moments when we are seen as more black than we are women. Then there’s that third viewing, the complex dynamic when we are black women who are the family members, friends and bystanders around black men. Depending on the view, the treatment follows.

When black women are just seen as women — or someone’s daughter

When I saw the group of white officers walk onto the el train, I glanced up and went back to texting. One sat down next to me while the other two stood over us. I was still texting away. …

Your music playlist tells you his views on feminism

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Photo credit: Nappy/Pexels

When the bass dropped for a hip-hop song, he and I two-stepped to the floor, ready to get it in. We’d danced the night away at my brother’s wedding, so I already knew he could be my dancing partner. But less than a couple minutes after the initial song went off, TLC’s “No Scrubs” blasted. Women and girls flocked to the floor to recite the song word-for-word. I watched the scowl cross his face as he said, “I’m outta here. I hate this song.”

I looked on curiously, as he left me by my lonesome on the dance floor. Gainfully employed, sitting in the driver’s seat of a couple of Impalas (I never figured out his obsession with that car make), sharing an apartment with his cousin and an attentive father, I was perplexed by the idea that he had an issue with the song. Literally nothing about “No Scrubs” lyrics fit his lifestyle. A few weeks later and an informative phone call from a relative let me know all I needed to know about his views on women and relationships. (Hint: His theme song should’ve been T.I.’s “I Can’t Be Your Man.” …

Pretty good chance I’ll be “Ms.” forever — cause I don’t like you like that

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Photo credit: Shamontiel L. Vaughn

I was Today Years Old when I found out that I may have more in common with Desus from “Desus & Mero” than expected. I don’t always agree with the man, but I love their Showtime show and binge-watched all past episodes on Viceland. Other than their mutual love for dogs, I watch the show to laugh hysterically instead of bond with them. But when I opened up their book “God-Level Knowledge Darts: Life Lessons from the Bronx” and got to the relationship chapter, that was my first dap*-through-the-book moment when it came to bachelor-life Desus.

First bit of advice from Desus, “Rather than tell you what you should look for in a partner, here’s a quick list of who you shouldn’t look for … 2. People who don’t pet dogs when presented with the opportunity.” …


Shamontiel L. Vaughn

This writer/editor (since 2005), dog owner (22 yrs) and dog caregiver (1 yr) publishes Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk.

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