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The New 'Dirty' Word: Submissive

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  • The New 'Dirty' Word: Submissive

    Keeping with the theme Elder Ba'khyr has been teaching on the nine lives we all have (Spiritual, Physical, Economic, Cultural, Intellectual, Emotional, and Social), which we refer to as SPECIES, I would like to focus this post on the latter life. More specifically, I would like to focus this post on how we interact with each other in relationships.

    I was on a website recently where a brotha asked the question, Why do sistas get all mad and angry when brothas mention the word 'submissive.'

    And to be clear, the brotha was primarily asking why so many sistas have a problem with Black men leading in the home when he is doing everything he can to work hard for and provide for his family.

    On that particularly site, the group had well over 2,000 Black members. That thread sat for a week with no responses. The only time sistas responded was when he created a follow up post that criticized the lack of participation. The responses were a bit bleak.

    I mostly heard the same rants... Black women have to be the "man" and "woman" at work and in the home. And Black men should just deal with it because of the hard work Black women do. I also saw another sista put everything back on God, as if having faith means you don't have to work at anything. Only one sista mentioned the crucial component of healing Black relationships and that was revisiting our past and history, while looking inward to heal ourselves. I refer to most of what I heard as rants because anytime you have a shared problem and you do not look to yourself as being part of the problem and the solution, then what you are saying has very little value in regards to moving forward. Sistas and brothas can no longer afford to solely blame the other side for the problems we are having in connecting with each other.

    This post is primarily for the sistas, although brothas are more than welcome to voice their opinion as well.

    First, sistas I would like to ask how were you able to succeed in your career? (Specifics aren't necessary for this question). Did you have to play "the man" at work or did you have to learn the game or both? Most importantly, I would like to know does moving up the corporate ladder require sistas to forego the role we have in intimate relationships? Does being the boss at work equates to being the boss in your relationship...Is it one in the same? Should we completely get rid of the word "submissive" or do we generally have a poor understanding of it?

    And lastly, how do we teach young sistas the value of compromise and respect for oneself and your partner in a relationship? In a society where everything advertised to young people mostly evolves around money, sex, and power... How do we teach young women the more important, non-materialistic lessons about life?

    Sistas, please pick a question and let's get talking.

    To my fellow Queens here at Afraka.com, I look forward to hearing what you have to say!

  • #2
    Interesting

    This is MY THOUGHTS

    Until we learn how to value our mates this wil be an on going problem. We have to do more then learn about our culture. WE have to learn to "Think like an African".

    I was and am married for over 20 years. With one man for 25 years. Everyday wasn't Sunday, we had to learn to throw away Eurocentric values and practices and TOGETHER incorporate OUR OLD culture values. I am successful in business and at the home but the home takes precedence before all else. i hate the word "submissive" . It gives the noton of "less then ". i am not less then my mate. But I gladly give him the lead over me. He has earned it. And I am STILL A STRONG WOMAN. He is the head provider, ( not monatary ) he is my protector, And we have the deepest respect for each other. He values me as I do him. In time we have become well balanced. ( Unified )

    Sounds great and beautiful , Huh ?? THE END RESULTS ARE , but it was an rocky road to get there !!! But please Know it tooK TIME FOR US TO DEVELOPE SUCH A BALANCE.

    This is what WE learned, practiced and exercised :

    1- You must get to know yourself
    2- You must know what are "YOUR" needs not "wants."
    3- Throw away every concept with mates that orignates with Eurocentric teachings .
    4- Learn how our ancesters viewed there mates and why
    5- Then find a mate that has the same value system as you do.
    6- Define what a man is and define what a woman is. A penis does not make a man.
    7- Last but most important, Love yourself. You can't give to ANYBODY what you can't first give to self.

    This is what I teach my young adults. ( Not gender specific ) We are fighting against a system thats designed to kill their spirit. Money, sex and power by any means necessary is the exact things that will bring them down. It's there poison and with HIV killing our babies in insane numbers , We have to get with the program and show them a better way , Or all is lost. The gender war is destructive. Building strong black families WILL build stronger communities.

    My 3 cents , I hope I've helped

    Great threads Sister Soldier Saaje !!!

    Comment


    • #3
      I'VE been waiting to jump into this thread, yet what I'VE described as 'good caution' still hinders ME! Not enough responses to completely 'open this can' as yet--but don't think that I Am not watching MY Sistas, cause I AM! What Sis Saartje has penned for discussion here is exactly where I want to go in the interest of all Our People, because nothing is more important than a focused and determined Black Family--even if WE have to start it right here at Afraka.com alone!

      ....'from a single seed does the mighty oak grow'.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you Saartje for the above post. I learned there are different forms of relationships and in each, "submissiveness" is required. Submissiveness is a Spiritual principle, and is as easy to practice as the willingness of the participants have. No. 1: Nobody knows everything, everytime, everywhere nor everybody. No. 2: The corporate "world" of this system was not set-up for the Afrakan culture and if we dare travel to that "world" we are asking for division in our families, and from our Afrakan culture. That "world," as well as all of the other "worlds" of this system, was for their own to dominate the Afrakan culture, since Afrakans were the producers of Education, naturally. No. 3: I always believed that the woman and man were made to be submissive to each other with balance. Men have strengths and weaknesses as well as women, and agreeing makes it easy to walk together, which leads to HAPPINESS. No. 4: Isn't it true most of us choose to involve ourselves in relationships for the wrong reasons? Don't we always judge the outside rather than the inside of a person? How long does that last? The "masks" will come off one day, when we least expect it. I developed a relationship with me first, then my Creator then He/She sent me to my mate. It took submissiveness to each other for us to build and maintain our relationship, which is not always easy each coming from "independence."
        S.P.E.C.I.E.S. is used as a guide for the individual person to view the liabilities and assets in himself/herself to determine if he/she is healthhy enough to be in a relationship, because relationships require work. If so, S.P.E.C.I.E.S. is used as guide to determine if two people are compatible inwardly as oppose to outwardly. Shalam!

        Comment


        • #5
          Give thanks for this thread brother. I hope my thoughts can add meaningfully to the discussion.

          1) How were you able to succeed in your career?: a combination of hard work and having good people look out for me. My first job was a hook up (my aunt was a client of the firm) and, once in the door, I was fortunate enough to have ones here and there take an interest in my development.

          2) Did you have to play the "man" at work or did you have to learn the game or both?: not sure I understand what "play the man at work" means but I didn't have to act masculine (or hide my femininity) if that's what you're asking. Learn the game, yes... and I'm very grateful I learned relatively early in my career because it helped me realize that the corporate environment is toxic and not a space I should be striving to stay in.

          3) Does moving up the corporate ladder require sistas to forego the role we have in intimate relationships?: not in my opinion. I'm not sure why success in a career in general or specifically in the corporate world would alter or impact (negatively or positively) our roles in relationships.

          4) Does being the boss at work equate to being the boss in the relationship?: I've never been one to accept that relationships should have "bosses" so that term is problematic for me because the term boss implies that there is someone (or people) being bossed, controlled, dictated to. Our unions are partnerships and we should function in them as partners... and what each person does for a living doesn't/shouldn't change that.

          5) Should we completely get rid of the word submissive or do we generally have a poor understanding of it?: I wouldn't say we have a poor understanding of it so much as we fully understand its meaning in the yurugu (european) worldview and, because it has such negative connotations in that sense, we view the term as wholly negative. What we as African people need to do is be clear and consistent on the meaning of the term from the perspective of OUR worldview. As sis Saaje rightly said "submissive" (in the yurugu context) gives the feeling of being less than. I would add that it is/has been overwhelming used to justify oppressive behaviour (in ships as well as in other types of relationships). If there is another term to adequately convey what we should be to each other in ships then we should identify, explain and consistently use it but if the term "submissive" is used we should be clear that the yurugu understanding of the term has no place in our unions.

          6) How do we teach young sisters the value of compromise and respect...?: As stated before, knowing self, truly knowing self, is critical; truly loving self is critical too. We can't teach what we don't know. In addition, living the traditions and culture we've reclaimed. Too often (and I'm guilty of this myself) we take reAfrikanization for granted... like it will automatically happen because we've now said "I'm Afrikan" and we don't consciously and consistently work at removing the yurugu way of thinking and acting and being from within us. So when we are faced with situations, usually situations of conflict, we act from our default setting, our default self, and if that default setting is yurugu then we think and act and be yurugu...with our Afrikan name having, clothes wearing, fist pumping selves. We have to ensure we change our default setting to Afrikan and that is a process that requires constant and consistent work. We also need to ensure that we are constantly, consciously and consistently helping our young sisters (whether in our families or not) to do the same, recognizing that we are all existing in a reality of constant attack in the media and elsewhere. Finally (for this post but I'm sure there is much more that can be done that other sisters will bring forward), we have to live what we want to teach in our ships/unions... allow them to see mutual respect and partnership at work. The inspirational power of that can't be overstated.

          Now for my disclaimer :-)...

          In keeping with our traditions where only those in it can speak on it I must say that I really am not qualified to speak on our relationships or on teaching our young sisters the qualities needed as I am single and childless. My thoughts are coming purely from my meditation on your questions without the benefit of experience.

          Thank you for getting this discussion started. I look forward to gaining more insight from other responses.

          Akua

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Sis. Elder Shakaryah View Post
            Thank you Saartje for the above post. I learned there are different forms of relationships and in each, "submissiveness" is required. Submissiveness is a Spiritual principle, and is as easy to practice as the willingness of the participants have. No. 1: Nobody knows everything, everytime, everywhere nor everybody. No. 2: The corporate "world" of this system was not set-up for the Afrakan culture and if we dare travel to that "world" we are asking for division in our families, and from our Afrakan culture. That "world," as well as all of the other "worlds" of this system, was for their own to dominate the Afrakan culture, since Afrakans were the producers of Education, naturally. No. 3: I always believed that the woman and man were made to be submissive to each other with balance. Men have strengths and weaknesses as well as women, and agreeing makes it easy to walk together, which leads to HAPPINESS. No. 4: Isn't it true most of us choose to involve ourselves in relationships for the wrong reasons? Don't we always judge the outside rather than the inside of a person? How long does that last? The "masks" will come off one day, when we least expect it. I developed a relationship with me first, then my Creator then He/She sent me to my mate. It took submissiveness to each other for us to build and maintain our relationship, which is not always easy each coming from "independence."
            S.P.E.C.I.E.S. is used as a guide for the individual person to view the liabilities and assets in himself/herself to determine if he/she is healthhy enough to be in a relationship, because relationships require work. If so, S.P.E.C.I.E.S. is used as guide to determine if two people are compatible inwardly as oppose to outwardly. Shalam!
            Now this is real speak. ( Submissiveness )

            1: Nobody knows everything, everytime, everywhere nor everybody. No. 2: The corporate "world" of this system was not set-up for the Afrakan culture and if we dare travel to that "world" we are asking for division in our families, and from our Afrakan culture. That "world," as well as all of the other "worlds" of this system, was for their own to dominate the Afrakan culture, since Afrakans were the producers of Education, naturally. No. 3: I always believed that the woman and man were made to be submissive to each other with balance
            These words. " It is said that things are a play on words." Unless the word is fully understood , viewed and it's synonyms known. They will be viewed in the perception known by that individual.

            Take the word submissive it does not mean bow down, or give in. It was used in that context when Slavery ruled. So to people of color it is a bad word. It is embedded deep within us to reeducate the meanings of those same words that can be used and were used. In a given situation a word means other things. "Submissive" in a relationship between a man and woman could mean being dutiful.

            Cooperation in many cases. A relationship is founded on cooperation and consideration. In doing those two there will be giving in and what is perceived as being submissive.

            Perception is not reality and reality is truly a perception. Until ( reality ) is challenged and investigated for the truth. If it still stands take what you deserve and need from the situation. Love, honor, money, and respect whatever it is for you. It is true , real and you are deserving of that truth.

            Men and Women are submissive all day at work.
            Does getting a few dollars make you less likely to be insulted when asked to submissive to the boss’s authority?

            They take it to another level, if you aren’t submissive you are termed insubordinate.
            A bad person to work with, not following the commands of one in authority.

            Fear is used and lurking nearby. Fear sets in ( you can’t lose that job ) when the boss wants something that is not within your job scope, the boss is being unreasonable. You cant go home and report to ypour spouse that they let you go because you was not submissive. Then there is the situation where you are successful and they team up against you even then. Not cooperating, promoting you as promised, or as they should. Giving you grief when you ask for vacation. Such haters huh? Yea they are and the white community is fearful of our success. They will be lost without us and it has to happen because they dont deserve us. To keep building on, abusing and mistreating. Just last year I realized what it all is.

            It is BULLYING.

            Bulling is intimidation and all that. Control over another. Creating uncertainty and fear into someone you belive you have some power over. In europe bulling especially on the job bullying carries jail time and monetary penalties.

            What happened was a gentleman that worked at BARKLEY Bank killed himself by jumping in front of a train. His boss bullyed him all the time.

            I dont have that at this moment. I may have it book marked i read it last year. But here is spain and this has been law for years.

            Bullying-Harassment-and-Stress-in-the-workplace-A-European-Perspective
            http://www.ask.com/web?qsrc=1&o=0&l=...rpSearchTopBox
            Criminal liability for bullying

            In June 2010, bullying at work was codified as a criminal violation under Article 173.1§2 of the
            Spanish Penal Code.


            Specifically, the new law has made it an offense, punishable by imprisonment
            for between six months and two years for: “those working in the private or public sector taking
            advantage of their superior position and performing against another person repeated hostile or
            humiliating acts which without constituting degrading treatment involve serious harassment of the
            victim”.

            The necessary elements of the criminal offense of bullying are:
             repeated acts (this requirement has been further elaborated by case law);
             hostile or humiliating;
             that do not constitute degrading treatment1, but represent a serious harm to the victim;
             must be committed by a superior towards someone lower in the hierarchy (this excludes
            “horizontal” harassment where coworkers or peers mistreat one another, or inverse vertical
            harassment where it is the supervisor who is the victim); and
             intentionality is required (negligent harassment is not punished).
            However, there are questions as to the effectiveness of this new law, particularly given that criminal
            proceedings are very slow and generally last for a minimum of three years.
            Some illustrative examples of workplace bullying in Spain
            Some illustrative examples of workplace bullying include the following:
             Spain’s Supreme Court ordered the municipal government of Coria to pay €4,500 in
            compensation to an employee who was forced to work in a basement, with neither daylight nor
            ventilation.
             Spain’s Supreme Court ordered a tool company to pay €14,000 for “biased psychological
            pressure,” and another € 30,000 in compensation for psychological damages to an employee who
            was forced to do work that did not fall within his job description, and was below his qualification
            level.
             The court rejected an employee’s claim of bullying, holding that although the person suffered
            occasional or isolated incidents where he was not respected and his job duties were changed, the
            mistreatment did not rise to the level of bullying and the changes in his responsibilities were
            legitimate because of a restructuring of the organization (STSJ 1 December 2009, Galicia
            5295/2009).
            1 Degrading treatment is a crime against moral integrity also sanctioned by the Penal Code. Generally, Spanish courts have considered
            that the crime against moral integrity should be related to torture and harassment should not be included in this concept.
            The legal origins of workplace anti-bullying legislation
            In 1993, Sweden was the first country to implement legislation specifically outlawing bullying at work.
            This ground-breaking legislation:
             outlawed “recurrent reprehensible or distinctly negative actions which are directed against individual
            employees in an offensive manner and can result in those employees being placed outside the
            workplace community”;
             created a duty for employers to swiftly investigate, mediate and counter any instances of bullying as
            well as implement preventative organizational measures against workplace bullying; and
             took a “non-punitive” approach to bullying by aiming to resolve the problem through dialogue and
            consensus rather than through sanctioning employers.
            Building on the Swedish experience, many European countries followed suit and implemented their own
            laws prohibiting bullying at work. In Europe today, there is a comprehensive network of overlapping
            European and national laws that address the growing problem of bullying and stress in the workplace.
            These laws arise out of a combination of European Union and national laws prohibiting discrimination,
            ensuring that employers look after the health and safety of their employees as well as (in some
            jurisdictions) specific prohibitions against bullying.
            France
            France has specific laws prohibiting workplace bullying which were adopted before the
            implementation of the EU Directives.
            Specifically:
             bullying, which is called “moral harassment”, is prohibited under Article L. 1152-1 of the French
            Labor Code. The Labor Code defines moral harassment as “repeated acts leading to a
            deterioration of the working conditions and that are likely to harm the dignity, the physical or
            psychological heath of the victim or his professional career”;
            So the bullying is white against anybody. They play no favorites. I have seen them savagely take each other out at the VP level.

            The Queen of England quickly passed a law against bulling. Now there is penalty. America is a backward nation. Not first in anything. Commute lanes borrowed from Europe, they are users and copy cat individuals. nothing original about them. Outsourcing is just an extension of their need for slave labor.

            When they decided they no longer wanted us as slaves and was seeing an end to it. There is a letter written from Europe to America. In that letter they were speaking about the slavery issue. They talked about how they wanted to no longer depend on black labor and needed replacements. so they asked for some new negroe's.. " COOLIES" Chinese and Indian from India. To cool off the slave dependency.
            If you research the past related with this. You know this. They replaced the Negroe and solved the problem by bringing in cheap slave labor, which didn’t take long to become slave labor and sex slavery.

            " COOLIE "

            • A contemporary racial slur for people of Asian descent, including people from India, Central Asia, etc.[1]


            The coolie trade was criticised for unfairness to workers, and for being de facto slavery.[citation needed] Labourers would be transported aboard packed vessels to be sent to their destinations, and many would die on the way there due to malnutrition, disease, or other mistreatment.

            Is That so! That sounds like a standard routine employed by a slave trader.


            It was not my intention to have added my name to the statement, now given to the public--not judging it to be necessary; but having submitted it to the perusal of some friends after it was in type, they suggested the propriety of my doing so, and this must be my apology for the form in which it appears.
            JOHN SCOBLE
            London, 28th February,1840.


            1.ORIGIN OF THE COOLIE SLAVE TRADE:--On the 4th January 1836, JOHN GLADSTONE, ESQ., addressed a letter to Messrs. GILLANDERS, ARBUTHNOT & Co., of Calcutta, in which he says,"You will probably be aware that we are very particularly situated with our negro appprentices in the West Indies, and that it is matter of doubt and uncertainty, how far they may be induced to continue their services on the plantations after their apprenticeship expires in 1840. This, to us,--is a subject of great moment and deep interest in the colonies of Demerara and Jamaica. We are, therefore, most desirous to obtain and introduce labourers from other quarters, and particularly from climates similar in their nature." After giving a most glowing account of the colony--the lightness of the labour required, and the repose enjoyed by the people--their "schools on each estate for the education of children; and the instruction of their parents in the knowledge of their religious duties"--(there are no schools on Vreed-en-Hoop, or Vriedestein!!) he sums up all by observing, "it may be fairly said they pass their time agreeably and happily." Full of fears, however, for the future, he adds, "It is of great importance to us to endeavor to provide a portion of other labourers, whom we might use as a set-off, and, when the time for it comes, make us, as far as possible, independent of our negro population." He then gives an order for 100


            Being asked even for overtime makes you feel this act of submission.
            Do you ever feel that pressure? Chances are you have to consider not saying no.
            My rule is I say no the first time my boss comes on a Friday and asked for the weekend.
            I tell him / her. I wish you would have given me at least 48 hour notice. I can’t this weekend.


            I do it every time they disrespect me without that notice. Depending on what I really want to do. I just say no because I can. They need training.

            I say give it to so they may be available… but so and so can’t do the job properly and I bite my tongue because so and so is making more than me. Yet unskilled? The boss needs training again.

            It’s not my job to complain about what someone else makes or does. It is bosses job to know this an assign, appreciate and especially compensate accordingly. One boss told me ‘ you never work overtime.” I agreed but he never gave me notice early enough and when he did… I still said no, because I didn’t like him, his assignments or his sell-out ways and attitude. If he was white I didn't appreciate him trying to play me.


            My attitude is my friends will abuse me for free. I am here with you eight hours and its abusive and stressful. Now why would I immediately agree for more of that? No dollar is worth that in my mind.


            Don’t they make this part of the hiring process? M-F and weekend as needed?


            You agree coming in that you will be submissive
            of them eating away at your private family time, your relaxation time, the time you can re-energize and spend with family and friends.


            If you don’t put in the time you’re not a team player or should be considered replaced. People that can and do without questioning the bosses esteemed authority ( all in his / her mind ) are preferred. Bosses can be a Bunch of self-Aggrandizing pieces of human flesh.

            America is hooked on this mentality from slavery! So at work things are followed reluctantly out of fear.
            If it is refused then the stick over your head again comes down on you, call it the whip.
            Insubordination will be immediately logged against you. Catch 22?

            I personally have lost jobs ( been laid off – I quit about three ) because I will not do something incorrectly, in a non-productive manner nor in an unsafe manner. Boss asked me to do something, I view it, do it, then later suggest a faster or better way of doing it.
            I am told to comply and stick to the instructions.

            Regardless suggesting the possibly another more productive and faster way gets me placed in the non-cooperative category. I don’t need the job to place me there.

            Society of America wrote my personal legacy ( We are placed there at birth- based on the color of our skin ) I choose to not let it continue especially whenever I can do something different. I despise being pushed around, being disrespected.

            Been given all of the grunt work, not the deserved pay, save dthe progect and the day in a few cases, given the extra hard assignments with no support. Over loaded in some cases hoping to trip me up, boss hoping I fail the assignment or its late.

            When failure doesn’t happen then I start to see my bosses true intent and colors.
            The prejudice has surfaced and now has to addressed.
            I refused to held hostage by a pay check. I prefer to be let go. Rather than be disrespected and not wanted somewhere.

            I first noticed the power of this game and fear and control when I worked as a young man with this rich white young man.
            He did whatever he wanted and didn’t do what he was told. They had no power over him for a pay check. He was working just for the fun of it.

            As African Americans this is not easy to accomplish. We are dependent on that little income.
            Over my 30 year career I have had some of this happen. I was happy to be let go. I to a great degree I have taken all fear out of the equation.

            My wife hates this and often says something about it. It isn’t hers to decide like it wouldn’t be mine to decide for her either.
            I have been like this all my life and we have 41 years together. Realized I hated unfair treatment, discrimination and folks of any hue that are users, not true to their word and can’t be trusted. I noticed something out of play very early in life.

            So I give the submission / cooperation, and consideration needed for all relations, working or otherwise.
            But it always mine. To take back at any time. From anybody!
            Any long suffering or income loss is the cost I have paid. Yet I have been blessed to continue on and I am very pleased with my progress and self. Never will change, I can't give in just to be paid or have a pay check. I speak my mind / never been written up, because I know how to respectfully disagree and or get the process changed. If they want a conformer I can be one, then If they mess up then the play is now mine.

            The cost of that is a boss who does not want me on his team or now fabricates something to lay me off. I welcome that.
            I am a person who gets things done by himself ,sometimes by breaking the rules or doing something unusual. Alonewolf in that respect.

            Comment


            • #7
              Quick note Dear Sister: I very much appreciated your post (that "dislike" posting was a mistake that I can not get out of).

              Comment

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