Let’s go back…

This weekend, I visited Central State University’s campus during their Homecoming festivities. My Aunt Patty is a food vendor there so each year, myself and “the cousins” come together to help her run her stand.

CSU, you never disappoint!

Aside from the comedy of being dead-center of the parade of heavily intoxicated and half naked students, just being there is always a great way for the cousins to enjoy some bonding time. The guys effortlessly handle the heavy lifting & behind the scenes stuff while the ladies take orders and prep orders. It’s a well oiled machine at best.

During the slow point of the night, one of those heavily intoxicated students slurred some drunken lingo indicating he wanted my attention. I smiled, not wanting to entertain him but he made the grave mistake of grabbing my arm as I stepped passed him.

Before I even had a chance to pull away from him, an entire army of men – my male cousins and Uncle – were already in full attack mode. Having experienced this “grab tactic” plenty of times in life, I was already well rehearsed on my “Heisman” move.

But seeing how willing each of the men were to defend me was humbling. And moved me into a space of complete gratitude. In that moment, they weren’t just family with the responsibility of guarding me…they were men who chose to! I was permitted to be a lady. I felt cared for. I felt protected.

I was permitted to be a lady.

And at the same time, sad. It’s rare that women feel this type of comfort and protection. Men aren’t men anymore. The standard of what it means to be a man, a protector has lowered so much that women have stepped into roles they’ve never been meant to step just to survive – to protect themselves.

Let’s go back to the days when men stood up for women and protected not only her person but her virtue. Let’s go back to the days when men openly checked other men for treating women with disrespect.

And I can’t just shake my finger at men. Ladies, we’ve dropped the ball too. Let’s go back to the days when class was “in”. When we viewed ourselves and acted as more than something to be possessed by the best (available or unavailable) candidate. Let’s go back to the days when our virtue meant something to US! Until then, we can never expect it to mean anything to men.

Proverbs 3:15 – She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.

But you have to behave like a ruby in order be seen as one.

We all can do better.

Keep shining,

– Jess

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