Pop culture moments in the making are always something to watch, but no one could’ve prepared themselves for what was in store for this year’s Academy Awards. In fact, I hate to bring it back up because it was so annoyingly over-discussed. Still, I’m bringing this to the table again, and ironically, because it doesn’t sit with me how quickly people used this as further proof of Jada Pinkett Smith ruining Will Smith. But, I’m calling bull! It’s one thing to turn on Will (though I don’t agree due to the murky history the Oscars have of uplifting actual predators), but to turn on Jada?
Well, that’s further evidence of my belief that this world is out to get women, especially those who stray from social norms in any shape or form. However, our society has a long-standing history of holding women accountable for the sins or wrongdoing of men.
Time and time again, history has demonstrated that women are expected to not only be pure, holier than thou beings but that when men go astray it is because the woman in his life was a stray arrow. I first learned of this concept in regards to sexuality, but it’s clear like many other aspects of life, that it has a trickle-down impact. Twitter critics came out in droves to crucify Jada because it was speculated that she gave Will a look signaling him to defend her honor, then again because of previous clips of her speaking on their relationship dynamic.
People used this as an opportunity to support their previous arguments that Jada was toxic because she as a woman should’ve willed Will to sit his ass down. They used inaccurate clickbait to have the public believe she had actually spoken against her husband, when in fact, all quotes have been from previous dialogues. While I would love to make this a Black woman issue, this is a woman issue!
This does not negate the fact that this phenomenon may take different shapes when experienced by Black women or be more complicated to navigate. In conversation with xoNecole, Psycho-Historian Shannon Hannaway notes how “blame has historically been shifted to Black women even in instances where the power dynamic in no way reflects the verbiage – even in modern times it is used to describe the events of the past.”
She further highlights Thomas Jefferson and his abusive relationship with Sally Hemings, which has never actually been stated that way in history books. To Hannaways’s point Hemmings, who was a Black slave, is often described as the dead president's “mistress” rather than “a survivor of sexual assault and abuse.”
While purity culture started out as a concept relegated to WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants), I believe respectability politics played a role in Black women attempting to maintain these social constructs no matter how impossible it was due to the controlling images that continued to make a mockery of Black women’s attempts to successfully integrate amongst white women in this way (and many others).
Hannaway says, “Purity culture is very much so a WASP concept, although there are variations throughout the history of this idea, the version we know today in the United States is a direct result of the Cult of Domesticity – a movement that began between 1820 and 1860. To be pure and good was a status symbol for wealthy white women, absolute virtue was a sign of this status and women’s role in keeping the home, raising children, and acting in accordance with purity and goodness.”
“Traditional” womhanood is a farce. Because the femininity script folk speak of when they talk about feminity is a farce created to elevate white women. The purity, piety, domesticity and submissiveness. It is a script.— Ava Anointing (@SoualiganAmazon) July 25, 2020
However, she pinpoints the tipping point and significant difference as it pertains to the racial piece of our intersectional identities being that “...at this same time slavery was still legal, and even after the Civil War, Black women experienced a shift from formal slavery to near-slavery in the homes of wealthy white women and in fact did a majority of home-keeping behind closed doors.”
Hannaway goes on to add, “White women were afforded the privilege to act in accordance with the Cult of Domesticity, whereas Black women and their families were expected and in fact still considered less than despite the end of slavery. Black women did not have the privilege of spending time with their own families, and [were] blamed for their inability to shift careers and be present in their families. Historically Black people have been treated in accordance with white colonial belief systems that commodify bodies and remove personhood, shifting moral righteousness to white people.”
This circles back to my initial point of Black women being held and expected to maintain the same standards as white women, as they are the pinnacle of purity and exemplify the behaviors that we Black women ought to mimic – yet constantly finding our best imitation to be unacceptable merely because of our Brown hues and the status attached to it.
Hannaway continues, “In the world we live in, men and women are socialized in a way that removes the blame from men and places a disproportionate amount of responsibility on women starting at an early age. Research reflects that as early as elementary school, the notion that boys are underachievers and girls are compliant and responsible begins. This is reinforced from then on every day, as children become teenagers and later adults, these roles within society become reinforced until they are locked in.”
We see it everywhere from the home to the boardroom, where Hannaway says women CEOs are held to more grave consequences than men if and when they fail. And even outside of the company, consumers are less likely to continue to allocate their money in the face of an error made by a woman CEO – further speaking to the collective socialization.
And of course, there are religious roots because aren’t there always?
“Women are even tasked with ‘changing’ men and this is a trope seen in even recent movies such as Failure to Launch, The Kissing Booth, Twilight, to name a few: of note, these are all films with a predominantly young, female audience," Hannaway adds.
I would argue that the sentiment of changing men and controlling, er, reining them in when their behavior is not in alignment with white colonial standards fall within the same vein. You see, apparently, it was more telling of Jada Pinkett Smith’s morality and virtue that she wasn’t able to predict her husband's next move and use some type of X-Men-like superpower to shift his mood for the greater good of humanity.
I am exhausted by this narrative that @jadapsmith is the reason for #Willsmith behavior. She’s not responsible for his behavior or his actions.All the stupid videos on YouTube should the taken down. Jada should sue 4 the toxic & misogynistic things being said about her.— Ase (@MelaninKemet) April 22, 2022
When I asked Hannaway to further explain the origin of holding women accountable for the actions of men, she shared an interesting finding. “These belief systems and accepted mythologies gave men the ability to blame women for lustful thoughts by association with the paranormal. When a woman was not Christian and white, this belief was even more likely to be acted upon in accordance with the idea that people of color without a Christian God worked with the Devil, and by causing sinful thoughts were surely to blame.”
Even more eye-opening and disheartening was the reality that Hannaway spoke on:
“The oppression of women has historically been a way for men to maintain power and control. It’s worth noting, that because of this societal structure present in the church and in governments, women’s voices have largely been silenced and erased in history. Additionally, women have been the target of violence in the name of assimilation. One argument that makes the most sense, is that women are human beings with the ability to create life and are necessary to the continuity of humanity. To control women is to control life itself. In matriarchal societies, this oppression does not occur in the way it does in patriarchal societies. In patriarchal societies like modern western civilization, women are commodified and objectified.”
Needless to say, there’s so much more to be said on this matter – all of which is interesting because it holds so much truth. Though we can’t possibly get into it all in this one piece, I hope that this raises the consciousness of people everywhere who have managed to perpetuate these acts of misogyny. If change begins with us, I think it’s critical that we as a culture begin to evaluate on an individual basis the way that we interact with patriarchal scripts.
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Motor City native, Atlanta living. Sagittarius. Writer. Sexpert. Into all things magical, mystical, and unknown. I'll try anything at least once but you knew that the moment I revealed that I was a Sag.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The Libra woman and Aries man are the divine feminine and divine masculine, coming together as one. The love compatibility between these two is one for the books. These two are opposite signs, however, their differences tend to complement each other well. This is a dynamic relationship where they know how to have a lot of fun together, but also aren’t afraid to deal with the more serious stuff that comes with a relationship.
The Libra woman is looking for her equal in love, someone who is willing to put in the same effort she is, and the Aries man sees Libra as someone he is willing to do that with.
The Love Compatibility Of A Libra Woman And An Aries Man
What attracts a Libra woman and an Aries man to each other?
There is a magnet of attraction pulling these two together, and things tend to move pretty fast in this relationship. The Libra woman is always open to love and her charming nature rarely has any challenges here. The Aries man fights for his independence and doesn’t sacrifice that unless he is completely enamored with someone.
Once the Aries man catches the eye of the Libra woman, he is typically the one to make the first move and this instantly wins the approval of Libra.
These two feel like they have known each other forever when they meet, and this spark between them doesn’t die down easily.
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What is the relationship like between a Libra woman and an Aries man?
The relationship between the Libra woman and the Aries man is one of balance and excitement. The Aries man tends to take on the more dominant role in this relationship and the Libra woman tends to be the more receptive one. Aries is ruled by masculine Mars, and Libra is ruled by feminine Venus. They understand they are coming from two completely different worlds, yet they also instinctively feel this underlying connection to each other and like they could be something each other needs in their lives.
The Libra woman can rely on the Aries man, and the Aries man never has to ask for the love that Libra already knows he needs.
This is a couple that is often reading each other’s minds and wanting to do a lot of the same things. However, not everything is rainbow in this relationship as well, and there are some major differences they have to overcome to make things work. One argument can lead to an explosion between these two, and addressing things when they come up rather than sweeping them under the rug, will be needed to make this relationship long-term.
What is the sex like between a Libra woman and an Aries man?
The sex between a Libra woman and an Aries man is adventurous. These are two cardinal signs with plenty of energy and stamina to keep things exciting in the bedroom. There tends to be a good give and take in this relationship, and their yin and yang energy benefits them when it comes to their sex life.
There is electricity felt between the two of them in this area of their life, and their power of attraction to each other is strong. These are two people who will want to do a lot of things together, including exploring sexually together.
The Aries man will have to be careful with being overly aggressive, however, as the soft Libra woman may not like this energy- it will completely depend on the two individuals at hand. The Libra woman wants to ease into things, the Aries man wants to get going right away. Learning about each other's bodies, and energy, and reading each other’s cues will help with this.
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What makes a relationship between a Libra woman and an Aries man work?
These two genuinely like each other, and that basis is a key factor for success in any relationship. The Aries man is straight to the point, direct, and inspired. The Libra woman admires these characteristics in others, as she is often herself finding her balance in this type of energy as well. Neither sign is overly emotional in a way that turns them off, and they both require a lot of the same things in a committed relationship. They want honesty, fun, good communication, passion, and to be moving towards a common goal together.
The Libra woman and Aries man don’t have a problem being real with each other and this is something they really value within the relationship. They are both very charming, and there is plenty of flirtation and attraction to keep this relationship going. Aries being the protector they are, Libra finds a sense of safety and ease in this energy, and like they have found their match. Overall, this is a well-balanced relationship and one where they don’t have a problem when it comes to compatibility or chemistry in the relationship.
What may cause a Libra woman and an Aries man to break up?
Libra is the lover, Aries is the fighter, and this energy may be tiring for the both of them after time. The Libra woman can be passive to a fault, and the Aries man who is not evolved, may take advantage of that. She will need to be careful with putting Aries’ needs above her own, creating resentment later down the road. The Aries man loves a challenge, and the Libra woman would be up for that game for a little bit, but if she is not being met in the middle, she will begin to look for other places. These two can have a difficult time keeping the peace in the relationship, and there could be a lot of arguments and disagreements here if they both aren’t willing to put their egos or self-pleasing attitudes to the side.
The Libra woman and Aries man are both more sensitive than they appear or come off as. They are also not necessarily the type to dive deep into their emotions and express them to others, even in their relationships. However, this energy can keep the relationship to a surface level than what is needed to progress and grow the relationship, and a sense of openness is required for this couple to work. Libra needs romance, she wants to be wowed. Aries needs to remember this and to always consider her love language.
Overall, this is a successful pairing. They will have their fair share of challenges in the relationship, but nothing they can’t overcome if they are willing to. The trouble will come in when it comes to the longevity of the relationship, keeping Aries excited and Libra in love. However, all in all, there is more power, attraction, and love to keep this relationship together rather than apart. No relationship is perfect, but this one is a little more blessed than most.
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