Tag Archives: English lesson

Three Words that Women Get Twisted on the Regular

23 Mar

Can I iron yo shirt?  N*gga, please!  Iron yo own d*mn shirt!  I ain't no maid; I'm a grown a** woman!

I would be willing to bet the lives of my entire extended family that the word "grown" was used no less than five times in this argument...

 

Good morning (or whatever time of day it is when I post this), y’all!  I would like to serve notice to anyone who will be reading that today’s post is a rant.  That means that I, in an uncharacteristic vein of anger, will write in excess of 2000 words about something that has managed to grind my gears in a MAJOR way.  I also means that whatever argument I am attempting to make may not be linear, coherent, and may end in “yo mama.”  I won’t rant very often because I don’t get angry very often, but I’ve gotta get what I’ve gotta say off my chest.  Now…some of you won’t like it or won’t agree with me.  That’s good.  You can (in a calm manner) tell me why you disagree in the comments section after you have finished reading the post

Okay.  So are you guys ready?  Can I kick it?  Yes.  Yes, I can.

Since I’m all about education and whatnot, I feel that it is my duty and responsibility to teach the masses.  Today I want to teach about something that’s been irritating me as of late:  improper verbage and word usage.  An an English major, I can get pretty nutty about language misuse, especially when people use words incorrectly, that is to say, without really knowing what those words mean. 

Case in point:  while talking with a female acquaintance (i.e. NOT a friend) about relationships, I noticed that she kept saying the following word over and over again:  grown.  She said it with such frequency that I stopped paying attention to what it was that she was saying and focused my limited attention on how she was using the word. 

I’ll spare you all the preliminary jib-jab, but the meat of the conversation went a lil’ something like this:

That chick:  Girl, these men got us twisted!

Me:  Mmmm…

That chick:  I’m for real.  All of ’em.  Pastors up in the pulpit talking ’bout how women need to be submissive to their men.  Submissive?  What, he wants me walking three steps behind some man?  Girl, whatever.  I got a degree and I’m about to get another one.  I ain’t no servant.  I mean, I’m a grown woman! 

Me:   Mmmm…

That chick:  And then these brothas out here talking bout how they give white women and Asian women play because they’re more submissive than black females.  They know how to treat their men.  That’s the wackest ish I’ve ever heard!  I’m a grown a** woman.  What kind of BS is that?  Submission my a**!

Me:   (confused)….I’ve never heard anybody say that.

That chick:  I am too grown to let some man tell me what to do and how to live.  I got one daddy, I don’t need another one.  I’m grown, and I got my own.  I got a job, a degree, a car, and I pay all my own bills.  (Begins to quote, no lie, the chorus from that awful “Independent” song by Webbie.)

Me:  (incredulous)  Are you serious?

That chick:  Like I need a man.  I can do bad all by myself, baby.  I am 100% independent and I don’t need a man.  I’m a grown woman.  Feel me?  I am GROOOOOOOWN!!!

Me:  Mmmmmmmmmmm….

That chick went own about her (grown) business and I went on about mine, but the more I began to think about what she said, the more it started to irk me.  Then I got irritated.  Then I got mad.  You know why?  This is not the first time I’ve heard this argument.  I hear this conversation, or some variation of it, come out of some woman’s mouth almost everyday.  On the surface, it sounds shrewish solid.  Women should be able to take care of themselves and not depend on a man to take care of them, right?  Well…that ain’t what she said at all.  What this chick pretty much said is that she was carrying a chip on her shoulder about something (I don’t know – her job, her past relationship[s], her bad quick weave) and was trying to justify what really amounts to as a bad attitude by spewing this weak, bonafied lame argument that I’m about to poke holes in.  This chick, like so many other women (heck, I used to be one of them) are using the word “grown,” and two other words, incorrectly and I’m about to set the record straight.

Shots fired.

1.  Grown –  adj.,  past participle of “grow”:  having matured; having developed and matured.

My problem with the way this word is used by women is the same one that I have with it being used by teens/young adults:  the incorrect usage is improperly associated with age.  Basically, 11 out of 10 people who use the word “grown,” be it a smart-mouthed teen or an independent woman (whatever that means – I’ll address that later), all use it in reference to their chronological age.  Apparently, turning 18 makes you “grown.” 

This is a lie from the deepest, darkest armpit of HELL!

Age ain’t nothing but a number (going down ain’t nothing but a thang) and being “grown,” or being an “adult,” as I would rather people say, has very little to do with your age.  I know young adults in their early- to mid-twenties with loads more maturity than men and women twice their age.  The opposite is true as well.  You can’t go around throwing the word “grown” in people’s faces just because the government says you are old enough vote and go to the strip club.  Your ability to be responsible and held accountable for your actions, the ability to take care of and provide for yourself, and wisdom are not granted by the Grown Fairy when you turn 18.  It don’t work like that!  Those abilities are the learned and acquired hallmarks of ADULTHOOD.  Everybody wants to be grown, but nobody wants to grow-up.  I’m starting to get even more agitated than when I started…

 

2.  Independent – adj:  self-supporting, not forced to rely on another for money or support; able to function by self, able to operate alone because not dependent on somebody or something else

There were a whole heap of definitions for this word, but because I am being (somewhat) mindful of my word count, I thought I’d give the two most pertinent to my argument.  Most people, when asked, will tell you that being independent means being able to take care of all of your needs and some of your wants without help from anybody.  Most people, when asked, also don’t know the name of their state’s govenor¹.

Now I’m not going to say that these people are wrong, but they’re only half-right.  Yes, self-sufficiency and the ability to provide for one’s self are both integral parts of being independent, but they are not the only parts.  Again, people are tying the definition of this word up into an incomplete, static notion.  Independence doesn’t only mean financial independence.  That’s all some people think it means.  I can buy what I want and need, so I’m independent.  No…you are (depending on your FICO score) financially independent and that’s it.  There are other kinds of dependencies that people, women especially, seem to overlook and most of them are of the emotional variety.  Emotional dependency is a tricky concept for some people to understand because they confuse emotional dependency with relationships – and I don’t just mean the romantic variety.  Let me know if this rings a bell:

Kara:  Oooh, girl!  That new Tyler Perry movie Madea’s Family Beauty Supply Store³ is coming out today!  You’ll go to the movies with me?

Tara:  Well, I was thinking about staying at home.  I’m pretty tired.  It’s been a long week.

Kara:  Girl, pleeeeease???  You know I don’t like going to the movies by myself…

Everyone has had or has been that friend that can’t go nowhere or do anything without another friend.  It goes without saying that this dependence on another person easily translates into a relationship setting.  I know a dozen of “grown, independent” women and men who have jobs, pay bills, are financially self-sufficient, and cannot function without a boyfriend/girlfriend.  How is that being independent?  For that person, the level of enjoyment gained by life is contingent upon the amount of companionship provided by a separate individual.  If it were an equation, it’d look like this:

 

 E = Σ (1 + 1/C)²         
ΔE – ΔC
E= enjoyment; C = companionship

 
I digress.  I won’t even get into the whole argument about how human beings are interdependent by nature and, therefore, cannot be truly independent of one another.  The point I’m trying to make is that there is more to independence than paying your bills or being able to buy a car without a co-signer.  Can you go to the movies by yourself?  Can you go shopping by yourself?  If no one called or texted you for three days straight, would your question your life?  If you were to spend the rest of your life as a single woman (or man) would you be happy?  If your existence is somewhat wholly dependent upon the existence of another human being, then you, my dear, are NOT the father independent.  
 
 ***There’s also what I call the Independence Effect.  I have a theory (which, predictably, I cannot prove) that the reason that men have become less “gentlemanly,” so to speak, is because women have become more bitchy independent.  It’s not reciprocated to them, so they don’t do it.  It’s a weird little cycle.  Boy meets Girl.  Boy asks Girl on date.  Boy opens the door for girl, pays for dinner, and does a number of other chivalrous/traditional things per Girl’s (mostly) unspoken demands.  Time goes by.  Boy and Girl are serious and decide to become Man and Wife.  more time goes by.  Man asks Wife is she’s gonna cook tonight.  Wife tells man that she ain’t no maid and if he wanna eat so bad, he can go to his mama’s house.*** 

 

 3.  Submissive – adj:  inclined or ready to submit; unresistingly or humbly obedient.

The concept of “submission” is very hard for many women – myself included – to grasp and accept.  On the surface, it seems to be a sexist, chauvinist point of view.  However, I firmly believe that the definition of being submissive is being confused with that of the word “subservient.”  Many people equate being submissive to being a repressed, vapid mate who cannot or is unable to make any independent decisions.  They believe that being submissive is the act of yielding to the desires and demands of another person. 

Well, that not (what I think) it is at all.  What I think really and truly is a bit abstract, so bear with my as I attempt to explain. 

 Okay.  When you are in a relationship with another person, you have to understand that the relationship consists of two different people with two different backgrounds and two different sets of experiences which has created two different sets of personal beliefs and opinions.  I mean, you may have a lot in common with your boo, but you aren’t the same person.  Because you are not the same person…there will be times when you disagree and will not see eye to eye.  When this happens, a consensus must be reached and there are three possible outcomes:
                 1.  Your way
                 2.  His/Her way
                 3.  Compromise

I will neglect to mention the “stalemate” outcome because it isn’t an outcome at all.  Things are bound to come to a head. 

Anywho, a person who understands being submissive (re-read the definition) will understand that there are some times when you just have to suck it up and take the high road.  Sometimes you have to bend your wishes just a bit to keep the peace.  You don’t have to do it all the time, but you have to do it.  I wouldn’t want to be with a person who ALWAYS had to have things their way.  You have to learn how to take the back seat sometimes.  That’s what being submissive is about.  It’s not about walking three steps behind any man or being a timid little housewife.  It’s about knowing when to step to the side and let someone else drive for a change.  I know gender roles are changing and things are becoming more and more neutral in terms of what are considered to be “traditional” gender roles…but sometimes a man just wants to be a man.  Let him.

Okay…that’s all I have the energy for.  So…did I hit the mark?  Did I piss you off?  Did I manage to make a valid, coherent argument?  Drop me a comment and let me know!

 
 

 _________________________________________________________________________________________

¹The governor of the state of Alabama is Robert Bentley.  I didn’t have to look that up.  I have no way of proving that most people don’t know the name of their state govenor, but I’m willing to put cold, hard cash down on my unproven statement.  Plus, this is my blog and I can say what I want.²

²And I can do what I want.  Like make up random equations and give my footnote a footnote.

³I have a couple of major issues with Tyler Perry that I will expound upon another day in another post.



Advertisements