Where my old ladies at!!!
My friends – and foes, for that matter – know that I used to be a monster on social media. I was a horrible person who would say horrific things in response to any slight, perceived or real. I was so vicious in my reprisals that I wouldn’t stop until my prey was left with one option: to apologize or block me. Once in a while, I would get my siblings to join me in the verbal assault. We would collectively castrate, eviscerate and utterly destroy any esteem our target possessed. Then we might snip and post the details of the conversation, displaying the scripted carnage like a corpse on a medieval battlefield. It would serve as a warning for anyone who attempted such folly against me and/or my clan in the future.
But that was years ago. I’m older now, so I walk away from online conflict. What’s the point, really? You say mean things to people online and then what? You get a cookie? Only kids want cookies for their efforts, and I am no child. I’m a fully grown woman with grey pubes and all. I call them my ‘racing stripes’; and I’ve earned them. Through fire and hell, I’ve earned each grey that majestically adorns my body.
Do I sound like a woman who has a problem with aging? In case it’s not apparent, let me categorically state that I AM NOT. The only thing that’s wrong with getting older is NOT getting older. If you’re not aging, you’re dead. Why then do men – and a fair share of women – make a big fuss about a woman’s advancement in age?
I’m 36. And when I’m 56 I’ll happily announce it then as well. When I’m 86, I won’t shy away from it. This is for two primary reasons:
- Black don’t crack and
- I don’t give a crap
One of the most ridiculous rules in social etiquette is the idea that a woman should never be asked her age. What the hell is that? Actually, I know what the hell it is. There is a pervasive doctrine woven into the fabric of our collective consciousness that tells us as a women gets older, she loses value. As any woman over 40 will tell you, that’s nonsense. As women age, they don’t just get older – they get better. Nevertheless, there is a cadre of individuals who had this preposterous notion – that women should be ashamed to age – lodged into the little grey matter they possess and therefore seek to offer it as insult. I found myself locked in a skirmish (because the child in question does not possess the mental fortitude for me to consider him an intellectual foe) with one such individual this week.
A young man wrote an article condemning the cleanup efforts and present wave of social media campaigns urging citizens to tidy their environment this week. In his view, Ghanaians “love” to live in filth. His contention was that if they didn’t, they would naturally clean up their environment. (Anyone who has taken psych 101 understands the relationship between environment and learned behavior, but this is an ‘area boy’, so I wouldn’t want to tax him with the rigors of a psych course.) He ended the article with the condescending suggestion that instead of expending energy on campaigns that would come to no fruition, these folks should throw a party and invite him. I thought the article was stupid, and I said so. I didn’t comment on his blog. I didn’t seek him out to let him know how limited in his thinking he was. I made the comment on a friend’s wall, and he found it.
He proceeded to (try to) blast me.
My why so angry? Didn’t he know the rule of posting publicly? You put your thoughts out there and it’s free game for anyone to praise or disagree with. I just happened to disagree and restated where I thought he had missed it. THEN I told him his whole article was BS. That’s went he went into a swearing laced tirade and told me to “never read anything he had written ever again!” God he sounded like a toddler. Of course, I couldn’t let him go without a tap on the shoulder to express my displeasure. In turn, I calmly suggested he eat a sack of baby dicks. That’s when he struck with this comeback.
“Look at this old woman too!”
What? Was that it? Was that supposed to hurt my feelings? I chuckled and told him I’d whip his a** with my old lady cane and then rape him with it. The conversation ended with our mutual friend taking down the entire post and our exchange along with it. Apparently I hurt his little boy feelings, because he came to seek me out on twitter spoiling for a fight. I quelled the monster in me told him to stop trolling my timeline. I didn’t want to do what I am very capable of doing to him on such a public forum. To do so would be the essence of Black on Black crime.
I discussed his calling me an “old woman” and expecting that to silence me with a friend. It was very amusing, but she took it quite seriously.
“There is this notion that old women are useless…like a commodity that has a shelf life,” she said. “It’s really bad. You would never dis a man by calling him an “old man” and expect it to strike a chord.”
She had a point. And this isn’t just an ‘African’ notion…just an insipid one. Geraldo Rivera expressed similar sentiments when he said that all that a woman brings to a marriage “is her youth”. (No. Seriously.)
This idea that a woman’s ultimate worth is wrapped up in a tight twenty-something package is one of the weapons the GOP is planning to use against Hilary Clint if/when she runs for president.
“Remember y’all…Hilary’s an old gal and getting’ up there in age,” their attack ads will suggest in 2016.
Now, if I weren’t as brilliant as I am, I suppose that I being called old would be truly injurious. Thank God and all the elves that I AM brilliant, and am intelligent enough to surround myself with folks who know that the only truly fascinating woman is one who has lived a long and storied life. Have you tried talking to the average 23 year old? I’ve had deeper conversations with an empty gold fish bowl.
You ask ANY woman: there is no substitute for the depth of knowledge you acquire when you cross thirty. The only thing I miss about 26 is my perky breasts and taut abs, but even those can be purchased. The store house of experience and wisdom that age has brought me, however, cannot.
So little boy, if you’re reading this, I just want you to know I can’t come outside and play right now… and don’t bother Miss Malaka with that ageism foolishness in the future. If you ever want to chat, get your mammy over here so I can have a chat with her crack. I read the things you say sometimes and feel like the most intelligent of you ended up as a brown stain on the mattress.