Why I’m not a feminist

Much has been made of Maria Grazia Chiuri’s appointment as the first woman to take up the creative helm at Dior.  Chiuri, as artistic director of women’s couture, will now be a certified trendsetter and has wasted little time in putting an unmistakable female stamp on her debut 2017 Spring/Summer collection. The piece that’s got everyone and their parole officer talking is a t-shirt screaming the words ‘we should all be feminists’.  It seems that feminism, like markets, sandwiches and food vans, has been repackaged by a pair of over eager marketing grads. Hoping to pounce on the vacuous masses, all too ready to trade in the burden of their own opinions for a little branded indoctrination.  Chiuri’s designs are indicative of a West built on persistent assertions of self-manufactured delusion.  A woman designing clothes for other women is ‘progress’.  A $700 t-shirt means ‘empowerment’, apparently.


Since the 1960s, the West has meticulously tried to hammer home a sense that the material difference between the lives of Western women and those in the developing world lies in the idea of ‘Choice’.  Apparently thanks to the West being the forward thinkers that they are, I am at perfect liberty to hold down a high powered job, while also being a full-time mother.  I may drink as much as I please, with the caveat being that I must later willingly trot off to the gym for a work out.  On the weekends I have the freedom to be a domestic goddess, and because I am such a deity, I do this all while looking good. Yes, we Western women are some lucky ladies! We really do get to have it all…  Sorry I took a slight detour there, what I was actually getting at, is there is one choice I feel I’ve never been given; the choice not to be a feminist.


Now while I realise that this statement alone is enough to get me barred from the ‘International Ovary Committee’, it’s certainly worthy of discussion.  For many years I unquestioningly (or perhaps naively) referred to myself as a feminist.  I believed, erroneously, that feminism derived from the stand point of female equality and no other ideology (at that time) greater resonated with me.  Joining the fight for the equal rights of women, seemed a no-brainer, and since this long and difficult war, seems so far from victory here in 2017, still does.  The articles discussing the disparities in pay that still haunt women, along with those talking of our absence in fields such as Science and Tech are too numerous to go into.  Paired with first hand accounts of the unfair weight given to our perceived good (or bad) looks, should provide enough confirmation to any sensible person that Sexism’s persistent and ugly head, has not quite been laid to rest.


But, I believe I first heard the sound of alarm bells ringing in my head, about the closeted cause of Feminism, in 2011, after reading Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman. Initially I felt the book would have been more accurately titled How to be a white woman, unhealthily obsessed with Lady Gaga.  Admittedly the book is a patchwork telling of her own female journey and this being the case, would inevitably come from a Caucasian perspective.  But the title of the book alludes to the shared experience of being ‘a woman’, which led me to ask if in fact Moran truly believed that her life as a white, middle class, journalist was in any way relatable to the vast majority of women across the globe?  And worse could her concern for women, be extended to those, whose ethnicity and religion meant that they would automatically fail at ‘being a woman’ according to her own definition?  My fears were later confirmed when she tweeted that she ‘literally couldn’t give a shit’ about the lack of diversity on the feminist favourite, television show, Girls.  Apparently Moran, like many other mainstream feminists, adhered to the silent code, that the spoils of any women’s revolution, were not to be shared with the tawnier members of the sex.  No surprises there then.  The whole episode certainly ended any sepia tainted vision of ‘intersectionality’, and ‘women of all races uniting against the spectre of patriarchy’ that I may secretly have held.


I realised that I had been bullied, brow beaten and eventually co-opted into a fight that was not my own, I had been duped into supporting a movement that ultimately held no benefits for black women.  Though cleverly concealed, Feminism is a symptom of the in-house, ongoing beef between the men and women of the First World.  In short the facilitators of white patriarchy, want a larger piece of the pie. Feminism, it seemed to me, did not so much want to tear down male rule, it resented its continued exclusion from it.  As Black women we find ourselves caught between the crosshairs of a foreign struggle.  In allowing ourselves to become human buffers, through our continued participation in protests, marches and meetings, we enable mainstream feminists to use us in turn as a smoke screen, tattooed with the false motto ‘we are doing this for all women.’


A case in point, were the Women’s Marches that sprung up faster than a starving cheetah spotting its prey, in opposition of Trump.  Apparently Big Ds comments about Blacks and Mexicans had been just about palatable to many women within the dominant society.  But what they couldn’t stomach, was Trump’s breakdown of the art of ‘Pussy Grabbing’.  I believe the words ‘Something absolutely must be done’ could be deciphered as the marching crowd stampeded over the abused body of Sandra Bland and the 13 victims of Daniel Holtzclaw.  I am still awaiting the feminist outrage that should naturally have arisen from the blatant abuse of women of colour by the Police.  Instead I heard only the painful sounds of crickets…


We should all be feminists… Really?

I’m sorry Mr Jackson…

Did anyone else hear the distant rumbles of disquiet emanating from the world of the perennial fake smile, also known as Acting?  If not, have your cups ready, because I’m about to serve, not Lovely’s piping hot tea, but a witch’s brew.  So apparently someone has like finally decided to say something about America’s involvement in the mass importation of foreign born Black Africans Actors; more specifically those from Britain.  That someone was Samuel L. Jackson, and I believe him to be…how shall I put it?  Displeased.  His gripe is, that much like America’s car industry, many of Black Hollywood’s meatiest roles are now being outsourced to cheaper foreign counterparts…or something like that.   With the the ‘facts’ out of the way (sort of), let me get right to the serious and sticky business of my thoughts on the matter…

While the stormy and difficult plight of the overprivileged nearly always rates highly on my personal barometer of concern.  The sympathy box, which I store right behind the last can of My heart bleeds soup; seems to be running curiously low.

For the record, as a Black Brit, the success of my peers across the pond, made me feel nothing but pride and excitement.  Until 12 Years a Slave…  That, is when I believe, I first thought that those in film were beginning to make bizarre and ultimately jarring choices behind the scenes.  Here we had two Brits one of Nigerian and the other of West Indian descent and a Kenyan born Mexican taking centre stage in telling the story of the African American experience.  While it is clear to me that (sadly) the common threads of Colonial Rule, Subjugation and the struggle for Autonomy run through the entirety of the African Diaspora.  The scars that have been etched on to our souls all differ slightly.  In truth, when I saw that Martin Luther King and his wife Coretta, would be played by British actors, I was deeply disturbed.  Europe seemed an awfully long way to go, in search of actors capable and willing to tell the stories of individuals, so deeply woven in to the fabric of Black America.

The question is; was Samuel L. Jackson right to call this out?  I’m going to say no and here is why.  Jackson has fixed his ire at Jordan Peele’s casting of Daniel Kaluuya in the masterpiece that is Get Out.  However the Hollywood fetish for exotic negroes, did not begin in Black film, and here I think Uncle Sam is guilty of being disingenuous.  Jackson knows very well that he, like many others who frequent the highest echelons of Black Hollywood, made a fatal mistake.  It is the same mistake made by every house negro that ever there was; believing that the preferential treatment he  received stemmed from a place of genuine regard.  That is the real problem here; the elites like no one, and foolish is the Black Actor who fails to realise that the exchange of African Americans for Black Brits is nothing more than a game of power.  Hollywood’s key players are much like slave owners who thought that an auction would be the best way to deal with a slave who got too big for his boots.  Their continental casting choices should serve as a reminder to Black Thespians everywhere, that Hollywood is not in fact ‘our’ house, but ‘theirs’.  It is all very well for John Boyega to brush aside Jackson’s comments, but my hope (though it is a vain one) is that he will come to the conclusion that if America can turn on its own, it will surely not spare the rod when it comes to outsiders.

There is another reason why Jackson’s comments trouble me.  They are a clear indication of the unhealthy dependency Black’s have on the elite.  Jackson is essentially saying that Massa is doing him wrong.  Hello, Massa has been doing the same thing for 400 years, and it pains me to hear a grown man whining.  Mr Jackson I put this to you, instead of relying on the very people who have shown nothing but contempt and disregard for you; start a revolution, start a production company, start a studio, start a film school.  Yes, I hear you, it won’t start out as big or as shiny as what they have over there.  But I can tell you one thing Mr Jackson; it will be ours…

My 2017 Lust List…

Now that we’re almost a quarter of the way through 2017, I am to put it delicately, testing the boundaries of what is and isn’t socially acceptable, in terms of arriving late to a party.  Though the party that fashion bloggers call a ‘wish list’ has slowed to a fizzle, with only the guests that no one knows staying to sup the last dregs of a generic bottle of Baileys.  I have decided to show up, with a Tesco Value packet of Cheese Balls in hand, and a list of this year’s lusts.


Crawling in at number five is the Fendi Peekaboo.  With luxury handbags I believe that women generally ‘oooh and ahover them.  But instead I have found myself ‘umm-ing and ah-ing’ over this one. Yes, I adore the uniqueness of its twist lock opening, and there is little doubt this bag is what happens when Classic and Modernity decide to mate.  My only concern however, is the spectre of ‘Value Holding’.  As long as you don’t drop a Classic Chanel bag off of Niagara Falls, you can pretty much guarantee you’ll get your money back; perhaps more. Unfortunately, I’m not entirely sure you can say the same of Fendi.  But that doesn’t make this bag any less adorable.  Damn you Karl.

pochette metis

Making a bold entrance at number four is the Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis.  Which is strange, because I took an oath (the oath of fabric) that I would never, ever purchase a bag in the Monogram Canvas.  Thanks to Nicolas Ghesqiere, I am now being forced to eat a mouthful of my own salted words.  Quite simply the Pochette Mettis is a beauty. It’s a pint sized briefcase with a handy strap and don’t get me started on the interior compartments.  What I’m not totally in love with is the zip opening stitched on the bag’s back, which to my eyes looks like a poorly stitched head wound.  Talk about putting ketchup on a sirloin…

kim k

Taking the midway spot at number three is the Kardashian sartorial stalwart the Balmain blazer.  Where to begin with this jacket, where to begin…  If you are shaped like a Coca-Cola bottle, then this jacket is your best friend.  It is a rare thing to find a jacket that can cover a not so small pair of breasts, cinches in at the waist and flares over your booty.  Making a curvy woman like myself, look like a goddess, rather than a fourth rate drag act is no mean feat.  Hats off to the chef; Olivier Rousteing you did this.  No draw backs here, but be prepared to keep this jacket under lock and key if you perchance have a sister or a mother.


Narrowly missing out on first place is the ‘Working Woman’s’ favourite, the Louis Vuitton Neverfull.  Now that my schizophrenic on again, off again relationship with the house of Vuitton has been brought back into focus, let me tell you why I have decided to include this unremarkable bag.  Chiefly, because it is a workhorse and a throw-around.  The Throw-around bag; every girl needs one.  Or at least that’s how the commercial goes in my head.  But seriously the Neverfull is smart enough for the office, casual enough for the beach and not so luxurious that you don’t mind stashing your vile of hot sauce in it.  What can I say the Neverfull knows how to work it.  If only the PM came with a Rose Ballerine lining…


At number one is a bag that needs no introduction, it is the Chanel Boy.  When it comes to this bag, words fail me.  Only a German could have introduced a handbag like this to the market, because it truly is an example of precision engineering.  Keeping Coco Chanel’s original hallmarks of elegance and utility; Karl Lagerfeld brought quilted leather and conspicuous consumption to a new generation, and we love him all the more for it.  Let’s hear it for Le Boy

Dearly Beloved Barbz

As the world, and when I say world, I mean Black Twitter attempts to pick its shock soaked jaw from the ground on which the career of Nikki Minaj now lays.  I find myself in an unadulterated serendipitous state of total and complete indifference.


Bypassing the tried and tested methods of good old fashioned murder, massacre and crucifixion; Remy Ma instead chose torture.  Teasing her victim, she painstakingly dismembered the body that once was the Minaj Legacy.  Cruelly scattering the charred and unrecognisable remains for all to see.  Though, of late, Nicki has been drug up and down the social media battle field more times than a piece of farm equipment at harvest time; I’m having trouble locating the balm of sisterly care, I am told exists within me.


For years Minaj has behaved like a Chihuahua, unaware of its size.  Snarling at other dogs regardless of their stature and fighting abilities.  Almost forgetting the inevitable circumstance would arise in which she would agitate a dog who would ultimately bark back.  But in this case, not only did Remy Ma bark, she bit, and did so savagely.


Let’s face it Barbz, you can wrap this situation up in a bow any way you want, but she had it coming. I’m no Taylor Swift fan, (if ever they held a ballot of women who should be voted of off the planet, I know who my ‘X’ would go to) but when Minaj tried to call out Swifty, because she felt overlooked by the VMAs, and then pretended she didn’t.  Few including myself leapt to her defence.  Why?  Because, though Nicki boldly declared she was speaking on behalf of Women of Colour, anybody with two brain cells knew Nicki Minaj was speaking on behalf of her-damn-self.  The only time Roman ever seems to find a voice to speak on issues regarding race is when it directly affects her.  Prosecution I refer you to her confrontation with Miley; her tweet based exposition of Iggy Azalea’s ghost-writers and her recent spat with Giuseppe Zanotti who apparently spurned her desire for a sartorial collaboration. The star’s protestations over the treatment of black women in the music industry all boil down, to the bitter soup of self interest; and when you take into consideration her consistently disrespectful, belittling and disdainful approach to the original Queen Bee; become at once laughable.


It is universally acknowledged that the emergence of a Chris Brown or an Usher is entirely dependent upon the existence of a fierce burning star like Michael Jackson.  Similarly, there would be no Nicki Minaj, without the wondrous multi-coloured be-wigged fabulosity of a Lil’ Kim.  No one is asking Onika to fall to her knees at the altar of Kim, in preparation of an hour of self-flagellation.  But a simple ‘thank you’ would be nice. Nicki snatched Kim’s wig off, like literally, snatched it off.  Along with everything else that made Kim the legend she is.  Instead of waiting for the torch to be passed, she stole it, not realising that eventually its flames would burn.


So, Dearly Beloved Barbz, I want you to remember the times of joy you shared together.  The jarringly, over-bright lipsticks; the wrongly matched foundation, the tooth decay, and the flipped implants.  Here lies the body of one who sang, who rapped and who sadly and untimely was Shethered.

I like my racists where I can see ‘em…

So apparently the general populous of the United States is now becoming wise to the possible draw backs of voting in a Pussy Grabbing President.  I have to say it wasn’t America’s brightest idea, but then again I don’t believe the invasions of Vietnam and Iraq were exactly shinning moments of brilliance either.  I suppose it maybe a little unfair to blame US citizens for their country’s involvement in illegal wars.  After all, when Americans turn up to the polls, there is no box to check ‘in the event you would/wouldn’t like War as an optional extra.’ However, voters were warned well in advance that this year’s Republican candidate wore Misogyny and Racism like a politically incorrect Halloween costume.


My opinions and I have, for the most part decided to sit this one out.  Much like the close girlfriend who whines about the apparent flaws of her mate, chooses to marry him anyway; only to learn of his infidelity.  America is now having an almighty; what were you thinking moment, and I’m afraid that I’m going to have to treat her, just as I would my annoying friend.


Trump’s 1970s inspired approach to the fairer sex seems to have gotten droves of Western women all riled up.  With a recent spate of Women’s Marches popping up state-wide.  The largest of which took place last month in Washington DC.  Ever afraid of missing a photo opportunity the luvvies were out in full force.  It was truly heart-warming to see the A-list challenging the rich and the privileged, before being escorted back to their heated Winnebago’s.  Forgive me Reader for my cynicism, I should know better, I am a woman after all.  But, would it be in anyway inaccurate to see this new anti- Trump coalition as an act of collective amnesia?


According to a CNN exit poll, 53% of white women who did vote, voted for a clearly beloved Trump.  A similarly strange case is that of the Assalis; a family of Syrian origin, who had long been settled in the US.  The family then found themselves facing deportation as a result of dear Donald’s travel ban. As it becomes clear that Americans who stood to lose the most at the hands of a Trump presidency willingly chose to vote against their own interests.  The picture of Trump as North America’s perennial bad guy appears to be a canvas made up entirely of grey.  Now, let’s get this clear, the creosote coloured Commander in Chief, is off the charts on the sexism and xenophobia scale.  But sadly many Trump voters seemingly forgot, the piercing bite that always follows the raising of a snake.


Reader you married him.  Choosing to walk down the aisle of international relations to a funeral dirge.  Luckily for me, I am located on the other Brexit polluted side of the pond. Now, not only will I get to see my own country slip into chaos, confusion and joy oh joy recession; but I will bear witness to Trump’s slow and painful undoing of the American Dream.  Popcorn and tissues at the ready; I think this is going to be a weepie.



Mad about Le Boy…



Presently I am in the deep and lustful throes of an unrequited love.  My object of desire, is certainly guilty of giving me the run-around.  For one I can never ever seem to get a hold of him, and secondly on the rare occasion that we do cross paths, there is a constant line of women waiting around the block for the chance to snap him up.  My prospective lover only frequents the most exclusive parts of town, and frankly I just don’t know if I can afford to take our imaginary liaison any further.


The man in question, is not really a man; but a Boy, sorry, Le Boy.  Which isn’t really a Boy, but a handbag by Chanel.  Got it?  The Boy, like so many of the best relationships, came into my life suddenly and unexpectedly.  Never fearful of commitment, my affection in Chanel bag world had always been fixed on the Classic Flap.  Ever since Karl threw some Cs on that bitch, I had believed myself sure that the battle for my heart had now been won.  That was of course until the day I first cast my infatuated eyes on Le Boy.


They say that love can do strange things to mortals.  Even the most intelligent of our kind find themselves rationalising away the million flaws of their beloved.  In my case I have found myself contemplating the parting of myself from the princely sum of £3480.  Unlike the other inhabitants living in the Metropolitan Borough of Blogging and YouTube; I do not have an inexplicable, inelastic income, which I can whimsically fritter away on designer goods.  I’m always left scratching my head after seeing many a video in which a YouTuber faithfully swears that they are ‘not rich’, ‘they work a normal job’ (If anyone knows of one of these mythical jobs please leave details in the comments section) and that they afford luxury by ‘not going out’.  Despite living a nearly identical lifestyle, I am still sans bag.


A lover’s jealousy is a terrible and dangerous thing.  Left unchecked it can lead to moments of temporary insanity and obsession. The Boy is my laptop, tablet and phone backdrop. I feel now would be a sensible time to seek medical assistance; perhaps a cardiologist might help. For each time I see the glimmering form of two golden Cs centred within a Lego inspired clasp, my heart unmistakably misses a beat.  Is it wrong dear reader, that the murky world of ‘Boy Bag Unboxings’ has become an illicit, late night pornographic treat?


I realise wholeheartedly that this simply cannot go on for much longer.  My paramour and I must declare our love openly, bringing the midnight activity of Pinterest stalking firmly to an end.  Or we must at last go our separate ways. Of our compatibility, I have little doubt.   I have full confidence that you’d be the perfect companion.  Changing weather and seasons could not dull your appeal.  The brightest sun, nor a brilliant moon would detract from your shine.


We’d be great for each other.  There I said it.  I want you more than all of the other useless, over- priced objects of beauty in the world.  I’m willing to pay the cost to make you mine.  After all a wise man once said: ‘You can’t put a price on love.’

‘Post Traumatic Wedding Syndrome’

Of late, the ritual of checking my mailbox has become an activity filled with feelings of anxiety and at times trepidation.  The two-week stomach churning wait for an ‘all clear’ medical test result, did not rank highly among my list of ‘life’s top ten fun things to do’.  Nor did an unnecessarily overwrought and frantic spell of obsession, over the arrival of a ‘dream job’ offer that never came.  Thinking that the highs and lows of of my Post-Traumatic stress had reached their apex, the music of Sesame Street playing as my personal theme tune, I sashayed over to the box. Only to encounter an envelope that would make my blood run cold.


I knew it was coming, but like so many of life’s vicissitudes I had put it firmly to the back of my mind.   There it lay sandwiched between thoughts of of Tesco’s opening hours, my ageing grandparents and the suitability of a pink fur coat for British spring time.  Left on my living room coffee table, carefully concealed within a shameful assortment of Topshop receipts its existence remained unacknowledged for two days straight… Until of course I decided to open it.  In the most flowery of words and ornate fonts my presence was requested to celebrate the marriage of one of my dearest friends.


Weddings are odd little affairs.  On one hand they provide us humans with a neat little ending of sorts, a storybook conclusion to years of dating.  But on the other they give validity to a gnawing and nagging examination of exactly what we’ve been doing with our lives and worse beg the question: ‘Why are you still single?’  Nowhere was my singledom more apparent, than in the invitations address.  Apparently ‘Your’ (meaning ‘my’) company had been requested.  I kept searching for the ‘plus guest’ nod, but apparently we singletons are to be doubly punished.  Not only are we expected to sit by on the Reserve’s Bench, while our closet friends declare their undying devotion to one another before God.  We must do so alone.  Our wedding attire stamped with a Scarlet ‘S’ for single, while all about us whisper of our tragedy and misfortune.

As you may well have gathered, I am expecting the absolute worst.  The mournful glances, the two handed interrogations from gloating couples and best of all having my hand held by well meaning Cloak Room attendants who softly utter the words ‘don’t leave it too late.’  (Yes, that did really happen.)  In order to counter the slings and arrows of being the sacrificial lamb at the centre of an unsolicited pity party, I will be attending the wedding in fancy dress.  No, not as the back end of a pantomime horse, in case you were wondering.  But as the glorious and resplendent Mrs O.  No one does dignity quite like Michelle Obama. I intend to sashay towards my church pew, clothed in a Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress (which I don’t own) paired with a Chanel Boy (also a work in progress).  Completing the look with a top note of the other famous Mrs O.  Sunglasses please.


Luckily the wedding is not until June, giving me ample time to tick the missing items off my luxury shopping list.  Though already I can hear the demanding and shrill voices of justification; ‘you spent how much on a bag?’ I believe my top rated wedding rebuke is the one that goes something like this: ‘Tom and I used to spend like that, but now we have kids.’  It’s an oldie but nonetheless a goody.


I realise I am coming across as somewhat of a ‘Debbie Downer’.  But truly I am happy for my friend.  I’m elated, ecstatic if you will… over the moon, as they say.   I think that is what’s called over egging the custard Coran.  Perhaps you’re right.  Maybe I am a little jelly.  While my poor, miserable, single, self is stuck here calling Harrods to find out when my dream bag is in stock, planning a girl’s holiday and wondering if £1400 is too much for a jacket.  Couples the world over ask ‘why they can’t get their partner to clean the bathroom?’, ‘what happened to their joint account?’  And most pressing of all ‘Who ate the last biscuit?’  Yes, it truly is terrible being single…I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  Now, I’m sure you’d all like to join me in a roast toast… ‘To the bride and groom…’

The Beautiful Black Man and the Beast


Without giving too much away, I’m now at the age where the group of friends (call it a pool if you will) I once had in my twenties, has now been whittled down to a puddle subjected to a Sub-Saharan summer’s day.  With the majority of my girlfriends having succumbed to the casualties of marriage and babies, I feel as though I have been left as the proverbial last (wo)man standing.  While I wish my friends nothing but the best, I can’t help but crave to have my own ample slice of the pie we call happiness.

Growing up in a quiet mostly White Middle Class suburb, I, along with my friends, hit life’s key markers.   University, travel, decent(ish) job, but as the token only Black girl in our group I seem to have taken home the coveted prize of also-ran in the game of love Monopoly.

The dearth of ‘Good Black Men’ and its effects on ‘Good Black Women’ is oft spoken about, and has (almost) become part of African Folklore.  Edging out ancient African proverbs espousing the wisdom of ‘de lion’ come new sayings speaking of the pain of ‘de single Black woman’!  Okay, I’m erring on the side of silly but you catch my drift.   To put it plainly; I simply cannot kiss anymore frogs.  The road to becoming someone’s better half has been pathed with rogues and vagabonds.  One experience in particular with a rogue (or was he vagabond?) disturbed me so deeply, I feel that I must share it.

I am certainly not in the habit of man bashing, but in the last few years I have developed a growing awareness of a mutant strain of men.  Their emergence seems directly linked to the popularity of one A$AP Rocky.  The men in question are defined by their aesthetic charms, the fitness of their bodies, the acquisition of stylised designer clothes, the delicate form of their features and to all this they add a generous sprinkling of self-absorption.  Even Narcissus would have to fight to get hold of a mirror in their presence!  Sound familiar at all?  Yes, my date had all the symptoms of one suffering from what I like to call Beautiful Black Man Syndrome.  Disclaimer:  my date, (let’s call him John) artfully concealed his true nature, in our earliest encounters.

I should have known that a romantic liaison with John would have been a miss- step of gargantuan proportions after our first (almost) date. A text sent kindly requesting he meet me at a location closer to my home town (I have no car) and a little further from his, was met with this response verbatim:  ‘I could but, I think it would be cheaper to have drinks here.’  I know right, hardly the stuff fairy tales are made of.  Make no mistake, I made sure that he felt my ire and for obvious reasons I declined his enticing cut price offer.

A later chance meeting in the office kitchen, meant that the wonderful John was able to explain away the many (many) faults of his text.  Inwardly I thought how many single, childless black men, holding a BA and a Masters with their own flat (and own hair) are there left in the world?  Of Course I caved, and I stood in line, like a dummy, for a second helping.

At his suggestion, I agreed, though unwillingly to meet at his local pub.  The pub was part of a chain, nation renowned for their cheap prices and sterile atmospheres.  In short it was the McDonalds of the beverage world. (Oh Coran, Coran, Coran).  A promise was made, that our next date would be of the extravagant/salubrious kind and since I didn’t have a car, John would foot the bill for my taxi home. His offer had all the appearance of what they call a ‘win, win situation’, or so I thought.

The evening began with an explosive and emotional foray into my date’s disappointment at a recent, but unsuccessful job interview.  With scenes rivalling that of a Greek Tragedy, arms flailed about the table as he repeatedly asked me ‘Do you know who they picked?  Do you know who they picked?’  Later he looked me dead in the eyes and uttered the following words: ‘I’m very fragile you know’.  Who doesn’t want a partner who leads with the masculine trait of fragility?  But don’t worry it gets better.  Apparently a great believer in the virtues of self-promotion, John felt no hesitation in telling me of his conviction that he was in fact the ‘total package’ and that though I had seen pictures of his six-pack on Instagram, it was ‘even better’ in real life.  Other high points included him calling me ‘not very bright’ asking me ‘what makes me moist?’ ‘Did I remind him of Jean-Michel Basquiat?’ and the question that every woman wants to hear on a first date ‘do you want to make a baby?’  I won’t even bother mentioning his mid date declaration of: ‘I really want to go and smoke weed’.  Of course I was invited back to his flat to partake of the illegal activity, but I took this final insult as my cue to exit.  My carriage awaited me, or so I thought.  John in the highest (or lowest) form of flakery now asked that since I had gotten paid on that day, and he didn’t get paid until the next month, could I now pay for my taxi home, and he would refund me the cost at a later date. There really are no words.  No like really, there are no words.

I’ve never been one to shy away from a little self-deprecation and though many laughs were had owing to the overwhelmingly bizarre nature of the date, as I settled the fare for my taxi ride home I could not help but feel an intense wave of sadness sweep over me.  Ignoring his obligatory ‘I had such a good time’ evening text it dawned on me that this man, beautiful as he thought he was, felt so comfortable and confident in offering me, this woman, absolutely nothing.  He wanted me to play the role of a sponge, soaked and stained in his own misery, frustration and delusion.  His declaration of fragility, obscured and overshadowed my femininity.  If he as the man in our union had committed himself to weakness, then by default I would have to draw on a strength that would sustain the both of us.  With strength bestowed unwillingly upon me, his natural conclusion was that I of course could fend for myself, hence the self -funded drive home.  My date had decided that he would play the part of one to be objectified, admired and fawned upon.  This would be his sole and meagre contribution to the evening; and in that moment I realised that the roles of Black men and Black women had been cruelly inverted.  He would not provide, nor would he mark himself as a pillar of dependency.  His frailty would be my burden to carry and protect, with his aesthetic raised above on a pedestal for my worship. In short he would take up the woman’s helm and I the man’s.

It was the bitterest of pills to swallow, but I suppose these are the inevitable results of a generation of men parented by MTV.  Clearly they have not yet received the memo that ‘cool’, as far as I’m aware, is a non-tangible asset.  As for me the search goes on…and on…and on.  There will always be a line around the block of frogs waiting to be kissed.  Only next time I’ll be sure they have my cab fare ready.

We’ll always have Paris…

Oh Britain I’m not angry with you; I’m just disappointed.  Yes, we might well draw on the age-old idea that nothing can shake the plucky countenance from the people of this small island; but tea and a swipe of lippy are not going to get us out of this one.  Let me put it plainly:  We are fucked.  We are being thrust along the proverbial Shit’s Creek, not only without a paddle, but without a bloody boat!  It is as if we have left the relative comfort and protection of our nice European boyfriend complete with a steady job and proper hairstyle; and thrown ourselves into the power of a man who rides a Harley, busks for a living and wants to die in order to leave a good-looking corpse.


The result of the Brexit referendum made it abundantly clear why ordinary people are generally barred from the conversations and debates which take place within the walls of Westminster deciding our country’s fate.  The reason being that a large percentage of the population possess intelligence that is equivocal to that of a doorstop.  Perhaps in future the government might carry out some sort of test, in which potential voters have to prove that they have an intellectual capacity which exceeds that of a 12 year- old child.


This is not a slight on the good people of Barnsley, but there did seem to be some very strange ideas floating about the air.  On being asked why she voted to leave the safety of the EU one woman said it was because: ‘her grandfather had fought for this country’.  A curious, and yet baffling sentiment.  I can only assume that she believed that upon leaving Europe, should she chance upon any field in her England she would now find cricket being played to the distant hymn of Jerusalem, the scene would of course be framed in jubilant bunting, with Dickie Bird playing the role of umpire.  Another resident stated that leaving Europe was the only way to stop (groan) immigration.  Although bizarrely he later said that he didn’t mind other Europeans (aka White people) settling on these shores, it was just people from ‘Africa, Iran and Syria’.  So on the whole I think it’s fair to say the the Leave campaigners did a stellar job informing voters on exactly what it means to be part of the EU.


Damn you Boris, you deliberately misguided those who were in greatest need of the EUs protection.  Without realising it communities who already suffer at the hands of the wolves named Poverty and deprivation will now have to grapple with a government that no longer has to adhere to checks and balances sent from Brussels.  A new government for whom the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is now nothing more than a footnote in this island’s history.  Corbyn you’re no better.  Throughout Labour’s half arsed EU Remain campaign, our Jez looked an awful lot like the friend who’d been coerced into partaking of a night out.  And even then they’d only said ‘yes’ because there was nothing on Netflix.  This at a time when he should have galvanized the Working Class, the disenfranchised and the indifferent.  The faults of this referendum have been many, far-reaching and too catastrophic to keep calm and carry on.


One thing is for certain, it is clear we have our best man on the job.  Setting out his plan for solving the biggest political and economical shit storm since the Financial Crash of 1987, BoJo imparted these words of reassurance ‘…Britain is a part of Europe-and always will be.’  Well I for one know that I will sleep easier tonight. Johnson has his shoulder firmly pressed to the wheel.  Gove grinds the organ, while the monkey dances.  Get ready folks, if Johnson does become the boss man, the NHS will become more stretched than a pregnancy belly.  Gove is probably cooking up a manual with instructions on how to perform your own angioplasty payed for with Tesco Club Card points.


Now there is nothing left for us to do but pack our things, unscrew the light bulbs and await anxiously the decision on who gets the kids.  This is it, according to Michael Jackson.  Nothing but the greatest Moonwalk of all time can stem this painful political divorce. David Cameron will now go down in history as the man who sold the world; kind of like an elderly relative who sells the family paintings for a pound at a car boot sale, not realising they are in fact Picasso’s.


We have no choice but to look to the future, and it may yet be less bleak than we imagine.  There we will be listening to EBC radio, (English Broadcasting Corporation) miniature St George flags in hand, a sodden Victoria Sponge taking centre stage, our voices straining to the last notes of ‘There’ll always be an England’, all of course in the rain.




Disclaimer: No startling observations were made in this piece.



Hate to say I told you so…

Reader I hope you will permit me to make the most shocking of confessions.  Once I have shared this nugget of truth with your good selves, it may very well lead you to request the forthwith revocation of my proverbial ‘Black Card’.  There too remains the possibility that you may question my status as a true millennial and I am certain that you will think me a poor example of a generation that grew up on a diet of lacto-vegan hipsters, topped with a sprinkling of ‘me me me’.  But if the truth be told, I am not, nor have I ever been a fan of Kanye West.  This is not say that I am unable to recognize his talent, but as Kanye stepped out of the shadows of production, taking centre stage as a solo artist I always felt between myself and him a terrific disconnect. Despite Mr West possessing all the vital components that comprise a top tier rapper, to me there always appeared to be a vacancy in his character.  The discrepancy between who Kanye believed himself to be and who he actually was always somewhat perturbed me.

To call Ye contrary is to call Donald Trump polarising; he is the Black Revolutionary whose song Jesus Walks positions Christianity as a cornerstone of personal strength.  (Despite its introduction to peoples of the African Diaspora being highly contentious given its role in replacing indigenous religious beliefs and its use in the justification of the enslavement of African people.)  Kanye who eloquently rails against a love of all things material in New Slaves, later informs us that his hallway looks like a ‘Monastery’ in his collaboration with Big Sean and Drake Blessings.  Which leads me to bestow upon him the auspicious title of the world’s only anti-consumerist, consumer, who is consumed by consumerism.  Of course we must not forget his fantastically misogynistic labelling of Mixed Race women as ‘mutts’, despite the fact that he is now the father of Mixed Race daughter. Oh Kanye, Kanye, Kanye confusion is thy name.

Yes, ladies and gentleman hindsight is a wonderful thing, and of course I don’t blame you for wilfully overlooking the (endless) signs that suggested Kanye was steadily speeding in fifth gear to destination Crazyville.    But at what point does one abandon ship?

The last three years have seen Yeezus partake in a series of ever more disturbing interviews.  He seems to be more tightly wound than a Swiss watch, so numerous are his ravings that I have to keep a bowl of popcorn to hand for every time YouTube comes up with the suggestion ‘Kanye West Rant’. The general consensus was that Kanye’s madness had reached its apex after that Sway interview. Surely there were no new depths of lunacy for Ye to plummet to?  Trolls the internet over rubbed their grubby hands together collectively relieved that the general consensus could not have been more wrong. A Twitter meltdown ensued in which West begged for handouts from the  elite and also admitted to being $53 million dollars in debt.  Then an interweb feud with Wiz Khalifa lead to the revelation that West does indeed like a ‘finger in the booty’.  And who could forget his May 2016 appearance on Ellen?

There is something distinctly repetitive about the approach West has taken of late to the media in general.  His mind rarely veers away from his frustration with the fashion world.  His self-announced alignment with greats such as Shakespeare, Walt Disney and Steve Jobs.  The limitless virtues of his two dimensional wife and his monosyllabic proclamation ‘we all slaves’. Though Kanye tries to spin his maniacal ramblings as a call for self-contemplation en masse, I can not help but see his words and actions as little more than a reflection of himself. Is his disillusionment with top couturiers a result of their lack of inclusivity to fashion outsiders?  Or a result of their open refusals to include him?  As West cries foul at the Western phenomena of brand worshipping, it seems unlikely he would scoff at the chance to have the public worship him.  Some might say, he would relish the very idea of us 99 percenters being enslaved to his label.

Of his  wife he has declared that she should be seen as no less than a modern day Marilyn Monroe, and when speaking to Steve Harvey he made the startling claim that Mrs West had broken barriers in fashion.  Apparently prior to discovering her cosmetically enhanced form, designers saw women of the curvaceous variety as merely an after thought. Serena Williams and Jennifer Lopez please take note, Queen Kim is an innovator, not an imitator.  In the same interview he also bizarrely declared that had it not been for Kim, interracial couples would be afraid to go to amusements parks. Got that Mrs Loving? Had it not been for Kim Black people the world over would not have the right to choose a partner who burns in the sun and pays £3.50 for a coffee. Kanye’s keenness to remind us all of Kim’s infinite contributions to humanity, only magnifies his own acute awareness of popular attitudes towards her.  The most common being that she is a turd artfully covered in multi-coloured sequins and not his not –so- secret -crush; Beyoncé.  Kanye seems to be going for gold in the buck dancing Olympics, I am expecting any day now the arrival of a new rant in which he heralds this truth; that God did not in fact create mankind on the sixth day, it was the work of Kim.

The days of Kanye challenging the Bush Administration’s anti-black sentiment are long gone, and in its place a new era has been ushered in.  An era of blue contacts, unseasoned Father’s day chicken and styling Caitlyn Jenner. Was I right in my distrust of the simpering, flake-like, wisp of a fool they call Kanye West?  Well I hate to say I told you so…

I do believe there maybe some small hope for our man.  Should he heed the advice he imparts in his song Heard ‘Em Say’.  It is as follows: ‘Wake up Mr West’.