My Advice on Relationship Advice

You might be surprised to learn that my own blog was born out of the following of other blogs (not really :)) more specifically a relationship advice blog. The writer has a distinct style and frank advice about love, sex and relationships from the male perspective. I love it. I follow his blog better than I update my own (LOL). That’s because his blog has a distinct purpose that developed into a book and I’m still developing my own. Anyway, I recently read this blog’s (link below) advice on a when/when not to propose tip. As I said before, I love this blog but it’ more for the (entertaining) insight into the male psyche than for the advice. Which brings to today’s post about my advice on relationship advice.

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a relationship advice expert. Honestly, I have never been in a relationship, I’m one of those freak-of-nature 20-something virgins flying under the radar as any other chick. So all of my advice is provided through such a lens. I would never presume to tell someone to come to me with their issues because I can’t relate to whatever may be going on but if you want an impartial perspective unclouded by past experiences and emotions I’m the one.

So what’s my advice on relationship advice?

1.) Don’t Trust the Source.

2.) Get Your Own Game Plan

3.) One Rule

1.) Don’t Trust the Source

The latest trend in relationship advice is coming from men. Men are arming women with the tools to hit the clubs and block parties like a ninja. Don’t trust the source. I am glad that men are coming forward and providing insight into how they work but the advice is slanted. That said I wouldn’t say trust advice of a woman either, it’s slanted as well. The issue I find with advice coming from either sex is that it is slanted toward how the opposite sex treats the other and is not balanced with advice on what their fulfillment in a relationship is. Men are every bit as unsure and wish-washy as women in what they want in a relationship or what they’re looking for in a partner. We both list the qualities we want in a person and rarely act when presented with those qualities. Granted all this does not mean to trash all advice because more often than not there are gems of wisdom in the advice. Just don’t follow blindly. I love the advice blog but even I see flawed logic and can’t agree about every point that the blogger has to make. Rather than take a man’s advice on how to handle a relationship I would say learn from the man about men. Same for men, don’t take a woman’s advice on a relationship, just from a woman about women which will lead to number two.

2.) Develop your own game plan

Call me Ned Stark: I disdain the game. Like Ned, I’m honest to a fault and don’t feel like entertaining the twittering bullshit facades. But unless I want to end up like Ned, out in the first season, better get up on the game. Learn about men from men rather do what they say (even the good men) cuz that will get you played as well. The inverse for men. Listen to either party and you will jump through hoops and face insurmountable expectations. Just learn the opposite sex and develop your own approach to flirting, sex, relationships, friendship etc. Also learn yourself. FOR REAL. I find people know themselves better than they like to admit. Learn the game, it’s ultimately the same doesn’t really change, just the players. This is the reason you learn the men/women you’re dealing with from the sources themselves. The men of yesteryear are not the men of today, and women have definitely come from the kitchen. Take the advice given with some salt and get your game plan.

3.) One Rule

Like I said, I’m honest to a fault I feel like one simple rule would cure most problems: the golden rule. All is fair in love and war but emotions are a dangerous thing to play with especially in a time where fatal attractions are common place. People as group have grown more obsessive, turning smiles and simple kindness into profound and deep romances, the opposite holds true as well. In this way I don’t fault men for their paranoia…to a certain degree. But anyway whenever I hear advice I mostly hear the sexes talking about how the other should treat them and not really speaking on what they are going to do on the other end. I see it as this: don’t ask me to anything you couldn’t see yourself doing for me regardless of what it is. This goes especially for relationships.

You know the phrase do as I say not as I do? For relationship advice I would say learn why they do,  do not what they say to do.

blackgirlsareeasy.com  Check it out. It is a good read.

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Extended Breastfeeding: New Frontier?

Okay so I’m late. I can’t say much other than I have been detached lately but I have recently picked up buzz over the topic of Extended Breastfeeding. Check out the Time Magazine cover below.

Are You Mom Enough?

So I guess this a sub-group in the Mommy Crusade in their fight to mainstream parenthood, but unlike the topics of baby hours and  public breastfeeding, Attachment Parenting or Extended Breastfeeding on the whole has resounding negativity even from mothers. The Time magazine cover certainly didn’t help anyone’s cause not even Attachment Parenting advocates. The cover was simply too much and casts a kind of extremist light on parenting period.

Let me say this, I don’t think public breastfeeding is that big a deal. Once you become a parent, especially one that actually loves their child, maternal instincts kick in and you do any and everything to take care of your child. Sometimes it happens that the kid gets hungry at an unseemly time and it’s your duty to provide the child with what it needs. Sometimes that means pulling a boob out in public. I won’t lie and say that seeing this hasn’t made uncomfortable but at the same time I understood why a woman would do that. It’s your child, fuck the world if they have issue with you feeding your baby in public. That said, I wouldn’t say make public breastfeeding a habitual practice. Once upon a time it was like reading a book on bench but now we live a hypersensitive, hypersexualized world where breastfeeding enters the realm of privacy. Not saying that you shouldn’t feed your kid but if you can, dismiss yourself to a more private area to do what you have to do or keep bottles of pumped breast milk.

Back to Attachment Parenting. This is ridiculous to me. I remember seeing this in Game of Thrones and being grossed out. Here you have a child a that walk and talk still feeding from the tap. Why are people even practicing ‘attachment’ parenting? Isn’t the ultimate goal to raise a successful independent individual that will be able to tackle world long after you, as the parent, have gone on? To that end doesn’t make more sense to detach yourself a-step-at-a-time to develop that sense of  independence?Okay so you want your child to enjoy all the benefits of breastfeeding: healthier, less likely to develop cancer, obesity etc, etc. All good reasons and all reasons why I support breastfeeding to a certain age. Once the kid develops the motor skills to hold a bottle or start teething (which ever comes first) get a breast pump. This is my biggest issue with Attachment Parenting. Your child can still enjoy all the benefits of breast milk with a cup. Like any other mom, start keeping a breast pump nearby or a cooler with chilled servings of breast milk. My fear is that children brought up this way will just as dependent as Robin Arryn with just as big a sense of entitlement too.

I don’t deny that in these days families are fighting battle for their rights. The American family is being sidelined in favor of the young and wild and free. I believe there’s room for both but it will require compromises from both. On the parent side, one them maybe public breastfeeding.

For the Brothers and Sisters

Like the last post, I was up this morning plugging into the world. Another piece of news caught my eye but this one is more personal. Its to do with the Band Hazing case at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida. I write this post doing duel duty: to both defend and criticize student organizations (fraternities and sororities and the like) to those that are interested, members and the resistant. And I’m doing it as a proud member of both a fraternity and a sorority.

The Defense

Now I could repeat the usual benefits of joining an S/O/Frat/Sorority and I will: brotherhood, sisterhood, scholarships, purpose, support system, network, etc. Every last one of them are true if that’s the reason why you decided to join in the first place. I defend S/O’s because I got more than that in the processes for both: I discovered a capacity for strength, passion and bravery. I discovered more about me. And I did it by putting myself out of my comfort zone and in a place that always asked if I could do better, that required commitment, deep introspection and a sense of unity. I am a better woman and consider both instances to pledge some of the best decisions of my life.

The Criticism

I love both my fraternity and my sorority. We all have our reasons for doing the things we do, our secrets that are near and dear; what separates us from others and also what brings us together. For all that, we as members need to recognize a time to do away with certain traditions. The whole ”it was done to me, it should be done to them” attitude smacks of revenge and makes the intake less about about building a bond and more about power. Too many fraters and sorors are corrupting their values in taking the intake to extremes.  I don’t know a single fraternity or sorority or S/O or the like that wasn’t founded on the principle of coming together for the benefit of the members, community and potential members: if you’re to the point of scarring people, physically or emotionally, then you have corrupted your values. The point is to yield the best not beat the best.

Now there’s a marked difference between white fraternities and sororities and minority sororities, even though I am speaking to minority organizations, there’s no reason that what’s coming up next can’t be applied all around. I know for the minority organizations our intake is built on the history and culture represented: to bring awareness and knowledge to members and society at large. Sage in thought but manifesting itself debasing and radical ways. While I’m not privy to the history and ways of any organization outside of my own my thoughts are this: I don’t believe a single founder of any organization began with the intention that future generations would suffer what they suffered or to suffer period. Only to learn to overcome obstacles together. With that tell me, how are the instances like Robert Champion (and countless others) teaching unity, strength, brotherhood/sisterhood? When did your values and organization become so important that it is worth risking a life? I love my fraternity and sorority, but they both have their due place on my priority list. There needs to be a serious re-haul on the approach to intake or we will look up one day and find everything we value scattered to dust.

Interested?

You need to do a couple of things first: ASK YOURSELF WHY and DO YOUR RESEARCH. Having done this, TWICE, I will say no combination of colors or letters or dances done on the campus square is worth the trouble. You join for that reason and you’ll be a dead-beat frater or soror in two years. On top of that, a fool for all the money you spent. If you’re doing it for acceptance, tread carefully. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be accepted, humans are not that different from the rest of the animals, we recognize the value of being in a group and we are all looking acceptance. But how far are you willing to go get it? While I am shocked at how some organizations would treat someone they want to be their sister or brother, I am more surprised at the number of people that will tolerate debasing behavior to be called someone’s brother or sister. I have 5 BLOOD REAL sisters, and while they have dosed their measure of tough love to prepare their baby sister for the real world, it has never involved hitting me or humiliating me. They would only kick my ass if I ALLOWED someone else to kick my ass (LOL) because we have more pride than that. I suggest interests get some too before they even consider this. Next, do your research. And in case you didn’t know that means: visit the website to get acquainted with the values and history, get to know the local chapter (outside of the parties, market days, etc), get to know the alumni and most importantly SHOP AROUND.

For the Brothers and Sisters

We love our lives, proud to give and be given to in return. We jump at the opportunity to go out in force, lettered and represent. But we’re in a time where people are more likely frown on us than be impressed.  Hazing extremes and deaths are neutralizing all positive attribute of we do and what we represent. The ironic part is that this problem emerged from within by our own hands. As I said earlier, there is  need for re-haul in how intake is being approached. Right now there is a movement against bullying, of which I am in support of. If things don’t change, honestly and wholly, how long before all fraternities and sororities are viewed as organizations that condone/use bullying?

The Resistance

So you don’t like fraternities or sororities and have a very low opinion of those that are in such organizations and those that seek membership. You may be justified in some cases but certainly not all. If you can’t bring yourself to respect the organization for whatever your reasons maybe, respect what it means to people that make up its body and for many organizations, membership was earned and not paid for.