Every time the topic of women supporting one another comes up, I get nervous. On one hand, I know that there are some women who live to support other women, while there are others whose sole purpose in life is to spew hate. The motivation behind women’s support of lack of support for each other has to do with the amount of space there is for us. Let me clarify. When there are a plethora of opportunities, spaces for a multitude of women to succeed, women support one another. When there are limited opportunities, we don’t.
It’s for this reason why there is so much beef between women in hip-hop. Record companies and label executives carve out a space for one woman per label and they pit them against each other. For example, Nicki Minaj was Young Money’s poster girl, Eve was Ruff Ryders’ it girl, Lil Kim represented Bad Boy, and the list goes on. For years, Nicki Minaj dominated the female rap game (see how I called it “female rap game” instead of “rap game”), while every other female rapper took a back seat. The labels, and subsequently, the industry, which includes consumers, have dictated to female rappers that there can only be “one of you”. Multiple female rappers cannot dominate the chart at the same time. Generally speaking, fans can’t seem to be on team Nicki, team Cardi B and team Remy Ma at the same time. In turn, they get competitive and don’t really support each other. It can be argued that only Nicki doesn’t support, but let’s not go there today.
On the flip side, female singers and pop stars like Rihanna and Beyonce etc. seem to be able to coexist without the extreme competitiveness. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that they aren’t competitive. I’m just saying I don’t see Rihanna making a diss track about Beyonce, or even shading her on social media (because singers don’t really make diss tracks right?). Beyonce fans are Rihanna fans are Sza fans are Mary J. Blige fans. There is more space. And you tend to see more support when there is more opportunity.
It’s the same for black people. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard the question, “Do black people support one another?” Yes we do, but as a group we’re still fighting for opportunities, while recovering from mental slavery. We literally had to fight for our freedom and force ourselves into spaces that were not created for us. With limited space/opportunity comes extreme competitiveness. It has sullied our way of thinking, leaving many of us unable to support one another even if we like each other. It’s sad but true. Some black people can’t stand to see another one doing well, because in their minds, it diminishes them. Why? Because our slave masters dicated that there can only be one or few.
Some years ago, my father and I were having a conversation about how some Bahamians don’t come back to The Bahamas after they complete college in the U.S., U.K., or Canada. My dad, a staunch nationalist, thinks everyone should come back home. I asked him how he expected people to come home to absolutely no chance of finding a job. He said to me that people have to create their jobs. I didn’t understand why he thought that was so easy (maybe he didn’t), but I know now that he simply meant that sometimes we have to create our own opportunities.
When women create spaces for other women, such as what Essence and other companies do, we thrive and there’s a decrease in competitiveness and lack of support. It’s that simple.
Speaking of women supporting women, I sat down with Ianthia Smith and Alex Missick (above, middle and right) to chat about blogging in The Bahamas in her new video series, “Personal Space.” Blogging is a relatively new industry in The Bahamas with limited opportunities. We chatted a little about that and how it has affected us. Stay tuned for the video, but in the meantime, check out Ianthia’s series on her Youtube channel.
I wore a red tassel embellished printed romper with a pair of white sandals that were gifted to me. I love the romper so much, but if you want to purchase, I recommend going a size down because it was loose on me. I lost a few pounds, but not that much. Buying this romper showed me how important it is to own a white pair of heels. I’m matchy, and although I could have gone with red, I think it would have been a tad bit #tewmuch. Any other color would have gotten lost in the outfit.
Thank you so much for reading this long post! What are your thoughts about women supporting each other?