Friday, March 21, 2008


I have to share this with those who come here to visit because it is as hot and trendy as the main topic of my blog. Frankly, what this black woman has has to say brings tears to my eyes.

Enough with the dirty looks. Race is not the overriding feature of my identity.

I am a Hillary Clinton supporter.

There, I said it.

And I'm tired of the dirty looks I get when I out myself. Why is it so surprising that someone like me – a black, educated, progressive chick – would put my support behind Hillary Clinton?

Oh, I know. I'm black, so, of course, I should support Barack Obama for the number one position in the country.

My good friend recently rolled her eyes in exasperation because she'd been patient with me, waiting for me to come to my senses, but suspected that I'd still not yet hopped over into the Obama camp.

Just before Super Tuesday, as I broke bread with another friend, she sucked her teeth and shot me an incredulous look when I admitted to backing Hillary.

The other day I attended a candlelight banquet for Morehouse College, where actor and MC of the evening Hill Harper took a few minutes to remind the distinguished crowd of Atlanta's finest luminaries that he and Barack went to law school together and that he would be happy to accept money that anyone wanted to donate. He got laughter, resounding applause, and I imagine a few checks slipped into his open palm. Somehow, I suspected that if I got up on stage and offered to take checks for Hillary, I'd hear the crickets chirping in the background.

What's funny to me, though, is that before Barack entered the race, many friends and family were excited about Hillary, thrilled, actually; they believed that she was our beacon of hope, that she represented profound change. But now that Barack has entered the building, these same people have turned against Hillary and put her down, even though her positions and beliefs have not changed.

Quite frankly, I'm tired of dealing with friends, family and co-workers who cannot believe that I've fallen for the supposed race lies of the Clinton machine, that I can't see how they are manipulating this race and treating our brother – this bright light, this brilliant man – so poorly.

It's interesting that these outraged critics rarely reference the gender lines that have been crossed, the attacks Hillary has endured from opponents and the press for the past 16 years. She's been attacked for her hair, her clothes, her facial expressions, her mannerisms…John McCain even joked that she'd had sex with Janet Reno to produce Chelsea – what's up with that??? And most of us remained silent at these barbs.

I would even dare say that some of us most likely agreed with the assessments and snickered behind our hands. It's never okay to be racist in our world, but, unfortunately, it's still 'normal' to be sexist. I don't know how that level of unchallenged scrutiny and scathing criticism might develop into survival tactics when called to deal with the press and opponents now. Frankly, it amazes me that Hillary is still standing with her shoulders straight in the face of it all.

Now, in case you're questioning, I do have race pride. No question about it. I am absolutely connected to the beautiful, soulful energy of African-American culture. But I hate that I just had to say that. I hate that all black Clinton supporters are somehow expected to qualify their blackness, as if we are naïve at best and traitors to the race at worst. Hillary's national co-chair, Sheila Jackson Lee, had to do it, too. She said on the Tavis Smiley Show, "I did not leave my blackness at the door. I am still a sister. I shout in the church. I love the Lord. And I love my people."

I'm tired of race being the overriding defining piece of my identity, of black women's identities. Like Sojourner Truth said years ago, "Ain't I a woman?" Doesn't that side of me deserve attention too?

I've traveled this election's campaign trail on assignment – Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina – and I've been moved, touched and inspired by the new fervor for politics everywhere, but I've also been saddened. I met two young gentlemen from George Washington University who'd volunteered for the Obama campaign in South Carolina. One, very eloquent and smart – the kind of guy you'd be proud to introduce to your parents, told me plainly that black women will always be seen as black before they are seen as women. He was a gender studies major with a concentration in black feminist theory; he shook his head and said gravely, "Race will always trumps gender."

But why? Why am I asked to always put one before the other?

A few days ago, I had the good fortune to sit in Gloria Steinem's living room. The small group included Spelman College VIPs Beverly Guy-Sheftall and Johnnetta Cole, television personality Judge Glenda Hatchett, actress Lisa Gay Hamilton, Feminist Majority Foundation president Eleanor Smeal and CosmoGIRL! Editor-in-Chief Susan Schulz. We had gathered to discuss strategies to raise money for Spelman's Women's Research & Resource Center.

Ironically enough, the center's research focuses on the intersections and tensions between race and gender.

I can't say that everyone there supported Hillary, but I can say there was some much-appreciated space and understanding for those of us who did. Here I was not considered naïve or misinformed, but rather I was acknowledged and applauded for taking into consideration the complex issues of gender that are still getting swept under the rug.

The truth is that the rape of, the violence against and the suppression of millions of beautiful souls just because they have ovaries is happening in every community all over the globe, and most people are not talking about it. Because my spirit swells with compassion for women's causes and concerns, I gave my heart to Hillary long ago. To me, Hillary Clinton represents revolution and radical change for the often unnoticed and forgotten 'other half' of the world's population.

If she inspires even a few of the millions of girls and women in this world to believe that they too could run for an impossible office and win, then she's the harbinger of the kind of change I think the world needs. Until we have a balanced world leadership – with men and plenty of women, especially women of color, at the table - encouraging countries to disarm, creating coalitions, focusing on the environment and supporting the least among them, change will remain a pipe dream.

I envision a new world order that works inside of compassion rather than force and that includes women at every step.

I compared the voting records and positions of Hillary and Barack. She's a bit more liberal on foreign policy and the war and he's slightly more liberal on affirmative action. She's more outspoken on women's reproductive rights, but his voting record indicates that he too is a supporter. And so on. They match or they compliment each other on the major issues. The bottom line is that these two reside in the same political orbit. I have no quarrel with those of you who support Barack – he's a fine choice – but I do get upset with those who begrudge me my choice and who dismiss Hillary because of these recent spats in the media (I know YOU know that CNN and Fox get higher ratings every time they fan the Clinton/ Obama race flames).

Hillary's politics and global intentions are dead-on. And I believe that having a woman in the most powerful position in this country is a step in the right direction of creating the world I dream of. So, again I say this loudly and proudly, I'm a Hillary supporter - through and through.

Tara Roberts is the Senior Editor at CosmoGIRL! magazine.

Friday, March 14, 2008


1. If you think you’re fat, you probably are, so don’t ask.

2. Don’t wear short hair like a man. Men love long hair.

3. Sometimes he’s not thinking about you. Live with it.

4. If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, expect an answer you don’t want to hear.

5. Anything you wear is fine, really. Even nothing.

6. Crying is blackmail. Use it if you must, but don’t expect a man to like it.

7. A headache doesn’t impair the use of other parts of the body.

8. Don’t fake it. He’d rather be ineffective than deceived. He says.

9. Women who show cleavage have no right to object when a guy looks at their boobs.

10. Never buy a new brand of beer just because it’s on sale.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


In 1986, Newsweek Magazine reported that college-aged women who are still single at the age of 35 have only a 5 percent chance of ever getting married. The stats confirmed what had been suspected: that many women who seemed to have it all--good looks, good jobs, advanced degrees and high salaries were going to miss out on having a good mate. So mother's dire prediction was right: if you wait too long all the good men will be gone.

What was missing from the equation was some very critical information--that there was no man shortage, simply a shortage of men their age or older. But at that time, the study struck fear in the hearts of so many women because the practice of dating younger men was still taboo, not even talked about. Now, in 2008, it's laughable that a woman would decline a date with a man because he's younger. Today, his age wouldn't even enter her mind unless the age gap was really huge.

Today's woman has proven she's willing to battle for new options. Here is a list of her options--all of them forcing society to change. These changes have been won by women as a result of the women's movement that began in the late 1960's:
--the opportunity to be an independent, self reliant woman who can support herself, no longer seeking personal identity and expression through a man.
--the opportunity to enter professions and occupations once open to "men only," such as medicine, law, business, engineering, and politics.
--the opportunity to have a lover, to live openly with a man and not have to sneak around to do it.
--the opportunity to marry and have a family, raising children that turn out beautifully despite the presence of both parents working.

One glass ceiling that still needs to be broken is meeting real gender bias, having a woman elected to be President of the United States. I just have to believe that ceiling is about to be broken. Hopefully, we will soon be able to applaud the swearing in of President Hillary Clinton.

Monday, March 3, 2008


No one likes getting dumped, but it happens to most people at some point in their lives. The question is: How do you recover from the rejection? Some people will withdraw after a painful breakup and become very self-protective, wary of another hurt. Understandable--the loss of love is devastating. That's fine for a time, but not if it keeps you from putting yourself out there and trying again. Even if you feel you could never love like that another time, you need to try. It's nonsense to think that there's just one perfect person for you. Maybe there's just one perfect person in your circle of the people you know. But think of all the people you don't know, and any one of them might be even more suitable than the one who disappointed you. You need to circulate, put yourself in situations where you'll meet lots of new people. I remind you of the vast array of people you can meet through online dating sites. You can love again. Being able to love requires trusting your emotions. Imagine love to be possible for you, that is if you're willing to be vulnerable again. People recover all the time. Wounds heal. And the best medicine for a damaged heart is to open yourself up to a new and special person. He or she is out there.
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