Got a gun? You get none!

Women. Have. Power.

Archive for the category “Relationships”

Well, if Spike Lee says so…

So, imagine my surprise when friends started calling me up to talk about Spike Lee’s new movie, ChiRaq. Now, a new Spike Lee movie is ALWAYS cause for conversation in certain circles, and mine is no exception. But my friends insisted that this particular movie would be even more interesting to me. The storyline? Women withholding sex to stop the violence in Chicago. Hello! Now that got my attention.

GQ magazine reported that Spike Lee thinks that sex strikes will become “a thing”. Truth be told, such strikes were already a thing and have been used time and time again, on the small stage (at home) and on the larger stage (politically). But hey, if Spike is talking about this, let’s see what can happen.

Chiraq opens in theatres on December 4. Let’s keep the conversation going. #ChiraqTheMovie


Man of the house

“(I think), most women seem to be either silent, reasonable, or in favor of more gun control. Perhaps they know that a gun in the house raises the likelihood of their getting shot and killed by a factor of 3.4, and that ninety percent of the time their killer will not be a stranger breaking into their house in the dead of night but someone they know. (To be shot by the man of the house holding the gun that was bought to defend the woman of the house from the stranger breaking into the house… talk about irony.)” — Matthew Chapman, Guns, Guys, and Gelding — How to Stop Men and Boys Shooting People in America

International Day of the Girl: A Strong Message

I just has a conversation with some young women at work with and I am scared for the young women of this generation…
Young women please think of yourselves as BENTLEYs ….Not many people can afford one… Stop being HONDAs….Trust me YOU do not have to belittle yourself to be with a man ….You don’t have to have a child to keep a man….What will help you to achieve your goals in life is to always remember to respect yourself in every way possible….Educate yourself and i don’t mean going to school …yes that is a part of it….look for strong female role models that are doing positive things with their lives and have that conversation….Find a Sister Circle with like-minded people who can help you elevate yourself….let go of the passa passa…and the mix up …stop skinout on BBM and Fassbook… Malcolm X said to educate a man is to educate an individual …but to Educate a Woman it To Educate and LIBERATE a NATION…..So Young Women read this knowing that it is coming from a place of love…. One Love and please share your comments …. — Elaine R.

Help wanted

Mothers: When our boys are “out of control” — for example, if at a young age they are talking back, staying out late, skipping school, lying about their whereabouts — who do we turn to for help? Is it a sign of trouble or just boys trying to act like men?

We hear a lot of mothers complaining about these kinds of behaviours, but do you think there is any way to stop them before they become a “real problem?” If the fathers are absent, do we call on them to now step up and handle things — or is it too late? Do we tell our own families what is going on, or do we hide it from them in shame? Do we stage an intervention?

What did you do, or what do you suggest, when sons start acting out?

And please, let’s move the conversation beyond “beat them.” Scores upon scores of mothers could tell us: Been there. Done that. Doesn’t work. I mean, correct me if I’m wrong — it might have worked for you or for somebody you know. But it just does not seem like beating a child, or a teenager, or a young man (if you could actually manage it!) could really be a dependable or effective strategy at this stage of the game.

No sex, no food, no home, no family.

“I’ve listened to the first show [on CBC – 13 Sep 2012]. Great work. Have a gun to be used for a criminal offense — no sex, no food, no home, no family. I like what Dr. said in the first show — you have a right to search through a room in your house, your SAFE place, if you believe criminal items are being kept there.” — Johanne C.

Do women really love the bad boys?

Tomorrow Guns Get None will be featured on CBC radio’s Ontario Today, a call-in show where listeners can share their opinions, ask their questions, and basically let their voices be heard. The time is 12 noon to 1PM and the call-in number is 1-888-817-8995. In Toronto, you can listen on your radio at 99.1FM or also listen live online at

Today’s question came out of a conversation I had…it seems that some people feel the idea of asking women to say no to sex with gunmen would be ineffective because women actually choose those men because of their thug gangster lifestyle. For any number of reasons (money, prestige, excitement, even low self esteem on our part), many of we women select this type of man and prefer this type of man. Sometimes violence is actually an integral part of the relationship. Or it may be the thrill of perceived power.

Do you think this is an accurate perspective? Are women actually embracing and encouraging the gangster lifestyle? Or are we more often turning a blind eye to it and wishing that it would go away? Do we have an individual responsibility to actively work to stop violence in our communities, or should we just live and let live? (That is, unless we get shot.)

Mother the sons, raise the daughters

“There is a saying that black women mother their sons and raise their daughters; when it comes to my mother, the saying is too true. My mother raised me — there were a lot of hard times, times when we both were hurt and angry, nevertheless I am the woman I am today because of her. But my mother let my brother Malcolm walk all over her ever since he was a child. Her way of looking after Malcolm was something I emulated, not out of concern for my brother, but to please my mother. Eventually, though, I became so fed up that I got tougher on him. I felt sympathy and wanted to support Malcolm and all the young brothers in his situation. But unlike my mother and the black women of my childhood, I wasn’t going to support a black man at the expense of myself.” — Veronica Chambers, from her book “Mama’s Girl, a memoir”

Must Read: I Wish I Had A Red Dress

Pearl Cleage’s compelling story of young women struggling in relationships with criminal or violent men and raising their children has all the bases covered: women who are facing cycles of boredom, poverty, low self-esteem, but come together to learn to be “free women;” men who are frustrated and angered by lack of opportunities and trapped in a fruitless quest for respect; a mother who is unwilling or unable to take responsibility for her sons that terrorize both the community that they live in and the women they claim to love; a well-meaning, overzealous social worker, the ever-present funding crisis, wise elders, community deterioration alongside hopeful innovation, and the requisite amount of drama, judgement, friendships and love. I Wish I Had A Red Dress is a must-read for anyone, male or female, committed to social programs for young people, gun control, stopping violence against women…and the list goes on. If you’ve already read it, share your thoughts. If you haven’t read it, please do, and then tell us what you think. I especially like the character Tee (Tomika) who is already on the “guns get none” ideology, turning her back on the kind of relationships she has always known and holding out for her own “Denzel” — her best idea of a do-right man.

Bottom line: you may not agree with everything, or anything, in the book but it’s still worth the conversation.

Feature Film: Doomstown


I just saw this movie on CTV tonight. Doomstown, a Canadian television movie about gang violence, was aired on CTV in 2006. I was amazed at how many of the issues that we have been talking about were so succinctly portrayed in this film. Drug dealing, the quest for respect, immigrant communities, the role of mothers (including young babymothers), the absence of fathers, harbouring, snitching, children, religion, responsibility, love/attraction, and of course violence and death. The character of Monica was especially interesting, the local unattainable woman, who won’t let certain kinds of brothers get next to her…but they sure do want to! What would a man be willing to give up for a chance to get with a woman like that? It was kind of like that Chris Rock line: “Damn baby, what do I got to DO to get next to YOU??”

Apparently it’s almost impossible to find the movie but I’ll be keeping my eyes open and would be glad for any information from anyone who knows how to get this film. It would be great to have a discussion about this film. I would sure want to talk about the threat of violence against the families of people who “snitch” or talk to police. Question: Do you think that there is any excuse for violent retribution if someone that is known in the community shoots your mother? Your sister? Your child? That situation evoked a LOT of outburst from the people watching the film with me. Your thoughts?

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