Culture, Events, International Relations, Life, New York City, Personal Liberation, Politics/World Issues, Race Relations, Technology, Uncategorized

This Friday Live: Radio Show will Discuss T.I.T.S. Movement and The Social Politics of Black Female Sexuality

My deepest fears of ridicule by the intellectual and academic world are being obliterated now that on this Friday, September 7th, 2012 I will be interviewed by Dr. Richard Cooper for his show “Karamu” (which means “feast” as in “food for thought,” click on his name for his bio), along with the former Director of the Human Sexuality Dept. at Widener University in Philadelphia, and more. Many students from the graduate program of Human Sexuality/Social work will be calling in to express their views. See the piece to be discussed, “Topfreedom: The Right to Bare Breasts” here. It promises to be TITillating!!!  Details outlined below:

SHOW DETAILS:

Date: Friday September 7, 2o12

Time: 4:00PM EST

Show: 900 AM Wurd (http://www.900amwurd.com)

How Listen/Ask a Question: Call 866-361-0900 or 215-634-8065 or go to http://www.900amwurd.com and CLICK ON PLAY BUTTON in the red banner at the top of the station’s website to stream LIVE! But you can’t join the conversation unless you call! 

I trust all of you will listen in and post your comments here. Again thank you for your support on my quest to raise important questions and seek personal liberation. Join me!

Update on 9/12/12: THE SHOW WENT WELL! Unfortunately,  the former Director of the Human Sexuality Dept. at Widener University in Philadelphia could not join us. Stay tuned for the recording of the show, as I will be sharing it with you as soon as it becomes available for listeners who missed it. Thanks again for the support!

Update on 5/3/2020: Going through my archives, removing the topfree photos as I feel they’ve done their work. There’s no link to that radio show now but you can listen to my very new podcast here. I can smell you following now…😊

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Culture, Life, New York City, Politics/World Issues, Sex, Uncategorized

Support and Attacks on Topfreedom and the T.I.T.S. Movement

As it stands, T.I.T.S. is a movement of one, physically. Although, in spirit, and through the power of their complaints, people are supporting or attacking the Right to Bare Breasts. I was almost arrested today. I quoted laws to the offending officers but none of that worked. The cops rolled up behind me while I was chillin, minding my business on a bench on the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights, and told me that I could be arrested for endangering the welfare of a child because their parents were complaining about me being topless. They said they had about 10 or 20 people complain, and if they had waited, it could have been 50. I explained that children are not being harmed, and I am exercising my right. Besides, children breast feed up until 2 or 3 at times. They were angry and frustrated and said that I wasn’t using “common sense.” I guess today was a test, because this was my second day to do this on that location, and I wasn’t bothered before, but I quieted my solar plexus, my will, and I used my head and calculated what the physical, emotional, monetary, and long-term costs would be to be arrested at this time. Output=not worth it. Maybe another day, but I still refused to agree with their reasons as to why I should put my top back on. They asked for my ID, and I said “I’m complying by putting my clothes on, so I don’t understand why you would need that.” Today, I understood the power of threats and intimidation to get compliance. I had no fear, I just didn’t feel it would be worth it to go through the discomfort of being arrested. I suffered a migraine and emotional pain all night, thinking about the man who I would soon decide to let go, for my own good and his. I’m sure he won’t miss the long texts of me explaining how my needs aren’t being met, and I will enjoy the power of balance, discernment, and exercising my right to end the relationship. He actually told me the other day “You don’t make the rules here.” But what he failed to realize is….I DO, I WILL…and most importantly I AM THAT I AM. I created him, so I can create another reality. It really is my right. I choose to put my metaphorical top on and leave the park of that situation crying, just like I did today in real life, knowing in both situations that I avoided a totally unnecessary uncomfortable situation. Sometimes the growth from situations can come from making a choice NOT to go through something. There are many ways to learn.

Anywho, on a positive nod to the movement, please check out a very POWERFUL response from India Olowokande-Ame’ye:

 I am so excited to catch up on all this. Thank you Itheopiah Chiamaka you too are very powerful…I peeped yr goddess a long time ago ;). no I haven’t done much of anything on the internet. I had to take a break from photographing and filming and sit quietly, alone…for a few months. Gave myself full permission to do that. But I’m cumming out my yoni temple soon, soon. Also I’m finalizing my book, and things are happening offline. I’m abt to go get a glass of wine and check this out. Thank u, I love when black women bare our breasts and write about it. We are meant to be alive and loving outloud and all that juicy jazz. So just seeing yr picture magnetized mah lil smile, u have no idea! Xo…Wow, just watched your brilliance and I’m sooo moved by your candidness, commitment, and sincerity. What an honor and pleasure to read your words and watch the accompanying video in all its rawness. I tell ya, I appreciate your movement and courage to do what u are doing. Now u got me thinking abt the “laws” and knowing my rights and honoring my right to do so. I am out of doors, topless at minimum, at least once a day and I do believe that breasts are powerlines to the divine, and when I started taking time to allow them to feel the sun, wind, rain, clouds, grass, rocks, trees, wata, red clay ,u name it..that’s really when they began to come alive again, carrying tremendous life force energy. I don’t wear bras and stopped wearing them abt six or seven years ago and my breasts sit how they sit…plus I command them to do so u know. I tell my body how I want it to be. The mind has great command ova the anatomy and how smart the bra companies and BIG Pharma (because bras have been linked to breast cancer) are to make (some) women believe if we stop wearing bras our gorgeous breasts will sag, etc..as if 1. Its true 2. There is something “wrong” with breasts that fall….when breasts that fall are lovely and can contain just as much life as breasts that sit high. Also many women believe that their breasts will fall with age or childbirth….the body does whateva the owner thinks and feels it should do…that is the silent command we have ova ourselves. I love my breasts…omg …do I. Yes honeys I do…and my breasts know it too and that get all happy when I talk with them, rub them, kiss them, set them free, and tell them what to do. Girl I’m over the moon and off topic now, but I just love u Helese and I love what u are doing. I nearly in tears typing. Wheeee! Xo

I couldn’t have said it better. This woman is one of my role models. She so eloquently stated my reasons why I choose to bare my breasts and the healing therein. Even though I “stood down” today, movement won’t stop-today I chose to be water, not earth, and comply to fit into the container of this FUCKED UP SOCIETY….But the movement won’t end. Tied to my personal liberation, it has only just begun.

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Culture, Life, New York City, Personal Liberation, Politics/World Issues, Sex

Topfreedom: The Right to Bare Breasts

Topfree in the Square

Me, topfree

No, I will not ask anyone if they will be disturbed by what I’m doing. I will not shy away from kids or turn my back to the playground, especially since you could not present me with the specification in the law that says I can’t be topfree in certain proximity to a playground. I will not shy away from answering questions, neither will discourage young women NOT to do what I am doing. I will let my life, the “clarity of my example” and demeanor of calm and stillness be my testament  to prove that I believe in the right to bare breasts.

Maybe I need to present some research on this (maybe not), but I believe the baring of breasts and the viewing of said breasts is very healing for the soul. Although I’m not trying to prove anything. I only wish share my experiences and thoughts about my new movement, a movement of one, (or should I say three: me and my two breasts.) T.I.T.S. is an acronym for Topfree in the Square, and beginning a few weeks ago I have been going topfree, on random days, in Union Square. Today while writing this, I’m in Brooklyn Heights by the Promenade. I like being near bodies of water easily accessible to where I live because it soothes me. It’s very calming. Lately, I’ve been going through some pretty difficult emotional ups and downs, caused by my expectations set upon another human being. That always works out for us right? Especially when sex is involved, especially when no clear commitment has been established (except to be exclusive sexual partners), especially when you’re carrying baggage from the past–and the person is a spot on reincarnation of various traits that you love and hate from the past relationships in your life. And, especially when you’re me. But that’s for another blog post. That deserves it’s own.

This one is about my breasts and my right the bare them and what it means for my personal liberation at this time in my life.  One of my purposes for the movement is to bring up a few points– I think it says a lot about our society and culture when we:

1) shun the sight of the human body in its natural form

2) allow our children to view violence but we are afraid to be naked in front of them

3) spend more time trying make a woman put her shirt back on rather than helping people who truly need help

4) are openly sexist, and have no problem with a man baring his chest. The breasts of a woman are nurturing and generally fare better when they are not strapped down, pushed up and out, or otherwise covered where the skin can’t breathe and the lymph isn’t free to move around. (I wear push up bras, but they don’t feel like I’m wearing anything. I’ve gone back to wearing no bra most of the time, it makes it easier to go topfree, and also I have some pretty nasty scars underneath my breasts from wearing them in the heat where the combination of the sweat, fabric, and friction caused a pretty serious rash. Now there’s hyperpigmentation in that area. I call them my Battle Scars, even though they’re fading.)

Now that I think of it, I should have known that I’d always be this type of woman. When I was younger, while a teenager, I didn’t wear a bra for years. Even as an adult I practiced “topfreedom (I coined it this term. I coined it!).” I was told that my breasts would sag when I got older, but that didn’t really resonate with me. I loved the fact that my breasts were perky enough to wear a shirt that showed a lot of skin with no bra. (And “perky breasts” shouldn’t be a pre-requisite for going topfree or accepting your breasts as beautiful.) Even side cleavage caused an issue. See-through tops I could sometimes get away with. I guess it’s the exhibitionist in me and part cellular memory of when I lived in a place where women walk around topfree; but I just love showing my boobs.

While sitting topfree in the Square (Union Square, New York City) yesterday, two young girls who could have been anywhere from ages 14 to 19 came up to me while I was working on my laptop. They were shy, trendily dressed, had young fresh Cover Girl worthy faces, and they asked me “Um, why are you like… that?” I calmly answered (I love when I answer calmly. When I’m calm, that’s how I know what I’m doing is in alignment with my  higher self and divine purpose.) “It’s my right.” They slowly came to understand, but that answer gave them pause. “It’s legal,” I contiuned. “Anywhere a man can be topfree a woman can be, in New York City.” (This law is People vs. Santorelli, if you’re curious.) They said “Ok” and walked away. Later one of their guy friends came to me and I went more in depth about how I feel that I’m raising awareness of this law so that people will ask other questions about why we feel so strongly about a woman being topfree. Yet, we allow violence and unhealthy body and sexual images to be fed to our children and ourselves, as adults. I told him that it is most important for his generation (which very well may be my generation as well, he is 19, I am 27) to know this. They have the energy and intellect to spread this information and educate people. He was very receptive. I’m sure being topfree didn’t hurt. Most of the time we were talking though, he looked me in my eyes, and his eyes never lingered on my breasts. His friend, one of the two girls who approached me earlier that day, wanted to take a picture with me, but by that time I had my top on. She wanted to take it anyway. She said she felt self-conscious because she was wearing no bra that day, and seeing me really put things in perspective for her. I told her not to allow anyone to tell her she was any less worthy of respect because of what she wears or does not wear, whether or not she chooses to show a little or a lot of skin. I told her that she was a Goddess, although she may not fully realize it yet, and as she gets older and knows herself more, it will show. She nodded. Purpose fulfilled.

I also did a few interviews that day. One in particular I will post here. I am extremely proud and honored to be a part of this much larger movement of women’s liberation, human sexuality, and sexual politics. My part of the movement is called T.I.T.S. for Topfree in the Square, but I am not the first woman to do this. I’m expanding and building upon what has already been done, although I’ve never heard of anyone doing it in Brooklyn. I love being the first. No one is really making a big deal out of here. No one has come up to me. But I’m not even doing it for them. I’m doing it for me. I’ll probably stay out here all night until I have to pee. Then I’ll head to Starbucks where I’ll have to put my shirt back on. They may not force me to, but I don’t know if men can be topfree in a business establishment.

Plus, today, I’m tired. I’m low on iron because of a low dose estrogen birth control pill that my uterus is type ANGRY for me even considering taking it. She has been crampy, bleedy, clotty. My vulva tissues have been off balance (on intermittent fire) since even before I started taking the pill, stressing about womb choices and financial issues, synthetic unnatural birth control options and, despite a strong desire to someday be a mother (I feel I’m being chosen by a soul in the beyond) whether or not I’m even worthy to get pregnant, being jobless and ringless and all. And Black. And a woman! Bottom line, I will NEVER go against my womb and my better judgment again. And if I could let her breathe without being arrested or harassed, I would do that too. There are worse things than getting pregnant, even by a man who doesn’t want kids. Feeling like you betrayed one of the most important parts of you does not feel good at all. My womb and I had an agreement that we would keep our self care and healing as natural as feasible. Also, I went to the water last night to do a gratitude ritual (topfree as well), because I was just so thankful that the water was still THERE… (Abandonment issues that by the time you read this post, will be cleared. Hopefully. )  It is so expansive and cleansing, so maternal and feminine, I was reminded me of how I need to be, and how powerful I will always be if I remember it, honor it, and embody its characteristics.  The water and womb are closely connected. I let my spirit speak for me when I sat down: “I feel I’ve dishonored you in some way.” Damn right I did. When I dishonor my womb, I dishonor all the waters of the world: I went all demanding on my womb choice, or at least, impatient.

And I put these damn God-forsaken fake ass hormones in my body, to stop one of the most natural and desired processes of the female reproductive system. Not only does it stop pregnancy, but it stops OVULATION! I can’t say I would be 100% thrilled at getting pregnant right now, especially in the circumstances I’m in, but I use my cycle to track my life. And to stop that….well when you know better you do better. And I know there are natural ways where if you don’t want to get pregnant, you won’t.

I believe that personal liberation comes from living your life like you were the first one to ever do it…If it weren’t for those damn precedents. And, I still kinda do wanna get pregnant. This desire has not gone away, despite not having the other things I want yet like: that loving supportive and willing partner , and that flowing abundance, and most importantly, fulfilling divine soul-purpose work. Like emotional calm and balance. I want the right to bare breasts and the right to be unemployed, unmarried, and pregnant if I so choose…and blissful beyond my wildest dreams.

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Politics/World Issues, Race Relations

The $5 Million Dollar Dialogue: The UN’s Conversation about the Slavery Memorial

Lovin' this guy.

UN Article

I’m at the General Assembly for the Transatlantic Slave Trade Memorial. It’s held at the UN, where a lot of countries from around the world come and give their two cents (or $50,000) regarding a memorial that will be built to honor victims of slavery. And it is soooo boring. I’m not quite sure how I got on this list, but I’m happy to be here and I’m going to milk it for all it’s worth. I jotted down several notes in the margin of my little book,(In Their Shoes: Extraordinary Women Describe Their Amazing Careers, by Deborah Reber) since I brought no real paper.  I’ve decided to tell you 30 thoughts I had about this conversation, and about my first experience at the UN in general. So, here it goes, much ado about nothing:

  1. I’m disappointed in the UN. The canolis cost 4 bucks. The coffee shop doesn’t take credit cards and is overall inefficient. No one speaks English or even knows the prices of anything.
  2. Everyone in this assembly is way too serious. And I wish they would stop say the words “transatlanctic slave trade.” Haven’t they ever heard of the law of attraction?
  3. There is a man here (who I later found out was a rep for Tanzania) says that he is talking on behalf of the African people. But all he keeps talking about is oppression, struggle, and injustice. I’m sorry, but that is not my reality. So, speak for yourself.
  4. There is illuminati symbolism everywhere. (See this link to know more, but be careful, it will change the way you see everything, forever. http://vigilantcitizen.com/)
  5. It looks like a lot countries decided not to show up. Of course, Jamaica is here. The Jamaican woman from the General Consulate of Jamaica who signed me in here was rude and bossy. And she was the one who was late! The nerve.
  6. Nippon (Japan) is in the house! Haiti is here. Iraq. Israel. Maybe I can get a full list later. (Never happened but if I find it, I’ll let you know.)
  7. So, when you go to the General Assembly, you can get the speeches translated in real-time. For reasons I wish not to disclose, I am trying to brush up on my Spanish. I’m listening to the Jamaican rep’s speech in Spanish. It’s way more interesting this way. LOL, the translator got stuck. “Em…em…”
  8. I wonder how you get this job of translating UN speeches. My very conservative friend applied for a job here and hasn’t heard anything yet, and I actually know a very left-wing radical photographer who works here. How appropriate!
  9. This ish is DRY. They need a comedian to come in here and fuck it all up. (My slang for “make it fun.”) Chris Rock would be great for that. Hell, even Chris Tucker. I’ll even take Wayne Brady at this point. Did the translator just say something about Beyoncé? Ok, I think it’s time for me to turn the dial back to English now.
  10. Now they’re talking about money. $4.5 million dollars is how much more they’re trying to raise. Relatively speaking for memorials, that’s pretty low. (It cost over $1 Billion to build the 9/11 Memorial, but that only “affected” about 3,000 people. See how ridiculous it is to put a number on that type of thing? More on that later.) I still think that all that money could be used to actually help (read: feed and educate) people.
  11. The website for this project is www.slaverymemorial.org. How about changing the name to the Freedom Memorial! We should be thinking about Freedom!
  12. So they’re going to hire a professional fundraiser for the job, and they’re taking private and public donations. But I still say this, you don’t build a legacy of slavery, you build a legacy of freedom! They want to put this memorial in a prominent location, say, the visitors entrance of the UN, so that every time someone walks through the door, we can be reminded of this travesty. Is this really such a good idea considering how many people already hate each other for no reason?
  13. Suriname and Cuba is in the house. Ok, I can get with what he’s saying. He described the former slaves as having a “temper and rebel spirit” which is awesome. It’s not just exclusive to them though. I think I have that same fire in me. Guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree! (Ouch! Strange Fruit reference.  Others that would have worked: “the lynched man doesn’t fall too far from the tree,” “the pickaninny doesn’t run too far from the cotton field”…you got it.)
  14. Ok. I see the rep. for Guinea. I think he’s on his laptop tweeting this whole ordeal. Or is he on Facebook?
  15. Cuba’s speech was short and sweet, and full of flavor like a pressed pork sandwich. I would expect nothing less from the home place of good ol Fidel, and the political asylum of the Black Liberation Queen, Assata Shakur. Her autobiography is quite delicious. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assata_Shakur
  16. Old white man from Australia is speaking. Everybody is quiet. Every time a new country’s representative comes up to speak, they quote a number that they probably just Googled of how many people were affected by the slave trade. As if you can put a number on that! The funny thing is, I think each country said a different number, yet the monotony of the speakers themselves is killing me! Add me to the list.
  17. I don’t know, but I find the quote “remembering the dark part of our history” somewhat disturbing and offensive. Are dark people going anywhere? You don’t have to “remember” us, you have to face us, right now!
  18. National End to Racism Strategy=everyone one race? Something tells me they’re talking in code.
  19. Brazil rep is up. Oh Come on! I thought she was gonna be hot! She looks homelier than a worn out house coat. In fact, she IS a house coat! (Ok, low blow, I know, but it made me lol.)
  20. There are people walking up and down the aisle, passing out papers.
  21. I’m having a hard time staying awake.
  22. The rep for the US is a Black Man. Hey! I saw him in the cafe. A fellow journalist said “He should have stayed there.” He talked about reducing inequality. But this is the US, so we must be sure not to eliminate it completely. Wow! He didn’t mention Black History Month as African American History Month. Did I miss the memo that this was the politically correct title of the so very racist nod to our collective humanity’s history! (By the way, he did not seem prepared at all. He was stumbling over so many words I thought he was running for his life from the lynch mob. Or the NYPD.
  23. Side note:  ***Do you remember what happened with Sean Bell? The NYPD shot him 50 times. Now, you decide for  yourself was it a murder or an “accident?” You know my slant. But I respect your brain so I will provide the neutral Wiki article on Sean Bell http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sean_Bell_shooting_incident (the watered down shit) and then the Revolutionary Communist’s Party’s take on it: http://rwor.org/a/071/nyc-police-shooting-en.html***
  24. Israel is up. Now this is gonna be real interesting. “Hope without memory is like memory without hope.” Really? What does that even mean? And wait…HE’S NOT PALESTINIAN.
  25. I’m so surprised he didn’t mention that thing. You know that thing that happened? You know, the Holocaust? So much for memory. It seems like anytime a Jewish person gets a chance they mention the Holocaust. Yet they always downplay the impact of slavery. Must be why they’re only contributing $20,000 to this very important memorial. (Other smaller countries, like Haiti, even contributed more.)
  26. Luxembourg rep is looking snazzy. Black slim fit jacket, crisp white shirt, red tie. Very dapper. I love those European cut suits. Can’t wait to start traveling again. Jet Blue needs to hurry up and respond to my application!
  27. I just find it so funny that they keep saying “dark chapter of our history.” I mean who wrote these people’s speeches. Is this all that they could come up with?
  28. Now India’s rep is interesting. He looks like a plumper version of Osama Bin Laden (R.I.P.) He sounds like the guy who does customer service for HSBC. Also the guys at Milon. (Great Bangladeshi food!)
  29. After the speeches were over, we had the option of staying. That was when most of the press took the opportunity to leave. I got a chance to talk to a fellow journalist about what we had heard that day. She says think of it like this: 4.5 million dollars isn’t a lot relatively. Visibility of this memorial+correlating educational programs=awareness. With the world we live in, a world of ideas, a world ruled by symbols and not rules or laws, we need that. She also told me about the racism prevalent in the UN building itself. No respect. When we sat down, we were approached by the white security guard and told that only press was allowed to sit in those seats. All of our group was Black. This is apparently not a coincidence. In fact, she was accredited with the UN for 9 years, and as a sign of protest to the racism there, she canceled her accreditation. Ballsy!
  30. I would love to sit down and talk to her more, maybe do an episode of http://www.youtube.com/helesetalks interviewing her. That would be a great conversation. And it sure as hell wouldn’t cost $5,000,000 dollars.

Let me know what you think. This is my first article on any type of international relations issues. I hope I made you proud.

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