Homegirls Just Aren’t Hand Grenades

I’m a tick . . . tick . . . tick. Boom!!!! kind of person. After a series of repetitive injustices committed against me, I respond in the loudest, most unruly manner imaginable. Often times the person who executed the offense is caught off-guard. I am convinced it is not because they are incapable of evaluating their behavior as malignant, but because they thought they were “getting away with it,” with me.

I often say that I wish I was more like my sister, who assertively checks anyone right at the door when they do something offensive. From the deliberately inattentive “customer service” representative to the occasionally biased Mom-Mom, everyone catches her quiet, controlled critique at the appropriate time, every time!!!

Last year I faced clear (and documented) gender discrimination at my former workplace. A few years before that, I was subjected to it at school. My husband and I “argue like cats and dogs” and the only negative relationship with a woman that I have had in the last eight or nine years is with . . .  you guessed it . . . my mother-in-law. I find myself now, more than ever, grateful that homegirls are not hand grenades.

It took me until college to fully value and integrate, irreplaceably, sisterhood in my life. I have also been blessed with longer female friendships that have grown over the years to be awesome, mutually beneficial, supporting, nonjudgemental relationships. Sometimes I wonder why it is that these unions are run with such ease.

This week I went to lunch with one of  a few “grown and sexy” (50+) sistagals I am fortunate to have. I call her Mommy Nett. I “dated” her son in the seventh grade 🙂 He and I weren’t meant to last but I am so grateful she and I were. Yesterday I had my first spa massage, a belated birthday present courtesy of my BFF who I can thankfully go to to relieve stress, fully assured not to have any undue stress returned on to me.

Are black women the models for sisterhood among other races? Are these “sisterhoods” the model minority or majority?

Tanji is a wife and mother of three. She has two boys and one girl. She lives in Philadelphia, her favorite chocolate city. She is an educator and her first “baby” is now a Howard University graduate and a Cocoa Mama.

5 thoughts on “Homegirls Just Aren’t Hand Grenades

  1. I don’t know about us being the role model of sisterhood, but I know that I firmly believe women who don’t have female friends or who talk against trusting women, etc have issues.

    That’s just my opinion. How can a woman say “women are so this” or “women are so that” and be a woman who just happens to not fall into that category?

    I dont know where I would be without my sistafriends. I really don’t. I have girlfriends that I have had for YEARS, women I’ve met in different times in my life, via different circumstances. Whatever or however, it was destiny for us to connect and I would be lost without them. I would be lost without the sharing and kinship of sisterhood. So it always boggles my mind when women talk about how they cant get down with women and have mostly male friends.

    Maybe for Black women, the issue is men. Since we outnumber men, their availability is lacking, so maybe sistas feel threatened by other women. Maybe they see every other sister as competition.

    Maybe for Black women, the issue is achievement. Since there are both race and sex issues we have to deal with in the workplace, maybe sistas feel competition there too.

    Maybe for Black women, the issue anger/bitterness/resentment. Since too many Black women have had to deal with abandonment, degradation, and being forced to do everything for everyone but themselves, they expect the worst of others and anticipate the worst. Maybe thats why the defenses are up?

    I have seen these things in action, so I wonder, but I cant relate. I love my sistas too much for all of that.


  2. I try to be a “check at the door” kind of person too. My husband and I never used to fight and then ended up having blow-ups, but now we are more the “cat and dog fight” people and I think things end up better that way cause we get it out and then its done.

    It’s the girlfriends that I can fight with (or let’s say have spirited disagreements with) that I am closest to (right ORJ?)

    And I also don’t know about us black women being models of sisterhood, but I do know that I don’t have many friendships with non-black women, and I think that might be because of communication styles, or lifestyle, or interests. I need women I can disagree with, argue with, cry with, laugh with, all of those things.

    Every now and then a non-black woman will come along that I really connect with, but its few and far between. And I also don’t understand and/or trust those women who expressly say they don’t have women friends – sounds like self-hate to me and I don’t have time for that.


  3. I have no bioligical sisters but I do have a community of women who are my sisters. These are authentic relationships that include telling it like it is, disagreeing on issues, but loving each other and supporting each other like it is no tomorrow. I too do not have these types of relationships with non-melanated (yeah my word) women – with the exception of my mother. I don’t know the reason, but I do think we have the sisterhood thing figured out. The more I loved my girls, the more I loved all of us – even the mean muggin tell it in your face systas I don’t know….just loved this post


  4. I don’t really know how to respond to this blog. The person I’ve been able to communicate the best with has been my husband. I think our many years together helped us to develop our communication from such a young age. We have never really had a blow up argument.

    However, on the girlfriend front, I have a few throwdowns. And to be honest, they wore me out. My two best girlfriends have been there through thick and thin. And, I have never had a blow up with either of them. When we disagree, we put everything out there on the table. Next thing I know, we are laughing about it. I don’t really consider myself to have a community of girlfriends. I have been disappointed, talked about and betrayed so many times by females. I think I am just a tad more skeptical of “sisterhood”. I do have several female friends that I can depend on. But, I’m still questioning the term sisterhood. I guess that’s because that word usually brings to my mind a larger group, i.e. a sorority, church members, etc.

    I guess I’m still figuring out what sisterhood really means.


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