Friday, October 30, 2015

No Sharing: The Science of Polygamy

No Sharing
~The Science of Polygamy~

I once had a polygynous relationship for over a year. Polygyny is a form of polygamy where a man has a relationship with two or more women. It wasn't the kind of relationship I sought after or even considered having at the time. The opportunity was presented to me and I agreed. I was young, naive and learning its perimeters in real time. Now let me get this straight from the door, it wasn't a habitat for threesomes nor was I lying in the valley of the skins. That's not the purpose of polygamy; it's much more sophisticated and civil than that, well at least it should be. Polygamy, and polygyny in particular, goes back many centuries to classical and indigenous societies who sought to resolve the growing disparity between male and female ratios, family/community deterioration and moral decay. Depending upon where you went or still go in the world, that human sex ratio disparity can be as large as 12 females to every male or as low as 2 females for every male.

In the United States from the 1950s to the 1990s a Dr. William Masters and his assistant Virginia Johnson pioneered research on human sexual response in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. The significance of their research is that it explored the nature of female arousal and orgasms; which many males knew nothing about or didn't want to know anything about even to this day. From the perspective of this society, "sex" is generally defined as male pleasure and the "sexual act" is considered complete after a male has an orgasm. Like today, and during the time of Masters and Johnson's research, males didn't want to explore or even talk about female arousal and orgasms because our ability to help her achieve sexual arousal and orgasm is called into question. So instead of facing the fact that we may be impotent or simply unable to please a woman, males played, and play, the blame game by calling a woman frigid. This male insecurity runs so deep that even the MPAA [Motion Picture Association of America] rates films pornographic or NC-17 even if a fully clothed woman appears to be experiencing arousal or an orgasm. NC-17 was once called "X-rated" and I encourage you to research NC-17 big box office hits and you'll understand the cultural and socioeconomic impact of such a rating. Not only is it an award season kiss of death but it's a mark against women enjoying sex on film.

Within this society males are socialized to get their rocks off and slut-shame females who are doing the same thing. According to that "get my rocks off" logic, when a female isn't aroused and hasn't reached orgasm, it lowers the chances of having a male child when a male ejaculates inside of her. The alkaline secretions in a female's vagina increases each time she orgasms. This simultaneously decreases its acidic level which is an unfavorable environment for sperm survival; especially Y-chromosome sperm. Also, because healthy cervical mucous of a female is alkaline, if we're daddy long stroke and can use the right sex positions to deposit our sperm inside of the cervix, it's a shorter distance for Y-chromosomes to travel in order to reach the egg. The fact that many females within the United States practice a standard American diet high in meat, dairy, white sugar/high fructose corn syrup, processed foods and few fruits/vegetables makes her body as a whole more acidic than alkaline. This is not to put it all of her because many of us males have a low sperm count for some of the very same dietary reasons, including drug use, alcoholism, erectile dysfunction and of course depression. I mention the research of Masters and Johnson, MPAA film ratings and how female arousal and orgasm plays a role in gender determination to show some of the psychological, sociological and physiological factors that directly effects the human sex ratio.

Now what do these ratios have to do with polygamy? According to human sex ratios, one thing that is generally consistent across the board is that there has been and are more females on the planet Earth than males. When this isn't the case.., where you do see a disproportionate amount of males to females.., it's usually the direct result of conditions such as gendercide, pollution, aging/death rate, poor diet, genetics, sex selective abortions and infanticide. Traditionally, some societies used more humane solutions to bring to balance its human sex ratios where females outnumbered males. In addition to these conditions, two of the main reasons for this disparity in human sex ratios were war-time casualties and short male lifespans that left widows and orphans behind. Polygyny became the first social security system; it provided a safety net for its women and children who had no husband and father. Plural marriage was also established to maintain the moral fabric of the society dealing with these disparities. In many instances where there were not enough available males there was an increase in adultery, lesbianism, prostitution, divorce, alcoholism/drug use, mental illness and other societal ills. All of these social ills erode the moral fabric of any society. Polygyny was a solution to a society where there were more females than males, and even though it was and is well intended, you may not have men of integrity participating in it. This lack of integrity only compounded and compounds the issues of providing social security for our women and children, especially in a patriarchal society.

In many American cities, like in various countries and cities around the world, the odds are against a female finding a single available male companion; we're unavailable, literally. Without understanding these human sex ratios some females may simply be under the impression that males are born cheaters and some females are naturally desperate. Some females may also believe that what I'm saying isn't true and they're going to find a man and have a lifelong monogamous relationship with him. The reality is in a city where there's 6 females to every male, you're most likely to be one of the 5 females who won't have a man; unless of course you openly/privately share him, you make him pay to be with you or you strive to take him from another woman. Some women just decide to be in a relationship with one or more of the other 4 women who are left. That is the reality, regardless how much we pray, hope or believe differently. Keep in mind that there are also societies that practice polyandry. Polyandry, although not as common, is also a form of polygamy where a woman has a relationship with two or more men. This plural marriage was likewise established for the same reasons; to bring into balance the human sex ratio disparity where males outnumber(ed) females. This was also done to help maintain the moral fabric of the society where adultery, homosexuality, prostitution, violence, alcoholism/drug use, mental illness and other societal ills would increase because of the lack of available females.

One of the questions I often ask males who advocate polygamy is, "Do you advocate polyandry as equally important as polygyny?" Some may have never heard of it. Others that have heard of it don't consider it equally important. My perspective is this: If we truly understand the purpose of polygamy, we should have no problem practicing polygyny or polyandry if that's what our society needs to effectively address its human sex ratio disparities, family/community deterioration and moral decay. I'm sure that's a hard pill to swallow for many of us males/men but that's the kind of sacrifice we're asking our women to make for the greater good of maintaining our society. We should likewise be willing to make that same sacrifice if called upon to do it.

As Five Percenters, we like other classical and indigenous societies recognize polygyny as a viable solution to the human sex ratio disparities and moral decay. Even though we recognize plural marriage, it does not mean that all Five Percenters participate in it. When we do, polygyny is a relationship established for the women. It's not supposed to be a man throwing two women together for his personal benefit. It's women coming together as sisters and deciding to share a relationship with a man who is capable of benefiting them, the family and community. The man should be in a position to decide whether that relationship benefits him too, thus benefiting the family and the community. When a woman or women are already willing to have a plural marriage and bring the idea to him, he already knows up front that they have some vested interest in it working out. Everybody is invested. If he comes up with the idea and independently brings it to his woman or women, they don't have the same vested interest in making sure it works out; that's his idea and his responsibility. This can easily become a sabotage scenario. In my experience, it wasn't my idea and I agreed to that relationship when I saw that it benefited all of us. It didn't work out because the first woman, who brought the idea to me in the first place, became insecure within the relationship and decided to end it. I was young and didn't fully understand how to deal with co-Queen rivalry, jealousy, time sharing and other important factors to maintain such a sophisticated relationship.

In today's society we find ourselves dealing with many and more of the exact same problems that polygyny successfully addressed in the past, and still address today. Do I think that this is a viable solution? Partially, yet it's not a silver bullet. With the level of emotional instability, lack of financial literacy/stability, integrity and various other things that plague many of us males, many of us are unprepared to handle such a sophisticated relationship. That is a tragedy because many women are left to their own devices and our families, and communities, suffer behind it. At the same time there are some of us men who are prepared to maintain a polygynous relationship yet many women are unprepared to handle such a sophisticated relationship. Aside from the emotional instability, lack of financial literacy/stability, integrity and etc., some women just don't see other women as sisters to the point where they're willing and able to share this kind of relationship. Even the best of women, including Five Percenters, find it difficult to do this. Whatever the reasoning is, if we're not considering polygyny as a viable solution to the human sex ratio disparities, family/community deterioration and moral decay in our societies, we need to come up with a better idea. Our future generations depend upon it.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Minister Louis Farrakhan: Friend Or Foe?

Minister Louis Farrakhan
Friend Or Foe?

One week following the 10.10.15 Justice or Else Rally in Washington, DC I couldn't help but notice the widespread criticism of Minister Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam by both mainstream media and the everyday person via their social media page. Some of these criticisms have been outright name calling such as "FarraCON" or 'FarraCoon"; defining the minister as a misleading charlatan that's blood sucking the poor. Others have been less abrasive and have articulated their desire to see the evidence and practical application of "or Else" -which they claim wasn't defined at the rally. In his defense, some of his supporters have retorted that a General doesn't announce his strategies to the public, the minister has laid out plans of action years before the rally and people have no right to question someone in his position because they're not the leader. Well today I wanted to offer a perspective to willfully help reconcile these perspectives.

For those who are Anti-Farrakhan:
First and foremost I think it's important to keep in mind that as a leader, some view the minister as a spiritual father, father figure and ultimately someone who occupies a parental role within their life. Considering this, whatever your criticisms are of him, it sounds and feels no different than you talking about someone's parent. Imagine someone talking about your mother or father. Regardless how respectful or on point someone is with a criticism of your parent, you're going to feel some kind of way about it, initially. I don't know many people who are comfortable with someone calling their parent names, ridiculing them or etc.: those are usually fighting words. Even though no person, parent or not, is above criticism, there's always a certain level of respect we've shown our parents even if they were dead wrong. And when I say respect I don't mean "agree and go along with any and everything they say" because sometimes they're not the best knower in every given life situation. To take it a step further: even though the minister may not look it and he colors his hair, he is an 82 year old grandparent and great-grandparent. That in itself warrants the kind of respect we show any elder, not just a parent. And just like our own grandparents and great-grandparents, we may not agree with everything they're saying or doing, but out of respect, there's a way we should talk to and talk about them. That is the posture, decorum and etiquette of a civilized person.

Because I am a free thinker I don't agree with what everyone says or does. Everyone doesn't always agree with me and there are times I reassess something I said or did and don't agree with myself. That being said, I think it's healthy to express the right to critically analyze what anyone says or does. However, I think we have that right not simply for the purpose of argument or to point out what we think is wrong. We have that right, and responsibility, to show and prove what's wrong by presenting what's right. In other words, if you think I can use a better strategy in my STYA Program to teach my youth, don't just point out what you think I'm doing wrong, offer me the right way. When you approach people by penalizing them, as opposed to offering them an alternative, people tend to shut down and be unreceptive to what you have to say. For example, I also teach preschool in addition to my program and there are times I see my students do something wrong. One day I gave a student instructions on practicing their writing. When I walked over to check their work they weren't following the instructions. They were writing, they just weren't following the right instructions. I didn't walk over, snatch the pencil out of their hand and say, "No, that's not how you do it. This is the right way." I said, acknowledging they were at least writing, "Hey..., that's good. Now see if you can write it this way" as a patted them on the shoulder and redirected them back to the right instructions. As adults the same approach, sense of consideration and tact applies. People are generally more welcoming to being offered alternatives than just being criticized or even ridiculed for what they feel, think or believe. This is not to say that we should not engage in intellectual discourses and tiptoe around everybody. This is to say that the basis of these discourses should not be for the purpose of name calling, to ridicule others or for pissing contests. The purpose of any intellectual discourse, especially with our people, should be to discuss and assess the best ideas and strategies to solve our problems. If someone is so caught up in their feelings that they have an inability to rise above their emotions for that purpose, then you need to walk away. Some people worship who they perceive as their leaders, whether it's Jesus, Muhammad, Beyonce, Buddha, Minister Farrakhan and even The Father Allah. And anything you have critical to say about them will be outright rejected, including you and some of your well meaning uninvolved associates. 

For those who are Pro-Farrakhan:
Just because someone questions a man or woman's idea or strategy it doesn't make them an agent, hypocrite, hater or anything else some of you define as antagonistic. Sometimes people simply have and can share a perspective others don't see. This is the reason Minister Farrakhan has a research team; there are things he simply doesn't know or understand and he relies on a counsel of advisors to teach him. And yes, some of them are about half of his age. Now keep in mind that there are many people who are not a part of the minister's advisor team who are more than qualified to advise him, and them, too. Many of these men and women are not Muslims nor are they registered members of his Nation of Islam. Some of them are a part of your social networks and you interact with them often. I mention this to emphasize the fact that knowledge is inexhaustible which gives everyone the potential of being a best knower in any given situation. Some find it difficult to grasp this reality because it seems to conflict with a hierarchal structure of having one leader at the top and a descending order of roles beneath them. It's difficult to imagine that someone beneath the person at the top can conceptualize something beyond that leader's realm of thinking. It's also difficult to imagine that the person at the top cannot conceptualize something from someone that's beneath them. You are aware that someone had to teach Minister Farrakhan how to set up and use a Twitter account right? I'm sure you also know his team of advisors put him on to certain Rappers he never heard about before because they were key support contacts he needed to meet in order to promote the Justice or Else rally, right? The point in saying this is to remind all of you that the title of leader doesn't mean that someone personally has all of the answers. No great leader would make that claim, and when these leaders do make the honest claim that it's not about them, and even give credit to their benefactors, many of us simply don't believe it.

One of the other things that's important to understand is this: there are those who respectfully disagree with the 10.10.15 Justice or Else rally because they have a hard time "quantifying" it. Sure many can speak about the quality of their personal experience and no one can take that away from them, but how do you accurately quantify or measure that experience? This is one of the reasons some people were/are discouraged and disenchanted with the rally; they don't see a tangible, concrete example of "What's next?" For example, the 2015 BET Hip Hop Awards viewer ratings were down over 50% [1.4 million] this year from 2014. It can be argued that this plunge is a direct result of the BET Boycott social media campaign against the network for not covering the rally. You can even argue how the current nationally conscious #BlackLivesMatter backdrop, coupled with the Justice or Else rally, has created the Anti-Empire sentiments responsible for their weekly rating drop. That is quantifiable, it's tangible and concrete. For those who would like to effectively demonstrate the rally's impact, or even the minister's impact on a local, regional, national or international level, these kinds of quantifiable Talking Points are necessary to show and prove it. Some people are simply not moved by someone's personal beliefs or human interest stories. Understandably, some people want to know what's in it for them, what is the actual outcome, if/when they invest their time and/or money into something.

In conclusion, I think it's important to keep the focus on the collective movement of people who are actually invested in programs, projects and initiatives to bring about justice. I had an opportunity to participate in a National Community Forum after the rally which echoes these sentiments. It took place at We Act Radio Station [Washington DC] and its purpose was to bring people from across the nation together to discuss these programs, projects and initiatives we're already invested in and how you can also get involved. In addition to checking out the above link for ideas of how you can get involved, here is something else you can do and share with others: Down from 11% last season, we the people are again calling for a Nationwide Boycott during the Holiday season (November – December 2015) to not purchase any goods or services. If anyone makes any purchases, it should be strictly with Black-owned businesses. Also, we are encouraging everyone to not advertise or promote any goods, services, brands/logos of outside companies using their social networks [Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and etc.]. We should only advertise or promote Black-owned businesses. Let's keep our personal beefs and religious disagreements off of social media and at home. Publically we must continue to be positively invested in this collective momentum that's quantifying the transformation we would like to see.


Monday, October 12, 2015

Justice or Else: What's Next?

Justice or Else: What's Next?
7 Experiences of a Five Percenter

It's 3:09am and I'm up reflecting and writing on the 10.10.15 Justice or Else Rally in Washington DC I recently attended. Although there were many things I saw and heard, here are  7 Experiences I wanted to share with all of you. Before I do that I want to first give a shout out and thank my brother Keith Muhammad of Luv4Self for organizing our trip and the other members of our entourage for travelling down.

  • I loved seeing the numerous vendors utilizing this entrepreneurship opportunity to provide goods/services for the people. It was definitely an example of cooperative economics. Aside from the economic stimulus to the city's economy via food, lodging, transportation and etc., I'm already working on something to address and redirect some of that revenue to neglected communities/commercial zones when gatherings like this take place, regardless of the City/State.
  • The "Justice or Else: What's Next?" National Community Forum I participated in focused on various grassroot programs, projects and initiatives we're engaged in that already addresses "What's Next?" We discussed the political process, displacement/gentrification, education models, cooperative economics and etc. The best part about grassroot forums such as this is people don't simply leave encouraged. We were there working and we left with tasks. For example, during a segment we took a moment to come up with a vision statement and #hashtags to start tweeting a public official to begin using our social networks to mobilize around a specific quality of life issue. Click the highlighted link so you can check it out.

"Justice or Else: What's Next" National Community Forum

  • I'm glad I had an opportunity to connect with so many people in the flesh who are working towards bringing about a better world for our present and future generations. I'm also glad that I was able to connect with my Queens and Howard University students Asiyah and Aziza and share some time with my eldest Asiyah because her 20th Born Day was also 10.10.15. In addition, 10.10.15 marks the 51st year and formal Born Day of the Five Percenters so it was also beautiful to celebrate that with some of my Universal Family. One of my best highlights was finally meeting the young sun my God Brother and his Queen gave me the honor of naming "Khemel." That was indeed love to the highest degree!

  • By the time I arrived in DC I was running on fumes: the last full meal I had was a day earlier and I hadn't slept in 60 hours. Although I ended up eating some of the food/water donated by Author D. Scott I still hadn't slept taking turns driving back. Not sure if any of you have experienced this before but lack of sleep can make you hallucinate. At one point the white vehicle in front of me turned red and looked like a Dumb & Dumber version of Clifford The Big Red Dog. Lol I say this to say: when you're travelling, make sure you get some rest first and possibly when you arrive somewhere, before you travel back.

  • Of the many positive things people said to me, one of the things that struck me was a brother saying how proud he was of me for the way I represent Five Percenters worldwide. It wasn't a back handed compliment and he was sincere about it. I appreciated that because it's not often that brothers put their EGO aside and honestly give another brother credit like that without wrapping it up in joke or mumbling it. Herein lies a greater problem with that mentality: When we're not sharing our love, support and appreciation for each other, we're not showing our younger generations how to love, support and appreciate each other. One of the reasons we don't see it in our millennial generation is because they don't see us doing it. I've not had an issue sharing love, support and appreciation for what others are doing and willfully that gesture symbolizes a growing sense of unity and cooperation we need as brothers to effectively address the problems that are plaguing our families and communities.

  • The "or Else" means many things to many people. To me it's an unfinished sentence that represents the consequences of apathy, disunity, egotism and blind consumerism. So for example, "Justice or else... we're going to see the continual deterioration of our families and communities." Sometimes in order to build, some things must be destroyed. In this case, and among other things, it's apathy, disunity, egotism and blind consumerism that must be destroyed in order to transform our present conditions.

  • If we're participating in a nationwide blackout/boycott to not support certain businesses and services we also should blackout/boycott promoting and advertising certain businesses and services. For example, not buying Polo gear for a couple of days yet simultaneously posting pictures on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook wearing Polo gear defeats the purpose of participating in a blackout/boycott. Even though we didn't buy anything, we may have encouraged half a dozen people to go buy something. Lol Just something to think about. Here's a video I did entitled Advertising and Self Determination where I further elaborate on this.
In closing I had an excellent time building and networking with others, seeing the beauty of our unity and leaving with more ideas to continue my work at home and abroad. Regardless who was there, who spoke and etc., people will ultimately take away from this event what they brought to it and willfully what they gained while being there. The above video visually documents part of my experience there. The background music is a track called "Pressure" which was also produced by me.