Sisterhood

Richard Hammond, Esq.

Richard Hammond, Esq.

In the beginning was Adom (red, earth, man-Hebrew) created to fill the earth. He was made whole, complete. Like his Creator, he was not to be limited by sex, being neither male nor female. As this being, Adom, grew it wanted to be like its subjects who came to him two by two. This Adom requested of his Maker a mate like his subjects had. Therefore, his Architect put him into deep rest, took one side (not a rib bone) of the Adom, and gave it flesh. Now, the stewards of this planet were two: one side more spiritually driven; the other side more accomplishment driven. They were to come together as one in all of their efforts. One was not to abuse the other, because to do so would be to hurt oneself.

For the past few years of writing these editorial essays, I have spoken on the role of our women with great harshness. I expressed my appreciation of the power that women possess and my sense of disappointment at the misuse of such a powerful and wonderful gift. I still feel anger at the behavior I witness every day, which is unbefitting for one of queen-like character. But I now understand better some of the ‘whys’ of her behavior. It does not make her rude, foul-mouthed presentation any less crass—but at least now, in some cases, I can understand why. First, let me explain what I mean when I say that women are very powerful. They can be most pleasant to the human eye, especially the eyes resting in a man’s head. And she can control what most men will do for her favors. For example, take the local high school bully. If he sees a classmate that he wishes for, and she does not approve of his bullying, he will change his entire attitude just to get her attention. And all of this with just one ‘disapproving look.’ Kingdoms and careers have risen and fallen for want of her. That is power!

After I took an early retirement from the city of Detroit, I had the opportunity to travel around this country for some 19 years and lived in five states. While experiencing the life of a nomad, I happened to live, in part, with those residents of what I call the ‘shadow world.’ These are the people who usually come out after dark and scurry when the sight of local law enforcement is near. They have their own sense of loyalty, rules, and codes. I found one segment of that population, the women, had similar stories of woe to tell no matter which state I resided in. It was not a pretty tale.

On my last birthday (April 10) I had the occasion to speak with a woman I shall call Tina (not her real name). What she revealed to me struck home. Perhaps I should say that I did not speak but rather listened. Though I had heard the story before (far too many times), this time it truly struck home hard. I guess I have been fortunate in that some women found me comfortable to be with and talk to. (Please understand I am not a member of the limp wrist society and definitely find the curve of a shapely ankle most appealing. But I have also learned to listen with the head on my shoulders.) She spoke of how at an age when girls should be playing with dolls, hopscotch and Jacks she was sexually attacked by her older brother(s) and on more than one occasion. I will not go into the details she related to me. Tina’s story echoed tales I have heard from other women. The stories they told me of what influenced them to choose the life they led was most hurtful. They told how they frequented truck stops, adult movie houses, and street corners. In most instances, these women had a very dismal opinion of the male of our species. They looked at men through the eyes of a predator. Most men were interested in only one thing. So ‘get what you can, while you can, as much as you can’ is the mantra. Morals, integrity and principles be damned. Family members had physically violated the vast majority of these women at a very young age (some as early as four years old). Some of the women were so abused that childbirth was impossible.

Brothers, uncles, and even fathers (some of the step-variety), because they had proximity, would commit these betrayals of decency. While few other family members wanted to believe them, the women of the family would urge these female children to remain silent. In each case of the retelling of family tragedy, I would see these women weep. What would cause such abuses? What lie can one tell oneself to justify such acts? How does one reach the heart of such savages?

The tales these women wove caused me to immediately examine my life and past actions. It became clearer to me why there seems to be this ongoing adversarial relationship between men and women, and why women seem to gravitate towards each other. Many are kinsmen in tragedy. This strong sisterhood extends even to women who have never met before. I have noticed that when the wives or companions of men who are complete strangers meet, they immediately begin to establish a bond with each other. I had often wondered what was this attraction that makes a woman, when going to the ladies’ room, want company. As a part of their upbringing and later life, whenever they might be alone with other women they would share stories of their tragedies and then pass those sad tales on. Each telling would further solidify their union of commonality with women of similar tragedies. Moreover, even though they would be treacherously happy to take a prize male from another woman, they had an even greater disdain for men themselves.

On the other hand, men upon first meeting establish grounds for non-encroachment. They appear to be wary of the other’s presence and want to stake out their ‘territory.’ I am sure that those guilty of a breech in basic standards of morality do not speak of their transgressions—at least none have to me. Even more regrettable is the fact that this abuse is not exclusive to women of color—far from it. I have listened to women of the ‘Lilly variety’ speak the same lamentations as well. In addition, these women would also tell of how their men (White) would treat them as slaves or second-class citizens and as though they were some purchased property.

As a result of these abuses (which often included physical beatings and whippings, resulting wariness of all males) many good men have been abused and betrayed by ‘gun-shy’ women. In this menagerie of tragedy, no one wins and many lose. The perpetrators of these brutal acts should be punished to the fullest extent of the law and those that escape man’s justice must still have their day of reckoning by the Most High.

My words of wisdom and advice to the males of this world: First of all, be a man. Then treat this gentle loving and giving soul as woman. She might even change and become your Lady.