Pearl Cleage has been one of my favorite authors, but I for some reason assumed she only wrote fiction. This book. Short and powerful - smacks you aboPearl Cleage has been one of my favorite authors, but I for some reason assumed she only wrote fiction. This book. Short and powerful - smacks you about. A very good friend of mine introduced me to Miles Davis by having me listen to Davis' iconic album - Kind of Blue>. Cleage opens her series of essays on black men's violence against black women with this quote:
"[Davis] is guilty of self-confessed violent crimes against women such that we should break his albums, burn his tapes and scratch up his CDs until he acknowledges and apologizes and rethinks his position on The Woman Question."
When she makes this comment two paragraphs into the opening essay, you kinda roll your eyes and think..."but everyone has issues....does that mean we should throw away everything they've created because they lied/cheated/stole/. But by the end of the essay, after she's made her points and repeated the quote several times for emphasis, you may just find yourself in a quandary.
She doesn't stop! "Can we make love to the rhythms of "a little early Miles" when he may have spent the morning of the day he recorded the music slapping one of our sisters in the mouth?" Ouch, ouch, ouch! Don't make me make these decisions, Pearl!!
It's a really short book - only 42 pages - but I think if it had been any longer, she woulda killed us! Lol.
The second essay - about an experience she had with her daughter when they rescued a woman running down the highway from a threatening male - is harrowing in its reality.
When Cleage wrote the book in 1990, she quoted stats saying that five women a day are killed by the men in their lives. Huffington Post reported in 2014 that the number is now 3 a day. That's great. But they also state that 1 in 4 women will be victims of severe violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes. 1 in 4. That's me, Tam, Carla and Lara. Damn, damn, damn.
The essay on sexism might be a little hard to swallow in its entirety. But the book was still an awesome read for me for two reasons. One - in her intro, she explains that she wrote the book after a man in Montreal walked into a school and shot up the female students only - just because they were female. She said she was so shocked, she didn't know what to do, and all she could do was write. I felt the same way after seeing Alton Sterling shot in the back while laying face down on the ground. I just started writing. Two - domestic violence in our community is still an issue - no matter how other things may downplay it. And we need to do something about it....more
I have to facilitate a discussion on conflict resolution for a group I'm a part of (have no idea why as that is definitely not my background or area oI have to facilitate a discussion on conflict resolution for a group I'm a part of (have no idea why as that is definitely not my background or area of expertise). Anyway, I needed to quickly find some stuff to talk about and came across this book. It does a great job, in only 100 pages or so, of laying out reasons why we argue, why arguing without resolution is unhealthy for marriages, and provides a plan for dealing with conflict. It echoes some of the other information I've found as I've been frantically attempting to pack my brain with enough details to speak 'knowledgeably' about this topic. Solutions/steps Mr. Chapman mentions like empathetic listening, re-stating what you've heard until the other person agrees that you have understood his/her viewpoint, asking clarifying questions and so on all seem to be common 'you need to do these things if you really want to resolve conflicts' across the information I've been reading.
I really liked the idea of rating an issue - on a scale of 1-10, how important is this issue to you. I think that can help you/your spouse see whether you are truly passionate about something or whether you really could just let it go. He also doesn't insist that every conflict has to be resolved through compromise - though that is presented as one of the resolution methods. (I liked his suggestion of calling it "meeting in the middle" as opposed to compromising, so that you focus on what you've gained, as opposed to what you had to give up something.)
I think every marriage can benefit from the ideas presented in this book - I know I'm planning to put them into practice in mine. Also, although the book is Christian-based (and I am as well), that doesn't detract from it at all. I think the ideas presented would work well for Christians and non-Christians, as the solutions presented don't require that one be a Christian to implement them. ...more
A tough read - not because the material is difficult or poorly written; it's actually very well done - but because what he suggests a wife do to influA tough read - not because the material is difficult or poorly written; it's actually very well done - but because what he suggests a wife do to influence her husband often goes against the grain of how we think naturally. Definitely written for those who believe in God and in His power to change people (both wives abs husbands) and to bless marriages.
He gives lots of practical advice and has lots of examples from real marriages. The contents definitely will make you think about your marriage and how you are supporting your husband.