The New Slut Shaming

Primogenature-

noun. 1. the state or fact of being the firstborn of children of the same parents. 2. Law. the system of inheritance or succession by the firstborn, specifically the eldest son.

One of my favorite Shakespearean plays is Hamlet. I enjoy the imagery, the drama, and the conflict he has. I always have. As I pushed towards the meat of my English major and its culmination of the degree, I was graced to have University of Missouri-St. Louis Professor Kurt Schreyer  in a ENG 4670 class-Shakespeare:  Tragedies and Comedies. Incredible class, and revelation in that class, I loved it. He started it full speed with Othello, and we eased into Hamlet.
And to that…I learned the dirty secrets of Shakespeare’s prophetic nature.
The premise of the story is this:
Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark whose father is murdered by his brother after a fight with a foreign King. His brother married, usurped his throne, wealth and kingdom–and his wife. The Prince of Denmark, in the pursuit of revenge hoisted onto him by his father, plays ‘mad’ in order to pursue the inevitable murder of his Uncle, Step-Father, and King.
However, there is another element to this:  Hamlet’s mother, Queen Gertrude.
Now, understand, Shakespeare wrote this in Elizabethan time and language. Elizabeth I ruled the English Kingdom, with no King. But despite that, this play is relevant for this purpose:  she married a man, after having a child, determined to live her life in the face of other people. Hamlet told her not to have another child with Claudius–because that child would then move in front of him in the line of succession to the throne of Denmark.
What am I saying?
Whenever women decide to move on with their lives in the face of the thoughts and actions of others, there will be and are those that will be arrows towards your past-especially if it involves children and a man. There will be those (most recently in the case of Ciara and Russell Wilson) that will say her moving on with another man is “wrong” and “what about her son with Future?” and my favorite:   “She shouldn’t have no other man around her son!” The identity of mother is not the encompassing title and responsibility of woman. In short order:  That’s just one component of whom we are as people, especially women.
Because a woman moves on with her life, after a bad relationship, failed marriage, or even widowhood, does not mean her desire for companionship, love or even sex diminishes. She should not be treated as less than because she has desired something greater for her life–namely more from it.
I get so tired of people whom have allowed themselves to die in the area of sex and relationships to dictate what other people should do in theirs. Immediately, even in my own life after my divorce, there were women in my life that told me that I should be single until my children were grown, so they could be protected from any molesters or other nefarious childhood craziness. They told me that to deny myself was the only way to truly be engaged with them, and that denial of self would be the best thing for them.
Now, I agree that there is a definite wisdom to what was told to me and other women in similar situations. However, life isn’t so clean that way. Sometimes, the soul mates comes in a football jersey, on a mail truck, or even at the aisle of a grocery store. My chance to be in love again, treated well, shouldn’t be discounted  because ‘people gon have somethin to say.’ Of course, you should be mindful of whom your children are around, and be knowledgeable of their needs, fears and wants. Neither should you make habit to allowing your children to think it’s okay to jump from relationship to relationship with people because you don’t want your own company. Your children shouldn’t think that its normal to have people walk away from them because things are hard. They are owed stability and the normalcy of that stability.
And so are the women that invite men into their hearts. We are owed the chance to start over, to heal, to remember what it was like to be special and cared for. Just because you’re dating and have children does not mean you are only seeking escapades and rendezvous to make up for lost time. And even if a woman or mother decides to do that, the onus of that decision falls on her–and it would behoove her to be selective in whom she allows herself to be in sexual contact with, because she is worthy of respect.
Shame me if because I had a baby.
Shame me because I had a baby by a man I wasn’t married to.
Shame me because I had the nerve to take my body back and be with someone else.
Shame me because…now I’m  happy.
The wonderful thing is, there is no room in the space for your happiness for other folk to have weight and stake in it. They’ll call you all matter of sluts anyway, because there is no pleasing people, and you will never find your peace in the hands of other people. Live your life, regardless of who is watching.  Plus, if they watch, give them something to see. I guarantee they’ll be looking.
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