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I hate new years resolutions. They are dumb. Every year I give a speech about how you’ll forget about them two weeks later, yada yada ya. Instead, I like to grasp the root concept: Time is fleeting, grow. Last year I began enacting this broad new years focus idea, and I was very successful. As a result, I’ve decided to give it a go this year as well.

My focus for 2010 [drumroll please]……Respect for self

Last year was all about realizing personal ownership. Internalizing exactly how influential we are in our own lives. I’ve decided to keep that going but on another level.

When I first began conjuring up this idea, I thought back to the Women of the 90s. As an 80s baby, and consequently a 90s child, these were the women I grew up wanting to be like. They were caracterized by (as I remember it)

#1- Independence. They didn’t need a man for shit. Single mothers, working two jobs, looking to their homegirls for emotional support. Their motto: “I don’t need a man to do for me, what I can do myself.”

#2- Respect. This plays off the central idea of independence. Men were absent so women stepped into their roles. That damsel in distress bullshit went right out the window. Suddenly men were beneath women and women began demanding the same respect men used to back when families resembled The Cosby Show. Chivalry died and the hit song “What Have You Done For Me Lately” put the final nail in its coffin. Women officially became “Nagging, Demanding, Pushy…..Bitches.”

#3- Sensuality/Sex. I was to young to understand how all the parts matched up, but I knew women had something men wanted. It involved sexy dresses that showed curves instead of skin. Baggy clothes with a flat midriff showcasing a flat abdomen. Long sheer robes & silk lengerie. Whew-Wee!! The 90s was a time when women weren’t exactly the most reserved when it came to pleasing that fire between their legs. From the dance mix “Short Dick Man” (which I still own) to TLC’s “Red Light Special” Women of the 90s were lurring men into their sex caverns and making it do what it do!…….HOWEVER, these women had a kryptonite. His name was R Kelly, Kieth Sweat, and (secretly) Luke & the 2Live Crew (yes, the 69 Boyz are included). INTRODUCING: THE VIDEO HOE. I love my Queen Latifah, but an overweight-dashiki-wearin’ tomboy couldn’t hold a candle to these chicks. Suddenly a good woman meant, “A lady in the streets, freak in the streets” but to snag a man & whip him into shape, a lil of that freak in the streets needed to show on Day 1.

I’m 23 now, and can say the Woman of the 90s is now a decade in the past. Their lessons of independence were transformed into “Niggas ain’t shit!” Their lessons of respect are…well…gone. Any woman who calls herself demanding respect from anything less than a Man of God will be promptly called a Stuck-up or Sadity Bitch. Their lessons of reserved sexuality have been amped by steroids and have morphed into YouTube videos of 3yr old babies grinding on the dance floor.

Summary: Hot Mess

Although I am socially concious, I am in no way shape or form volunteering to be the janitor who cleans this mess up. Hell no. I am merely one lost child of the 90s who seeks to find her way home by November 30, 2010.

The way I see it, no one person can define what respect for self means. It’s a very personal decision based upon a multitude of predetermined, yet ever changing beliefs. Despite differing definitions of respect for self, the end solution must be a cut throat code of shit you will or will not tolerate. Truth is, you have a choice. If your life is filled with teenage drama, it’s because you entertain it. STOP IT. If the men you date bug you for sex, it’s because you allow it. STOP IT. If you don’t like the way someone treats you, it’s because you let them. STOP IT.

I take ownership of my madness. I admit I’ve been doing wrong, putting out the wrong vibes, and have been living my life based on the jacked up & misconstrued lessons I learned by observing the Women of the 90s (Note: to keep things in perspective, I observed & internalized these lessons from ages 4-13…very impressionable ages).

I reckon, admitting my template is flawed is the first step. Now to correct it…..January 1, 2010….here goes nothin’