When I think of my mother I think of water. I imagine her pouring herself over me like a Spring shower over a garden. Seeping into the soil, whispering to the seeds, “it’s time to grow.” Her rage, dark and polluted, like an overflowing river. It’s force is relentless, until-calm. Retreating back into the ocean, the same ocean you’ve starred into when you felt lost. When you needed to go back to origin. When I think of my mother I think of water. Manipulating her form so that the objects in place need not to move.
I think my mother might actually slap me if she knew what trouble I’ve been in. The details of late nights that rolled into morning or of men I never dared to speak of would always end as words I’d fill in a journal, tucked away for safekeeping. Even as an adult I dread being scolded with the dreaded line, “ I am not angry with you, I’m disappointed,” which was actually was code for, “ I can’t hate you because you are my child but your sister is now my favorite.”
As a child, disappointment always felt like resentment. Whenever my mother raised her concerns to her daughters it was delivered with a distinct quality of ice, as if rebuke was bestowed upon her from God, as a gift for enduring labor pains. Nonetheless, no matter the storm, we knew love was in the center of it. These were the words her mother once said to her.
A girl’s first lesson is the law. The law of the household.The law of man. These rules are taught to us through fairy tales, commands, chores and code gestures signaling us to cross our legs or stand straighter. Girls are taught these rules as caution to protect us from a world that has yet to learn decency. However, has been reinforced by the “inescapable judgemental eye” of women; a patriarchal ally, that critiques the appearance, behaviors and dutifulness in other woman, in acts of abhor or comparison. The ordinance of the female body and mind is a tale that dates back to beginning of time. Rebellion would come in waves, lead by women who had new takes of how they would walk life ( Susan B. Anthony, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Angela Davis, Florynce Kennedy, Catharine MacKinnon,Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, to name a few ;)) but the acceptance of new perspectives can only go as far what the visionary sees. Mother is law.
Recently, motherhood and feminism is undergoing a metamorphosis. The roles in which society has once placed women have been reinvented. Instead of belonging to one categorized box, women oscillate between multiple roles at once. Unlike the women’s movement motive for financial and political progress in the 80’s and 90’s, women, now, are fighting for a philosophical identity, one that separates them from patriarchal scrutiny, traditionalism and sexism. This ache for freedom in a metaphysical bound falls under the umbrella of Metamodernism. Metamodernism is “mediations between aspects of both modernism and postmodernism .” There is irony in enthusiasm. Melancholy in hope. Naivety in Knowingness. Ugly in Beauty. A subject is not just one thing, it oscillates between two ideas, constantly reshaping its aesthetic and place in culture. Feminism has been lambasted in mass media as a champion to scapegoat for ill contemporary life. But as the active woman, controlling the language, behavior and image, the world is now forced to learn to move around her.
The metamodern woman is in a constant state of reshaping her identity, simultaneously referring to traditionalism and freedom to construct her own future. By rejecting that women are a singular conception, she embraces plurality and allows herself to seek it. She shares what she feels and does what she pleases. Validation is gift she has given to herself.
Social media has become a democratic channel for women to shape and communicate their identity constructs for themselves. It’s become a tool, I’ve grown fond to use as well. I reveal how I see myself or construct how I like others to see me. What is shown is by my own doing and under my control. A simultaneous creator and creation. One the most fascinating examples of the metamodern woman is tongue wagging, loud taking, Bronx rapper, Cardi B. Cardi B is her own author. She’s behind the wheel of her own narrative, directly speaking to her fans and openly addressing her personal matters. On her SNL debut, the “I Like It” rapper, appeared clad in a white dress and retro-beehive up-do while performing her single, “Be Careful.” The song aims as a subtle warning to a lover (or Cardi’s #IRL fiance, Offset, from Migos), that she will not tolerate her heart or integrity being taken advantage of by a man. The climax of her performance comes when the camera begins to pull away, revealing a mature baby bump, Cardi stuns as a vision of a bride at a shotgun wedding.
For weeks, the public speculated that the young femme MC, was with child. Yet, the prying was less innocent curiosity and more so, an audience’s cognition to pre-maturely call the demise of the music industry’s newest star. In response to speculations, Cardi B responded via Twitter stating, “ I started winning when the whole world was doubting on me! Think imma lose with my little baby counting on me?” Dismissing any unfair criticism that women can’t have career success and motherhood at the same time. Alluring enough, Cardi B aligns with another famous mother, Kim Kardashian West, who’s frequent naked body is a target of critique that mothers should be modest. There may have been a time when, a stripper and an amateur porn star, could never be considered “wifey material” better yet, a face of multi-million dollar business, but these two champion otherwise.
Despite how much my mother despises Kim Kardashian, she loves to keep up. Mrs. West has gotten a happy ending in ways that should’ve left her unfamed and unwanted. Whether its her motherly eye scrutinizing or just being a woman with a different idea of freedom. There were just things she could never do.