Revolutionary Petunias~~~

In her tome of seminal poems Revolutionary Petunias, Alice Walker penned these lines that upon my reading seeped into my blood and settled in my bones:

 The nature of this flower is to bloom…

 These words made me think about womanhood, sisterhood, and personhood vis a vis their essential qualities and characteristics. This is what the nature of something is, that which it is borne to do, to become and if need be, to struggle against, anything that attempts to obscure or impede it’s fundamental drive to survive and flourish. 

This past week, law enforcement officials in Philadelphia reported that for 2009, there appeared to have been a marked increase in the number of homicides of women perpetrated by their estranged husbands and/or domestic partners in spite of existing orders of protection (aka~restraining orders)  These statistics rendered by the Philadelphia law authorities, are simply a microcosm of a local and global societal ill. Having worked as a counselor/advocate in the area of Domestic Violence prevention for multiple years, there is one thing I am certain of : an order of protection isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on if the women/victim is not empowered by the social structure in which she lives.  V-day is approaching (February 14, 2010) and it is for this very purpose that this day was created. The day of “love” has been appropriated to empower people, men and women alike, to bring an end to the violence against women in their communities.                   



2 thoughts on “Revolutionary Petunias~~~

  1. I always shocked by how many women are daily threatened by voilence in relationships with people who say they love them. I just read on YBF about the Monique’s show set designer and how she was murdered by her husband. They have two kids and he drove around with her body for two days before turning himself in.

    You never know what’s going on in someone else’s home. How do you get to the root of such a complex issue?

    Self-love and self-worth are great beginnings…

  2. Self-love and self-worth are great beginnings, and likely the key missing links in why and how our sisters continue to be beaten, manipulated or otherwise mistreated. I believe that for the most part young women come into relationships with average or slightly above self images, and somewhere along the line, the schock of disappointed love gone wrong warps their psyches into accepting whatever someone brings their way.

    Or, as I’ve spoken with the teenaged victims of dating violence, the controlling habits of their boyfriends is equated with the intensity of his attachment to them and the relationship, and is ergo, demonstrative of the “love.”

    Much to be done… I feel strongly that programs such as “Safe Dates” may help. This program teaches mixed sex groups what is and is not healthy in dating situations, and empowers peer responsibilty to help teens help each other.

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