"Appropriateness is Bullshit"

Who decides what is and isn't appropriate?

I was sitting in a full moon circle last week when someone shared that they were struggling with when and where it was appropriate to display and share certain emotions. Immediately I felt my spine perk up, my immediate reaction to want to challenge and question...and then I softened into the moment. Listened and opened myself up to perhaps learning something new or widening my own perspective. And then after the circle I was left thinking “ultimately who deems what is appropriate, when, and where”?

Ultimately, I do believe that the idea of what is “appropriate” is something that has been indoctrinated into us to keep us in boxes and keep us from doing things in an “unconventional” way. It reinforces the idea that there is only one way to be, one way to feel, one way to think, and one way to love.

“It’s inappropriate to sit with your legs open if you are a woman. It’s unladylike”.

“It’s inappropriate to love someone who has the same genitals as you. It’s simply unnatural”.

“It’s inappropriate to have dreadlocks of tattoos and have a “serious” (EW) job”.

When were these codes of conduct established? And by whom? I’m going to venture a guess that no Black women were involved in the process….so why should I as a Black woman adhere to your rules of what is proper and what isn’t? More specifically I’m SURE that no 26-year-old-born-in-Portugal-grew-up-in-ethiopia-actor-writer-coach-speaker-ENFP-Taurus sun-Sag moon-dancefloor lover-ice cream aficionado- polyamorous- Black-woman was involved in the process of establishing that code of conduct. So why in the high fuck, should I blindly and without question follow YOUR rules for what is and isn’t appropriate.

I believe that it is inappropriate to lie to your wife and cheat on them. You believe it is inappropriate to hurt people, so you choose to lie instead.

I believe that it is inappropriate to go through your whole life never questioning what you were taught. You believe that to question is to be rude, to insult, so you choose to accept instead.

I believe that it is inappropriate to subject humans to working their entire damn lives, taking a vacation only every few years. You believe that we deserve only exactly what we put into our work, so the more you work, the more you get to enjoy your life.

Our opinions, yes OPINIONS on what is appropriate and what isn’t are direct results of our beliefs and values. That is to say - there is no one way of being appropriate. And what some may call inappropriate may simply be what is uncomfortable for them, but that is not your issue to deal with.

Now I’m not saying to go around willy nilly doing whatever you want, without taking others into consideration, but understand that there is a choice and nothing is default.

When I die, I want my ashes to be mixed into soil and planted in a tree. I also want to be spread over the ocean. I don’t want a sad funeral. I want a big ass party. I want people to dress up and yes cry, but also laugh. I want there to be a photo booth and fun activities and things that would honor me and my love for life. I also acknowledge that funerals are for the living and not for the dead, so who knows what will happen? But some would say that to not wear black at a funeral would be inappropriate...that to laugh at a funeral would be downright horrendous (my grandma being one of those people).

But that my friends, is most other things in this life.