Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kimora's Struggle is That of Every Woman

Women work two-thirds of the world's working hours, produce half of the world's food, and yet earn only 10% of the world's income and own less than 1% of the world's property. (Source :End Poverty 2015 Millenium Campaign)

Oxfam tweeted that and other shocking bits of information about women and equality a few weeks ago and I have been unable to get it out of my head. Women work two thirds of the world's working hours, yet earn only 10 percent of the world's income. And, own less than 1 percent of the world's property. That's a serious gut punch. Let it marinate in your mind for a bit...what it means for alllll of the women in the world to do most of the damn work and yet earn a mere pittance of the income and own less than a pittance of the property. Not 2/3rds amongst poor women. Not 2/3rds amongst middle class women. Not 2/3rds of the hours amongst wealthy women. But, ALL of womankind does 2/3rds of the work globally. Not even Oprah could save us from this sorry statistical state that we're in.

So what? So what is that as this situation between Kimora Lee Simmons, Kellwood and Sun Capital plays out, I think it's important that women, especially, really consider what's happening here. If you haven't ever had to deal with a sexist pig at your job, trust me, just give it time and you'll get your chance. They are rude and disrespectful and the last thing they want to deal with is a woman with some power and an opinion. They can't stand it. The way that Kellwood handled parting ways with Kimora reeks with the stench of at least one such pig and it makes me sick.

I think that many women tell themselves, "Kimora's wealthy. She doesn't need me to care. She doesn't need my help. Our struggles are not the same." But, that couldn't be more wrong. Does wealth mean that a woman becomes void of all emotion, incapable of feeling disappointment? Hell no! I imagine that if anything, in moments of reflection, a woman of considerable wealth must shudder to think that even with all of that cash at her disposal, she still has to deal with such bullshit.

Imagine how you would feel had your local newspaper published an article that said you were dismissed from your job (in Kimora's case, a virtual empire that she built from the ground up), in part, because your supervisor thought you were too fat. You'd feel terrible and who wouldn't be able to understand!? Kimora is tough, and at least publically, she's handling this like a champ. Absolutely, we don't know how she's dealing with it away from all of the prying eyes, but as a woman I can imagine and I would hope that any other woman reading this can do the same.

My very best friend in this world was once in a very public position and things went South hard and fast when the pig she was working for crossed the line and then retaliated when she wasn't cool with it. I can remember sitting on the phone with her literally for hours some days as she shared her frustration, shock and disappointment. Her career was just taking off and the drama couldn't have come at a worse time. I will never forget spending hours helping her draft documentation for a mediation session dealing with that bullshit, and that was several years ago. Situations like that just sort of burn themselves into your memory bank and just sit there, ready to provide the needed juice to help another woman get through her own "situation". It's driving me now to help Kimora in this Kellwood situation in whatever small way that I can.

Do not let your intimidation of Kimora's financial status cause you to miss the fact that just like you, she's a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter and a friend. Men support one another, and most definitely I would hope that they too are as upset about all of this as I certainly am, but we women have got to band together in situations like this. We will never be able to change statistics like those at the top of this post until we do. Support Kimora by visiting her website, and find out how you can buy products that she owns without putting a red cent into Kellwood's pockets. No respect? No dollars. Kimora will be stronger than ever once all the dust settles from this mess. I can't wait. It will be a triumph that all women should be proud to witness. --Sugar

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