optimism and ignorance

by jenthorn

I was going to post a response to Esther’s blog but I decided that because I was supposed to write today and because I was so outraged by what I learned BELOW that I had to address it here where everyone can see.

Dear Men and Women of the World,

Today I am tired of being underestimated.  I know I should take heart and turn the other cheek.  Isn’t the best revenge surprising you with my outstanding ability to reason and make intelligent, educated decisions for myself?  A few days ago someone sent an email to one of the MOXIE’s which called us naive.  I almost exploded.  Isn’t that a term invented just to be used on women who believe they can achieve difficult tasks?  Think about it.  When you think of the word naive…does an image like this come to mind?







This is me.  This picture was taken on stage BUT I am not acting or playing a part.  During a photo shoot with our favorite photographer we took a break for a moment and he caught this picture of me.  I think it captures what I know to be true about myself.  I am optimistic in the face of a brutal reality, not because I am naive but because I am confident that there are few things I can’t achieve.  I learned this in part from my parents and in part from Delicia my sister who quotes Nikki Giovanni at the end of her emails “Show me someone not full of Herself and I’ll show you a hungry person.”

Today I am tired of people thinking they can publish a book full of lies and I will buy into their fear mongering and lose hope that I have a right to demand more from my country.  Today I feel tired of people who take one look at me and assume that I can’t take care of myself, that I don’t know there are people in the world trying to take advantage of my good nature.  Today I feel sorry for the people who underestimate me because…I am like a silent missile in the night, a missile that explodes on contact with a blinding light show of super-concentrated, unavoidable and downright awe-inspiring DETERMINATION TO SUCCEED AT ALL COSTS.

My father taught me to “take no prisoners” but my mother taught me to do it with a smile.  If you see this picture and it reminds you of someone YOU underestimate, then take this opportunity to stop offending them by calling them naive and confusing optimism with ignorance.


A girl with a smile of iron