In 1974, Shirley Brown performed a song titled “Woman to Woman.” The song was a hit and it spawned a response from Barbara Mason “From His Woman to You” which was another hit. Personally, I thought Shirley’s song was sad but Barbara’s response was downright ridiculous.
I recently went out of town with two beautiful, smart, talented, and divorced women. I was surprised when they both, unabashedly, spoke of times when they contacted the other woman, kicked in doors and busted car windows because of “their” man; eventually their husband; and later someone else’s man was found with another woman.
I know this is not new, but it left me to think what happen to the days when modesty prevailed. Katherine Hepburn’s partner was Spencer Tracy. Tracy remained married to Louise throughout his torrid affair with Hepburn. Spencer and Louise had been living separate lives and never officially split. Hepburn, Louise and Tracy displayed dignity in a not so dignified situation.
I wondered if the women I traveled with are aware that the inability to face their ignominy contributes to one in four women experiencing domestic violence in her lifetime and on average more than three women and one man being murdered by their intimate partners every day.
In the song “Woman to Woman” Shirley introduces herself to Barbara and she explains why she is calling. She found Barbara’s name and number in her husband’s pocket. She informed Barbara that the man belonged to her from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet, the bed he sleeps in, and every piece of food he eats. She was his wife. From the sounds of it, Shirley lost sight and began to treat her husband like her son.
I am fortunate; I have never compromised myself to the point of mortification. My self-worth is not embodied in a person or thing. Though it had taken four years, I filed and was awarded my divorce. The process was not easy and the transition from married to single has not always been the greatest, but it is what it is.
I know women that behave similar to the two women I traveled with; some are now married to the men that were made single by their calling, their kicking in doors, and yes, their busting of the car window. I even went to court as a character witness on one of their behalf. To this date, I feel guilty of perjury.
Barbara’s response to Shirley was “but I can give him what he needs when he needs it and that’s all he expects from me. I can give him love. From this woman to you buying his loving it’s giving up yourself and I feel sorry for you, give him up. Barbara was paying more than Shirley.
There was a male response: Richard Dimples Fields “She’s Got Papers on me.”
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