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Thursday, January 16, 2020

MS. VIXEN THE PODCAST MINISODE #7.5: NEW YEAR, WHO THIS?


It's a minisode!!  I missed talking to ya'll so I figured I do a quick episode to get ya'll ready for 2020. I give tips on keeping your New Year resolutions and goals on track. Give you all a few tips for an effective vision board, and I introduce the rememberlution  Jar!!!

Links mentioned this episode:

6 Ways to Tick to Your New Years Resolutions and Goals>>http://www.msvixenmag.com/2016/01/6-ways-to-stick-to-your-new-years.html

We have a merch store, check that out here! shopmsvixen.storenvy.com/

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Listen to the episode here

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

SOCIAL MEDIA BOUNDARIES ARE A MUST

Image Source: Nappy.co

We have arrived at the halfway mark of January 2020 and my anxiety is through the roof, and I know it's due to my self diagnosed social media addiction. I noticed one night that my nerves were high as I watched some Black women who I mostly enjoy live-tweet the Surviving R. Kelly part 2 docu-series. I reached out to a friend to tell her how much I wanted everyone to shut the fuck up. Now, I am all for the takedown, prosecution, and conviction of R. Kelly, so my gut feeling for everyone to hush had to be connected to my anxiety. I say often that when my social media seems like a noisy middle school cafeteria then it's time to put my phone down. But. . . .addiction.

Since a lot of the growth of Ms.Vixen relies on social media and I still run this platform alone, it's important that I create some serious boundaries between myself and these apps that have been the fuel of my anxiety lately. My mental health can not remain stable if I don't. The stability of my mind is more important than any work I'll ever produce.  So, I put together a list of things I will be doing for the next 30 days to help me create a healthy boundary with social media.


Block, mute and delete. 

This process took some time and happened at many different levels so I broke them down in steps 
  1.  Get ride of lurkers, or people's profiles you are no interested in or no longer inspired by. I went through all my list and unfollowed/unfriended anyone who didn't seem active on their own profile OR folks I hardly engage with. This is a personal choice but people in my space "just starring" or "I'm just starring at" make me extremely uncomfortable (this is probably an NYC thing). I should feel comfortable in all my surroundings even if they're online. 
  2. Delete folks who "Gaslight Post" These are the people that share very controversial article photos and memes and caption it thoughts? They offer nothing but take everything, this uneven exchange of energy is never something you need to delete them fools. Also, people who are "friends," or follow me online just to counter and be negative about everything I say (including family and friends) can go as well. I would suggest if this is a family member or a friend let them know that you would rather not interact with their post, and you still love them.
  3. Mute people, so you don't see their post for a while I continuously mute and unmute people throughout the year. My real-life interactions with people aren't continuous 24/7 interactions, so they also shouldn't be in my social media life 24/7 either. Muting allows you to take breaks from people and their thoughts. I think this is a very natural and safe thing to do. Also, this isn't rude, it's self-care sis. 
  4. Just  press the block button. I am so quick to block a person lately. I use to not block people cause the tone on social media is that it boosts the person on the receiving end of the block ego, but I don't care about that at all anymore. It's for me, and my mental wellness and that is way more important than some person I most likely won't have a present IRL friendship with. For the folks you do know offline, who cares if you were great friends in college? If who they are online doesn't add to your life, and continuously drains you delete or block them if necessary. Also, I block accounts of any social media popular person whose ideas and core values don't align with my own. No, I don't really need to hear both sides especially if those kinds of accounts usually further an agenda that adds to my marginalization. This allows their content to almost never show up on my feed, I love blocking people now!

Time Limits

I have to be extremely honest with myself, I need a break from social media. I want to continue being honest with myself about not be ready to commit to that just yet. So I have set up time limits for myself. I mostly only use social media while on my long commute to and from work. My subway ride is about one hour and twenty minutes so that's plenty of time. You’ll never successfully set boundaries from social media if you ignore this simple tenet.

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Mute

We hear a ding, buzz or hum and suddenly we’re all over our phone, laptop or iPad. But you can avoid that by muting all of your social media notifications. I turned off all my notifications and since I have an iPhone I put all my social media in one folder. I made this folder very difficult to access quickly on my phone, so going on social media is always a task, and never something quick and easy for me to do.

Delete the App

I only plan on doing this if the other things I'm doing currently don't help. Sometimes you just need to completely disengage. Your social media accounts will obviously still be active, but if you temporarily delete the apps  from your phone, you won’t have the desire to check your feeds over and over again.

Sometimes, Not Sharing Is Caring 

You don’t have to share every single thought, incident, situation, dream, inspiration…get where I’m going? Recognizing this can keep you from spending all of your time on social media. Start using your notes app if there's a thought you need to release, or go old school and get a journal. Also, every headline you read doesn't need to be shared. We aren't news reporters, so chill.

Leave Your Phone Alone

Most of us carry our cell phone on our person at all times. But there are times when we simply don’t need it. Unless you’re expecting a very important phone call, there’s no reason you should bring your phone into the bathroom (also phones have so many germs, go wipe your phone down with an alcohol pad) if you’re taking a shower, or have it at your side while striking a yoga pose, or while getting dressed. Put the phone away. You will be all right.










Wednesday, January 1, 2020

MS. VIXEN BAD BITCHES PLAYLIST

Ms. Vixen Bad Bitch Soundtrack for the New Year!





Saturday, December 7, 2019

BAD BITCH AFFIRMATIONS. . .WE DID THAT YA'LL!


Photo Credit: Mahia




Sunday's Ms. Vixen IRL workshop was beautiful. In our last Bad Bitch Affirmation session of the year, we affirmed our sex lives with the help of Vanessa from Vagesteem workshops and podcasts!

Although I have worked with Vanessa before, and love her podcast, this was the first workshop of hers I attended. YA'LL. . . . it was fucking amazing!! There were so many things I myself didn't know about my reproductive and sexual pleasure systems. Vanessa opened the workshop letting us know everyone in the room is an expert cause all our stories are real, and that as some affirming shit! This made us all feel so comfortable and at home.

With lattes in hand from Cafe Con Libros, a Black woman-owned feminist books store and cafe, where the event was held, we got cozy and affirmed our Vaginas!

All guests received gift bags with swag from Ms. Vixen, Vagesteem and our event sponsor Teas by G . Teas by G is a tea company that infuses THC or CBD in their tea hot cocoa blends.

If you're interested in learning more about Vanessa's work with Vageestem, please visit her website Vagesteem, to check out her podcast, check out more of her workshops, and get her lit merch!!

Full event photos are available now for all of our current Ms. Vixen Patrons!

Saturday, November 30, 2019

CATCH UP ON SEASON ONE OF MS. VIXEN THE PODCAST







Ms. Vixen The Podcast is the space where we have conversations with Black folks that hold space in the world. Still in the tradition of being the destination for lit womanist perspectives, on pop culture, politics, media, and other incisive conversations usually stolen from us from the mainstream to profit off of. We aren't here to be polite or play around, we know Black Women, Black Femmes and Black Folks impacted by misogynoir, are the standard and not the exception. As always we will do more than just celebrate ourselves, we will always and forever turn the fuck up.

Check out all episodes of  season one!



EPISODE 1: ACCIDENTAL ACTIVIST W/ DIAMOND STYLZ



On this episode, I give listeners a brief intro to Ms. Vixen the podcast and express my goal of creating digital spaces that center Black femmes. I have an amazing conversation for ya’ll with diamond styles the principal host of Marsha’s Plate: Black trans talk Podcast. We talk about how we met, the importance of community building, accidental activism and we dote all over each other, cause, why not! I really enjoyed this conversation and am so grateful Diamond is my first guest.

Listen Below!



EPISODE 2: AFFIRMING PLEASURE W/ EV'YAN WHITNEY



On this episode, (which is a week late, sorry ya'll) I get into how great my Bad Bitch Affirmation workshop went at the CareFreeBlackGirl cookout in Brooklyn. I show my first patron some love, Robert of the Grizzly and Kiki podcast, thanks boo!! Please check out their website to listen to their amazing podcast! www.grizzlykiki.com/ On this episode, I chat with sexuality doula and the host of the Sexually liberated woman podcast Ev'yan Whitney, and we chat about pleasure, her sexual healing journey, and we fangirl all over each other. I really hope you enjoy our conversation xoxo.

Listen Below




EPISODE 3: FORMER SAGE BURNING BITCHES w/ JUJU BAE


On this episode, I do a little mental check-in and talk a little bit about finding balance while things pick up for me this summer. I had an epiphany and realize I hate She's Gotta Have It more than I thought I did previously. I'm actually offended. Then, today's conversation is with Juju Bae of a little Juju podcast. we had a great discussion about hoodooism.

Listen below





EPISODE 4: CONSENT. . . PERIODT W/ VANESSA


On this episode, I do a little fitness check-in about my new work out routine, hopefully, I can keep at it. On this episode, I chatted with Vanessa from Vageestem, she's a charismatic sexual health educator, and I had so much fun chatting with her, and I hope you thank its lit too!!

Listen below




EPISODE 5: BAD BITCH DOUALA W/ SEQUIOA KEMP



On this episode, I do a little check-in about romantic life and I chatted with Sequoia Kemp, a certified doula based in Syracuse NY. She is an amazing woman whose goal is to make doula services accessible to folks that give birth. Listen to the conversation learn so much about Back communal birthing practices.

Listen below



EPISODE 6: MENTAL ILLNES IS NORMAL w/ ASA



On this episode, I talk a bit about my little break from the podcast and I chatted with Asa of the Lithium to Lashes blog and ratchet aunty and uncles podcast. I want to have a conversation about mental health and wellness from a different perspective

Listen below





EPISODE 7: COMMUNITY HBIC w/ JANICIA



On this episode, I chat about what I did for my birthday, and why I prioritize celebrating my birthday the way I do. We also had an amazing conversation with my co-host from Tea with Queen and J. podcast Janicia. We talk community, cosplay and bad bitch energy, I hope you enjoy it!

Listen below 









Wednesday, November 20, 2019

SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER ISN'T OBVIOUS!

Photo Credit:NPR Music/YouTube


*This article has been adapted from a facebook post*


I don’t normally post about celebrities but this latest drama with Summer Walker hit me on a personal level.

Like Summer Walker I also live with Social Anxiety Disorder. I was recently diagnosed but I’ve been living with it my entire life. If you know me in IRL you probably noticed my “extreme shyness” (I go to parties and don’t talk to anyone for example). Social Anxiety Disorder can be DEBILITATING! Or not. It depends on how Society responds to the person with Social Anxiety. disorder

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  1. Social  Anxiety Disorder isn’t obvious! You can be beautiful and talented and still have Social Anxiety Disorder (look at me, lol… honestly joking omg). Social Anxiety Disorder is often formed after a person has experienced a traumatic event that leaves them feeling not good enough to be a part of society. Social Anxiety Disorder isn't just shyness - it’s isolation. Typically the person experiencing SOcial Anxiety Disorder is isolating THEMSELF because they’re afraid their presence will harm society. Its IRRATIONAL but that’s one of the hallmarks of an Anxiety Disorder.
  2. If you suspect a person has Social Anxiety Disorder - mocking them, dismissing them, saying they’re Anti-social, or pointing out their talents to prove they don’t have Social Anxiety Disorder is VERY DAMAGING. By doing so you’re practically assuring the person with Social Anxiety Disorder won’t open up to you.
  3. If a friend admits to you that they have Social Anxiety Disorder or struggle with another form of anxiety - DON’T BE DISMISSIVE! It took a lot for them to be vulnerable with you and it means they really trust you. Don’t give them a reason to believe they placed their trust in the wrong person. They will start to doubt themself.
  4. If it really makes you uncomfortable that a person isn’t extroverted, interactive, etc - LOOK INWARD! It is NOT a personal judgment on you. Some people are so scared they’re going to make the wrong move, they freeze. It’s not you, it's them, AND THEY KNOW IT. Don’t punish them further for being afraid. Instead, ask yourself why you need to be loved and admired by everyone you meet.
  5. A LOT of creative people have Social Anxiety Disorder. A LOT of creative people turn to drugs or alcohol to deal with their Social Anxiety Disorder so they can deliver their gifts to the public, and end up tragic documentary figures on E! Be empathetic so we don’t resort to self-destructive behaviors. It really cost nothing to be empathetic (except to realize that your actions impact people and you’re not the center of the universe). Creative People are putting themselves out there ALL THE TIME - so if they say they have Social Anxiety Disorder and are honest about their limitations - LET THEM LIVE.


There’s probably a bunch more I can write on the subject but this post is getting long. Anyway, SHOUTOUT to all the warriors and baddies with Social Anxiety Disorder. We matter.


Written by Liz, be sure to follow her on twitter @blackbirdblues

Sunday, November 3, 2019

PICK ME PLAYLIST




It happens to the best of us, sometimes you want to be choose. So although you aren't living to fit into a mold for a partner you haven't met yet, sometimes you feel like. . . .well damn, PICK ME! Welp, now there's a playlist for that! 





What songs would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments below 





Sunday, October 13, 2019

BAD BITCH AFFIRMATIONS: AFFIRMING OUR SEX LIVES


This session we will discuss affirming our sex lives. The workshop is for folks with vaginas, and we will be joining with Vanessa Geffrard of Vagesteem. Vanessa is the founder of VagEsteem™, a workshop series, and podcast encouraging good and healthy sex through courageous conversations.

Spreading VagEsteem in a World that Teaches you to Hate Yourself... OR Vag 101

About 40% of folks with vaginas and vulvas say that they are not confident in the appearance and size. Society often makes us feel that there is something wrong with the looks, appearance and even the smell of their bodies. Through the use of props, trivia, and open discussion, participants will engage in a series of activities that will leave you empowered, intrigued, and ready to explore! VagEsteem workshops were built on the idea that if folks love what's below the belt, they are more likely to care for and bring pleasure it's way.

Join us and affirm your sex life with the help of Ms. Vixen and Vagesteem




Sunday, October 6, 2019

WE GATHERED AND MARCHED FOR JUSTICE LIKE GENERATIONS BEFORE US


Photo Credit: Diamond Stylz


               
               

         
This past weekend I had the honor of being invited as a photographer to the inaugural National Trans Visibility March. I was equipped with a camera and the cultural competency needed to showcase the beauty and the magic my community has to offer the world. What better way to serve that gift than through images from this groundbreaking event that brought together over 3000 people of trans experiences and their allies. My hometown friend, Marissa Miller and her nationwide trans leadership team worked tirelessly to coordinate the Torch Gala that honors long-time organizers and new emerging powerhouse activists. They brought some of the brightest trans minds to speak at the Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC to inspire and ignite awareness and set the groundwork for the future.

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Queer people have gathered here amongst these monuments and plazas decades before strategizing to speak truth to power and step even farther toward the freedom this country owes us. Bayard Rustin showed us how to do marches and non-violence like a pro resulting with the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. With homophobia and respectability politics hanging over the culture like smog, he had to step back from the spotlight of his own creation so that his mere sexuality wouldn’t undermine its effectiveness. By stepping back into the shadows, he let his work and dedication set the stage for King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech and subsequently King’s martyrdom. That was in 1963. 20 years later in 1983, another March on Washington for Jobs, Peace, and Freedom was organized again. That homophobic smog had cleared very little. So little that in the last hours just before the march they decide to let a lesbian speaker take the stage after a tooth and nail fight between Black Christian conservatives like the then 23-year-old Donna Brazil and the National Black Coalition of Gays and Lesbians to get this woman 3 minutes of talking time. From the shadows of this battle behind the scenes emerged the late great Audre Lorde. Some people in the crowd booed her, but as soon as she began to speak the undeniable truth, they shut up and listened. Here is a link to Nikeeta and Money of the QueerWOC podcast discussing the account in detail. Other marches followed. The Million Man March of the 90s and the most recent Women’s march being the most notable. So it was only a matter of time before the trans children and grandchildren of these crowds followed in their footsteps and create our own.

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I must be honest. We are in an era where white male terrorism is a common occurrence in America. The lives of citizens don’t matter to these bereft vigilantes petrified in racism, bigotry and patriarchy. These murderous mindsets are being reignited by the current occupant of the White House and the long legacy of hate. So I had a level of anxiety gathering in mass in one location. This would have been a perfect opportunity for some lunatic to get us right together. I found myself looking for suspicious people who didn't look like they belonged. As I scanned rooftops, there was a moment my heart pounding because I saw somebody on a rooftop with what I thought could've been a rifle but it was a person with a long lens camera capturing the event as I was. I wish that I could say that I was being irrational letting my paranoia get the best of me, but then I remember Charlottesville, El Paso, Dayton, and the Pulse night club massacre. With the courage and protection of our ancestors on our side, we marched and gathered in defiance of fear because we knew and chanted in unison “We have nothing to lose but our chains.” Assata Shakur would be proud.

There was a star-studded list of speakers employed to kick the march off. The event was hosted by Tiq Milan and Mia Satya. The opening was powerfully delivered by Reverend Valerie Spencer followed by a slew of community activist such as Pose actress Angelica Ross, new HRC president Alphonso David, congressional delegates Eleanor Holmes Norton and Sheila Alexander-Reid, activist supermom Jodie Patterson, and cultural commentator Ashlee Marie Preston to name a few. I was in awe by the care taken to choose the diversity of the speakers. After two hours of oratory delights, we began to march down Pennsylvania Ave and 13th lead by the young and vibrant Toni Michelle Williams of Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative. We chanted “No Justice, No Peace” while carrying a 25 ft trans flag passed the Trump hotel, then we switched to “Stop It, stop killing our girls” or “We will not be erased” as we walked passed monumental statues of white slave owners revered by this society that perfectly fine with throwing our trans soldiers away. We were there to bring awareness to the landmark case the will be brought to the Supreme Court on Oct. 8th to ultimately decide whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin, also covers discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. We were there as Americans utilizing our right to critique our government and to say that we will never be delegated to the shadows and that our lives matter. While this event included all trans lives, there was a resounding emphasis on Black trans women's lives needing more focus and protection due to the epidemic of deaths around our country. For most of the event, I was mingling in the speaker’s tent soaking up the community love. When the march started, I was on the front line carrying a sign with the face of Tracey Single, a black trans woman murder and found dead on a gas station parking lot on July 30th in my current residence of Houston, Texas. I could not see the crowd in its totality. I was disappointed by what I thought was a low turnout nut I was wrong. When I got to the location where the march ended four blocks from the capitol on 4th and Pennsylvania, I turned around in awe because the street was still filled with people blocks down the road. My eyes swelled with tears of joy and affirmation. Seeing this trans collective of diverse people on one accord was soul shifting. This was a moment I will never forget.

If you would like to see all the photos from the march and gala, go over to Marsha’s Plates facebook page




               
               

         

 Check out Diamond Stylz and more of her amazing work by following her on twitter @Diamondstylz

























Sunday, September 29, 2019

HOW GROWN FOLKS MAKE FRIENDS

Photo Credit nappy.co


               
               

         
As we all get older and make changes in our lives, it changes the landscape of our friendships as well. Some of our "down for whatever" friends have changes in their lives that change the relationship. You may see your friends less and the social activities you use to enjoy together may not be how you'll hang out now, and that's a natural thing.

As a child, I made most of my friends at school and in the mosque I attended. These were spaces where I had continuous contact with the same people who had a similar interest or background. As children, our parents or guardians generally set these kinds of spaces up for us. They decide where we lived and the places we went, but the common occurrence is the continuous interaction you have with the people in these social settings. This is is how we build relationships.



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So why does it seem harder to make friends as an adult? I think as an adult we care a lot more what people think and we carry baggage from past traumas. Also, we don't generally create social settings our parents created for us as children. We tend to go out communally, which deters us from meeting new people. As children, we went into our many social settings alone and had to make friends there. This doesn't happen often as adults unless you move to another city. Mirroring how we made friends as children can make it easier to start this process as an adult.

Here are some ways I think are helpful for making friends as an adult

Join a meet-up group 

Meetup is accessible on a personal computer, tablet, or through its phone-based app. If you enjoy reading books, knitting, watching movies, traveling, or indulging in spa treatments in your spare time, there are specific groups tailored to your hobbies, ethnicity, and even your job or college major. In addition, if you're the outgoing type or your passion isn't currently represented on the platform, feel free to start your own group for members to join.

Take an adult class

Kinda like you did while in school, learning something new is a great place to make new friends. Tap into that energy as an adult by participating in an adult class or workshop that centers on what you're really interested in. Need to brush up on your skills in the kitchen? Take a cooking or baking class, and spark a conversation with the person at your workstation. From crafting and dancing to writing and cycling, you can search for available classes that are available near you online, or check out community colleges or local institutions offering self-improvement or recreational courses.

Join a book club, podcast or TV group 

If you like reading, book clubs are a great way to meet people with a common interest, but I like to take it further and add podcasts and TV shows. It's great to have conversations about the media you consume and discussing it with your homies. There's always something you'll have interpreted differently, that'll be cool to talk about. 

Happy hour

So, I'll be honest and say I was hesitant about putting this on my list, but when I asked people on my social media they all said this works for them. Many people do go to happy hours and meet new people all the time. I have never gone to a bar alone and will challenge myself to do this more, so I'll keep yall updated on how this goes! 

Social Media 

Social media is a great way to meet people all over the world. I have made friends all over the USA through twitter, and yes, we've met in real life! Even if you don't meet IRL, it's a great opportunity to find a community and people with interest similar to yours. 

Are there some suggestions you have that I left out? Please let me know in the comment section below! 




 By: Naima "Queen" Muhammad 
Queen is a 30 something from the Bronx, NY. She created  Ms. Vixen to spread her thoughts on womanism, Black pride, it's the first stop on her quest to be a media mogul. 

Follow Queen 
Twitter @TheQueenSpeaks_
Instagram @TheQueenSpeaks_



               
               
            







 
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