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Norms Socialization & Policing

Dear Friends

I hope you’ve had a stunning weekend and somehow found way to express joy in the midst of the state of the world.

So first, my post from last week seems to have taken on a life of its own, so I wish it luck in all the homes it will find itself in, and the grace to hold space and sit with the words and the ideals of open minds and the necessary travel to arrive at new and beautiful places.

Yesterday on a drive a discussion in the car happened which led me back to something that I’d recently encountered. The discussion was of the growing hiking and camping community among Black people and how this organiser was battling with the norms associated with the space, in that, there’s no noise making and no loud music allowed in the camping places which makes it hard for Black people to fully enjoy and be, all this means is, they then constantly find themselves in trouble and admin being called on them, the question then lending over to a guy who has bought a large piece of land so Black people can hike and camp in a way that looks like them too. Because in its current state, it was based on a single set of norms, and this new community was battling to fit in.

Normatives only talk to how we have been socialised, nothing is Black or White, or Binary or Non Binary at its root.

So I asked the question, who made the rules and how can the rules be opened up in order to make the space more inclusive.

Who determines what is acceptable behaviour and how do we meet at a happy middle or is the only answer the assumption of Black people finding their own space to be where their expression is not shunned and shamed behind gloves of common decency.

Who's comfort has been prioritised?

In a world of catch up where spaces could be linear in norms, the world is changing and access means the outdoors world has become more accessible to BIPOC, so what must happen now?

I tell stories not to shame, but to amplify learning and the continuous decision making of who we want to be in society.

In a recent post, I received a comment of my top that was written ‘Freediving Instructor’ from a loved that said ‘geez Zandz, shout it to the world why don't you’, something along the lines of sarcasm meeting subtle policing while making fun of.

In a post by Gabrielle and Dwayne, Dwayne wears the Times cover that they were featured in, as a sweater - they printed the time magazine cover, so they can wear it and celebrate this achievement.

This post doesn’t seek to explain, but seeks to remind us all, that there is no one way of doing things, and that, even if I had matching pants to go, no one can make any bigger or smaller of my achievement, because the process and journey of becoming is just as important and I can celebrate it any which way I want.

It's these moments that have me want to throw WAP as we get out the water and twerk so no one ever thinks to box my expression, when I am in my everyday the entire universe, and no moment is Black or White but being.

Let's stop policing according to our norms, and the sarcasm that nudges in the direction of making fun of, celebrate difference in thought, in being and in expression.

Happy Monday all!!


Our Instagram Lives are back and im so excited to share about our first guests Jaye James!

Trained in Marine Biology and the sciences at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jaye James is an avid scuba diver and ocean advocate whose mission is to be a catalyst for sustainable living. Whether creating sustainable waste removal programmes on land in disadvantaged communities or in the water guiding first time scuba divers through the Discover Scuba Diving activity, James wants to be a bridge for Black people to scuba diving and better environmental understanding as well as action.

James can be found on Instagram at @itsjustjaye and @gaiasafe_

Have a stunner week, see you on Thursday at 18h00!!

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