Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The No. 2 Speech

Mary Jane Speech
Click Mary Jane Speech to see the speech.

"You know I had this great little sisterhood speech all prepared, but I seem to have left it in my purse at the table. I don’t want to talk about sisterhood, today.

I know there’s a lot of professional women here, but I want to speak to the younger girls. You guys signed up for this mentorship program because you want to be successful. You want to be your mentors! You know everybody tells you: 'Do your best so you can be number one!-But there’s another position...

You know I’ve found that being number two (glances over at Avery) gives you all the glory of being at the top without all the pressures of the number one spot. See, the job of any great number two is to figure what the number one is missing, what they refused to see and what they are doing wrong.

So, you know take your time, learn, be patient, get better. You will get to where you’re supposed to be if you do the work. Because remember, if you don’t somebody else will. I’m Mary Jane Paul and thank you for listening."

— Mary Jane Paul

I am not sure if you watch Being Mary Jane on BET or not. It really is an interesting show. I think a lot of women of color can relate to the lead character, Mary Jane, on some level. She is professionally successful, educated, single, childless, family drama, lackluster love life. You name it and Mary Jane is probably dealing with it. At any rate...

On the show, MJ learns that her love interest, that fine Andre Daniels, is married. Granted, she learns this after the fact but still, he's married. She then takes it upon herself to tell his wife, Avery. Of course, this revelation gives us much of the conflict for this season. 

Last night, MJ and Avery had a modest showdown at a business luncheon. I must say that Avery started it but MJ finished it. MJ handled it as classy as she could. Yet, I wonder if  'the speech' was really the advice we want women to have. The image that being No. 2 has its privileges and if parlayed correctly, can eventually lead to the No. 1 role. 

Although Mary Jane delivers this speech to a group of females who are oblivious to its ulterior motive, female viewer of the show knew good and doggone well what MJ meant. Is that really what we want women to think about choosing to be the 'second choice?' Sit back and be patient? Watch and learn for the No. 1's mistakes? I admire MJ's justification for keeping Andre in her life. She has to tell herself something to rest her nerves at night. No woman deserves to be anyone's second choice. Love yourself enough to walk away if he can't make you first.

This has certainly been the television year of the SIDE CHICK. They got role models now. First, Olivia Pope. And now, Mary Jane Paul. Ladies, you are the zenith of God's universe. You shouldn't be anyone's side anything. You were meant to be BY HIS SIDE, not something he keeps there.

I'm SA Brown and thanks for reading...