Podcast: Wailing On These Hoes

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Send in the Clowns

In the undertow of an ever-swelling tide of haphazard multiple murders, I can't help but wonder if the great American patriarchy is finally ready to admit that it is not people of color who present the most virulent threat to their "conflict-free" way of life. I don't know about them but it has been made quite apparent to me that it's their own damn kids who want them dead. Black and Latino Americans are far too busy trying to keep up with the Joneses or keep a damn job to kick up dust with the white man these days and people of color in foreign lands are helplessly preoccupied with their own wavrs to focus any effort on dismantling the foundations of "American freedom." Yet... with little to worry about outside of where their next electronic device is coming from, white people between the ages of 18 and 34 have nothing but time to terrorize their country in every possible venue. As white folk of all classes sit in front of their televisions, wringing their hands in dread of what black and brown folk may do to cause their quiet lives unrest, their misunderstood offspring are in the next room quietly plotting their demise. Of course when it goes down there's plenty of shock and outcry. Nobody ever sees it coming then somehow very suddenly everybody should have. First the young executioners are vilified for their unwarranted heinous acts, then mourned as poor unfortunate souls who didn't get a fair shake in this apathetic society of ours that ignored their woeful cries for help. Regardless of all the assertions, at the end of the day the main question on my mind is: what the hell were the parents doing or NOT doing to make their worst nightmares our collective reality? Have they left all the dirty work of parenting to white privilege thinking that this alone would steer the little ones in the right directions or are they reluctant to allow their kids any real independence for fear that they may step TOO far out of line? Are white children appeased and sheltered to the point that they are driven mad by the banality of their lives or it the problem that these kids are enduring too much in silence while being made to put on the facade that everything is "just fine" to spare the family's public image? I mean, what's really good with America's ideal suburban nuclear family? While having virtually every resource at hand, y'all are damn near 100% slipping on the parenting tip and quite frankly the shit makes no sense.

Now I don't wanna say white folk aren't fit to parent BUT (pretty big "but" there) to make an honest observation, I think when black women made the career move from domestic labor to the public and private sectors, it left white families at a loss as far as what to do with their bad ass kids. We don't want those mutha fuckas back though so don't start getting any ideas. We have our own bad ass kids to deal with now. Black kids may be annoying as hell. They may be materialistic. They may even be pretentiously avant-garde social lemmings but at least they're not in the mall all willy-nilly popping caps. (If we don't reel them in soon though, they may not be far behind their Caucasian cohorts.) If there's anything this rash of matricide/patricide to mass homicide to suicide has made sense of, it's Hollywood's ardor for Tyler Perry and his "Madea" character. It gives white people relief to see an aged yet spirited black woman beating unruly kids with whatever she can get her hands on and brandishing firearms at them. Madea is a surrogate for the discipline white parents feel is too violent or socially unacceptable for them to perform on their own children. (Of course we Negroes are more than familiar with brutality, so naturally such castigation would do us very little psychological damage.) Even though I have already advised against it, I don't think it will be long before we see sassy black women being heavily recruited for top dollar as the must-have, nouveau, connotation-free Mammy who lays down the law with a firm hand, wisdom, unconditional love and a Beretta. Of course I'm 100% against it but who could argue with cold hard evidence? When black women used to raise white people's kids they became doctors, lawyers, statesmen and socialites. But white folks try to raise their own kids and they grow up to be spiteful, self-loathing, tuna-helper-eating sociopaths. I don't know about y'all but I'd rather not have to find out the hard way that the woman sitting next to me at work has a kid with a wacked out Oedipal complex and a chopper in his closet. If "Madea" is the solution, fuck it, yo...

Send in the clowns.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cuffing Season


As seen in Cognition Magazine

http://issuu.com/cognition_mag/docs/nov_2012_magazine?mode=window&backgroundColor=%23222222

Well kids, it’s that time of year again. All the trees are shedding their green duds for golds, oranges and reds. There’s a light chill in the air and Starbucks is geeked up on pumpkin spice. Yes sir—it’s officially Cuffing Season and boo thangs all over are getting scooped up like so many fallen leaves. After a fleeting yet competitive Choosing Season, cut buddies are transitioning from temp to hire with the threat of colder nights and +1 parties from now until January but what I want y’all to be for real about this month is whether you’ve cuffed as wisely as you chose. I’d hate to see any of you embarrassed at Zulu Ball because you spent the whole summer bed-hopping with the fast, free and unfamiliar only to be forced to make a cold snap decision in October that you lived to lament in February. Personally, I’ve never had to deal with that regret first-hand because I don’t cuff ‘em. I catch ‘em, drain ‘em and release them back into the unforgiving wild. This of course doesn’t mean that I haven’t born witness to a slew of figurative yet painful social deaths brought on by (you guessed it) the poorly chosen cuff. Now, I’m not saying that some of you don’t genuinely adore that hood rat who behaves in public as though she’s never experienced the wonders of indoor plumbing or that whoadie who’s mind is absolutely blown by wine that’s corked in lieu of being accessed via a twist cap, but for those of you who feel like being for real, you KNOW you don’t wanna show up to your company Christmas party with THAT mutha fucka on your arm. I don’t care how good the lovin’ is, not much will help you recover from being the laughing stock of the Accounting Department. (And if THOSE cats can laugh at you, you know you down BAD, baby.) Naturally being the non-judgmental person that I am, I won’t sit here and pretend to know all of your individual mating proclivities or romantic needs, but I will help you ask yourself the right questions about who you cuffed and why.

First of all—how did you spend your Choosing Season? Were you outchea in these streets head first while taking no inventory of whose DNA you engaged or did you make eye contact with a couple people long enough to assess their character? Did you perhaps try going on an actual vertical, fully-clothed, honest-to-God DATE with ANY of these people? Ah yes—a  date. Some of you may not remember what that is but a date is when two people who kinda dig each other decide to get to know each other by having conversation in the midst of a joint activity (not sex) that allows them to interact on a mature, intellectual level. Meeting up at a bar with a gang of people does not count as a date. Light conversation between orgasms does not count as a date. All that fun stuff your moms and pops used to do before they got married like going to movies, shows and the park? Those were dates. Also, that shit you do with your best friend WOULD be a date if you both were romantically inclined toward one another but of course we know you’re not. (That one was somewhat judgmental, I admit, but in my defense, I meant for it to come off that way. Step into the light children.) One thing I’ve noticed about people these days is that actual dating has fallen by the wayside. I’m not chastising anyone because I am more than guilty of it too. All I’m saying is a date would help us better assess who we might be getting involved with so the sudden and inconvenient realization of “This dude/chick is a damn fool” doesn’t have to slap us clean across the face in a public setting.

Furthermore, if you decided to forego the dating process altogether, did you ever introduce the would-be cuff to your friends? (I don’t mean your favorite bartenders either.) One thing that may help the non-discerning gage the quality of their chosen boo is the by observing the reactions of their closet and most valued homies. True we can’t allow our friends to pick our significant others, but if they meet your potential mate and he/she is received with a chorus of “What the hells,” you may want to take a second look at that thang. Just a thought…

More important than your courtship “process”, when you chose your cuff what were your motivations? Were you scorned in the last boo draft have been determined to have your comeuppance ever since? Have your most clutch of patnahs acquired full-time bed mates to keep them busy ALL NIGHT LONG, leaving you to prowl the streets for some strange all by your lonesome? Have your siblings been telling your folks all about “The One” who the family is finally going to meet this Christmas and you simply refuse to be run through a gauntlet of degrading and invasive queries such as: “Where yours at?” “How come you never bring anybody home?” “Are you gay or just too fucked up in the head to keep some damn body?” I’ve been through all the same scenarios but none of them are good reasons to make a hasty decision in a moment of desperation that could easily last you a lifetime. (Y’all know unplanned pregnancies are a mainstay of Cuffing Season, right? Yeah… right.) Your cuff shouldn’t be picked based on some yearning to be in step with your peers or to live up to the stringent expectations of your family members. The easiest way to find yourself in a bad situation that you can’t find your way out of in one sound piece is to enter the situation with your own true desires on the back-burner. So don’t be pressed if you look up and it appears that everybody you know is cuffed this year. If your friends didn’t read this column they may find themselves lonely once again come Choosing Season 2013, you'll be back at it like you kids were never apart. And who cares if the little bro/cousin/successful overachieving sister caught ‘em one? Moms, Pops and G-Moms will have to do their very best to go on living WITHOUT all the melodrama circulating around your relationship status. They’ll get over that dumb shit. I promise. If they find themselves unable to chill on the subject of your love life, bring the hood rat/whoadie to dinner at the house and see if they ever bother you about getting married again. CASE CLOSED.

Most importantly, if you happen to be one of the lost souls who have recently been run through the emotional ringer, I beseech you to not lean on the next most willing participant as a crutch to get you through this, your Cuffing Season of discontent. Loneliness can and will find you even within the confines of a committed relationship, shug, so it would most certainly NOT behoove you to settle just because you’re using the oldest and most ineffective trick in the book to soothe an aching heart. I know you’ve probably heard this before, but let me reiterate that time spent alone doesn’t have to be filled with woe and lament. Whether we be serial monogamists or have just experienced a flash-in-the-pan heartbreak, time with oneself can be truly rewarding. There’s no better way to figure out exactly what it is that you need out of this life than to learn it from YOURSELF. They say life is the best teacher but as sometimes co-dependent creatures, we want someone else to do the learning work for us. More oft than not that surrogate takes the form of a significant love interest. When Cuffing Season rolls around, it’s difficult to resist the allure of companionship even with a broken, battered sense of self and a fucked up perception of love, but please keep that ish to yourself. Nobody deserves the lack of trust, sincerity, attention that you’re able to provide in this delicate state and you don’t deserve to torture yourself by making the hollow attempt. Sometimes, we’re just not ready for what we want and in the lean times we must prepare for the harvest although the yield doesn’t bode abundance. If there be any lovesick sports fans out there you should know that an offseason is every bit as important to an athlete as playing the game itself. The offseason is primetime for conditioning and strategy. If you can manage to stay fit in the offseason, you may be in just the right shape to take home that ring when it’s all said and done.

So if this Cuffing Season you find yourself seemingly out in the cold, don’t even trip off that, love. You’ll just have more time to get this whole self-identity ish right and put yourself in the best position to cuff the right one. And if you really don’t care to heed these many suggestions I’ve made and simply MUST have a warm body to bring to that Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas/Mardi Gras/Valentine’s Day event, I’m sure you have a solid regular that you can call upon at the last minute (who’s more than willing to settle for being a mere ornament). Standing cut buddy = Cuffing Season Late Draft Pick. Ain’t no shame in it, love… warranted that you can at the very least be for real.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Ratchet, huh? Okay, LL...

While engaging in Twitter banter with a homey of superior rhetorical repute, I was introduced to my latest reason to wail mercilessly on these hoes: an egregious misuse of the word "ratchet."



But seriously though... LL, you done FUCKED up nah.

It would appear that the Ladies' beloved Cool J decided to take a step backward into the shadows of popular culture, drop his True Religions and dump out this hot steaming load of misogynist crap. When I heard this last week, I assumed that the entire female population had to already be in an uproar about it, and I would be tragically behind the gun on my Wail. After a tireless 30 minute Google quest for outcry, however, I found that NO ONE had ANYTHING to say about the fact that LL has not only degraded himself with these kindergarten ass lyrics but this song is a perfect example of everything that is wrong with pop (read "rap") music today. Of all the blog posts and commentary I read, the main beef contemporaries have with Mr. Smith's latest lyrical "effort" (because I can tell he didn't really try) is that his sound is "dated" and he made a useless attempt to cling to his bygone youth and musical relevance. I have yet to read a review that mentions the negative and damaging ideals promoted in the LYRICAL CONTENT of the song. This, of course, just further goes to prove that not only do people fail to consider the messages they're taking in but music listeners could genuinely give a hoot about what you say as long as you're the right person saying it over the right beat.

In music, film, television and all forms of modern media, young women and girls (especially the Black and Latina sort) are being reduced to nothing with a perpetual barrage of imagery that would insist their worth is defined by the bulge at the bottom of their backs and the pliability of their legs. Is it true that there are some broads who would rather flat back their way out of economic slavery than go to college, hone a talent or learn a trade? Hell yes. They are called prostitutes and some of them live quite well. Am I glorifying prostitution? A little… but have I propped up the profession as much as the very SAME people who scorn it MOST? Not by far. The men/boys/fools LL emanates in this song decry women for playing games of material gain using pussy like dice are the EXACT same ones who write elegies praising these "ratchet chicks" for their ability to dance upside down on a stripper pole. So what you're saying, gentlemen, is that you mean to manipulate images of young women so that they might do your bidding only to be later demonized for fulfilling your every desire of them. Right.

Furthermore... do I detect a hint of jealousy here among the machismo of hip-hop culture? Is this direct contradiction of tastes based on contempt for women because we hold such great power in what would appear to be an unimposing weapon? It must bother you that the market value of dick has been in decline for ages. It IS a man's world after all, so it would only be fair that MALE sexuality get top billing.
(You don't get pussy whipped, do you, homeboy? You whips PUSSY.
) I would be mad too in this topsy-turvy world where the womb trumps the almighty phallus. Having a penis must be so very frustrating with a stigma embedded in every inch (or lack thereof). With great power comes greater scrutiny, I gather. No matter how bountiful your bank account, as a man you will forever bite your nails in wonder of the favorable size of your member. To combat that potential lack, the great patriarchal consciousness remains diligent in its efforts to conceptualize as many ways as it can to inflict its own insecurity upon the very reason man has been damned to live in constant fear of his nekkedness--woman. If it wasn't for Eve trolling Adam way back when we'd all be bare-assed and contented in Paradise... hence the praise/shame approach to women who take matters into their own orifices to get the best of men who elect themselves masters of all they survey. As usual... man would have us believe that we woman have brought this villainy upon ourselves. But if I may, gentlemen, I do have a few pieces of advice to impart...

If you don't like these monsters in miniskirts and Louboutins, stop building 'em homey. You want a  better brand of woman? Stop rewarding the generic ones so handsomely. You want us to stop making eyes at your wallets? Stop throwing your bank statements in our faces. It's not rocket science, man hoes. You want something better? DISCERN BETTER.



P.S: Would you people PLEASE stop comparing LL's cut to Brian McKnight's "Let Me Show You How Your Pussy Work" because quite frankly "Ratchet" is just offensive while Brian McKnight created comedy GOLD. I haven't laughed that hard since I first saw "The Human Tornado"...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Only The FINEST of Breast Milk Baby Dolls...

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/breastfeeding-baby-doll-creepy-or-groundbreaking


As you all may know by now I have a general disdain for Bill O'Reilly and every word that spews from his bigoted mouth. Today is no different but this ONE time at least he was pointed in the direction of a valid issue even though in my opinion he assessed it in ALL the wrong ways.

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1868177216521

Pop O'Reilly has taken issue with a breast-feeding doll that is in circulation on the European market but has offended the "delicate" sensibilities of American retailers. Boss Hog seems to think such a toy "sexualizes" young girls to the point of affront. I don't know what homey's opinions are on Barbie dolls with big boobs, anatomically ridiculous waistlines, curvy hips, long legs, short skirts and sky-high heels and what they do to chasten the millions of little girls worldwide, but something tells me he missed the mark on what is truly wrong with this breastfeeding doll: the shit is just weird as all fuck.

The problem with this toy is not that it sexualizes little girls or that it robs them of their childhood in any way. The problem is that somebody actually thought up a doll for undeveloped girls to pretend they have imaginary grown woman milk jugs and feed a tiny suckling inanimate object with them, hence "weird as all fuck." On top of that, it only further promotes the ideal that the main goal of ANYTHING with a vagina on this planet should be motherhood as though simple womanhood ain't quite cuttin' it. Are there any toys that promote fatherhood to little boys? Are there any get-a-good-job-to-take-care-of-your-family games out there? Of course not. In their play, boys are encouraged to live out fantasies not provide for and raise kids. Girls' toys encourage them to live out the patriarchal notion of a woman's fantasies (i.e., looking pretty and taking care of babies). Boys' playthings encourage them to be carefree and imaginative. Sure those toys reinforce macho ideals like being the strongest, fastest or most powerful but there's nothing in those messages about how to be an adequate father. Yet we wonder why so many young/grown men display such detachment from their children and women use their looks and their babies like bargaining chips for attention or worse, financial security.

What I dislike about the commentary surrounding the breastfeeding doll is the suggestion that Americans shy away from nursing and view it as socially unacceptable or somewhat perverse. Breastfeeding is the most natural part of motherhood. There is nothing perverse about it. What's perverse is that men, with the help of many women, have taken yet another stop toward reinforcing the idea of motherhood over womanhood. I don't have anything against motherhood but I feel like little girls have more to aspire to than being happy little baby factories. I don't have any kids myself so I don't claim to know what parents should teach them outside of making those muh'fuckas act like they have some damn sense in my presence. What I DO know is what it means to be little girl that had to clumsily work her way into the mandate of womanhood and I promise you I didn't have to practice breastfeeding on a doll to determine what these lumps are for. As a woman with her own tits I can say that one tends to figure out their many functions. I know we're trying to maintain the species but let's not get ahead of ourselves here. Before these little girls have been truly taught where babies come from you wanna throw the aftermath at 'em! That's kind of out of order don't you think? I'm not saying that this will send 10 year-olds flying into the streets to get knocked up so they can make a real baby to feed but damn... can we establish a cause THEN an effect in their young developing minds?

I do think Americans may be reluctant to engage in conversation with to their little girls on what leads up to the breastfeeding portion of the program and I can dig it. Kids that young may have a hard time truly grasping the breadth and depth of the concepts of human reproduction but there comes a time when that talk must be had. Developing structured sexual education programs nationwide to properly teach girls all the ins and outs of reproduction (don't snicker adults) as they approach/enter their child-bearing years wouldn't hurt either. With all this Maury Show and Teen Mom nonsense that would be a good move to help keep these knuckleheads from making all these damn Knucklehead Jrs. Children, male and female alike, eventually do need to learn about all the intended functions of their bodies but having 10 year-old girls wear halter tops equipped with pseudo-nipples holding a plastic baby wired for sound, suckles and all, up to their non-breasts mimicking the act of nursing is just ineffective as well as egregious or, as my sister Jacky would say, "Much too mutha fuckin' much."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Growing Pains



As found in the July 2012 issue of Cognition Magazine http://issuu.com/cognition_mag/docs/july_2012_pdfmagazine

Hey, kids. How y’all feeling these days? Rejuvenated? Jaded? Exuberant? Morose? Forgiving? Bitter? Healed? Scarred—all of the above, perhaps? If so, you’re going through the same thing I am—it’s called growing the hell up. Also, if you’re like me, it may have taken you a little longer to arrive at this juncture in your life. If wiser than I were long ago, you may be in your early 20s already figuring out how to make this fire-breathing dragon called “Life” your bitch. (That was a joke of course. We ALL thought we had the keys to the city when we were your age, so don’t be so quick to take off that vest, love. You’re gonna need it again around 25-ish.) Regardless of how old/young you may be, growing pains do just as much damage at 30 as they do at 16. It doesn’t get any easier but with proper tempering you should at least be getting better. (That’s the bright side. Be excited.) Shedding the bullshit is always a good idea though no matter how daunting the task may seem. It’s a cyclical thing. The problem comes in when one finds that he/she is shedding the exact same bullshit over and over again while not gaining any insights in the process. Call me crazy, but I think I just might have at least SOME of the answers that elude you over and over again.

And I know some of you are saying “Bitch, what makes YOU an authority on the subject of MY bullshit?” Well, I’ll tell you. I just so happen to be the dumbest broad on the planet and by revealing to you (in general terms, of course) my numerous and unconscionably asinine misdoings, you can avoid becoming such a simpleton as I have been.

While I’ve had my share of missed cues, these are the main opportunities for adequate growth that I’ve foiled time and time again: Self-indulgence, denial, holding on to people that would be best let go,  clinging to traits in lieu of ascertaining one’s identity and possibly most detrimental looking for/expecting instant gratification.

Self-Indulgence
I’m not one to brag but—actually that’s exactly what I am and it’s part of my problem. Having a severe case of Strong Black Woman Syndrome, I’m really not one to wallow in self-pity. Therefore in my inability to establish any secure, lasting relationships with other human beings, I have often turned self-pity inside out to manifest as self-indulgence. It was my way of finding comfort without appearing vulnerable. I would be the first in line to pat myself on the back even if my self-praise is undeserved. I’d acquire anything and everything my pockets could fit in the hopes these things would bring me the comfort I felt deprived of. I would buy shoes, the finest of booze, the most delectable of treats and the stickiest of the icky. I was ridin’ round and getting ALL of it, baby… at least that’s the lie I was telling myself.  What I was REALLY doing was overcompensating for my lack... sound familiar, suga? No? That ain’t you? You say you like bed-hopping with beautiful strangers? Right. That can only end very well for you. And you—I guess you can afford all that Remy, Nars and Herve with all those student loans and bills. Yeah, so can Sheree Whitfield. Well, how about this one—D-E-N-I-A-L.

Denial
While I was doing all these things that were only keeping me in a rut, I passed off my lack of self-control and discipline as mere caprices of youth. I absolved myself of all stupidity with the lie that I was just enjoying my life. In my simple ass mind, the disease was the cure. What was REALLY going on was I was burying all my emotional confusion beneath a fa├žade of strength and nonchalance. I guess I’m the only one who does that too, huh? This next one is something that I K N O W y’all need to get your “Amens” out for—holding on to people in your life that need to be cut loose.

Cutting the fat
You know that homey/family member who’s “been there” but for the duration of your relationship he/she has actually never “been there” when you were truly in need of support? What about that (in)significant other who does you dirt EVERY chance he/she gets but y’all have “history” and you can’t quite stand to let go? Yeah, I’ve had both of those and quite frankly the shit got old. How many times did I allow the same disingenuous fair-weather friends and lovers roll in and out of my life JUST to disappoint me at every possible turn? Much too damn many. True, I can drop most hangers on like hot coals but there are SOME to this day that I still give that We’ve-Been-Down-With-Each-Other -So-Long pass. Also, one has to admit that these fraudulent individuals do have their redeeming qualities but those are usually few if but one. Gotta weigh the pros and cons of keeping certain people in your life against how much they’ve actually ADDED to your life. Don’t let a fear of being alone stop you from moving forward into better and stronger relationships with people you haven’t taken the risk to meet and/or get to know. This world is filled with too many people to hold on to 3 or 4 just because they’re familiar. Furthermore, part of what you’re holding on to in those people has to do with certain things about YOURSELF that you refuse to leave behind.



Identity vs. Persona
I always told myself that I didn’t give a shit about shit. (I kinda don’t but follow me for a few moments longer.) I convinced myself that the character traits which fueled my behaviors (recklessness, over-indulgence, carelessness, thoughtlessness and coldness) were actually integral parts of who I am as a person. I was lost in my own sense of bravado so bad that I had no idea where it ended and I began. As the children would say, I was caught up in my “swag.” What’s even more idiotic is that I truly believed changing would be the worst thing for me. One of the worst things any human being can do to hinder positive emotional growth is hiding yourself FROM yourself. Stop that nonsense. If you’re feeling vulnerable, BE FOR REAL. If you’ve been getting the feeling that you’ve outgrown some of the people in your life, BE FOR REAL. If you’re confused about the direction in which your life is moving, BE FOR REAL. Stop and take inventory. There’s no need to keep playing it cool for your adoring fans who so admire your illusion of having all “together.” Accept your weak areas for what they are but refrain from identifying with them. Learn from them. Work through them COMPLETELY… which leads me to my next critical growth mistake—looking for instant gratification.

Instant Gratification
My main problems as it pertains to personal growth have always been impatience and discontinued effort. I always assumed once the wheels of change were set in motion then I should be off to the races with no need to put any further effort into the matter. That would be true if I were rolling a ball down a steep hill but this is the method I have foolishly applied to my self-improvement. Ask me how many times this has worked out for me. Don’t even bother ‘cause I’m telling you right now the answer is NONE. It has only been over the last year that I’ve actually slowed down and really taken inventory of who I am at my very core. Only recently have I accepted that the changes I need to make in my life won’t take in just a month’s time. The changes I want to see will only come through constant, consistent, daily practice and what’s more PATIENCE. You know how Rome wasn’t built in a day? Neither will be a fortified sense of self. To erect a foundation with integrity one must take the care construct it properly—no short cuts. There is no easy way and there is no time table. Just work it out the best you can, love, but more importantly do it for YOU

I know that these kinds of lessons can’t be spoon fed to anybody so I don’t expect you to pick up what I’ve told you and run with it. I had to learn all this in my own way in my own time and I figure your revelations will come to you in a similar fashion.  Just think of this as a cheat sheet so that maybe you could outsmart some of these demons before they have a chance to completely knock you down.

©Copyright by D.A. Theriot 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Survey: Why Black Women Love Tyler Perry


For those of you who pay attention to trivial matters such as my lackluster blogging efforts, I haven't touched this bitch since November. It may not have had any effect on you kids whatsoever but it's left me to feel somewhat deficient in the area of continuity. I get going real good with this blogging shit and BOW... LIFE. Next thing I know it's 2 or 3 months later and I haven't written a damn thing on here. Then every time I fall into such a slump, I read something in the news, see something on television or experience something in my own life that gives me that Bloggers' Itch to pontificate on the literary tip; here we are again at such a turning point in my neverending cycle of waxing and waning interest in legitimate authorship. Here we go...

So I'm doing my thug thizzle at 8AM, reading the news first thing in the morning (because my iPod refuses to let me get out of bed until I do) and I come across a Washington Post article pertaining to a purportedly "extensive" survey conducted by the aforementioned party and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/survey-paints-portrait-of-black-women-in-america/2011/12/22/gIQAvxFcJQ_story.html

Overall I found the results of survey to be like most other studies of that genre and that is overgeneralized. Yes we can see here what most of a SAMPLE of black women think about very specific criterion on a decidedly liner scale in comparison to their black male, white female, and white male fellows but...eh. Why be impressed by the findings of such conditional research? Some of their findings did jump out at me like these:

"... a complex portrait emerges of black women who feel confident but vulnerable, who have high self-esteem and see physical beauty as important, who find career success more vital to them than marriage."


"Religion is essential to most black women’s lives; being in a romantic relationship is not, the poll shows."


"Nearly three-quarters of African American women say now is a good time to be a black woman in America, and yet a similar proportion worry about having enough money to pay their bills."


"Eighty-five percent say they are satisfied with their own lives, but one-fifth say they are often treated with less respect than other people."

Honestly the whole thing read like a Tyler Perry a production to me. I guess this survey would better depict the reasons why his plays/movies are so popular than the current state of of black womanhood in Amreica. The black women who have made him quite wealthy (who, in spite of the fact that they have a hard time paying their bills, have the disposable income to do so) enjoy taking two-hour mini-vacations into fantastical lands where black men are throwing themselves at black women's feet and drastically changing their lives for the better in the process. These same women, who pour their efforts into maintaining their physical appearance and demanding work/social/family lives, are knee deep in the church praying for a man while they deny their desire to be in a committed relationship in order to save face.

I can dig it, girls. No one wants to admit how disheartening it is to think that most of us black women (most of us with goals anyway) might "end up" manless because either there just aren't enough black men to go around or worse that they don't really want us (black women) anyway. It's a dismal view to have of black on black romance when everywhere you turn other races seem to have no problem "sticking together" in matters of love and as black women we're left to wonder "Well, Brotha what the hell is wrong with us?" (I personally think it's sad that the black race in this country will eventually die out but this is the ebb 'n' flow of things. We had a good run, right? Bout 250 years of slavery. About 100 years of brutal racism. Then roughly 40 years of passive-aggressive discrimination. That's a solid record for any minority in this country. They just killed off all the Natives.)

As for this black woman, I've never really been interested in the whole marriage thing but that's because I've seen what little it can do to improve the overall quality of person's life; not because I'm more interested in having a successful career and "getting saved" than I am in romance. As far as simply being involved in a committed relationship (sans contract), I could probably swing one if a viable opportunity presented itself... but so far none have. Does it bother me? Sometimes. Mostly when I wanna bone but truthfully it does get hard every now and then to toil land all by one's self. There may be some shame involved in admitting this, but most of my apathy toward finding a working relationship with a black man (or any) comes from my belief that it's something out of my reach. My motto is: Why waste time missing something I've never had? That shit would just drive me crazy with loneliness and who needs that kinda stress when the bills are due? I might just be postulating here, but I think many of the (heterosexual) black women participating in this survey might have felt similarly about the specter of having a loving, successful and long-lasting marriage. With that in mind, many have decided that it would be much more advantageous to seek fulfillment elsewhere (religion, career, family). Meanwhile... Tyler Perry capitalizes on the black woman's suppressed yearning for "the one with the ring" who'll love her for a lifetime.

*VOMIT INTERMISSION* (I'll wait til you get back. I might be a minute my damn self.)

(Jesus... what did I eat?)

*RESUME WAIL*

Regardless of black women appearing to have something of a disinterest in romance, the survey shows that we feel like now is a good time to be a black woman in America... As unsound as the foundations of this "truth" may be, it is what it is. (I say considering what we've had to endure the whole while we've inhabited this country, that's a dumb ass question to even put on a survey. This shit beats the hell out of working in fields and kitchens with no agency whatsoever over our sexuality. Comparatively speaking... this is the shit right now.) Before this "age of Michelle Obama,” what were we as black women really given to look forward to? Now, not only do we have a sophisticated, intelligent, fine specimen of black womanhood as a first lady, but also our brethren rapping and singing our praises in songs about "independent women" and "bad bitches" where we are lauded for our ability to strip our way through college. We have successful TV series dedicated entirely to glamorizing the emotional immaturity and materialism supposedly inherent of our demographic. And what's more, we have the likes of Tyler Perry around to stroke our egos and make us feel as though we can do little to no wrong. All is well for black women. We don't have to be ashamed of the fact that so many of us feel compelled to use our bodies as a commodity just to earn a livable wage or simply live the consumer-driven lifestyles we might have been denied in prior eras. We don't even need a real job to live well anymore--just behave like children with high-limit credit cards and short tempers on national television and fame and fortune will follow. America is LOVING us for that shit right now. We don't have to play maids and hookers and ignorant welfare queens to get roles in major motion pictures (but if we want an award, those roles are probably your best bet) because Tyler Perry lets us be whatever we want to be in HIS movies. First Harriet Tubman and now this Negro. We's free nah...

There may be plenty of other black women who feel similarly about these things that I do but such nuances weren't covered in their "extensive" survey. They just asked separately about the overall importance of certain aspects of one's life such as being married, having children, being successful in one's career, and religion and drew comparative conclusions based on those results. This survey all by itself doesn't quite delve into the reasoning behind the responses given, but no research method is perfect by any means. The quantitative intent of a survey is to get a broad-sweeping general view of a particular demographic which is exactly what we see here: The Reasons Why Black Women Love Tyler Perry.

Of course I had to SEE this survey for myself since it's so telling of the black female state of affairs in this country. You can do the same here and see where you fall in as a black/white man/woman
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/nation/black-women-in-america/