Coffee Rhetoric: Uproar
Showing posts with label Uproar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Uproar. Show all posts

May 21, 2010

Fat Ass!

As if slut, skank, ho,' and skeezer doesn't undermine femalehood enough, women have to contend with having yet another epithet hurled at them; an oldie, but still go-to, trusted, tried, and true goodie. These days, calling a woman 'fat' seems to be the insult du jour. Log onto any celebrity gossip site featuring posts including Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, Christina Hendricks and even pop singer Rihanna; and commenters (mostly female) are incited to chorus... "I'm sick of Beyonce... FAT, no talent bitch!" "OMG, all of you people calling Christina Hendricks beautiful are probably fat ass cows!" "I hate Rihanna. Her thighs are HUGE and look like tree-stumps!" "How can anybody find Kim Kardashian hot?? She's fucking gross. Maybe if she lost like 30 pounds I'd bang her..." so forth and so on. The Infallible (I mean they must be straddling the line between perfection and 5 alarm hotness, right?); hiding behind their computer screens... intimidated by any semblance of curvature on a woman's body and ignorant of what overweight and unhealthy truly is.
Women can be the most biting and hateful when spitting the fat insult toward other women. Automatically assuming that anyone not sporting a meth-chic physique lives a sedentary life filled with junk food and Häagen-Dazs . "Get to the gym bitch!"  is generally the norm, dare you be curvy and having a disagreement with a thin(ner) woman. While I understand our current cult of personality is driven by image and that health and exercise are extremely important; since when are women who don't fit someone else's norm or ideals, fat and or lazy?? While the insult seems to be perpetuated by women toward women, men are definitely guilty of using fat to scorn their female counterparts as well, especially if his romantic advances are rejected.  
Many of them, despite being overweight and/or unattractive themselves, play on the insecurities of women, noting that our body image is at the core of what makes many of us tick. I recall a former co-worker who, divorced for many years, shared the fact that he happened upon his ex-wife's Facebook page and noted how much weight she'd gained. Bitter grapes... considering she initiated their divorce and probably looked to be the picture of happiness in the Facebook visuals... without him. And who can forget (provided you watched it) the episode of MTV's guilty reality TV pleasure Jersey Shore, when Mike 'The Situation' took a cheap shot at the quirky and lovable (albeit annoying and gaudy looking) Snookie (please don't ask for any further background on these people, you just had to've viewed the trash) - during an argument at a group dinner, where after she asked the waiter for more rolls he quipped, "You already have a few rolls yourself," much to her chagrin sending her running and crying to the toilets (she later revealed that she struggled with an eating disorder), and the anger of the other cast mates, "Dude, you just don't talk about a woman's weight! That's not cool" one angry male cast member griped. I'm also reminded of the New York Times writer (a woman) who bitingly referred to Mad Men actress, Christina Hendricks as a 'big girl' in a 'big dress,' citing it is a fashion faux-pas.
When a woman is full-figured/plus-size (or however we're referred to these days), and visibly striking or attractive, she better not dare have any confidence in the fact that she carries herself well, is a fashionista, and has no issues finding a date... otherwise it's likened to the perpetuation of an unhealthy lifestyle! "What a fat bitch! She's so unhealthy! How can she be happy??"  Notwithstanding the fact that healthy, active lifestyles aren't exclusive to one particular look.
Listen, as an attractive woman who just happens to be full-figured, I'm no fat or BBW advocate, because I choose not to define myself based on my body's proportions, not to mention, I don't live my life juxtaposing my hips to some other woman's. In fact I loathe the term 'BBW,' and am OK with the fact that I may not appeal to everyone's personal aesthetic,  and will probably fall victim to being called 'fattieeee' during a disagreement that'll undoubtedly regress to school yard antics... actually some years ago, upon telling a prospective paramour I wasn't into him, he tried to hit below the belt commenting during our last phone call, "Well, good luck with your search. You have a sensuous look and most guys aren't into that." To which I replied, "Hm, well you obviously are, otherwise you wouldn't be calling me making one last desperate appeal to date you." Burn! But I digress...
Basically, I am bored with people hurling the term fat around when in most cases, it doesn't even apply to the intended victim. And so what if someone isn't whip thin? Is it really that dire to your life?  The perps seemingly so quick to call someone else a fat ass should probably re-evaluate their own self-loathing and the reasons why they resent someone's confidence and self-acceptance in who they are.

February 12, 2010

Hathor Take The Wheel

I did not want to bat an eyelash over John Mayer’s recent FAIL interview with Playboy Magazine, but the more in-depth I read it- (in its entirety, because I did not want to comment based solely on the excerpts that got everyone in an uproar)- the harder I blinked and the more perplexed I became. I will not comment on the obvious homophobia or misogyny and ageism he displayed whilst commenting on his former girlfriends (‘right made the acid in my stomach gurgle with displeasure), nor on the lack of confidence he has in his manhood for he spoke at length about his sexual prowess and technique as well as his need to prove himself and be better than the former flames of his conquests. 
What I will rant and rave about however, is John’s proclamations that he has a “hood/nigger” pass, suggesting that having one somehow justifies his never ending, assholish behavior, asinine public comments and Twitter rants. He said he was "Very" just like Black folks. "V.E.R.Y." and so it absolved him of stupid behavior. Man, I guess (not).  John also name dropped Kanye West, a fellow partner in lame grappling with his own P.R. issues and who in 1996 (publicly creamed his trousers over the splendor of biracial women or “mutts” as he affectionately called them, Jay-Z, and other rappers, who, shall I add, seem color-struck and enamored with all things lighter-skinned and/or non-Black themselves, and will never miss an opportunity to bash dark-skinned Black women or to drape themselves with the finest of racially ambiguous vixens. But I digress... 
John Mayer… who always manages to fellate his foot hungrily, deep-throating it with gusto whenever he has the media’s attention… felt his scrotum swelling with douche water after waving his “nigger pass” in the air... going on to gloat, after being asked if Black women threw themselves at him  (a stupid question in and of itself), that while he has a Benetton heart he just couldn’t open himself up to the possibility of entertaining Black women, due to his having a David Duke cock.”
insert record screeching to an abrupt stop right here
Correct me if I’m wrong, or perhaps I’m out of the loop, but I had no idea Black women were drowning John in a river of crème de la coochie. I was completely unaware that this rather uninteresting and bland musician was the stuff that makes Black women swoon with unbridled desire. John also went on to make vulgar remarks about noted Black actress Kerry Washington’s hotness and how she might possibly suck a dick and say, “Yeah, I did it, so what?” for she’d undoubtedly break a Caucasian cad’s heart because she's "crazy like a white girl," or some such nonsense to that effect, his love of porn, and how every White dude bulged out of their boxers for sitcom character Hilary Banks from the The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Additionally, while John Mayer is entitled to his preferences, why do it at the expense of Black women by suggesting that we are somehow not worthy or significant enough for someone as inane as he is? Listen, at the end of the day, I don't need John's racist penis to validate me as a Black woman or any other White man with a "nigger pass" or otherwise for that matter, so I'll sleep well this evening, but imagine the shock and furor had Halle Berry stated she had the heart of Coretta Scott King but the vagina of Minister Louis Farrakhan ... Mmm hmmm... Think, think, think... famous people. THINK before you spew. 
To the assholes who gave Mayer a “nigger pass,” Therein lies the problem, jerks. You make it OK for dumb-asses to engage in hipster racism because you’re giving them the go-ahead to do so…ofttimes at a Black woman's expense.  And then you’re the same jack-asses who want to mollywhop your White buddy, because he said,  “Nigger please!” Um. No sir. You can't have it both ways. Good for the goose but not for the gander??
John Mayer or any other wanna-be down chav gets no “hood pass” from me EVER. I don’t care how many BLACK friends you collect, I don't care how many close White friends I happen to connect with, and I don’t care how many of your BLACK FRIENDS said it was OK to make stupid statements steeped in bigotry. It is never OK to wallow in ignorance because you think it's the hip thing that will get you an *in.* Real talk. I don't hand those types of passes out. Null and VOID. 
Mayer, choked up and regretful (because his publicist told him to be ), issued a tearful apology onstage in the middle of a performance in addition to taking to his Twitter page yet again to partake in some major damage control. I refuse to stroke his ego by saying, “Awww, he made a mistake.” A mistake is something that’s unintentional and not predicated on arrogance and one’s privilege. He's sorry, because folks got pissed and his statements were not well received, because just like many White people who share Mayer's sentiment(s) about being "down", it's always cool to smile proudly and proclaim how much Black people love you, as a way to justify making ignorant (regardless of one's intention) statements out loud. And to co-opt the cool parts of being a racial minority, while rejecting the difficulties of being one. 
In the grand scheme of his stupidity, self-loathing, and narcissism however, I do not believe that Mayer is a racist. And I don't care if his David Duke cock wants to burn a cross at my window, because I am personally not, nor have I ever been rubbing myself raw over John Mayer. He is a bigot who hates women, however... and is a sad a victim of his own delusions of grandeur, arrogance, and sexual inadequacy. And to those Black folks who think it’s cute for some "others" to trash-talk your mothers, aunts, dads, brothers, uncles, and sisters (yes, those of you issuing out the free "nigger passes" to your White buddies)… stop perpetuating the disrespectful behavior. Enough is enough.  
Perhaps Mayer's attempt to fumble towards ecstasy and understanding will help us mull over the topics of race and gender a little more closely, and think before we open our gobs... trying to be clever. And a simple, "No, Black women don't throw themselves at me. Not at all." would've sufficed, John.

Read more about Mayer-gate 2010---

July 04, 2009

It's Alive!!!!!

This past week, I have made valuable use of my time. I cut up some juicy and delicious fruit, I saw Corey Holcomb headline a comedy show, I hung out with a great friend, and I'm sorta doing some household projects... oh yes, and I'm looking for a new job because I got laid off Monday. Here's my word: Why is it when you're laid off, people retreat from you as if you have the damn Bubonic Plague or they tsk as if you're a charity case or on the cusp of needing anti-anxiety meds? Or they feel compelled to forward any and every job posting to you, not keeping in mind that you've got this?
I understand that people mean well, but I am doing remarkably well. I got laid off from a JOB. A job that wasn't my dream career. I'm being compensated for it, it happens to the best of us, I'm optimistic, and I truly believe in the old adage that when one door closes, a window opens someplace else. Perps, look around you! In case you haven't noticed, we're living in shaky economic times. It is happening universally. I'm not the only person in history who has been laid off. I am confident that even in these times, I will find a new job soon. I had been looking prior to learning that the organization I worked for was in dire financial trouble. I am not a charity case. I am not expecting anybody to pay for my drinks, look after me, or help me with my rent and bills, so you don't need to retreat or head for the hills. I'm not about to emotionally implode either so no need to avert your eyes away from me.
Oh, and if one more person says, "Awww, have you been looking? What are you looking for? You'll find something soon" I'm going to stick my finger down my throat and vomit on them. It has only been a week! Making me feel as if I should be feeling like a steaming hot piece of shit only makes you look ridiculous in my eyes. I have a caring family, who lives nearby and an awesome true blue so if I need to vent or need help with anything, I'm all set. Attempts at helping me and then questioning whether I know what exactly I want to do with my life is nothing short of condescending and rude. It's akin to kicking a person when they've stumbled and then holding your food against their throat while they're struggling to get up and dust themselves off to fight back. I know how this process works. You want to help me? Offer to provide me with a reference like other level-headed folks have already done. Treat me as you once did when I was employed. If you run across something you THINK I'd or would be a good fit... go ahead and forward it, but don't make it your personal mission to be my career counselor like I'm wayward and pathetic. It may be hard for some folks to wrap their mind around the fact that I'm doing great and that I am actually pounding the pavement, but that is my reality. I'm sorry if you haven't grasped that yet. And one other thing... you don't have to avoid me, because chances are I am stoked about never having to work with or interact with you again and you need to realize what climate we're living in. The folks that matter and who can appreciate how to network with me in a productive manner, have my contact information and know how to reach me (this includes those who want to hang out and have a great time as well). And to those who don't know how exactly to interact with me anymore... if I need your help or advice... I'll offer it to YOU.
That is all.

January 03, 2009

M.Y.O.F.B. or Waiting for WALK

I trust that everyone had a productive and safe New Year's Eve and Day. Mine was quite interesting... fun but very interesting. Someone offered to stick his tongue in my ear and suck on my left breast for an extended period of time before switching to the right one. I, being the classy woman that I am, politely declined, but not before laughing hysterically in his face. Hopefully this year wont leave as many battle wounds as 2008 left. I shall start this year off the right wrong way, with a rant that's been brewing in the vault of my angry soul for some time now. It's about certain types of people who should be kicked in the delicates for not minding them and theirs. I call them unofficial and unwelcome crossing guards. Reckless pedestrians who have the huevos mas grandes to get angry at other responsible pedestrians for waiting for the right of way to cross!
I can't count how many times I've had to snap at, give the side-eye and or finger to people who deem it necessary to school me on how to cross the street, because I choose to wait for the effing WALK signal before stomping carelessly across with reckless abandon. Pardon ME for doing what I think is necessary for my own survival and safety! I've had men stand next to me and exclaim, "GO! You can cross now, GOSH!" while I waited for the street signal for me to WALK. "I know how to cross the (insert expletive) street!!!" I've often spat in their direction, prompting them to throw their hands up in exasperation at my refusal to be bullied out into the middle of the road before it's time.
I even had a police officer, buffalo stancing close by tell me to "Go ahead!" once while I waited at the crosswalk downtown. The light was green and traffic was busy and steady. After work rush hour travelers from every direction! "I'm waiting for the WALK signal!!" I yelled back at him, annoyed. "I'm in charge! No one's gonna hit you while I'm standing here!!" he yelled back. I simply sucked my teeth, rolled my eyes and waited for WALK. What could he do? ARREST me for waiting for the WALK signal??? Just yesterday, a gentleman and I were waiting at a particularly busy intersection, also downtown for the signal to WALK. A young mother who carelessly (without looking) strode out into the middle of the street with her young son in tow, nonchalant about just missing getting hit by an impatient turner had the nerve to say to us impatiently, "You can gooooo, the light's reeeed." The man cut his eyes at her and waited. I in my large shades lifted my leather gloved finger and gave her a signal of my very own. She rolled her eyes, but got the hint nevertheless. I could not have made myself any clearer.
What the EFF is it with you people?? Does seeing others wait for the WALK signal really get under your skin that much, that you feel it absolutely crucial to be obnoxious and rude about something that essentially, has no impact on you and the choices you decide to make?? Mind your own EFFING business! If you want to carelessly take off across a busy street sans a care in the world and risk getting creamed, that's your right. I prefer to wait for the WALK signal before deciding to cross. So if watching me waiting for the WALK signal agitates you so, then get over it.
Kisses
Coffey

November 08, 2008

The Story of (What I Did for) O

Tuesday, November 4th was undoubtedly, one of the most important days in the history of important days. Its aftermath would make or break the United States as we know it, and considering what we know, the vast majority of this country's citizens were looking to make history and break-up with the current White House administration. Election day. Monumental, nail-biting, extraordinary because of the response this year's voting process evoked. I got up, determined to project my voice with some measure of success this time around. Election day was particularly mild and sunny, perfect for waiting outside for hours. This is how I spent November 4th.
7:55AM - I arrived at my old polling station hoping to put one over because A) voting downtown was sooo convenient since I work down there plus there was NO line to speak of! and B) my old downtown address was listed on my ID, and I was worried voting at my new district without current address info would present a problem. Needless to say, my efforts were to no avail because I wasn't on the registration list and District 19 was not having it, so they politely told me where my new polling district was located when I told them I'd moved. "Make sure you go vote! You HAVE to do it!" one of the volunteers yelled after me. A little dejected, I decided I'd use my lunch hour to do just that.
12:30PM- I arrive at my new voting district and groaned when I saw the long line. I saw a small group heading in the same direction and so walked at a clip, taking a shortcut through some hedges, jumping right in front of them before they closed the gap. I took my place. And I waited, and waited, and waited. The facility was hot and stuffy. I smelled some sort of stench coming from inside. The more the line inched forward, the stronger and more putrid the funk got. My olfactory glands hung on for dear life, struggling not to collapse my nose. The young man in front of me started fanning his and pinching his nostrils together. The line inched forward some more. I'd been holding my breath the whole time, and made the mistake of inhaling to take in some air. The perfume was undeniable: rank breath, unwashed body, strong week old piss with a hot helping of fresh pee, dirty socks and mildew. I was awash in its aroma.
The line inched forward. I was standing directly in front of a bathroom door at this point. A volunteer made his way through the crowd, and went in. He opened the door and the smell of eau de TOILET added to the already pungent perfume swirling through and around the line. I slowly turned my head and stood with my back to the door so as not to smell or HEAR what was going on in the restroom. Fortunately the line began to move further up.
I looked at the time on my mobile phone:
12:45- I noticed an animated Latino family standing in front of the young guy fanning his nose. They pushed their elderly daddy in a wheelchair as the line moved forward. At this point, Fanning His Nose Guy started holding his nostrils and fanning at a feverish pace. I sighed and started texting my best friend Cat.
12:50- It still stinks and I'm still texting.
1:15- I finally make it in front of a middle-aged man checking photo IDs and the voting register. The Latino family left their old daddy parked right next to the election volunteer. They were nowhere to be seen. The man reeled back and away from the daddy in the wheelchair, turned up his nose and said, "Is someone helping you SIR??" Daddy pulled out a crumpled up Kleenex and began blowing his nose in response. A random voice yelled out, "I think his family is voting!" the man leaned further way from the daddy. I shrugged, assuming he was put off by the nose blowing.
I moved closer and opened my mouth to tell the volunteer that I'd just moved when the pissy aroma reeled up and bitch slapped me in the face hard, like an angry spirit. It was then that I realized the abuelito in the wheelchair was wearing the bulk of the pungent perfume of STANK. Breathless, I told the volunteer that I was new to the district and he directed me to another line. Annoyed over having to stand in another line, but glad to be away from the unwashed papá, I took my place.
1:20- Two elderly Black ladies sat behind a table. One drew lines on a blank piece of paper with the help of a ruler while the other was on the phone to City Hall... squinting at a piece of paper. Apparently trying to determine which district a perplexed gentleman was supposed to be at. I sighed.
1:25- It was clear I wasn't going to make it back from lunch at 1:30, so I placed a call to work.
1:27- The woman continued to draw her lines. "I don't know if this gon' work" she muttered to herself, as she struggled to line up her ruler. The other granny continued to squint at the paper with the phone cradled between her ear and shoulder. An Ethiopian man in front of me grew impatient, "I need to be at work een 9 meenutes! I deedn't even eat yet!" he said in an agitated voice. "We doin' the best we can" granny on the phone said. I rolled my eyes.Then glowered at the woman drawing the lines. She never looked up.
1:30- "Can I help you?" granny on the phone (now off the phone) finally said to me. I told her that I was new to that particular voting district and I may not be on the list, and that my old polling district assured me I only needed to fill out a form, updating my info. "Oh no honey. THIS your voting district, you gotta go to 500 Main Street." She showed me where I was, in fact, listed on the registration form, pointing to district 19 with a pen. "NO!" I said impatiently, "that's my OLD district. I just moved near HERE. I need to fill out one of those pink forms and update my address. I'm at the right place." "Ohhh." she said, finally understanding. "The administrator needs to approve this info." I sighed, and followed her to yet another table.
1:34- "You're all set!" the woman behind the table said. FINALLY. "Just fill out this voter registration card with your new address and mail it to City Hall. The rest of your info is up to date. You're registered already." Relieved, I went to retrieve a ballad so that I can place my vote!
1:38- I slip my ballad in the machine. A man, another volunteer peeled the backing off of an I Voted sticker and stood poised. I reached for it, he pulled back. I held out my red pashmina scarf, he shamelessly stuck it on my right bosom instead, and pushed it down to make sure it stuck. Then he patted my arm. I rolled my eyes and walked toward the EXIT, anxious to get the hell out of there.
I made it back to work at around 1:45!
Wednesday would restore my faith in our judgement as a nation, as I'm hopeful about its future. I'm also relieved to know that we as a community don't have to find Halle Berry and Denzel Washington's Oscar wins good enough to placate us, regarding how far we can get in this country.
The discussions instigated by some well-meaning? White people... strangers... so far, have already begun to agitate me. Annoy me in that-
"HaveyouseenthenewMalcolmXpostagestamp didyouvoteforObamaIsupportyourpeople'cause IhaveBlackfriendsdidyoucryIdid?IsawtheAmistadfivetimes didyoulikeit??IvotedforMcCainHopefully Obamaknowswhathe'sdoingbecause I'mindenialoverwhattheBushAdministrationdid!"
way. "We have four years to put up with this shit" I opined to a Black co-worker. She snickered and nodded in understanding, after an animated conversation by said type of person and proud McCain supporter. Considering this momentous occassion, I'm willing to suck it up.

March 12, 2008

Par for The Course

Dear Elliot "Mr. Clean" Spitzer or Client 9,

The fact that you, as Attorney General of New York State, once laid down the law on a call-girl ring, locked up numerous people for corruption, money laundering and prostitution, and came down HARD on Wall Street executives is commendable. In any event, and without further ado, the call-girl ring leaders you busted and the Wall Street execs you chastised asked me to deliver a message ... BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That's it.

P.S. the fact that you hired a high priced hooker and shamed your family are not what has people perplexed and shaking their heads with amusement. But your sense of entitlement, your arrogance, your perceived invincibility, your sheer daftness, and your hypocrisy are what reek of piss. I can't say I'm surprised though. Regardless of what team a politician plays for, essentially, they're all the same; Untrustworthy, sanctimonious, hypocritical, ironic, and inconsistent in their behavior. THESE are the reasons why people in NY and the entire Northeast think you're a douche of massive proportions. So big in fact, Summer's Eve should do a study on your stupidity. That's it.

November 10, 2007

The Disintegration of Sexy Times

I've always been indifferent toward porn. It has never prompted any deep desire in me, during my precocious pre and late teen years to watch out of curiosity, amid all the salacious buzz. Sneaking a peek at the erotica on Cinemax after 11pm, finding and then reading Jackie Collins's titillating plots, Erica Jong's Fear of Flying, and the illustrated educative wonderment of The Joy of Sex was it for me. I didn't watch hardcore porn until I was in college... with my best friend. We watched out of sheer boredom. We walked down to the town's local video store and picked something from the late seventies/early eighties, much to the cashier's amusement. It featured an interracial raunch fest. Basic man on woman boning. Nothing too shocking or sexy and void of anything particularly depraved and disgusting. The usual cheesy fare, in fact. Neither of us found the antics sexy or arousing. We laughed raucously and critiqued the clownery of it all. Pure comedy. We decided perhaps we were too intellectual and snotty to get it. Other then a porn clip online here and a legitimate art house flick there- (most recently the movie Short Bus, which featured unsimulated sex)- it hasn't interested or enticed me since. Despite the rash of filmed celebrity sexploits being "leaked" online. Over the years... after having watched and read a great deal of "behind the scenes" documentary style films and books, I've came to the conclusion that porn is not erotic, is silly, quite frankly, ridiculous. Most of the pornographic material being released is filmed and produced by men. Men and their distorted visions of how women should look, what ridiculous sexual positions we should be bent in, and how we should act. Despite rumblings to the contrary, I doubt any of the women acting in these films have any actual orgasms. Hair flinging, head whipping, and high pitched 'O' and fuck yeaaah sounds, I'm sorry but the orgasm is fake. All in all, it's harmless fun for the lonely, lecherous, and in some cases... the socially inept. I've never been one of the protesters screaming for the industry to be banned. That being said, a lot has changed with the porn industry. The ever increasing advances in technology, the internet, video cameras, webcams, and the like have made porn more accessible and more achievable for aspiring porn mongers. Any amateur can film their sexual exploits and upload them onto Xtube or Pornotube with relative ease. In turn, the industry has become a virtual free for all. College fraternity houses host parties where group sex and orgies abound, while their peers (men and women spectators) stand off to the side, cheering the guerrilla fuckfests... clutching beers, fists pumping in the air. All in front of the camera and easy to view over the internet. These "gonzo" type films have raised the stakes... and the stakes have become even more disturbing and depraved in their delivery. The acts women subject themselves too is enough to make the most hardened, difficult to offend person cringe. And it takes a lot to make me want to gag and then vomit in my mouth or turn away with disgust. Some of it is downright perplexing. Such as the compelling documentary Sex: The Annabel Chong Story, which documents- Grace Quek's (Annabel is her porn name)- rise, exploitation, and eventual retirement from the porn industry. Annabel allegedly pioneered the whole "gang bang" trend in the industry. Nothing was too graphic or hardcore for Annabel. She performed a diverse array of hardcore sex acts, including "triple penetration." Annabel's motives for starring in The World's Biggest Gangbang were troubling as the documentary delved into her past. Needless to say, this current wave of pornography breeds misogyny and encourages violence toward women. Spat on, slapped, pissed and defecated on, penetrated and fisted in every orifice by several different men at once... It's sickening. And it's distressing. Particularly the gonzo films featuring Black, Brazilian, and Latino women. Men take trips to urban areas (usually scouting in a van of some sort) in search of "Black ghetto sluts" willing to oil up, shake, and then spread their cheeks in a seedy looking hotel room, on film. The perpetuation of sexual stereotypes frustrate the hell out of me. Two steps lower and more debased than the garbage shown in rap videos. And those in and of themselves are bad. I'm open and believe in people having the right to engage in whatever consensual sexual act they desire... but some of this stuff is troubling, notwithstanding my liberal stance. And it's not behind closed door. I think challenging what's wrong with the porn industry as it depicts itself today, does not a prude or anti-sex type make. I do believe there's something wrong with people who don't challenge this sort of behavior, the women who willingly subject themselves to this sort of humiliation, and the men who encourage them to do it or who are sitting at home with their hand down their boxers watching it and then thinking it's okay to go out and mistreat women, outside the realm of that business. In fact, I'll go as far as to say that the behavior in these gritty porn movies- the degradation, the abuse, the spitting, skull f*cking, quadruple penetration, crude talk, choking etc. are anti-sex. Here's a small snippet from Robert Jensen's book, Getting Off:

It hurts to know that no matter who you are as a woman you can be reduced to a thing to be penetrated, and that men will buy movies about that, and that in many of those movies your humiliation will be the central theme. It hurts to know that so much of the pornography that men are buying fuses sexual desire with cruelty.

It hurts women, and men like it, and it hurts just to know that.

Donkey punched, penises rammed down their throats until they puke, heads dunked in toilet bowls while they're being reamed from behind, faces saturated with semen and pee, wanting to jizz on a woman's face... Is this the type of sexual interaction men are craving to have with women?? Do you all secretly fantasize about making some woman vomit, while you force your penis down her throat? If so perhaps I should get my delicates stitched closed and look into becoming a nun.
Read a more substantial excerpt from Jensen's book here.
Also read this Money Shot entry, from October 29 blogged by Girl with a One Track Mind.

September 08, 2007

Re-birth of a Nation

"the greatest americans have not been born yet they are waiting patiently for the past to die. please give blood" -Saul Williams
During the summer of August 9, 2006 in Sound Beach on Long Island, a heated confrontation at a party- (where he was accused of threatening to rape a young white girl some months prior to the summer celebration)- prompted Aaron White, a 19 year old Black teenager to leave sans argument, after it was demanded that he do so. On his way home (nearby Miller Place, a predominantly white community), Aaron exchanged a series of angry cell phone calls with 17 year old Daniel Cicciaro, who alerted Aaron White that he was coming to his home. Drunk, Mr. Cicciaro with four of his friends in tow (all white), proceeded on with the threat of their presence. All five angry teenagers pulled up in front of the Whites' residence in two cars shortly after 11pm and were greeted by Aaron White and his father, John White via the garage. Father and son felt threatened enough to arm themselves for the impending showdown. Yelling ensued, in which Cicciaro and friends allegedly hurled racial epithets and refused to leave. At some point during the melee, Mr. White (father) shoots Daniel Cicciaro in the face with an antique handgun he inherited from his own grandfather. Daniel Cicciaro is felled by the gunshot, and is announced dead upon arrival to the emergency room. John White- who moved his family to their dream home on the North Shore in 2004- is described as a harding working "upstanding citizen" with no prior police record and who has never committed a crime in his life. He expressed deep regret and sorrow toward the Cicciaro family, claiming the incident was an "accident' and that he never meant to shoot the young man. That his only intent was to protect his family and scare his son's pursuers away from his home. John White was charged with manslaughter and criminal weapon possession. Internet users would then blow online news forums up with hateful racial epithets upon hearing the father's fate. Including cries for John White to be hung from a tree. While the outcome of the altercation is tragic, indeed. Can one blame John White for protecting his family and his son? The teens were unarmed, yes. But alcohol, bravado, hate speech, anger... Perhaps Daniel would be alive today, if he and his friends hadn't tried to recreate some vigilante style style of revenge. It's purported that during the 911 call and the race to get young Daniel to the hospital, his friends were overheard (through the phone) spouting off even more contemptuous race rhetoric. ...
Miles away, in Jena, Louisiana racial tensions are also brewing. Reaching their peak on August 31, 2006 after a black male freshman asks the Jena High School principal if he could sit under the shade of the "white tree" (where most of the white students usually convened amongst themselves). The principal suggested that students could sit wherever they wanted to. Three white students disagreed however, because the next morning three nooses were found hanging from that very same tree. The three students were later found to be guilty of the infraction and were up for expulsion... which the school board and superintendent promptly overruled. The superintendent would later trivialize the threat as a joke, as opposed to a threat against Black students' sensibilities. The school administration would later fail to report the incident to the police or the FBI (such brazen incidents can and should be reported as a Hate Crime). The decision and subsequent indifference would cause racial animus to reach a fever pitch. A series of disagreements, racially charged fights, and arson would soon occur over the course of three months. Black students would continue to grow disenchanted and slighted by the school's administration and local law officials. These disagreements would eventually culminate in the assault of a 17 year old white student named Justin Barker, perpetrated by 6 Black Jena High School students: Robert Bailey, Mychal Bell, Carwin Jones, Bryant Purvis, Theo Shaw, and an unidentified minor. Barker allegedly hurled racial epithets, a charge his family denies. Barker was taken to the hospital and treated for a concussion, bruising, and various other injuries and released two hours later, in time for a ring ceremony. The Jena Six, however were arrested and charged with aggravated assault. The overzealous District Attorney would then decide to increase the charge to attempted second degree murder which could result in the defendants being imprisoned past age 50. This blow prompted outrage from the Black residents of Jena, because the charges were disproportionate to the crime. On June 26, Bell's sentence would be reduced to aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated second-degree battery. According to my research, a deadly weapon would've needed to be used, to warrant being charged with such. The DA argued that Mychal Bell's tennis shoes he wore during the day of the assault and kicked Barker with, were deadly weapons. The all white jury agreed. The other defendants' charges would eventually be reduced, leaving Mychal Bell to remain in jail, facing 22 years in prison. All are waiting for their day in court, which will happen later this month. So many conflicting accounts and mishandling of this case. The public outcry and online groups supporting the Jena Six are warranted. The case has garnered national attention and has drawn the ire and support of black leaders and organizations. Jena's Black community are skeptical that the boys will receive a fair trial. I mean after all, their wariness is justified considering the glaring segregation and aloof attitudes toward the "noose" incident. The Jena Six should indeed pay if they assaulted Justin Barker. But they should pay with a sentence that matches the crime. Most murderers and repeat sexual molesters get off with with less time. How much responsibility do Jena High School administrators bear, by deciding not to address the root cause of the issue to begin with? They, in essence, instigated a terrible situation by choosing not acknowledge it. A prank is stealing the school mascot or T.P.ing the halls. Hanging nooses, racially charged graffiti, and the like are not mere pranks. It's hateful propaganda that has no place in the school system or anyplace else... not in this day and age. It's frustrating that in 2007, issues of race still abound. Technology, the current cult of personalities, media, and celebrity help exacerbate hateful language and inane rhetoric. The structure of most institutions and a dubious this White House administration continue to disadvantage many ethnic groups by fanning the flames of xenophobia, racial profiling, and not accepting that we're in the midst of the 21st century! A multicultural era, where we should be evolved by now. Instead, we're slowly regressing. Most of us are still scratching our heads over the outcome of Hurricane Katrina. As much as I'd like to think we'll reach some sort of resolution on race matters, the fact is, I don't think there will ever be a workable medium. Period. That would require cooperation from the powers that be. That would require those same powers that be, to relinquish some semblance of control by distributing justice and equality fairly and accordingly. Fat chance of that ever happening. Divide and then conquer. The most antiquated (and seemingly effective) method in the book. ... Why do hate and growing racial disparities still continue thrive and fester? The Jena Six deserve a fair trial plain and simple, and are being railroaded. P.S. I'm dying to hear Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly weigh-in on the Jena Six situation, if they haven't already.

June 12, 2007

That's Art

I'm an avid Sopranos fan. I've followed the series from day one, and have been watching the last 2 or 3 seasons on DVD because I got rid of my digital cable some time ago. I've always maintained that the series's creator, David Chase is an excellent writer. I've never watched a story about a group of wise guys unfold quite this way. The characters are complex and multilayered. The series is almost operatic. Tony Soprano... a dark character... husband, father, mafia chief, sociopath. One of the most compelling characters to cross television screens in a looong time. Perhaps this is why fans were livid, when the series ended the way it did. David Chase had people on the edge of their seats with the finale, only to end it abruptly, without the bang (or carnage) fans were hoping for. He left it open ended... Tony and his immediate family (wife Carmela and son A.J.) at a diner, sharing a basket of onion rings to the tune of Journey's Don't Stop Believing, only to have tv screens all across America suddenly go black after daughter Meadow opens the door to the diner, causing people to think their Tivos or cable had blinked out suddenly. But no. This is the way the series ended. The show that blew popular culture away with its irresistible cast of characters. The fact that David Chase wrote the last episode the way he did, staying true to his artistic integrity rather than placate fans, and then going on vacation to France, but not before telling HBO brass to basically suck it, because he refuses to field questions from press regarding his conclusion or explain why he opted to end the Sopranos this way, is undoubtedly the mark of a great writer and artist. The fact that we are still bemused and discussing it illustrates that the man truly knows what he's doing, and may, quite possibly, have something more up his sleeve. We live in a culture where trends spawn mediocrity. Music, movies, sitcoms, and network series follow the same formulaic recipe and just aren't that interesting or newsworthy. I commend David Chase for following the recipe that best suits art and creativity. From a writer's perspective, I think his ending was nothing short of avante-garde.
** Read today's NYTimes article for more on The Sopranos

May 25, 2007

Keeping Our Head Above Water...

Yesterday, after I was settled in at home from work, I caught an episode of Good Times on the TV Land network. Florida (matriarch of the Evans clan) came home, excited and breathless... ready to share with her family that she had just enrolled herself back in school, in hopes of obtaining her GED. Before she could relay the good news to her family, father James [Evans] interrupted, chastising her for not listening to HIS good news first. He had been hired for a better paying job with a construction company as a foreman, and the opportunity would possibly allow him to move up. Excited, Florida heaped praise upon her husband, before telling her family that she was back in school, and may finally have the opportunity to get her diploma after having dropped out in the 10th grade. Thelma, J.J., and Michael were ecstactic and hugged their mother. James (who dropped out of school in the 6th grade) on the other hand wasn't thrilled and a dark look came across his face. Suddenly he became discouraging and somewhat insulting... commenting, "Everybody knows that you can't teach an old dog new tricks!" He suggested that best friend, neighbor, and modern woman (for the time) Willona was the one, undoubtedly, putting such nonsense, as going back to school, into Florida's head. James also demanded to know what she planned on fixing for dinner. Willona proudly told James that she had finished school, got her diploma, and that it afforded her the opportunity to work at a clothing boutique. Florida challenged James (with Willona's encouragment) that if he tried to stop her from achieving her goal, he was gonna be faced with "One hell of a fight!" from her and suggested that she wouldn't be able to improve the quality of her (or the family's) life if she didn't see her education through to fruition. It was an intense episode. Due to my getting up to get a glass of vino and some Ramen, I missed the end. Good Times was filmed during the mid 70's, which wasn't that long ago. That particular episode, where James discourages Florida's desire to improve herself by turning into a chauvinist extraordinaire... brow beating and insulting his wife's desire to excel, prompted me to think about how difficult women... black women (as well as other women of color) in particular, had it during that time (and how difficult it still can be for us). I'm reminded of the whole concept behind (and need for) the womanist movement, encouraged by author Alice Walker and adapted from her book: In Search of Our Mother's Garden: Womanist Prose. The concept of womanism came to be, because women of color were left out of the mix during the feminist movement... which dealt largely with issues pertaining to white, middle-class women; and focused predominantly on suffrage and sexism. Racism and classism were not issues they related to or felt compelled to fight against. Womanism paints a portrait from the perspective of black women. When discussing issues of race or classism, the focus tends to be about the oppression of black men. Sexism tends to chart the plight and suppression of white women and how they overcame their struggles. It's rare to find literature that deals specifically with the oppression, suppression, and plight of black women, specifically. There are Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth, but how many other black women have traveled tumultuous roads, paving the way and fighting for civil rights and liberties for women of color? We grapple with sexism, classism, and racism. Throw sexual stereotypes based on ethnicity into that equation, thanks to the rump shaking featured in rap videos and the media's portrayal of us, and you begin to understand WHY the Don Imus incident caused such an uproar, after he described the Rutgers University women's basketball team as being "nappy headed ho's." Many people seemed flummoxed about the furor that statement incited. Some martyrized him, saying that his constitutional right to free speech was being infringed upon... which is true, but so is our right to freely be WHO and WHAT we are, without having to continously apologize or go through this multi-step assimilation process, because people aren't happy with how we look. It's maddening, and I'm sick to death of it. Snoop Dog weighed in on the Imus controversy, by justifying his (and other rappers') use of the term "ho's", after the rap community came under fire (or were scape-goated) for desensitizing the masses to the use of the word ho'. Snoop suggested that it was okay for rappers to disrespect certain types of women by calling them the ugly name, because they're referring to the ho's living in the projects, not "a successful basketball team." That didn't really do much to help our cause, now did it? It's a neverending battle, particuarly when you consider that we already have 3 strikes against us. I think of some of my own personal struggles, particularly since I wear my hair natural, I carry around an ample rear end, and I constantly have to defend the reasons WHY I don't act like [insert stereotype here], WHY black women aren't one- dimensional, and WHY I'm not going drop my shit like it's hot for some ignoramus who has OD'ed on videos shown on BET... or WHY I want you to kiss my ample rear, when you pigeonhole me and women of color or chastise me for my blackness. I will gladly continue to fight the good fight and refer to myself as a 21st century womanist.

March 30, 2007

Chocolate Jesus

I'm flummoxed, because I don't understand why Catholic organizations, churches, and the Vatican don't get this up and arms over pederasty and abuse against young children, perpetrated by some of their priests. Artist, Cosimo Cavallaro caused an uproar with his chocolate Jesus sculpture, which he christened, "My Sweet Lord." Art, birth control, women's bodies, women's issues, sex, gay marriage, ... Slowly and surely, the religious right and other fanatics are trying to desperately bring us back to our puritanical roots, and have a monopoly over the civil and constitutional rights of the masses. I feel it in my spirit.