Tag Archives: Twitter

It’s Bigger than Rihanna and Chris Brown

Y’all really mad at Rhi Rhi for ridin with Chris Brown again?  You think this sets a bad example for our girls, don’t you?

*sighs*  Please, I beg of you, miss me with the opportunistic outrage on this one.

Why?  I’ll tell you why.

Because Chris Brown is no different from any other dude who can’t handle life without fisticuffs.  And because Rihanna is no different from any other grown ass woman entitled to make her own grown ass decisions – without regard to the fickle feelings of the public-at-large.

Instead of lambasting Rihanna about the choices she made for her own life, perhaps we could examine what would make a woman, in general, wanna cozy back up to a dude who mistakes her for a punching bag.  This Chris Brown/Rihanna situation is indeed much bigger, much deeper, and much sadder than the two of them.

Last week on Twitter, the hashtag, #itsbiggerthantooshort, accompanied nearly every article, and every blog post responding to Too Short’s XXL column, where he offers to middle-school boys “fatherly advice” on “how to turn girl’s out.”  Such counsels from Professor Pimp include:  “You push her up against the wall…you take your finger and put a little spit on it and you stick your finger in her underwear and you rub it on there and watch what happens.”  Too Short is a 45 year old man offering this advice to children who probably only met puberty, like, 20 minutes ago.  They’re barely in high school.  But this kind of thing starts early.  And therein lies my point.

Nature versus nurture is always a relevant debate.  In this case, in nature, we exist as men and women – undoubtedly different, but inherently equal.  In nurture, through socialization, we learn our roles, and adjust our psychology to fit the narrative.  In other words, we know that women are born with boundless potential, just like men.  But at some point (usually early in the game), women are supposed to step aside and give way to the supremacy of maleness.  And we’re supposed to do so benevolently, as our duty to mankind.  Pardon me, or don’t.  But fuck that, nonetheless.

Toure’s book, Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness, includes an excerpt from Cornel West which asserts that “When you really get at the Black normative gaze, what you find is that oftentimes the white supremacy inside of Black minds is so deep that the white normative gaze and the Black normative gaze are not that different.”  Substitute “Black” for female, substitute “white” for male, and substitute “white supremacy” for sexism and/or chauvinism.  What you get is what I discussed  my Tyranny of the Majority post earlier this month – a flawed perspective that’s rooted in a narrative which privileges the people who’ve historically controled it.  You get a room full of men testifying before Congress about women’s reproductive rights; you get an old man telling little boys how to sexually assault little girls; you get Jane Smith cross-examining Jane Doe about what she did to John Doe to make him go upside her head.
I remember listening to the Russ Parr Morning Show shortly after the photos of Rihanna’s badly bruised face were released.  It was both disturbing and disheartening to hear just how many women defended Chris Brown’s actions that night.  “I mean, you don’t know what happened; you don’t know what she said to him; I mean, real talk, women can bring that outta you…” were some of the responses.  After Brown won the Grammy for Best R&B Album (what in the entire fuck was that about?!?!?!), it was equally disconcerting to see the number of tweets from women would gladly stand in line to be bitch-slapped by Chris Brown if it meant he’d show them some attention.  The Huffington Post compiled some these tweets for our viewing displeasure:  See ‘Chris Brown Can Beat Me’ tweets.
Howbout instead of outsourcing the dignity of our baby girls to celebrities, we take on that responsibility personally – as parents, family members, friends, mentors, community leaders, etc.  There’s no reason that Rihanna’s decision to be with Chris Brown (either romantically or platonically) should matter so much to anyone who happens not to have a personal, vested interest in either Rihanna or Chris Brown.
But more importantly, why don’t we, as women, cease viewing ourselves through someone else’s normative gaze.  Our perspectives, our power, and our interests are just as important and just as productive as our male counterparts’. We should be drilling this into our girls’ heads from day one that they, alone, are valuable;  they don’t need men to validate them.  And they damn sure don’t need men who express their emotions in jabs and uppercuts within infinity feet of their lives.  Love, attention, and affection aren’t measured in testosterone-induced aggression; love, attention, and affection don’t produce bruises, black eyes, and busted lips.
I’m happy to say that after a sit down with the crazy-dope writer, Dream Hampton, Too Short apologized for his rant.  And he cautions us against judging him incorrectly, insisting that though his music may continue to be filled with misogyny, “I still have morals.”  I’m not so sure he really gets it, but whatever.
I urge women to take ownership of their power.  Run for office; write books and shit; speak up and speak out.  Don’t let your story be written from a flawed perspective, by some guy (and, for sure, not all guys.  But enough guys.) who sees you as a thing to be conquered.  Tamed.  Subdued.  Or who views your femininity, generally, as a weakness.
Be responsible for your own happiness.  Harness your power and live out the full bounty of your potential.  Write your own story and don’t ever negotiate your self-respect or your intelligence, or your well-being for his (or anyone’s) attention.
**”For Girls.” was the first post I ever wrote; it goes about the same subject from a slightly different perspective.  Check me out – it’s like you’re getting a two for one.  🙂

*Insert Weiner Joke Here*

Chyle please...

So the so-called “beltway media” and congressional democrats are all aflutter over New York congressman Anthony Weiner sexting his  junk to all of twitter.  As a result, Weiner is now under investigation for congressional ethics violations, and there has been quiet but persistent rancor calling for Weiner’s resignation.  If you’ve ever seen Representative Weiner do his thing, you know he probably won’t resign (which has been his stance so far), and if he does, he definitely won’t go quietly.

I read recently that Weiner called former president, Clinton, to … get some … advice(?) on how an elected official goes about repairing his image after being caught with his hand in the cookie jar.  Or, in Weiner’s case, tweeting a d*ck pic to said cookie jar.  I imagine Clinton gave him sage advice, something akin to, “be straight with the American people, Weiner.  And do your job so well that this unfortunate incident quickly becomes part of your past.  But most importantly, make sure your professional accomplishments speak more prominently than your personal mistakes.”  I imagine that was the conversation on the record.

Off the record, Clinton’s voice is my own.  And the conversation would start more like this:  Word, Weiner?!  You really out here dm’ing pictures of you in your underwear to your twitter followers?!  Son.  SON!

I’d deride him endlessly about the thirstiness of his actions.  The grossness of perusing your tweedeck interface and coming across Anthony Weiner’s stiffness in his lil underroos in your direct messages is not to be understated.  Shit is unsavory, man.  Unsavory.

But then we’d talk.  The way I like to talk to my friends.  I’d say with all the power in me that:  Weiner, you better not fucking resign.  Work on repairing, if necessary and possible, your relationship with your wife and then get back to the business of doing your job.

Because in America, we live in a land of make-believe.  On some level, we still think we share a common thread with the Puritan ass Pilgrims that arrived at Plymouth Rock eleventymillion years ago.  We stay smashed up somewhere trying with all our might to not be the people we are; to not see our reflection in society’s mirror.

Collectively, we turn our noses up at innately human behaviors because, collectively, we’re a nation of prudes — but only in public though.  How many of you would let me into your internet browser or credit card history from the last six months?  I wouldn’t tell nobody your lil secrets.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I’d find you more interesting now that I know your dirty business dealings.   Moreover, I wonder how many of us logon to porn.whatever for a morning, afternoon, and/or evening fix.  I bet it’s more of us than we’d suspect.

Because in public, we pretend that the only sexual activity we know, like, or accept is that which we (individually) know, like, or accept. Anything else is condemned as a “perversion” for which you must submit to public judgement, feel sufficiently ashamed, and apologize profusely.  Fuck that.  To what and to whom, and to what degree you “owe” in this life is for you to decide.

In college, I participated in a debate about whether one’s private life (and private “perversions”) should preclude one from participating in leadership positions, i.e. running for president, serving as Miss University X, or leading a people to their respective promised land. I’ll never forget the boy with the lisp saying, “well, what if Miss Tuskegee was a skrippa? What about that?” I remember thinking that the chicks that was strippin to pay tuition, then, might finally feel some camaraderie out this mug.

I’m not saying all private “perversions” can be as innocuous as stripping or sending salacious text messages.  To be sure, there are some that are outright disqualifications for any meaningful position leading anything or anybody.  And if the ideological positions one espouses on a frequent basis are in direct opposition to the way one lives his or her private life, then that’s the shit to be ashamed of.  I’d be much more upset with Anthony Weiner if he was on a soapbox crusade against inappropriate twitter behaviors or declared himself a steward of family values.  And then once his hypocrisy had been revealed,we also found out he screwing his lil district all the way up.

Unlike previous politicians (mostly conservative-leaning ones) caught with their pants down, tongues wagging, and tail between their legs, this isn’t the case for Rep. Weiner.  I really couldn’t care less about who he sends pics of himself to.  I do care, for example, if he mishandles New York’s tax dollars to cover up some shit that’s not our business anyway.  I also care that he lied so easily about what happened.  And now it just feels smarmy and gross.  I now like the guy less because he handled his situation like a bitchass — lying and shit about being hacked.  And then cryin and carryin on when he felt the uncomfortable and incessant throb of conscience.  Ugh.

I don’t think he should resign because he can stand on professional principle; the  people he represents seem perfectly fine with his performance thus far.   And if they aren’t, then they get to register their discontent at the voting booth.  He shouldn’t be railroaded out because of a personal and private decision.  Albeit stupid and ill-advised, Weiner’s crime is victim-less in the scope of his actual job.  That wife situation though?  That’s gon’ require some explaining, Sir.

I really loathe the passive aggressive judgement many of us get off on.  It’s like judgement is our national porn, and we make sure we log into it for a fix multiple times daily.  We hold regular ass human beings to ridiculous standards that many of us, ourselves, can’t live up to. And we’re so audacious about it.  Newt Gingrich had the nerve to be bombast in his disappointment about Clinton’s Lewinsky affair at the same time that he was stoking his own extramarital affair.  The hypocrisy is at once astounding and laughable.

As for Representative Weiner, I believe he’ll weather this storm and come out on the other side just as beautifully flawed as the rest of us.  Besides, surely there’s a closeted gay conservative somewhere tempting fate each time he calls up the discreet male escort service.  Sooner or later, he’ll get caught up soliciting an undercover cop in an airport men’s room and try to play his “I’m a member of Congress card.”  And when that moment comes, I plan to fully tap into our national porn.  I definitely wanna watch that guy squirm.  I wanna rewind it, and slow mo it.  And then watch it again.