bell hooks Is An Aphrodisiac, Part Six

[Editor’s Note: Discussion Here Is A Continuation From This Post]

 

Let us be Ta Nehisi Coates for a few. Let me hold your imagination, once again here, I promise to give it back to you exponentially increased. Okay, so you’re this small time freelance gambler that gets a chance to sit in the rooms with the likes of Al Sharpton under the bright lights of MSNBC. You’ve gone from the smoke filled rooms to the Player’s Table, and within a relatively short time given the type of career most of your breed must suffer through. You’re Ta Nehisi Coates. You’ve written for grio.com before it became the launching pad of Al Sharpton’s “Politics Nation” and Melissa Harris-Perry’s “The Melissa Harris-Perry Show”. In the debate of whether freelance writers should be paid for their services, you argued that they should not be paid because you spent time harnessing your craft at Slate for free, and others should follow your lead. You’ve risen from obscurity to being celebrated for your critique of Barrack Obama, and you even appear as a guest on your colleague, and I’m sure by now, friend’s MSNBC show, “The Melissa Harris-Perry Show”. Ta Nehisi Coates, welcome to your life as a privileged US Black writer.

 

How does one frame a renege as simple oversight in the lofty career of a card shark? How do you remind a multi-billion dollar company with advertising revenue driven by white mothers of adopted Black children that your star media personality meant those scathing statements about white people that adopted Black children did not mean it like that? If you are clever, and I would imagine a guy like Ta Nehisi Coates who has published on his blog for The Atlantic that he has written at length on how Harriet Tubman is not as impressive as her legend suggest and that possibly Harriet “Mother Moses” slash “Bytch Nigga, I Freed US Slaves In Real Life Not In Some Video Game” Tubman is undeserving of her stature, well, I would wager that a guy that can sink that low for approval and validation, and still find air to breathe, is most likely full of guile. If you are the guileful Ta Nehisi Coates, you look around that gambling room, you look at the MSNBC line up, and you start indirectly putting every one present under that White Ivory bus. Who else but Tulane professor of political studies with a Black feminist audience in the age of hashtag solidarity is for white women could fill the void that would exist if her show does not?

 

Sure, you could find another light-skinned woman of mixed racial heritage to add extensions to her permed hair and don braids, but will they have that peer reviewed political science background coupled with an almost religious following of middle class US Black women? See, bell hooks really had already provided Ta Nehisi Coates with his panoply.

 

“I’ve never been on a stage with a celebrity before!”

 

It was said in such a Black Women of age who really could care less about how she appeared, damn it, she survived being a US Black Woman. I almost cry when I replay the video because she reminds me so much of my own mother that due to a massive stroke can no longer articulate or walk. Her presence is archetype—bell hooks, in so many vast and immeasurable ways is invocation of US Black Woman. But, the title of this is not “bell hooks is a flower, or some romantic device”. It is not the application of metaphoric devise to point at the illusive customs that aid us in taking for granted the bonds sealed due to reproductive drives. No, bell hooks is utility, she is aphrodisiac. Her presence with us is not impractical deed done to promote escape; her presence promotes getting to the business at hand without immature and unreasonable obligations of one’s time spent on decorating already beautiful realities perceived as ugly by those existentialist thinkers that believe Life is ugly. bell hooks does not posture here much. bell hooks is not love letters and chocolate candy, she is good weed and wine.

 

bell hooks Is An Aphrodisiac, Part Five

[Editor’s Note: Discussion Here Is A Continuation From This Post]

The need for Ta-Nehisi Coates to present Harris-Perry in such a manner ultimately stems from the attacks at that moment. Melissa Harris-Perry was being scrutinized for an off key remark, a statement of ill will that involved a child. If media politics where a game of spades, Melissa Harris-Perry’s comments would be something like getting caught reneging—for those that are not natives, a very grievous error in the US Black Community. In this analogy of sorts, Melissa Harris-Perry is the partner of MSNBC, in a game against FOX news and its Republican Party interests. And following this line of comparison, the media voices of the Republican Party wanted their three books, in a sense, Melissa Harris-Perry to be fired, or to have her reputation sullied.

 

So, Ta Nehisi Coates finds himself in an interesting role here in this scenario. If I am allowed by you the reader to continue, I’d like to venture that Coates is something like a sideline gambler, who has a vested interests in the success of MSNBC and Melissa Harris-Perry winning this game against FOX News and its GOP associated interests. Coates’ job here is to stop the partners from arguing over the renege, so that they might focus on what makes them winning partners. In this regard, if I might be allowed to stretch your imagination here some more, Coates has to frame Melissa Harris-Perry in such a way as to remind MSNBC of what MSNBC and Melissa Harris-Perry as a brand have done together, and all the wins that Melissa Harris-Perry has provided for the MSNBC slash Melissa Harris-Perry conglomeration that is “The Melissa Harris-Perry Show”.

 

Alright, now that we have extended ourselves thusly, let us step back so that we might step forward. We’ve got that this interesting metaphor of a spades game where one partner on one team has been caught reneging, and a third-party who is enjoying the benefits of the partnership of that team needing that to remain in existence. We also have the less metaphoric objective reality of Ta Nehisi Coates needing to present via his writing platform over at The Atlantic Melissa Harris-Perry in such a way as to remind MSNBC’s investors to keep her show on air, as opposed to having to removing yet another premiere show from their scheduled line-up.

 

In order to understand the exact nature of the preemptive strike that is the “Smartest Nerd In the Room” article, we must be completely clear on the travesty here. Not to be too humorous here, or however that needs to be worded, but, I’ve literally seen romantic couples split ways over a renege on the spades table. That particular incident I am recalling had no money involved. Melissa Harris-Perry made comments about a child after Aiyana Jones, after Trayvon Martin, as an insult to a group of people whose audience is as emotionally driven as The Tea Party, because their audience is The Tea Party! The immediate response was a social media cry that Harris-Perry not be fired. It was that egregious. Regardless of whether Harris-Perry had become overzealous in her position as MSNBC political punditry media assassin, or if she felt compulsions to speak against the Romney household from her own deep seated personal experiences, she gave her opponents fodder—she handed them plenty of fuel for the fire of her baking. She reneged.

 

[Editor’s Note: Discussion continued here in part six]

Nuance & Anti-patriarchy

bell hooks said that Feminism is for everybody. The idea that every woman has the right to determine her own reality is for all of us to embrace. I’ve spent the time since encountering bell hooks and other feminist/womanist writers in some serious introspection about my own behavior, what I say, how I say, and just the general way in which I go about relating to the world around. However, what I’ve noticed is a lack of a place where the nuances and particulars of being a man –particularly a Black Man — in the struggle against patriarchy on a personal level has the floor. Part of this is because so few of us truly and sincerely engage anti-patriarchy. That lack of participation makes it hard to come together to compare experiences because most of the time when men are engaged with an anti-patriarchal discussion it’s due to a call out where someone is being held responsible for their oppressive behavior; where it then becomes a competition where we are comparing the weight of our respective pain and betrayal on a personal and group level. Such behavior is silencing the very valid voices of feminists and womanists on how we as men are hurting women via our privilege as well as preventing the kind of discussion that needs to happen regarding how we are interpreting behaviors so we can make this unity thing work.

 

What my experience has shown is the lack of models and lack of discussion started by us about engaging feminism as well as our hurt and pain in relationship to our solidarity with women. For those of us that are sincere about unity and solidarity it creates this hesitancy to ask questions or bring things up for discussion because of the potential backlash and being labeled unsafe in the communities we frequent. This troubles me because it creates this cycle of silence where we only bring up our experiences in response to when women criticize us because of patriarchy. The fact is that not enough of us are speaking up and out about patriarchy and our pain and so when we make mistakes, they end up being translated as the standard for our behavior rather than the exception.

 

On the other end of that, however, are some folk out there who seem to have already made up their minds about the inadequacy or worthlessness of men especially black men and thus a man’s engagement of anti-patriarchy is them waiting for you to mess up so they can be like,”a-ha! I knew u wont shit.” Granted this is a reaction against the system of patriarchy but if one has been written off from jump there’s no solidarity to grow into. Everything I have experienced in my time and growth in anti-patriarchy shows me that it is very much an act of unlearning and undoing that which has been normalized. Mistakes are apart of the process and at times seems to be very little leeway for that. Sometimes there is the rush to judgment over a sloppily worded thought or poor understanding of a concept.

 

As a practical example, I look to the character Teacake in Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God”. Looking at how Hurston writes Teacake: how he is, how he sees Janie as an equal partner, how he is willing to talk with her and listen. Hurston could have made TeaCake perfect, could have had him and Janie ride off into the sunset or have him tragically die but have maintain that vision of TeaCake as the prototype. However, in Teacake, Hurston puts in jealousy which causes him to abuse Janie, and his pride which plays a role in his death — culminating when Janie kills Teacake. we are made aware that the rabies has taken over and there is nothing really left of Teacake there. Hurston show us how tragic, murderous and destructive the kind of behavior we define as manly (patriarchal) can be but also that it’s something that even the most exceptional among us struggle with. Whether paragon or pariah we have to look at Teacake in the totality of being.

 

I think this is a lesson we could all use.

The Eight Reasons Why I’m Responding…

I suppose I’ve always had my own personal bouts with self-hate, and the influences of media with that regard. I do consider the thought pattern as something of a psychosis, an internal battle to force all that is wrong with you into a mental template based on your outer presentation. Or vibration of energies reflecting from you, as the case is, in more technical terms. I never knew just how deeply the roots of this particular thought pattern where, however, until I began a more concentrated perusal of the things that people write on the interweb. The more Black blogs I read, the more I wonder if we are all satirist, vying for a spot on The Onion, or just madly in love with hating ourselves and wishing to be white.

No disclaimers.

So, while I was listening to Rick Ross’ “Push It To The Limit” for the fourth, fifth, or even possibly sixth time(theme songs should always be played on repeat), I came across a Twitter update in the @BetterYouEbook timeline retweeted from one of the people that I follow. The update was a lambaste regarding @ToureX of mainstream media fame, and he interviews hip hop artists sometimes too. Being a fan of Toure X beratings, I decided to follow the course of replies to where they originated. Man oh man, did I not know how far down that rabbit hole would take me. Let’s say I wound up at the doorstep of @madamenoire.

Now, one of the major dangers(depending on who you are), and one of the perks(once again, depending on who you are) of interweb usage is being able to conjure up a variable of identities. Let that thought sit for a timepiece, will return to that later.

Being of a sound mind, alright, I was on a break from work and decided to get on twitter and surf for a few minutes, I clicked on the link to the Madame Noire website, and I did a google search on the name. I was lead to the timeline of another person that I follow on twitter: @Christelyn(Also known as Christelyn Karazin, writer of the book,“Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate Mixing Race Culture and Creed”(I can’t conjure this stuff up, folks, if only my imagination were that cruel…). The updates that I found in her timeline, the consecutively posted updates in her timeline, mind you, are here captured in this jpeg:


No implications necessary. I do believe that Christelyn is brash and bold enough to write under her own handle. However, as always in the Asylum, when we do critiques of others works, we want to not be bothered with grammatical errors, syntax, or pettiness–we come for intentions. Since I am not accusing Christelyn of writing the piece that we will be critiquing in this post, I don’t want to spend too much time on her blog with categories in her top navigation such as:“My Story: Jumping The Broom With A White Boy” aligned next to her navigational link of “No Wedding, No Womb”–the online movement that she spearheads with the pronounced focus of(according to her website):”…is an initiative that seeks to address the problems of – and provide solutions to — the unplanned pregnancies among African American single women.” Obviously, yes, OBVIOUSLY, one of her main solutions to solving the problem of children in the Black community being born out of wedlock is for Black women to get married to White men and have babies.(With all the banter about “marrying a white boy”, I have no fear of a rebuttal on that note!)

As stated, this is not an address on Christelyn or her “trademarked slogan, No Wedding, No Womb!”(If I could make it up, I wouldn’t be broke!!). It is simply a lengthy(I know, I know already, on with the show…) introduction and a neat(well, I thought so before you guys started skimming…) anecdote on how I got to read this post: “8 Reasons To Date A White Man”(featured in the “LIVING” section, no doubt(thank the Universe for the interwebs, I am simply not this creative…).

Alright…what everybody came for…

According to the article written by LaShaun Williams(I’m really hoping the google results on your name are incorrect, sister):

” I am married to a Black man—dark-skinned, 100 percent cocoa. To me, there is nothing more physically beautiful on this earth. Notice I said physically. Outside of that, there are plenty of more financially, intellectually and emotionally stable options. It’s time to taste the unknown. There are just too many—too many bright and beautiful single Black women waiting for their Black prince charming, only to see more and more of them riding off with their porcelain-skinned beauties.


My question is what are you waiting for—a baby and no ring? Black men are obviously seeing a lot in others they like. As an open-minded woman, I can tell you from experience some things about white are right. In no particular order, here are the reasons you should be giving vanilla a chance.”

The initial opening salvo is basically a disclaimer. It is a technique used in critical writings to stave off ad hominem attacks. Now, I agree that one should be careful with ad hominem usages, primarily due to the tendency too place to much attention on the messenger and not the message. In this case, I feel a “This IS Sparta!” moment coming on. She states that she is married to a black man, makes sure that we know he is of the darker variety of such sexually appealing beasts, and that this sexual appealing stud(or brute, you can choose your own US slavery created stereotype here) has no other values to offer. The description of the man she has married to is then very subtly magnified to represent the general population of Black men.

There are several qualifying characteristics we will have to infer from the piece, and it best that we get them out of the way. What does Williams mean by Black? Is she referring to a description of all humans with a melanin make up of high density compared to those of European origin? Is she simply referring to the ones of US birth? Due to her not offering us any statistics or facts beyond conjecture, we are left to assume that she is referring to Black men born in the United States of America. For the sake of the argument, we also assume that she is referring to White man born in the United States of America.

Williams moves into her second paragraph with another generalization and assumption based on popular belief. She asks her audience–we will assume by virtue of the context that she is writing for an audience of single black heterosexual women– what are they waiting for, a baby and no ring. Once again, we have the correlation of the “No Wedding, No Womb” movement with the thoughts of this author. Once again, I am addressing a correlation, and not an implication. The writer assumes that, and I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt, that the majority of Black eligible bachelors are simply going to get women pregnant and leave them. I’m a little taken aback here because of the degree of patriarchal sentiment. The idea that every black woman wants to be married, that marriage is the panacea of all of one’s woes, that Black men don’t marry Black women, that Black women don’t know how to be responsible over their bodies with regard to sexual intercourse–just a litany of general assumptions wrapped up in one scare tactic. And ultimately, the solution is the white man.

One more thing before I move on, because it occurred to me while reading the William piece: why didn’t she use any other culture? Alright, you feel the need to attack Black men, and that is what this piece is, a direct attack against black men, and a testimonial to just how far Black people HAVEN’T come in this society as a unified community. And yet, Williams could have said any other culture of men that have a culture where she believes a Black woman could find some one simpler or easier to marry. You have a whole continent of men raised in cultures where marriage is tied to the Aryan notions of patriarchal religious standards. You can look all throughout the continent of Afrika and find men willing to do much of the things she assumes that most black men are not going to do. But she didn’t. Why not?

Moving on…

Number ONE

” Gay White men tend to be more forthcoming about their sexuality with family and friends. The down low phenomenon is less prevalent, which preserves the battery usage on your gaydar and relieves the stress of dissecting every male relationship.”

This is just damn silly. The Oprah effect is such a dynamic force in the Black community. So forceful, so influential, that a women by the name of Lashaun Williams would use as a reason for Black women not to date brothers, and instead look toward the children of their former slave masters, and present oppressors for a commitment is the “Down Low Brother Syndrome”. The tendency for white republicans to vote against gay rights and yet they are gay is not considered. The Catholic priesthood with the embarrassing record of homosexual molestations while preaching against homosexuality and touting marriage gets overlooked as well. I suppose these cases are different due to the societal pressures placed on these men by the public…and why do we suppose the Black men that are hiding their homosexual tendencies are doing it for? There are no white men who feel the same pressures?

I would further this discussion by saying that homosexuality in the black community is actually more excepted there than in the white community. I tend to believe that the predominance of homosexuality in the white community is higher, however. More people tend to create a situation of more behaviors being displayed. But the notion that my little sister or older sister has more of a chance of dating a closet homosexual in the black community than the white is simply preposterous.
Number TWO

” Thanks to the absence of family, fathers and marriage in the Black community, a great number of our men have backward expectations when it comes to romantic relationships. A higher percentage of White men come from stronger family structures and more traditional gender roles, where the men seek to care for the women.”

Once again, Williams is trumpeting one)a grave generalization, and two) a notion of white patriarchy. She is equating “romance” with the concept of a man taking care of a woman. Regardless of my own personal beliefs or agreement, not all men believe like that, in fact many white men don’t. If we look at the statements of Chad Hurley, the late Randy Pausch, and John McClain, we see a number of white man who have “married up”. It is simply not a verity that all white men think that they are supposed to take care of a woman, let alone treat her in anyway akin to “romantic”.

It is here that the woman known to us as “Lauren Williams” begins to tell on whoever she is, or whoever is using that psuedonym(more like nome de guerre, but I told myself I’d be nice…). Is it romance that you really want, or someone to pay off all of those college loans you’ve accrued over the years? I’m slightly kidding, I don’t know if this Lauren Williams is even real, I mean, I don’t know if they ever went to college, or have any debts, but they are pushing the money thing pretty tough here.

Number THREE

” Black women are graduating from college and Black men continue to drop out. As a result, degrees become intimidating when dating Black men. In White culture, education is valued and expected. Thus, White men have no problem dating educated women with advanced degrees. It is impressive rather than intimidating.”

A few thoughts come to mind here: White women graduate at higher numbers than all US college students. This is an aggregate of a few factors: women tend to enroll in higher numbers, women tend to fare better than men in college, and in a society where there are more white families with the economic resources to send their children to paid institutions of higher learning, you are going to find more white women than any other ethnic grouping.

Black men don’t have an issue dating white women with degrees, so this argument needs to be refined. I won’t attack the flimsy premise, because I’d like to get a rethinking on this notion. The idea being, I’d like it to address the fact that in the United States of America, most men drop out of college. The reasons of economics needs to be reflected in that discussion.
Number FOUR(yes, I do feel like the Count from Sesame Street doing this…)

“For whatever reason, White men just don’t have children sprinkled all over the world like Black men. And, if they do, most of them were married to the mother at some point. Sure, they divorce but you can only divorce if you at least attempt a marriage.”

So, it is alright to have babies “sprinkled all over the world”(hyperbole much, chick?), as long as you have at least attempted a marriage? I don’t want anyone to claim that I am throwing straw, so let me break this one down for my critics.

Her premise: If a white man has babies all over the world(the world, Craig…sorry), then they must have been divorced.
The antecedent: Sure, White men divorce.
Conclusion: It is okay that they have babies all over the world because they were once married.

Divorce rates not withstanding…

Continuing…

Number FIVE

” They may listen to rap music, but they are smart enough not to act it out. The “thug life” is not something to be aspired. White men have a firmer grasp on what really defines manhood.”

Sure, chick…sure
The United States of America is a patriarchal country. Hypermasculine behavior can be seen in the form of Marine males screaming “Uh RA! Devil Dog!”, to white athletes gang raping women(HERE and HERE). If we take a look at the media messages, we will see that Black males are often more feminized in their portrayals than their white counterparts. Ultimately, hypermasculinity and gender role definitions are an issue of a patriarchal rulership, especially one with the foreign policy and military propaganda of the United States. To assert that white males are not affected by the stream of images portraying them as tough undefeatable boxers, one man armies, and Mafiaoso killers is to be lazy in one’s research. Maybe that one researcher should start with the increasing number of white militias appearing around the country. Or maybe that researcher should use a definition of manhood that wasn’t authored by the white manhood she is attempting measure black manhood by.
Number SIX

” Black people, especially men, are always trying to shine—often spending more money than they have. White men tend to be more educated in the area of finance with a greater understanding of retirement planning, savings, investments, etc. This is mostly due to a higher level of exposure and teaching, but all that matters is they know and make better decisions than Black men when it comes to managing money.”

This assumes an assimilist posture. For one, everybody’s definition of the slang term,”shine” is different. Therefore it is highly specious to assume that what White men do with their money is different in scope than what black men do. But that would be straw, right?

It is difficult for me to stereotype the spending habits of all men, let alone generalized on the spending habits of Black men. Most Black men that I know would actually be considered fiscally conservative. In Thomas M. Shapiro’s book,”The Hidded Cost Of Being African American”, he notes the danger of assuming a lack of financial responsibility on the part of blacks in comparison to a group of people who are able to pass on wealth held generationally. That is to say, it is easy for someone to spend foolishly and be overlooked for that err in judgment if mom and dad are going to foot the bill. It is also interesting for me to note here that many white males are allowed to stay with their parents longer than many Black males. And many white males have a considerable inheritance and financial foundation to make mistakes that Blacks aren’t afforded.

And it must be highlighted, that once again, the writer has returned to their main selling point: white men will take care of you…with their money. That is so…moving on…

Number SEVEN

” Ever wonder why White people can date the friends of exes and so on? It’s because they don’t let the past hinder the present. Promiscuous Black men think they deserve to settle down with virgins, and allow past relationships to haunt the present. Not White men. They have no problem turning a hoe into a housewife.”

I will agree that the white media portrays the white woman as virtuous beyond their past indiscretions. However, white males are trained in the same ways as black males to deem women as objects. As such, women are rated by how easy a sexual conquest can occur. Take a look at the phrase,”Oh, anybody can beat that guy ass” and compare it to,”Oh, anybody can fuck her.” Its a sport, and it is a sport that has been passed down to blacks through whites. According to bell hooks in her book,”Ain’t I A Woman”, one of the many reasons that white men avoided serious commitments to Black women during the early twentieth century was because they deemed Black women as overly sexual, irredeemably so. If we take a cursory look at a movie such as “Showgirls”, we see that it is the White woman who is deemed as worthy of romantic commitments regardless of her sexual promiscuity, and it is the black woman that is sodomized regardless of her innocence.

Of course, I’m being extremely kind due to criticisms from the academic community. I could just as easily have stated, “Why would any woman identify herself as a ‘hoe’?” Very telling there, Williams…very telling.

Number EIGHT

” Intimidation and insecurity are two reasons for the rift between Black men and women. As a result of their insecurities and low self-esteem, Black men are intimidated by the strength of an educated and ambitious Black woman. Rather than seeing her as a strong teammate, she is a threat to their manhood. Thus, they feel the need to overcompensate. White men, on the other hand, are more secure. What Black men see as threatening is what makes a great wife and business partner to them.”

You’ve got to be kidding me, right? So, white women are still attempting break the influence of the “Old Boys Network” because white men are so secure in their positions? Sure. Women have more degrees than white men, women have more jobs than white men, and yet women get less money and typically live in poverty. Is that because of Black men? Or is that because of the rulership of your precious white man? Can someone please give me the statistics of businesses ran by a white man and black woman? Can someone else give me the statistics of businesses ran by a black man and a black woman? Oh…she didn’t mean a real business…hmmm…I think I’m starting see a pattern here…

TOURE VS THE ONE THOUSAND POUND QUEEN FROM VENUS, AND OTHER SEXIST COMMENTS

So, I guess about ten years ago I was blessed to come across the writings of a one named bell hooks (lowercase on the initials is her trademark). It would still take me another five years to understand the academic black feminist mind frame and argument, but bell hooks introduced me to the conversation. I have never thought of myself as a male chauvinist. Never thought of myself as sexist. However, I’ve been accused of it time and time again. I suppose they all aren’t lying. But I would like to get some sort of manual for my personal edification. I don’t toss around the term racist loosely, although I don’t think I am at fault for claiming that most people socialized in the US will be racist to some extent. Using that logic, I also assume that most enlightened women will regard the actions of and thought processes behind the thinking of most men who have been socialized in the western world as sexist.

These thoughts reached my frontal lobe this afternoon after coming across an update on twitter (If you are not following me, www.twitter.com/owlasylum ). The update led me to this blog post (Toure Praises Raped Slaves For Seducing Massa). And in the post the screen capture of @ToureX’s theory of American Black female slaves using their bodies to liberate themselves is shown. I’m not a complete Toure hater. I understand he is growing through his own analysis of Black Nationalism, as many of us are. I am not defending him either…but…alright; I better the grab the lube for those that might be a little uptight for the sake of being uptight…

From a purely semantic assessment, okay, maybe his words could be taken out of context. Possibly he isn’t considering the political nature of rape. Yet, from that same line of reasoning comes the truth of his sentiments. How naive would you think I would be to think that during the course of three hundred plus years of chattel slavery that no American Black woman ever attempted to kill their slave master during a sexual episode, or attempted to use her charms of seduction in any means? I think we give the slave master much too much credit. Nat Turner caused his former slave master to be the pariah of his settlement when Mister Nat used arguments from the Bible to convince his former slave master to set him free. How much more convincing is the woman of charm who is able to place herself in the position of negotiator? Am I wrong for using the phrase “woman of charm”? Are there not women who are charming and who know how to manipulate (oh, might I be stoned for using that word…) the insatiable sexual appetite of the rapacious male in his prurient pursuits?

If Toure was bell hooks saying this, would it be more palatable? Is this one of those cultural things were you can say it and I can’t? Like if I say “bitch” I’m a sexist and I don’t care about the plight of women, but if another woman says it, then it is a term of endearment? I’m cool with it either way, but I’d like some clarification. If you just want to attack Toure, then by all means, have at him. I do, however, reserve the right as a man to question the basis and logic of said attacks when they will affect how my conversations need to be worded. I don’t necessarily feel because I sense that American Black women during slavery used sex as a weapon that I believe that men have a right to access women’s bodies. I don’t. I don’t think any woman owes any man that right or pleasure, but I do realize that there are many women who choose to use their body as a means to an end. Halle Berry is praised and rewarded for just doing that. She understands the dynamic and played towards that end. First we see her breast in Swordfish, and then she does a softcore porn scene dripping rancid racism. Score Oscar for the tragic mulatto’s ever recurring theme…

Moving on…

I came across this piece of shock tripe while traipsing down my timeline on twitter. It was also the center piece for this blog post Howard Stern’s Vicious Attack On Gabourey Sidibe – Audio. So…I’ve gone from Toure with a sense of misunderstanding the feminist perspective on all things related to the woman, and then I run into this. How do I explain my pain? How do explain to my enlightened American Black Feminist counterparts that I agree with Toure, but I hate the mindset that Howard Stern is promoting? How do I explain to you how much I hate labels? How much disdain I have for anyone who sets their “standards” by physical representations. How do I? How do I begin to explain that I do believe that Gabby set us back, but I don’t want to see her fail? How do I do this? I suppose those who truly want to understand the Owl frame of thought will be patient and learn. I suppose those who have an agenda to promote will always use people such as myself as fodder and fuel for the fire…

So, where am I now? I’m caught between believing that women can actually use their bodies as weapons, and believing that physical standards shouldn’t be a measure of talent. Wow. What the US (hell) was my mother smoking while I was in the womb?