At Least Say Thank You, Ladies…

I’ve been trying to avoid the Black Gender war thing since I wrote the rebuttal to @BlaqueConscious’ piece on her blog. Seems like some troubles just follow you like a lost mangy mutt once they get a whiff of you. Anywho, I’m somewhat of a gentleman who actually enjoys opening doors for women, helping them get their things in the car at grocery stores, and the like. I don’t expect anything more than a thank you in return. I’m welcoming enough to offer a compliment with no strings attached. I figure if I can get a spread eagle from a compliment, it probably isn’t the smartest idea to swim in those waters. That being said: Ladies…every time a man does something nice for you, doesn’t mean they are trying to fuck.

I understand that the average woman is going to be approached by a number of men in a given setting. I’d say probably ten men will venture a compliment, or even a crude statement they heard from a rap(I couldn’t bring myself to type hip-hop) song. Some women are simply on guard, preventive maintenance, possibly. Of course, there are some women that seem to give me this look. You may have seen it or given a to The eye becomes slightly tighter as if to peir into my soul. I laugh and squint my eye and actually look into their souls. I let them know I’m only being nice, and attempting to emit a better vibration into the megaverse. I can’t begin to tell you the amount of times I’ve had to tell a woman,”Hey, sis! I can’t date rape you off of a simple,’Your shoes like nice,’..”

Maybe I’m wrong. I’ve been told that my words have made a sister’s day, and for the ost part many of the older sisters that I run across take compliments quite well. Sometimes too well, but that is another post!! I would like to ask the more mature sisters to teach the rest of their gender about when guys like myself roamed the earth in packs and could be found more often than pants off the arse. Remind them of the times when a man rushing to open a door didn’t create the misperception that he expected the woman to bend it low. Teach them the long lost art of taking a compliment properly: Smile. Say thank you as if you mean it, and don’t shy away like I’m trying to bite you or something! Please inform that no matter how the guy comes off afterward, the compliment is yours. It was given freely out of someone’s kindness, and whatever ulterior motive you suspect doesn’t have to create a court room interrogation.

No seriously. I’ve told a sister that her hair looked nice, and she went into this speil about how long ago it had been done. I wondered to myself if I had walked up and said, “Damn, looks like your hair ain’t been done in a month, you slouch!” what would the response have been. Given my history with women, I tend to think that I should walk around with a disclaimer on my shirts that says,”Not The One To Discourage, Ladies”. I recall as a teenager, back when the “I want a roughneck” movement was in full swing, I could count on getting the prettiest(common standard based assessment) young ladies with terms like bitch. You laugh or cringe, but I’m writing God’s script here. Seriously, it worked. As I have hopefully matured, and left childish things to the children, I wonder some days. The habit was practiced enough to have become second nature, and that trigger is still a part of my neuro make-up. Although, I’m not attempting to get the woman’s number, it does cause a brief moment of caution to over pass my soul when a woman deflects my attempts to help her, or after giving her a compliment the cold shoulder strut. I suppose I could be overly sensitive on this topic, of course I also suppose I could still be going around calling women out of their names like this guy just did across the street before getting her to smile. Good grief…

Eh…I don’t do it for the plus, but it is nice to know that your words and deeds are welcomed. Social graces are what define a culture and little things like chilvary help to provide those necessary elements of cohesion. It is not enough for me to say that I’m doing it for myself, I’m doing it because it is the human thing to do. I believe that the American Black community has been hit hard with the individualistic virus so hard that we have forgotten who and what we are. We aren’t a people that can afford to speak in minimal terms about much really, let alone actions that allow us to destroy the myths about the savage balck man. (What was it the white gyrl wrote in that e-mail about us and violence?)

Any who..before I get too deep in my public service announcement(too late!!) I would just like the ladies to consider that there are still some nice guys who enjoy being nice guys. I understand that it is not a slight or something that should be taken personally, however it does erode at that very core when you know for a fact that you could say something quite demeaning and get the response you were looking for. I’m not sure if this is some sort of self-hate thing, or what, but it is annoying to say the least.

Eh…maybe I’m crazy to think doing kind should be returned with kind…

Untitled Poem

I was blessed to be invited by one of my favorite Vloggers, Isis Papers,(please do yourself a favor and check out her page,here) to do a piece last night on a blog talk radio show hosted by one of my favorite spoken word goddesses, I am Oshun, (Twitter page, here). This is the piece that I delivered…

Put a panic button your penis and vadge lines
they mass producing death like a sad crime
and the badge of shame ain’t enough to keep condoms in the express line
because Afrika looks better on a poster for genocide
than that of original land birth bringer of the first blood lines
Conspiracy theorist press rewind
they got something that puts the tuskegee experiment in exponential percentage signs
Do the math
In the 60s the FBI needed to rid the black community of the messiah
like herod did jesus,
but please peep this
the communes of the prison industry were recorded by W.E.B. DuBios
at the turn of the last century
past the needle became the revolt slogan for those hip in the 70s
stay with me
Homosexuality breeds quick when the sexual is homo, meaning same;one
test the virus on the addicted communities of oakland and Philly
are you still with me?
How the hell does a T-cell revolt against its host?
introduce a new antibody into the cell construct
natural, I think not.
But science is not enough of a reliance
when the politics of human control become defiant
no trust, please people control your lust
turn off that tube designed to tell you false visions
Relinquish the culture that makes fucking a religion
Poverty displaces moral codes making prostitutes plenty
record and fast forward
sex rings on school yard children’s fingers is the “in” thing
false statistic report that not enough black women being married
trust not your external news coverage
they built divide and conquer in our blood
shh… quiet the porno running in your mind
and put a panic button on your penis and vadge lines…

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?

Big Black Mammies, Chicken Thieves, and The Oscars…

So, how exactly do I feel about the Academy Awards Show I watched last night?

Between beating my head into the desk attempting to find humor in the cliche-esque punch lines of Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, and hoping, yes hoping some sort of line would get crossed in the dialogue regarding Gabourey Sibide. Much of my viewpoint on this whole topic is biased, as for any American Black it should be. The highest honor for most actors and actresses is the Oscar. I have heard that the trophy called “Oscar” is supposedly representative of the Kimitian (Ancient Egyptian) God Ptah, not sure how that would correspond, but hey…whatever, right?

What I do know is that images play a strong part in the minds of people. Gabby is not going to be known as the articulate and bubbly young sister who struck it big in her first movie. She will be known as the fat black girl who ran out of the scene with a stolen bucket of chicken. I am happy for Monique’s win. I was a little disappointed at her lack of understanding. Her comment to the Academy was “…that it can be about the performance and not the politics…” Possibly.

If Mo’nique was playing the role of Dr. Mae Jemison’s mother, or possibly the mother of Sista Souljah, or better yet if she was playing the role of Fannie Lou Hammer-then I would say the politics had changed. Winning the Oscar for playing the role of a trifling, loud, fat black woman in the ghetto who is blaming her daughter for losing her man, dropping tears in the cued scene, asking, “Who’s going to love me…?” is not a change of politics. It was Mo’nique herself that evoked the name Hattie McDaniels.

I was blessed to watch a one woman performance of the life of Aunt Jemima. The stereotype of the aunt or mammy caricature seems to persist throughout history no matter how many real or fictive character types are created to outshine this monstrosity. Hattie McDaniels wins the achievement award for playing the role of the aunt/mammy caricature in “Gone with the Wind”. A great role to model, the aunt jemima role actually begun during the minstrel show days, and was immortalized in advertising by the Davis Milling Company, and they even hired a former slave, Nancy Greene to portray a real live “Aunt Jemima” for events such as the World’s Fair. Thus Hattie McDaniel’s Oscar winning performance was actually the reenactment of a Minstrel performance. And this is who our great and talented Mo’nique chooses to evoke. Thus in 2010, it could be argued that we are still wrestling the images that extended directly from slavery, and the caricatures invented during slavery to help promote it to northerners who had no clue as to what was actually going on in the homes of slave owners. It was slave propaganda. And regardless who promotes it, or who wrote it, Precious the movie, doesn’t move itself too far out of my “slave propaganda” radar.

Am I happy that Gabby didn’t win? I’m sort of satisfied. The young lady has a bright and rewarding career that I pray is not stained by this unfortunate “break”. I suppose a whore in a strip club who is allowed to perform next to a widely establish porn star would be greatly appreciative of any “break.” I suppose an upcoming star would be greatly appreciative of any chance to sit in the company of stars who have sold themselves for the privilege to be judged by the academy. I suppose.

I learned a long time ago that the winners of awards are usually never the “people’s champions”. And like Puffy/Puff Daddy/P Diddy/The Guy who snitched on Shyne for saving his punk ass life once said, “Don’t worry if I write rhymes, I write checks..” I suppose the money matters that much, and since money is power, and politics is the study of power distribution, I’d say my premise stands. And Mo…I love you sister…but it is always the same old politics…

Because of a Black Woman

Inspired by the insanity to Illuminate through the Illusion…

Because of a black woman…I got to taste the bitterness of ignorance and the sweetness of breath

Because of a black woman…nights don’t drown me, and my days don’t seem like an endless drift

Because of a black woman…I know the difference between the rage of reckless fear, and the silence of caution

Because of a black woman… I know that the sweetness of her rivers shouldn’t blind me to the emptiness of her shallow streams…

Because of a black woman…I am free to think, to create, to envision, to be…

Because of a black woman…I know the difference between the thoughts of the wise and the banter of the bitter

Because of a black woman…I know the pressure of the poke should not be as important as the rhythm of the words spoke

Because of a black woman…I can sense the anger of your words, and the confusion of the world in your heart…

Because of a black woman…I am Arm Leg Leg Arm Head, Guidance Order Direction, Justice Authority