The life of an adventurous Black Media Analyst couldn’t get more wretched, right? Of course, it would help if I updated my damn “world famous” site more than once every two weeks, I’m sure. For those that are still tuned into the Life and Times of J. “Owl” Farand, I’d like to say, “I love you, and thank you for your trying dedication to this movement.” Long live the mighty Owl’s Asylum and all that hoopla…
But enough of that correct? Let’s do some blogging…
So, I was surfing around Twitter a few weeks ago and started an interchange with a phenomenal sister that reached out to me during the earlier stages of my mother’s stroke. I enjoyed the energy and asked her to do a piece regarding women’s perceptions towards men’s need to hold women to a certain standard due to the amount of men they had slept with. And this is the outcome of that particular request:
I was pleasantly pleased by the piece, and began jotting down some of the finer points of the video, her list, as it were:
Men That Can’t Judge A Woman By Her Body Count(amount of men she’s had sex with)
1. Men that live with their parents and have never left. (You don’t get to speak…quiet.)
2. Men that have been to jail. (Wrangled your booty?? hahahah…)
3. Men that throw money at strippers. (Can’t objectify and condemn a woman)
4. Men who eat cheeseburgers. (Biblical violations…actually, I’m quit lost here!)
5. Men who are under 5’7″(Go sit at the kiddies’ table.)
6. Men who can’t see their dick. (Either you are too fat, or your dick is too little, or both. You ought to be lucky anybody is fucking you. )
7. Unemployed men. (You can’t keep a job, but you are keeping tabs on a woman’s pussy.)
8. Virgins. (If you have never had sex, you can’t understand the pleasure of sex…You don’t get to police pussy if you’ve never had pussy.)
9. Men who have never been tested. (If you don’t know your status, you don’t get to talk period)
10. Men who have high body counts. (If you are a man that has had sex with 50 women, you can’t judge a woman that has had sex with 50 men, and if you do, that’s that boolshit…)
Firstly, let’s get the Asylum disclaimer out of the way:
This is 2011, not 2010. Some of my loyal readers have stopped reading at this point, gone to the cabinet, and begun popping a bag of microwave popcorn. Actually, one of them has put grease in a pot (yes, kiddies, a pot…remember those?) and is shaking the pot as the kernels he placed in it begin to explode. Understand: this is not Owl at his old tricks. Asylum is very fond of what is going on over there at Knob-slobbing Feminism (come, come, now…how could I not support her with a name like, “Knob-slobbing Feminism”?). I consider Feminista Jones a friend, and she will be afforded the respect due her in this Asylum.
Obviously, this is not a scientifically or overly objective editorial (what would that be in video format…vid-itorial?). If we were to find a man that she deems qualified to ask or speak to the issue of a woman’s body count, he’d have to be independent, or once independent, without a record, doesn’t frequent strip clubs, a vegan if a follower of the bible, above average height for a man in the United States, not obese, or at least possessing average penis length, with gainful employment, that has had sex with at least one woman but not more than the number of women he’d frown if a women had the same number of men as her body count (are there any math majors reading this that can formulate an algorithm for me?). I don’t know anyone that fits this description. In her defense, I don’t deal with a lot of men, but I’d wager that even the most back-patting, male-bonders of my gender will not be able to offer a specimen for detailed questioning. Even with that being written, I get where she is going with this.
I ask certain women about…’the number.’ I attempt to do it in a way to avoid what Femminista Jones mentions about lying. I also make efforts to do it in a nonjudgmental manner. I talk to my male comrades about sexual experiences and I don’t feel the need to quell my curiosity with women. However, I would be completely amiss if I didn’t admit that when I talk to men, the phrase is usually sexual conquest, with women, it tends to not have that same sense of dominant power. Worthy of note here, I typically don’t ask women that I’m approaching from a casual sex relationship angle about their number. Even if that evolves into something more emotionally bonding and committed over time, there is something about the fact that we are already having sex that removes certain questions from my mind. It is one of the reasons I’ve begun to believe that in this era’s dating pool, it is simply easier to establish a sexual relationship than something more traditionally romantic or committed. At least in the more incipient stages. This is a topic we will hopefully return to in the future.
So, the question, if we are to handle this in a fairly mature manner, is why do men ask women about their number of partners? The first thought that comes to my mind is always insecurity. And sure, I’m an admitted body count recorder. It would be easy for me to move along with this post into another tangent with women thrusting their fists into the air, quite content with this offering. But, as I stated, that is my easy answer, and in many ways, extremely superficial. Extremely. (Okay, lady in Tucson, Arizona, you can put your balled fist down, sis…)
Something that women don’t often discuss but that all men at some point in their lives will have to accept and cope with- or not- is that we are creatures of control. We like to control as a means of being, and what we have controlled becomes a part of our status and reputation as we venture forward throughout life. One part of the idea of slut shaming is this ability to control women from being entertained by other men via this guilt trip. Secondly, men compete with men over women. Men concoct the most bizarre forms of competition in an effort to secure the attention and adoration, or adulation of women. This doesn’t just start in college or the board room; this begins early enough for me to give credence to Sigmund Freud’s ideas of Oedipus and Electra psychosocial complexes. It is pretty deep seated. So, you’ve got a guy that maybe wasn’t the apple of the eye of the cheerleaders back in junior high, that recognizes certain qualities about his potential mate that remind him of the girls that only had sex with the competition (Women do this in a different fashion-typically the fight is fat/skinny, dark/light, but more on this hopefully in a future post). The slut shaming begins at the point of the male’s desire to control, not always at his inability to control. The slut shaming is simply the tool being used.
I’m glad that Femminista Jones touched in a comical fashion the religious and pseudo-moral standards that women are held to. As I’ve stated before, not many men want to be with a woman with a high body count. According to bell hooks, this form of slut shaming, the promotion of the Black female presence as over sexualized, was one of the means by which white boys stepping out into ‘proper’ society were manipulated to stay away from marrying Black women. Let’s be completely honest here, slut shaming works, and it works well. It targets one of the most influential of psychological drives, the need to be accepted and to be deemed worthy within the “upper circles”.
Although, most of those who are going to revisit mores established by folklore and ancient traditions found in western tomes such as the Bible and the Torah have not a clue about their own vested belief systems, for the sake of convenience and control, any woman stepping outside of their accept box will be labeled ‘Eve’ or ‘Jezebel.’ A valuable tidbit is the noting that the men characters of the Bible commit way worse sexual atrocities than the women characters, but the few female characters of ill repute are always thrust in the media. More on that in another post, I’m certain…
I’ve grown a lot in my dealings with women. I’ve learned to accept people for who and what they are, and if the match isn’t a fit, I keep it moving without leaving ashes on the surface of bodies of water I may need to cross later in life. In the same way I question my notions of beauty, I continuously reframe my ideas of what is unchaste. In much of what the human dubs “adulthood,” we will find our Selves attached to those with sordid pasts. And my past isn’t exactly a bed time story for respectable adults to tell their children tucked in for the night. For ladies, I’d say, own your sexuality. It is yours. I can’t place a register on your vagina, but sometimes it is necessary to know what number we are on. “Safety matters” is more than a justification here, sisters. And if you are going to red flag me for the personal choices I’ve made in the past regarding laws or finances, I’d believe I’m quite in my rights to ask you about one of your most sacred possessions. If you need reassurance to avoid lying, just remember that if I’m not mature enough to handle it, what else am I not mature enough to handle? In the endgame, the idea is a mature connection, correct? For everything that is Asylum and is my security, it has come by way of a woman, and your number just isn’t enough to prevent me from seeing the mercy that a Black woman desiring to share my space represents.