Thoughts, insights, comments?
Thoughts, insights, comments?
Yesterday, @CarolynEdgar started discussing Elin Woods' alleged request for $750MM in a divorce from Le Tigre. This sent a bunch of men into apoplectic fits of Twitter rage. Then it was pointed out that for most of them… this wasn't going to be an issue. It was further pointed out that in this day and age when professional women outnumber and out earn men (amongst the African American ranks) chances were that in a lot of divorces, the woman would end up paying the man anyway. This segued into her hilarious rant on why it's a not always a great for an upwardly mobile chick to date Pookie or Ray-Ray:
"Best advice? Um, don't marry Pookie. Don't even let him hit it. Cause if you're living well, dude's gonna show up on yr doorstep w/a bag." "So if you are a high wage earning woman who took Steve Harvey's advice and found yourself a Pookie to marry, and now Pookie's accustomed to your "high-end" lifestyle, be prepared to pay Pookie when things don't work out in the end." A firestorm broke out. I grabbed some popcorn. Then I realized that this could make for a great blogpost: The Perils of Pookie and What's Wrong with Ray Ray... a little over the top so I went a different direction.
But first, let me define a Pookie. Pookie is a man without a lot of ambition, going nowhere slowly. He's just getting by and he's okay with it. He may have potential (he may not) but he is not polished up. He may or may not be a recreational herb user. He may or may not be a purveyor of street pharmaceuticals. He generally drives a hooptie, lives with his mama and is terminally short on cash. His appearance is generally tore up from the floor up and he has mastered Ebonics as a first language. That's Pookie, okay? So don't come at me with "hustle" – Pookie ain't hustlin' unless it's to his mailbox to get a check from the gub'ment, ya feel me. That's the Pookie I'm talking about. No, I'm not hating on Pookie. There's a place for the Pookies of this world. Let's move on…
A BougieTale of WBFDD (What Bougie Folks Don't Do) - Marry Pookie...
I decided to get hands on knowledge. I called a friend of mine out in the Bay Area whose best friend married a Pookie. I wanted to see how that was working out. Yes, literally Pookie. Her best friend (a VP at an internet company in San Jose) Stacey married a guy named Percy who had one branch of his family tree that called him Pookie. Pookie was Stacey's "reparation project" – I'm not joking. She met him in their early 30s. She was a Senior Director, he was parking cars. (NTTAWWT - Not That There's Anything Wrong With That)
They started hanging out and she basically remade him. New teeth, new hair, new clothes, new job. He moved in with a raggedy duffle bag and a pretty new smile (her words, not mine). She paid for him to finish school, cleaned up his credit, took him to church, introduced to him people who knew people. He had evolved from Pookie to Percy. Two years later he proposed. Six years in, two kids later, Pookie started cuttin' a fool. He was rolling out of the house at all hours, missing for unknown reasons, not answering calls, not picking up the kids when it was his turn and yeah – you know where it's going.
She found out (because Pookie was using HER platinum card) that he was wining and dining other women, buying them gifts, taking random broads on vacation! While she's pulling down the six-figures, working, taking care of the kids – he's out spending her money on good times with women he would not have stood a chance with if she hadn't fixed him up. (Can you feel my outrage radiating through the monitor?) Fast forward through the drama and attempted reconciliation and we land in divorce court. Pookie's ass gets an ALLOWANCE, she had to sell the four-bedroom house because it was considered an asset of the marriage and she had to break him off a portion of the bank accounts. He gets to keep the BMW. They are currently battling over her retirement plan. HER retirement plan.
Therein lies the problem of dating Pookie. It's not that we don't appreciate Pookie's potential. But Pookie without a pre-nup is about to waltz off to Sausalito with a new girlfriend, a BMW and an allowance. She's in a two bedroom condo with two kids, the SUV and the credit card bills from Pookie's good times. Does that seem right to you?
This is the side of the story that you don't hear when Steve Harvey and Hill Harper are talking about potential, and giving the brother on the block a shot. Sometimes that shot bites you in the ass. I'm not saying it can't work out and I'm not saying that Pookie on that come up isn't a great thing to see. I'm saying when a woman has to literally re-make a man and mold him up to fit him into her world, it can go wrong. And that ain't right. So miss me with that "you are so judgmental" nonsense I know a few of you are dying to throw my way.
Seriously, BougieLand – I'm asking… does that seem right to you? Does anyone have a story with Upwardly Mobile Girl meets Pookie and it all works out? For that matter, are upwardly mobile guys are checking for round-the-way chick with zero ambition? Pookietta? Thoughts, comments, insights? The floor is yours…
(UPDATE: I was just informed by @sfreynolds that the female equivalent of Pookie is Peaches. I stand corrected)
Today, we're doing a cross-blog topic with Single Black Male. It is of an NC-17 nature. Usually, I type the word b*tch with the asterisk. But today since we are discussing the unfortunate usage of the word, we're going in. Buckle up.
As a blogger, I'm often asked things that quite frankly throw me for a loop. Based on the comments from one of my posts, the question was asked – when is it acceptable to call a woman a bitch or a ho to her face?
Hmm. Well, I have a series of standards on this one. First of all, let's be honest… some women display some decidedly bitch-like, ho-like tendencies. Just two weeks ago, we expounded on the irritating trend of Hoedom as a hustle. All this being said, when you are looking someone in their face (and yes, I KNOW this is sexist) I believe there is NO time where it's acceptable for a man to call a woman a bitch or a ho. Kinda like non-black people using the n-word (whole other topic), this one you have to leave in house.
And EVEN then, if you don't have some sort of relationship where that's an okay thing, you can NOT be calling folks bitches and hoes to their face. I'm sorry, you really can't. Now, do we need to discuss the difference between calling someone bitchy or a bitch? Understanding that it's still right there on the line of what can catch you a beat down from said female?
Of course I have a few friends that jokingly call each other bitches. "Bitch you know you look good." "Ya'll bitches never on time." "Queen Bitch is on her throne today." And EVEN then, after one or two someone generally says, "Um, Ms. Lady – we're not going to be too many more bitches tonight, okay?" And it's shut down.
We don't call each other hoes. No, not even if some hoe-shiggity is apparent. It's just not done. But again, that's just me and my friends. I'm curious to know how this dynamic plays out with other people. Here's an interactive quiz for your enjoyment:
I got into a discussion on Twitter about this and several folks had differing opinions. SBM had the strongest opinion. He believed that if a woman is acting like a bitch or a ho, she needed to be called out.
As my good friend OneChele mentioned … we differ in opinion.
Anyone who frequents SingleBlackMale.org knows we aren't afraid to tell it like it is and say what really needs to be said. But please believe I am not some e-Thug who keeps his mouth quiet out in the "real world." Please believe the SBM you get on the blog and twitter is the same strong minded, "always got an opinion about relationships", chivalry murdering, weave hating individual that you hate love so much on these e-streets. I strive to give you the same experience whether you're looking me in my eye or reading me on a monitor.
As a result … I will call a woman a hoe or a bitch … if the situation calls for it.
Please don't get it wrong. My mom and dad raised me right. Even in a time when too few rappers can define the word misogyny, and b*tch and hoe are thrown around with reckless abandonment, I neither participate or condone calling any and every woman a b*tch or a hoe. Just because you are female doesn't make you a b* or h*. Streetz detailed what makes some woman a b*, and I think we all know what a hoe is … so I won't reiterate.
But … there are certain situations where I feel that I, as a man, can call a woman a bitch or hoe to her face. These are never done with complete strangers, and I usually know the person. And I don't mean it as mean … but sometimes these harsh words give the "shock" value needed to rightly bring about change. Let's look at some of these situations.
– My female friend has just told me about the 5 different guys she has slept with this week. Apparently she needed to get something out her system (You'z a hoe).
– An acquaintance in the group is asking if it's wrong that she slept with a guy raw dawg, in the back of a car, while his friend drove them back from the club (*true story*)within 6 hours of meeting him. (You'z a hoe).
– A woman is telling me about the 5 anonymous person train that just "came through her station." (You'z a hoe).
– My date (on our first date) is talking about the 30 day marathon she did last year where she aimed to sleep with a different man every day of the week, and then call back the best for a weekend repeat (You'z a super serious hoe).
– A woman in a group of friends that I am part of (don't know her that well) is explaining how she threw her big mac back through the drive through window because they forgot the secret sauce (You'z acting like a bitch).
– You, a stranger, come into my face cursing and implicating that I cannot hold an erection or please a woman. All this because I wouldn't buy you a drink (You'z a bitch)
So, as we can see there are some situations where a woman simply needs to be informed to the error of her ways. Just like any questionable actions on my behalf would result in me being called a "bitch ass n***a" or a "man-whore/he-slut" … I strive for equality. I don't do it out of spite, to be mean, or to be disrespectful … but if you're acting like a bitch around SBM … be prepared to get your feelings hurt.
Well, as you can tell... we really don't agree on this one. And I'm also giving SBM a side-eye on his circle of friends. Here in BougieLand we tell it like it is, but we bougie so we say it nicely… SBM, you know I love you like a third cousin I scold at Thanksgiving and Easter but you need more people, sweetie. I say this with the love. The L-O-V-E. If you have words for SBM, leave them over there or over here or both.
I admit that I'm curious to see what kind of responses we get. Are we out there calling folks bitches and hoes to their face? The floor is yours.
Allow me to share a BougieTale from Wednesday afternoon:
Michele Grant sits on a conference call with her agent (a self-described Jewish New Yorker) and two representatives from a west coast film production company. They are interested in optioning my book for a film. The problem is we want to keep the integrity of the story; otherwise we could just sell the option, take the money and run. But very rarely are first-time unknown authors giving the opportunity to stay involved. Now I still may take the money and sprint but first we thought we'd try to see if we could keep a little artistic control. We have met with two other companies. This is our third of five meetings and we are hearing the exact same thing. So much so that my agent and I are on Yahoo Messenger keeping each other sane. Here is the latest:
Them: "Your storyline is compelling but your heroine is ethnically ambiguous."
My Agent: "I beg your pardon?"
Them: "We mean… we know she's black… African-American… but she doesn't really act like it."
Me (thinking Oh Really Now?): "I see."
Them: "And your hero, can he be a little more blue collar?"
Me (thinking for the last time – He's an ARCHITECT): "umm, er-"
Them: "And then we'd like you add in some scenes that are more colorful."
Them: "Less mainstream. Something more suit to a wider Black audience."
Me: "I'm sure I don't know what you mean." [I knew exactly what they meant but I just wanted them to say it.]
Them: "Well you have a barbecue scene and a night club scene and a church scene – those are great but maybe you could expand those and have more quintessential ethnic moments?"
My agent (affronted): "Quintessential ethnic moments?"
Them: "We're just going to speak plainly and we don't want you to take offense. Okay?"
Me (already offended but resigned): "Sure, go ahead."
Them: "It's almost mainstream enough to crossover but your best idea is to appeal to a black base. And right now, it's just not black enough."
Me (slowly through gritted teeth): "Not. Black. Enough. I see."
Agent: "Thank you guys, I don't think it's a fit."
Them: "Well but-"
My agent started apologizing to me, I cut her off. I told her it was the story of my life. Just black enough to be considered black, but quite black enough… whatever the hell that means.
Later, as I recounted the story to a friend of mine, she got angry. She told a story about going out on a sales call with her manager. She was flattered and surprised to be asked since she was the junior sales executive and new to the company. As they drove towards the sales visit, she realized that they were heading to a black part of town. She began to wonder if this was why she was chosen to attend. Her suspicions were affirmed when he turned to her as they pulled up and said, "Hey, I'm going to let you take the lead on this one. But do you think you could "black it up" a little in there? You come across kinda white bread sometimes. You know, drop your g's some, get loose." [say it with me now... LASER-BEAM SIDE-EYE]
She said two things stopped her from going off – she was in the middle of a neighborhood she knew nothing about and she needed the job. But after winning the account, she waited a few days and then sent an email detailing the incident word for word and cc'd his supervisors and Human Resources. She dropped in words like "tokenism" and "emotional distress." Shortly thereafter her supervisor was transferred but she got the stigma of being "a troublemaker" (read Uppity Negro) and it stayed with her until she left the company three months later.
Le Sigh people. It's 2010. Do we really need to tell people that euphemisms like "colorful" and "ethnic" are not a very well-disguised? Do we really still need to give someone the side-eye for using a term like "black it up"? Diggity-damn, do I really need to prove my "blackness" to sell a script? Just what the feazy is "quintessential ethnicity" anyway? Let me dig around in the stereotype files.
Ah here we go: Should my characters enter each scene carrying some form of cooked chicken parts? Should they discuss weaves vs. natural hair at the drop of a hat? Should I go into more details about rims and chains? Should I have one character who adds, "Know what I'm sayin'?" to the end of every sentence? Should I place a scene in a check-cashing store, barbershop, or nail salon? Should someone be an aspiring rapper/professional athlete at the age of 35? Should I make sure someone has a black velvet picture of Malcolm X, MLK, Biggie and Tupac with angels' wings hanging up in the living room? Should a fight break out over blue Koolaid? Is that blackity-black enough?
Okay, I've vented. Moving on. But I'll say this one thing: Obama is in the White House but we are still generations away from true post-racism.
Hmm, that was a kind of white bread closing to this post, let me "black it up" a little: We still 50-cent short of a dolla dolla bill, ya'll. Ain't that right, BougieLand? Ya'll keep it real and greasy fo' sheezy, ya dig! Holla at cha girl! I'm out. Deuces, truces and nan-mo excuses! Peace! [drops mic and exits, stage left]
But that did get me to thinking - just how black am I? I came up with a completely offensive quiz full of our worst stereotypes. Please take it in the super-snarky spirit in which I created it:
Thoughts? Comments? Similar experiences?
I know the picture makes no sense but read on and all will be revealed. In this installment of What Bougie Folks Don't Do, allow me to present three cases where Bougie Folks are nowhere (and won't be anywhere) to be found.
And this is just from the last week, ya'll! So tell me, agree or disagree? Ya'll hanging out in the Serengeti with no tracker, no bullets, no sense? Ha! Whatcha think about Reverend Ray? And can we all agree to lift up our pimp hands and slap the hell out of the BalloonFam for putting that mess on TV when we could have been watching live coverage of Obama in NOLA? Any others to add to the list for this time?
You know what, young ‘uns – ya’ll aint said nuthin’ but a word. Unfortunately, some of the things you say… those of us born before 1985 do not comprehend. I’ve received scores of emails asking me to define “stuff”. I am not an Ebonics dictionary people but since I referred you to some younghead sites, I guess I’m responsible. Below, a tongue in cheek look at what some of these words and phrases mean:
Here ends my ebonics translation. Some words I did not include because they are self-defining such as B*tchassedness and Bullshiggity. J Now do not go out there trying this all at once: Saw this 5-star chick I used to smash out in the spot all flagrant with her stuntin', I had to put her pause like WDDDA? Cuz that's how I do, ninja! Hold yourself back. All of these will be played out by the time you use them correctly, anyway. Please feel free to share any that I missed (or correct any I got wrong - I can't keep up).
I don't care why you are famous. Chances are you work in cinema, television, music, or are just rich and considered one of the beautiful people. The fact that you are used to working in front of the camera is no excuse to carry that over into your personal life. Let's pause for a minute and reflect on that phrase… personal life. That means the life you lead behind closed doors that is nobody's business but your own and your special friends and family.
Here's what's up… I don't know you. I am not your friend or family member. Chances are, I don't want to be your friend or family member. Who knows, you may be nice as all get out. Nevertheless, I don't wanna see you nekkid. I really don't. I understand that I am in the minority on this but hear me out.
You know what's sexy? Mystery. Yep, let it soak in while I repeat it: mystery. Let my imagine run wild and free. We're told that the brain is the sexiest organ in the human body; let that work for you for half a minute. Let someone think about what you have to offer, rather than showing it. There's no mystery in your naughty bits plastered all up and through the Internets. Worse yet is your "oh-ah-right-there-baby" sex tape. That's not the hotness when it's shared with everybody who has access to high speed.
Now I'm not going to get into the debate on whether you should be making these tapes, snapshots, whatever in the first place. Here's an expert with her take on the phenomenon:
Sex and relationship expert Yvonne K. Fulbright, PhD, MS Ed., ACSE, [says]: "A number of stars feel invincible, and many of them also don't foresee that a hacker or soon-to-be-ex they're dating might exploit them later."
While it's not always clear why or how celebrity sex photos and videos become viral, Pamela C. Regan, PhD, professor of psychology at California State University says there are definite ways that celebrities should handle the onslaught of public attention. The first thing to do? Don't deny that you took photos or made a sex tape if in fact you did: "Honesty really is the best policy because the proof is out there, and people have seen it," says Regan. "That doesn't mean you have to talk about it or go into salacious detail. Just admit that it happened and emphasize that it was a private moment."
Fulbright also says it's not necessary to apologize for your behavior: "There's nothing wrong with the naked form and using it to turn on your lover. Sex photos and videos taken with your cell phone are the latest way to reach out and touch someone." At the same time, though, Fulbright emphasizes the importance of feeling comfortable and trusting in your relationship. "Exes can be cruel when things don't work out, and that's whether you were with them for 11 weeks or 11 years. You need to weigh the pros and cons and decide if the risks are really worth the immediate titillation factor. You can also opt for less-risky turn-ons such as practicing more aural sex. There's something to be said for the suggestive versus in-your-face images."
Now I don't agree that sending a naked picture/video is the new Hallmark card. I also think if you and your chosen partner are playing slap-n-tickle with the camera rolling, someone needs to set some ground rules up front and someone needs to be in charge of destroying said media after. And by someone, I mean you.
Whether you are snapping bare-ass pictures of yourself in the hotel bathroom (Jamie Foxx), getting freaky for a significant other (Rihanna), or who knows why (Vanessa Hudgens) it's all just folks I didn't ask to see naked sprawled across Google. Whether you are Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton or Pamela Anderson it's still just people who are porn stars getting their XXX on. Either way, if I didn't send you a note specifically requesting your nakedness (Denzel, did you get my tweet?!) then please, I beg of you… keep it to yourself.
P.S. Yo' mama must be so proud, "Look Ma! I'm naked on YouTube!"
What do you think of the recent rash of naked pictures/film of celebs? Is it okay if they look good in the picture? Thoughts please.